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20 July, 2017

Appearances Can Be Deceptive

Today, I have two stories for you. Both of them are true. Here's the first one:

Maxwell Morrison was well and truly screwed. He was standing in a courtroom in Bangkok, waiting for his sentence. The offence was drug trafficking, and if found guilty, the sentence would be life in one of the most horrific prisons in the world. The problem was that Maxwell was innocent. the drugs had been found stashed in a musical instrument he had agreed to carry through the checkpoint for a woman who had appeared to have her hands full with a baby, two young children and a whole lot of hand luggage. Of course, the moment the sniffer dogs singled him out for special attention, the woman and her children evaporated into thin air.

He had tried to explain this to the judge in his super-fast-track case, which had so far lasted less than 45 minutes, but the prosecution had countered by pointing out that it would take a very stupid person indeed to be suckered into carrying anything through a security checkpoint for a stranger - especially in this modern post-9/11 world. They had also pointed out that back home in Nottingham, Maxwell was a police officer. A security expert, who could never be as naïve as he was now pretending to be. Maxwell's only counter-argument to that had been, "Appearances can be deceptive". The Judge had given him the strangest look when he said that.

No, things were certainly not going well for him in this case. His only witness had been a British passenger who had seemed a bit drunk during her testimony. She admitted she had seen the woman hand the instrument to Maxwell, but added that they appeared to be travelling together. Again, Maxwell's defence was, "Appearances can be deceptive".

He remembered with irony the first time he had actually heard the expression "Appearances can be deceptive". It was in the eighties. He was a teenager going through a punk rock phase. He wore nothing but black, had multiple body piercings and was always playing with a scary-looking flip-knife. All the kids in school were afraid of him and steered well clear. One afternoon when he was enjoying some peace and quiet behind the boat shed, listening to Grateful Dead on his walkman, he heard a commotion. Three kids were bullying a foreign student. They were about to throw the little kid into the river, and the poor boy kept crying, "Please! Please, I can't swim!"

Maxwell intervened. At first, the three bullies wanted to fight it out, but Maxwell was a good three inches taller than the tallest of them. Plus, he had his knife, and he made them believe he was happy to use it. So they dropped the little foreign boy and went off to find a new victim. Maxwell asked the relieved kid if he was alright. The boy adjusted his glasses, looked at Maxwell for a long moment and said, "Appearances can be deceptive".

"Why do you say that?" Maxwell asked.

"Well, everybody thinks you're scary. Some kids even said you stabbed a teacher once. You're the last person I'd have expected to come to my aid. But thank you for doing so. I would have drowned if you hadn't. In Thailand where I come from, you owe the person who saves your life an eternal debt which you spend the rest of your life paying back. My name is Tran Pack, and I will never forget what you did for me." With that, he shook Maxwell's hand and ran off.

Back in the Bangkok courtroom, Maxwell allowed himself a wry smile as he recalled that childhood episode. Thirty years after he saved a Thai kid's life, he was now a 45-year old policeman, about to spend the rest of his own life in a Thai prison, all because appearances can be deceptive. He snapped out of his reflections as the judge banged his gavel three times. It was time for the verdict.

And that's where I'll end the first story. Here's the second story.

Judge Tran Pack could not believe his eyes when Maxwell Morrison walked into his courtroom. Thirty two years had not done much to change his appearance, so Tran recognised him at once. He listened patiently for 45 minutes and then banged his gavel three times before giving the verdict. "Mr Morrison, appearances can indeed be deceptive. Not guilty. You're free to go."

And that is the end of the second story.

My people, I know I don't need to say much more about the lessons from these two stories. As you live your lives, please take every opportunity to do something unforgettable for someone who can't pay you back today. They'll pay you back tomorrow with interest.

Kindness is not a debt you pay, but an investment you make.

24 June, 2017

Flower Pots

When my husband calmly announced that, after eleven years of marriage, he had filed for a divorce and was moving out, my first thought was for my children.

My son was just five, and my daughter, four. Could I held us together and give them a sense of “family”? Could I, as a single parent, maintain our home and teach them the ethics and values I knew they would need in life? All I knew was that I had to try.

So every Sunday, we attended church. During the week, I made time to review their homework with them, and we often discussed why it was important to do the right things. This took time and energy when I had little to spare, and worse, it was hard to tell if was really reaching them.

One Mother’s Day, two years after the divorce, as we walked into church, I noticed carts of beautiful flowers in little pots on either side of the altar. During the service, the pastor told us that he thought motherhood was one of the toughest jobs in life, and deserved recognition and reward. He then asked every child to come forward to pick out a beautiful flower and present it to their mother as a symbol of how much they were loved and appreciated.

My son and daughter, hand in hand, went up the aisle with the other children. Together they considered which plant to bring back to me. We had certainly survived some hard times, and this little bit of appreciation was just what I needed. I looked at the beautiful begonias, the golden marigolds and purple pansies, and started planning where I could plant whichever one they chose for me, for surely they would bring me a beautiful bloom to show their love.
 
My children took their assignment seriously, and looked over every pot on all the carts. Long after the other children had returned to their seats, and presented the other mothers with a beautiful potted flower, my two were still making their selection. Finally, with a joyful exclamation, they made their selection from the back of one of the carts. With exuberant smiles lighting their faces, they proudly proceeded down the aisle to where I was seated and presented me with the plant they had chosen as their Mother’s Day gift of appreciation.

I stared in amazement at the broken, bedraggled, sickly looking stick being held out to me by my son. Mortified, I accepted the pot from him. They had obviously chosen the smallest, sickest plant—it didn’t even have a bloom on it. Looking down at their smiling faces, I saw their pride in this choice, and knowing how long it took them to choose this particular plant, I smiled and accepted their gift.

But then I had to ask—out of all those beautiful flowers — what had made them pick this particular plant to give to me?

With great pride, my son said, “this one looked like it needed you, Mom,” As tears flowed down my face, I hugged both children close. They had just given me the greatest Mother’s Day gift I could ever have imagined. My hard work and sacrifices had not been in vain—they would grow up just fine.
 
As we grow older, life experiences cloud our judgment, and circumstances create bias. We have earned our years, and we think that we understand the ways of the world.

But when you think you have everything figured out, something will happen to catch you off guard, and surprise you in a profound way.

This mother almost had her heart broken. But her beloved children understood that the power of a mother’s love can turn a dying plant into a blossoming seed of life.

15 April, 2017

Two Horses And A Bell

Just up the road from my home is a field, with two horses in it.

From a distance, each horse looks like any other horse.

But if you stop your car, or are walking by, you will notice something quite amazing....

Looking into the eyes of one horse will disclose that he is blind. His owner has chosen not to have him put down, but has made a good home for him.

This alone is amazing. If you stand nearby and listen, you will hear the sound of a bell. Looking around for the source of the sound, you will see that it comes from the smaller horse in the field.

Attached to the horse's halter is a small bell. It lets the blind friend know where the other horse is, so he can follow.

As you stand and watch these two friends, you'll see that the horse with the bell is always checking on the blind horse, and that the blind horse will listen for the bell and then slowly walk to where the other horse is, trusting that he will not be led astray.

When the horse with the bell returns to the shelter of the barn each evening, it stops occasionally and looks back, making sure that the blind friend isn't too far behind to hear the bell.

Like the owners of these two horses, God does not throw us away just because we are not perfect or because we have problems or challenges.

He watches over us and even brings others into our lives to help us when we are in need..

Sometimes we are the blind horse being guided by the little ringing bell of those who God places in our lives. Other times we are the guide horse, helping others to find their way....

Good friends are like that... You may not always see them, but you know they are always there..

Please listen for my bell and I'll listen for yours, and remember...

Be kinder than necessary - everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

Live simply,
Love generously,
Care deeply,
Speak kindly.......

FOR WE WALK BY FAITH AND NOT BY SIGHT.

Better Half

There’s a bakery shop near to our house. Often, on my way back home in the evening, I buy some stuff for the morning breakfast. Today, as I was about to leave the bakery, I met our neighbour Mr. Ajay who himself was leaving the same shop. After the exchange of some traditional greetings, the conversation went like following.

I asked: “What have you bought?”

Ajay replied: “Nothing much , just some chicken patties and some sweetmeats for my wife and children”.

Jokingly, I enquired, “Why so? Hasn't your wife cooked today?”

He said: “No, it’s not like that. Actually today in office we were a little hungry so my colleagues ordered some patties and sweetmeats. Since, I had this at the office I thought to buy some for my family too. It’s not fair that I eat whatever I like at the office while my kids and wife remain bound to eat whatever is cooked at home.”

Confounded with great surprise, I stared at him because I never thought this way before.

I said: “What’s the big deal, ajay?  If you eat food of your own choice at the office, your wife and children would also be having whatever they like to eat at home.”

Ajay replied: “Not at all,  My wife saves for me from everything there is. Even if someone from neighborhood sends something, my wife first saves some for me and then distributes it among my kids. It would be very selfish if I just enjoy good things with my friends and not with my family.”

Amazed upon hearing this I said: “Enjoying? This bakery stuff is what you think is enjoyment?”

He said: “Whatever ! I dread the time when on the Day of Resurrection I’ll be questioned about this. That I took someone’s daughter into marriage and had fun with my friends while she ate whatever little was available.”

Completely stunned, I couldn’t move my eyes off him while he continued.

“Look, when we get married to someone’s sister or daughter, they are human beings as well. Just like us. They too have hunger needs. They have their desires as well. They too wish to taste lots of delicious foods or foods of their choice, to try different kinds of lovely outfits. They also want to move and travel around. Keeping them caged like a bird, providing them meals twice a day and having a sense of smugness for doing all this is selfishness. And the way we treat the daughters of others is the way our own daughters and sisters will be treated because what goes around comes around.”

His last words shook me to a great degree. I never thought like this before.  Concluding the conversation with Ajay I said, “Great! You have made me think from a different perspective.”

I turned back to the shop.

Ajay: “Where are you going?”

I replied, “To buy some ice-cream…actually I had some ice-cream at the office today.”

Ajay and Myself took their respective paths. Ajay was glad to have a positive impact on me. On the other hand, I now, knew how to keep my wife and kids happy and acknowledge all the efforts my wife does for my happiness.

Wives are what makes life beautiful!

No wonder they are called the better half.

Your Meal Is Being Prepared

A certain gentleman walked into a hotel and after perusing through the menu ordered for some food.

After about 20 minutes another group of gentlemen walked in and ordered for some food.

To his dismay, he noticed them get served first.

He watched as they began to eat and laugh heartily. He even overheard one of them brag about how he knew everyone at that hotel and how things moved fast for him here.

He felt he was being mocked. He contemplated leaving. But he had waited so long.
 
Unable to take it anymore, he called the waiter and spoke sadly of how unfair things were.

The waiter calmly told him, "Yours is a special order Sir, being prepared by the chief chef himself.

Their orders were prepared hurriedly by interns because the top chefs are busy with yours. That's why they came first. Please have some juice as you wait".

Unknown to him the owner of the hotel (who happened to be an old long lost friend of his) had seen him coming and wanted to surprise him and had made changes to his simple meal to make it an exotic meal.

He calmed down and waited.

Shortly after his meal was served by six waiters and he was waited on hand and foot and being made very comfortable.

The gentlemen at the other table were shocked. They couldn't stop staring. Suddenly they were the ones murmuring, asking why they didn't get that kind of service and meal.

So it is with life!

Some people are ahead of you and eating now, laughing at you about how they know people and how they're blessed with money and how they're enjoying life because of it.

You have been waiting long wondering why it’s taking so long to get your breakthrough, enduring mockery and humiliation. Maybe you have contemplated the unthinkable, gone through depression or suffered severe mental anxiety.

Do not worry!

The owner of the world has seen you. And doesn't want to give you simple meals like those laughing at you.

You've been waiting for long because yours is a special meal and takes time.
And only chief chef makes those!

Lesson: Wait for your meal and relax. When it comes, the laughing party will be silenced for good.

Parents

A call from the old age home to her only son in the Gulf.
 
The son says" It is recession here don't ask for any donation or financial help."
 
The old age home manager says "Who asked for donation? Your mom has breathed her last a few hours ago..."
 
Son: Then I shall come as the landed property is to be dealt with..."
 
Manager: " No it is sold two years ago to meet the medical expenses of your ailing dad"
 
Son: Oh, I was not aware.....I may send some money to conduct mom's last rites in that case.
 
Manager: "No, she has donated the body to the medical college and some compensation may be received for that. I want your account number, to remit the cash....that's why I called you.."


Total silence from the son...!!!

Perceptions

A teacher teaching Maths to a six-year-old asked him, “If I give you one apple and one apple & one apple, how many apples will you have?”

With a few seconds the boy replied confidently, “Four!”

The dismayed teacher was expecting an effortless correct answer (three).

She was disappointed. “May be the child did not listen properly,” she thought.

She repeated, “Please listen carefully. It is very simple. You will be able to do it right if you listen carefully.  If I give you one apple and one apple and one apple, how many apples will you have?”

The boy had seen the disappointment on his teacher’s face.

He calculated again on his fingers.

But within him he was also searching for the answer that will make his teacher happy.

This time hesitatingly he replied, “Four...”

The disappointment stayed on teacher’s face.

She remembered that the boy loves strawberries.

She thought may be he doesn’t like apples and that is making him lose focus.

This time with exaggerated excitement and twinkling eyes she asked ...

“If I give you one strawberry, and one strawberry, and one strawberry, then how many will you have?”

Seeing the teacher happy, the young boy calculated on his fingers again.

There was no pressure on him, but a little on the teacher.

She wanted her new approach to succeed.

With a hesitating smile, the young boy replied, “Three?”

The teacher now had a victorious smile. Her approach had succeeded.

She wanted to congratulate herself.

But one last thing remained.

Once again she asked him, “Now if I give you one apple and one apple and one more apple how many will you have?”

Promptly the answer was “Four!”

The teacher was aghast.

“How.... tell me, How?” she demanded in a little stern and irritated voice.

In a voice that was low and hesitating young boy replied, “Because I already have one apple in my bag.”

Lessons to Learn: When someone gives you an answer that is different from what you are expecting, it is not necessarily they are wrong.

There may be an angle that we may not have understood at all.

We need to learn to appreciate and understand different perspectives.

Quite often, we try and impose our perspectives on others and then wonder what went wrong.

The next time someone gives you a different perspective than yours, sit down and gently ask: "Can you please help me understand?"

Neighbouring Houses

The husband stood at the window of his neighbors and watched. There they were busy doing their own thing. The wife was in the kitchen cooking, and the man sat at the table writing. The phone rang, and the man jumped up and headed to the hallway to get it.

On his way he bumped into a vase, it fell and broke. He got down to his knees and started picking up the pieces. The wife ran into the room from the kitchen. She also kneeled down and started helping her husband to pick them up.

The man said to his wife:

“I am so sorry. I rushed to get the phone and bumped into the vase. It fell and got broken.”

The wife replied:

“No, honey, it is my fault. I put it there on the way. That’s why you bumped into it.” They kissed, and that was over. Both got back to what they were doing.

The man who watched them returned to his wife. She wanted to know what the secret of their happiness was. 

What he said was fantastic. “I know it now. In their family they both are guilty and in our family both of us are always right!”

That’s the secret of family happiness!

Food for thought....

The "trick" isn't in not wanting to take responsibility, but rather in not claiming right.

There are times you need to forfeit your right to win your peace: depends on which you cherish most.

This recipe is applicable, not only in the home, but also at work and in all relationships.

Enjoy Your Short Journey

"It is not necessary to argue over something so insignificant, our journey together is so short"

If each one of us realized that our time here is so short; that to darken it with quarrels, futile arguments, not forgiving others, discontentment and a fault finding attitude would be a waste of time and energy.

Did someone break your heart?
Be calm, the journey is so short.

Did someone betray, bully, cheat or humiliate you? 
Be calm, forgive, the journey is so short.

Whatever troubles anyone brings us, let us remember that our journey together is so short. 

No one knows the duration of this journey. No one knows when their stop will come. Our journey together is so short. 

Let us cherish friends and family. Let us be respectful, kind and forgiving to each other. Let us be filled with gratitude and gladness. 

If I have ever hurt you, I ask for your forgiveness. If you have ever hurt me, you already have my forgiveness. 

After all, our journey together is so short!

Ten Minute Mantra

My dad once told me, “You can apply the 10 minutes mantra to turn around your life in a tremendous way.”

I didn’t understand at first. “What’s the big deal in 10 minutes?” I asked.

“There’s indeed a big deal about it. 10 minutes, believe me son, can create a marvellous difference in our life,” my dad offered wisely.

“Elaborate please, dad,”

“I’ll tell you. But first, you’ve to get up tomorrow at 6.00 am.” My dad conditioned. I agreed.

Next day, as I woke up at the agreed time, my dad came to my room.

“What’s the time?”

“6.00 am” I replied.

“Okay, so before you can follow the 10 minutes mantra, you have to follow the art of being aware about the clock,”

I was confused. My dad continued, “Look at the clock. It’s 6.00 am. Now within 10 minutes I ask you to do the following - Arrange your bed and your table; drink two glasses of water, wash your face and brush your teeth. But keep looking at your clock while doing these. That’s it”

“Well…Okay,” I said, what could be the catch my dad wanted me to capture.

I began and started doing all he asked. All the time, I kept glancing at the wall clock. Finally after 10 minutes (or 30 seconds earlier to be exact) I had finished it all.

“Well done, boy. You have turned around your life!” My dad praised, patting on my back.

“What?” I was astonished and puzzled, unable to grasp, and asked earnestly “I didn’t get you, dad.”

 “Think, son, think!” My dad urged, “Recall your earlier days. How did your day started off?”

I racked my brains and pondered over. Usually, I wake up at 6.00 am. Then, I wander off, yawning lazily and even sleep for some more minutes or sit idly on my chair, my thoughts in thousand directions. And, by the time I finish the above activities, it was already past 7.00 am.

“And today, it’s just 6.10 am” my dad said as if he read my mind.

“Yes!” I exclaimed, starting to understand.

“So what made you do it?” my dad asked.

I thought. What made me do it? Because my dad told me to do? No, no. There was more to it. And then it hit me.

“The art of being aware about the clock!” I almost shouted.

“Yes and also ten minutes.” My dad said, smiling at my wonderstruck face.

My dad explained: “By setting your eyes on the clock and thinking about 10 minutes, your mind got focused in that span of 10 minutes. It was just like a deadline or a due date. The “10 minutes” deadline kept your mind in the present; in the “NOW ” and prevented you from wandering off.”

I was impressed. Just a matter of meagre 10 minutes had such a mighty effect! I had completed all those routine activities on time.  Now, I felt I have so much time ahead (as compared to 7.00am, it was just 6.10 am!). With so much time saved, I could work on creative and productive activities, instead of loitering around aimlessly. Time is indeed, the most precious thing on earth.

 A question piqued my curiosity, “Dad, why only 10 minutes. Why can’t we divide our activities into 1 hour slots?”

“Good question,” my dad said, “we can. But Shorter the time, more productive you will get. Imagine, if I told you to do those routine activities in 1 hour? Your mind will make your actions slower because you’ll think you have enough time to do it. Even if an activity takes 1 hour, you can segment it into 10 minutes slots.”

“Give an example,” I was eager to know more.

“You can, for instance, segment your workout time,” my dad resumed. “10 minutes- warm-up; 10 minutes- stretching and 10 minutes-yoga,”

“Really amazing, dad; this 10 minutes stuff can make your life on a roll! Instead of long bouts of inactivity, once can benefit from the short bursts of creativity!”

“Yes. The 10 minutes stuff is just an idea. You can also make it 15 minutes or 20 minutes but not longer than that.” My dad paused and continued :

“The 10 minutes mantra can be applied in every aspect of life. A student, a professional, a businessman or anyone can apply this simple but successful technique. Take an example of student. The student can allot 10 minutes time for a topic. After that, he/she can take 2 minutes rest and resume for another ten minutes. He or she can also take time off and read a good book for 10 minutes or allot just 10 minutes for walking. All a student has to do is to be aware of the clock.

Elaborating it further, we humans have a tendency to keep on delaying small things. We know we have to pay bills on time, and still we delay it beyond the due dates. We are aware that our bike’s tyres need to get pumped, yet we don’t care to stop by the car-shop we pass every day. We promise ourselves to go to a temple on a particular day, yet we never seem to keep our own promise on time. Why? Because our mind wanders off and deems such things as unimportant. If we vow to take just 10 minutes or 20 minutes of our entire 24 hours, we would never procrastinate and our life will be million times better.”

My dad concluded: “The 10 minutes, if followed consistently, can have a tremendous effect in anyone’s lifestyle. Procrastination and Idleness will vanish away replaced by Focus and Intensity. People will tell you they are short of time. No time for the loved ones, no time for pursuing their dreams, no time to eat, no time for their health as if they are the most busiest people on earth! It’s the lamest excuse one can give.

The 10 minutes mantra can keep us organized, keep our otherwise disoriented thoughts in check, Balance our life fruitfully and help us to have enough time in our hands. So follow this 10 minutes mantra and see your life turn around at a miraculous pace.....!”

Attitude of Gratitude

Nearby, a building construction work was going on.

Lots of poor  labourers were working there and their small  children used to hold onto one another's shirt and play "train-train".
 
Someone would become the engine and others would become bogies
 
Every day these children used to take turns becoming the engine and bogies ...

But there was  one small boy wearing only a half pant who used to hold one small green cloth in his hand and become the guard daily.

So  once I went to him and asked him, "Son, don't you also wish to become an engine or a bogie some time ?

He softly replied, "Sir , I don't have a shirt to wear so how will the other children catch me to make the train?
 
I could see the slight wetness in his eyes..

But  It gave me a lesson.... he could have cried and sat at home and abused his parents for not affording to buy  him a shirt.
 
But instead he chose another way to play and enjoy himself..
 
In life, we don't get all things we desire and we keep complaining ..

I don't have a bike,  I don't have car , I don't have this or that etc...
 
Life is like that ....we need to make it beautiful  and be grateful of what we have.

HAVE AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE

Increase Your Value

Michael Jordan was born in 1963, in the slums of Brooklyn, New York.

He had four  siblings and his father's earnings were not sufficient to provide for the whole family.

He grew up in a poor neighbourhood. Exposed to mindless violence and heavy discrimination in the slums, he saw for himself only a hopeless future.

His father saw in Michael, a lost soul and decided to do something.

He gave Michael, who was 13 years old, a piece of used clothing and asked: "What do you think the value of this outfit would be?"

Jordan replied,"Maybe one dollar."

His father asked, "Can you sell it for two dollars? If you can sell it, it would mean that you are a big help to your family."

Jordan nodded his head, "I'll try, but no guarantee that I'll be successful."

Jordan carefully washed the cloth clean. Because they didn't have an iron, to smoothen the cloth, he levelled it with a clothes brush on a flat board, then kept it in the sun to dry. The next day, he brought the clothes to a crowded underground station. After offering it for more than six hours. Jordan finally managed to sell it for $2. He took the two dollar bill and ran home.

After that, everyday he looked for used clothing, washed and ironed it, and sold it in the crowd.

More than ten days later, his father again gave him a piece of used clothing, "Can you think of a way you can sell this for 20 bucks?"

Aghast, Jordan said, "How is it possible? This outfit can only fetch two dollars at the most."

His father replied, "Why don't you try it first? There might be a way."

After breaking his head for a few hours, finally, Jordan got an idea.

He asked for cousin's help to paint a picture of Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse on the garment. Then he tried to sell it in the school where the children of the rich study.

Soon a housekeeper, who was there to pick his master, bought that outfit for his master. The master was a little boy of only 10 years. He loved it so much and he gave a five dollar tip. 25 dollars was a huge amount for Jordan, the equivalent of a month's salary of his father.

When he got home, his father gave him yet another piece of used clothing, "Are you able to resell it at a price of 200 dollars?" Jordan's eyes lit up.

This time, Jordan accepted the clothes without the slightest doubt. Two months later a popular movie actress from the movie "Charlie's Angels", Farah Fawcett came to New York for her Movie promos. After the press conference, Jordan made his way through the security forces to reach the side of Farah Fawcett and requested her autograph on the piece of clothing. When Fawcett saw this innocent child asking for her autograph, she gladly signed it.

Jordan was shouting very excitedly, "This is a jersey signed by Miss Farah Fawcett, the selling price is 200 dollars!" He auctioned off the clothes, to a businessman for a price of 1,200 dollars!

Upon returning home, his father broke into TEARS and said, "I am amazed that you did it my child! You're really great! "

That night, Jordan slept alongside his father. His father said, "Son, in your experience selling these three pieces of clothing, what did you learn about success?"

Jordan replied, "Where there's a will, there's a way."

His father nodded his head, then shook his head, "What you say is not entirely wrong! But that was not my intention. I just wanted to show you that a piece of used clothing which is worth only a dollar can also be increased in value, Then how about us - living and thinking humans? We may be darker and poorer, but what if we CAN increase our VALUE."

This thought enlightened young Jordan. "Even a piece of used clothing could be made dignified, then why not me? There is absolutely no reason to underestimate myself."

From then on, Michael Jordan felt that his future would be beautiful and full of hope.

He then went on to become the greatest basketball player of all times.

It's now time to see how you can increase your value.

Keep Painting The Boat

A man was asked to paint a boat.

He brought with him paint and brushes and began to paint the boat a bright red, as the owner asked him.

While painting, he noticed that there was a small hole in the hull, and quietly repaired it.

When finished painting, he received his money and left.

The next day, the owner of the boat came to the painter and presented him with a nice cheque, much higher than the payment for painting.

The painter was surprised and said "You've already paid me for painting the boat, Sir!"

"But this is not for the paint job. It's for having repaired the hole in the boat."

"Ah! But it was such a small service... certainly it's not worth paying me such a high amount for something so insignificant."

"My dear friend, you do not understand. Let me tell you what happened.

When I asked you to paint the boat, I forgot to mention about the hole.

When the boat dried, my kids took the boat and went on a fishing trip.

They did not know that there was a hole. I was not at home at that time.

When I returned and noticed they had taken the boat, I was desperate because I remembered that the boat had a hole.

Imagine my relief and joy when I saw them returning from fishing.

Then, I examined the boat and found that you had repaired the hole! You see, now, what you did? You saved the life of my children! I do not have enough money to pay your small good deed."

So, no matter who, when or how. Just continue to help, sustain, wipe tears, listen attentively and carefully repair all the 'leaks' you find, because you never know when one is in need of us or when God holds a pleasant surprise for us to be helpful and important to someone..

You may have repaired numerous 'boat holes' along the way... of several people without realizing how many lives you've saved.

So Keep up the Good work..