Gems Hub

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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 08-09-2017

Be a Believer to be an Achiever

A professor stood before his class of 30 senior molecular biology students, about to pass out the final exam. ‘I have been privileged to be your instructor this semester, and I know how hard you have all worked to prepare for this test. I also know most of you are off to medical school or grad school next fall,’ he said to them.

‘I am well aware of how much pressure you are under to keep your GPAs up, and because I know you are all capable of understanding this material, I am prepared to offer an automatic ‘B’ to anyone who would prefer not to take the final.’

The relief was audible as a number of students jumped up to thank the professor and departed from class. The professor looked at the handful of students who remained, and offered again, ‘Any other takers? This is your last opportunity.’ One more student decided to go.

Seven students remained. The professor closed the door and took attendance. Then he handed out the final exam. There were two sentences typed on the paper:

‘Congratulations, you have just received an ‘A’ in this class. Keep believing in yourself.’

Comment: It’s the kind of test that any teacher in any discipline could and should give. Students who don’t have confidence in what they’ve learned are ‘B’ students at best. The same is true for students of real life. The ‘A’ students are those who believe in what they’re doing because they’ve learned from both successes and failures. They’ve absorbed life’s lessons, whether from formal education or the school of hard knocks, and become better people. Without faith in yourself and others, success is impossible.  Believe in yourself, even when no one else does.

By indian-admin on 28-07-2017
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For Sale

The owner of a small business, a friend of the poet, Olavo Bilac, met him one day and asked him: “Mr. Bilac, I need to sell my farm, the one you know so well. Could you please write an announcement for me for the paper?”

 Bilac wrote: “For Sale, a beautiful property, where birds sing at dawn in the extensive woodland, bisected by the brilliant and sparkling waters of a large stream. The house is bathed by the rising sun. It offers tranquil shade in the evening on the veranda.

Sometime later, the poet met his friend and asked him if he had sold the property? To which he replied; “I changed my mind. When I read what you had written, I realized the value of the treasure I was trying to get rid off.”

Often we underestimate the good things we have – children, family, spouse, friends, profession, etc. – chasing after the mirages of false treasures.

By Admin on 26-07-2017
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To Calm a Disturbed Mind

Once Buddha was walking from one town to another town with a few of his followers. This was in the initial days. While they were traveling, they happened to pass a lake. They stopped there and Buddha told one of his disciples, “I am thirsty. Please get me some water from that lake there.”The disciple walked up to the lake. When he reached it, he noticed that right at that moment, a bullock cart started crossing through the lake. As a result, the water became very muddy, very turbid. The disciple thought, “How can I give this muddy water to Buddha to drink!”So he came back and told Buddha, “The water in there is very muddy. I don't think it is fit to drink.” After about half an hour, again Buddha asked the same disciple to go back to the lake and get him some water to drink. The disciple obediently went back to the lake. This time too he found that the lake was muddy. He returned and informed Buddha about the same. After sometime, again Buddha asked the same disciple to go back. The disciple reached the lake to find the lake absolutely clean and clear with pure water in it. The mud had settled down and the water above it looked fit to be had. So he collected some water in a pot and brought it to Buddha.Buddha looked at the water, and then he looked up at the disciple and said, “See what you did to make the water clean. You let it be…. and the mud settled down on its own – and you got clear water. Your mind is also like that! When it is disturbed, just let it be. Give it a little time. It will settle down on its own. You don't have to put in any effort to calm it down. It will happen. It is effortless.
Don’t act or react when your mind is agitated. Give it some time to settle down before you do anything about the matter; and you will have no regrets later.

By Admin on 01-06-2017
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The Janitor

Bill Holbrook, the janitor at the wealthiest church in town, ordered some cleaning supplies from the hardware store. When they arrived, the driver asked Bill to sign for them.  Bill went into the pastor's office and asked the pastor to sign for them. Puzzled, the pastor told Bill to sign for them. “I can't,” said Bill.  “I can't read or write.””Well,” replied the pastor, “I'm going to have to let you go, Bill. I'm sorry but we can't have a janitor that can't read or write.”Bill started walking home, wondering how he was going to tell his wife the bad news, when he reached for his pipe and found he had run out of tobacco.  He searched the neighbourhood looking for a tobacco shop but could find none. And then he got an idea.  When he got home, he told his wife he was going to open a tobacco shop.The venture was so successful that Bill soon opened another, and then another until in ten years he was opening his one hundredth tobacco shop.  A feature writer from USA Today came to interview Bill on this great occasion.  When she had finished the interview she asked Bill if he'd like to read over her notes. “Yes, I would like to”, said Bill “but I can't read or write.” “My Gosh”, said the young lady.  “You've accomplished so much.  Just imagine what you'd be if you could read and write!” “Yes,” smiled Bill.  “I'd be the janitor in a church.” When a person is determined and enterprising, nothing can block him, not even the apparent drawbacks.

By Admin on 03-05-2017
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Preaching the Bible

A chaplain on a battlefield came across a young man who was lying in a shell hole, seriously wounded. “Would you like me to read you something from this book, the Bible?” he asked. “I’m so thirsty; I’d rather have a drink of water,” the soldier said. Hurrying away, the chaplain soon brought the water. Then the wounded man said, “could you put something under my head?”The chaplain took off his overcoat, rolled it up, and gently placed it under the man’s head for a pillow. “Now,” said the suffering man, “if I just had something over me – I’m cold”. The chaplain immediately removed his jacket and put it over the wounded man to keep him warm. Then the soldier looked the chaplain straight in the eye and said, “if there’s anything in that book that makes a man do for another all that you have done for me, then please read it, because I’d love to hear it.”
Comment: If my actions don’t speak of Gospel values, be sure my words never will. What affects people most is often caught rather than taught. “Actions are irrefutable.”

By Admin on 30-04-2017
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Give as you receive from God

A wealthy man pondered Jesus’ teaching on giving and he was deeply depressed by the whole thing. He prayed and prayed that he might be able to accept the teaching, but the more he prayed, the sadder he became. One day, when he was near despair, an angel came to comfort him. “Why are you so sad?” the angel asked him. “I am sad,” the man replied, “because of my master’s teaching on giving. Does it mean that I have to give again and again, and again, without any let up?”“Oh no, not at all,” said the angel. “You have to give only as long as God gives to you. If God ever stops giving to you, then you won’t have to continue to give to others. God will continue to give to you – except in much greater abundance than you could ever give.” God gives me nothing just for myself. He doesn’t give me the gift of speech, for instance, to go around talking to myself.What comes down from God must go sideways to others – otherwise it stops coming – like the spring in the well. This applies to love, forgiveness, compassion, etc.

By Admin on 19-04-2017
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GH91 120417 How real is it?

One time a group of people came to Abraham Lincoln to discuss something that had been causing some trouble. Their arguments were not based on facts but on suppositions. After listening for a while, Lincoln asked, “How many legs would a sheep have, if you called its tail a leg?” “Five” was the reply.  “No,” said Lincoln, “it wouldn’t; it would only have four. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it one.” Our fears, likewise, many a time are based on suppositions and unrealistic assumptions rather than on facts.

By Admin on 08-04-2017
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Do not be Discouraged

A ten year old boy was working in a factory in Naples, before present laws on child labor were put in place. His mother was convinced that he had a good singing voice, and by working in the factory he could earn money to pay for music lessons. His first music teacher, however, told him he did not have what it takes to be a musician, and it would be a waste of time and money to pursue the idea any further. The boy’s mother, a poor peasant woman was not so easily put off. She encouraged her son, she told him that she believed he had talent, and she even went bare-footed, rather than buy shoes, so as to save money for his music lessons. Her trust and sacrifices bore fruit, and her son, Enrico Caruso, became one of the world’s greatest tenors ever. Keep going and don’t leave before the miracle happens! The miracle happens for those who show God that they are serious about what they are seeking.

By Admin on 05-04-2017
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Looking for the Bones

On a cold winter night a wandering ascetic asked for shelter in a temple. The poor man stood shivering there in the falling snow so the temple priest, reluctant though he was to let the man in, said. “Very well, you can stay but only for the night. This is a temple, not a hospice. In the morning you will have to go.”At dead of night the priest heard a strange crackling sound. He rushed to thetemple and saw an incredible sight. There was the stranger warming himself at a fire he had lit in the temple. A wooden Buddha was missing. The priest asked,“Where is the Buddha?”The wanderer pointed to the fire, then said. “I thought this cold would kill me.”The priest shouted, “Are you out of your mind? Do you know what you have done?That was a Buddha statue. You have burnt the Buddha!”The fire was slowly dying out. The ascetic gazed into it and began to poke it with his stick. “What are you doing now?” the priest yelled.“I am searching for the bones of the Buddha whom you say I burnt.”The priest later reported the incident to a Zen Master who said, “You must be a bad priest because you valued a dead Buddha over a living man. “Measured with this yardstick many of us would be found to be ‘bad Christian,’ ‘bad Hindu,’ ‘bad Muslim,’ etc.

By Admin on 15-03-2017