Tag Archives: spritual

How to become a greater person and live a happier life?


  

 

Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total; of all those acts will be written in the history of this generation. ~Robert Kennedy

What is greatness and what does it take to become a great person?

It is a state of mind where one feels or is believed to be superior when compared to others who are similar in type and kind. It is a quality an individual posses that is perceived to be better than all others who are comparable. And we bestow this generous title on those who have do something that is considered beyond ordinary or attainable. Or at times greatness is also witnessed in simple and basic human behavior which elevates someone to a higher status than others. An act of charity, sacrifice for another person’s benefit, inspiring others, being of timely help to someone, visiting a friend a relative to spend some time with them and make them laugh, selflessness, or even a simple kind gesture of kindness can all account for small greatness that each of us can achieve. Needless to say the gratifying experience that we enjoy when we do such small things helps us perhaps reflect upon our own purpose and value in our lives too.  It also encourages us to more such acts and spread more kindness to the people around us.

 Greatness lies, not in being strong, but in the right using of strength; and strength is not used rightly when it serves only to carry a man above his fellows for his own solitary glory. He is the greatest whose strength carries up the most hearts by the attraction of his own. ~Henry Ward Beecher

Greatness can be directed towards self. Greatness in character, in thinking, and taking the trouble and initiative to self improve and progress in our lives. Every one of us gives up at some point in our life on the account of hardships, obstacles, lack of resources or support. But we usually come back to it again and try again. If we didn’t try to over come these obstacles and had given up every time we feel or stumbled , we would never have learned to walk, talk, read, learn, survive, educated ourselves, get a job,  love, trust people, and succeed in life. And people, who are very similar to us, went on to achieve small greatness in each of these simple aspects in their respective lives. They chose to run, speak with beautiful words, choose great material to read, leaned lot more, survived difficult times, learned and chose to get better qualification, get better jobs, earn more, love more, forgive and go small but many such greater things in life.

  As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world – that is the myth of the atomic age – as in being able to remake ourselves. ~Mohandas Gandhi

And contrary to popular belief, a person need not be born privileged or with greatness to do great things in life. If we read the lives of many who have contributed the most amazing things to humanity and our world, we will realize that almost every one of them raised from humble beginnings, unthinkable hardships and betrayals. But they were determined, they believed in themselves and persevered to do what they believed in. And they accomplished their small dream or ambition to leave behind an act which we considered to be great. A recent poll conducted by CNN for the Hero of world award was a world-wide revelation of a number of people in our world today who continue to great things in life. People who are not any much different from us. Feeding the poor and needy, clearing mines in Vietnam, helping the war victims selflessly, helping the impoverished, being charitable, simple basic contributions and volunteer work. And there are also those who have made their millions and then spend it all back by being charitable.

 Every day, people settle for less than they deserve. They are only partially living or at best living a partial life. Every human being has the potential for greatness. ~Bo Bennett

Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh and the greatness which does not bow before children. ~Khalil Gibran

 Greatness lies in many simple things in life. It really does not take much to do these “Small Greatness” in our daily life. 

Here are 20 simple “Small Great things” we can do and make ourselves and the world we live in a better place:

  1. Forgive those who have done wrong. Let each pay for their deeds, learn their own lessons in life from their mistakes. But you forgive!
  2. Inspire someone by your good deeds, actions and character. Do not tell them, but show them and inspire.
  3. Volunteer your time if you can for a noble cause such as raising funds for cancer, packing food at a food bank etc.
  4. Try to lessen your hatred and bitterness by being tolerant and accepting of other people, culture, habits, and beliefs.
  5. Do not hold any prejudice.
  6. Spending time with your children and do not mind being silly for a while.
  7. Appreciate someone for doing a good thing. It only encourages them to do more of the same again.
  8. Take a cause that serves humanity. ie. cleaning the environment, recycle, use less chemicals.
  9. Write a letter or a note to someone, that will make them feel good about themselves and express the joy and pleasure they bring to you. 
  10. Appreciate the people who love you and do things for you. A simple thank you or a hug can often say a lot.
  11. Try not to deprive an elderly person of anything they desire for and you can afford to give. Love, time, care, concern and an occational scoop of ice cream. You will not believe the amount of happiness you will bring to them!
  12. Remember names of the people you interact with and address them by their name next time you meet them.
  13. Help guide someone through a process to help them establish themselves at work or a new city. 
  14. Do not be too proud or too shy to accept your mistakes and say sorry.
  15. Visit a ward for terminally ill and ask how you can help by volunteering just 1 hour from your weekend. You will be amazed to see the value you can bring to such wards and people.
  16. Develop and educate others with balanced and unbiased opinions about issues when they seek your advice.
  17. Help give some hope in their times of need by sharing your experiences and how you managed to overcome them.
  18. Donate the things you do not use such as used clothes, toys, furniture etc that are in good condition to the needy regardless of their color, race or religion.
  19. If you can sponsor a child or a family. The amount of damage caused by the recent wars, famine, natural disasters and political dismay have left many little orphans, families, and people desperate for basic needs and necessities for their simple survival while the world is swamped on paying the debts that fed these very wars, vanity, and corruption.
  20. Pick up the phone and call that brother, sister, parent or that friends that you have held grudges against and put the senseless anger and bitterness behind you. Start afresh and try to enjoy this short life of yours with less hurt and anger. You will certainly feel lot lighter in your heart and be much happier in your life.

 

 “The first test of a truly great man is his humility.” – John Ruskin

 “There are countless ways of achieving greatness, but any road to achieving one’s maximum potential must be built on a bedrock of respect for the individual, a commitment to excellence, and a rejection of mediocrity.” – Buck Rodgers

“The nobler a man, the harder it is for him to suspect inferiority in others.” – Cicero


Progressive people, regressive religions


 

 Please enjoy the audio feed above

 

I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die to find out there isn’t, than live my life as if there isn’t and die to find out there is. ~ Albert Camus 

 

An interesting fact prevails in all of these various religions that were established at different times based on different messages from different Prophet’s in different cultures. The surprising fact lies in the “similarities” in these “religious” systems. The message and the moral basic core principles are identical. When one investigates further, we can see that there are many similar rituals practiced by the followers of all these various faith systems including monotheistic and polytheistic ones. For example, the similarity of two faiths and belief systems which is widely considered to be opposing in fundamental concept, Islam and Hinduism have quite a few similar rituals: one being monotheistic and against idol worshiping, while the other a polytheistic, with an idol for each of their gods and their respective attributes. They both have holy water, both have the practice of circling around their place of worship (Muslims around Kaaba, and Hindus around their temple), both cut their hair after pilgrimage, both fast, both offer sacrifices, both bow to their Gods. Further, they have the same beliefs in good and bad, love, peace, and respect. Yet it is believed by their respective followers as an opposing religion surprisingly.

 

No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says: He is always convinced that it says what he means.  ~George Bernard Shaw

As people evolved and developed into more intelligent beings, so did their ability to comprehend, learn, communicate and better understand life. In our current advanced age and time we still have trouble communicating and understanding our own language, nuances, behavior and most importantly controlling the integrity of a message, which only proves that this communication skill is still in a state of evolution and will continue to be for a few hundred years. Thus, many people who try to learn the doctrines and writings of this man-made religion happen to question aspects of it which doesn’t appear to be logical or make sense. Many such doctrines are questioned on a few selective messages therein which clearly doesn’t appear to be part of those with divinity. Particularly, messages that defy or contradict equal respect for both genders, tolerance and respect for all religions, serving humanity regardless of race, color or creed, be forgiving, how to be modest, and rights of all human beings to be equal. Such differences between what the Prophet’s preached which is considered to be divine and what the religion proclaims has caused many to explore these religious beliefs further. The result of such questions which are often considered as blasphemy in nature by the stubborn and illogical religious heads of these religions has provided very few logical answers that are convincing. Clearly, man has evolved much further than expected by those who formed these religions a few thousand years ago. It is quite disappointing to still watch a small portion of the more educated and advanced people of today often blindly follow a specific fundamental set of religious beliefs and practices that often defies any logic, divinity or are in line with the original messages by their own Prophets. Although we witness each generation evolving into more intelligent begins than the last, many of us still trust and follow the wisdom of people who lived several generations past. This is where people began to shift their faith from God of mankind to religion. Perhaps in a way a shift from humanity to community.

 

I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ. ~ Mohandas Gandhi
 
 
However, no matter the religion or the respective deity or symbol, all of them preach very similar aspects of life, morals and values and often indulge in similar practices and rituals. What makes them different are the rules, laws of conduct, social norms, symbols of identity, attire, social behavior and systems of control that were developed by people who soon took control of the followers of the prophets under the banner of religion. This need and desire to control and exercise power over the respective communities or followers, gave birth to the evils that human beings fester till date. Ego, pride, arrogance, and vainglory are some of the key characteristics of these appointed spiritual or religious leaders of these faith systems today. Surprisingly, these are the same characteristics of Satan under which he refused to obey God and bow to his creation – man. Under these very influences these leaders often abuse their power and try to manipulate their people to achieve their personal goals and egoistic aspirations. They often are very wise and recruit people who are accustomed to obeying commands blindly due to fear of persecution from the powerful. But the true shock is when educated people armed with some basic rational thinking also choose to blindly follow such leaders and actively participate or support in their egocentric and political aspirations under the pretext of religion. 

 

This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness. ~ Dalai Lama
 
 
History has proved time and over again, that each of these religions or faith systems had begun with peaceful intentions. Each of these religions were spread with humble intentions but each had a handful of leaders who used violent force unfortunately due to their individual choice, limited wisdom, ego, and the lack of any other system available to them but religion as a viable political system to manage people and install familiar culture that is easier to manage. Each of these “religions” went through a phase of power struggle soon after their inception and the demise of their  Prophet. In the immediate years to follow, each had their share of religious leaders trying to use and manipulate the then political leaders and kings to their advantage, each have good followers and bad ones, all of these religions had leaders who were good and bad as well, every religion has their share of positive social and scientific contribution by people from their faiths. Some had great builders and ambitious plans to expand their cultural richness, some were conquerors of different strategic lands and some tried to spread their culture, beliefs and religious practices by force. But regardless of the religions or practices, all have the same fundamentals of good values and morals and each have their own set of social rules and norms that drive and influence behaviours based on moral living, love, tolerance, peace, justice and faith in the creator.

 

A just laicism allows religious freedom. The state does not impose religion but rather gives space to religions with a responsibility toward civil society, and therefore it allows these religions to be factors in building up society. ~ Joseph Ratzinger
 
I oppose religion based charities. I believe if a religion preaches to serve humanity, then the charity work should be without the need to convert their faiths. Not in this age and time. The people of faith, especially who are seen or hold the position as leaders or experts should not speak words of hate, anger, rage and incite such concepts in people. If anything, these are the people who should be preaching tolerance, love, peace and instill hope, faith, and inspire morality. But all that we see is many such people doing exactly the opposite and tragically people following them like cattle. People of good faith should rather strive to inspire others by their character, demeanor, deeds, love, respect for others as opposed to their attire, communal strength, and rituals.  And above all, should evolve with time. The need for progressive evolution has become more essential now more than ever. Past mistakes of others and poor past leaderships should be left in the past and we need to see ourselves as the new builders of society.

 

That deep emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God.  ~ Albert Einstein
 
If we can primarily be human beings and begin to behave like one that could alone ignite a flame of enlightenment. Do not choose to be blinded by your faith systems, and live in the assumption that your faith is the only path to heaven. If this is true, the creator would not have sent several prophets. Followers of the wrong faiths could be wiped off this planet if the creator chooses, followers of other faiths will not be prosperous and happy, followers of other faiths will not have their prayers answered and people who follow wrong faith systems will not be able to procreate and give birth to pure innocent souls. Thank the creator for life, for making us human, giving us the ability to think, creating us and this world with all its endless resources, our ability to learn and appreciate, love, be loved, procreate, help others, and appreciate his or her divine powers being exercised on us and creation every day. Do not be blinded and instead choose to thank for a man-made religion, rituals, age-old beliefs and fables, or mundane stories of proof less miracles. Learn, read, explore and understand. Do not blindly follow like a cattle, and have the sensibility to differentiate between the man who speaks the true words of the creator or God in good faith about love, peace, serving his creation – humanity, tolerance, forgiveness, enlightenment and spirituality from the man who speaks of hate, violence, intolerance, rage, ego, pride and anger in the name of religion. If we can learn to love and live peacefully for ourselves and the others it could start a new beginning. If we refuse injustice towards one and all regardless of their cast, creed or color we can bring change. If we can lead by example of character rather than a display of costumes and rituals we can influence another. If we can be charitable to all humans regardless of their religion, color or culture we will bring peace. With such a balanced approach and the will to coexists by mutual respect and understanding and by removing ego and pride from the equation, mankind can and will eventually develop a much more peaceful and resourceful living. They can leave behind a life of love, and peace for their loved ones to enjoy, thrive in and sustain for the other following generations to come. But we must remember to eliminate the dreaded characteristic of the evil: “ego and pride” especially associated to our faiths and our belief systems as it has no place in there. We need to realize that if we feel the need to keep our faiths, then we need to keep the faith in God of mankind as opposed to the man-made religion, religious leaders, religious systems, rituals and beliefs. Learn and seek yourself for the truth and answers using your logic and intelligence and you shall find it. It is in your heart where God resides and in your conscience where truth resides.
 
 
I love you when you bow in your mosque, kneel in your temple, pray in your church. For you and I are sons of one religion, and it is the spirit. ~ Khalil Gibran


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