I am writing to you from the jungles of Masai Mara, Kenya. Back here after three years to spend some time in the wild and do what I love doing most – photography.
Came across this Quote by Lao Tzu and today’s newsletter is themed around it.
A woman, who was traveling alone in the mountains, found a precious stone in a stream. The next day she met another traveler who was hungry, the woman opened her bag to share her food. The hungry traveler saw the precious stone and asked the woman to give it to him. She did so without hesitation.
The traveler left, rejoicing in his great fortune.
He knew the stone was worth enough to give him security for a lifetime. But a few days later he came back to return the stone to the woman.
“I’ve been thinking,” he said,
“I know how valuable the stone is, but I give it back in the hope that you can give me something even more precious. Give me what you have within you that enabled you to give me the stone.”
The woman smiled, “The joy of giving!”
Often times we feel like we can’t really give anything to anyone since we don’t have enough for ourselves and we repeat this story to ourselves for so long and eventually, we make it part of our reality, but is that really true? Is there really nothing you have to offer to the world? I doubt that. Aren’t there talents and skills you have? Isn’t there plenty of LOVE in your heart to share with those you care about? Isn’t there a smile on your lips to offer to those who may have none?
Yesterday (16th July) was Babuji’s ( Grand father) birth centenary. And to celebrate the same, we helped to build a 12000 sq feet Cow shed and handed over to the Gaushala at Deshnoke, Rajasthan. Deshnoke is our ancestral home town and our ancestors migrated from there in 1874 AD. I have been able to track our family history from 948 AD, from the courts of Maharawal of Jaisalmer. A synopsis is here, in case you would be interested to read.
My Babuji was my Guru and teacher. Most of my values and teachings come from him.
Five golden mantras that Babuji taught me:
1. No matter how yesterday went, remember that every new day is a new opportunity. You can’t rest on yesterday’s accomplishments, and you never have to repeat yesterday’s mistakes.
2. Spend as much time as you can with the people you love. Your spouse, your kids, your parents, your close friends, whoever they are, make sure that you find lots of time to spend with the people you truly care about.
3. Work hard. You can’t always determine what you get out of something, but you can often control what you put into it. “कर्म करो , वही तुम्हारे हाथ में है”।
4. Don’t worry. Worrying rarely improves the odds of good things happening, and can actually diminish those odds. He used to say “करने में सावधान होने में प्रसन्न”।
5. Share – Share your resources, knowledge and experiences. The more you give the more you will get. His words were “जो देता है सो पाता है”।
Time and again I have found that the last point is magic. Whatever we have, increases through sharing. When you give unhappiness, your unhappiness increases; when you give bliss, your bliss increases. Whatever you share, increases. Sharing is the way to increase. You will not cast thorns on others’ paths, because sooner or later, you will come across them on your path. If you are wise, you will never spread unhappiness, because your own unhappiness will increase in the giving, and in not giving, it will fade away. If you are wise you will always share joy, because your joy will increase in the sharing, and if it is not shared, it will die. Sharing is the formula for growing.
Tools to teach your children Joy of Giving
There is not a better way for children to learn and develop positive traits than by watching us put into practice what we demand from them. Remember, children are like sponges, absorbing, then replicating behavioral traits – good or bad. Give them some good models to copy.
- Teach them to give some of their own time into helping others, no matter if it is their mom, a schoolmate, or a neighbour. Or at least, they’ll learn the value of respecting others’ time when necessary.
- Sharing Money. A useful way of teaching the concept of sharing could be committing small portion of their pocket money to a charity they choose. And then perhaps taking him to meet the people that the charity helps, or at least show them their website, so they see the effect of that small action.
- Give Daily. We have a charity coin box on our Dining table and Mom would keep five rupee coin in every plate at breakfast time and we would put it in the charity box, before serving food on our plate. When the box becomes full, she counts the coins and keep aside equivalent money for some charity. The objective here is to reach a level in which the act of giving becomes more of a subconscious action, almost a reflex, and not something that children feel as imposed or premeditated.
- Teach them to be grateful. Gratitude is one of the most precious things we can give, but what’s even more valuable is to instill this in our children by recognizing and appreciating efforts of everyone around us. The house help, the sweeper outside your home, the traffic cop or anyone contributing to the well-being of our community.
- Be kind to Pets. Whether it’s your own pet or those around your community, few beings are more grateful than animals. This makes them the perfect vehicle to teach kids the joy that giving brings.
- Sharing Knowledge. Not all of us excel at every subject in school, but this can also be an opportunity to learn about how beneficial giving/sharing actually is. Organizing study meets for your kids and their friends can work wonders. Almost immediately, they start to support one another with the subjects each one of them handles better.
If you do any of these or anything else to teach your kids Joy of Giving, please share. Would love to share with larger audience.
by Sanjay Jain
Stephen R Covey: “To change ourselves effectively, we first have to change our perceptions.”
I AM RIGHT, AND YOU ARE WRONG – does this sound familiar? Haven’t you felt or said this umpteen times. Hasn’t this lead to many arguments and fights because both sides felt they were right and the other person wrong. Did it ever strike you that both could be correct – have we missed something??
We all feel that we are right, and our understanding is perfect. We feel that there can be only one right way, and truth is universal. I also used to feel so, until I read and understood the principle of “Anekantvaad” in Jainism. It’s the theory of non-absolutism and doctrine of multifacetedness of reality. If literally translated, it means “many perspectives” of the same thing. The more I thought about it, the more I was convinced that there could be more than one right/truth for a thing, concept, or matter.
Most arguments happen because we fail to see things from the other person’s perspective. People argue that some things cannot have multiple perspectives – hence the argument on who or what is right or wrong. I am reminded of the story of 5 blind men and an elephant where each man felt the elephant and described it. One touched the ears and thought it is a fan, the other felt the trunk and thought it was a snake, the third touched the legs and said it was a tree trunk and so on… Neither one of them was wrong nor right – they all felt it from different perspectives or angles, and made their own inference.
Taking this argument forward, something as ghastly as murder can have a positive angle when someone is killed unintentionally or for self-defence. Hence even that cannot be universally considered to be wrong. I can go on and on giving examples to prove that there can be many correct perspectives for the same thing. However, I hope the point is already understood and appreciated.
Now what? We agree everything isn’t black or white – there are overlaps and shades of grey. We agree that there can be different correct perspectives and one doesn’t have to be wrong for another one to be right. We can have win-win situations and lose-lose situations. However, the moot point is how can this help us as human beings?
The biggest benefit we can derive by understanding and appreciating this concept is that we will avoid unnecessary arguments and disputes. We shall start appreciating others’ point of view and respect people. It is very important to place ourselves in the other person’s shoes to understand or see his/her perspective.
The other important benefit is that our horizon and thinking power increase, as we look out at problems, issues, and hindrances from multiple angles, which will help us find solutions much more easily. The additive and multiplicative approaches to life expand and they give an unmatched power of visualisation.
I strongly recommend you to ask yourself, is there another angle or perspective? Am I missing something important? Let me look at it from his/her angle? If I were in her shoes, would my conclusions be the same? However please do remember to take off your shoes, before putting yourself in the other person’s shoe.
By now some who have started thinking or activating their grey cells may be confused or finding it difficult to really have one absolute choice or answer or truth – they are just so many ifs and buts. Don’t worry. That’s life – just understand and appreciate the existence of multiple truths, routes, options, and perspectives.
Another simple example, which we all see and comment about – what is enjoyment and fun? Some love partying and being social, while others enjoy their solitude. There are a few others who love being in their own small group and so on. Everyone normally finds other’s way of enjoyment as weird and sometimes stupid. They feel listening to loud music stirs a headache while others feel that not partying is so boring and is a sign of being old. The biggest excitement of one can be a source of headache for another, and yet different people are happy doing different things.
Live with your beliefs and convictions but learn to respect and appreciate those of others. As we say, “Live and let live”. No one is weird or stupid; it is just that their perspective of life is different from yours!!!
The environment in which we exist plays an important role in conditioning us. Our understanding of issues and facts depends so much on the context. Rarely can anything survive in isolation or vacuum – not even fire has existence without air around it. Hence our understanding and acceptance of anything will depend on the environment in which we exist. This further multiplies the possible perspectives and truths.
I would like to conclude by saying – “ Suno aur samjo sabki, uske baad karo apni”
Sanjay Jain is Managing Director of TT Ltd, a public listed company. A double Gold medalist from IIM A, he has authored the book A Pinch of Salt: in the Recipe called Life. This article is an excerpt from his book. He has won various recognitions and awards including the ET Business Leader, Udyog Ratna, Asia Pacific Entrepreneur, World HR Congress CEO. He is mentor to Santa Clara University, USA & Bizness clinic. You can connect with him on Twitter at @TTsanjayjain
Choking is the #4 leading cause of death in people of all ages after heart disease, cancer, and unintentional injuries.
So, learning how to prevent it, can save your life or someone else’s. The best way to prevent choking is to know the main steps of first aid:
1. If the person is conscious and can speak, ask them to cough the object out.
If the person is not conscious or cannot speak, use abdominal thrusts (also known as the Heimlich maneuver) to dislodge the object: Mayo Clinic explains it:
- Stand behind the victim.
- Balance can be improved by placing one foot slightly ahead of the other.
- Your arms should be cinched around their waist.
- Adjust the person’s position a tad.
- Make a fist. Place it just over the person’s belly button.
- Another hand should be used to clinch the fist.
- Press hard into the abdomen with a quick, upward thrust — as if trying to lift the person.
- Perform between six and ten abdominal thrusts until the blockage is cleared.
2. Call for help. Get someone to call the local emergency number.
3. Stay with the person until help arrives.
India outlawed scores of plastic products. India, the world’s most populous country after China, has become the latest nation to ban some single-use plastics.
Cups, straws and ice cream sticks are among 19 plastic items outlawed recently. This is a “good beginning”. More items are set to be added to the list in the coming years.
With a population of 1.4 billion people, the legislation could have a huge impact on plastic pollution in a country where it is a major problem.
India’s ban is the latest sign of progress in tackling the scourge of plastic waste. In March, world leaders from 175 nations agreed to draw up a treaty to end plastic pollution by 2024. Here are four reasons to be optimistic about it.
Podcast I loved this week. Rich Roll in conversation with Chip Conley. A hotelier and hospitality maverick, Chip is the founder of America’s second-largest boutique hotel company and former Strategic Advisor and Global Head of Hospitality for Airbnb, where he was instrumental in guiding the founders of this fast-growing start-up into the global hospitality brand it is today. In addition, Chip is a New York Times bestselling author and founder of Modern Elder Academy, the first midlife wisdom school dedicated to transforming aging. What if we reimagined aging not as something to fear—but rather as something aspirational?