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Heartbeats - 101 Stories explaining life on a daily basis (HeartSpeak series - 4) - 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. Heartbeats will repel and repeat the beats in your heart as you read and personalize it. 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. Acknowledge

Once Emperor Frederick of Prussia, notorious for his sudden fits of anger, while visiting the jail, enquired of each criminal what he was punished for. The Emperor was surprised when each criminal pleaded innocence, and blamed the police for their atrocities, the judges for their biased judgments, and the witnesses for their falsehood. There was, however, one exception. One acknowledged his crime openly and confessed that he deserved the punishment he got. The Emperor was deeply touched by his sincerity and ordered; “This man is too wicked to be with such innocent people. He will corrupt all of them. Get him out of here immediately.”

Human tendency is to justify than acknowledge almost everything that happens in life. There is no point in judging someone for this tendency because it is human. Just ask your child, if he has done something and instantly he will pop the answer — no, he did not do! When something goes wrong no one blames himself. It is always the other to be blamed.
Generally, accepting mistakes is pretty difficult for all of us because we don’t take time to think about or we hardly try to get into the other person’s shoe. The moment we are able to get into the other person’s shoe, we become aware of the consequences and repercussions that others go through due to certain behavior or actions. That is when one comes to the point of acceptance and acknowledgement.
Acceptance and acknowledgement are inevitable aspects of change or transformation in life. If you don’t acknowledge your own mistakes how can you change them? All what you do, becomes true for you?! When you believe everything is true, who can convince you? Even if someone tries to convince you, he/she might either become your enemy or displease you.
Self acceptance and acknowledging is one of the cardinal qualities of human being. The one who acknowledges his mistakes has become wiser than before he committed the crime. And the best part is that he need not carry the burden of guilt in his heart. So my friend, if you want to be free in your heart, accept and acknowledge that your heart beats freely, easily and effortlessly without guilt and fear. Let me remind you, the world does not need to improve but you need to.

“Our greatest strength as a human race is our ability to acknowledge our differences; our greatest weakness is our failure to embrace them.” — Judith Henderson
“This is the very worst wickedness, that we refuse to acknowledge the passionate evil that is in us. This makes us secret and rotten.” — D. H. Lawrence

13. Be with the strong

Long before today the cat lived in the jungle. She always
wanted to be friends with the strongest animal. Once she observed that everyone feared the lion, she became the lion’s friend. 
One day, as they were sun bathing, an elephant passed by. All the animals including the lion cleared the way to let the elephant pass. 
The cat then thought that the elephant was stronger than the lion. So she became the elephant’s friend. One day as the cat and the elephant were at a lake, the elephant trumpeted, “There are hunters here!” and he ran away. So now the cat left the elephant and went to the city to live with the hunter thinking that the hunter was stronger.
In the city, the hunter took her home. His wife shouted at him, “Ha! You could not kill a lion but why have you brought this useless cat here?” 
Suddenly a mouse passed nearby and the woman screamed. The cat ran and caught the mouse. The woman was happy to get rid of the mouse. So she named the cat ‘Pussy’ and kept her in the house.

Be with the strong and successful if you want to be successful and strong in life. Sometimes you may not be very strong and successful, but being with the strong and successful can give you a sense of security. The fragrance of it will certainly pass on to you too. That is the power of influence we have in our life.
Who wants to sail on a sinking ship? Even if you are on a sinking ship you should position yourself on the mast. So that you can save yourself. I am not saying that a strong will always win the race, but it is safer at least till the other conquers. Have you ever traveled by a rattled down government bus and on the contrary a Volvo air conditioned bus. When you sit in a Volvo you certainly feel safe and secure unlike the government buses that run in the various cities of India. The chances of a breakdown are slimmer and comfort of travel is better and higher. Though both will take you to your destination — the pain, anxiety, uncertainty, tension, stress and the sufferings you have to undergo while you are in a rattled bus is what I am talking about. But if you are with the strong, at least you can have a smooth ride, like in a Volvo, avoiding most of it and experiencing comfort and pleasure of the journey.
Even if you go to heaven or hell you will be rewarded according to your karma or acts and not the karma of your children or neighbors. Then why do you want to remain with the weak? If anyway you have to have some kind of reward or punishment, you might as well have it after having a good life, powerful position and fun in life. I guess, the cat in the story also looked for it. If the cat could become a pet and be pampered by the woman of the house — why can’t you? The cat also could make an unparalleled bond with her, having similar traits and nature.
My friend, it is not who is strong but the question is do you want to be strong? Do you feel strong from within? When you feel strong from within you will automatically be led to the strong and be with them. Remember, it is not how you start the race; it’s how you finish it that counts!

“Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong. The amount of work is the same.” — Francesca Reigler

22. Contribution

Once upon a time there was fierce blaze in a busy market place which started reducing everything into ashes. Hundreds of people were trapped and burnt alive. Many fire tenders were trying to extinguish the fire, locally being helped by people around, bringing water in whatever they could.
In this maze of hectic activity there was a tiny sparrow who would bring a drop of water in her beak and put it over the fierce blaze, and then go back to bring another one and so on.
Watching this brave, but insignificant effort, someone asked the sparrow. “What difference will a small drop make in this devastating fire?”
Sparrow replied ”I know that this drop will not make much difference in extinguishing the fire. But when one names those who set the fire and those who helped extinguish the fire, my name will be taken among the later.”

We all have a moral responsibility to contribute positively to the growth and progress of the society and world. It may be in whatever little ways we can, like the little sparrow. Many times most of us do not even have the mentality of the little sparrow when we think about the world. May be who even think about the world. Not bothered about it.
If you do not like the way the world is, you can change it. You have an obligation to change it. You just do it one step at a time. No matter how small your contribution is, that always makes a difference to someone. Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can and long as you can.
Many of us often think about how we can contribute to others less fortunate than ourselves. But many of us forget the fact that the real contribution starts with ourselves — that is the magic of contribution and giving back to your world. Once you’ve made a difference in yourself, you are empowered to share your gifts and help those around you — your family, friends, and community. If you don’t start by contributing to yourself, you will not be in a position to help others. Although many of us have been raised to think of others first, this noble gesture isn’t possible unless you have the personal resources to do so, including physical, financial, and emotional -- all the areas in which others may need support.
Think and create your own ways with which you can contribute and honor yourself. Do things that you love and are passionate about. Then you will be empowered to contribute in your own little ways to those around you.
Have you really contributed to yourself? What is your contribution towards the world? How are you contributing to the happiness of the humanity?

“The human contribution is the essential ingredient. It is only in the giving of oneself to others that we truly live.”
— Ethel Percy Andrus
“We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.”
— Mother Teresa


“If your child is the only beautiful child, you are underestimating all other children in the world.” — JojiValli