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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 # 110 Life lessons from the movie Florence Foster Jenkins!

Florence_Foster_Jenkins_(film)Hi friends,

Hope you are doing fine. I just watched the biographical comedy –drama movie Florence Foster Jenkins (starring Meryl Streep & Hugh Grant) and strongly recommend it. The movie is based on the real life story of Florence Foster Jenkins, a New York heiress and socialite who founded the Verdi Club in order celebrate her passionate love for music. Though a great lover of music and even a talented child pianist who played for the President when she was a youth, Florence had to later give up her career aspirations as a pianist due to an arm injury.

St Clair Bayfield, a British Shakespearean actor is her husband & manager. The couple are very much in love but choose to live separately due to an illness (syphilis) that Florence had contracted from her first husband. According to Mr Bayfield, theirs is more a relation of the spirit. For his other needs, he has a mistress Kathleen Weatherly whom he resides with in an apartment in the city paid for by Florence.

Florence , inspired by an opera singer, has a great desire to sing. She thus resumes her singing classes with her vocal coach, Carlo Edwards (Assistant conductor at the Metropolitan Opera).  She hires a new pianist Cosme McMoon who is simply shocked when he finds out that though Florence is a terrible singer, both her coach and husband hide that fact from her and pretend that she is a wonderful singer. Bayfield goes one step further and asks McMoon to do the same.

It is indeed interesting as well as enjoyable to watch the lengths to which the loyal and loving Bayfield would go to hide the painful truth from his beloved that she just cannot sing. Towards the end of the movie, in spite of all their efforts to make sure that Florence hears only the good reviews, Florence comes to know of the negative review of her recital on reading the column by Earl Wilson in the Post. On reading it, she clutches her heart and suddenly falls unconscious. Later, on gaining consciousness, she sadly asks her dear husband who is by her bedside soothing her :”Was everyone laughing at me the whole time?” We can’t but admire his truthful and yet thoughtful reply to her question . He answers: “I was never laughing at you” and adds.. “Yours is the truest voice I have ever heard.”

Life Lesson#1 : We need to speak the truth in love-  It is necessary to soften life’s blows to hearts like Florence’s. (who is actually doing no one any harm). It is the truth that she cannot sing and everyone was laughing at her but her husband replies that he never laughed at her and that he heard in her singing the truth in her voice as she sang with all her heart. It is indeed wonderful to love someone so much to tell them the truth and yet be tactful and gentle enough not to break their heart in the process. This is a skill, which I feel if developed, would easily save a lot of marriages and probably other relationships too. 

Life Lesson#2 : Pursue your passion fervently irrespective of another’s approval – Though anyone would easily agree that the woman’s singing is indeed extremely hilarious, yet we are forced to admit that Florence passion for music is rather intoxicating. Yes, she may lack the talent but definitely not the heart for it, Florence is indeed a true lover of music. Her last few words are one that will echo in my heart forever. It is actually what really prompted me to write this Nugget.On learning the truth that she is indeed a terrible singer, she concludes chuckling… People may say I couldn’t sing, but no one can say I didn’t sing.” After a while she dies peacefully.

How many of us are willing to pursue something so passionately that even if we are laughed at, or even thought of as weird, we would rather do it? Are we ready to laugh at those who laugh at us and say like she did, they may never approve of me but at least they will not say I never did it. Though Florence could never sing like a Nightingale and win applause for her voice, yet she became a prominent musical cult figure in New York City during the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s. Cole PorterGian Carlo MenottiLily PonsSir Thomas Beecham, and other celebrities were fans. How did Florence win the hearts of so many in spite of her clear lack of singing talent? It was probably her love and courage to sing that made her win both their hearts and ours!

drawing-the-love-sign-smiley-emoticonNugget of Life: “Do what you love, and you will find the way to get it out to the world.”- Judy Collins 

Enjoy this video which pretty much sums up this nugget: https://youtu.be/3yFiqdCjNMk

 

Have a great week,

Cheers,

Sparky Laurie

 

 

 
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Posted by on March 29, 2018 in LIFE LESSONS, Uncategorized

 

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Nugget # 109 Life lesson from breakfast!

fried-eggHi friends,

Hope you are enjoying 2018!

Many of us, (including me) have our list of New Year Resolutions ready and may already be feeling overwhelmed or defeated with one week already having passed by and not being able to do as planned. I’d just like to share something that encouraged me : I was in the kitchen making breakfast and was quickly preparing an egg. After sprinkling salt and black pepper on the yolk of the bulls eye, I was scooping the perfectly ready egg onto a plate when the egg accidentally slipped and fell onto the stove… I was surprised and irritated with myself at the same time. I dumped the perfectly cooked egg-( now a mess) into the dust bin and quickly wiped up the stove. I then got another egg and repeated the process.This time I plated it with a bit more caution. That’s when this nugget just came to me- I was reminded of how our perfectly made plans may slip and fall for no reason or fault of ours at all, and that’s alright. All we need to do, is just get rid of the mess and restart the process…. Go again!

images14

breakfast-emojiNugget of Life: “Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.”- Henry Ford

Wishing you an adventurous 2018!

Cheers,

Sparky Laurie

 

 

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Nugget # 108 Life lessons from Santa Paws 2!

Santa_paws_2_santa_pups

Hi friends,

Hope you’re enjoying the Christmas Season. This week’s nugget came to me as I was watching the Disney Holiday Musical Santa Paws 2. Click here for trailer.

Santa Paws 2 is  a wonderful reminder to us about the real spirit of Christmas. The story is about how Mrs. Claus(wife of Santa Claus) travels to the town of Pineville with the playful Santa Pups who start granting wishes to the children. Things go awfully wrong when a boy named Carter angrily wishes there was never any Christmas. As his wish comes true, we see how his gloom (which is aptly represented by some flying black dust) actually touches his friend first and then his father later and how they suddenly lose their Christmas joy. Carter’s sister (a true believer in the magic of Christmas) asks Mrs Claus what had happened to her brother. Mrs. Claus explains to Sarah that he had caught a Christmas Cold. The delightful conversation follows…

xmas cold song1

Sarah: “A Christmas Cold? How do we make it better?”
Mrs. Claus : “It’s like any other cold, you just help them through it.”
Sarah : “By feeding them soup? And cocoa?”
Mrs. Claus: “That’s partly it ….but a Christmas cold is special, it takes a special kind of treatment to make it better.”
Sarah: “Like what?”
Mrs. Claus: “Umm … like instead of Soup, give him a Hug, instead of medicine, give him lots of love.
Instead of a tissue, give him Christmas cheer. Yes, this is a sickness that is centuries old!
It’s the feeling that makes us lose faith & hope… dear, something we call… A Christmas Cold!”
Mrs. Claus: “Christmas is magic with Glorious Music…”
Sarah: “Heartwarming stories beautifully told…”
Mrs. Claus: “But sometimes we feel kind of sad & lonely… That’s when you’ve caught it, A Christmas Cold!”
Together : “Christmas cold, Oh… how we dread them! Christmas Cold, there’s no joy in town. We won’t let it get us down, No, we won’t let Christmas Cold get us down…”
Click here to hear the whole Christmas Cold Song.

Later we see how the Christmas Cold infects the whole town and how everyone becomes grouchy. Sarah asks Mrs. Claus why she hadn’t caught the cold yet and she replies that Sarah was the strongest believer in Christmas there ever was and that was the reason she was immune to the Christmas Cold which had infected all of Pineville. Sarah then cures her town by singing hope through the radio station.

These are the 2 life lessons that come to my mind:images (1)

1)We are more influential than we realize-  Carter’s wish froze the town and Sarah’s song melted it. Sometimes people may unknowingly steal our joy by thoughtless words or actions and the other way round too. We seldom realize how contagious our attitudes are .So it is very important for us to be mindful of how we affect others. Especially at times when we are feeling low, the best thing we could do (instead of dragging our friend down just because we are blue) is to be a good listener. Who knows ?… if we are open & receptive, some of their positivity would actually rub the gloom off of us!

d93f80a57ded088e6f15c2e43d0954ba--ann-voskamp-liturgical-seasons2) The real meaning of Christmas – In the movie, Sarah was immune to the Christmas Cold only because of her unshakable belief in the magic of Christmas. The Christmas Season is not just a time to decorate our houses with trees, shining lights, stars and bells or a time to bake cakes and ginger bread cookies. It’s not just a festival to drink to and make merry. Or a time only for shopping for toys, gifts and other goodies. But Xmas is the time to become real beacons of light shining brightly where we have been placed and thus lighting up the ever increasing darkness around. A time to replace doom and gloom with purpose and laughter. And this will be possible only when we truly believe with all of our heart that Jesus is the real reason for the Season. 

Animated_Christmas_Stocking_with_Puppy

 

Nugget of Life : “Christmas is a season not only of rejoicing, but also reflecting.”- Winston Churchill

Click here to hear sweet Sarah sing ‘O Holy Night’. This song, I dedicate to you dear friend this Christmas! May the miracle of Christmas fill your heart & home with joy!

Merry Xmas & Happy New Year!

Lots of love & Christmas cheer,

Sparky Laurie

 

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Nugget # 107 Life lesson from the cartoon Little People!

Little-People 1

Hi friends,

Hope you are doing well. This morning as I was watching an episode of the cartoon ‘Little People’ with my son, this nugget sprung up. I found it simple but profound & am sharing it. Hope you enjoy it ! 🙂

In this episode, Eddie (the boy in the pic) claims that he is not afraid of anything at all. His friends say that everyone is afraid of something & they try to find out what his fear is. Eddie continues to brag that he is not afraid of anything. Suddenly it thunders and begins to rain. Seeing a flash of lightning, Eddie runs into a cave screaming in terror.That’s when they realize what Eddie’s fear is. They help him overcome the fear. His friend Lion asks him “to name his fear and then tame it”. They show him how to tame it by roaring back loudly at the thunder and lightning. Eddie slowly comes out of the cave (his hiding place) & starts roaring loudly at his fear. He repeats this many times & then slowly smiles realizing that he has overcome his fear.cheated

The same thing applies to our life too. All of us have our own personal fears, some more obvious than others. The truth however is that until and unless we identify (name) the fear- we will not be able to manage it -(tame it). So the first step is honesty, firstly with ourselves and then with those we can trust. Once we have named it, we can tame it by taking small steps or actions in that area to overcome our fear.Like Eddie had to come out of his hiding place to do what the brave Lion had asked him to do, we may have to leave our comfort zone and ‘do things afraid’ so that we can conquer our fear. And when we repeatedly expose ourselves to our fear we will realize that it is not as scary as we thought it was. 🙂

fear lion

5gtvNugget of Life : ” Do the thing you fear most and the death of fear is certain.”- Mark Twain

Have an adventurous week.

Cheers,

Sparky Laurie

 
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Posted by on October 16, 2017 in LIFE LESSONS, Uncategorized

 

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Nugget# 105 Life lesson from a Computer Hang up!

computer-hang-up

Hi friends! First of all wishing you a bright & prosperous 2017! This week I would like to share a nugget that came to mind quite out of the blue! I was using my laptop when suddenly it hanged and wouldn’t respond to my inputs. Though I badly wanted to complete what I was doing, the computer page remained frozen. After trying a few more times to undo what I had done & retrieve the data, I had to give up. Nothing else could be done. The computer had to be rebooted. I had to now wait patiently as the PC shut down and restarted. This was taking more time than usual and I found myself hoping and praying that I would not have lost the data and could just resume from where I had stopped. Fortunately, after waiting for some time, I found the data and could continue my work at a quicker speed. That lit a bulb in my mind and I came up with this week’s nugget! Hope you like it 🙂

Caught up in the rat race of life, we try to do as much as we can in the time available. As a result, we end up becoming “human doings” rather than ‘human beings’. As in the case of the computer, sometimes we too need a break to unwind & reboot. Being aware of this, most of us wait for our annual leave to plan vacations & spend time relaxing but often these vacations actually end up making us more stressed/busy so that we find ourselves longing to get back to our normal routine!

As we all know, January is the best time for New Year Resolutions. Let’s try something different this year. Instead of adding more things to our ‘TO DO’ List, let’s take an inventory of our activities & then remove some things /prioritize the things that are really important. Let’s reboot our Laptop, our TV and even ourselves. It’s high time for a vacation for the Soul!

Just like my computer worked better and quicker after the reboot, I’m certain that when we are able to reboot our body, soul and spirit, our overall efficiency will definitely improve and we will begin to enjoy our life. Happy rebooting!


computer-work-smiley-emoticonNugget of Life: “Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including YOU!”- Anne Lamott

Have a refreshing week,

Cheers,

Sparky Laurie

 
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Posted by on January 8, 2017 in LIFE LESSONS, Uncategorized

 

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Nugget # 102 Life Lesson from the KFC Founder!

170px-KFC_logo.svgHi friends,

Today I’d like to share a nugget from the life of Colonel Sanders, the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken or KFC as it’s more popularly known! 🙂 He later acted as the company’s brand ambassador. His name and image are still symbols of the company.

When we purchase a bucket of KFC and sit down and enjoy a bite, do we even know what it cost that dear man to reach it to your hand?

A story behind something so small as a piece of fried chicken? Yes, friends sometimes truth is stranger than fiction and once we know the story behind the scenes we will then hold with great value that which we so easily take for granted.

Colonel Sanders was born in 1890 & grew up on a farm in Indiana. The hardships of his life caused him to mature long before time. He spent the first half of his life working a series of odd jobs. At 40 years he had to change dozens of occupations. But nothing was working out for him. For a long time Sanders was in despair. Most of his life already passed, he was disappointed in life. And, of course, he wanted to change it. So after serious thought about the location of it, he bought a service station in Kentucky. Along this road there was constant traffic from all over and the flow of customers was endless. With little in terms of means at his disposal, Sanders traveled door to door to houses and restaurants all over his local area. He wanted to partner with someone to help promote his chicken recipe. However, he was met with little enthusiasm. So he started travelling by car to different restaurants and cooked his fried chicken on the spot for restaurant owners. If the owner liked the chicken, they would enter into a handshake agreement to sell the Colonel’s chicken. Legend has it that Colonel Sanders heard 1009 “no”s before he heard his first “yes”.

Sanders’ pursuit was never really about becoming rich, but rather to share his food with the world. That’s why he constantly grumbled and swore about the more profitable but lower quality gravy that the corporate KFC began producing. “With the Colonel, it wasn’t money that mattered, it was artistic talent.”

So you see friends, what really matters in life is what is your real motivation or purpose behind the things you do in life. That’s what makes all the difference!

graphics-3d-smileys-480836Nugget of Life: “There is a plan and a purpose, a value to every life, no matter what its location, age, gender or disability.” – Sharron Angle

Have a great day!

Cheers,

Sparky Laurie