Saturday, July 3, 2010

Vacation with kids

Earlier today, I published another post about vacation attitude.  Well, that was for a normal human being.  

Today, we have some kids who don't want to go on vacations.  Instead, all they want is to stay glued to their computers (browsing web, playing games etc.) inside their house.  

If parents want to go on vacation, they have to have some physical strength to drag such kids out!!!

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Vacation Attitude


Have you ever noticed - we get more done in the week before we go on vacation than we do in the previous month.

Have you ever thought - why?

It's because we are very focused during that time. We don't allow ourselves to waste our time. We know exactly what must be accomplished before we feel comfortable leaving for vacation.

Why can't we have this attitude everyday? The reason is that we know we will be there tomorrow, and we allow, "time wasters" to creep into our day and steal our time. We can be very busy but achieve few results.

We need to develop a "vacation attitude" every day by being focused on what we need to accomplish by the end of each day. By focusing on results, we are spending our time wisely. By developing this attitude, we dramatically improve our performance, our productivity and our value to others.

Let's eliminate time wasters by adopting a vacation attitude everyday.


Credits: Catherine Pulsifer

Friday, July 2, 2010

Youth



Youth is not a time of life, it is a state of mind; it is not a matter of rosy cheeks, red lips, and supple knees; it is a matter of the will, a quality of the imagination, a vigor of the emotions; it is the freshness of the deep springs of life.

Youth means the predominance of courage over timidity, of adventure over the love of ease. This often exists in a man of sixty more than in a boy of twenty.

Nobody grows old merely by a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals.

Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul. Worry, doubt, self-distrust, fear and despair - these bow the heart and turns the spirit back to dust.

Whether sixty or sixteen, there is in every human being's heart the love of wonder, the sweet amazement at the stars and the starlike things, the undaunted challenge of events, the unfailing child-like appetite for what-next, and the joy of the game of living.

You are as young as your faith,
As old as your doubt;
As young as your self-confidence,
As old as your fear;
As young as your hope,
As old as your despair.

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The Clever Substitute


A certain priest at an Indian church was was preoccupied with thoughts of how, after the worship service, during announcements, he was going to ask the congregation to come up with more money for the upcoming family conference.  He was also upset to find that the regular organist was sick and a substitute had been brought in at the last minute. The substitute wanted to know what to play.

“Here’s a copy of the service,” the priest said impatiently. “But you’ll have to think of something to play after I make the announcement about the finances.”

During the announcement, the priest paused and addressed the congregation, “Brothers and Sisters, our church has to raise $2,000 for the family conference. Any of you who can pledge $100 or more, please stand up.”

At that moment, the substitute organist played the Indian National Anthem, “Jana Gana Mana.....”

And that is how the substitute became the regular organist!

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Lucky Adam

Top 10 reasons why Adam was a lucky man:

10. He is the only man who has never been compared to the man Eve could have married.

9. He had no in-laws to drop in.

8. There were no brother-in-laws for him to keep up with.

7. There were no credit cards OR shopping centers.

6. He never had his dinner interrupted by telemarketer wanted him to switch long distance carriers.

5. He got away with wearing a simple wardrobe.

4. He never had to shovel snow!

3. If he had gone bald, who would have known that wasn’t normal?

2. There was no “standard weight and height” tables – and the word FAT in Bible meant ‘good’.

1. When God asked “Adam, where are you?” He replied, “The woman you gave me was guiding me.”

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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Deathbed Experiences


A renowned expert offers a new book on death and grief and shares visions reported by loved ones before their final breaths. David Kessler is one of the most well-known experts and lecturers on death and grief.

Below is an article on 5 common deathbed experiences:

Throughout my years working with the dying, I have noticed commonly shared experiences that remain beyond our ability to explain and fully understand. In the tapestry of life and death, we may begin to see connections to the past that we missed in life. While death may look like a loss to the living, the last hours of a dying person may be filled not with emptiness, but rather with fullness. Here are some of the most common visions and experiences that the dying have:

1. Our Mother Comes for Us. It shouldn't be too surprising that the person who is actually present as we cross the threshold of life and take our first breath once again appears at the threshold as we take our last breath. The one who cared for us in life seems to also care just as much in death. If you find the concept of your loved one's deceased mother greeting the dying to be impossible or ridiculous, consider this. As a parent, you protect your child from household dangers. You hold their hands when they cross the street on their first day of school, you take care of them when they have the flu and you see them through as many landmark moments as you can. Now fast forward 90 or 100 years into the future after you yourself have passed away. If there is an afterlife and you receive a message that your son or daughter, now old and afraid, will be dying soon, and you are allowed to go and meet them, wouldn't you?

Roberta's mother seemed to have made such a choice. Roberta lay at death's door going in and out of consciousness while her daughter Audrey sat attentively by her bed. Suddenly Roberta whispered, "My mother is here. Audrey, your grandmother is here. She is so beautiful." Audrey looked at the foot of her mother's bed, looked up and around the room. "Mom, where is she? I don't see her," Audrey frantically asked. The dying woman turned abruptly to her daughter as if withdrawing from the vision of her own dead mother and said sternly, "Of course you can't see her; she's here for me, not you!" Her daughter understood perfectly.

2. Trips. The phenomenon of preparing oneself for a journey is not new or unusual. As much as death may be thought of as a transition or journey by a loved one, in their last hours, the dying do not associate this trip with death. I haven't heard anyone say, "I have to pack my bags or get ready for my trip into death." In their minds, the trip remains associated with life. Even though death is the trip of a lifetime, they just don't make that association.

Many people don't realize that this sense of a journey is part of the history of hospice itself. During the Middle Ages, a hospice was a way station where travelers could find safe haven, a small oasis of support for those on the road. Travelers were afforded the opportunity to rest and reenergize themselves before they resumed their long, wearying journeys to sacred destinations. Some travelers, literally at death's door, were welcomed, given bedding, food and compassionate companionship. While many modern-day hospices may not know this history, the archetype remains embedded in the subconscious of the dying. Whatever the origins may be, dying may be the rest we need before our final journey.

3. Seeing Angels. We've all heard about the mysterious Angel of Death, the scary being who arrives unnoticed and whisks us off into the darkness. But society's perception of this has been changing. Take, for instance, the recent portrayal of the Angel of Death as a kind-spirited being in the popular TV series, "Touched by an Angel."

Likewise, my close friend Marianne Williamson once remarked: "I used to think that it would be a terrible thing to behold, but I now realize that the Angel of Death would have to be God's most tender and understanding ally in order to be sent to us at such a significant, frightening juncture."

It's not necessary to debate the reality of angels and other deathbed phenomena. They're much more than simple entities that can be proved or disproved. They comfort us and offer us hope. They're part of a religious and spiritual belief system that many of us hold sacred. And although some like to think of angels as "New Age," references to them can be traced back to the Old Testament. For example, in The Book of Genesis, God starts out using the word I, but then switches to We. Many interpret this as referring to the angels, who existed before creation.

There are those who firmly assert that no one dies alone; in fact, many cultures believe that from the moment of birth to the end of physical existence, we're in the presence of God and angels. In time, they'll help us transition to a purely spiritual existence; and they'll also be there for those we leave behind, reminding us that our loved ones exist beyond death.

4. Crowded Rooms. I've been intrigued by the use of the words "crowd" and "crowded." While I started compiling examples to include in my new book, "Visions, Trips and Crowded Rooms: Who and What You See Before You Die," I was surprised by how similar they were. In fact, it was hard to pick which ones to use because they were all so much alike. Now I realize that the very thing that makes them repetitious is also what makes them unique.

Perhaps we don't have a full grasp of how many people we've touched in our lives. We don't remember everyone we've met, and we certainly can't recall all of the individuals who crossed our paths when we were children. In our journeys of life and death, we may not always think about those who have come before us; we just know where we, as individuals, are positioned in the family tree. In dying, however, perhaps we're able to make the connections to the past that we'd missed earlier in life.

I often say that when someone is dying, it may be a "standing-room only" experience. And as I've stated previously, I firmly believe that just as loving hands greet us when we're born, loving arms will embrace us when we die.

5. Reaching Upward. Hands passionately reaching upward to some unseen force is witnessed in many deathbed encounters. The dying seem to always be reaching upward. Usually toward a corner of the room. In fact, most visions also appear upward and in the corner of the room.

One person, for instance, recently shared that her father, who had cancer, was barely alive after a second cardiac arrest he'd had in the hospital. He was connected to every machine possible, and had a tube in his nose and another down his throat that enabled him to breathe. Suddenly, he lifted both arms up in the air, stretching and seemingly reaching toward something. The daughter quickly showed the nurse, who responded by explaining that patients are always trying to pull their tubes out. Although the daughter pointed out that her father wasn't touching his nose or mouth, or any of the other tubes surrounding him, the nurse continued to turn a deaf ear and increased the patient's level of sedation. The daughter, of course, felt that something significant had occurred.

Possible Responses

How should we respond to these experiences our loved ones may have in their last hours or days of life? There's really no point in telling your father that he is hallucinating, that mom has been dead and can't possibly be there. For all we know, the veil that separates life and death may lift in the last moments of life, and your father may be more in touch with that world than with ours.

And if Aunt Betty is not there, well, does it matter? Instead of disagreeing, try asking him, "What is Betty saying? Tell me more about your vision." Perhaps Betty is telling your father that it's okay to die, or maybe they're reminiscing about growing up together. I've heard people say to their loved ones: "It's great that Betty is here with you," or "I knew that mother would come to meet you," or "I'm so glad that mom is with you now."


Credits: David Kessler

Committee



Some have said that a camel is a horse that was assembled by a committee.

Here are three possible definitions for a committee:

A group of people who, individually, can do nothing, but collectively can meet and decide that nothing can be done.

A group which succeeds in getting something done when, and only when, it consists of three members, one of whom happens to be sick and the other absent.

A collection of the unfit chosen from the unwilling by the incompetent to do the unnecessary.

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New Texting/Cell Phone Law in GA


New cell phone/texting driving laws have been signed into law by Governor Perdue and are effective on July 1st, 2010 (today).

Senate Bill 360 is the Caleb Sorohan Act and prohibits individuals from using wireless telecommunications devices for writing, sending or receiving text messages while operating a motor vehicle.

Specifically the new law states: "No person shall operate a motor vehicle on any public road or highway of this state while using a wireless telecommunications device to write, send, or read any text based communication, including but not limited to a text message, instant message, electronic mail, or Internet data."

The fine for offenders will be $150 and one point on their driver license, the new law goes into effect on July 1st, 2010.

To read the bill go to Senate Bill 360

House Bill 23 prohibits drivers under the age of 18 from using a wireless communication device.

Specifically the new law states: "prohibits use of wireless telecommunications devices by persons under 18 years of age with an instruction permit or Class D license while operating a motor vehicle"

Like the other new driving law, the fine for offenders will be $150 and one point on their driver license, the new law goes into effect on July 1st, 2010.

To read the bill go to House Bill 23

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The Journey


Two brothers decided to dig a deep hole behind their house. As they were working, a couple of older boys stopped by to watch.

"What are you doing?" asked one of the visitors.

"We plan to dig a hole all the way through the earth!" one of the brothers volunteered excitedly.

The older boys began to laugh, telling the younger ones that digging a hole all the way through the earth was impossible. After a long silence, one of the diggers picked up jar full shiny pebbles, worms and a wide assortment of odd insects. He showed it to the scoffing visitors and said quietly and confidently, "Even if we don't dig all the way through the earth, look what we found along the way."

Maybe their goal was too ambitious, but it did get them to dig. And that is what following a dream is about – our best dreams point us where we want to go and then nudge us in that direction. In other words, they set us to digging.

But you know how it goes – you just won't achieve everything you attempt. You may shoot for the moon and only hit the neighbor's window.

But here is the wonder of it all - when you fall short of your aim, perhaps you can say, "Yes, but look at what I found along the way. Look at the wonderful things which have come into my life because I tried to do something."

Those boys got it right. It is in the digging that life is lived. It's the joy in the journey that matters most.


Credits: S Goodier
Image: Flickr

Was Away


I had been out - away from the internet and hence could not post anything yesterday.

Shall try to make up for the void during the course of this week.

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Air Travel



Largest Passenger Plane: Airbus 380 is nearly 240 feet long, almost 80 feet high, and has a wingspan of more than 260 feet. The double-decker plane has a standard seating capacity of 555 passengers. You’ll find the plane in the fleets of Air France, Emirates, Lufthansa, Qantas and Singapore Airlines.


Fastest Passenger Plane - the fastest passenger plane is the Cessna Citation X, which zooms at speeds of more than 600 mph — fast enough to get us between Los Angeles and New York City in about four hours.


World's Busiest Airport: Whether you’re measuring the volume of passengers or the number of takeoffs and landings, no airport is busier than Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. More than 88 million passengers shuffled through the Atlanta airport in 2009, with another 20 million in the first three months of 2010. Dubai is hoping its new Al Maktoum International Airport, which opened on June 27, will someday become the world's busiest, but it looks like it'll take a few years before it eclipses Atlanta.


Longest Passenger Terminal: Kansai International Airport, just outside Osaka, Japan, has only one terminal, but it’s a whopper: It’s more than a mile long, and the world’s longest. To help passengers get around, the airport employs a sophisticated people-moving system called the Wing Shuttle.


Widest Airplane Seats: first-class seats that are 36 inches wide — that’s a full three feet! — on Cathay Pacific Airways’ 747-400 and 777-300ER, and Gulf Air’s and Turkish Airlines’ 777-300ER. On the other end of the spectrum, Delta Air Lines’ regional-use Saab 340 planes have a seat width of just 16 inches.


Most Delayed Airports: In March 2010, Forbes reported that the most delayed airport for departures during the previous year was Beijing Capital International Airport, where only 38 percent of commercial passenger flights left on time. For arrivals, the worst delays were at Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi, India, where only 45 percent of passenger flights arrived as scheduled.




Longest Non-stop Flight: If you are traveling between Newark, N.J., and Singapore, he good news is that you can make the 9,535-mile journey in 19 hours on Singapore Airlines. On the other hand, that’s a long time to spend on a plane without a layover. 


Picture Credits: Airbus SAA, Science Faction, Chris Rank, Photononstop, Cathay Pacific, Yang Liu, Getty Images. 
News Credit: bing

The calling

A father and son were spending time on the beach.  The boy walked along the ocean shore, trying not to stray. He looked up to his father saying, “Dad, I want to play.”

His father looked upon him, with love showing in his eyes. “Do what you want to, my son. But do not leave my side.”

“I would never leave you Daddy, I love you way too much, ” said the son. But the boy took a step away, out of his father’s range of touch. He walked through the surf, the waves tickling one toe. “If I take one more step in,” he thought, “Father will never know.”

His father called out to him, “Son, remain close to me!”

The boy thought, “At the moment I don’t need you!”

His father felt a sadness, but he held his tongue. Sometimes lessons need to be learned even when so young. The boy stepped out a little further, the water covering his waist.

His father spoke with urgency, “My son, come back to me,” he said, “The day is almost done!”

“Not yet, Dad,” the boy yelled, “I’m having fun!”

The boy did not have his father’s insight. So he could not yet tell, the tide was coming in fast. There would be no time to yell.

“Father!” he tried to scream, as the water covered his head. “I need you now, Daddy!” was what the boy had said. And in a single instant his father was by his side. “I thought you left me, Daddy. I thought you went to hide.”

The father looked upon his son. A tear streaming down his cheek. The boy looked upon his father and cried the sobs of the meek.

“I would never leave you son, for I love you just the same.” “I was only waiting for you to call upon my name.”

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Monday, June 28, 2010

Three Wishes


Alexander the Great, after conquering many kingdoms, was returning home. On the way, he fell ill and it took him to his death bed. With death staring him in his face, Alexander realized how his conquests, his great army, his sharp sword and all his wealth were of no consequence.

He now longed to reach home to see his mother's face and bid her his last adieu. But, he had to accept the fact that his sinking health would not permit him to reach his distant homeland.

The mighty conqueror lay prostrate and pale, helplessly waiting to breathe his last. He called his generals and said, "I will depart from this world soon, I have three wishes, please carry them out without fail."

With tears flowing down their cheeks, the generals agreed to abide by their king's last wishes.

"My first desire is that," said Alexander, "My physicians alone must carry my coffin."

After a pause, he continued, "Secondly, I desire that when my coffin is being carried to the grave, the path leading to the graveyard be strewn with gold, silver and precious stones which I have collected in my treasury."

The king felt exhausted after saying this. He took a minute's rest and continued. "My third and last wish is that both my hands be kept dangling out of my coffin."

The people who had gathered there wondered at the king's strange wishes. But no one dare bring the question to their lips. Alexander's favorite general kissed his hand and pressed them to his heart. "O king, we assure you that your wishes will all be fulfilled. But tell us why do you make such strange wishes?"

At this Alexander the Great, took a deep breath and said: "I would like the world to know of the three lessons I have just learnt.

Lessons to learn from last 3 wishes of Alexander the Great...

I want my physicians to carry my coffin because people should realize that no doctor can really cure any body. They are powerless and cannot save a person from the clutches of death. So let not people take life for granted.

The second wish of strewing gold, silver and precious stones on the way to the graveyard is to tell People that not even a fraction of gold will come with me. I spent all my life earning riches but cannot take anything with me. Let people realize that it is a sheer waste of time to chase wealth.

And about my third wish of having my hands dangling out of the coffin, I wish people to know that I came empty handed into this world and empty handed I go out of this world.

With these words, the King closed his eyes. Soon he let death conquer him and breathed his last.

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Sunday, June 27, 2010

The secret ears


“Can I see my baby?” the happy new mother asked. When the bundle was nestled in her arms and she moved the fold of cloth to look upon his tiny face, she gasped.

The doctor turned quickly and looked out the tall hospital window. The baby had been born without ears. Time proved that the baby’s hearing was perfect. It was only his appearance that was marred.

When he rushed home from school one day and flung himself into his mother’s arms, she sighed, knowing that his life was to be a succession of heartbreaks.

He blurted out the tragedy. “A boy, a big boy… called me a freak.”

He grew up, handsome for his misfortune. A favorite with his fellow students, he might have been class president, but for that. He developed a gift, a talent for literature and music.

“But, you might mingle with other young people,” his mother reproved him, but felt a kindness in her heart.

The boy’s father had a session with the family physician. Could nothing be done?

“I believe I could graft on a pair of outer ears, if they could be procured,” the doctor decided.

Whereupon, the search began for a person who would make such a sacrifice for a young man. Two years went by.

Then his father said, “You are going to the hospital, son. Mother and I have someone who will donate the ears you need. But, it’s a secret who it is.”

The operation was a brilliant success, and a new person emerged. His talents blossomed into genius, and school and college became a series of triumphs. Later, he married and entered the diplomatic service.

“But, I must know!” He urged his father, “Who gave so much for me? I could never do enough for him.”

“I do not believe you could,” said the father, “but, the agreement was that you are not to know… not yet.”

The years kept their profound secret, but the day did come. It was one of the darkest days that ever pass through a son. He stood with his father over his mother’s casket. Slowly, tenderly, the father stretched forth a hand and raised the thick, reddish-brown hair to reveal that the mother had no outer ears.

“Mother said she was glad she never let her hair be cut,” he whispered gently, “and nobody ever thought mother less beautiful, did they?”

Real beauty lies not in the physical appearance, but in the heart. Real treasure lies not in what can be seen, but in what cannot be seen. Real love lies not in what is done and known, but in what is done and not known.

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