Reflections on life. Collections of inspirational quotes. Rediscovering relationships and faith.
Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.” – Dalai Lama
“How’s your life in Italy?”, my grandfather asks me while I am helping him trim and clean the roots of his bonsai plants. Looking at his bonsai collections, one can sense the rhythm and blend of time, care, slow but sure growth and beauty and it’s not surprising to feel its power to evoke from us rare depths of thoughts.
My grandfather confirmed that bonsai is a well known catalyst for spiritual and philosophical musings. I’m not surprised, knowing my grandfather’s wisdom.
“You were here September of last year and It’s only May and you’re back again…how are you Ross?” His mild voice gives me self-assurance and confidently, he passes me a new bonsai plant, “look at it carefully and trim around as you want it.”
I accept the plant without answering his question. There is a peaceful silence between us as we proceed on trimming, bending and wiring its branches to give it a new shape.
Deep inside me, I know he understand my stillness. He respects my time like the way he patiently waited for these bonsai plants to slowly develop its roots, its branches, its shape.
Hours passed by and the cathartic effect of the plants finally released my stress and worries.
“Lolo (grandfather in English), it’s hard living alone in Italy. I haven’t seen a single Filipino from where I live…” My words kept on flowing ushering melancholic truth about my job, my co workers, the Italian culture, the distance from familiar faces…
He listens attentively. Silence again. The air becomes crisp. I can feel the wind whirling around me with the damp air splashing my face. I survey the horizon of dancing clouds and distant mountains searching for an answer if I should go back to Italy.
Suddenly, I hear him gently say: “Here, please take this box, I’ve prepared it for your homecoming. Inside, you will find essential things necessary to survive a new day, wherever you are.”
I opened the box, and found these things with a message around it. I discovered my priorities as well. Thank you grandpa!
… to remind you to pick the good qualities in everyone, including yourself.
… to remind you to be flexible. Things may not always go the way you want, but they can be worked out. (Romans 8:28)
… to remind you to heal hurt feelings, whether yours or someone else’s.
… to remind you everyone makes mistakes. That’s okay, we learn by our errors.
… to remind you everyone needs a hug or a compliment everyday. (1 John 4:7)
… to remind you to stick with it and you can accomplish anything. (Philippians 4:13)
… to remind you to list your blessings every day.(Ephesians 1:3)
… to remind you that you are worth a mint to your family. (John 3:16-17)
… to remind you to take time to relax daily and go over that list of God’s blessings.
( Â 1 Thessalonians 5:18)
Yes, Dalai Lama is right ” love and compassion are necessities to survive and my grandfather understood it…his bonsai collection is a dazzling art to behold!
But the human body has an enormous capacity for adjusting to trying circumstances. I have found that one can bear the unbearable if one can keep one’s spirits strong even when one’s body is being tested. Strong convictions are the secret of surviving deprivation; your spirit can be full even when your stomach is empty.” – Nelson Mandela
If a thing is old, it is a sign that it was fit to live. Old families, old customs, old styles survive because they are fit to survive. The guarantee of continuity is quality. Submerge the good in a flood of the new, and good will come back to join the good which the new brings with it. Old-fashioned hospitality, old-fashioned politeness, old-fashioned honor in business had qualities of survival. These will come back.” – Eddie Rickenbacker
Deeds survive the doers.” – Horace Mann
Surviving a downturn is a bit like going over Niagara Falls in a barrel: when you hit bottom, you’re either dead or happily bobbing in calmer waters.” – Ted Pile
Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind.” Bruce Lee
Do not despair of life. Think of the fox, prowling in a winter night to satisfy his hunger. His race survives; I do not believe any of them ever committed suicide.” – Henry David Thoreau
The rhythm of life is intricate but orderly, tenacious but fragile. To keep that in mind is to build the key to survival.” – Shirley Hufstedler
Hunger, love, pain, fear are some of those inner forces which rule the individual’s instinct for self preservation.” –Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
Even memory is not necessary for love.
There is a land of the living and a land
of the dead and the bridge is love,
the only survival, the only meaning.” –Thornton Wilder
In a world where change is inevitable and continuous, the need to achieve that change without violence is essential for survival.” –Andrew Young
So you think that money is the root of all evil? Money is a tool of exchange, which can’t exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them. Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value. Money is not the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears, or of the looters, who take it from you by force. Money is made possible only by the men who produce. Is this what you consider evil? . . . Not an ocean of tears nor all the guns in the world can transform those pieces of paper in your wallet into the bread you will need to survive tomorrow. Those pieces of paper, which should have been gold, are a token of honor. . . . Or did you say it’s the love of money that’s the root of all evil? To love a thing is to know and love it’s nature. To love money is to know and love the fact that money is the creation of the best power within you, and your passkey to trade your effort for the effort of the best among men.” – Ayn Rand
I believe that for permanent survival, man must balance science with other qualities of life, qualities of body and spirit as well as those of mind – qualities he cannot develop when he lets mechanics and luxury insulate him too greatly from the earth to which he was born.” – Charles Lindbergh
Happiness is a butterfly which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but which if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you. ” – Nathaniel Hawthorne
It’s Sunday and I’m alone in my room. Listening to the pitter-patter of the rain while watching an old film, The Bridges of Madison Country. It is about two people who find the promise of perfect personal happiness, and understand, with sadness and acceptance, that the most important things in life are not always about making yourself happy!
I looked outside the window. I can’t see the sun. It’s hiding behind the clouds, like me…hiding my feelings.
Is there such a soul who can recognize the grandeur and timelessness of passion in another person? Perhaps it is a connection through a passing gaze that locks the two forever in familiarity. Unfortunately, there are circumstances and limitations which are presently existing and one has to deny, to rationalize, and to suppress this divine meeting of providence.
The rain continued pouring, getting stronger as I remember one evening of December last year. I unexpectedly met Ivoh, someone whom I haven’t seen nor heard for more than twenty five years! We had a very short lived and adventurous relationship in the past. Yet, for one choice I had to make, I left this person without a trace.
Twenty five years…we have woven different stories, different experiences and different status in life.
Twenty five years…yet this person carries within memories of “us” together as if it happened only yesterday! The richness and positiveness of what this person’s mind can remember about me is absolutely astounding!
I never knew this kind of emotion could exist. Pure, timeless, strong, vivid!
A confirmation similar to what Robert told Francesca in Clint Eastwood’s “The Bridges of Madison County:
“I have one thing to say, one thing only; I’ll never say it another time, to anyone and I ask you to remember it: In a universe of ambiguity, this kind of certainty comes only once, and never again, no matter how many lifetimes you live. -”
Once in a lifetime, I found this certainty of a dream so beautiful finding its supreme completion in a person but alas, reality is different from dreams!
I have to make my choices and think of the consequences...
Ivoh boarded the plane back to U.S., back to a wedlock where Ivoh rightfully belongs!
I sigh! Like the sound of the rain washing away my emotional lethargy.
Drops of rain gleamed on my window stopping my thoughts in silence. WishingÂ each droplets would carry my message to Ivoh: “Thank you for the love and please forgive my taciturn self.”
A thunder flashes its dreadful light awakening in me a sad reality: it is not possible!
The most important things in life do not always equate to happiness!
Happiness cannot come from without. It must come from within. It is not what we see and touch or that which others do for us which makes us happy; it is that which we think and feel and do, first for the other fellow and then for ourselves.” – Hellen Keller
What we call the secret of happiness is no more a secret than our willingness to choose life.” – Leo Buscaglia
You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.” – Albert Camus
Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” – Albert Schweitzer
There are as many nights as days, and the one is just as long as the other in the year’s course. Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word ‘happy’ would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness.” – Carl Jung
Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.” – Franklin Roosevelt
There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved.” – George sand
If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” -Dalai Lama
When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.” – Hellen Keller
The most I can do for my friend is simply to be his friend. I have no wealth to bestow on him. If he knows that I am happy in loving him, he will want no other reward. Is not friendship divine in this?” – Henry David Thoreau
All seasons are beautiful for the person who carries happiness within.” – Horace Friess
The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance, the wise grows it under his feet.” James Oppenheim
The mind is its own place, and in itself, can make heaven of Hell, and a hell of Heaven.” -John Milton
The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.” – M. Scott Peck
More happiness quotes to follow