Dec 26, 2013

Daily Story

                      The legend of Androcles and the lion has undergone several modifications through ages. It was adopted by Aesop in his famous fable where Androcles is portrayed as a fugitive slave who ran away from his cruel master and befriended a wounded lion which later refused to harm him.                      In his famous play, 'Androcles and the Lion' (1912) , George Bernard Shaw(1856-1950) presents Androcles as a compassionate Christian tailor who was saved in the Roman amphitheatre by the lion he once nursed.                      In one version of the story, it was the rule and custom of a country that any slave who ran away from his master was to be captured and  thrown into an arena before a  hungry lion. The king's army would  arrest such slaves and bring the culprits before the king for trial and judgment. Thousands of people used to gather around the arena to enjoy the public massacre.                     Fierce lions were captured from the forest by the hunters appointed by the king and kept in strong cages in the palace. They were starved before being let loose in the fenced arena into which the helpless slaves were thrown down mercilessly amidst the applause of thousands in the gallery around the arena.                     Androcles was a poor slave who suffered heavily under a cruel master. He escaped into a dense forest and sought refuge in a cave. He was chased by the king's armed guards who searched the forest thoroughly to find him.                     A wild lion with a large thorn stuck in its right paw entered the cave, limping on three legs and crying in great pain. He raised the swollen paw and showed it to Androcles who examined it with great care and compassion. He carefully removed the thorn and applied the fresh juice of medicinal herbs to alleviate the pain and cure the wound.  The lion felt relieved and licked the hands of Androcles as a mark of gratitude and love. He wagged his tail like a tame dog and left the cave thankfully. A few days later, the king's men traced Androcles and captured him. He was produced before the king. As Androcles was proved to have run away from his master, the king ordered that he shall be thrown to be eaten by a wild lion in the arena the next day.                     Thousands arrived to witness the cruel murder. The king and the queen was seated in a special box. Androcles was brought to the arena . He knelt down and prayed to God fervently. A hungry lion was brought in a cage in a carriage. Its heavy grating was opened and the lion was let free to attack the helpless Androcles. The hungry lion jumped from the cage into the arena, roaring fiercely, ready to pounce upon his prey. But, quite unexpectedly the lion became tame as he approached Androcles. He wagged his tail and licked Androcles with great affection. The lion recognized Androcles as the person who removed the thorn from his painful paw and affectionately nursed him before the lion was caught from the forest and was taken into the custody of the king's troops.                     Everyone was struck with wonder. The king learned from Androcles  the story of his encounter with the lion and praised his kindness. The king was deeply impressed by the compassionate behaviour of Androcles which enabled him to show mercy and love even to animals. The king stopped the practice of killing the slaves who ran away from their masters. Androcles was freed from slavery and was granted full freedom. Androcles was appointed as an important officer in the king's palace but he thankfully declined the offer and devoted his life to care for the poor, the sick and the illiterate people of his country.                     Jesus Christ taught, "Happy are those who are merciful to others; God will be merciful to them!"

I won't have access to a computer for a week or so, but I will try to catch up on posts when I get my computer back. See you soon, I hope your holidays were full of joy and compassion and mercy!

Dec 25, 2013

Daily Quote

Christmas is the time when Jesus was born into the world, giving the world the gift of the word of the Lord and later, forgiveness of all sins of all of mankind. We celebrate this holiday by giving to others. But really, any type of giving is Christmas. Anything that gives back to the world and community is Christmas. So every time we love others and give, it is Christmas. 
Many people love Christmastime because it is a time of giving and joy and happiness. If you like it so much, then you should give always! It not only makes others happy, but it makes you the happiest of all! And don't forget-- if you are on the receiving end of the gift, show gratefulness. Many people are less fortunate to be receiving such a gift. Not only that, though, but the giver will be happy just seeing you happy!
Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays to all!

Dec 24, 2013

Quote of the day

"If you haven't got any charity in your heart, you have the worst kind of heart trouble."
-Bob Hope
To be grateful and kind, you must have charity in your heart. To help yourself, you must first be able to help others. It is really quite simple. Just give back to the world around you, and the world will give back to you. Without doing your share of helping those in need, your heart will have a terrible disease... selfishness. Greed, hate, nastiness. Even if you are the nicest person ever, your heart is still full of the worst kind of heart trouble. Those who do their share of service to God's children and all of God's creations tend to be the nicest, most respectable people.

Dec 23, 2013

Quote of the day

The more complicated and elaborate our system of communication is, the less we end up communicating. Face to face, that is, anyway. See, back in the old days, they had to communicate face to face. They had to take horses and travel long distances to deliver letters or messages by mouth directly. Later on, they had telegrams. People who couldn't afford them would still travel and speak mouth to mouth, but less people than before the telegram. Later, early phone systems came out. Those who had a phone got to use that for communication, others used telegrams, and fewer spoke directly! Even later, computers came out and email became a possibility (not at the same time as computers were released, but later of course), and you get the point: less people used all of the other systems and less people spoke direct. As life went on, more was invented: high speed internet and email and cell phones and smartphone cell phones and tablets and Skype and FaceTime and all sorts of amazing communication devices! Unfortunately, less people communicate face to face! It is hurting our ability to communicate. So I encourage all of you to speak directly when you can... If you can. 

Dec 22, 2013

Daily Quote

"Maybe Christmas, the Grinch thought, doesn't come from a store."
-Dr. Seuss
Christmas doesn't come from a store. It never will. It comes from the heart. The true story of Christmas is when Jesus was born, with all of those alleluias and all of that star of wonder and such. Jesus came for us so that he could die for us, and in the spirit of his birthday, we celebrate with joy and the gift of giving. Bring joy into someone's life this Christmas and holiday season, give back by giving the gift of joy and mirth. It's the most wonderful time of the year! Everyone is so much happier, so much friendlier, so much more willing to give. Put aside the 'stuff' and try to find the joy of Christmas that you will not find in the store.

Dec 21, 2013

Daily Quote

To be great, you can't stand above them. By that, I mean you cannot be somewhat of a dictator above everyone, but you need to rule with them. Listen to their ideas. Use their ideas. Don't act superior to them, be one of them. Don't be some sort of ruling authority, just be with them and do things with them and act as if you are simply one of them. You can become truly great when you aren't trying to be all high and mighty.

Dec 20, 2013

Quote of the day

"Nobody is perfect, and I am a perfect example."
This quote speaks the truth, but in a fun way. It says that nobody is perfect. That is so true, everyone is unique and different in their own special ways. I am a perfect example of imperfection. Everyone has flaws, everyone makes mistakes, everyone does things that get on some people's nerves. Nobody is perfect. We just have to accept the fact that as humans it is impossible to be perfect. We can still try our hardest and do our best, but we will never be perfect.
The reason this quote says the truth in a fun way is because the quote then turns around and talks about how the author of the quote is perfect-- at not being perfect!

Quote credits to my grandmother who found this quote for me! :)

Dec 19, 2013

Story of the day

                          A king had three daughters. He wanted to test their love for him. He called them and asked them, "Tell me how much do you love me."                          The eldest daughter said, "Father, I love you like jewelry." The king was very pleased with her as he was very fond of gold and jewels and had a large collection of exquisite jewelry in his palace. The second daughter said, "Father, I love you like the best wine!" The king was happy to hear this as he was addicted to wines and other alcoholic drinks.                          Then the youngest daughter replied, "Dear Father, I love you like salt." The king became furious on hearing this reply. Angrily, he shouted, "What do you mean, you mean creature? Salt is a useless, cheap and ordinary object which you can find even in the poor slums of my kingdom. I know you don't love me. I don't want to see you again. Go away."                          But the youngest daughter met the palace chef and requested him to avoid salt in all the dishes to be served during the royal feast on the next day. The old chef had a special affection to the youngest princess as she was simple, humble and innocent. He agreed to do as she wished.                          During the feast, the king tasted his favorite dishes and cried aloud, "What is this? It has no taste at all!" He summoned the chef and questioned him. The wise chef answered, "Oh, Sir, I was afraid to include salt in the royal dishes because yesterday you declared in the court that salt was a useless and ordinary article. I avoided it ."                          The king learned a lesson. He realized the importance of salt and asked the youngest daughter to forgive him for his harsh remarks and rash behavior  He understood the extent of  her love towards him and embraced her.                          Salt is important and indispensable for mankind in many different ways:1. Salt enhances the taste and flavor of food and makes it pleasant and palatable. Without salt, many foods become insipid. Its deficiency in food is felt easily.2.Salt preserves food and prevents putrefaction.3.Salt dissolves in water and mixes fully with food. It apparently disappears by dissolution or disintegration. Lumps of salt in food may cause objectionable taste.4. It remains as an invisible presence in the dishes. Other spices like chilly and turmeric give conspicuous color which makes their presence visible.                          Jesus Christ advised his followers to be the 'salt of the earth'. By this he wished  that they should mingle freely with others and add flavor to the life of every one to promote peace, fellowship, joy and harmony in society by their silent and sincere service. By their humble and unpretentious actions they have a major role in preserving the integrity, values and moral principles of society. They should be deeply concerned with the well-being of all and serve as the 'salt of society'.

Dec 18, 2013

Daily Quote

"I made decisions that I regret, and I took them as learning experiences... I'm human, not perfect, like anybody else."
-Queen Latifah
Look back on your failures as learning experiences. Nobody is perfect, everyone is human. You just need to take your bad experiences and turn them into learning experiences. Then take those learning experiences and do better next time.

Dec 17, 2013

Daily Quote

"Life is an adventure in forgiveness."
-Norman Cousins
Something we all must learn to do is forgive. Instead of being Odysseus style (which is glory [doing anything for glory, no matter how bad it is- even killing people], revenge [when something does something that is shameful to you, you get revenge on them. And by that, it could be their own deaths], and shame [which is as it sounds; if you do something that brings me shame or I do something shameful, that is my equivalent of bad]), we should be Jesus style. Jesus style is centered more around forgiveness. Of course, modern day Odysseus style wouldn't be as deadly, but it would be more of mean gossip and bullying. In life we should all strive to be more Jesus style. It is the best thing we can do.

Dec 16, 2013

Story of the day

                          The 'pearl oyster' is a marine bivalve mollusk of the family 'Pteriidae'. It has a natural procedure to protect itself from foreign substances. Occasionally, by an accident, a foreign particle such as a  grain of sand or a parasite may gain entry into the  inner body of the oyster between the mantle and the shell causing great discomfort, irritation and possibly, pain to the oyster.
                         'Nacre' is the mineral substance secreted by the mantle of the oyster to fashion the shell. As the oyster is unable to expel the intruding foreign body, it initiates a natural defensive reaction. The mantle secretes 'nacre', the smooth, hard, crystalline mineral, layer upon layer around the irritant intruder to coat it and cover it completely. In course of time, the covered irritant becomes a beautiful, silky, lovely and  lustrous gem called a pearl. It has a shimmering iridescence and a special inner glow not found in other types of gems.
                          The coating of nacre consists of microscopic crystals of calcium carbonate, aligned perfectly with one another so that light transmitted along the axis of one crystal is reflected and refracted by another to display a spectacular spectrum of light and colour.
                          A similar situation may arise in our life frequently. Our mind may be hurt and wounded by adverse conditions and the unkind behaviour and harsh words of others. When we are ignored, rejected, misunderstood or ill-treated by prejudice or hatred, our mind gets wounded.
                         By trusting in the infinite love of God, we can let Him cover our wounds and sorrows by several layers of His healing love. Like the pearl made in the oyster from the healing wound, we too can develop precious pearls of peace, strength and sanctity in our mind and soul by the soothing and sanctifying grace of God. It is said that adversity is the best university to perfect our personality.
                         We must accept the sufferings and pain of life with the spirit of sacrifice.  In life, troubles, suffering and failures may fall on us. Let us not worry about them or feel helpless or hopeless. We should not let the troubles defeat us or bury us. Let us use every failure as a stepping-stone and not as a stumbling-block.
                         Our life is like a boat, sailing through the sea of the world. We may be threatened by the tempests of troubles, tribulations and temptations. But we can sail safely if our faith is strong. God has control over the forces of nature. He may give us tests and trials so that we may grow further and stronger, but he never abandons us during hard times. God is with us in our joys and tears throughout our life.
                                  God has plans to bring to us prosperity and not disaster.

Dec 15, 2013

Quote of the day

"I start a picture and I finish it."
-Jean-Michel Basquiat
Once you start something, you should always pull through. Go through with it. Don't give up! Many people give up... not realizing how close they are to success! Besides, the rewards when you finish something are great. They can range from earning actual money or actual stuff to the feeling of self-accomplishment. Besides, when you only complete things partially, the incomplete things pile up and you begin to feel worse and worse. Complete it all now- pull through with your actions. Once you start something, only you can finish it.  

Dec 14, 2013

Daily Quote

Be yourself. Even if you know that if you were yourself, everyone would shun you to the end of eternity. Of course, no one would do that. In fact, it is really nice when people are their true selves. It is quite frustrating, though, when you see someone you've known your whole life... Except that it's not them anymore. They are being someone they are not just because they want to be like everyone else. Be unique! Who wants to be like everyone else, anyway? I dare you- be yourself. It may be frightening, it may be strange. Your real you could be frightening or strange, too. Just be yourself..
I know that's what I want to see in someone. Chances are, others want that too.
This is an incredibly important lesson that even many adults still haven't figured out.
Trust me. Be yourself.

Dec 13, 2013

Daily Quote

Everyone is talented in their own ways. Everyone brings a different flavor to the table, and everyone is unique. Listen to what they have to say, it is important just because it is them who said it. There is only one of them- so treasure each word. Same for everyone! Everyone is so unique, a beautiful creation of God. There are no two alike- not even the most identical of twins! Therefore, each word anyone says is special. So give everyone a chance. Realize their talents, originality, and listen to their important things that they say. No matter if you think it is important or not.

Dec 12, 2013

Quote of the day

"Some of us think holding on makes us strong; but sometimes it is letting go."
-Hermann Hesse 
This is a really good quote. It is true, too. sometimes you just have to let go... there are other types of strength other than muscle strength. One of the most important things to be strong at doing is letting things go. Let those mean comments or insults just roll off of your shoulders. Don't get me wrong, it is incredibly difficult. It is a skill that even many adults haven't yet discovered. Engaging in the fight can only make it worse. Letting it go will make it disappear... Usually. The person picking on you will usually try to keep getting at you to try to make you mad, but don't let them! They can keep trying all they want but they should never succeed! Eventually, it will bother them that you aren't affected by their hurricane of doom, and they will finally move on. Let go, let it roll off of your shoulders.

Dec 11, 2013

Quote of the day

"Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential."
-Winston Churchill 

Keep on trying. You will never know how much potential you have until you give it a go! Of course, you will never get it 100% perfectly the first try if you've never done it before. You need to put in continuous effort. Keep trying, and eventually your potential will unlock itself. That unlocked potential will run loose and become skill. Once you have that skill, it is yours for the keeping, but you still must work to maintain it. None of your skills would be possible without trying hard to succeed! Keep trying! Your potential will step into the light and become kinetic!

Dec 10, 2013

Daily Quote

"There are more people who wish to be loved than there are who are willing to love."

-Nicolas Chamfort
Everyone wants to be loved. The feeling when you realize someone doesn't like you is not a good one. Everyone wants to feel the love of others, everyone wants to be appreciated. But not all of them are willing to love back! Some just want all of the love but couldn't care less about the person themselves. For example, if a girl plays hard-to-get but doesn't actually like the person, yet she persists on playing hard to get as if the person could have a chance at her eventually, she probably just likes the feeling of being loved. Even if she absolutely couldn't love that person if the world was ending! That is unfortunate, though. Everyone deserves to be loved, and everyone should love everyone else - even if it is so deep in their hearts that they barely know it is there - because that is what God wants us to do. Love your neighbors as yourself, that is unless you hate yourself. Which you should learn to stop doing and get some help before you hurt yourself. But in conclusion, if everyone loved everyone else, the world would be such a happier place. Unfortunately though, this is the real world and we just have to accept it. That doesn't mean you can't try, though; get out there and smile at someone. but more importantly, get them to smile back. :)

Dec 9, 2013

Daily Quote

"It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are."
-E. E. Cummings 
Being yourself is really hard, take my word for it. Especially when you are younger... There are so many other influences you have to balance out. The positive and negative influences from your teachers and elders/adults, the positive and negative influences from your peers. There are so many people who want you to be one thing, while others want you to be another. You just have to let your true self shine through. And keep a good habit of it. It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.

Dec 8, 2013

Story of the day

This is a great twist on the story of the wise crow!

The summer was very hot. Water was scarce. A thirsty crow searched for water everywhere. At last she found a small amount of water in a tall pot made of clay. She could not reach the water to drink. She was worried. Then she remembered the story of the wise crow that gathered small pebbles and dropped them patiently into the water in a pot. This raised the water level and then he could drink it easily. But this crow was very lazy to collect a lot of small pebbles. She did not have the patience to follow the wise crow. So she lifted a large piece of rock with great effort and dropped it into the pot. The pot broke with a loud noise. All the water was lost. The lazy crow remained thirsty and flew away in shame.
When someone is seen to carry a very heavy load instead of carrying it repeatedly as smaller loads safely and more effortlessly, just because he is lazy to make more journeys, he is said to carry a foolishly heavy load or a 'lazy man's load'. There is a popular proverb in Malayalam, "Madiyan mala chumakkum" meaning that a lazy man carries a mountain!
In the story the crow was lazy to collect a large number of smaller stones and so dropped a large one with a great effort and that broke the pot. We must remember the wise words, “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop!”

Dec 7, 2013

Quote of the day

My Mother's Quote Today I am sharing with you this special quote my mother shared with me. Enjoy it, and I hope it makes you think.

Dec 6, 2013

Daily Quote

"To dance is to be out of yourself. Larger, more beautiful, more powerful. This is power, it is glory on earth and it is yours for the taking."
-Agnes de Mille 
If you are like me, you won't want to dance. You will claim you can't. For the majority of my life, that was my mindset. I can't dance. I will never be able to dance. But my friends showed me how- it's really not hard. In fact, there is no method to it. When your friends are doing it, just get in a group, and basically jump around to the beat of the music. It's actually quite fun, it makes you feel like something much more than what you are. And it's all yours. You control the dance, you can take that amazing feeling. Dance until your feet won't allow it any more! Experience it for yourself! 
I just got back from a dance, in fact! I started out not wanting to do it at all, I stood in the corner. But my friends showed me the way, and by the end, I was dancing more than even they were! I was the one getting them to dance! Let yourself go, it can be worth something! Trust me.

Dec 5, 2013

Daily Story

                        A boy was flying a colorful kite in an open space on a windy day. By careful and skillful manipulation of the string attached to the kite, he could raise it from the ground. Strong winds raised the kite to greater heights. The boy was glad to see his kite soar up into the sky. His friends watched his work with wonder.                       A small bird was attracted by the kite’s swift movements. The bird challenged the kite for a race to reach still greater heights. The kite silently followed the bird but became almost stationary at a stable height. The bird flew back to investigate the cause of the kite’s unexpected halt. The bird was surprised to see that the kite was being pulled by a boy towards him using the string fastened to the kite. As the bird was not aware of the kite’s mechanism of ascent and stability, he assumed that it was caught in a trap and that the boy was trying to capture it. The silly bird decided to rescue the kite from its plight and snapped the string by a sharp bite with his sleek beak and set it fully free. But the kite lost its balance, control and stability. Descending haphazardly following the wind and gravity, it landed on a tall tree. The bird was surprised to see the kite entangled in the branches of the tree and cried aloud, inviting it to resume the race. Seeing no response, the bird left the scene, wondering about the fate of the kite.                        The pull on the string is the driving force behind the kite’s ascent and stability. But to an ignorant person, the string may appear to hamper the progress of the kite. Adverse conditions in life have a similar role in shaping our personality and destiny. It is said that adversity is the best university for our education and training.                        Our life is stabilized by the pull of several strings. The teachings of our religion and Holy Scriptures, the whisper of our conscience to follow the righteous path, the instructions of our parents, teachers and other well-wishers and the rules of the state and society are the strings holding us in a stable state physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Let us learn that these are not bonds restricting our freedom or hindrances to our progress. They are essential for our smooth and sustained progress to perfection and sanctity.                        Freedom is not the right to do as we please, but the liberty to do what we ought to do. Rules are framed to make our freedom full and fair. Voluntary sacrifice of personal rights is the basis of peaceful social life. There is no liberty without limitations; no freedom without responsibility. Commandments of God and the laws of our Nation do not curtail our freedom; they make our liberty a reality. Cicero said, “We are in bondage to the law in order that we may be free.”

Dec 4, 2013

Quote of the day

"When you have confidence, you can have a lot of fun. And when you have fun, you can do amazing things."
-Joe Namath 
Go into things with confidence. Be strong, and you can have fun. And when you are doing things for fun and not as if you are being harshly graded, then you can do amazing things. It's just like taking a test or going into an audition for something. You are going to be nervous. Sometimes, you get so nervous you don't do as great on your test/audition. But going into it with confidence- that's something different. If you have enough confidence, your test can be fun. I mean, you know the answers, right? Yes! You do! Because you are confident that you do! And your audition can be fun too. Treat it as if you are just practicing at home. Have confidence, it will all be ok! And when you have fun, you can do amazing things. Getting the role from your audition or making it into whatever you are auditioning for, or getting a good grade on your test. Have confidence, have fun, do amazing things!

Dec 3, 2013

Quote of the day

Make friends early. You will need them later, for support. Emotionally, physically, mentally... You get the point. Make your friends before you need them, build their trust. Build the friendship, strengthen it to the point where it is virtually indestructible. Unfortunately, childhood friendships tend to come to an end when everyone goes their separate ways- off to collage. But while you still have them, make friends so that when you really need them, they will be there. For example, if you need a friend to take you to the nurse because you fell and your ankle is twisted in a way it shouldn't be, you will have one. If you forgot your textbook and aren't able to do your homework, they will be there to send pictures of the textbook pages. If you go through your first heartbreak or your thousandth, they will be there to offer a shoulder to cry on. Friends are amazing. They are such a gift from God, and for that I am thankful.

Dec 2, 2013

Daily Quote

"Great effort springs naturally from great attitude."
-Pat Riley 
When you have a good attitude about something, you will likely put more effort into it. For example, if your job is one you are not very enthusiastic about, you may not have the best attitude. You also may not put forth your best effort. If you absolutely love your job, on the other hand, then you will likely have a much much better attitude. You will naturally put much more effort into your work. Even if you don't like your job, have a good attitude. More will get done, and quicker.

Dec 1, 2013

Daily Quote

"You can be the moon and still be jealous of the stars."
Gary Allan 
People will always be jealous. We just want more. You can be the king or queen of the world, and you would still be jealous of your people. If you don't have what someone else has, likely that you will be jealous. After all, jealousy is all the fun you think that they had.

Nov 30, 2013

Quote of the day

-Arthur Schopenhauer
I found this quote in the "funny quotes" section of Brainy Quote. It is meant as a joke. But if you think of it, it is actually true- It's all in how you look at it. See, if you know what you are doing you will know that after the top of the hill you will pick up speed. Gravity pulls you down and all of that. But it is true in life, too. After you get over the hard part, it is going to get better. Life will pick up speed again. Have you ever heard the term "it's all downhill from here?" That's the same idea. You have passed the very top of the hill, and it is all downhill from here. You will pick up speed. Just be careful on how you use that!

Nov 29, 2013

Story of the day

                     A crow was very sad that he had no friends. He met several birds and requested them to be his friends. But they sent him away, insulting him and saying that he lacked beauty, complexion and grace. He saw a dancing peacock and repeated his request. But the proud peacock laughed at him and sent him away. The peacock told him that he had no right to seek the friendship of the peacock who was the most beautiful bird and the most gifted dancer in the jungle.  He scornfully told the crow, "You are small and ugly with an offensive sound and bad behavior  You are a scavenger feeding on garbage and decaying flesh. How dare you come near me? He boastfully added, “Look at my elegant, elaborate, enormous, exquisite and exotic plumage, brilliant feathers and colorful tail. I am admired for my beauty and grace and excellent skills in dancing. Go away from me." 

                     Another day, the sad crow was sitting alone on a tree. Suddenly he saw a hunter aiming his rifle at the peacock who was seated on another tree. As he was about to press the trigger, the crow dashed against the rifle and flew away to safety. Though the rifle was fired, the hunter lost his aim. The peacock was saved by the timely help of the kind crow. Later the peacock came to meet the crow and thanked him for saving his life. Hearing about this incident, all the birds and several animals accepted the crow as their intimate friend. He became their hero. They learned that a person’s merit cannot be judged by his appearance.

                     Like the poor crow in the story, everybody deserves to be recognized, respected and loved. Every person has his own value and should never be judged by his outward appearance. Prejudice, discrimination, racism and judgement by external appearances have plagued humanity for centuries. Such biased judgements do not reflect truth or reality. God does not show partiality or favoritism  God expects us to behave like Him. We must use intelligent interpretations and just judgement to arrive at sensible conclusions and wise decisions.

                     We must not treat people in different ways according to their outward appearances. Appearances can be deceptive.

The Holy Bible reminds us, "Pride leads to destruction, and arrogance to downfall. No one is respected unless he is humble; arrogant people are on the way to ruin.”

                     Fred Smith said, "Humility is not denying the power you have. It is realizing that the power comes through you, not from you."   

                    Humility is a strange quality. The moment one thinks he has it, he loses it!

Nov 28, 2013

Daily Quote

“When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.” 

-G.K. Chesterton
In life, you must learn to be appreciative. It is a crucial skill to have. You can't go around taking things for granted... There are many in the world who would kill to get at whatever it is you are tossing aside. Take things with gratitude. Appreciate them. Treat each thing, even if it is a pebble your mom picked up on the sidewalk and gave to you, as if it was the most valuable thing in the world. Say thank you, be grateful. On this day of thanksgiving, especially. Give thanks for all you have. Celebrate. Then show your gratitude by extending the fingers of thanksgiving upon those less fortunate. Show you care, and have a happy thanksgiving!

Nov 27, 2013

Daily Quote

People who are thankful receive the most in the end. When you are given a gift from a friend and you don't like it, you still need to be thankful. If you are not, then they not only won't get you anything in the future, but their feelings will be hurt. They spent time, money, and effort to get you that gift. Not only that, but they spent time thinking of what to get you. Something they thought you would like. You really need to be careful with what you do. Besides, when you show you are thankful, people tend to want to get you more. Your boss may want to promote you. Your best friend may want to get you a special gift. You never know. But the most thankful people are the ones who are not only the most liked, but they get a lot more in return. Tomorrow is thanksgiving. Tomorrow is the best time to show your thanks. But anytime is the best time. Show it often, starting now.

Nov 26, 2013

Quote of the day

Peace begins with a smile.
-Mother Teresa 
Mother Teresa speaks the truth here. Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me. Let there be peace on earth, the peace that was meant to be. These lyrics from the song Let There Be Peace On Earth say it as well. Smile, be happy. Don't wait for someone else to start the peace for you, just start it yourself! There is no one better to do it. Spread the peace in the world. Let it begin with you. Just smile. Smiling shows you mean no harm. Smiling warms the hearts of those who are willing to have their hearts warmed. Let the peace on earth begin with you.

Nov 25, 2013

Quote of the day

You may want to stick to your inner experiences. But expand your horizons, go out and try something new. It may surprise you. And also think of it this way- if you never try something new, you will never be willing or able to go to collage, and you will always live with your parents. They will get tired of you, and move you to the basement. Go beyond what you are comfortable with. You will never gain new experiences unless you do. Take volunteering for example. If average normal people never stepped out of their comfort zones to help the people who need it most, this world would be in a much deeper mess then it already is in. So try it. Get off of the couch today, and try something you thought you wouldn't have ever tried otherwise!

Nov 24, 2013

Daily Quote

Open your heart! Embrace the day. No matter if it is rain or shine, embrace the day and make the most of it. For it is a day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad of it! Go outside. Smell the roses, admire God's greatest works. He has done great things. Some are so delicate and beautiful, and we have yet to discover their inner beauty. Look closely. Up close, everything is much more astounding. Each individual hair on an animal, each little line and crevice and detail of the bark of the trees. Just go look. It is truly gorgeous! With joy in your heart, go out and spread the joy. Help someone in need. It can actually be really fun! Open the windows of your heart to every little thing in this day, for this day will only happen once.

Nov 23, 2013

Daily Story

A long time ago in China, a girl named Li-Li got married and went to live with her husband and mother-in-law.

In a very short time, Li-Li found that she couldn’t get along with her mother-in-law at all. Their personalities were very different, and Li-Li was angered by many of her mother-in-law’s habits. In addition, she criticized Li-Li constantly.

Days passed days, and weeks passed weeks. Li-Li and her mother-in-law never stopped arguing and fighting. But what made the situation even worse was that, according to ancient Chinese tradition, Li-Li had to bow to her mother-in-law and obey her every wish. All the anger and unhappiness in the house was causing the poor husband great distress.

Finally, Li-Li could not stand her mother-in-law’s bad temper and dictatorship any longer, and she decided to do something about it.

Li-Li went to see her father’s good friend, Mr. Huang, who sold herbs. She told him the situation and asked if he would give her some poison so that she could solve the problem once and for all. Mr. Huang thought for a while, and finally said, “Li-Li, I will help you solve your problem, but you must listen to me and obey what I tell you.”

Li-Li said, “Yes, Mr. Huang, I will do whatever you tell me to do.” Mr. Huang went into the back room, and returned in a few minutes with a package of herbs.

He told Li-Li, “You can’t use a quick-acting poison to get rid of your mother-in-law, because that would cause people to become suspicious. Therefore, I have given you a number of herbs that will slowly build up poison in her body. Every other day prepare some delicious meal and put a little of these herbs in her serving. Now, in order to make sure that nobody suspects you when she dies, you must be very careful to act very friendly towards her. Don’t argue with her, obey her every wish, and treat her like a queen.”

Li-Li was so happy. She thanked Mr. Huang and hurried home to start her plot of murdering her mother-in-law.

Weeks went by, months went by, and every other day, Li-Li served the specially treated food to her mother-in-law. She remembered what Mr. Huang had said about avoiding suspicion, so she controlled her temper, obeyed her mother-in-law, and treated her like her own mother. After six months had passed, the whole household had changed.

Li-Li had practiced controlling her temper so much that she found that she almost never got mad or upset. She hadn’t had an argument in six months with her mother-in-law, who now seemed much kinder and easier to get along with.

The mother-in-law’s attitude toward Li-Li changed, and she began to love Li-Li like her own daughter. She kept telling friends and relatives that Li-Li was the best daughter-in-law one could ever find. Li-Li and her mother-in-law were now treating each other like a real mother and daughter.

Li-Li’s husband was very happy to see what was happening.

One day, Li-Li came to see Mr. Huang and asked for his help again. She said, “Mr. Huang, please help me to stop the poison from killing my mother-in-law! She’s changed into such a nice woman, and I love her like my own mother. I do not want her to die because of the poison I gave her.”

Mr. Huang smiled and nodded his head. “Li-Li, there’s nothing to worry about. I never gave you any poison. The herbs I gave you were vitamins to improve her health. The only poison was in your mind and your attitude toward her, but that has been all washed away by the love which you gave to her.”

Nov 22, 2013

Quote of the day

"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give."
-Winston Churchill
What we get is how we make a living. Our income that we get is so that we can pay for basic necessities. But what we give is what our life is. You can be old Ebenezer Scrooge and give nothing and do nothing for the good of others, and see how your life turns out then. But if you give back to the world, your life will be so much better. You not only will not be hated by everyone, but you will make a difference in the world.

Nov 21, 2013

Quote of the day

"The sun will come out tomorrow."
-Annie Little Orphan Annie
When it seems that everything is going wrong, stay calm, and know that things will get better. They always do. No matter how bad it seems, the sun will come out. Keep trying, never give up, and watch the golden sun part through the clouds!

Nov 20, 2013

Daily Story

As a man was passing the elephants, he suddenly stopped, confused by the fact that these huge creatures were being held by only a small rope tied to their front leg.

No chains, no cages. It was obvious that the elephants could, at anytime, break away from their bonds but for some reason, they did not.

He saw a trainer nearby and asked why these animals just stood there and made no attempt to get away. “Well,” trainer said, “when they are very young and much smaller we use the same size rope to tie them and, at that age, it’s enough to hold them. As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.”

The man was amazed. These animals could at any time break free from their bonds but because they believed they couldn’t, they were stuck right where they were.

Like the elephants, how many of us go through life hanging onto a belief that we cannot do something, simply because we failed at it once before?

Failure is part of learning; we should never give up the struggle in life.

Nov 19, 2013

Daily Quote

You can't teach leadership. It is something that people have to learn. You can't force someone to be a leader. It is something they have to do on their own. Leadership is special in that way, it is something that one has to realize for themselves. Whether they have it, or they don't. Either way, it can only be learned, not taught. 

Nov 18, 2013

Quote of the day

"Habit is a cable; we weave a thread of it each day, and at last we cannot break it."
-Horace Mann
Habits need to be broken early on. Otherwise, you will be so used to doing it that you won't be able to break them. Every time you do your habit, you strengthen it. And the stronger it is, the harder it will be to break. So break your cable now before it becomes too much to handle.

Nov 17, 2013

Quote of the day

"Failure is success if we learn from it."
-Malcolm Forbes
If you learn from your mistakes, then it isn't a failure. You gain the knowledge to do better in the future, and you can put that knowledge to the test for the next time. So don't give up when you 'fail.' Just do it differently the next time you get the chance to.

Nov 16, 2013

Daily Quote

You may think that someone doesn't deserve your kindness. They might be mean, or maybe annoying, or maybe they are just not your favorite person. But kindness is loving people more than they deserve. It is hard, I know. It's not exactly easy to be kind to the person who just punched you in the gut and knocked the wind out of you. Even with all of the things people may do, we need to stick together and be kind. The lack of kindness is what started all of those unnecessary wars and such we've had throughout history. All it takes is one mean comment or action, a mean response, and the cycle of bad begins. So stop that cycle from becoming too intense. Stop it right there in it's tracks. When someone is mean to you, be kind to them. Not only will it save you from fighting, but it will show them that you mean peace. And at the very least, the person will realize you aren't going to let yourself get picked on, so they will stop bothering you. 

Nov 15, 2013

Daily Story

One day, a poor boy who was selling goods from door to door to pay his way through school, found he had only one thin dime left, and he was hungry. He decided he would ask for a meal at the next house. However, he lost his nerve when a lovely young woman opened the door.

Instead of a meal he asked for a drink of water. She thought he looked hungry so brought him a large glass of milk.

He drank it slowly, and then asked, “How much do I owe you?”

“You don’t owe me anything,” she replied. “Mother has taught us never to accept pay for a kindness.”

He said, “Then I thank you from my heart.”

As Howard Kelly left that house, he not only felt stronger physically, but his faith in God and man was strong also. He had been ready to give up and quit.

Year’s later that young woman became critically ill. The local doctors were baffled. They finally sent her to the big city, where they called in specialists to study her rare disease.

Dr. Howard Kelly was called in for the consultation. When he heard the name of the town she came from, a strange light filled his eyes. Immediately he rose and went down the hall of the hospital to her room.

Dressed in his doctor’s gown he went in to see her. He recognized her at once. He went back to the consultation room determined to do his best to save her life. From that day he gave special attention to the case.

After a long struggle, the battle was won. Dr. Kelly requested the business office to pass the final bill to him for approval. He looked at it, then wrote something on the edge and the bill was sent to her room. She feared to open it, for she was sure it would take the rest of her life to pay for it all. Finally she looked, and something caught her attention on the side of the bill. She began to read the following words:

“Paid in full with one glass of milk”

Signed, Dr. Howard Kelly.

Nov 14, 2013

Quote of the day

"If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough."
-Meister Eckhart
Prayer really is simple- most of it is made up of 'thank you.' And 'thank you' is the most important part. Say your thank you's to show people that you care, and that you are actually thankful. When you aren't thankful for things, people will stop giving things to you or doing things for you. Express your gratitude. And in prayers, express your gratitude, too. If I am ever doing a prayer before going to bed, I always open it up with saying thank you's to God. No matter how bad a day it was and no matter what I am praying for. And it is hard, saying thank you. But trust me, learning to say it is rewarding. For one, you get used to it and thanking people for their actions becomes a normal part of routine. It is also great because it shows that you care. So don't forget your please and thank you next time they are needed, because these aspects to manners are incredibly important.

Nov 13, 2013

Quote of the day

Here is a little bit of a joke quote for you. Of course, procrastination is not good. But it is, in fact, the art of keeping up with what you didn't get done before. For those of you procrastinators out there- (don't worry, I am a bit of one myself), be sure you can still manage your workload. Just be able to keep up with what you are doing with a safe amount of time left to spare.
Just a little tip of the day and a bit of a joke too. :)

Nov 12, 2013

Daily Quote

It takes people years to realize this. A lifetime even. Some don't end up ever realizing this. But only you can figure out how much you are worth. I know this for a fact. I waited around my whole life waiting for someone to finally explain how much or how little I was worth, but I finally realized that I needed to determine that for myself. Everyone has worth. We are all equal in God's eyes. But the factor of yourself believing in your own worth, well that is how you figure it out. You can't always put yourself down. You need to believe and trust your worth, and it will shine out like a ray of sunshine through the clouds. After that, you will be able to direct that ray of sunshine into the hearts and minds of others to help others realize for themselves what they are truly worth.

Nov 11, 2013

Daily Quote

"How beautiful the leaves grow old. How full of light and color are their last days."
-John Burroughs
Be like the leaf, and age beautifully. Of course, appearance isn't really controllable, but age beautifully within. Don't become the cranky old man down the street or the grumpy handbag old lady you see around. Even with age, continue to shine your light onto the life of others. Think of your age more as wisdom, not old age where you aren't able to do anything. Continue to spread your light, no matter how crumbled a leaf you are. You can still make a difference. In fact, you can do more. You have the wisdom and experience to do it, so get out there and be the most beautiful multicolored leaf on the branch.

Nov 10, 2013

Quote of the day

"You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist."
-Indira Gandhi
This quote has a few different layers to it, so let's go ahead and dive right in. One of the layers to this quote is the matter of peace. You cannot make peace if you don't let it go. Holding on to that thought and never letting it go will make you hostile. It will also make the peace you try to make completely untruthful, a total lie. Another layer is that, with win or with loss, you must forgive. You must be a good sportsman and be positive no matter what the outcome is. If you lose, don't clench your fists and storm away in an angry puff. Just relax, shake hands, and move on. Earlier, I had thought of another layer to this- but now, I have forgotten it. Just remember to be peaceful through fairness and forgiveness and not through hostility. Because after all, you cannot shake hands with a clenched fist.

Nov 9, 2013

Quote of the day

"Start with what is right rather than what is acceptable."
-Franz Kafka
Everyone wants to fit in with the crowd. Everyone wants to feel accepted. And, especially in younger ages, people take things to a whole new level to be accepted. Even adults do. But teens in high school tend to do the most of trying to be accepted- even if it means doing illegal things. What they don't realize is that the best people are the people who did what was right instead of being accepted, even if it meant being the most unpopular kid in school. These are the people that turn out to be huge successes in life. So no matter where you are in life, it isn't too late to do the right thing. 
Conflicts will naturally show up. That's all part of life. But knowing how to deal with them is what distinguishes the good man from the precipitous one.

Nov 8, 2013

Daily Story

Please enjoy this story about a young puppy. It shows that even though the puppy may be deformed, there is always hope.

It had been a very long night. Our black cocker spaniel ‘Precious’ was having a difficult delivery. I lay on the floor beside her large four-foot square cage, watching her every movement. Watching and waiting, just in case I had to rush her to the veterinarian. After six hours the puppies started to appear. The first-born was black and white. The second and third puppies were tan and brown in color. The fourth and fifth were also spotted black and white. “One, two, three, four, five,” I counted to myself as I walked down the hallway to wake my wife, Judy, and tell her that everything was fine. As we walked back down the hallway and into the spare bedroom, I noticed a sixth puppy had been born and was now laying all by itself over to the side of the cage. I picked up the small puppy and laid it on top of the large pile of puppies, who were whining and trying to nurse on the mother. Precious immediately pushed the small puppy away from rest of the group. She refused to recognize it as a member of her family. “Something’s wrong,” said Judy. I reached over and picked up the puppy. My heart sank inside my chest when I saw the little puppy had a cleft lip and palate and could not close its little mouth. I decided right there and then that if there was any way to save this animal I was going to give it my best shot. I took the puppy to the vet and was told nothing could be done unless we were willing to spend about a thousand dollars to try and correct the defect. He told us that the puppy would die mainly because it could not suckle. After returning home, Judy and I decided that we could not afford to spend that kind of money without getting some type of assurance from the vet that the puppy had a chance to live. However, that did not stop me from purchasing a syringe and feeding the puppy by hand. Which I did every day and night, every two hours, for more than ten days. The little puppy survived and learned to eat on his own as long as it was soft canned food. The fifth week I placed an ad in the newspaper, and within a week we had people interested in all of the pups, except the one with the deformity. Late one afternoon I went to the store to pick up a few groceries. Upon returning I happened to see the old retired schoolteacher, who lived across the street from us, waving at me. She had read in the paper that we had puppies and was wondering if she might get one from us for her grandson and his family. I told her all the puppies had found homes, but I would keep my eyes open for anyone else who might have an available cocker spaniel. I also mentioned that if someone should change their mind, I would let her know. Within days, all but one of the puppies had been picked up by their new families. This left me with one brown and tan cocker as well as the smaller puppy with the cleft lip and palate. Two days passed without me hearing anything from the gentleman who had been promised the tan and brown pup. I telephoned the schoolteacher and told her I had one puppy left and that she was welcome to come and look at it. She advised me that she was going to pick up her grandson and would come over at about eight o’clock that evening. That night at around seven-thirty, Judy and I were eating supper when we heard a knock on the front door. When I opened the door, the man who had wanted the tan and brown pup was standing there. We walked inside, took care of the adoption details and I handed him the puppy. Judy and I did not know what we would do or say when the teacher showed up with her grandson. At exactly eight o’clock the doorbell rang. I opened the door, and there was the schoolteacher with her grandson standing behind her. I explained to her the man had come for the puppy after all, and there were no puppies left. “I’m sorry, Jeffery. They found homes for all the puppies,” she told her grandson. Just at that moment, the small puppy left in the bedroom began to yelp. “My puppy! My puppy!” yelled the little boy as he ran out from behind his grandmother. I just about fell over when I saw that the small child also had a cleft lip and palate. The boy ran past me as fast as he could, down the hallway to where the puppy was still yelping. When the three of us made it to the bedroom, the small boy was holding the puppy in his arms. He looked up at his grandmother and said, “Look, Grandma. They found homes for all the puppies except the pretty one, and he looks just like me.” The schoolteacher turned to us, “Is this puppy available?” “Yes,” I answered. “That puppy is available.” The little boy, who was now hugging the puppy, chimed in, “My grandma told me these kind of puppies are real expensive and that I have to take real good care of it.” The lady opened her purse, but I reached over and pushed her hand back down into her purse so that she would not pull her wallet out. “How much do you think this puppy is worth?” I asked the boy. “About a dollar?” “No. This puppy is very, very expensive,” he replied. “More than a dollar?” I asked. “I’m afraid so,” said his grandmother. The boy stood there pressing the small puppy against his cheek. “We could not possibly take less than two dollars for this puppy,” Judy said, squeezing my hand. “Like you said, it’s the pretty one.” The schoolteacher took out two dollars and handed it to the young boy. “It’s your dog now, Jeffery. You pay the man.” Still holding the puppy tightly, the boy proudly handed me the money. Any worries I’d had about the puppy’s future were gone.

Nov 7, 2013

Daily Quote

"Knowing trees, I understand the meaning of patience. Knowing grass, I can appreciate persistence."
-Hal Borland
Trees are patient. They slowly grow stronger and taller, patiently. They continue to grow, even when they are done with growth in height. They grow leaves every season, and they grow limbs. They are so patient that they are willing to spend up to a couple thousand years perfecting their beauty.
Grass is persistent. Even when it is chopped down, it springs right back up again and grows quickly.
So be like a tree, and be patient. Everything will turn out ok, and most things take a bit of patience. Don't worry, just keep calm and be patient. Also be like grass- when others cut you down, jump right back onto your feet, brush off your shoulders, and move on in life. Revenge never did much more then getting people dead at war. Of course, that is only major major revenge between big lands and lords, but arguments never get anyone anywhere. So just be persistent and get up again. Everything will be ok! Just remember the tree, and be patient... Then remember the grass and keep on trying.

Nov 6, 2013

Quote of the day

"It is not happy people who are thankful. It is thankful people who are happy."
People who are thankful tend to be happier. They understand what they have, and that they are fortunate because not everyone has what they do. They are more compassionate, because they know what others are going through. They understand people better because they know what others might not have. And they are thankful. For everything that they have. Even if it is nothing, they are thankful. You could be thankful and living under a bridge, but that doesn't even matter. As long as you are appreciative of the things that you do have, you can be truly happy.

Nov 5, 2013

Story of the day

I found this story for you. Love everyone, no matter what they look like... You never know who they really are inside. Enjoy!

Hi! How are you?” The woman smiled as she took the seat beside me. She had to lower herself slowly, squeezing her ample bottom into the seat, filling all available space.

 Positioning herself comfortably, she plopped her enormous arm on our common armrest. Her immensity saturated the space around us, shrinking me and my seat into insignificance.

I cringed and reclined towards the window.

She leaned towards me and repeated her greeting in an upbeat, friendly voice. Her face towered above my head, forcing me to turn to look at her. “Hi,” I replied with obvious loathing.

I turned away to stare out the cabin window, sulking silently about the long hours of discomfort I was going to experience with this monster beside me.

She nudged me with her meaty arm. “My name is Laura. I’m from Britain. How about you? Japan?”

“Malaysia,” I barked.

“I’m so sorry! Will you accept my heartfelt apology? Come, shake my hand. If we’re going to spend six hours side-by-side on this flight, we’d better be friends, don’t you think?” A palm waved in front of my face. I shook the hand reluctantly, still silent.

Laura started a conversation with me, taking no notice of my unfriendly reactions. She talked excitedly about herself and her trip to Hong Kong to see her friends. She rattled off a list of things she was going to buy for her students in the boarding school where she was teaching.

I gave her one-word answers to her questions about me. Unperturbed by my coldness, she nodded as she made appreciative comments to my answers. Her voice was warm and caring. She was considerate and obliging when we were served drinks and meals, making sure that I had room to maneuver in my seat. “I don’t want to clobber you with my elephant size!” she said with utmost sincerity.

To my surprise, her face which repulsed me hours before, now opened into extraordinary smiles, lively and calm at the same time. I couldn’t help but let down my guard slowly.

Laura was an interesting conversationalist. She was well read in many subjects from philosophy to science. She turned a seemingly unimportant subject into something to explore and understand. Her comments were humorous and inspirational. When our topic turned to cultures, I was pleasantly surprised by her intelligent comments and well-thought-out analysis.

During our conversation, Laura managed to make every cabin crew who served us walk away laughing at her jokes.

When a flight attendant was clearing our plates, Laura cracked several jokes about her size. The flight attendant roared with laughter as she grabbed Laura’s hand, “You really make my day!”

For the next few minutes, Laura listened attentively and gave pointers to the flight attendant’s weight problem. The grateful attendant said before she rushed off, “I’ve got to work. I’ll come back later and talk to you about it.”

I asked Laura, “‘Have you ever thought about losing some weight?”

“No. I’ve worked hard to get this way. Why would I want to give it up?”

“You aren’t worried about cardiovascular diseases that come with being overweight?”

“Not at all. You only get the diseases if you’re worried about your weight all the time. You see advertisements from slimming centers that say, ‘Liberate yourself from your extra baggage so that you are free to be yourself.’ It’s rubbish! You’re liberated only if you’re comfortable about who you are, and what you look like any time of the day and anytime of the year! Why would I want to waste my time on slimming regimes when I have so many other important things to do and so many people to be friends with? I eat healthily and walk regularly; I’m this size because I am born to be big! There is more to life than worrying about weight all day long.”

She sipped at her wine. “Besides, God gives me so much happiness that I need a bigger body to hold all of it! Why would I lose weight to lose my happiness?” Taken aback by her reasoning, I chuckled.

Laura continued. “Folks often see me as a fat lady with big bosoms, big thighs and a big bottom that no man would even bother to cast a glance at. They see me as a slob. They think I’m lazy and have no willpower. They’re wrong.” She held up her glass to a passing flight attendant. “More of this magnificent wine, please.” She smiled sweetly at the attendant. “Great service from your crew. May God bless all of you.”

She turned to me, “I’m actually a slim person inside. I’m so full of energy that people won’t be able to keep up with me. This extra flesh is here to slow me down, otherwise I’ll be running everywhere chasing after men!”

“Do men chase after you?” I asked jokingly.

“Of course they do. I’m happily married but men still keep proposing to me.

“Most of them have relationship problems and they need someone to confide in. For some reason, they like to talk to me. I think I should have been a counsellor instead of a school teacher!”

Laura paused before she said thoughtfully, “You know, the relationship between men and women is so complicated. Women worship men and call them, ‘Honey’ until they find out they have been lied to, and then they turn into bitter gourds! Men love women so much that they see them as their soul mates until they look at their credit card bills, and then women become devils with tridents!”

Laura’s enthralling conversation had turned the flight into something thoroughly enjoyable. I was also fascinated by the way people were drawn to her. By the end of the flight, almost half the cabin crew was standing near the aisle by us, laughing and joking with Laura. The passengers around us joined in the merry-making too. Laura was the centre of attention, filling the cabin with delightful warmth.

When we waved goodbye to each other at the arrival lounge at Hong Kong’s Kai Tak Airport, I watched her walking towards a big group of adoring adults and kids. Cheers sounded as the group hugged and kissed Laura. She turned around and winked at me.

I was stunned, as the realization set in: Laura was the most beautiful woman I had ever met in my life.