By Life Positive
Time out with Ananda
Cutting Down to Size
Rohan had an irritating habit of boasting to his friends about things he was incapable of doing. Everyone was used to hear him say, ‘I can read five books in a day,’ or ‘I can easily take all the wickets in a cricket match,’ and so on. Gradually, his friends started avoiding him.
Ananda, in his quiet way, observed this. One day, he gave Rohan a new Superman suit and asked him to wear it.
Rohan was thrilled at being ‘chosen’ by Ananda and wore it proudly. However, the suit was too large for him and he began to feel uncomfortable in it. ‘May I change now, Ananda? It is too big for me,’ he asked.
‘Please do so,’ said Ananda and then added gently, ‘I realize you are uncomfortable because the outfit is too large. Wearing attire of the right size is extremely important, just as it important to have a self-image that is your size. Too small a garment will constrict you, and an oversize one will be unwieldy. Similarly, a self-image or ‘ego’ that is too small will make you shy and inhibited and one that is too large is bound to make you vainglorious. Remember that you are whole and perfect just as you are. You don’t need to embellish yourself.’
Rohan sheepishly changed his dress, understanding what Ananda was trying to tell him.
Example of Superman adapted from Get the Ego Advantage
by Anjana Sen, Response books.
The Inner Thunderbolt
Once, a prince came to a thick forest where travelers warned him against a demon with matted hair that kills everyone he sees. But the prince was fearless and continued on into the heart of the forest. Sure enough, there stood the terrible demon who ‘made himself tall as a palm tree; his head was the size of a pagoda, his eyes as big as saucers,’ with two great tusks protruding from his hawk-like face.
‘Stop!’ shouted the demon. ‘I want you for breakfast.’ The prince did stop, and remained totally fearless.
‘Strange,’ thought the demon and asked aloud: ‘Why are you not frightened to death?’
‘Why should I fear?’ answered the prince. ‘In one life a man can die but once. Besides in my belly is a thunderbolt; if you eat me, it will tear you to pieces.’
Hearing this, the demon was frightened to death himself, and let the prince go, saying: ‘Young Sir, you are a lion of a man. I set you free.’
And so the prince departed, after he had explained to the demon what would be the result if he persisted in evil deeds.
When the prince reached his kingdom, he was royally welcomed, and later became king, ruling with righteousness, giving alms and doing good deeds.
(To Buddhists, a thunderbolt signifies spiritual knowledge.)
Adapted from the Jataka Tale
Return to School
Thirteen-year-old Roshani Kothari from Vadodara impressed President Abdul Kalam by telling him that though there are laws against child labor in India now, satisfactory implementation is yet to be achieved. Part of a group of students selected by NGO World Vision to meet the President in June this year, she told him that child labor in all forms should be banned. Roshani , the eldest among seven sisters, used to work as a domestic servant till she reached standard X. ‘I left the job, as I could not cope with my studies,’ said Kothari, whose father is an auto rickshaw driver.
The NGO has now decided to bear the educational expenses of Kothari and lend her financial support, looking at her confidence and intellect. Roshani stresses that all children should be provided such support, saying, ‘I might have gone back to work within two months of leaving the job, but I have been lucky as I am supported by the NGO.’
Roshani wishes to become a teacher like the President and create awareness against child labor in society.
Did you know?
The Magi are three wise men who carried gifts on the birth of Lord Jesus and therefore, are associated with the tradition of gift-giving during Christmas.
Poems that Please
The Old Artisan
An ancient temple by the river stood,
Its walls worn smooth by wind, rain and sun.
‘Adorn the walls with figures divine!’
Bade the king and work on the temple was begun.
Great artisans from all the lands were called,
Each one better than the very best.
Amongst them an old man took his place,
Working on a crevice ignored by the rest.
Though the sun may be at noon time high,
Not a ray of light lit that crevice deep.
So to help him do his work on stone,
An oil lamp before him he had to keep.
The months passed by; come sun or storm
The artisans worked on each temple wall.
Admired much they were by the pilgrims who came,
Brought there pulled by the Divine Call.
As they walked the temple precincts, they
Noticed not the old man nor the work he did.
Hidden he was in that crevice so deep
But he worked well as he had been bid.
He crawled out one eve, a pilgrim saw him move.
Surprised, he asked, ‘Are you at work therein?
I’d like to see what you’ve done.’ And he
Followed the old man with his lamp within.
Amazed he was by the images he saw.
Divinity etched by chisel on stone.
‘Not a soul shall see this wonderful art!
What a waste!’ the pilgrim in anguish did moan.
The old man smiled, ‘Rue not that my work’s not seen,
Nor appreciated by those who to the temple come.
I work to please the Lord who lives in my heart,
I ensure that my best is done.’
Courtesy: The Chitrapur Sunbeam
Laugh out Loud
Lift operator : ”Right, get out, my son.”
Boy: ”How you dare call me son.”
Lift operator: ” Well, I brought you up, didn’t I?’
Why does a cow wear a bell?
Because her horns don’t work.
What do you find at the end of everything?
The letter ‘g’.
How many balls of string would it take to reach the moon?
Just one if it’s long enough!
What do you say when you meet a two-headed monster?
I work eight hours a day, and sleep for eight hours.’
‘So why did you get fired?’
‘Because they were the same eight hours
What country makes you shiver?
What doesn’t get any wetter no matter how hard it rains?
What do you call a calf after it’s six months old?
Seven months old.
How does a boat show affection?
It hugs the shore.
What goes up and down but doesn’t move?
At night I come without being fetched. By day, though lost, I’m not really gone. What am I?
If you were running a race and you passed the person in second place, what place would you be in now?
Get the Point
It’s often difficult to buckle down to swotting for an exam because our mind gets so easily distracted. You can’t help thinking about the cricket match or what your mummy is cooking for dinner. Here’s a super way to increase your concentration: Press the mid-point above your lips and below the nose (yes, where Charlie Chaplin sported a mustache) with your thumb or finger. This is an acupressure technique that improves concentration and focus. Try it and see.
The Christmas Truce
On December 24, 1914, in the midst of World War I, all was quiet when jovial voices called out from both trenches, British and German.
The men from both sides started singing carols and songs. Next came requests not to fire, and soon the unthinkable happened – the soldiers gathered together laughing and joking.
Most remarkably, this happened in more than one place spontaneously and independently.
Even today, the ‘Christmas truce’ is a shining example of sanity in world history.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we carried the same spirit all through the year, everywhere?
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