Category Archives: Thoughts to ponder

This is a place for us to share quotes, stories, and other things that inspire us.

Quote about Women | Women’s rights | Patrick Stewart

Patrick Stewart, Defend the rights of women and girls

Patrick Stewart, Defend the rights of women and girls

I love this picture!  And thank you Patrick Stewart for standing up for the rights of women and girls.  But why is this true?  Why does it take an old white guy to convince the world that standing up for human rights is necessary?  Why don’t people from other cultures stand up for women and girls?

And that’s really the problem isn’t it?  It’s not popular in a lot of cultures to stand up for female rights.  So even men who do support feminine rights often won’t say anything.  They don’t want to risk their own popularity, and maybe their safety, to stand up for something that isn’t popular.  It’s frustrating isn’t it?  It’s not that there aren’t men in other cultures that believe in female rights.  It’s just that they don’t say anything.  They don’t spread the word.

I often wonder about what it would take to help these men to stand up for what they believe in.  To motivate them to create a better world for their wives, sisters, daughters, an granddaughters.  What do they need?  And how can we provide it?  What will create the change we need?

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SADHU T. L. VASWANI: A BRIEF INTRODUCTION

Sadhu T. L. Vaswani, founder of the Mira School

Sadhu T. L. Vaswani, founder of the Mira School

Sadhu Vaswani was a great Sindhi educationist and philosopher. He was born as  Thanwardas Lilaram Vaswani, on November 25, 1879, in Hyderabad, Sind. In his youth, he became a scholar of the Upanishads, part of the oldest spiritual texts on Earth. He graduated from the University of Bombay with a bachelor’s degree in 1899, and a master’s degree in 1902. His first job was as a teacher at Union Academy. He then took a professorship in History and Philosophy position at the City College in Calcutta. It was here  that Vaswani found his Guru (spiritual teacher), Sri Promotholal Sen, affectionately known as Naluda. Five years later, Vaswani moved to Karachi, in 1908, and joined the D. J. Science College as a Professor of English and Philosophy. In 1910, Vaswani and his guru, Sri Promotholal, sailed from Bombay to Berlin (Germany) to attend the Congress of World Religions. In 1920, Vaswani’s mother died. Shortly thereafter, he became a brahmachari.

In the beginning, Sadhu Vaswani developed a devout following of mostly women. They called themselves the Sakhi Satsang back then. During an age when a woman’s place was in the home, Sadhu Vaswani suggested that they be the ones to lead the country towards a brighter future. He was so committed to this belief, that he founded a girl’s college to educate women and named it the Mira School. Thus began what the world now knows as the Mira Movement.

Sadhu Vaswani was one of the first supporters of the Satyagraha Movement, a freedom movement characterized by noncooperation and nonviolence, led by Gandhi. He used his influence on the Indian National Congress to get legislation passed in favor of Indian independence. He also wrote many books about the socioeconomic and political affairs of the time, such as My Motherland and Awake Young India.

- Written by Neelam Wadhwani

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Quote about Women | Ann Richards | Fred Astaire | Ginger Rogers

Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers

Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers

“After all, Ginger Rogers did everything that Fred Astaire did.  She just did it backwards and in high heels.”   ― Ann Richards

I love this quote!  It’s so true isn’t it?  And it just states the obvious in such a simple way.  Women go about their days doing everything expected of them.  They often do the same things as men in their day-to-day lives.  But they don’t get recognized for their accomplishments.  They don’t get recognized for often having to work harder to achieve the same successes as men do?

And why do they need to work harder?  As much as we hate to admit it, we still live in a very male dominated world.  Men can do less and get more recognition.  And often the things that seem to warrant recognition in society are only the things that come easily to men.  The things that come easy to women are often trivialized.  Society doesn’t put as much value on being a mother, and all the work that that entails, as it does as being a businessman.

Isn’t it time that we start to highly value what women do naturally well?  Isn’t it time we gave them all the tools they need to succeed at whatever they choose to pursue?  Isn’t it time we give them the credit they deserve when they choose to compete in, and succeed at doing something just as well as a man?  I think it’s time.

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Inspirational Quote | Franz Kafka | Start with what is right

Inspirational quote

Inspirational Quote

Start with what is right rather than what is acceptable.
- Franz Kafka

I think most of us spend our time just doing what is acceptable.  Our cultures tell us what we should be doing, and even if it doesn’t sound or feel right to us, we do it because it’s what is expected of us.  It’s what our society thinks is acceptable, and if we want to be accepted we do what is acceptable.  Often, doing what is right is not popular.  Standing by one’s values and beliefs is often an act of courage, because it’s often not considered acceptable.  And because of that, that person loses their acceptance in their community and/or family.  This loss can be painful, and many of us don’t want to suffer that way.

But the world won’t change until we stand behind our beliefs.  The more of us who stand by what is right, the more acceptable it becomes.  What would the world be like if it was “normal” to stand for what we believe is right?  What if that became “acceptable?”  But it starts one person at a time.  Each of us can make a difference.  Each little step is a step towards a better world.

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Quote about Women | Nora Ephron | Quote about Courage

Beatiful Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai

“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.”
― Nora Ephron

In many countries around the world, getting an education is an act of courage.  We saw the story of young Malala, who stood up for her right to an education and got shot in the head for her beliefs.  That’s a dramatic example of what it can take, but there are so many girls around the world that fight the same battle, but without the same drama (thank goodness) and the same visibility.  They have to fight the norms of their cultures, the inaccessibility of schools, the demands of their families on them to help in the house or nurse their elders.  They are often pressured to get married at a young age and then become mothers even before they are teens.  For these girls, education, just learning the simple skills of basic reading and addition and subtraction, is such a gift.  And for this gift they must struggle.  They intuitively know they must be the heroines in their own lives.  Against the odds, against social pressure, they refuse to be victims.  They do whatever they can to get the education that could make them who they really want to be, or give them freedom that they seek.  They are examples of what real life heroines look like.  They are the beautiful faces of courage.

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Gratitude | Zig Ziglar quote | Being Thankful will change your life

live in gratitude

Live in gratitude

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more.  If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”  -Zig Ziglar

 When I first finished college the economy was really bad.  Like many students I struggled to get a job and finally landed my “not my dream job” about a month after graduation.  I remember feeling depressed and deflated, but I knew I was lucky to at least have a job.  My commute to work was about an hour so each morning and evening I listened to books on tape (they really were on tape in those days).  My favorite audio books were by Zig Ziglar and Leo Buscalia.  They both made me laugh and both filled my heart with love and hope.   Zig taught me all about business and sales.  Leo taught me all about love and compassion.

I don’t know if Zig said this quote exactly this way back then, but he said something very similar.  And so, because I trusted him, I started a habit of saying three things I am grateful for every morning before I even got out of bed.  Within a week my life changed.  I was happier at work.  The world looked more beautiful.  And within a month I got promoted and got to move back to a city I was very happy to live in.

I was hooked, and the habit stuck…for 20 years now.  What are you grateful for?  Please tell us below.

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A poem about Diwali | Deepavali

Christmas isn’t just a day in our family, chosen by Christian clerics of old, to combat pagan traditions of the common folk. It represents a whole season to us, a season full of good tidings and family relations. It begins with the coming of Diwali and ends with the first day of the new year!

Rama's return to his throne

Rama’s return to his throne

Sometime towards the end of September, arrangements begin for a season to remember, To observe the return of a king to his throne, and banish the darkness and sorrow unknown.

 

Diwali lights hung from the rafters

Diwali lights hung from the rafters

The house is cleaned and decorated after, and lights are hung along the outer rafters. Flowers and plants are strewn about, so nothing is left covered without.

 

Diwali Sweets

Diwali Sweets

Tealights and tarts are placed  everywhere. Colorful lanterns are hung with good cheer. Sweets and sauces are cooked with care, in hopes that Prosperity soon will be there.

 

Happy Diwali to All

Happy Diwali to All

Lamps are constructed from water and clay. Filled with the oil of cooking or prayer. Wicks of pure cotton are stretched and twirled, to aid in the magic soon to unfurl.

 

Diwali Lakshmi puja tray

Diwali Lakshmi puja tray

Murtis are polished and dressed anew, in reds and golds of exceptional hue. Silver is polished to a brilliant veneer, and used in the pooja, with all we hold dear.

 

Beautiful Diwali Rangoli depicts an oil lamp

Beautiful Diwali Rangoli depicts an oil lamp

Patterns and paper and petals of red, adorn every doorway and walkway and tread. Circles and angles are precisely aligned, to create a work of rangoli divine!

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How many reasons can you think of to celebrate? | Starting with Halloween

Mia and Daddy Celebrate

Mia and Daddy Celebrate

Thank you Monica for letting me guest write at your site.

And thank you for guest writing at my site - The fun of being Multi-cultural | Diwali | Halloween | Indian-American.

My daddy has been to India many times. And he says one of the most wonderful people he knows is from India. His name is Ajai Lall of Central India. And he and daddy have been friends for a long time.

Daddy also has many students from India at the university. And one of his key workers is from India – Parasshuram.

Daddy first became interested in India when Ajai invited him to visit the country.

While daddy was there, the story goes, his Indian friends locked him in a room one day because it was a festival day – HOLI.

“You can’t go outside Bill. You will get painted to death.”

So, daddy was locked in a room all day with nothing to do but watch cricket … of which he knew nothing about. But … by the end of the day he knew something.

Fast forward about 20 years and a lot of ‘LIFE’ in between and daddy and some of his writers started making a living and paying a lot of bills because of what he learned in a hotel room while many Indians celebrated outside.

Now, daddy is celebrating, too – the fact that what he learned from his Indian friends and by working along with an Indian colleague … his life is fuller and richer.

Now THAT! is worth celebrating, isn’t it.

Diwali quote | Live life like it’s a festival | Happiness

True happiness comes from within

Celebrate life. Your happiness is contagious.

“The truth is that existence wants your life to become a festival…because when you are unhappy, you also throw unhappiness all around.”

Isn’t this so true.  If you are not happy, you usually bring those around you down.  But if you are happy, the world looks like a better place.  Your automatic reaction are such that you are giving everyone the benefit of the doubt.  You assume the best rather than the worst.  You look for the good rather than the bad.  You smile, and make others around you smile.  Who we are definitely affects how people react to us, and how people feel when they around us.

So, if we treat life like a festival, we become happier, and the world around us responds.  In a festival things do often go wrong.  But people are having so much fun they fix the problem and move on.  It doesn’t dampen their mood or ruin the day.  At a festival we just feel good.

Diwali is the festival of light over dark, good over evil.  The festival of your life could be the celebration of joy over unhappiness.  Do you think it’s possible?  What if it?  What would your life be like if you lived it that way?

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Diwali | Let your inner light, the supreme Deepavali, shine brightly

Be the supreme Deepa within.

Be the supreme Deepa within.

“The sun does not shine there, nor does the moon and the stars, nor does lightning shine. All the lights of the world cannot be compared even to a ray of the inner light of the Self. Merge yourself in this light of lights and enjoy the supreme Deepavali.”

We hear it said so many times.  Happiness comes from within.  And there are certain people we meet in our lives that we think “Wow, that person just glows.”  Or “Wow, that person seems to shine from within.”  Those people allow their inner light to shine through.  Our inner light is the brightest, most beautiful light of all.  It’s the hope for the human condition.  It’s the light of joy, compassion, love, forgiveness.  It’s the light that inspires us to be our best.  It’s the light that guides us when life gets difficult.

And yet, even though this light is the supreme light, most of us focus so much more on the light outside of us.  The Sun, moon, stars.  The bright lights of a city.  The lights on a dark highway.  Those lights can light our physical world, but they don’t brighten the whole world, the way a joyful spirit does.  So take some time to nurture your inner light.  Feed its flame.  Give it love.  Light your own deepa and celebrate your own supreme Deepavali.

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