How Quotations Ennoble Us

A quote a day gives a new melody

If you are a regular reader of Emotional Shadows, you must have noticed that quotations form an important part of any post I share.

Sally G. Cronin, my author cum blogger friend has nominated me for three day quote challenge, which transported me back to one of the memorable moments of my life. Fond of collecting quotations, I had a notebook in which I would write one quote everyday. One day when our class teacher asked us to talk about our hobbies, I couldn’t say much and produced that notebook to save myself from that embarrassing situation. Her reaction surprised me. She took my notebook and promised to return it but she didn’t.

Next day I was summoned by the Principal. With great trepidation, I walked towards her room, wondering what had I done now, knowing well I was in for another punishment! I saw my notebook of quotations in her hand and was taken aback by her kind words of appreciation. The pride and encouragement that she infused in me doubled my love for quotations and writing them down most neatly.

A good quote is more than a book. It can leave a lasting impression on us… it can awaken aspirations, ignite the inspiration that lies dormant, it can connect us with great minds and their experiences, it can mold our perceptions and personalities.

Quotations have ennobled and enriched me.

It is hard to pick a quote as each one carries some profound truth about life yet we have our favorites.

My first pick has to be from my all time favorite poem ‘If’ by Rudyard Kipling:

Quote from Rudyard Kipling's poem If

The above lines have adorned my table for many years and have inspired me:

  • To remain calm in provocative situations
  • To trust my abilities
  • To let people pass their judgment
  • To be patient
  • To respect my values
  • To listen calmly
  • To forgive those who tried to demean me

I have been a little rebel in breaking free from the rules. So the ‘three day quote challenge’ has been construed by me as ‘three quote challenge’ (just an interplay of words from left to right!) and I would like to share them together.

forgiveness quote

The above quote and many such have helped me reconcile to the whole idea of forgiving those who could have derived sadistic pleasure in enforcing their authority to establish their supremacy. I still read quotes about forgiveness to reassure myself that forgiveness purges us of any ill will that we may be carrying in our heart for those who were insensitive towards our emotional wellbeing.

Solitude

The above quote was a little puzzling for me but it has helped me in many ways:

  • In understanding the difference between loneliness and solitude
  • In introspection and self-reflection
  • In listening to the echoes of my heart
  • In resolving inner turmoil
  • In soaring on the wings of imagination
  • In enjoying my own company
  • In sky gazing when the clouds drift to reveal the rainbow.

Many thanks to Sally for nominating me for this challenge. It is customary to nominate some more friends for the challenge but I throw it open to all my readers who love quotations to write a post about their favorite quotes.

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

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

Balroop Singh.

 

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Are We Really Selfish Or Just Branded So?

Selfish-person-quotes-care-for-others-quotesWhen this question crops up in my mind, I try to seek an answer within myself first. Am I selfless? After much thinking and admonishing myself, I try to extract an honest answer out of my evasive mind…

Well, we all have selfish tendencies- it is only human.

At times I might have offered my services, done something good for others, without expecting anything in return. Is that enough?

I have given unconditional love to my children and family but another question confronts me…doesn’t everybody do that?

‘No, everybody doesn’t do that’, says my friend.

Why are children abandoned, abused, killed? Many of them grow up in acute neglect.

So I went on to search…what exactly is selfishness? While it was so confusing and mind boggling, two definitions appealed to me:

According to Wikipedia: “Selfishness is placing concern with oneself or one’s own interests above the well-being or interests of others.”

According to Oscar Wilde: “Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.”

I again asked myself: Do I fit in here? I have never placed ‘my interest’ above but my inner voice slowly speaks: sometimes, you have!

I ignore that voice and tell myself: I have never asked others to live according to my wishes. But these arguments didn’t melt my doubts.

Why did I choose only these definitions? Because they suit me?

This reminds me of a woman who gave up her successful career to look after her ailing husband. She was applauded by everybody and was called selfless, but she admitted that she was selfish because she had placed her own concern over and above anything else.

“A selfless act out of even the purest desire to do for others, will be selfish in the satisfaction and happiness it brings to one doing it.”―Ashly Lorenzana

My friend thinks falling in love is also selfish! Isn’t that absurd? How can the basic human emotion make us selfish?

When I try to analyze further, I agree with the reasoning: Love makes us selfish. It crosses all boundaries, it transcends all values and it drags us away into our own world.

“Love is the most selfish of all the passions.” ―Alexandre Dumas

I ponder further…

Even those who work for the welfare of others are selfish as they have their own goals in mind… perhaps they want fame, power, self-fulfillment or are eager to record their names in the pages of history.

So I realized that:

  • Selfishness can be defined according to one’s own perspective.
  • Selfish traits are inherent.
  • Self- interest takes us closer to our goals.
  • Selflessness doesn’t bring any rewards.
  • The more you acquire, more selfish you become, whether in terms of money or knowledge.
  • Selfish people are actually weak and insecure and unhappy.

Lets look within:   preview

  • Are you kind and considerate?
  • Are you tolerant?  
  • Do you listen to others?
  • Do you really understand the feelings of others?
  • Do you respect the opinion of others?

I know we all nod to the above questions without giving a profound and honest thought to them. I also hope these questions will keep guiding us towards better understanding and enhancing our personality.

If selfishness hurts you, don’t forget it hurts others too. A little concern for people around us makes us emotionally balanced and less selfish.

Have you come across selfish people? Do you have a different understanding of selfishness? It’s your turn to share your valuable opinion.

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Picture credits: verybestquotes.com, behappy.me


Swamped By Fears? The Real Monsters…

BALROOP SINGH

Image

Walking down the road today, my friend shared the worst of her fears with me. I was taken aback! I had always considered her to be the most confident, bubbly and secure person, comfortably settled in life.  

The shadows of fears follow us in all walks of life. I am sure all of you have looked at them in trepidation.

Once we grow out of basic childhood and adolescent fears, the real monsters strike us! The fear of competition, the fear of failure, the fear of others’ success bothers us…makes us doubt our own capabilities! The fear of losing our emotional anchors, the fear of the unknown, of being inadequate frightens us.

“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”Plato

The illuminated path is very exciting and alluring but the fear of stumbling is always attached to it; as brightness often blinds our eyes…the alligators of defeating your efforts are waiting to devour you! Such fears shrink our heart; wound our spirit and skepticism creeps in to consume the remnants of our mettle to fight them.

Liberation from fears, whether they are external or internal, is therefore very important to accomplish our goals.Image

IDENTIFY YOUR FEARS:

This is the first step on the ladder. Unless we know what scares us and accept its presence, we wont be able to eliminate it. Often we keep denying that some insecurity is bogging us down. It seems our ego refuses to accept the fears which keep lurking in some corner of our mind.

SHARE THEM:

We don’t like to share and discuss our fears with anybody…again the reason could be the fear of being looked down upon or ridiculed! But sharing reduces the stress and burden of carrying negative thoughts. We must have at least one confidant to discuss our insecurities. It really helps.

FACE THEM:

When you are pushed to the wall, it starts crumbling and a day comes when you emerge bolder, with a resolve to face the world with all your might. The power of fear recedes as we learn to encounter it.

STOP COMPARING:

No two persons are alike. We have to understand that our efforts may not yield the same results as our friend or brother. So if the success of your own brother is putting some pressure on your performance, it is better to accept that he could be smarter or more hardworking or manipulative. You cannot possess his qualities and talent. You have to focus on your own aspirations and success.

TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR MIND:

Fear may be very subjective but it possesses a great motivating feature… as it impels us to take risks. So train your mind to think positive and all your fears will evaporate slowly.

“Seeing that a Pilot steers the ship in which we sail, who will never allow us to perish even in the midst of shipwrecks, there is no reason why our minds should be overwhelmed with fear…”John Calvin

With the armor of positive thinking, determination and will power, we can fight and conquer all kinds of fear.

Did you have any fears? How did you overcome them? Make your valuable contribution here; by leaving a comment.

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Picture credits: trans4mind.com, Quotesvalley.com