Friday, May 25, 2007

Compiled by: Dr. G. V. Sudheendra

Every one of us has been endowed with just one life. Whether we make it or mar it is entirely in our hands.

Every day, we hear or come across instances where people who were down out rise out of their abyss and shine in a new life. We also know that those riding high and mighty take a toss from which they cannot survive. This is the logic of life - The Life Circle. . Anything that is above, will, eventually, have to come down. But it need not and does not always come down low enough to unseat you. How you manage this trough, if it occurs in your life, vastly depends on how you tackle life.

“My strength fails me and the light of my eyes is gone from me…….I am ready to fall and my pain is ever with me” So wrote the Psalmist, King David , almost 3000 years ago, in guilt and suffering. Perhaps, someone you loved has left you or been snatched away by death. Or you have been eased out of a job which meant everything to your life, or a beloved child is in trouble, or you have done something wrong and are overburdened by the weight of your guilt . The worst part of it is that these crisis come in all our lives and we are unable to imagine a way out. Some may try running away from the problem or resort to meaningless pursuits like alcohol, drugs, love affairs and other methods of just listlessly killing the hours.

Take heart!. Every cell in our body has been programmed to fight for life. Life is a gift from God, a candle to burn ever so brightly, a fire meant to light other fires. How do you learn to rise and walk; to cherish life against the exhaustion of guilt or sorrow or failure; to hold until the lights come on again?

First and foremost, invite yourself to live. Seek those who have traversed these “dark woods’ in their lives. These people are everywhere, making you realize that you are not alone. Once you believe in this, “your belief will help create a fact”

Next, forgive yourself and forgive others. Whatever the cause of our trouble, we often see in it some real or imaginary fault of our own. If you have done something wring, there is always a restorative at hand. First, face it. Tell yourself, “I am sorry. I will not do it again”. If possible, try to repair the damage caused by your actions. Then put your sins and failures behind you and refill the pool of your life with new acquaintances and enthusiasm. Never brood over what people have done to you. Remember that those who hurt you often do so out of their own problems, not out of their perception of you. If you deserve the injury done to you, learn from it. If you didn’t, forget it.

Most important of all, regain your self-esteem. Begin by giving up the defensive masks behind which most of us often lurk behind when meeting the world. Always stand for your own values; speak well of yourself, both within yourself and aloud.. Be as generous to yourself as you would be to others. Then stop wondering whether you will fail in your attempts. Remember, people often fail-they don’t always succeed! Remember, we often fail because we try for something bigger than ourselves; and that is what we should be doing. It has been wisely said - “think of what you have instead of what you lack”. This is important, because in the depth of defeat, we often feel that we have nothing to give to the world.

Don’t isolate yourself. Return to the world of other people. This may not always be easy, but make an honest attempt. Sometimes, the concern others have for us can rekindle our loss or pain, but it cannot be helped. We do need time to be alone with our thoughts, and ourselves but don’t make it too long. There is nothing more certain to make us rise from our misery, than love. Find a compassionate person to whom you can confide and talk things over.

By giving your time and concern to others, you can heal yourself.
And above all, believe in miracles. Many people have experiences that seem to spring from a mysterious ultimate self, bringing unexpected joy and strength. These people have come into contact with something larger than themselves, with a reality that transcends our world, a power that makes life holy.

Take one step at a time. Whatever the provocation, don’t rush. If a miracle has happened to solve your problem, live your life, one day, at a time. Respond to the small sunlight of hope that breaks into your dark world. Be Like a child. Look for the small joys that come your way. Look around you. Look at the beautiful world nature has created around you.

And, finally, practice gratitude. Always say, “Thank you God, for all that you have done for me, and will continue to do for me”.

Nine Noble Virtues

The Nine Noble Virtues have been around for at least 15 years
and few are certain as to who came up with the list. It is as follows:

Courage - Bravery or boldness, the ability to stand and fight in the face of any threat. Courage is the bravery to do what is right at all times. This can be likened to being brave enough to live by the Nine Noble Virtues and for the Six-fold Goal. But as always, what one person believes is right, may not be what another sees as right.

Truth - Honesty and the ability to standby what is true. Truth is the willingness to be honest and to say what one knows to be true and right. It is often better to not say anything at all if one cannot be honest. But likewise, when one does say something, it is best to be truthful and speak what one sees, not what others would like to hear. We also have a caveat on the concept of Truth, and that is that whilst we should endeavour to speak the truth at all times, do not be fooled into speaking the truth when others lie to you. If people always told the truth we would not have to respond to lies with lies, but then this is not an ideal world in which we live.

Honour - Reputation, renown. Your personal worth as well as that of your family'! Honour is the feeling of inner value and worth from which one knows that one is noble of being, and the desire to show respect for this quality when it is found in the world. Of all the Virtues, this one is often the hardest to define, as each person's interpretation of this is different. It could translate as "self-image", or "self-esteem", and is important to recognise that this will be different from person to person.

- Troth or loyalty to those around you be that family, friends, or fellowship. Fidelity is the will to be loyal to one's Gods and Goddesses, to one's Folk, and to one's self. How one interprets the concept of loyalty is largely up to the individual as there are many different levels of loyalty, and hence Fidelity. But each person knows within themselves, just what this means to them, and it is important that others understand this, to be able to form the bonds of loyalty that exist on all levels.

Discipline - Self control, the ability to be in command of one's own thoughts. Discipline is the willingness to be hard on oneself first and then if needed on others, so that greater purposes may be achieved. We must always be hardest on ourselves, to set the example. It is very easy to work at the level of do as I say, not as I do. But in this we dishonour ourselves and we dishonour others. Leading by example is what this is all about.

- The ability to make a guest feel welcome. Hospitality is the willingness to share what one has with one's fellows, especially when they are far from home. This is not the same as giving out all your worldly possessions to anyone who comes by a begging. It is the concept of sharing, which is reciprocated by all true folk when they have you as a guest in their homes. It is important to establish and reaffirm the bonds of friendship, and kinship that Hospitality is observed.

- The ability to work hard in maintaining one's self and family! Industriousness is the willingness to work hard, always striving for efficiency, as a joyous activity in itself. It is vital that we work hard at what we seek to achieve, for without consistent and well-directed effort, our goals will not be reached. But it does not mean that we should work all the time, indeed one should be industrious in ones leisure pursuits as well, and avoid the concept of making work for the sake of having work to do.

Self Reliance - The ability to rely on one's self without the aid of others. Self Reliance is the spirit of independence, which is achieved not only for the individual, but also for the family, clan, tribe and nation. It is not a concept of denying ones interconnectedness with others, but of ensuring that one can take care of oneself first, then ones family and loved ones, then the extended family (clan), the tribe (ones local grouping) and the nation (all folk no matter where they reside). By being self-reliant we can then share what we have with others and fulfill the duty of Hospitality, the entire better

- Steadfastness, or the refusal to give up even when things are rough. Perseverance is the ability to return from defeat and/or failure. Each time we have a setback, we recognise this, and if the purpose is the right one, we continue until success is won.

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