Are you the creator of your own happiness?

What happens if your happiness depends on someone else? I am happy because I did exactly what my parents told me to do and that made them happy and it made me happy too ;I helped my husband or wife out and I am happy because of that; I supported my friend today and I am happy because of that. Does basing your happiness on others really make you happy? Are YOU happy? Is it YOUR happiness or someone else’s happiness that you borrowed?

Compare to this, I am happy because I was able to create my own painting today; I am happy today because I accomplished one of my goals; I am happy because I saw the rainbow today and took time to cherish it.

In our daily life, we forget our little smiles that we could create for ourselves and not because someone needed to bring that smile on our face. We forget that we should be happy for ourselves too and be the composer of our own destiny, be the designer of our life. Does the intensity of the smile differ  because one was created by you and the other one was created by others for you?? Or does it feel the same?

What do you think?Emotes-face-smile-icon

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An alien in your own country?

When I first moved to USA, I used to smile when I saw the status “Alien”. I imagined myself like ET on a land that did not recognize me or understand me. It was funny in my head. I thought I will feel that way throughout the time  I stayed in there but as years went by, I didn’t feel that way at all. I became a part of the country, people, the culture. And I was surprised how people eased you into feeling at ease with the culture. I learned how to smile at perfect strangers, how to drive, how to follow my passion. I finally did..I got into teaching there..taught for 8 years , the best period in my life. Even the most adverse situation in my life went in knowing I was safe!

After 14 years, I moved back to India. This is my country and I thought I knew a lot about it having been born and brought up here. But as days go by, here is where I feel more like an “Alien”. I have no clue what is happening. I met a couple of administrators from education and they were telling about the state of education. I was surprised as to how anyone who wants to do good has to face so many difficulties in their own country. It doesn’t matter if you are from the same state even ( leave alone the same country), you still have to face a lot of challenges before you can get something done. People don’t seem to have the same compassion or patience. My sis-in-law laid in a busy street for 20 minutes after a car hit her and left her unconscious before a kind lady got her to the hospital.

I am not saying the country is not good..of course there are so many people who are bringing a change…and there are things that you can cherish here too. It might be that my perspective has changed after these 14 years or it may be because the country has changed..or I may have been living in a dream state when I was here…that I feel as if I am an “ALIEN” in my own country!

Have you ever felt that way?

Create your masterpiece!

When I hear conversations that go around, I hear a lot about how our previous generation lived to grow 80 or 90 years old and life expectancy was higher and how the present and future generations are so affected by the present life style that life expectancy may be less. And that people are not taking care of their health and blah, blah, blah…

And I think to myself, from when did life expectancy start defining us, Were we always this way, – if he or she lives this long, they are awesome!!? What if a person lived only till 30 years but made a lot of difference in other people’s lives, wasn’t it the same as he living till 90 years?? And is it necessary that people are knowingly doing it to themselves. I have seen perfectly healthy people who do every thing right get cancer! I have seen a healthy person who exercises daily get paralyzed. So as a society, are we going to blame them for doing the right thing??

I would say even if you live a short life, if that life was worth, if you were happy and you leave a legacy, then you have lived a 100 years!

I saw this message in a post –

“Everybody will vanish someday but the masterpieces they leave will echo forever!”
So leave a masterpiece of your own and let nothing else define you!

Will always remember you…

Ms. GailDedicated to a strong lady who made us all strong………… 

I remember seeing her for the first time at her house. The one thing you will always remember once you have seen her is her smile and energy. Her warm welcome and love made us feel as if we were already a part of her life. She opened her arms to hug my little 3-year-old. That moment, he became hers as well. He became the son she never had. From that day on wards,  we all became a part of her life and family.

On the first day of pre-school when I went to pick Neil up, he started crying because he wanted to stay there and not go home. He loved Ms. Gail and I knew that she was the perfect mentor and motherly figure for him. She loved kids and poured her energy into them. She provided comfort and solace to everyone near her. Her laughter was contagious…we all could just sit there for hours and laugh and forget all our sorrows talking to her. She had a way to make us all feel that nothing matters, just have fun and enjoy. You could see it her eyes, in her voice and in her unforgettable smile.

It was heart breaking to hear when she was diagnosed with cancer but even at that point, her smile never went away. Through all her struggles and treatments, she kept her energy and she embraced it with confidence. She still kept us all laughing. She talked, made fun and became a role model to our kids as well as her own kids. I could not see her during her last moments but I am told she went with a smile. And that is what she would have wanted us all to remember.

We miss her but her strength and energy is what keeps us going through our struggles in life. We love you, Ms. Gail and are thankful that you were in our lives then and forever!

The girl with no answers…

She sat in a corner looking at everyone,
wishing that you were with her to share her smiles and heartache.

She has her friends around her but she feels a void,
a void that you left,
You were her best friend and she cannot replace you,
You were supposed to be with her always but you left her alone.

There are so many questions
for which she will never get answers
Will she ever have peace in her heart…..?
It is only hope that would keep her going…….

Only hope and your memories…

The silent valley…

A vast valley with nothing around
Kind of like life when there is nothing to be looked forward to
Emptiness, anxiety, distances barren with just stillness
Every word that I utter echoes back to me
Staring blankly at myself in a mirror
The empty valley speaks the side of myself that no one knows
It breathes of lives that went unspoken
If the valley could speak, it would speak of what it feels
Does it feel like me, standing alone
Does it think people who pass her by really care or
Do people just stop by for a moment and don’t look back?
Will it get to see the bright beautiful day and rejoice about it?
Or will it be trodden about by others and left to stand alone again?
The valley breathes its own life,
I would like to breathe my own one day, not someone else’s!!!

Definition of a Teacher..

Dictionary defines teacher as a person who teaches…well, why the definition stops there, we will never understand. Consider a child’s day –  From the time he or she wakes up, they spend maybe two hours with their parents before they have to leave for school, once at school, they spend almost eight hours of their day with their teacher, when they come back from school they have may be 4 hours of time left from their day before they sleep which they again spend with their parents. Therefore, in a 24 hour period, a child spends 6 hours with their parents while eight hours at a continuous stretch with their teacher. We can debate as to who is more influential in their life but the truth remains that a passionate teacher who is in the profession for the right reasons could become the role model and the most influential person in a child’s life.

A child looks at their teacher for protection, looks up at them for guidance, and grows under the comfort of their wings. And that is what makes teaching a very noble profession. A true teacher motivates and allows students to dream and dream whatever they want and makes them believe that the dreams that they see can and will come true. A true teacher is there for them and children know that. A true teacher never gives up on any one of their students, motivates them to learn and makes them believe that no matter how hard the task, they can still find their way through. A person who does not give the solution to a problem but gives direction and guides you to find your own way out of the maze; shows how to think but does not tell you what to think; a person whom you consider as a mentor, a guide, a role model who inspires you and a person who is your guardian when all others don’t seem to come through is the definition of a true teacher.  The quote from Aristotle gives the best reflection of a true teacher –

“Those who educate children well are more to be honored than they who produce them; for these only gave them life, those ,the art of living well.”

~Rohini Kunnathu