Showing posts with label Being Positive. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Being Positive. Show all posts

Monday, March 30, 2020

The End

The last few years have been tough.
But let's admit it - The last few days have been harder.

5 days ago, our PM did it again. He delivered a primetime speech, filled with enough anecdotes that included breaking Corona into an interesting acronym, to shut down our country. 
Yes, we had to shut down. Because let's face it. Our healthcare infrastructure is not prepared to handle an epidemic, let alone a pandemic.
Yes, we need to do what we need to do to prevent India from becoming a powder keg for the deadly virus.

My beef is with the way our PM does this. Sure, this virus much like black-money and corruption needs be to nipped and tough measures need to be taken. 
Like demonetization, he gave a country of 1.2 billion just 4 hours to shut down and stay home for 21 days. 
He had to be seen taking a tough and a much-needed stand. He had to be seen in control. 
But what ensued was utter chaos. Today, he came out with guns blazing defending his decision. Who else thinks our PM hasn't learned any lesson yet. 

Thousands of cities and towns across India has seen a crisis on the scale of what happened when Partition happened. Millions of people scrambled to stock up on essentials and more. Often stripping shelves bare. The early birds got the ready-to-eat packets and then more. The later birds were lathi-charged and if they were lucky, stood in lines 2 meters apart for hours to get milk and the bare necessities. I know because I stood in a line for 3 hours myself. 

And we're the lucky ones. 

The millions of migrants that build and run India heard half the first half, panicked, picked themselves, and ran. For their lives. It was either stay home and starve to death or flee and die in transit. For millions, this is still the prevailing truth. 

To the millions (in India, and billions across the world) who aren't quarantining themselves, declaring their travel history, or are otherwise continuing with their daily lives with a cavalier attitude I wonder- 
What will it take for them to take this outbreak seriously?

Where the politicians left, our media cued in with their own brand of paranoia and fed on the collective fear of apocalypse. Astrologers and your helpful chatty neighbor have been having a field day predicting all sorts of bullshit. 

But enough of the negativity.
As the world learns to stay, work, and play from home, I want this post to help you count your blessings. I know I do.

  • Most importantly, I am thankful that I am healthy (at the time of writing this post). I ask that you join me in silent prayer for the lakhs who are fighting this virus.
  • I am thankful millions like me can work from home. Unlike the tens of millions more who cannot. It would have been unimaginable to work from home even 15 years ago. Today, I don't even have to step out of my home to be productive. 
  • I am thankful that we have a roof over our heads. A safe haven. Unlike the millions in countries like Syria and Iraq and the millions of refugees, the homeless, the disenfranchised, and the persecuted. Apart from making sure we stay safe and clean, we don't have to worry about a drone or a missile strike killing us when we least expect it.
  • I am thankful, and this is for the millions who are actually taking this seriously, that we have the mental and emotional awareness of what we are going through and the gravity of the situation. Unlike those suffering from mental illness or are otherwise unable to understand why their worlds have suddenly changed.
  • I am thankful that I have the intellect to discern information from propaganda. I am glad I question and like to verify the facts instead of consuming every piece of information we're fed now. Being able to separate the fake from the truth is such a valuable trait. 
  • I am thankful that I have the money to buy what I'll need to ride this wave. I silently pray for the millions who aren't sure if they will be alive in 30 days from now.
  • I am thankful that my family, friends, coworkers, and loved ones are safe. I can't imagine the grief of those who lost someone close to their hearts at a time like this.
  • I am thankful that I am able to stay in touch with all my loved ones. I am thankful for all the love and prayers. I am alive only because of your prayers and I hope to be able to return all the love I've got.
  • I am thankful that we have millions of people who are doing what they need to do so that I can write and you can read this post. I am thankful to all the millions who are keeping our cities and towns powered, sewage clear, and water running. Asians, unlike our western cousins, don't use TP.
  • I am thankful that we have doctors and healthcare professionals working round the clock doing everything humanly possible to heal the sick, save the dying, and immunize the rest of us. 
  • I am glad we still have millions of good Samaritans helping our communities stay afloat, at these times. Cooking, cleaning and doing everything else we cannot (or would not) do. 
  • I am thankful that I am able to spend more time with my loved ones at home. I regret not spending enough time with my dad in his final years. I don't want to regret not spending time with family anymore. I am thankful for technology that enables us to be as connected as ever, even during an unprecedented crisis like this, to everyone and everything that matters. 
  • I am thankful we have stopped polluting our skies and clogging our roads, even if it is for a brief moment. Can I say how wonderful it is to wake up to birds chirping rather than the horns blaring?
  • I am thankful for this time of quiet introspection and solitude. Unlike the millions whose lives have changed forever.
  • ...

This list is long.
But you get the drift right. I want our rally cry to be one where we are positively encouraging. We can't shut all the negativity out, but we sure can drown them.

Recently a client of my company said something that struck me as profound - She was relating how she likes to end every conversation, digital or otherwise, by saying 'Choose Joy'. I was inspired. 
Like a lowly candle tearing into the darkness, I want to raise my voice. This time for more goodness. I choose joy.

And beginning with this post, I've decided to not write politics and social satire anymore. 
My readers get more than their daily recommended dosage of that from other sources online and offline.

I'm retiring my brand of satire here because I've grown weary of readers sending me veiled threats. 

Starting as soon as next week, I'll be back. With the renewed focus of a little candle in the darkness. 

Until then, stay safe and be thankful for the little joys of life. 

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Life's Greatest Secret Revealed | Manna for your Soul

Over the past couple of months, I've been meeting people from all faiths and one of the common questions I hear is 'What is the meaning of our life?', 'What is the purpose of our being on this planet?' 

In the Bible, the book of Psalms is perhaps one of the most evergreen prophetic verses in the old testament. Psalm 92 talks about being fruitful at every stage of your life. 
Psalms 92:12-14 tells us how God has a plan for your life and a way of using you*. 

You could be a Hindu, a Moslem, a Sikh or a Christian. No matter what we call Him, we are but clay in His hands. The true test of a believer is when you live your life as if it were your last. 

In the past, every time I was in a difficult situation, I'd curse God because I felt He was not protecting me from evil. Like a capricious child, I would fret and frown about why He abandoned me. My daily prayer time would be another opportunity to blame Him and justify myself and promises to be good and do good and offer more tithes. Sounds familiar right?
Over time, I realized that Gods sovereign rule will reign over our lives and He positions us exactly where we have to be at that point of time. 

The bedrock of Christianity is - Continuous spiritual growth and fruitfulness does not come automatically. But then again, if you look carefully this is the foundation of all religions too.

In John 12:24, we read about how to be fruitful we have to die to this world. Surprisingly this explains the fundamental beliefs of jihadis and religious fanatics. What this scripture actually means is to detach yourself from the tentacles of this world so that you can be truly spiritually fruitful. To be selfless, start with being less selfish. 

Social scientists have proven that each person has a direct influence on 20 different people. Over the past several years of blogging, I've made good friends with people from around the world. Anonymous people who share my views on several things. Now, I've never met these people, but the bond we share is no less strong. Today as I write exclusively on spirituality, I feel I am finally getting to do God's will in my life. But I was not always this way. 

It took years and months for me to get to this point where I could write about His word. 
Like bamboo that takes months and weeks to build roots and Palm trees that take 15-30 years to be productive, as a young believer I needed years of TLC from Him to get to where I am today. As a writer, this is how I serve Him. 

And the best part is - God promises us that whatever we do in His name will flourish. How powerful is that!

Verses 13-14 tells us that He is willing to use us anytime and anywhere. Looking back, I can now see how he has used me when I was going through painful separations from parents and loved ones, and I now realize that He put me through this so that I can now speak about it and comfort those who are going through pain in their lives. 

Author and christian minister Matthew Henry wrote 'The last days of saints are sometimes the best days and the last walk the best walk'. 

So why is He giving us all this? Surely, there could be something that He wants from us, right? Yes, there is. 
Like a parent who gives everything to their child but wants nothing but unabashed and unconditional love in return, God wants us to glorify him. That's all! In all that we do, He wishes that we glorify Him. 

Today, if you are wondering how He can use you where you are at this moment, consider this thought - Trees are not planted by accident and mountains are not an anomaly. You don't have to be a theologian. Like everything in nature on earth and in the little we know but cannot fathom and the vast universe of what we do not know, you are not an accident. Why?
Because if God could place us on a planet that was just the right place at the right galaxy on the right constellation on the right universe, then He surely has a massively grand plan for YOU*. 

God gives us the reason for lively praise for his goodness towards us and whether you are young child growing up or an old person into your sunset years, know that the best is yet to come when you let Him.

*But are you willing to let Him use you?

Sunday, January 01, 2012

My 365 Challenge: 'Being Current'

It's that time of the year again. When the adventurous in us decide to make resolutions for the next 12 months. 

'Quit smoking' appears to be a popular resolution. Not something most tobacco companies would cherish waking up to. 
Next on the list would be save money and resist the urge to splurge. Again, not good for the retailers. 

I've never bothered to create a resolution because there is something in me that fights against such a resolution the moment one is created. 

Many I know have decided on the 365 day challenge (Nevermind the leap year). People who enroll/choose such a challenge and they must do something interesting every day of the year. And document it online.

Now this could be the beginning of something nice!

My resolution for this year:

Sharper and better, I've resolved to write more consistently and prolifically. Now, while this could mean that I could end up dredging the internet and giving you a 'India TV' kind of kitsch, I intend to focus on news that actually make a difference. 
It could be anything; could be about that homeless bloke winning a million $ in lottery, who then spends it on women, booze and then goes back to living on the streets; or it could be about that heart rending story of how separated twins found each other after decades; it could be pure evil or puppy love. And everything in between. 

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