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