How Much Of Laughter?

Laughter

Laughter – a spontaneous overflow of fun, a stress reliever, a mood changer, a health therapist…not only provides a cushion to our emotional hurts but also helps us in dealing with the jolts of life effectively.

I have written about laughter therapy to remain emotionally healthy yet it is not listed under the most popular posts!

Why do we forget our laughter skills, as we grow older and resilient?

Humor is the most difficult genre for writers and most of the jokes degenerate below a decent level. That’s why yoga instructors have been promoting self-laughter. Probably Laughter Shows add hilarity sounds for the same purpose!

“The burden of the self is lightened when I laugh at myself,” observed Rabindranath Tagore.

I have been told many times to laugh softly but I always dismiss that advice…how can you decide how much to laugh? Isn’t that weird? I wonder how people can close their mouth and laugh!

I have never learnt to laugh gently as I didn’t want to. The real power and therapeutic effect of laughter lies in what comes from our heart, without any ifs and buts.

I have faced many stern looks of my hubby but did I ever care?

When I laugh…it just goes out loud and clear! Whenever there was a loud laughter in our staff room, our Principal assumed one of those must be me! Once she heard that and came to reprimand but I didn’t happen to be there, luckily! So much for my reputation!

Another scenario, which is embedded in my memory is laughing in libraries, when, as youngsters, we had to face the stern eyes of the librarian and ran out to laugh…such is the power of spontaneous laughter!

This Book Makes Me Laugh Like My Grandchildren!IMG_3861

This book came as a birthday gift for my granddaughter, Athena but nobody paid any attention to it as it said, “Take away the A.” A book about alphabets is considered to be useless in the modern times when alphabets are available in colorful forms, puzzles and each toy sings an alphabet song!

It also appeared to be weird because it had sentences on one page, which could be of no interest to a child of two as most of the books at this stage are pictorial with little stories or rhymes.

The book sat at the bookshelf till one day I decided to read it for my fun-loving grandson who just likes to open books, collects all of them around him and gets distracted within a moment.

This grandma is different, I told myself! No such tricks with me! When nobody takes interest in a book, I read it to myself to draw their attention and most of the times it works. Sometimes I change my voice to convey the emotion and attract their response.

This book caught their attention beyond description! The innovative style of the author is incredibly remarkable.

Each letter is mentioned in such a manner that no child can miss the fun that this book stimulates.

When you take away the ‘A’, BEAST is BEST!

Without the ‘B’, BRIDE goes for a RIDE!

IMG_3866IMG_3865

This book plays with letters in a creative manner to take away one alphabet and create a new word.

It doesn’t just highlight the ABCs but also introduces words in an interesting and humorous manner.Chair has hair!

Without the ‘C’, CHAIR has HAIR!

‘JAM I AM’ is equally funny.IMG_3870

Once we discovered the fun, it became our favorite book and is now read everyday.

When you take away the L, PLANTS wear PANTS.

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The moment we reach this page, we all break into peals of laughter.

We must have read it a hundred times but the fun never seems to wane.

Children don’t wait for humor to laugh…they create their own funny situations and even inspire us to laugh heartily…that is why they are called the flowers of our garden, always lending warmth and fun to our lives.

“A good time to laugh is any time you can.” – Linda Ellerbee

Do you laugh loudly or do you think it is embarrassing? I am waiting eagerly for your answers.

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.

This is not a book review or a sponsored post.

 

 

 

 

How Good Teachers Can Get Inspired To Mold Personalities

Personality development

I didn’t realize the effects of a teacher on personalities till I stepped into this profession. Probably I didn’t have any such teacher around me whom I admired ardently or who could touch my heart but I do remember a few who emitted an unseen light, which could brighten the path of an average student.

When I stumbled upon the profession of a teacher, which I didn’t plan to follow, I was very keen to teach high school students. I thought it was easier!

I was told I needed a professional training.

Despite a teacher’s training degree in my hand, I hardly knew what makes a good teacher. I learnt it from my students, from my daily interaction with them and listening to their opinion and complaints.

Slowly it dawned upon me how much a teacher can give. I was amazed at the expectations of my students and I had to work very hard to come up to their beliefs.

I noted that a teacher is trusted more than a parent probably because a teacher really listens, is non-judgmental and supports the pupils who choose to confide in him/her.

Now I started grasping the real meaning of “Nation Builders.”

Now I knew that Good teachers are not born.

“I am indebted to my father for living, but to my teacher for living well.” – Alexander the Great.

I was humbled by this profession, which I didn’t want to join because people looked down upon it, it was so lowly paid and only those “who couldn’t find a better job became a teacher,” was the perception!

I found it immensely satisfying. The dividends it paid could not be counted, could not be seen because they could only be felt.

They stand before me now in the form of most successful human beings who value the contribution of teachers. Their one word of gratitude is the biggest bank balance for me.

My pupils showed me what is patience and benevolence; they revealed the value of hard work; they taught me how emotions are knitted into the fabric of values to make them more effective.

Once I had been molded by my students, it was my turn and this is what I learnt:

Children are like clay in our hands. Like a sculptor we can chisel and carve their personalities with our behavior.

“A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.” ― Henry Adams.

Teachers appreciation

Teachers inspire the desire for learning:

True learning is the one, which is self-accentuated. A good teacher understands this basic principle and lays bare all the possibilities before the students. Curriculum may be binding, it may limit the potential but a real teacher focuses on igniting the minds to go beyond those limitations. Carl Jung has rightly observed, “The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child.“

Make them discerning individuals:

Students look up to their teachers for guidance and path-breaking initiatives. When they meet an inspired teacher, they start believing in their own dreams. It is only with the much-needed encouragement that their aspirations get a boost. Classroom discussions play an important role in giving confidence to new thoughts and developing their own perceptions.

Make them absorb the values of discipline:

A disciplined teacher can convey the need and significance of discipline to become self-disciplined. Children may take pleasure in breaking the rules, they may scoff at the reprimand and punitive actions but what they see in their teacher eventually gets absorbed. An upright teacher doesn’t have to organize discussions on this topic.

Inspire positive thoughts:

Little disappointments seem gigantic to children, especially teenagers. Teachers can convert those moments of disenchantment into stepping-stones by talking them out of negativity. A good teacher can also become a counselor, as she/he understands students better than parents. Teenagers feel more comfortable in sharing their problems with their teachers or friends.

Values are learned effortlessly:

Good and conscientious teachers can touch the students with their kindness and patience. Little children learn more through observation and image. When their role model exemplifies the ethics enshrined in the rulebook, it is easier for them to imbibe them naturally. I have often heard my outspoken students complain about double standards, which confused them.

“Everyone who remembers his own education remembers teachers, not methods and techniques. The teacher is the heart of the educational system.” – Sidney Hook

They make an eternal impact on students:

I was surprised at the influence of my own child’s teacher on her when she refused to share the little secret of her school function with me saying, “it is a surprise for the parents and will be revealed only on the day the function will be presented!”

My own heart swells with delight when I meet my old students and can see a spark of brightness in their eyes while they talk about those ‘golden’ days.

Whether it is sharpening their speaking talent, acquainting them with their potential, or honing their social skills, a teacher can truly mold the personalities of students.

Did you meet any such teacher who made a difference in your life? I would love to hear about her/him.

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.

What I Learnt From My Critics

Critics are friends

“The trouble with most of us is that we’d rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism.” – Norman Vincent Peale

All people like to be praised as it boosts their self-esteem, keeps them motivated and happy but it also pushes them into the abyss of sham, which is propelled by hypocrisy and sycophancy.

We like to think that we are the best; we are the most successful; we are more intelligent and smart.

Anyone who criticizes us earns our instant dislike and we try to keep that person at arms length. If we happen to be at a higher position we try to take a punitive action against our critics.

Criticism is a subtle message that we need to embellish our personality and manner of working. Sometimes such messages are loud and hurting but they do ring a bell within us. They may seem to belittle us but they need to be heard.

I have learnt many lessons from my critics. When I was told ‘I am arrogant,’ I made every effort to analyze my personality. When I was told I was reticent, I tried to come out of my shell.

I learnt to smile from my critics. I learnt patience, compassion and humility from my critics.

When I was a teacher, I was given an extra charge of writing press notes of all school events. It was not an easy task and each time I handed over the report to my boss, it was criticized and thrown back at me.

Today when I look back, my heart is filled with gratitude towards her because she helped me enhance my writing skills, ignited the fire within me to put in my best and fostered the ability to become emotionally resilient.

Why is criticism essential?

  • It is an eye-opener
  • It steers us out of self-deceptionCritics
  • It points out our mistakes
  • It acquaints us with our imperfections
  • It develops our emotional quotient
  • It helps us in introspection
  • It makes us a better person

Keep the windows of your mind open:

Welcome all kinds of feedback, more so if it is negative. All people can say good things about your work, way of dressing up and demeanor. Only the truthful ones, the unsuccessful and the jealous ones would point out your mistakes. Listen to them and reflect upon what they have said. Growth and learning happens only when we are receptive to criticism.

Listen patiently:

When we listen carefully what others have to say about us, we get an opportunity to know others’ perspective. We tend to tune off even when our friends try to convey a negative aspect of our persona but each negative insight can contribute to our positive development only if we pay attention to it.

Look within:

Can you lie to yourself? Self-awakening hits us only when we find the time to drop into our heart. Our weaknesses reveal themselves one by one when we make an effort to understand the cause of criticism. Such experiences ennoble us. They prepare us for forgiveness. I forgive myself before I decide to forgive those who have hurt me with their insensitive words.

Embrace positivity:

The aunt who told me not to laugh loudly, the teacher who punished me for being rude, the friend who mimicked me for being a cry baby, the student who glared at me for giving unsolicited moral advice and the neighbor who criticized me for being unsocial, they all taught me profound lessons of life!

It is easier to praise but hard to criticize. Let’s bless our critics, as we owe gratitude to them for showing the mirror to our true face.

Critical thinking is a gift that nature has given us. Let’s use it judiciously and constructively.

I am sure you too have faced some critics. What did you learn from them?

Thank you for reading this. Please share your valuable reflections.

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

Balroop Singh.

 

6 lessons I Learnt From Life…And Counting

Lessons from life

“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.” -Robert Frost

I wish life could have been as simple as that!

You may like to smile but you have to deal with those who frown at you.

We keep making plans and life passes by, reminding us that we can’t even hold a single second.

It is important to define your passion:

Life without a passion is a rudderless boat, which is tossed and turned by people around us. If you don’t know what you want from life, pause and reflect. Are you running the race without any goal in sight? Are you motivated enough to pursue that? Blessed are those who can discern the difference between passion and ambition.

I have heard the sane advice many times – ‘it’s never too late to follow your passion.’ But by the time I discovered it, I didn’t have the time and the money to put into it. My emotional bonds encompassed me so firmly that I couldn’t break free from them; my values didn’t permit me to unshackle myself. So I let it go.

I often tell myself…life is like that. It offered me love and duties and I found happiness in them. Acceptance makes us prudent, aligns us with the realities of life and makes us resilient.

Don’t bury your bucket list:

It may be very necessary to have a free spirit but we often ignore it for the sake of others. Our dear ones occupy a precious place in our hearts and we give prominence to them most of the times.

If we don’t do so we feel adrift, yearning for somebody who really cares, who occupies the most important place in our life.

Many times we forget our own self, our wishes remain buried within us; we call it love and benevolence but some corner of the heart keeps smoldering.

Pay attention to that corner of your heart. I created my bucket list but buried it in that corner. Many parts got charred before I turned my attention to that list. It is before me now and I have convinced myself… ‘it is never too late to fulfill your wishes, it is perfectly fine to add some more and I am grateful to be healthy to empty my bucket.

All dreams are achievable:

I realized it too late but I am glad I could develop that discerning eye. I have been dropping many dreams, as I couldn’t get the support, I thought they were risky, fears could convince me and I felt I was not ready. Time and tide don’t wait and so they carried them away while I looked helplessly.

We need the inspiration, the resources and the determination. Apparently one of them was missing. Probably I was too naïve to build up a crushing spirit, to rise above the challenges but I don’t have any regrets.

However, I know now that dreams remain dormant if we don’t share them, if we don’t work on them and if we get confounded by the fears. Nobody would pay any attention to them if you don’t.

Don’t judge:

I know it is basic human nature to form opinions, sometimes even without knowing others properly. I know we get this habit from our surroundings. All the time people around me judged me, without actually knowing why I am an introvert, why I hold my head up when I walk or why I don’t smile much. They even judged my sense of dressing up!

My boss called me arrogant but my close friends knew that I wore a mask to insulate myself from hurts. Some of my colleagues found me rude while some found me very warm and friendly.

Whose opinion would you accept? Judgments can be delusive.

I am not trying to say that I was never prejudiced. It was natural for me to pick up what I saw but life has taught me that judgments can be biased and they serve no useful purpose. Nobody likes to be judged.

I took all kinds of judgment in a positive manner, some of which helped me to learn smiling and become a better person.

Life quote

Don’t regret:

Nobody has a perfect life – so why have regrets? Accept them, live with them.

When I was too naïve, I couldn’t see through the tricks of people, I couldn’t understand when they played with my emotions but none of that is my fault, the onus falls on them.

If you couldn’t follow your passion or made a wrong choice, it is futile to grieve over the past, as you didn’t have any control over it. Regrets pull us backwards.

Did you hurt somebody? You may not have done it consciously. Was your apology unacceptable to a dear one? It doesn’t matter because you have done all you could.

I have always accepted such experiences as lessons that life has taught me. I have consistently moved ahead with fresh confidence and fortitude.

When we look at the positive aspect of those regrets, we can get over them.

Detachment is inevitable:

While it is easy to detach from money, power and people, emotional attachments control us. They cloud our judgment, they refuse to let go, they are like a lump in the throat, which can only be felt. Detachment may be distressing and paralyzing but it is the reality of life.

We have to let go. We have to give wings to our children who want to soar. We have to come back to square one and find new activities. Most cherished relationships end, near and dear ones pass on into another world and we have to accept.

Thank you for reading this. It was becoming too lengthy and therefore I have cut it short here only.

Please share your views about the lessons that life has taught you.

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

Balroop Singh.

 

 

Are Memories Timeless Treasures Or Learning Experiences?

Memories

Memories are those endless treasures, which we can keep exploring till eternity and bask in their glory like a slow swinging hammock!

Like Ellen Hopkins, let me ‘open that bottle of memories they’re pouring out like wine, crimson and bittersweet.’

We can completely get immersed the moment they start pouring out!

Heartwarming memories, some sweet, some bitter and vivid, long-lasting and precious…unforgettable fond memories, haunt us if we happen to be sensitive as they have a profound connection with our emotions.

Some memories stand before us with extended arms, ready to embrace us lovingly…the first crush, those hands ensconced into each other’s, those amorous glances…that walk in the rain, huddling together…the touch of your new born child, the most precious possession…myriad such moments are stored effortlessly in the mind’s eye.

Happy memories yearn for those times to return, resist and resent change.

Unhappy memories are tenacious, they get entrenched in our minds retaining their ghost like exterior… they can tear us apart with their piercing, menacing eyes.

Repressed memories get embedded in the subconscious mind despite our best efforts to shove them out.

Sometimes I have to close that inward eye to stop the reel of memories so that they bounce back into the subconscious mind.

Sometimes I hear those loud voices…let go…forget the past…detach, I dump all those memories and choose only joyous ones yet they keep returning whenever the connection emerges.

One of my colleagues had a magical eraser, which didn’t leave any mark on the sheet. Sometimes I wish such an eraser could be invented to expunge unwanted memories from our memory bank!

Have you ever thought why certain memories keep coming back?

Have you ever wondered why certain facts, songs, statements or situations can be recalled without any effort whereas important information or textual details have to be read again and again to recollect them?

Psychologists have called the former as implicit memory and the latter as explicit memory

It is this memory, which is called implicit that holds our moments…moments of delight, of exhilaration, of accomplishment, of pride and countless such emotional instants.

We hold them in high esteem, clutch them as if they were the only possessions worthmemories keeping and derive pleasure out of them during our hours of solitude. We keep interacting with them till we realize their material nature.

They come with a large baggage, which we refuse to give up!

“Forgetting isn’t enough. You can paddle away from the memories and think they are gone. But they will keep floating back, again and again and again. They circle you, like sharks.” – Sara Zarr

They also come with some profound lessons if we are ready to discern and digest:

  • Childhood memories are the strongest reminders of love and affection. Handle children with care.
  • Don’t invest all your emotions in one person. Memories of such a person can drain you.
  • Attachments are aching reminders of fond memories.
  • Dwelling in the past is futile as it retrieves painful memories.
  • All people we meet leave an impact on our life. Avoid negative people as much as you can.
  • Memorable people affect us deeply with their qualities. They give us good memories.
  • Earliest happy memories convey life-lessons of happiness and relaxation, which are picked up from parents and siblings.

Memories are like roses of various hues in their raw form, thorns are the natural attachments unless we scratch them away. I have embraced all the shades and tones and learnt from each one of them. I had no choice.

During the prime of our life we keep gathering them, unaware of the thistles, which start piercing us as we mature.

I have a very vivid childhood memory of a thorn, which pricked me, broke and got embedded in my finger. I came running to my mom, crying and wondering whether she could lessen my pain. She pulled the thorn out mercilessly, without caring to be soft.

I wish this memory too could have been pulled out as harmlessly as that thorn!

But memories are etched permanently on the canvas of our mind.

Do you have such memories? Have they been your learning experiences? I would love to hear your views.

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

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

Balroop Singh.