You can change the world – maybe not all at once, but one person, one animal, and one good deed at a time. Wake up every morning and pretend like what you do makes a difference. It does

Every Sunday morning I take a light jog around a park near my home.  There’s a lake located in one corner of the park.  Each time I jog by this lake, I see the same elderly woman sitting at the water’s edge with a small metal cage sitting beside her.

This past Sunday my curiosity got the best of me, so I stopped jogging and walked over to her.  As I got closer, I realized that the metal cage was in fact a small trap.  There were three turtles, unharmed, slowly walking around the base of the trap.  She had a fourth turtle in her lap that she was carefully scrubbing with a spongy brush.

“Hello,” I said.  “I see you here every Sunday morning.  If you don’t mind my nosiness, I’d love to know what you’re doing with these turtles.”

She smiled.  “I’m cleaning off their shells,” she replied.  “Anything on a turtle’s shell, like algae or scum, reduces the turtle’s ability to absorb heat and impedes its ability to swim.  It can also corrode and weaken the shell over time.”

“Wow!  That’s really nice of you!” I exclaimed.

She went on: “I spend a couple of hours each Sunday morning, relaxing by this lake and helping these little guys out.  It’s my own strange way of making a difference.”

“But don’t most freshwater turtles live their whole lives with algae and scum hanging from their shells?” I asked.

“Yep, sadly, they do,” she replied.

I scratched my head.  “Well then, don’t you think your time could be better spent?  I mean, I think your efforts are kind and all, but there are fresh water turtles living in lakes all around the world.  And 99% of these turtles don’t have kind people like you to help them clean off their shells.  So, no offense… but how exactly are your localized efforts here truly making a difference?”

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Does karma work… can a small act of kindness make your life.

I was very inspired by this story. it highlights be yourself and express your kindness whenever you get opportunity…

The Model Millionaire

by Oscar Wilde


A note of admiration

Unless one is wealthy there is no use in being a charming fellow. Romance is the privilege of the rich, not the profession of the unemployed. The poor should be practical and prosaic. It is better to have a permanent income than to be fascinating. These are the great truths of modern life which Hughie Erskine never realised. Poor Hughie! Intellectually, we must admit, he was not of much importance. He never said a brilliant or even an ill-natured thing in his life. But then he was wonderfully good-looking, with his crisp brown hair, his clear-cut profile, and his grey eyes. He was as popular with men as he was with women, and he had every accomplishment except that of making money. His father had bequeathed him his cavalry sword, and a History of the Peninsular War in fifteen volumes. Hughie hung the first over his looking-glass, put the second on a shelf between Ruff’s Guide and Bailey’s Magazine, and lived on two hundred a year that an old aunt allowed him. He had tried everything. He had gone on the Stock Exchange for six months; but what was a butterfly to do among bulls and bears? He had been a tea-merchant for a little longer, but had soon tired of pekoe and souchong. Then he had tried selling dry sherry. That did not answer; the sherry was a little too dry. Ultimately he became nothing, a delightful, ineffectual young man with a perfect profile and no profession.

To make matters worse, he was in love. The girl he loved was Laura Merton, the daughter of a retired Colonel who had lost his temper and his digestion in India, and had never found either of them again. Laura adored him, and he was ready to kiss her shoe-strings. They were the handsomest couple in London, and had not a penny-piece between them. The Colonel was very fond of Hughie, but would not hear of any engagement.

‘Come to me, my boy, when you have got ten thousand pounds of your own, and we will see about it,’ he used to say; and Hughie looked very glum on those days, and had to go to Laura for consolation.

One morning, as he was on his way to Holland Park, where the Mertons lived, he dropped in to see a great friend of his, Alan Trevor. Trevor was a painter. Indeed, few people escape that nowadays. But he was also an artist, and artists are rather rare. Personally he was a strange rough fellow, with a freckled face and a red ragged beard. However, when he took up the brush he was a real master, and his pictures were eagerly sought after. He had been very much attracted by Hughie at first, it must be acknowledged, entirely on account of his personal charm. ‘The only people a painter should know,’ he used to say, ‘are people who are bete and beautiful, people who are an artistic pleasure to look at and an intellectual repose to talk to. Men who are dandies and women who are darlings rule the world, at least they should do so.’ However, after he got to know Hughie better, he liked him quite as much for his bright buoyant spirits and his generous reckless nature, and had given him the permanent entree to his studio.

When Hughie came in he found Trevor putting the finishing touches to a wonderful life-size picture of a beggar-man. The beggar himself was standing on a raised platform in a corner of the studio. He was a wizened old man, with a face like wrinkled parchment, and a most piteous expression. Over his shoulders was flung a coarse brown cloak, all tears and tatters; his thick boots were patched and cobbled, and with one hand he leant on a rough stick, while with the other he held out his battered hat for alms.

‘What an amazing model!’ whispered Hughie, as he shook hands with his friend.

‘An amazing model?’ shouted Trevor at the top of his voice; ‘I should think so! Such beggars as he are not to be met with every day. A trouvaille, mort cher; a living Velasquez! My stars! what an etching Rembrandt would have made of him!’

‘Poor old chap! said Hughie, ‘how miserable he looks! But I suppose, to you painters, his face is his fortune?’

‘Certainly,’ replied Trevor, ‘you don’t want a beggar to look happy, do you?’

‘How much does a model get for sitting?’ asked Hughie, as he found himself a comfortable seat on a divan.

‘A shilling an hour.’

‘And how much do you get for your picture, Alan?’

‘Oh, for this I get two thousand!’

‘Pounds?’

‘Guineas. Painters, poets, and physicians always get guineas.’

‘Well, I think the model should have a percentage,’ cried Hughie, laughing; ‘they work quite as hard as you do.’

‘Nonsense, nonsense! Why, look at the trouble of laying on the paint alone, and standing all day long at one’s easel! It’s all very well, Hughie, for you to talk, but I assure you that there are moments when Art almost attains to the dignity of manual labour. But you mustn’t chatter; I’m very busy. Smoke a cigarette, and keep quiet.’

After some time the servant came in, and told Trevor that the frame-maker wanted to speak to him.

‘Don’t run away, Hughie,’ he said, as he went out, ‘I will be back in a moment.’

The old beggar-man took advantage of Trevor’s absence to rest for a moment on a wooden bench that was behind him. He looked so forlorn and wretched that Hughie could not help pitying him, and felt in his pockets to see what money he had. All he could find was a sovereign and some coppers. ‘Poor old fellow,’ he thought to himself, ‘he wants it more than I do, but it means no hansoms for a fortnight;’ and he walked across the studio and slipped the sovereign into the beggar’s hand.

The old man started, and a faint smile flitted across his withered lips. ‘Thank you, sir,’ he said, ‘thank you.’

Then Trevor arrived, and Hughie took his leave, blushing a little at what he had done. He spent the day with Laura, got a charming scolding for his extravagance, and had to walk home.

That night he strolled into the Palette Club about eleven o’clock, and found Trevor sitting by himself in the smoking-room drinking hock and seltzer.

‘Well, Alan, did you get the picture finished all right?’ he said, as he lit his cigarette.

‘Finished and framed, my boy!’ answered Trevor; ‘and, by-the-bye, you have made a conquest. That old model you saw is quite devoted to you. I had to tell him all about you – who you are, where you live, what your income is, what prospects you have–‘

‘My dear Alan,’ cried Hughie, ‘I shall probably find him waiting for me when I go home. But of course you are only joking. Poor old wretch! I wish I could do something for him. I think it is dreadful that any one should be so miserable. I have got heaps of old clothes at home – do you think he would care for any of them? Why, his rags were falling to bits.’

‘But he looks splendid in them,’ said Trevor. ‘I wouldn’t paint him in a frock-coat for anything. What you call rags I call romance. What seems poverty to you is picturesqueness to me. However, I’ll tell him of your offer.’

‘Alan,’ said Hughie seriously, ‘you painters are a heartless lot.’

‘An artist’s heart is his head,’ replied Trevor; ‘and besides, our business is to realise the world as we see it, not to reform it as we know it. a chacun son metier. And now tell me how Laura is. The old model was quite interested in her.’

‘You don’t mean to say you talked to him about her?’ said Hughie.

‘Certainly I did. He knows all about the relentless colonel, the lovely Laura, and the 10,000.’

‘You told that old beggar all my private affairs?’ cried Hughie, looking very red and angry.

‘My dear boy,’ said Trevor, smiling, ‘that old beggar, as you call him, is one of the richest men in Europe. He could buy all London to-morrow without overdrawing his account. He has a house in every capital, dines off gold plate, and can prevent Russia going to war when he chooses.’

‘What on earth do you mean?’ exclaimed Hughie.

‘What I say,’ said Trevor. ‘The old man you saw to-day in the studio was Baron Hausberg. He is a great friend of mine, buys all my pictures and that sort of thing, and gave me a commission a month ago to paint him as a beggar. Que voulez-vous? La fantaisie d’un millionnaire! And I must say he made a magnificent figure in his rags, or perhaps I should say in my rags; they are an old suit I got in Spain.’

‘Baron Hausberg!’ cried Hughie. ‘Good heavens! I gave him a sovereign!’ and he sank into an armchair the picture of dismay.

‘Gave him a sovereign!’ shouted Trevor, and he burst into a roar of laughter. ‘My dear boy, you’ll never see it again. Son affaire c’est l’argent des autres.’

‘I think you might have told me, Alan,’ said Hughie sulkily, ‘and not have let me make such a fool of myself.’

‘Well, to begin with, Hughie,’ said Trevor, ‘it never entered my mind that you went about distributing alms in that reckless way. I can understand your kissing a pretty model, but your giving a sovereign to an ugly one – by Jove, no! Besides, the fact is that I really was not at home to-day to any one; and when you came in I didn’t know whether Hausberg would like his name mentioned. You know he wasn’t in full dress.’

‘What a duffer he must think me!’ said Hughie.

‘Not at all. He was in the highest spirits after you left; kept chuckling to himself and rubbing his old wrinkled hands together. I couldn’t make out why he was so interested to know all about you; but I see it all now. He’ll invest your sovereign for you, Hughie, pay you the interest every six months, and have a capital story to tell after dinner.’

‘I am an unlucky devil,’ growled Hughie. ‘The best thing I can do is to go to bed; and, my dear Alan, you mustn’t tell any one. I shouldn’t dare show my face in the Row.’

‘Nonsense! It reflects the highest credit on your philanthropic spirit, Hughie. And don’t run away. Have another cigarette, and you can talk about Laura as much as you like.’

However, Hughie wouldn’t stop, but walked home, feeling very unhappy, and leaving Alan Trevor in fits of laughter.

The next morning, as he was at breakfast, the servant brought him up a card on which was written, ‘Monsieur Gustave Naudin, de la part de M. le Baron Hausberg.’

‘I suppose he has come for an apology,’ said Hughie to himself; and he told the servant to show the visitor up.

An old gentleman with gold spectacles and grey hair came into the room, and said, in a slight French accent, ‘Have I the honour of addressing Monsieur Erskine?’

Hughie bowed.

‘I have come from Baron Hausberg,’ he continued. ‘The Baron–‘

‘I beg, sir, that you will offer him my sincerest apologies,’ stammered Hughie.

‘The Baron,’ said the old gentleman, with a smile, ‘has commissioned me to bring you this letter;’ and he extended a sealed envelope.

On the outside was written, ‘A wedding present to Hugh Erskine and Laura Merton, from an old beggar,’ and inside was a cheque for 10,000.

When they were married Alan Trevor was the best-man, and the Baron made a speech at the wedding-breakfast.

‘Millionaire models,’ remarked Alan, ‘are rare enough; but, by Jove, model millionaires are rarer still!’

Personality development

​Someone asked Sri Ravi Shankar How to develop our personality ?
Sri Ravi Shankar:

To develop your personality, you have to spend five days to have these five experiences to really blossom in your life.

You can develop your personality with these five experiences.

You have to sincerely play these five roles:
1. The first role which I would recommend to you is to be a School Teacher.

To teach lessons to children who are not learning, you need a lot of patience.

Being a nursery or primary school teacher, even for one day, you will see how you have to increase your patience.
2. Be a Gardener or spend a day with a Farmer.

If you are sowing the seeds,

if you are watering the plants,

you will know how you must care for water, earth and the environment.

You will have a feeling for the environment.

You will value food and you will not waste food.

You know, what we do?

We bring so much food, and we put it in the fridge and, after a few days in the refrigerator, we throw the food.

We are wasting millions and millions of tons of food every day.

We should not waste food.

This we will learn if we spend one day being a farmer or a gardener.
3. You should spend a day in the mental hospital.

Whatever people talk in the mental hospital, you don’t mind.

If they scold you,

if they blame you,

if they curse you,

will you mind?

You don’t mind because you are aware that this person is mentally sick.

You know that many people are outside the hospital, but that does not mean they are mentally well.

So, in life, you come across people who blame you for nothing, who are jealous or angry, who say things that make no sense. Then, you know, you will have the patience to deal with them with a smile. You will not take the garbage inside and spoil your mind.

So one day if you spend in a mental hospital, you will know how to save your mind.

You will stop being a football of others’ opinions.
4. One day you must go to a prison. Maybe it is shocking to you.

You don’t have to do a wrong thing to go to a prison.

Just go visit a prison, spend a little time with the prisoners.

You will understand what compassion is.

What helplessness is.

Those people did a mistake without awareness.

So you will know how you must have a say on your emotions.
5. There are terminally ill people in the hospital.

One day with them, and you will realize how precious life is.

And you will start valuing health.

You will eat better,

you will exercise.

You will do all that is needed to be more vibrant in your life.
With these five days what would be the outcome? 
I guess from these five days you will become

More Vibrant,

More Alive,

More Loving,

Compassionate

and Active.

Life changing lessons by Khalil Gibran. 

Today I would like to share with you 25 beautiful life changing lessons to learn from Khalil Gibran. Author of one of my favorite books of all time, The Prophet. Enjoy.

1. Be thankful for the difficult times. They have showed you how strong you can be.


“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.”

2. Kindness is a quality of the strong.


“Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair, but manifestations of strength and resolution.”

3. There’s no such thing as absolute truth.


“Say not, ‘I have found the truth,’ but rather, ‘I have found a truth.’ 

“I AM IGNORANT of absolute truth. But I am humble before my ignorance and therein lies my honor and my reward.”

4. It’s the small people who try to belittle and humiliate others.


“To belittle, you have to be little.”

5. The harm others do to you is easier to forget than the harm you do to others.


“If the other person injures you, you may forget the injury; but if you injure him you will always remember.”

6. You might forget those who made you laugh, but you will never forget those who were by your side in your darkest hours.


“You may forget with whom you laughed, but you will never forget with whom you wept.” 

“Hearts united in pain and sorrow will not be separated by joy and happiness. Bonds that are woven in sadness are stronger than the ties of joy and pleasure. Love that is washed by tears will remain eternally pure and faithful.”


7. It’s the simple things in life that are the most extraordinary.


“In the sweetness of friendship; let there be laughter and the sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.”

8. Love is life. And life is love.


“When you love you should not say, “God is in my heart,” but rather, “I am in the heart of God.” 

“Life without love is like a tree without blossoms or fruit.”

9. Put love into your work.


“Work is love made visible. And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy. For if you bake bread with indifference, you bake a bitter bread that feeds but half man’s hunger. And if you grudge the crushing of the grapes, your grudge distills a poison in the wine. And if you sing though as angels, and love not the singing, you muffle man’s ears to the voices of the day and the voices of the night.”

“They deem me mad because I will not sell my days for gold; and I deem them mad because they think my days have a price.”

10. To understand the heart and mind of a person, look at what he aspires to be.


“To understand the heart and mind of a person, look not at what he has already achieved, but at what he aspires to.” 

“Trust in dreams, for in them is the hidden gate to eternity.”

11. True love can’t be possessed.


“Love possesses not nor would it be possessed; For love is sufficient unto love. And think not you can direct the course of love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course. Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.”

12. Seek to put up with bad manners pleasantly.


“The real test of good manners is to be able to put up with bad manners pleasantly.”

13. Love binds everything together in perfect harmony.


“They say: ‘If a man knew himself, he would know all mankind.’ I say: ‘If a man loved mankind, he would know something of himself.”

14. Always look on the bright side of life.


“The optimist sees the rose and not its thorns; the pessimist stares at the thorns, oblivious to the rose.”

15. We don’t see things as they are. We see things as we are.


“The appearance of things changes according to the emotions; and thus we see magic and beauty in them, while the magic and beauty are really in ourselves.”

16. True love is the offspring of spiritual affinity.


“It is wrong to think that love comes from long companionship and persevering courtship. Love is the offspring of spiritual affinity and unless that affinity is created in a moment, it will not be created for years or even generations.”

17. Let there be space in your relationship.


“Let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.”

18. If you pray when it rains, make sure you also pray when the sun shines.


“You pray in your distress and in your need; would that you might pray also in the fullness of your joy and in your days of abundance.”

19. When you give of yourself, that’s when you truly give.


“You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.”

20. Real beauty comes from within.


“Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart.”

21. Your children are not your children. They are sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.


“Your children are not your children. They are sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They come through you but not from you. And though they are with you yet they belong not to you. You may give them your love but not your thoughts, for they have their own thoughts. You may house their bodies but not their souls, for their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams. You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.”

22. Every relationship should be free from bondage.


“No human relation gives one possession in another—every two souls are absolutely different. In friendship or in love, the two side by side raise hands together to find what one cannot reach alone.” 

“If you love somebody, let them go, for if they return, they were always yours. And if they don’t, they never were.”

23. Be thankful for both the good and the bad in your life. It’s all meant to teach you something.


“I have learned silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet, strange, I am ungrateful to those teachers.”

“When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy. When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.”

24. Your attitude towards life will determine life’s attitude towards you.


“Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.”

25. A friend who is far away is sometimes much nearer than one who is at hand.


“A friend who is far away is sometimes much nearer than one who is at hand. Is not the mountain far more awe-inspiring and more clearly visible to one passing through the valley than to those who inhabit the mountain?”

A saint in the wrong place by Paulo Coelho

Many a times I have struggled with question, why be good and loving. Is there some inherent great power in love which can transform other. This story by Paulo Coelho has got me thinking….


Once upon a time, there was a man who had been the soul of kindness all his life.

When he died, everyone assumed that he would go straight to Heaven, for the only possible place for a good man like him was Paradise.
The man wasn’t particularly bothered about going to Heaven, but that was where he went.

Now in those days, service in heaven was not all that it might be.
The reception desk was extremely inefficient, and the angel who received him gave only a cursory glance through the index cards before her and when she couldn’t find the man’s name, she sent him straight to Hell.

And in Hell no one asks to check your badge or your invitation, for anyone who turns up is invited in. The man entered and stayed.

Some days later, Lucifer stormed up to the gates of Heaven to demand an explanation from St Peter.

“What you’re doing is pure terrorism!” he said. “You sent that man down into Hell, and he’s completely undermining me! Right from the start, there he was listening to people, looking them in the eye, talking to them.
“And now everyone’s sharing their feelings and hugging and kissing. That’s not the sort of thing I want in Hell! Please, let him into Heaven!’

When Ramesh had finished telling the story, he looked at me fondly and said:
 
‘Live your life with so much love in your heart that if, by mistake, you were sent to Hell, the Devil himself would deliver you up to Paradise.’