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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.]
BradCohenHomer-213x300

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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Nugget# 96 Life lesson from SUE THOMAS: F.B.Eye!

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Sue(Deanne) with Levi (Jesse)…Notice his ID!! 🙂

Hi Friends,

Firstly, let me apologize for not being around for a while. Hope you’ve been doing great. At my end, I’ve been going through some fine learning experiences here in the University of Life. Nobody really prefers to enroll at the School of Life’s Hard Knocks and this post is especially dedicated to all those of us who have graduated from there! 🙂

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The real Sue Thomas F.B.I. with her hearing dog Grace!

I’ve recently been enjoying watching the famous Sue ThomasF.B.Eye,a critically acclaimed groundbreaking TV series inspired by the true story of Sue Thomas,who although profoundly deaf from the age of 18 months, overcame significant obstacles to work surveillance for the F.B.I. Incidentally, Deanne Bray, who plays the role of Sue is herself a severely deaf actress who was also strongly encouraged by her parents to speak and read lips.

As portrayed in the series, Sue Thomas is about to start her first real job – which happens to be with the F.B.I. Though initially underestimated, very soon she is recognized for her intelligence and unique lip reading skills and she lives her hard earned dream when she along with her adorable hearing dog Levi join the bureau’s elite surveillance team.

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The awesome team from (Left-Right)  Dimitri,Tara,Bobby,Lucy,Myles,Levi,Sue & Jack

Joining Sue, Levi and Jack on the team are Bobby Manning, a charismatic agent who likes to bend the rules; Dimitrius Gans, the senior member of the surveillance unit; Lucy Dotson, the team’s right hand support person and Sue’s best friend & roommate ; Myles Leland III, the Boston born, Harvard educated, self-proclaimed ‘Einstein with a gun;’ and Tara Williams, the quirky but brilliant go-to tech expert.

This is a show about courage & perseverance, it not only keeps us on the edge of our seat, but also makes us laugh & cry. Though there are many lessons that one could learn from this delightful series (a real breath of fresh air in the highly contaminated & toxic atmosphere of TV entertainment today), the one that I would like to share is IDENTITY.

When we split up the word Identity, we come up with ‘I’  & ‘dent.’ The pronoun ‘I’ refers to the real us without any apology, compromise or mask ; it refers to the basic core of who we really are,our strengths and weaknesses just as they are.

The other part dent refers to 1) a notch or hollow made by a blow or pressure. 2) An impression or effect made usually against resistance.

Like I said in the beginning, we are all dented by life. To succeed, we need to grab life by the horns anyway with absolutely no excuses and seek to live out our dreams boldly and courageously no matter what the odds or obstacles. In the story, Sue cannot hear and even speaks with a lisp. But she uses what she has which is her unique lip reading skills that she has worked on since her childhood. Her mother has been her guiding force always reminding her that in spite of her disability, she could be everything she wanted to as long as she worked twice as hard. She skates, sings and plays the piano as well. If she was like any other person, I doubt she would have inspired us as much. It is her ‘Dent’ that makes her so beautiful and compassionate. She knows what it is to be unwanted, to be the odd one out. And that is what causes her to select Levi in spite of the abuse that he had been through. She in a way empowers him and he ends up saving her life!

It is when we fully accept the ‘I’ in Identity, which includes the good, bad and the ugly (dents & all)…. both in ourselves as well as in others , That is the divine moment when we have ceased to simply exist and truly live our life to its fullest!animated-flower-image-0091 Click for the  WHO I AM song with favorite sneak peeks from the Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye …Enjoy!

animated-dance-smiley-image-0044Nugget of Life : “When you know yourself, you are empowered. When you accept yourself, you are invincible.”-Tina Lifford

Have an awesome week,

Cheers,

Sparky laurie

 

 

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Nugget # 46 Life lessons from a Cow!

Hi friends,

We live in an age of instant solutions; a day where “quicker” has become a pseudonym of “better.” We have instant photographs, instant coffee, instant banking, online shopping, instant chatting, live telecasts and even Internet weddings! Instead of the good old home-cooked meals we now have microwave dinners, handwritten love notes are replaced by mechanical text messages, snail mail is practically unheard of as we now have email, parental pep talks for guidance are now replaced by Google time and smileys are exchanged instead of smiles! Come to think of it….we have all ( in one way/other)  become the innocent victims of this dreadful malady : “the hurry sickness” ; the subtle instigator of many of the evils & illnesses in our lives today. The message is loud and clear but often we are too much in a hurry to even stop and listen. This poem I learnt in my school days speaks beautifully a truth we all may need to be reminded of.

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare? –
No time to stand beneath the boughs,
And stare as long as sheep and cows:
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass:
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night:
No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance:
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began?
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
W. H. Davies

Let’s try and make a deliberate effort to slow down, get in tune with nature, laugh some and learn more. Sharing some points I really enjoyed from this write up found circulating the Net via email. Enjoy!

“All I Need to Know about Life I Learned from a Cow”- Author unknown

1. Wake up in a happy mooo-d.

2. Don’t cry over spilled milk.

3. The grass is green on the other side of the fence.

4. Turn the udder cheek and mooo-ve on.

5. Never stoop to a barnyard mentality.

6. Seize every opportunity and milk it for all its worth!

7. It’s better to be seen and not herd.

8. Honor thy fodder and thy mother and all your udder relatives.

9. Munch hay while the sun shines.

10. He who lives with the herd,learns to watch his step.

11. Never take any bull from anybody.

12. Black and white is always an appropriate fashion statement.

13. Don’t forget to cow-nt your blessings every day.

14.Successful people are “moo-vers and shakers.”

15. If you’re feeling low, moo yourself a little song.

Nugget of Life : “Knowing trees, I understand the meaning of patience. Knowing grass, I can appreciate persistence.”-Har Borland

Have an amazing week!       

Cheers,

Sparkylaurie                         

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2012 in NUGGETS OF LIFE, Uncategorized

 

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Nugget # 27 Life is sweaty,but it’s definitely worth it!

“The job of a football coach is to make men do what they don’t want to do, in order to achieve what they have always wanted to be.” –Tom Landry

Hi friends, this week  I’d like to share something I learnt just this morning. I was reading from a book  ‘Brave Honest Questions Women Ask’ and came to this portion where the author mentioned the above quote while trying to explain a new term that made me stop, sit up, and reflect. The new term was *SLUG POTENTIAL – and it refers to those things we knowingly allow ourselves to indulge in and thus set ourselves up for unfavorable consequences. In simple words, it is those things we know we should/ shouldn’t do but end up doing because we just “slug” it off.  For instance, the extra cookie we know we should avoid / the TV addiction/ the Alcohol/ the Uncontrolled Shopping Spree/Approval Addiction /Lack of Exercise/Work holism ? Each of our cases is unique. My area of slug potential may be your area of triumph and vice versa. The important thing is for us to locate our “slug potential” / that area of indulgence that has been keeping us from achieving total fulfillment in every aspect of our life.

Let’s admit it guys, LIFE IS SWEATY. In fact, it is sweat, blood, toil and tears but in the end, isn’t it TRULY WORTH IT ? I take this opportunity to thank a blogger buddy who has bestowed me with the “LIFE IS WORTH THE LIVING BLOGGER AWARD.” Yipee ! Yay! A special thanks to Balladeer , an amazing blogger and wonderful person.

As for me, I think it’s high time I get some dirt on my squeaky clean running shoes – that have been beckoning to me for a long time, but I have been making excuses with. Yes, you’ve guessed right, my area of slug potential ! Friend, is there some area in life that you could refer to as your slug potential? Would you like to start doing something about it today? Let us decide to start from where we are and do what we can to become VICTORS instead of VICTIMS in that area of our life.

Some Motivational Quotes to get us started:

“The longest journey starts with a single step.”- Lao Tzu

“The trademark for SUCCESS is the SWEAT BAND!”

“Sweat is the cologne of accomplishment.” – Halewood Hale Broun

“Success is a ladder you cannot climb with your hands in your pockets”.

“Nobody ever drowned in his own sweat”- Ann Landers.

“The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.”

“Be afraid not of growing slowly, only of standing still.”

Every person who has achieved any success in life has worked hard to get there. I love this poem which speaks so profoundly about how often the crowds just dismiss hard earned success with words like Destiny or Luck. Personally, I’ve always hated the word!

LUCK :

He worked by day, And toiled by night.

He gave up play and some delight.

Dry books he read, New things to learn.

And forged ahead, Success to earn.

He plodded on with Faith and pluck,

And when he won, Men called it LUCK!

–          Anonymous                           

Nugget of Life:  “The difference between TRY and TRIUMPH is a little “UMPH.”

     

 Enjoy this funny Ad which just proves that U can do anything U want to do, be anything U want to be and go anywhere from where U are , IF you are willing to dream big and work hard!

Click :   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1TrHjwCWHN0

Have a great week!

Cheers,

Sparky Laurie

Copyright & Permissions: © Sparky Laurie and ‘NUGGETS OF LIFE’, 2011.Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sparky Laurie and ‘NUGGETS OF LIFE’ with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 
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Posted by on October 5, 2011 in NUGGETS OF LIFE, Uncategorized

 

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Nugget # 22 Life is like a blanket!

“Life is like a blanket too short. You pull it up and your toes rebel, you yank it down and shivers meander about your shoulder ; but cheerful folks manage to draw their knees up and pass a very comfortable night.”~Marion Howard

This week I’d like to share with you a lesson I learnt from the above humorous quote which brought a smile to my face and I hope to yours too ! 😉

Every one of us (whether young/old, tall/short, big/small, fat/thin) is provided with a custom-designed blanket which is made “too short”- [on purpose] just for us. This blanket is given to us to keep us warm from the cold of the night. If we pull it up, our toes will be cold, if we pull it down, our shoulders shiver. No matter which way we pull it up or pull it down, try to stretch it to its limit, nothing changes. Some of us may due to frustration just throw the blanket on the floor in anger but that only makes us colder and robs us of our sleep. We slowly learn that if we bend and draw up our knees, we can actually fully cover ourselves and thus sleep cozily cuddled under the very same blanket.

In life too there may be many things that we may not like or agree with but instead of fighting it and thus losing our joy, it is wiser to be flexible and accept gratefully that which comes to us and make the best of it. We thus will be able to pass the night comfortably ; enjoy our life to the fullest!

 

Nugget of Life: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot   change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.” – Reinhold Niebhur

  Good night, Sweet Dreams & Sleep tight!  Have a great week!

Cheers,

Sparky Laurie

Copyright & Permissions: © Sparky Laurie and ‘NUGGETS OF LIFE’, 2011.Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sparky Laurie and ‘NUGGETS OF LIFE’ with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 
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Posted by on September 6, 2011 in NUGGETS OF LIFE, Uncategorized

 

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Nugget # 20 Life lesson from a Fishing trip

Hi, this week I’d like to share a much needed lesson we can learn from a fishing trip story of a father and son.

A father and his son went fishing on a small boat, hungry.

The father helped his son reel in his first fish, and it was a beauty. “Great catch, son,” the father said.

“Yes, but I’m worried I’m missing out on better fish,” the son said. “What if I could catch a bigger, tastier fish?”

“Maybe you should try,” the father said.

And the son did, catching an even bigger fish an hour later. “A real beauty,” the father said.

“But what if there are better fish out there?” the son asked.

“Maybe you should try,” the father said.

And the son did, catching a bigger fish, and then wondering if there were better fish, he went on and on and on.

At the end of the day, the son was exhausted. The father asked, “How did the fish taste?”

The son hesitated. “I’m not sure. I was so busy looking for better fish that I didn’t taste any of them.”

The father smiled contentedly, patted his belly. “Don’t worry. They were delicious.”

Nugget of Life: There is no end to lovely things in the world & though it is our privilege to go out and get whatever we want in life, let us not get so over involved in the process of accumulation that we totally forget the very purpose of it!

Cheers,

Sparky Laurie

Copyright & Permissions: © Sparky Laurie and ‘NUGGETS OF LIFE’, 2011.Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sparky Laurie and ‘NUGGETS OF LIFE’ with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 
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Posted by on August 25, 2011 in NUGGETS OF LIFE, Uncategorized

 

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