Gems Hub

The Potential of a Match

One match saved the lives of 12 shipwrecked Polynesian sailors stranded for 3 months on a barren Pacific reef, 325 miles south of the Fiji Islands.

After their 50-foot boat struck a reef and sank, all they managed to salvage were a few dozen cans of food, an aluminum pot, a kettle, a rubber tube and one match. Their water supplies were lost and there was no fresh water on the reef. If they could boil sea water in the pot, channel it through the tube into the kettle, where it would be condensed into drinking water, they could survive.

Everything depended on the one match to light the fire. Would it light? It did; and they had all the water they needed. They guarded the fire day and night, and it was still burning three months later, when finally they were rescued.
_ James Keller

By indian-admin on 17-12-2017

Balance of Nature

The Department of Agriculture decreed that since sparrows were a threat to the harvest, they had to be done away with.

So they were. And as a result swarms of insects, which sparrows normally keep under control, descended upon the fields and ate them bare.

Then the government found a solution for this: costly insecticides. These chemicals made foodstuffs more expensive but also proved harmful to health.

All too late did people come to realize that though the sparrows had lived off the grain in the fields, they also kept the food healthy and cheap.

-Tony de Mello

By indian-admin on 11-12-2017

Misery Dinner

Leo Buscaglia, the noted lecturer from the University of Southern California, once told a story about his mother that I particularly enjoyed. It concerned what he called the family “misery dinner” – a dinner arranged by his mother after the family had received some
especially bad news “Papa came home one evening, gathered us together and said that his partner had absconded with everything and that he was going to have to go into bankruptcy,” Buscaglia said.

The next day, Buscaglia related, “My mother went out and sold some jewelry and when my dad came home, again despondent, and all of us came home really wondering if we’d eat, we had the most incredible dinner. It was like a Christmas dinner.”

The senior Buscaglia thought his wife was insane and sharply demanded, “what’s the matter? You go crazy?”

Mrs Buscaglia’s rejoinder was, “The time for joy is now, when we need it, not next week.”

With that, the family began to pull together. A daughter said she would work overtime. Buscaglia himself, still a youngster, offered to sell magazines. Instead of despondency, the mood became one of, “We’ll make it.” All because of the wisdom of a loving mother.
– James Keller

By indian-admin on 10-12-2017

The Magic of a Word

A young knight went off to school to train in the art of handling weapons and of self-defense. He did not show any special enthusiasm for these knightly skills and also gave the impression that he lacked bravery. His instructor devoted a lot of time teaching him the art of slaying dragons. At first they were paper dragons, then cardboard dragons, and finally wooden dragons. He was a good student and within a short time learned the art of hacking off the heads of dragons with one swift stroke.

One day the trainer told the knight that he was now ready to go out and kill real dragons. But the very thought of meeting a real dragon frightened the knight. In order to build up his courage, the trainer gave the knight a magic word to take along. If he met a dragon, all he had to do was pronounce that magic word and the dragon would become helpless. So the knight went out into the real world and became a famous dragon killer.

He was fearless. Then one day, after spending the night at the pub, the knight wanted to go home and when he stepped outside, he met a dragon. With his mind foggy from wine, he could not remember the magic word. But he had to fight anyway and managed to slay the dragon. When he next met his instructor, he told him what had happened.

The instructor smiled and informed him that that was exactly how he had killed all the other dragons, too. The magic word had nothing magic about it. Its purpose was only to give the knight self-confidence.

On hearing that, the knight’s face went white with fright when he recalled how many close calls he had been through when he was out there slaying the dragons. The truth about the magic word, which really was not magic, overwhelmed him so much that that night in fright he crawled deep under his bed covers and pulled his knees up to his chin.

The next day he met his fifty-first dragon. He never came out of that fight alive.
– Kurt Eisenbarth

By indian-admin on 09-12-2017

Someone Has to Start Somewhere

One day I went walking with a good acquaintance of mine. He is an upstanding gentleman with a director’s position in a large company. We sat down on one of the park benches to catch a few breaths. As we sat, my friend noticed that a young lady sitting on the bench opposite ours thoughtlessly threw onto the park footpath the little carton which had contained the powdered doughnuts she had just eaten.

He immediately stood up, went over to her, tipped his hat, and said, “Excuse me, please.” Then he bent down, picked up the carton and carried it to the trash bin.

The lady blushed, put the rest of her doughnuts in her carrying bag, stood up, and went on her way.

When my friend returned, somewhat irritated, he only said, “Somewhere, someone, sometime must start the process.

Joachim Wanke

By indian-admin on 30-11-2017
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Warts and All

This story is told about Oliver Cromwell. He was sitting for an artist who was painting a full-length picture of him.

When the painting was complete, Cromwell looked at it, and saw that the painter had gone out of his way to make Cromwell more handsome than he actually was. For example, Cromwell had warts on his face, but the painter had opted to omit these. Cromwell would not accept the finished product. He insisted that the painter do one more portrait, only this time, he was ordered to paint Cromwell with “warts and all.” Though we don’t like the “warts and all” part of us, they are as much part of us – good as well as not so good.

Seeing and accepting oneself as he/she is would ward of resentment for ourselves and would provide the healthy outlook to better oneself.We could easily prefer the painter who can make us look better than we really are.

By Admin on 24-11-2017
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The Secret of Life

An eight-year old boy approached an old man sitting in a garden, looked up into his eyes, and said,
“I understand you’re a very wise man. I’d like to know the secret of life.”
The old man looked down at the youngster and replied,
“I’ve thought a lot in my lifetime, and the secret can be summed up in four words:
“The first is THINK. Think about the values by which you wish to live your life.”
“The second is BELIEVE. Believe in yourself based on the thinking you’ve done about the values by which you’re going to live your life.”
“The third is DREAM. Dream about the things that can be, based on your belief in yourself and the values by which you’re going to live your life.”
“The last is DARE. Dare to make your dreams become reality, based on your belief in yourself and your values.”And with that, Walt E. Disney said to the boy, “Think, Believe, Dream and Dare.”
“The secret of life” is locked up in a safe with a four-step lock. The keys to that lock are:
‘Think,’ ‘Believe,’ ‘Dream’ and ‘Dare’. “Dream is not what you see in sleep, but what does not allow you to sleep.” (Abdul Kalam, Former President of India)

By Admin on 17-11-2017
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Pain and Suffering

The day was very tiring for the Ashram community. There was a great deal of work that had to be done for the forthcoming annual Satsangh. ‘Why does God allow suffering?’ asked Dayanand to their guru.

“Creation is God’s Self-expression bound with time and space. God expresses Himself through His creation. God is Love Infinite. Love by its very nature is also creative energy. Hence creativity is an attribute of God. He cannot but be creative at all times. “Pain and suffering are essential parts of creativity that leads to greater joy. The greatest creativity is giving birth to a child. The mother goes through very many difficulties from the time of conception. She also has to go through a great pain and suffering to give birth to the child and to nurture it, and to bring it up. ‘No pain, no gain’ and ‘No resurrection without crucifixion’ are adages with great divine wisdom in them.

“God does not give us pain and suffering. Some of them are part of the reality of life, like the pain associated with child birth. It leads to greater joy. Some are caused by our own ignorance, lust, anger, jealousy, sloth, pride, selfishness, greed etc.  Some are reactions to our evil thoughts, words and deeds. Some of them are caused by natural calamities. Once we understand this truth, we can also use our pain and suffering creatively for our individual and collective growth and development. That is what Gandhiji, Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela and such other great men and women all over the world demonstrated to us. They suffered willingly and consciously for the good of others. This is what every good mother does. Love motivates us to suffer for the beloved. True love, divine love, is forgiving, enduring and self-sacrificing”, explained the master to his beloved disciple.

By Acharya Sachidananda on 13-11-2017

Social Responsibility

World War II produced many heroes. One such man was Lieutenant Commander Butch O’Hare. He was a fighter pilot assigned to the aircraft carrier Lexington in the South Pacific.
One day his entire squadron was sent on a mission. After he was airborne, he looked at his fuel gauge and realized that someone had forgotten to top off his fuel tank. He would not have enough fuel to complete his mission and get back to his ship.
His flight leader told him to return to the carrier. Reluctantly, he dropped out of formation and headed back to the fleet. As he was returning to the mother ship, he saw something that turned his blood cold; a squadron of Japanese aircraft was speeding its way toward the American fleet.
The American fighters were gone on a sortie, and the fleet was all but defenceless. He couldn’t reach his squadron and bring them back in time to save the fleet. Nor could he warn the fleet of the approaching danger. There was only one thing to do. He must somehow divert them from the fleet.
Laying aside all thoughts of personal safety, he dove into the formation of Japanese planes. Wing-mounted 50 caliber’s blazed as he charged in, attacking one surprised enemy plane and then another. Butch wove in and out of the now broken formation and fired at as many planes as possible until all his ammunition was finally spent.
Undaunted, he continued the assault. He dove at the planes, trying to clip a wing or tail in hopes of damaging as many enemy planes as possible, rendering them unfit to fly. Finally, the exasperated Japanese squadron took off in another direction. Deeply relieved, Butch O’Hare and his tattered fighter limped back to the carrier.
Upon arrival, he reported in and related the event surrounding his return. The film from the gun-camera mounted on his plane told the tale. It showed the extent of Butch’s daring attempt to protect his fleet. He had, in fact, destroyed five enemy aircraft.
This took place on February 20, 1942, and for that action Butch became the Navy’s first Ace of W.W.II, and the first Naval Aviator to win the Medal of Honor.
A year later Butch was killed in an aerial combat at the age of 29. But his home town would not allow the memory of this WW II hero to fade, and today, O’Hare Airport in Chicago is named in tribute to the courage of this great man.

By indian-admin on 07-11-2017
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Insensitivity

Two little boys and their father got into the train. The two children were weeping but the father did nothing to stop them weeping louder and louder. The gentleman sitting next felt disturbed and asked the father to tell his sons stop crying. But the father did not say a word. The gentleman was visibly angry. He asked the father why he did not stop his sons being such a nuisance to the fellow passengers.
‘Let them cry. It is good for them’ said the father.
‘How could you be so insensitive to the comfort of the fellow passengers?’ Asked the gentleman.
‘We are returning from their mother’s funeral’ said the father. The gentleman felt ashamed of himself for being so insensitive to the pain and agony of the children who lost their mother.

Note: It is very rarely that our assumptions match the spirit of any situation. Always leave a space for a different possibility.

By Acharya Sachidananda on 30-10-2017