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The Black Spot

Value- Optimism

Sub value- Gratitude, Count our blessings

black dot

One day a professor entered the classroom and asked his students to take a surprise test. The professor handed out the question paper.To everyone’s surprise, there were no questions….just a black dot in the center of the page. The professor seeing the expression on everyone’s face, told them the following:

“I want you to write what you see there.”

At the end of the class, the professor took all the answer papers and started reading each one of them aloud in front of all the students. All of them with no exceptions, described the black dot, trying to explain its position in the middle of the sheet, etc. etc. etc. After all had been read, the professor began to explain:

“I am not going to grade you on this test. I just wanted to give you something to think about. No one wrote about the white part of the paper. Everyone focused on the black dot – and the same happens in our lives. We have a white paper to observe and enjoy, but we always focus on the dark dots. Our life is a gift given to us by God.

However we insist on focusing only on the dark dots – the health issues that bother us, the lack of money, the complicated relationship with a family member, the disappointment with a friend etc. The dark spots are very small compared to everything we have in our lives, but they are the ones that pollute our minds.

Lets take our eyes away from the black spots in our life and enjoy each moment of life.

Learning

Lets learn to count our blessings and have gratitude for what we have rather than always looking at the negative side and focusing on what we do not have.

Good and bad are within us

Value- Truth/Optimism

Sub value- Purity of mind/ Fearlessness

krishna

During the exile of the Pandavas, Krishna visited them to enquire about their welfare. He spent a night with them. The Panbdavas had to undergo untold suffering during their exile. As Draupadi was also with them, they would keep vigil in turns for one hour each, every night. Krishna also volunteered to keep vigil for one hour.

Dharmaja wondered, “When You are the protector of the entire universe, what is the meaning in your standing sentry for an hour to protect us?” Yet he cautioned Krishna: “Krishna, beware of the devil – my brothers and I encounter it every night. On many occasions it has tried to attack us. Therefore, we pray to you not to do a turn in guard duty. You have come to enquire about our welfare. We should not put you in danger. Kindly take rest.” Krishna replied, “Dharmaja, is this what you have understood of my divinity? On the one hand you extol me as the protector of the entire universe and on the other you are apprehensive that I cannot protect myself. You are worried that the demon will harm me. Rest assured that no demon can touch me. Therefore, permit me also to join you all in doing the security duty.”

Having completed one hour duty, Krishna sat on a rock and was smiling to himself. It was Arjuna’s turn next. He rushed to Krishna, a bit worried that the demon might have attacked him. Seeing Krishna smiling, Arjuna fell at His feet and enquired whether he had vanquished the demon. Krishna replied, “Arjuna, I have never created demons and evil spirits. Then, how can the non-existent demons appear in the forest? The demon you are talking about is not a demon at all. It is just a reflection of the evil qualities within you such as hatred, anger and jealousy. The anger in you is manifesting as the demon. Its power is increasing in proportion to the intensity of anger in you.” The evil qualities of man are the real demons troubling him today. Man is under the mistaken notion that demons exist and that they are responsible for his suffering. This is all nothing but imagination and psychological fear. Only man puts another man to suffering; there is no demon as such. There are no demons and evil spirits in this creation. Arjuna realised the truth of Krishna’s words and thereafter did not encounter the demon. Arjuna was beholden to Krishna for the revelation. He fell at his feet and expressed his gratitude.

Learning

Good and bad are man’s own creations.As we imagine and fear so do we become. Many problems are psychological. If we have the strength to face our fears and strengthen our selves within; no demons can attack us.

 

Getting hurt- A choice

 

Value- Optimism, Positive attitude

Sub value- Maturity, presence of mind, self confidence

On the first day, as President, Abraham Lincoln began to give his inaugural address, just in the middle, one man stood up. He was a rich aristocrat.

Mahatma Gandhi Quotes,Pictures Abraham Lincoln Quotes, Challenges Quotes, Inspirational Quotes, Motivational Thoughts and Pictures

He said, “Mr. Lincoln, you should not forget that your father used to make shoes for my family”. And the whole senate laughed; they thought they had made fun of Abraham Lincoln.

But Lincoln – and those type of people are made of a totally different mettle. Lincoln stared at the man and said, “Sir I know that my father used to make shoes in your house for your family, and there will be many other here… because the way he made shoes; nobody else can. He was a creator. His shoes were not just shoes, he put his whole soul in it. I want to ask you, have you any complaint? Because I know how to make shoes myself; if you have any complaint I can make another pair of shoes. But as far as I know, nobody has ever complained about my father’s shoes.

He was genius, a great creator and I am proud of my father”.

The whole Senate was struck dumb. They could not understand what kind of a man Abraham Lincoln was. He had made the ‘Shoe Making’, an art, a creativity. And he was proud because his father did the job so well that not even a single complaint had ever been heard

Learning

It is up to us to get hurt or not. There will be many people who may hurt us through their words and actions. If we have the self belief, self confidence and maturity we will respond to a situation instead of reacting. No one can hurt us unless we choose to get hurt.

Adapted from http://rishikajain.com/2010/11/15/nobody-can-hurt-you-without/

 

 

 

 

Bitter tasting sweet

yad bhavam

Value- Truth

Sub value- Optimism, good thought

Good story on ‘Yad Bhavam Tad Bhavati’ (As one thinks so they become)

In a village there lived a good-natured person named Rama, who suffered from indigestion. He took several medicines to treat this  chronic ailment, but it was useless, he couldn’t get cured. During a festive occasion in Rama’s village, a saint came to give a discourse. This saint was a highly learned man. Rama met the saint after the discourse and told him about his ailment. The saint gave him a simple cure; he asked Rama to chew some pieces of rock salt daily. On doing so for some time, Rama’s condition improved.

guru and disciple

Rama was a generous person, who  used to distribute sweets to the poor and little children, during the festivals.  On one such occasion, he went to the market to by some sweets as was his usual practice. When he tasted the sweets to be purchased; he found them to be bitter. He thought perhaps the quality of sweet was not good in that particular shop. He went to many other sweet shops to check; but everywhere he tasted, he found the sweets to be bitter.Little did he realize that this was on account of his habit of sucking the rock salt daily.

One shopkeeper who knew Rama’s habit of sucking the salt; suggested to him to wash his mouth before eating the sweet. Rama listened to the shopkeeper’s suggestion , and after doing so he tasted the sweet; to his delight found the sweetmeat was sweet indeed.

Learning

Similarly while succumbing to our bad habits, we do not gain the sweet and sanctifying fragrance from the sacred company of the divine personalities that we come across. We can get benefit from the good company only after cleansing our minds. Thoughts are very powerful. As we think so we become and attract those kind of things to us. So let us think positive and good. Let us eliminate negativity and attract goodness, happiness and peace of mind for ourselves.

Source- Adapted from Summer Showers in Brindavan-1973 discourse by Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Shell worth

Value- Love, optimism

Sub value- Sacrifice, responsibility

A 4 yr old boy was in the market with his 6 yr old sister…Suddenly the boy found that his sister was lagging behind.He stopped and looked back.His sister was standing in front of a toy shop and was watching something with great interest.

The boy went back to her and asked,”Do you want something?” The sister pointed at the doll. The boy held her hand and like a responsible elder brother, gave that doll to her.The sister was very very happy…

The shopkeeper was watching everything and getting amused to see the matured behaviour of the boy…
The boy came to the counter and asked the shopkeeper,”What is the cost of this doll,Sir!”
The shopkeeper was a cool man and had experienced the odds of life; so he asked the boy with a lot of love and affection,” Well,What can you pay?”

The boy took out all the shells that he had collected from sea shore,from his pocket and gave them to the shopkeeper. The shopkeeper took the shells and started counting as if he were counting the currency. Then he looked at the boy.The boy asked him worriedly,”Is it less?”

The shopkeeper said,”No,No… These are more than the cost.So I will return the remaining.” Saying so,he kept only 4 shells with him and returned the remaining. The boy, very happily kept those shells back in his pocket and went away with his sister…

A servant in that shop was very surprised watching all these.He asked his master,” Sir!You gave away such a costly doll just for 4 shells???”

The shopkeeper said with a smile,”Well, for us these are mere shells.But for that boy,these shells are very precious.At his age, he does not understand what money is,but when he grows up,he definitely will. And when he does, he will  remember that he purchased a doll with the shells instead of money. He will remember Me and think that world is full of good people.He will develop positive thinking!!

Learning

True love can be seen through sacrifice. Compassionate and loving people will be remembered for their kind acts. Let us always do good and touch as many lives in our lifetime as possible.

Who you are speaks louder to me than anything you can say!

Value : Optimism

subvalue :  Right choice

At the beginning of my 8:00 a.m. class one Monday at University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), I cheerfully asked my students how their weekend had been. One young man said that his weekend had not been very good. He’d had his wisdom teeth extracted. The young man then proceeded to ask me why I always seemed to be so cheerful. His question reminded me of something I’d read somewhere before: “Every morning when you get up, you have a choice about how you want to approach life that day”, I said to the young man. “I choose to be cheerful”. “Let me give you an example”, I continued.The other 60 students in the class ceased their chatter and began to listen to our conversation.As soon as I got here, I called AAA and asked them to send a tow truck. The secretary in the Provost’s office asked me what had happened. “This is my lucky day”, I replied, smiling. “Your car breaks down and today is your lucky day??” She was puzzled. “What do you mean?”

prof

“I live 17 miles from here”, I replied. “My car could have broken down anywhere along the freeway. It didn’t. Instead, it broke down in the perfect place: off the freeway, within walking distance of here. I’m still able to teach my class, and I’ve been able to arrange for the tow truck to meet me after class. If my car was meant to break down today, it couldn’t have been arranged in a more convenient fashion.” The secretary’s eyes opened wide, and then she smiled. I smiled back and headed for class.’ So ended my story to the students in my economics class at UNLV.

I scanned the 60 faces in the lecture hall. Despite the early hour, no one seemed to be asleep. Somehow, my story had touched them. Or maybe it wasn’t the story at all. In fact, it had all started with a student’s observation that I was cheerful.

A wise man once said: “Who you are speaks louder to me than anything you can say”. I suppose it must be so.

Learning

Seeing the positive in any situation can keep us happy and cheerful.

Author: Lee Ryan Miller

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