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Nugget# 117 Life lessons from Chacha Nehru!

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Hi friends,

Hope you are fine. Today ( Nov 14th) is celebrated as Children’s Day in India. It is the birth anniversary of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru ( India’s first Prime Minister) ,more fondly called Chacha Nehru as the favorite uncle to children all across India. He often wore a rose on his jacket.Some say that he began to do so from the day a child pinned one on him.He thought of each child as a light of the future of the country.He would meet thousands of children at rallies in Delhi.He received handmade birthday cards from children in Jaipur and would send back thank you notes signed in person.Such was the love he had for children.Children’s Day continues to be celebrated to increase awareness of rights, care and education of children.It is celebrated on different dates in different parts of the world.

Pandit Nehru was a great champion for introducing the English language in schools and colleges in India.He is one of the few at that time to receive foreign education.He was also a great philosopher and writer. He once remarked,  ” Life is like a game of cards.The hand you are dealt is determinism,the way you play it is free will.”- Nehru

Just like in a game of cards,we are handed over 7- 10 cards depending on the number of players, we have no choice but to play with the cards that life has handed over to us.We cannot change it, but the choice to make the best of it and to win depends on us alone. Similarly in life, we can make the most of what life has dealt us with and with a positive attitude we can play to win.

images (12)Nugget of Life: ” What we are is God’s gift to us, what we become is our gift to God.”- Eleanor Powell

Happy Children’s Day!

Cheers,

Sparky Laurie

 

 

 

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Posted by on November 14, 2018 in LIFE LESSONS, Uncategorized

 

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Nugget #116 Life lessons from God’s own country!

images (8)Hi friends,

Hope you are all fine. This is a post I’ve been postponing for a bit now simply coz I do not have the words to express the extreme anguish,pain & suffering of the people in Kerala who are suffering from floods. Heavy, incessant  rains during the monsoon season  are not something new to the Keralites. The present crisis however is said to have been caused due to a myriad of reasons : one being the low pressure area developed in the Bay of Bengal,another being the simultaneous opening of shutters  of many dams raising the levels of water thus flooding  the residential areas in the neighborhood. Landslides caused due to deforestation and unscientific construction of buildings near the course of the river has been the cause of destruction to people and property of many in those areas.

One look at the morning paper or listening to the news is sufficient to bring tears to anyone’s eyes. Separated families, orphaned children, lakhs of  people in the relief camps waiting for food, clothing and medicine.Roads transformed into water bodies causing people to wade in knee deep water and boats replacing cars and buses. Many people on the terrace of their houses watching and calling out for help to the Rescue and Relief helicopters hovering around on the lookout for those stranded in the deluge affected areas.

Following are 5 lessons we could learn from the floods in Kerala Aug 2018:

1) Be safe than sorry- In life many times there may be instances when well wishers /other people advise us or even warn us of some course of action to be adopted against imminent danger. Though initially they may seem far-fetched, it wouldn’t  harm us to give some thought & do what we can in that particular area.

Kerala: Though the head  of the UN Department of Disaster Management- Mr. Murali Thummarukudi had sounded an alert in mid- June that there were chances of water level rising by July: this had fallen on deaf ears and nothing was done to prevent this. 😦

2) Prevention is  better than cure– In life too,there may be many things we have to make provision for though we may not require it immediately, something like the squirrels do- storing food for the winter season. Often people don’t make long-term investments and instead indulge in a consumer culture whose mantra is “eat,drink and make merry.”

Kerala: The Times of India had mentioned in an article dated Aug 17th ’18 that the state was both unprepared and underprepared: “Kerala is an exception in that it does not have a battalion of the state disaster response force (SDRF),which is mandatory as per the rules to tackle natural calamities.”

3) Solidarity– It is in times of adversity that people iron out their differences and come together as one & fight towards the same objective. I am reminded of the Bible verse: “Behold how good and pleasant it is  for brothers to dwell together in unity.”-Psalms 133:1

Kerala: It was a heart warming spectacle to see the government,the media,the industrialists  and the common public to join hands to save the perishing brethren  by involving in the Rescue & Relief Work. The help rendered by the Army, the Navy & the Airforce deserves a hearty salute from us. The caring & sharing in the sorrow of Kerala shown by its  neighboring states is a beautiful picture of India’s Unity in Diversity .

4) Every coin has two sides– Nothing in this world is an unmixed blessing, Social Media is not an exception,so let us benefit from its advantages and shun its disadvantages.

Kerala :Whats app , Twitter and Facebook played major roles in Disaster Management in locating people who needed to be rescued,  by sharing the helpline numbers as well as the updates,communication and overall boosting the morale of the people.

5) Gratitude – It is often said that,” For us to really appreciate the things in our life, it should be taken away from us for sometime. “The blind know the value of eyes.

Kerala: Many of us went through days of power failure & water shortage as well as flooded roads. We didn’t experience the kind of suffering that many thousands around us did but we sure did learn a very precious lesson in these days and that was to say ‘Thank you’ to God for everything ; from running water to the spinning fan to the humming refrigerator to uninterrupted Internet connection ,all with tears in our eyes and a smile on our face.

1192578l12605l148Nugget of Life- ” Bad things do happen in the world, like war,natural disasters,disease. But out of those situations always arise stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things.”-Daryn Kagan

In conclusion, here’s praying for speedy relief measures and better climatic conditions in the coming days.

For those of you who would like to know more , do check the link below:

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/2018-kerala-floods-here-is-how-you-can-help/article24725213.ece

Have a blessed week,

Cheers,

Sparky laurie

 
 

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Nugget# 115 Life may not always be ur checked off bucket list!

images (5)Hi friends,

Today’s post may be quite different from the usual “sparky” posts of mine, but trust me this may actually be a post that could take a huge burden off of some of us, especially those of us with a Type A  who are by nature extremely fond of their “To Do”lists and for the rest it may be a smile in the right direction.So here goes…

While there’s a real joy of having lived our life on our own terms, more often than not, life takes another turn and we find ourselves slowly pushed into another direction than we had intended. Though inconvenient , if we decide to go with the flow (rather than throw a tantrum), if we keep our eyes open, our hearts trusting & doing the best that we can, we will always attract the best.Sometimes, it may not be what we expected, but would turn out to be something much better and more relevant to our lives. I recently heard of a woman Mariah who shared her life – story confirming this.

Thus for the many of us who life hands us more lemons, instead of making the ‘prover bial’  lemonade, why not make some lemon meringue …or some lemon pickle? 😉 The moral of the story being : ‘let’s continue to make the best out of what’s handed out to us at different stages of our life.’

Isn’t this good news for the hard working soul ; who still hasn’t got her big break….. ,/for a person who has just been diagnosed with cancer & whose life ambitions have all of a  sudden been placed on hold, /for the young teenager whose life long aspirations of becoming a pilot has been cancelled because of imperfect eyesight. This post is dedicated to you friend; if you have given ur best in life and yet have been handed a bitter lemon instead of a sweet apple! What do we do ? We may have to detour for the moment, maybe even slowdown a bit…. let’s make a decision today that this is only a bump in the road and slowly but surely like the proverbial ‘tortoise’,we will reach the destination we were intended to reach, provided we never ever give up in between.images (7)

In closing , I’d like to share with you a YouTube link of Tom Bob  a genius street artist who makes beautiful cartoons on streets and walls out of old pipes and the like. Here’ s one awesome soul who wonderfully illustrates today’s nugget. Definitely worth watching!

bright-idea-smiley-emoticonNugget of Life:- “I’m going to make everything around me beautiful – that will be my life.”- Elsie de Wolfe

Have a beautiful week,

Cheers,

Sparkylaurie

 

 

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Nugget# 114 Life lesson from Boman Irani!

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Hi friends,

Hope you are fine. This week I’d like to share with you some thoughts inspired by a You tube  video I just received. The video tells us about the real life story of the Award winning Boman Irani, who also happens to be one of my favorite actors ! 🙂

Boman  Irani is widely known by us for his comedic and villain roles in bollywood films such as Don, Munnabhai MBBS, 3 Idiots,Happy New Year, PK  etc. In this post, I’d like to share with you the struggles he had to face and overcome to become the person that he is today!

As a child, Boman was shy & dyslexic.He also had a speech defect and lisp till Grade 10.He was called ‘Boman the duffer’ and made fun of during his school life. After training, he decided to become the best waiter he could and worked at Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai. His grandma had taught him that even if he was a cobbler in the street,he should be the best one that he could.His hardwork and tenacity paid off and he gradually got promoted to the post of waiter at the rooftop French restaurant Rendezvous.

He was born posthumously and his mother was in charge of the family business. One day, however,his mother met with an accident and he was forced to take over. For the next 14 years, he made his living by selling chips, wafers and other snacks in their small roadside shop.

While working at Taj , he had bought a camera and took sports pictures and sold them.This continued  till he turned 32 when he had his epiphany & he decided to learn photography so that he could give his family a better life. He decided to be different from the crowd and to never allow small thinking to get in his way again. His mantra in life is ” Do not do what everybody else does, do it differently.” He went on to have a very successful  career in photography & became the official photographer for the World cup of Boxing in India.

However it was at the age of  43 , that he got his big break in the movie industry through Shaimak Davar( an Indian choreographer) who visited him and said ” Trust me, you’re going to be very famous one day.”Shaimak  then introduced him to the world of Bollywood. The rest is history & there has been no turning back for Boman from that moment on. 🙂

awardNugget of Life :- ” To find one’s calling is perhaps not the easiest thing in the world, but probably the most important.”- Boman Irani

Have  a wonderful week,

Cheers,

Sparkylaurie

Similar post: Life is not a  Dress Rehearsal

Credits : Joshi talk YouTube video , Wikipedia

 

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Nugget#113 Life lessons from a Butterfly!

images (1).jpgHi friends,

Yesterday as I looked out of my bedroom window, I saw an enormous butterfly with black and yellow wings.It was definitely a wonderful sight to behold. I could have spent the whole morning admiring its beauty but was suddenly stopped as my new friend quickly fluttered away. 😦 That set me thinking and this nugget came to mind.After some time just as if to say “Thank you”, it came back suddenly out of nowhere and hung around for some time and then once again fluttered away!

1) Life is momentary– Life is in fact “a sequence of many moments called now.”  There is no point in crying over the past or in stressing about the future.All we have is today and that too is a gift that is why it is called ‘Present’ and so let us treasure every moment of it. Just as the butterfly was there only for some brief moments, we don’t have any guarantee about the length of our or anyone else’s life. We are here today so let’s make sure we cherish the moments we have been given today!images (2)

2)Be the best ‘YOU ‘ that you can be –   Like that beautiful butterfly that I just had a glimpse of had made such an impact on me just by its presence ; similarly our first impressions must have a powerfully positive impression on others.This can be possible every time we meet a person as long as we work with a spirit of excellence in everything we do. images (3)

3) Gratitude- If like the butterfly which came back as if to just thank me, it would be such a blessing if we would remember to thank every person who has contributed in one way or another to the progress in our life. Our aged parents or grandparents, our college / school teachers who may have had a life changing influence on us or even an author or anyone else in our life who may have inspired us greatly to become what we are today. Writing a Thank you note or posting a Thank you card /message even visiting them would bring so much joy to both our and their lives.

If a Butterfly could brighten my day, just imagine how much you and I could do to make this world a happier place to live in ! 🙂

amazing-butterfly-smiley-emoticon-animation Nugget of Life – ” You were born with the ability to change someone’s life,don’t waste it.”- Unknown author

Have a beautiful week!

Cheers,

Sparkylaurie

 

 

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Nugget# 112 Life lessons from a pair of slippers!

imagesHi friends,

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged. Hope all has been fine with you. This nugget that I’m going to share with you came all of a sudden.Hope you enjoy it as much as I did! 🙂

My little one N2 was walking in the garden with his granny. Suddenly  I heard her say : “N2, you shouldn’t put another person’s slippers or you would trip and fall as it is too big for you.”This was totally understandable as the 3 year old N2 had the smallest feet in the house.

This brought the following life lessons to my mind:

1)All of us need to  find the right slipper for our feet- We shud not only ensure that the slipper is right sized but also that its really comfy to walk in :- In our life too, we must take the time and effort to carefully select the things in life that really matter. A “One  size fits all” mentality would never be applicable here. All of us need to spend some time to get acquainted with our choices. Sometimes remembering the Cindrella fairy tale will enlighten our minds as to how the right slipper size could actually change the whole destiny of a person! 🙂

2) Never compare : – in life too, each of us is unique and hence could never be satisfied with another’s choice.We need to take our time to make the right selection which once we have done , we stick to it no matter how greener the grass on the other side may appear. Comparison always brings confusion.There’s a Christian quote that  ‘each one has his own cross to bear’. So the excellent way would be to be contented & grateful for the blessings in our life.

3)Empathy not Sympathy:- While my mother was correcting my son about not putting another’s slippers, I decided to think out of the box and came up with this point. Sometimes we need to stop thinking of our comfort alone and go the extra mile and slip on another’s slippers just to understand what the other person is going through. At such times it is good to remember that while it is good to empathise, it is never right to sympathise. Saying “I  see what you’re going through” is empathy but we should be careful to stop with that and not to go ahead and sympathise by saying  “I wonder how you will come out of this.” ‘Empathy is seeing with another’s eyes,listening with another’s ears and feeling with another’s heart.’- Alfred Adler

unnamedNugget of Life :- “Yet,taught by time, my heart has learned to glow for other’s  good and melt at other’s woe.”- Homer

Have an awesome week !

Cheers,

Sparkylaurie

 

 
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Posted by on July 17, 2018 in LIFE LESSONS, Uncategorized

 

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Nugget # 111 Life Influences from the Movie ‘Front of the Class’!

Front_of_the_Class_posterHi friends,

Hope this has been a pleasant week for you. Recently, I watched ‘Front of the Class’ which is a 2008 American drama film on the life of Nationally Recognized Teacher & Motivational Speaker Brad Cohen. This Hallmark Hall of Fame movie is based on Brad’s book Front of the Class: How Tourette Syndrome Made Me the Teacher I Never Had.

This nugget is one where instead of drawing life lessons, I’d like to highlight some inspiring people from the life of Brad Cohen, who have been influential in making him the winner he is today! Brad never let his challenges with Tourette’s come in the way of achieving his dreams.

At the onset of the movie, we find the 12 year old Brad who lives (in Missouri) with his divorcee mom Ellen and kid brother Jeff; get into all kinds of trouble with his dad as well as his teachers at school because his TS tics are unfortunately misunderstood to be his antics!  He is labelled the prankster and in one rather disturbing scene in the movie, he is made by his teacher to go to the front of the class and apologize for his disturbing behavior and promise that he would never to do that again. Brad’s mum, in her quest for answers lands up in a library where she comes across Tourette’s syndrome in a medical book. Hopefully, she seeks professional advice from a Doctor who agrees on her diagnosis (on the basis of symptoms) that Brad may be having TS but informs them that TS was incurable. In an effort to find others with TS, Brad’s mother drags him into a support group. Here, he finds a sorry group of people who have accepted TS as their disability & surrendered themselves to a secondary existence, giving up any dreams of achieving success in life. The only lesson Brad learns from them is never to become victims of TS like them. award

BRAD’S MUM- WHO ALWAYS BELIEVED IN HER SON & ENCOURAGED HIM NEVER TO GIVE UP HIS DREAM OF BECOMING A TEACHER ONE DAY, Tourette’s / No Tourette’s! * [A word to Parents, never underestimate the enormous role you play in molding your children’s future.]

At the beginning of middle school, Brad gets into trouble with his TS and is sent to the principal’s office who invites him to the school concert. At the end of the concert, (which is disrupted by Brad’s TS tics), the Principal calls Brad up to the stage and asks him to talk about his Tourette’s. He addresses the crowd & explains to them how TS was a disorder of the brain & that he didn’t like making the tic sounds any more than they liked hearing them, concluding that all he wanted was to be treated like anyone else. As Brad uncertainly makes his way back to his seat after his small speech, the school applauds him. It is then that Brad realizes the power of education. At this life- changing moment, Brad decides to make teaching his career.

awardTHE PRINCIPAL OF BRAD’S MIDDLE SCHOOL – who takes the time to talk to the boy about the real purpose of EDUCATION [which is to wipe out ignorance with knowledge]; more importantly, it is Mr PRINCIPAL who encourages Brad to educate the school about TS. This encouraging & noble act of his is pivotal in opening a door to a brand new world for him. Brad made that life changing decision that day – to become the Teacher he never had– *[ A word to Teachers, never get so bogged down by the never ending pending deadlines, futile inspections and heaps of test paper books for correction, that you lose sight of  the real purpose of education.]

As an adult, living in Georgia with his friend Ron, Brad’s primary focus is to get a job as a school teacher. He is used to being asked about his pet dog when interviewers call him & hear his TS related barks. We discover his amazing winning attitude as he answers those queries with humor. However, after being rejected in 24 interviews (because of his TS),we find a rather dejected Brad lying on his couch. It is at his darkest moment that Brad’s step mom visits him. Though he is definitely not pleased to meet her initially, her parting remark that ‘he had a gift to teach, and it was not in spite of his Tourette’s, but because of it ‘ gives him the strength to dream again. award

BRAD’S STEP MOM- Even though Brad does not appreciate her visit and doesn’t even make the effort to hide it, yet I love the way this amazing woman leaves him only after throwing in a spark of hope into his otherwise dismal day!  Many a time, our well-intended acts of help may be ignored, sometimes despised. Yet, we can learn from Brad’s step mom, how to do our bit;  irrespective of the response we get and then, just as she did, leave the place a little brighter than it was before. I’m sure that Brad would agree that his step mom on that day , played a major role in encouraging him not to give up, that too just before his final interview.

Soon after this, Brad finally gets his break when he gets an interview call from a school who accepts him (TS & all) & is ready to give him a chance. On the very first day, Brad explains to the children about his constant companion Tourette. He brightens their lives by bringing joy & wonder into it. He especially impresses the terminally ill Heather & helps the problem child Thomas. His out of the box teaching techniques are frowned upon at first but later on appreciated. award

THE SCHOOL WHO GAVE HIM A CHANCE- It is the Mountain View Elementary School, Georgia who accepted Brad and saw beyond the Tourette’s – which is the only thing that the other 24 schools who had rejected him had seen. I salute the Board who gave Brad both the courage & the opportunity to prove himself. We later learn that this turns out to be the schools’ best decision as Brad goes on to win the First Year Teacher of the Year Award in the State of Georgia for their School that year.   *[A word to those in authority, to those who have the opportunity to recruit others. Has prejudice ever clouded your perceptions? Do you have the eyes to see beyond the obvious? Do you look down intimidatingly/critically at that nervous/eager interviewee across the table? Wouldn’t it be better to just cut him some slack, maybe even smile as you remember how years before someone else had sat across you from that table &  believed in you enough to give you a chance?]

As regards his social life, Brad’s estranged relationship with his dad is restored & he also starts dating Nancy, who shares similar musical interests. They hit it off from the very start. When asked about whether his TS noises bothered her, she simply says Not when I compare them to the noises other guys make. You know, like, braggers, loud-talkers, egocentric, humor– challenged idiots.  Seriously, no. Your noises don’t bother me at all.” We can’t help but feel happy for Brad who has finally found his match!

awardNANCY- It’s quite refreshing to see someone who sees beyond Brad’s tics & who hears beyond his TS noises. She doesn’t even seem to notice what is obvious to everyone else. On being questioned about this, her reply is simply so profound. *[The world would be such a better place if there were more people like Nancy who see beyond the superficiality & accept/ appreciate people for who they really are.]
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At the end of the movie, like the cherry on the cake, Brad wins the Sallie Mae First Year Teacher of the Year Award for his outstanding teaching & positive role model abilities. His other victories are his Master’s degree; fulfillment of his lifelong ambition (to be dressed up as Homer-the Atlanta Braves mascot) & marrying his sweet heart Nancy in 2006. Now that’s what I call living life king-size!

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Nugget of Life: “Everyone, regardless of ability or disability, has strengths and weaknesses. Know what yours are. Build on your strengths and find a way around your weaknesses.” – Brad Cohen, (Front of the Class: How Tourette Syndrome Made Me the Teacher I Never Had)

Have a great week!

Cheers,

Sparky Laurie

 

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