Acceptance Changes All

A woman named Mary Ann Bird tells her story: “I grew up knowing that I was different, and I hated it. 1 was born with a cleft palate, and when I started school, my classmates made it clear to me how I must look to others: a little girl with a misshapen lip, crooked nose, lopsided teeth and garbled speech.

When my schoolmates would ask, ‘What happened to your lip?’ I’d tell them I’d fallen and cut it on a piece of glass. Somehow it seemed more acceptable to have suffered an
accident than to have been born different. I was convinced that no one outside my family could love me.

“There was, however, a teacher in the second grade that we all adored, Mrs. Leonard by name. She was a short, round, happy, sparkling lady.

Annually, we would have a hearing test. Mrs. Leonard gave the test to everyone in the class, and finally it was my turn. I knew from past years that as we stood against the door and covered one ear, the teacher sitting at her desk would whisper something and we would have to repeat it back. .. things like ‘The sky is blue’ or ‘Do you have new shoes?’ 1 waited there for those words which God must have put into her mouth, those seven words which changed my life.

Mrs. Leonard said, in her whisper, ‘I wish you were my little girl.'”
_ William J Bausch

Reflection: Being accepted and appreciated in spite of her physical defect by her kindly teacher changed her whole life for Mary Ann Bird. A little kindness on our part many a time can make a world of difference for someone.

By Kaimlet on 08-12-2017

How to Conquer Fear

There was once a young man who was afraid of everyone and everything: of cars, of the darkness, of people and animals, and of the likes of you and me. But he wanted to be brave. So one day he went away to learn how to overcome his fear.

First he visited a pilot who was used to making long flights across the ocean. “A person doing something like that, surely can have no fear,” the boy said to himself. And so he asked the pilot, “Are you ever afraid?”

The pilot nodded his head and said, “Oh, yes. Sometimes I’m afraid that my radar will break down when I’m flying in the fog and I might end up against a mountain top. And sometimes I’m also afraid that someone might hide a bomb in my plane. Sometimes I also get afraid that I might get a heart attack while flying. And sometimes I just get
afraid and don’t know why.”

“What do you do about these different fears?” the lad wanted to know.

The pilot answered, “I just fly the best I can. I am careful, but I leave it at that; and just continue with my job.”

Then the boy went to see a racing car driver. He had driven on tracks where many another racer had been hurt. The boy asked him, “Do you ever get afraid?”

“Oh, yes,” he answered. “I fear that I might be carried off the track on a stretcher and my car will roll over and catch on fire. I am also afraid that I might collide with another car and both us drivers could be handicapped for life. I also fear the day when I’ll no longer be able to win …. and sometimes I’m afraid and don’t know why.”

At that the young man asked, “And what do you do in a case like that?”

The driver answered, “Well, I do everything to the best of my ability, and just keep on going.”

By indian-admin on 06-12-2017

The River

Once a group of Chinese students asked their wise old teacher why he would sometimes just stand at the river’s edge for a longer time and stare at the water. What did he see there?

He did not immediately answer. Nor did he look away from the continuously flowing stream. Finally he spoke up, “Flowing water teaches us how to live: “Wherever it flows it brings life and shares itself with everyone who needs it. A river is kind and generous.”

“It knows how to level off the unevenness of the landscape. It is just and fair. It throws itself over cliffs into the depths of the valley without even slowing down. It is courageous.”

“Its surface is flat and smooth, but underneath it can hide churning currents. A river is wise.”

“It flows around rocks that hinder its progress. A river is tolerant. But at the same time it works day and night to get that hindrance out of its way. A river is tireless No matter how many windings and detours it must make, it never loses sight of its goal: the sea. A river is single-minded. A river is able to keep renewing itself.”

“These are my reasons for staring at the flowing river. It teaches me to live correctly.”
_ Johannes Thiele

By indian-admin on 01-12-2017

Doing God’s Will

Doing God’s Will is what is on my mind. Holiness consists in doing God’s will. To DO God’s will one needs to KNOW God’s will. All that is required to know God’s will is to have a well-formed conscience based on basic human rights and values, and union with God. To use a metaphor of Christ, branches apart from a tree cannot live and bear fruits. God is that tree and we are the branches. We are in union with God when we are truly altruistic and live for others.Then we are connected to God as branches to a tree. Our CONSCIENCE that clearly tells us what is right and wrong, and our UNION with God will reveal God’s will for us.
To simplify matters even further, we may also understand union with God as faithfulness to our own conscience that represents God’s voice within us.The Golden Rule that, Christ said, sums up the Scriptures, namely, DOING FOR OTHERS WHAT WE WANT THEM TO DO FOR US, confirms also God’s will for us in our daily life. Slowly nearing the brink of ecologic disaster, these days we are required to reverse that trend, and preserve and enhance God’s creation as an important aspect of God’s will. Additionally, any kind of ADDICTION to alcohol, nicotine, sex, any substance, inordinate affection that spiritually or physically harms us and dehumanizes us, renders us less capable of doing God’s will. The consumeristic, market economy – this world – that makes us objects and goods for others, solely catering to the indulgence of our senses, is hostile to God.
In other words, knowing God’s will is simple for a detached, spiritual person; but doing God’s will is very difficult for an undisciplined person without a strong will.

By Swami Dr Snehananda Jyoti on 26-10-2017