Friday, December 31, 2010

Lessons learnt in time

Dear Readers,
I had been thinking about these things for a long time, and even wrote down a couple in my notebook, but I think the New Year's eve is the best time to put it all out there in writing. Some lessons may sound weird, others cliche, but bear with me if you can. I hope at least one or two of them make you think a bit, and that some might be useful in the coming years. I apologize in advance on any 'preachiness' you may encounter.
Here are some things I have learnt:

- Whatever happens, happens for the better. Not ‘best’.

- No matter how hard you try, there are still going to be a multitude of people upset with you for one reason or another. Just keep doing what you do.

- No two people have the same opinions on every matter.

- The story about a man traveling with his son and a donkey through various towns* is absolutely true. Whoever told this story was a genius.

- Also, the person who told the story about the blind men trying to describe an elephant by touch* was an even bigger genius than the previous one.

- Every lie you tell, will eventually find you one of these days in the worst circumstances. Hence, Honesty is always the best policy.

- People change. Not in drastic dramatic ways that make you shake your head in shock...but one slight change every minute of every day. 

- Integrity and sincerity is much more important than being correct or incorrect. If one is incorrect, but is completely sincere and steadfast in his/her belief, then he/she is a better person than someone who changes opinions as times change. The deeper the integrity, the more solid and strong the character of a person.

- It is better to be truly something, through and through: truly good, truly evil, truly sad, and truly crazy, than being halfway through everything.

- Those who have money may ‘have’ more, but those who have sense ‘enjoy’ more.

- Say it as it is. No other time will be provided to you in life, when you can stand and give your detailed speech to an attentive audience.

- The ‘truth’ may be controversial, upsetting and sound plain rude to people,  but speaking the truth and bearing the outcome of disapproval/discomfort is better than agreeing with the falsehoods being circulated in front of you. People may not like it- but at least you will make sure to wake up their conscience a little bit and be ashamed of themselves.

- Books are far better company than people.  But you are the best company you keep. Be interesting for your own sake.  Be more.

- Sadness makes a sensible person better. It makes an insensible git, more of an idiot.

- Being considerate towards other people does not guarantee reward, regard or acknowledgement. Sometimes it is even the gateway for emotional exploitation. Be prepared to bear with it.

- Some people are ‘outcasts’ for a reason. It’s good to be nice to them, but when the attention gets to their head, you should let them know what a favour you were doing in trying to include them in your life. If they get it, good for them. If they don’t, good for you.

- People who often don’t keep their words/promises are not good people. No matter how religious they are, and how sweetly they talk. Actions speak louder than words.

- Be sure to stop and acknowledge those people who made your life even a little bit better. Later on, these few acknowledgements will make you feel better.

- Forgive, but don’t forget your lesson.

- Never be a hypocrite. It will take a lot of effort to haul yourself over to one side of the situation, but do go over to one side. Decisions are almost never gain and gain situations.

- Being related by blood does not guarantee loyalty or companionship. In fact, nothing guarantees it. Unless you keep a pet.

- Apologies may make you sound stupid or desperate, but they cleanse your conscience. What the other person does with it is none of your business. They will pay for their lot.

- People who ‘do’ extra things in their lives, are more intelligent than anyone else.  A ‘one-track’ mind is equal to a ‘dull’ mind. Be interesting!

- Respect those who accept their mistakes. They are great people and few and far between.

- It is the hardest thing to do, but Give. Whatever you can, your time, your words, your emotions, your smiles. What you give, is truly what you have gained, even if it was totally lost on the person at the receiving end.

- There is more to people than their names, where they are from, what they do and their Facebook pages. ‘Know’ people when you have the chance.

- Good must defeat evil. Not in epic battles a la Lord of the Rings, but in real everyday life.  No heroes come and no angels descend to help you. You defeat evil, every time you see it.

- To ‘choose battles wisely’, doesn’t mean to turn a blind eye where it doesn’t concern you. Highlight the conflict, state clearly your stand, and make it obvious that you “choose” not to fight here.

-There is hope for humanity as long as there is hope for you being a better person than you presently are. If you stop now, the hope will diminish.

"For last year's words belong to last year's language, and next year's words await another voice" ~ T.S. Elliot

Hope you enjoy! And to each and every one of you I wish a Happy New Year!

(* famous folk stories told to me by my grandmother. Here is a link for the Donkey's tale, And here is another link about the Blind men and the Elephant told as a poem. )

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