I have an app on my iPhone which brings to me, a quote everyday morning at 9AM. Many of them are very great, some are simple, some are those which you have already heard, some are complex, and I have to admit, some, I even find stupid. But quite frequently, there comes along a small one or two liner which makes you think not only about what it said, but also about the person who said that in the first place. How they managed to convey such a profound thought in just one line. Many of the times, the author of the quote is someone I have never heard of, then again, I have heard of quite less people :). It makes you not only admire the message but also the simplicity of putting it in a line.

So, the reason I am writing this post, today’s quote. Quite simple, most of us already know it, but then again, it’s nice to be reminded once in a while. It is about ‘Action’, here goes:

“The only measure of what you believe is what you do. If you want to know what people believe in, don’t ask them what they believe, don’t read what they write, just observe what they do.”

– Ashley Montagu

I really enjoyed this quote; it reminded me about two things:

  1. Exemplary behavior: This reminds you that people are always watching what you do. We may be great individuals at heart, we may think for the best for the ones around us, and everyone else too; but unless we set an example, it does not mean a thing.
  2. Practice what you preach: This is very important for me as I write a lot of stuff on my blog which tells my readers about leading their life better, makes them focus on self-improvement and lots of other ‘goody-goody’ stuff. (eg. My last post about ‘Controlling your anger’ here). I do it so that people may derive some benefit out of it, but unless I implement the same ideologies and ideas in my life as well, my words are nothing but hollow.

I know both the points about roughly mean the same thing, but I am sure you get the gist of what I wish to convey :). And I also hope you enjoyed the quote.


Controlling your Anger

This was a part of a book I have been reading, I found it quite nice and useful for almost all of us. This is about anger, an ‘issue’ with all of us. We may not call it an issue most of the times and find it to be justified as per the situation which made us angry at the moment, but I am sure, at some point of time, we have all regretted a decision made in anger or frustration, or words said to someone in a fit of anger which have had lasting consequences, relations spoiled due to momentary anger, etc. A phrase comes to mind at this point, ‘7 seconds of anger can spoil a relationship for 7 generations’. I am sure it wasn’t just this, but this is what the quote meant :).

I am going to quote the entire passage that the author has written about how to control your anger. It is good advice, on first read, you might think that you already knew this, but I suggest that you give it another read, so that you may make the most of it. It is a good perspective on anger and how it is almost always unjustified to be angry and how we need to realize this. Unless we realize that being angry only causes harm and is never right, we can never be in a position to control our anger. It is only when it is well known to us, that being angry is not only a waste of time, but also has significant consequences for us, will we be able to consciously control ourselves at times when we get angry. It is not that tough, it is only the realization and conscious knowledge that anger is wrong, which will save us from this ‘evil’, if I may call it that.

Long Article Warning :).

                ANGER: This is one of the worst emotional disturbances because it expresses itself in violence, hatred, hostility, war and torture. It also expresses itself in lesser ways such as resentment, bitterness, jealousy, fault-finding, nagging and destructive criticism. In this article, I will teach you how to control your anger 90 % of the time for the rest of your life, if you work hard at it.

                The first point you must understand is that it is you who create your own anger. No one else does. You talk yourself into it and it is up to you to talk yourself out of it. How? You get angry in the first place by thinking you must have everything you want. You believe at that point that it is awful and horrible if you don’t get everything you want and that people who frustrate you are bad and wicked and should be hated for their wickedness. This is irrational thinking. You are wrong on all counts. People who think they should have everything they want are just full of prunes. Just because other people frustrate you hardly makes them evil and horrible human beings who have to be criticized, beaten or killed.

                Anger, then, starts by you wanting, wishing, and desiring something. But before you know it, you have changed your mental state (whether you realize it or not) and convinced yourself instead that you must have what you want. In other words, you have changed your healthy, natural wishes and desires into neurotic needs and demands. Now remember, at this point: if you don’t get what you want, you only become disappointed and regretful. That is not serious and happens to us throughout our lives. How many of you have wanted to be rich, famous, and beautiful, have a yacht or a new dress? And how many of you got furious and angry with the world because you dint get those things simply because you wanted them? Obviously not many of you.

                Now, when you convince yourself that you have to have something and don’t get it, that’s a different story. Then you become hostile; furious, bitter, resentful, and you want to hurt everyone around you or scream your head off. But don’t you see what caused the anger? It is no the fact that you did not get what you wanted. It is the fact that you thought you had to have something you wanted.

                Look at it this way; you have undoubtedly seen children throw tantrums. Why do they do this? Obviously because they don’t get what they thing they have to have. Isn’t that why a four-year-old child screams, kicks, fusses and bangs his head on the floor?

                What’s the difference between what this child is doing and what you are doing? There’s only one difference: the kind of frustration. The child gets upset over a lollipop or an ice-cream, whereas, you wanted a pay raise, or more respect, or to win a sports event.

                In other words you have adult concerns, desires and needs. Bit when you get angry, you are regressing to the level of a child and are behaving like a child. Aren’t you above that kind of foolish and infantile behavior? I would certainly hope so. I know it is one of the things I continually have to remind myself of whenever I find myself frustrated and am about to become angry. I immediately say to myself:

[This is the important part]

‘I am not a child. I don’t have to have everything I want. People who are frustrating me really aren’t bad, they’re simple mistaken or have some pretty strong views of their own which don’t agree with mine. That hardly means they are bad or ought to be severely punished. It just means that I am going to be frustrated and not get my way. So what? I am not a baby and I can stand it.’

When I talk to myself that way I don’t get angry. You can easily do the same.

                And don’t bring up the argument of righteous anger. All anger is righteous of you wouldn’t be furious or resentful in the first place. The person you’re arguing with things the same righteous nonsense you do. So never use that argument, it simply doesn’t hold water.

I hope you enjoyed the read. I liked it very much so thought would share the same with my readers. 🙂

Another quote about anger before I leave, ‘When you are angry, count till ten. When you are very angry, count till a hundred’. 🙂

Antha Thikarnta

Ice Cubes

We have all heard the phrase, ‘We are all one’, or, ‘We are all gods’, or, ‘We are all part of the same atma’, and so on. So while reading a spiritual book recently, which I often do alongside reading scientific articles, I came across an example which appealed to me in the most basic and simple of ways. So I wanted to share it with my readers.

It is not that I am still completely convinced of the fact that God created man and everything else we see, or that Darwin was a fool to say that we actually ‘Evolved’. But I believe in hearing both sides of the story. If you wish to find the truth in an argument, or wish to pass an informed judgment on a case, you need to look at the arguments from both perspectives, think like what either party thinks; and not be limited to what you personally believe. This is the reason that I read spiritual books all the time, to understand what the theists say about God, and also so that I may understand better where to pass scientific judgments and what are the places where science falls short in explaining what the theists claim to be God’s will/hand in action.

Before I begin the example which I intend to share in this post, let me apprise you with what that example intends to explain. There are 3 fundamental ideas, if you may call it that, which to some extent convey what Hindu mystics teach us:

  1. God is always with you and around you. He is always to you left, right, front, behind you, and even above and below you.
  2. God is in you, and you are in God.
  3. You are God, and God is you, so you and God are essentially one.

Now the example: [I shall be adding a few comments through the example in braces.]

Imagine a glass of water with a few ice cubes floating in it. An imaginary conversation takes place between the ice cubes and water.

Water: Ice cubes, I am always with you, I am all around you, I am to your left, right, above and below you.

[We all agree that this is true.]

Water: Ice cubes, you are in me and I am in you.

[This is true too.]

Water: Ice cubes, I am water, you are water, we are all water, we are one and the same.

[There goes the third point, which is also true in this case. Now the ice cubes answer to the declarations given by water.]

First Ice Cube: I am not water. I am an Ice Cube. I am the most perfect and beautiful form in the universe. All my sides are equal, and what is really unique is that all the sides are at perfect right angles to each other. How can anyone imagine that I am mere Water? I am an ICE CUBE.

Second Ice Cube: Brother what you say is absolutely true, but do not forget that I am very special. I am in Indian Ice Cube, very ancient, and very learned in all the scriptures.

Third Ice Cube: Well, don’t forget that I am an American Ice Cube, from the most developed and progressive nation in the world. Of course, you don’t stand anywhere close to me, I am the most special Ice Cube there is.

Fourth Ice Cube: I am sure you have heard of the small and modest donation of $ 10 Million that I made to ‘Cry’ yesterday; now you tell me which is the most special Ice cube here?

This way all the Ice cubes quarrel and try to prove their dominance over each other stating arguments for their being ‘special’. They are all so busy and obsessed with their temporary identities that they forget that in essence they are indeed the same water. They have no time to pause and ask the question, ‘Who am I?’

This example made a point that whatever we are, wherever we are, we are the same; in a very nice way. It really appealed to me, so I decided to share it with you. Does make you think.

My sincere apologies for using any regionalist or religionist examples, please understand, they were just to make a point.

Fiimaan Illaah