Why don’t I set a target?

books

I know you are surprised and curious! I know you are thinking that targets or goals form an imperative part of our lives and without them we may seem like a rudderless boat, which would never reach anywhere.

There are some targets, which seem inevitable, which are like milestones and refuse to move till we accept them as realities. I know! I too had to honor them but I would call them compulsive cahoots, gnawing at our minds everyday, challenging our abilities and pushing us closer to the curve of compliance.

Setting goals for reading? Really?

What confounds me is setting targets for joy, happiness, travel, leisure and above all reading! I have heard many times…‘this year I am going to focus on happiness’…as if our focus on this fleeting emotion ever wavers!

Setting targets for pleasure trivializes the term ‘goal,’ which inspires vision and success in the chosen field. Unconditional commitments do make us determined but isn’t it better to reserve them for more important achievements?

I have always encouraged my students to set academic goals to reach the pinnacle of glorious pedestal they would like to perch on and many of them have accomplished them.

I have never set a target of reading books, as I believe we read for pleasure, not for meeting goals and invite unnecessary stress. There are many other triggers around us to cause stress.

I have never kept a count of books I have read for all these years. Completing a book and starting another one is as normal for me as changing an outfit.

While Goodreads keeps nudging me to set a target, I remind myself …’If you take a book like a medicine, it loses its charm.’ I had learnt this lesson long ago when I could not read the specified number of books for my Literature discussions! The more I tried to keep up the pace; my concentration grew less and less.

Pledging to read a book within a specified time is like a noose hanging before me, depriving me of all the joy connected with the style of the author and language of a book.

Is it all about numbers?

Reading is not just about numbers and being able to say… ‘I have read 25 books this year.’ It is more about absorbing the thoughts, savoring the words, imagining and connecting with the places. It is a breezy journey to enjoy, not a whirlwind to escape! Quality of reading enriches our experiences, not the quantity.

“In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you.” – Mortimer J. Adlerreading-quote

It is more rewarding to read a book slowly so that we can absorb the virtuousness of our favorite character…to drench in the feelings of people around us…so that we can become a part of their world.

Is it about emotions?

Some people don’t get emotionally engaged in a book, they read it very fast, without actually stepping into the realm of fantasy, without identifying with the characters and their thoughts.

One of my friends had this habit of reading the books very fast. Whenever we would mention a book or share it, she would come out with this reply… ‘Oh! I have read that!’ At that juncture of life, as a young and immature reader, I would envy her speed. I even tried to read in her manner but honestly speaking, I could hardly enjoy the book and felt guilty too.

Shallow reading seems to be the norm of the day just to complete the resolution of reading a specified number of pages during the day. If the book is a cheap romance or a thrilling mystery, delving deep into it may be inconceivable but we get out of such books quite early in life.

Reading without any distractions around us – another challenge of modern times!

The other day I happened to be at a hospital, waiting for a procedure of a dear one to be over and to keep my thoughts positive, I had taken my kindle along with me.

I tried very hard to concentrate with chit chat going all around, two ladies talking continuously, exchanging their views on every possible topic from hair styling to cooking!

I had read 20% of the book but I want to start it again for the pure pleasure of soaking in the beautiful words, which got lost in the crescendo around me.

“If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” – Oscar Wilde

Do you set targets for reading? Do you read faster to reach those targets? I am waiting eagerly for your perspective on commercialization of reading for pleasure.

Thank you for reading this. Please add your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

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Balroop Singh.

 

Is Affection An Offshoot Of Love?

Affection

Affection comes naturally but it has to be nurtured in the impressionable years of growth. If it is rebuffed in the earlier stages of childhood, it recedes to the remotest corners of our heart, difficult to reignite.

People who grow up to be reticent and unemotional have probably been denied this affection. They have never been told that it is natural to hug and speak in clear words about their emotions. When emotions are snubbed, we learn to disregard them.

My earliest recollections about affection are connected with my grandma but she didn’t live in our house and she died when I was quite young. Out of all my aunts, I felt drawn towards only one, probably because she was kind, soft-spoken and listened calmly.

Besides this I didn’t know what is affection till I became a mother…why it doesn’t come naturally to all mothers is the biggest mystery!

Affection is different from love, which can be selfish and demanding though understanding love is more challenging than understanding affection!

Affection is a much profound emotion, which is inexplicable but can be fathomed through our pores. It percolates down our skin slowly. It exposes us to some finer emotions. It can mold us into caring and understanding persons.

Though the synonyms of affection are: fondness, liking, feeling, love, care, desire, passion, warmth, attachment, goodwill, devotion, kindness, inclination, tenderness, propensity, friendliness, amity

But…Affection is not passion; it is not love albeit love may later develop due to this sublime emotion.

Affection is not transient; it grows even when it is not reciprocated.

Affection is not a desire; it cannot be commanded. It is earned.

Affection is not ‘liking’; it doesn’t change with seasons.affection-quote

I had a colleague who was very affectionate. She could win many hearts with her way of approaching people and her words, even those, which carried an unsolicited advice could affect! I felt drawn toward her due to her kindness but I won’t say I loved her.

In the beginning; love is just a passing thought, a mirage that allures us.

Love grows if it is nurtured. It evolves itself but withers if it is not watered with affection, care, respect and kindness. Romantic love morphs into a loving and eternal relationship if we understand what is love.

We attach so many emotions and expectations to love that its real visage gets sidelined. It’s illusionary aspect carries us far into the world of unknown…obviously we wander and drift away!

While the perception of love changes with time and depends on culture and conditioning, affection is more reliable.

“Affection is responsible for nine-tenths of whatever solid and durable happiness there is in our natural lives.” – C. S. Lewis

Affection can be nurtured:

  • Respond to your child’s demands with soft words
  • Make bedtime a memorable and loving moment
  • Read good stories with the right emotion and intonation
  • Hug your child lovingly and speak endearing words calmly
  • Be gentle and soft, as a child can understand the caresses more than a usual touch
  • Be positive and honest in your dealings
  • Avoid manipulations as a child can understand them quite well
  • Be sensitive to the thoughts and fears of your child
  • Never ever yell at or nag them for their imperfections
  • Be emotionally present and empathize with their frustrations
  • Always use positive words to encourage them.

The moment we indulge our affections, the earth is metamorphosed, there is no winter and no night; all tragedies, all ennui s, vanish, all duties even. – Ralph Waldo Emerson.

How do you show affection? Does it affect love?

Thank you for reading this. Please add your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

If you have liked this article, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Balroop Singh.

 

The Amazing Power Of Kindness

power-of-kindnessKindness starts with you!

The power of kindness can only be felt within your heart from where it emanates.

Kindness may be innate but it doesn’t come to the surface if it is not nurtured with little acts of concern, if it is not fostered during receptive years of growth, if siblings don’t show kindness to each other and most importantly if parents lack it.

Self-centered parents who strive to show their superiority; who are in constant strife for one reason or the other leave an indelible mark on the psyche of their children with their demeanor. Kindness remains routed!

“Kindness is a behavior marked by ethical characteristics, a pleasant disposition, and concern for others.” This definition that I have picked from Wikipedia doesn’t seem to satisfy my understanding of the term as I have seen many ‘pleasant dispositions’ faking kindness.

One kind act can calm many emotions. One kind person in a family can cement many relationships.

There is one person in my life, whom I didn’t choose, who just happened to become the most important person for me not because I liked him but I happened to be connected with him by custom and law. Initially I was quite confused about him.

I had never really known love; so I cant say I loved him. But I could understand what is love through his interactions with me.

He never mentioned the word ‘love’ but I could see it; sense it and discern it through his little gestures of care. His ability to read my mind and doing exactly what I wanted before I could communicate my desires amazed me. Slowly I evolved into a different person.

He molded me with his boundless benevolence, without actually saying a word about my imperfections, arrogance and rudeness.

He never ever criticized me for anything even when he should have. With his kindness, he taught me those lessons of life, which nobody could ever force down my throat.

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Free Download only this weekend.

His kind words of giving a benefit of doubt to everybody around him amazed me. His equanimity, and complacency in the most difficult situations, his serene silence even when I argued my guts out enlightened me about the need to become a better person.

Like all human beings he is not perfect yet he evokes admiration. He is candid enough to say ‘I cant read your poetry’!

When I published Sublime Shadows Of Life and he heard praise from some of my friends, he secretly read a few of my poems and said… “You can write well!” I cherish his words as he is a person of few words and uses them judiciously. When he says something, everybody listens.

He is always by my side in whatever decision I take…wrong or right.

If this were not kindness then I would love to hear more about it.

When Mark Twain said, “Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see,” he must be talking about the language of such little gestures of kindness, which can only be perceived with an intuitive eye.

It is only when we treat others with respect and parity that they learn to understand the value of these words. They become what they could have aspired. Kindness is like that candle, which gives its light to others and burns brighter.

My book ‘Allow Yourself To Be A Better Person’ can be downloaded FREE from 22 January – 23 January, 2017. Happy reading! I look forward to your kindness.

Grab your copy at amazon.com

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Thank you for reading this. Please add your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

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Balroop Singh.

 

Wishes For You…

Wishes for New Year

If you are a writer
May words twirl around your place
If you are a dreamer,
May visions placate your days with solace

If you are a lover
May fragrant freedom grace your days
If you are a visionary
May the hues of rainbow seep into your ways

If you are intuitive
May your inner voice fathom all
If you are sensitive
May tender vibes caress your emotional fall

If you are reflective
May your ideas sparkle and soar
If you have indomitable spirit
May success knock at your door

If you are a pessimist
May hope glow in your heart
If you are agitated
May patience bloom in your backyard

If you are a brooder
May your hours of distress decrease
If you are fun-loving
Savor each moment of joy with ease

Let happiness, harmony, humility
Let acceptance, compassion, calmness
Permeate through your persona
This year, to dispel all the darkness.

© Balroop Singh
All rights reserved.

You can click on Sublime Shadows Of Life  by Balroop Singh to read more such poems.

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Thank you for your support. Please add your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

The Joys of Celebration

Joys Of Celebration

Today I was rummaging through my archives to look for something connected with celebrations and realized that I haven’t written anything about the joys of celebration. But I never considered myself to be a serious writer when I took part in ecstatic celebrations.

I didn’t bother to record those exquisite moments. Life just passed by like a whirlwind, so did the moments of joy but memories do percolate within us and I am glad they keep coming back.

Do joys drown in the years that pass by? Do we get jaded with celebrations? Some serene faces loom on the canvas of my mind, reminding me of the calm pleasure, which could only be seen and felt. Have I joined that band?

Have I understood the difference between getting charmed or entertained and deriving eternal pleasure from moments of celebration?

While we celebrate with fireworks, wine, food, hugs, gifts… what stays with us is the feeling, the emotion, the reverence we had experienced at that moment.

Realities and reflections merge to infuse new light and energy into us…we look forward to more occasions, more such moments.

A true celebration is that wondrous moment, which we had been yearning for, standing before us, beaming at us and asking what now…that sweet melody we hear within us when we accomplish our goal, that song which erupts in our heart when we see a dream fulfilled, that shimmer we see at the face of our little one when we smile at her little feats and big endeavors.

All the magnificently wrapped gifts fade in front of emotional joys we experience in the company of family, friends and a life brimming with contentment.

Do you value the gifts that come free with life?

Read more about such gifts…683 words

Thank you for reading this. Please add your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

If you have liked this article, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Balroop Singh.