Category Archives: Daily Prompts

Open your Eyes – For a Simple Act of Kindness

The world as we know it today has become such a harsh place to live. Every day, in the news we hear of destruction, be it through natural or unnatural causes. The war in Syria, attacks on different kinds of people, terror strikes in different places due to different ideologies… and so on. More often than not, we close our eyes to the harsh reality that is prevalent in the world around us. We see the news and just for a minute, we feel sympathy for the people who are in such conditions and then we forget them for the rest of the day and get on with our lives. For most of us, news of destruction, of famine… etc. does not really make a difference. I mean, how does the refugee crisis in Syria, affect your everyday life? It does not. So, we close our eyes metaphorically and move on.

We all live inside our own individual little bubbles. Because, it is so hard to trust something at face value, even good deeds are misunderstood. So, we all think that it is better to never get involved. A few days ago, we saw a couple who lived downstairs working on their car in the garage below our apartment. The jeep was outside of the closed garage and the two men were working on it for some time, when it started raining. We saw that they were soaking wet and at first decided to bring them an umbrella. Before we could do so, however we started wondering… “What would they think if we bring them an umbrella?” OR “Will they misunderstand our motives?” OR “Would they think that we have no business watching them?” OR “Would they think that we were busy bodies and couldn’t mind our own business?” OR “Would they be offended?” It was such a simple thing, yet we were so worried about ulterior motives, that we failed to do even one simple act of kindness. What would have been the worst thing that could have happened? Either they acknowledged the gesture or they won’t. So what if they don’t, at least we would have felt better that we tried doing something good. But, ultimately we did not do anything. It says so much for the sorry state of affairs we live in today.

This is exactly what is wrong with most people today. We close our eyes to all the possibilities, that even the simplest act seems misunderstood. Every one of us is connected in the circle of life. No one can live in isolation. What happens in one place can very well happen in another. What affects one person halfway across the world, can on another day affect you. It is a ripple effect that can have catastrophic implications for the future. But most of us do not even see the fall out. We are apathetic and that is scarier than anything else that is happening in the world today. Open your eyes – Everything that is happening in Syria, Israel or Afghanistan or Orlando can so easily happen to each one of us. Open your eyes – look around, see what can be done. A simple act of kindness goes a long way. A phone call to a friend just to say hello, Bringing an umbrella to someone soaking wet in the rain, Opening the door for the elderly at a mall or a doctor’s office, Letting someone else pass you on the road instead of cutting them off, Teaching our kids to say “Please” and “Thank you” every single time, Complimenting the waiter who serves you at a restaurant or the maintenance man who works on your apartment. The way you feel after bringing a smile to someone is wonderful. We should never close ourselves off, but always try in very common and simple ways to be open to any opportunity of bringing a tiny piece of joy to someone. If every single one of us could do this on most days, just imagine how wonderful this world would be!

 

Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32

Open

Rebuild Yourself – After the End of a Relationship

In a perfect world, there would be no heartbreak. Everyone would be nice to everyone. Love and relationships always work under every scenario and circumstance. But, in a not so perfect world such as ours, heartbreak is inevitable in life. Anyone who has ever loved or has been loved would definitely have faced some kind of heartbreak. If they have not, it means one of three things – Either they have not loved well or are still in the initial stages of love or they are yet to process their loss.

Heartbreak can be because of anything and/or anyone. The loss of a loved one either due to circumstances beyond your control or because of you. The end of a relationship between two people – any two people – two friends, lovers, husband and wife, parents and children even. The idea of someone hurting you to the point of heartbreak is alien to most people. When you experience it for the first time, the hurt will seem insurmountable and almost impossible to take. The experienced and older generation will tell you, that they have faced heartbreak so many times and are stronger because of it. How can it be possible to be okay after such hurt? Rebuilding yourself – Pick up the pieces and move on. Sounds like a cliché or a bad title of a movie. I read this book, where there was this line “She looked down expecting to see the pieces of her heart lying on the floor like broken glass, such was the pain she was feeling”. Really? Broken glass…sounds a bit melodramatic. But everyone who has been through a heartbreak will tell you, that is how it feels.

So, how do you pick up the pieces? How do you rebuild yourself? There is no one way or another way of doing this. What works for one person, may not work for another. The idea is to focus on yourself. How? There are many, many ways you can focus on yourself. A breakup is never a single person’s fault, It always takes two to make or break a relationship and the loss is felt by both the parties in that relationship. So understand the loss. Sometimes, it does not help to examine what went wrong, but rather think about all the right things that you could learn from this incident.

The best advice, through example that I can tell you is to have a support system. This could be anyone. Your friends, family, colleagues or your neighbors, a prayer group, Even a writing pad and paper. Anyone or anything which might help in sympathizing or empathizing with you, can help. Vent out your frustration, either to a person or on paper. Talk to God, spend more time in prayer, Write down your feelings, your anger, your tears and your disappointment. Trust me, this helps. A few years down the line, you will look back on what you have written and laugh your heart out. You are the most important thing now. Focus and keep focus on yourself. Take the time to enjoy yourself. Do what you love the most, even if it is the silliest thing anyone ever heard like eating cotton candy or going on a Ferris wheel. Learn to laugh. There will be tears, Oh! So many tears and that is okay, but the laughter will come and when it does, let it come. Rebuild your self-confidence. There is no reason to feel guilty about laughing or about being happy.

There may come a time in your future, when you might be able to open your heart for another relationship. Understand that it can never be the same as before. Being afraid to open your heart again is perfectly normal. There is no shame in this. Trust in God, but more importantly, trust that you have learnt from your experience and are wiser now because of it. Rebuilding takes time – a lot of time. No one should expect that this is an easy process or that it is easier for some people and harder for others. This is your journey to rebuild yourself after a loss. And it is yours alone. No comparisons and no competitions. The focus is to move on every day. The longer you wait to rebuild, the harder it will be and we never want anyone to give up halfway. No one should give up halfway, it is an insult to yourself that you are backing down and someone who is truly focused on rebuilding will never give up and remember to keep your head up always.

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7

Rebuild

Understanding – Your own limits and boundaries

The essence of this post is simple. How can you define your own limits and boundaries. I know, we have all read and heard countless times the inspirational and philosophical articles and speeches on “Nothing is impossible” or “Anything can be done” or “Achieving the impossible” and so on and so forth. Now, I am not saying that this is not possible..but how much is too much for you? Now that is the question. Everyone has dreams and ideas of what they want to do and what they want to be at some point in their life. The goal is not to achieve the impossible, but to learn how much can be achieved and at what cost.

I have dreams of writing a book… but I understand that my talent in writing, has not yet evolved to a level that can be called as book writing. This does not mean I can never write a book… it just means that I need to work harder or set myself a more achievable goal like say writing articles, or maybe short stories. I will still be doing something I love, which is writing but maybe not on a grand scale such as publishing a book. This has by no means, diminished my talent in any way, nor is it a setback in my life and nor will I ever consider this as one.

People all over, have unrealistic goals and expectations, which are usually the result of someone else’s achievements. The neighbour kid, who has just turned 16 is already competing in National level Music Challenges, this does not mean that everyone can. Those who have talent, can certainly strive to do so, but never because someone else is doing it. The reason for so many disappointments for so many people is all because of unrealistic expectations. There is absolutely nothing wrong in modifying your goal once you realise that what you have started is either too much or stretching the limits of your boundaries. For eg. A person’s goal is to scale Mount Everest. To do so, would require him/her to travel for months on end on physical and mental training, not to mention emotional. Now, if that person has a 3-year-old daughter who needs them, then achieving their goal to the point of sacrificing the time spent with their child is pointless. You may or may not scale Mount Everest in future but your child will only be 3 once, and he/she should take precedence over everything else. If mountain climbing is something that you love, it can be done on a small-scale, that does not require so much of time away from the people who need you. And someday, you might achieve your goal as well, but understand the timing too.So, understanding your boundaries and making a conscious choice to how much can be achieved at what time is very important, especially for those who face many disappointments.

To temper your goal choices with moderation and practicality will always help in every scenario. At least this is what I think…Everyone should have goals and should achieve them of course, but do so in the right time, with proper understanding of your own strengths, limits and boundaries.

Understanding