Michael is the kind of guy you love to hate. He is always in a good mood and always has something positive to say. When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would reply, "If I were any better, I would be twins!" He was a natural motivater. If an employee was having a bad day, Michael was there telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation.
Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up to Michael and asked him, "I don't get it! You can't be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?" Michael replied, "Each morning I wake up and say to myself, "Mike, you have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood or you can choose to be in a bad mood".
I choose to be in a good mood. Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or I can choose to learn from it. I choose to learn from it. Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or I can point out the positive side of life. I choose the positive side of life.
"Yeah, right, it's not that easy," I protested.
"Yes, it is," Michael said. "Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people affect your mood. You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. The bottom line: It's your choice how you live life."
I reflected on what Michael said. Soon thereafter, I left the Tower Industry to start my own business. We lost touch, but I often thought about him when I made a choice about life instead of reacting to it.
Several years later, I heard that Michael was involved in a serious accident, falling some 60 feet from a communications tower. After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, Michael was released from the hospital with rods placed in his back.
I saw Michael about six months after the accident. When I asked him how he was, he replied. "If I were any better, I'd be twins. Wanna see my scars?" I declined to see his wounds, but did ask him what had gone through his mind as the accident took place.
"The first thing that went through my mind was the well-being of my soon-to-be born daughter, " Michael replied. "Then, as I lay on the ground, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live or I could choose to die. I chose to live."
"Weren't you scared? Did you lose consciousness?" I asked.
Michael continued, "...The paramedics were great. They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the ER and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read 'he's a dead man." I knew I needed to take action." "What did you do?" asked.
"Well, there was a big burly nurse shouting questions at me," said Michael. "She asked if I was allergic to anything. "Yes, I replied." The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. I took a deep breath and yelled, "Gravity." Over their laughter, I told them, 'I am choosing to live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead." Michael lived, thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude. I learned from him that every day we have the choice to live fully. Attitude, after all, is everything.
"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a company...a church...a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past...we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you...We are in charge of our attitudes!"
Child Relief and You (CRY)
CRY is Child Relief. And YOU. An Indian organisation that belies every child ought to be given a fair starting chance to read and write, go to school, play, be healthy, and have a home. CRY reaches out to thousands of children for whom a school and a home are just a dream.
Is the problem just too big ?
Are you concerned that the problem is so enormous, your individual contributions would make little difference ?
Poverty and misery take on such huge proportions in India, most of us believe that our individual efforts are but a drop in the ocean. Futile attempts that might feed a hungry child one day, only to allow him to starve the next and finally, perhaps even starve to death.
That's not true.
You can help uncared for children grow up to live meaningful lives - where they can, make a positive contribution to society through CRY, who channelizes your contributions to those who need it most.
Here are a few reassuring facts about CRY and its activities that might put your doubts to rest. Each small contribution combines to do gretat things. Take a look at what 'YOU' have done. Last year alone we put together with your support, little by little, Rs 2.5 crores. And used the money judiciously to help poor children grow up to be happy, productive adults. In fact in the 16 years of its existence, CRY has supported 178 child development initiatives reacing out to over 6.5 lakh children.
Call or Write to: Child Relief and You
198/A, Anand Estate, Sane Guruji Marg, Bombay 400 011. Tel: +91-22-3063651/3647/3609
DDA Slum Wing, Community Facility Complex, Bapu Park, kotla Mubarakpur, New Delhi 110 003 tel: +91-11-4693137/4790/3159
No.3, Stephens Road Cross, Frazer Town, Bangalore 560 005 Tel: 5569355/572952
46, Poes Road, Off Eldams Road, Teynampet, Madras 600 018 tel: 451548/450400/458576
234/N Diamond Harbour Road, Janakalyan, Calcutta 700 008 Tel: 776324/84
REMEMBER ONE THING : Never give up on your dreams.
People who go to college are incredible. We go to classes. We read and absorb and are comprehensively tested on heavy amounts of varoius materials. We sleep very little. We drink ourselves into oblivion. We kill ourselves with several types of smoke. We cough and keep sneezing. Someone is always sick. Someone is always complaining.
We become attached to close friends. We smother each other. We lean too much, but our friends don't mind. We think often of the past and want to go back. We know we cannot, and soon we won't want to. We all had separate lives, families, backgrounds and pasts. We live totally different from how we used to live. We are frustrated and sometimes want to give up, but we never stop trying, and our friends won't let us.
We disregard health. We eat awful foods. We are forced to think about the future. We are scared and confused. We reach out for things, yet we don't find them. We try to sort out our minds, which are filled with studies, worries, problems, memories, emotions--powerful feelings. We wander the campus looking for happiness, which can be found in a friend's smile. We hurt--a lot, but a friend always tries to take the hurt away.
We keep going, though, because above all else, we never stop learning, growing, changing, and most important dreaming. Dreams keep us going and they always will. All we can do is be thankful that we have something to hold onto, like dreams and each other.
This article was printed in Dataquest magazine in the April 91 issue. It was written by Adam Osborne, who is the director of Silicon Valley Technologies and publisher of a monthly news- letter " From the Fountainhead".
I was raised in Tamil Nadu in South India, in the ashram of Sri Ramana Maharishi, of an english father and a Polish mother. Both were dedicated followers of Sri Ramana Maharishi. Therefore as a child growing up in the small town of Tiruvannamalai, Tamilnadu. I was fluent in Tamil and was sorrounded by Indians who were proud of their nationality and heritage, and believed they had a lot to teach us Europeans.
I still speak enough Tamil to get by, and feel that my roots are indeed in India. I must be only professed "vellackaaren" Tamilian in America. After all, how could anyone, even an English boy, grown up in Tiruvannamalai, in the ashram of Sri Ramana Maharishi, and not acquire a pride in his roots? It is therefore with some misgivings that today I find myself dealing with Indians, many of whome do not feel proud of their Indianness.
Indian Americans represent the most affluent minority in America, ahead of Jewish Americans and Japanese americans. This is a statistic and not an opinion. Indians swarm all over the Silicon valley, where they are an integral part of most product development teams: be they teams developing new semiconductor chips, software packages or computers. Indians are recognized throughout America as technically superior. No Indian in America has to explain his educational background, or apologize for his technical training.
And yet, as a group, though Indian Americans are quick to acknowledge their caste, religion or family, they lack national pride. Indians are not proud of their nationality as Indians, something I realized many years ago. Something that puzzled me Recently, talking before Indian audiences on the lecture circuit, I have frequently talked to Indians of their lack of national pride, with telling results. Invariably, after making this assertion from the lecture podium, I find myself surrounded by Indians: Engineers, Scientists, doctors, even lawyers, all asserting the correctness of my observations,"You are correct," they will assert. "I am not proud that I am an Indian."
Is the reasons India's colonial heritage? Who knows? But whatever the reason, it is a pity since the day Indians learn pride, India will rapidly move out of its third world status to become one of the world's industrial powers. Today I work with an Indian American, trying to help him make his dream come true. And in the process, make my own dream come true, since I have hitched my dream to his. Then, with my dream realized, I will return to India, to preach Indian pride: not pride in being a Hindu, or practising Islam or being a Parsee, or a Sikh: not pride in being a Tamilian, or a telugu, or a punjabi, or a marwari; not pride in being a Brahmin rather than a lesser caste. These are all divisive differences that India would be better off without. But I will preach that Indians must learn to be proud of being Indians just as Singapore nationals are proud of their nationality, irrespective of their race or their religion. Then there will be no more shoddy Indian products, since every worker will generate output with the stamp of a proud man on it. With self-evident quality that screams out:"That is the work of an Indian!"
And corruption will decline. For, although bribes are solicited by greedy, dishonest men, as well as by men who do not earn enough to feed themselves and their families, and even though these root causes of corruption transcend the bases of lack of Indian pride of which I speak, nevertheless a proud man will pause, more than a man without pride, before extending his hand to receive a bribe.
And a proud Indian will try harder to be responsible for products and services that others will praise. And it is in that praise that India's future Industrial greatness lies.
- - Adam Osborne