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Grateful Heart - 101 Stories explaining life on a daily basis (HeartSpeak series - 5) - Have a peep into the book

Joji Valli

A story becomes so intimate to your heart when it touches your heart. I mean, when it makes fire in your heart. Grateful Heart is the expression of our gratitude for our own very existenc. HeartSpeaks series will enhance you and inspire you to live a life of happiness peace, unity and love. Thus, making this world a better place for each of us to live with the realization -- 'life is too short'.

1. Ability to Adapt

Once Mulla Nasruddin was living in a very rich man's bungalow and one of his friends came — a very poor man, a vagabond, a wanderer. Mulla managed to get him the best room in the house. It was really royal. In the morning when Mulla went to see him, he was lying on the floor! Mulla asked, "What are you doing?" He said, "I couldn't sleep on such a beautiful bed! I tossed and turned and sleep wouldn't come. It was too soft. I had to come down on the floor, and then I slept really beautifully."

Human being has immense capacity to adapt to any conditions or circumstances. Adaptability expands beyond limits especially when something is absolutely inescapable. Thus, adaptability becomes almost infinite. If you are suffering, and suffering remains constant, you settle for it; you start taking it for granted. Adaptability is the ability to fit yourself into water frame you embedded. Like a chameleon becomes one with wherever it is; your mind has a tendency to adjust to every situation in life. However, our stubbornness due to the social conditioning makes us to restrain from embracing the new situation and becoming one with it. Chameleon becomes one with the situation which is the survival mode for the creature. It can save itself from the enemies by just becoming one with the situation. Always be reminded that without the ability to adapt, life becomes tough.
Adapting to a new culture, life situations, people etc. are often a challenge for most of us. It is probably due to fear of not embracing something new in life. Most of us tend to be stubborn with mindset and social conditioning, sadly missing the better things that come every moment in our life. Often, we forget to use the adaptor that is within. And adaptor has a peculiar function of converting or adjusting the power supply to a lower level that a device can handle. When the electrical device is straight plugged into the power supply, undoubtedly, it knocks the device out of its function. Similarly, when we fail to adapt to situations, it knocks us out of the goodness and happiness of life itself. I have always fascinated when I see the tamed elephants. How adaptive they are? How understanding they are? How tolerable they are?If elephants can adapt to the human environments and live amicably and happily, why can't we as human beings?

“Adaptability is not imitation. It means power of resistance and assimilation.” — Mahatma Gandhi
“A wise man adapts himself to circumstances as water shapes itself to the vessel that contains it” — Proverb

35. Forgotten

A great warrior did not return from the hunt. His family gave him up for dead, all except his youngest child who each day would ask, "Where is my father? Where is my father?" The child's older brothers, who were magicians, finally went forth to find him. They came upon his broken spear and a pile of bones. The first son assembled the bones into a skeleton; the second son put flesh upon the bones; the third son breathed life into the flesh. The warrior arose and walked into the village where there was great celebration. He said, "I will give a fine gift to the one who has brought me back to life." Each one of his sons cried out, "Give it to me, for I have done the most." "I will give the gift to my youngest child," said the warrior." For, it is this child who saved my life. A man is never truly dead until he is forgotten!

A question has answers as long as it bothers you. As long as you remember it the question bothers you for the answer. But the question itself is forgotten, who cares about the answer! Our lives too are same. Your physical death is only the death of the body. It ceases your physical existence in flesh and blood here on earth. Many of our parents, grandparents, loved ones vanish from the phase of the earth while we are alive. They shrink in the pages of history with an annual remembrance. Though, they are dead and gone. At least once in a while we tend to recollect to our memory depending on the closeness. However, people who have contributed earnestly to the progress of the society and culture are remembered through their works. People like Gandhi, Da Vinci are specimens — vivid illustrations of a time that we are not familiar with. But their works or contributions keep them alive now and forever in the human history. Exactly, that is what, it is meant by a man is never truly dead until his is forgotten. But to become such a great character you have to contribute positively to the progress and well-being of the society. In other words, if you are able to take care of the society while you are alive, the society will certainly keep you alive to the eternity. Religions work with the same principle. Their unique selling point (USP) is values or morality which is a necessity for keeping the equilibrium of nature and existence itself. We would have forgotten all the religions and Gods unless we make them alive everyday in our lives. The religions and Gods had a message relevant to every situation and time. Every generation of religious people keep on renewing them by imposing fear symptoms and hopes. Do you want to be forgotten as you die or do you want to be alive? If you want to be alive in the pages of history make that unique masterpiece on the canvas of your life. You will be remembered now and forever.

“A man who pays his bills on time is soon forgotten.” — Oscar Wilde
“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” — Mother Teresa
“You can never correct your work well until you have forgotten it.” — Voltaire

61. More Wonderful Things

A man in New York had collected many wonderful things and had kept them in a museum. The things were so attractive and wonderful that those who were going there to see them kept on gazing at them and were not willing to go out from the museum. And as long as they did not get out other visitors wishing to buy tickets stood at the gate. There was no question of their entrance. Then there was a great difficulty in managing the whole show. At last visitors inside were asked to go out because the visitors outside were continuously tapping on the door so that they might enter the hall. So the collector of curios found out a clever device to solve the difficulty. Perhaps he might have learnt this device of cleverness from nature. There were about twelve halls in the museum. To guide visitors to go from one hall to another, a small board with an arrow was kept in each hall. There was a board with an inscription, "There are other wonderful things," and an arrow pointing to the next hall. So this man played a trick and put the largest arrow on the board in the twelfth hall with an inscription, "Please proceed further and see more wonderful things which you have never seen or heard about." And when a person went out of this hall, he was directly put on a highway. Now it was impossible for him to turn back to the hall. There stood a watchman at the door. If one desired to enter the museum again, he had to buy a ticket and enter through the front door. From the day this board was placed there in the museum, there was no congestion because people were directly put on the highway in their curiosity to see wonderful things.

Life goes on changing but human mind has the peculiar tendency of getting stuck. It could be stuck to the past, present or even to the future. When you get stuck in life, nothing new can happen in life. It is like breathing. Imagine you only try to breath-in without breathing out. Is it possible to hold your breath? Since, you are able to breathe out; you can get fresh air every time. Similarly, in life too, if you are stuck on a single incident or event, you are certainly blocking yourself and others from many more beautiful things that are on the way. Keep moving! Movement is life. Life has more wonderful things to offer you. You need to keep moving rather than getting bottled with one thing or other. Move ahead and experience the wonders and miracles that life is offering you. Give chance to others to experience as you move forward.
We are constantly surrounded by miracles, but we do not recognize them because they come to us so gracefully and seamlessly. Every moment you will come across so many wonderful things. A seed becoming a sprout is a miracle. A bud opening in the morning is a miracle. A flower releasing its fragrance is a miracle. In fact, the whole existence is a miracle. Are you aware of the wonderful things happening in life? Do you get stuck with a single bud opening in the morning? Are we missing the beauty around us? How many other things are we missing as we rush through life?

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” — Victor Frankl
“Keep moving, life is all about moving on — movement is life.” — Joji Valli


“Life is a choiceless choice. World is so large, definitely you have a special place in the world. Find your place.” — JojiValli