Thursday, October 11, 2012

Sequential Date

Today is a special day for many - numerically, today is 10-11-12. It is not as popular as last year's 11-11-11, but Dec 12th will be, because it is 12-12-12.

Many set up there alarm clocks to ring at 07:08:09, on 10-11-12. If you missed it this morning, you have another shot in the evening.

For those who love numbers, this is sort of amusing to them. This kind of sequence started occurring every year since 2003, when we had 01-02-03. It will end for a while in 2014, with 12-13-14. Then we'll have to wait until 2103.

Happy Sequential Date.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A Birthday Wish

Anyone who is alive today will welcome a birthday wish, even if it comes from his/her diabolic enemy. Would any of us try to avoid that - can you think of anyone? Human birth is a miracle in itself and there has to be God's intervention during that process. Today, man with all his scientific and technological advancements cannot even create a small worm - God has to intervene there. Looking for a miracle - just look at a newborn!!

If one of our closest friends forgot to wish us on our birthday, we would let them know about it and ask for that wish.  A wish that's sincere and true is something anyone would love to hear.

Here is a message I received this afternoon.  It was from John, one of my contacts in the SAP world.  He did not say that it was his birthday today, rather implied it in his e-mail message (below).

I know that this...isn't particularly relevant to the world of SAP projects, but I just noticed that today is the birthday of novelist R.K. Narayan, jazz genius Thelonius Monk, David Lee Roth, and the beloved Kirsty MacColl ("Fairytale of New York"... the world's best Christmas song ever).

What an amazing amount of talent on the same birthday.

Makes you think.

Anyhoo, have an amazing week.


I did more than just writing a 'Happy Birthday' note for John. I called him and spoke to him. We never know if either the wishee or the wisher will be around next time to wish again.  After all, a birthday is a reminder to thank the Lord for our life. It is also an occasion during a calendar year to acknowledge the contributions made by that individual in our lives. Your life and presence on this planet means a lot to others, regardless of your personality, beliefs or deeds.



Sharing an article I read about perfectionists.
Many Americans consider themselves to be perfectionists.

But striving for perfection often leads to frustration, procrastination and stress-related symptoms, such as anxiety, anger and depression. And because perfectionists can be hard on others when they fail to measure up, perfectionism can also lead to loneliness.

"A perfectionist is someone who demands of himself or herself and others a higher quality of performance than is required by the situation," says Steven Hendlin, Ph.D., a clinical and sports psychologist in Irvine, Calif. "Anything short of perfection in their performance becomes unacceptable."

Click here to read more
This article is not aimed at anyone in particular and certainly not at women just because it appeared under women's health.

Do you know of a perfectionist? Sometimes, when I think of myself, I feel like I am more of one.

Here is a graphic that appeared in an article.

A modern proposal


Monday, October 8, 2012

Guardian Angel

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father.” - Matthew 18:10

The existence of a Guardian angel is one of the most comforting news both to parents and children alike. The wide belief is that a guardian angel protects both adults and children from dangers - both visible and invisible.

The role of an angel is to represent individuals before God, to watch over them always, to aid their prayers and to present their souls to God at death.

Even though we cannot see these angels, they are still there, continuing to take care of us while in pain and death. We usually don't realize the role of angels in the midst of horrible circumstances because their work is unseen and often not felt. They don't demand recognition for their work - they complete their good deeds quietly.

When disaster and suffering come to us in the physical realm, there may be something bigger and more important going on in the unseen spiritual realm. We just have to trust our God. The fact that God is in control, that He allows all pain and suffering for a reason, is the great comfort that we need to remember.

Your guardian angel will never forsake you, because God loves every creation and your soul is valuable to Him.


Updates - Oct 8th

Dear Class,

Some of you appeared for the SAT exam last Saturday and shared your experience with me. Let's wait and see how the scores turn out. What I have noticed is that students' score on the actual SAT falls in the same range while they were taking their practice exams - no surprise there. If your scores are way off (in the other direction) then it should be of concern.  The good news is that SAT scores can be improved (to a certain degree) by practice and re-taking the exam.  By now all your fears (and the hype) about the exam must have disappeared. I know that feeling :-)

My recommendation would to be keep track of those colleges that you plan to attend. Speak to students who have enrolled there, and find out more about their admission process. You can still work hard and improve your school grades as well as SAT scores (if required).

Another recommendation would be to keep your online/social profile clean. Don't let your online profile negatively impact your admission process. Your online profile speaks a lot about you - more than the application packet you fill out. In this age of digital era, numerous admission officers check about an applicant's online profile. I recently visited a college admissions office and learned that this kind of research is done by students (like you) who work part time at the admissions office. Click here to read an article from Kaplan with 10 tips on managing your social media footprint.

As the job market gets tighter, many people opt to enroll in college. In a good economy, college enrollment tends to be low. This is to remind you that with an unemployment rate dwindling around 8%, many aspire to go get a college degree at this time.  Factor in this competition as well, while applying to a college.

Disclaimer - I am not a qualified adviser on SAT exams and the right thing for you would be to seek legitimate advice from your school counselor. All I am sharing is what I have observed and read.

In case you were wondering where I was, last Sunday - I did not come to church, and hence you did not see me at the Sunday school. I was told it would have been a very brief class (15 mins) in light of Bala Balika Samajam.  SAT exam was the reason I did not push you for any events during BBS.

Also last weekend, I spoke to a very talented, knowledgeable, committed and dedicated teacher with a wealth of church experience who could potentially take my place. However, this teacher has asked me for 2 weeks time to step in, due to prior commitments.  As soon as I hear more, I will share it with you.

Can you believe this year is almost over? Fall season is kicking in and it's getting cold. Soon we will be celebrating New year and buying the 2013 calendars.

Wish you a great week ahead!

The seeker of truth

Once upon a time, a man was seeking for truth. After years of searching, the seeker was told to go to a cave, in which he would find an answering well.

"Ask the well what is truth", he was advised, "and the well will reveal it to you."

Having found the well, the seeker asked that most fundamental question. And from the depths came the answer, "Go to the village crossroad: there you shall find what you are seeking."

Filled with hope and anticipation, the man ran to the crossroad to find only three rather uninteresting shops. One shop was selling pieces of metal, another sold wood, and a third shop sold thin wires that were on sale. Nothing and no one there seemed to have much to do with the revelation of truth.

Disappointed, the seeker returned to the well to demand an explanation, but he was told, "You will understand it in the future."

When the man protested, all he got in return were the echoes of his own shouts. Indignant for having been made a fool of - or he so thought at the time, the seeker continued his wanderings in search of truth.

As years passed by, the memory of his experience at the well gradually faded until one night, while he was walking in the moonlight, the sound of sitar music caught his attention. It was wonderful music and it was played with great mastery and inspiration.

Profoundly moved, the truth seeker felt drawn towards the player. He looked at the fingers dancing over the strings. He became aware of the sitar itself. And then suddenly he exploded in a cry of joyous recognition: the sitar was made out of wires and pieces of metal and wood just like those he had once seen in the three stores and had thought it to be without any particular significance.

At last, he understood the message of the well:
All of us, we have already been given everything we need.
Our task is just to assemble them and use them in the appropriate way.
Nothing is meaningful so long as we perceive only separate fragments.
But as soon as the fragments come together into a synthesis, a new entity emerges, whose nature we could not have foreseen by considering the fragments alone.


Sunday, October 7, 2012

Good Friends

Good friends are Lord's blessing. Our true and good friends step in when we are in trouble, while others walk out, and when we are in pain. Let's take a look at the book of Job - Job 2: 11 - 13 which talks about 3 friends.

11 When Job’s three friends, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite, heard about all the troubles that had come upon him, they set out from their homes and met together by agreement to go and sympathize with him and comfort him. 

12 When they saw him from a distance, they could hardly recognize him; they began to weep aloud, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads. 

13 Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was.

Note the willingness of these friends to be with Job - these friends must have been certainly leading busy lives for themselves; They make time to be with their friend Job. Pay attention to Job - who is ready to listen to them. The three friends are willing to enter into the sorrows of job and mingle their tears with his.  Next, they are determined to comfort him and wipe his tears using the blotter of truth.

After reading this, I was pondering on a question: "If someday I am in deep pain (like Job), do I have one good friend (not 3 - just one good friend) who will be willing to come sit with me for just 1 day sympathizing and comforting me?"

That is when I came across a piece of advice for kindergarten students that became valuable. It says how we could sow the seeds of friendship when our lives are still good - steps on how we could earn and maintain our good friends. It also talks about how to be a good friend.  Though it may sound so simple, it contains few golden nuggets which I could use.

To have good friends you must be a good friend.

Here are some of the ways good friends treat each other:

Good friends listen to each other.

Good friends don't put each other down or hurt each other's feelings.

Good friends try to understand each other's feelings and moods.

Good friends help each other solve problems.

Good friends give each other compliments.

Good friends can disagree without hurting each other.

Good friends are dependable.

Good friends respect each other.

Good friends are trustworthy.

Good friends give each other room to change.

Good friends care about each other.

May the heavens shower your life with countless true and good friends. May their feet be swift to be near you at times of need. May their hands be long to embrace you during difficult times. May their ears be large enough to listen to all your petitions. May they have a small and well guarded mouth to speak to you. May they be with you regardless of seasons at all times.