Thursday, January 15, 2009

Belated Wishes...

15 days have come and gone and we're into the 2nd week of 2009. Over the past two weeks or so, I read about resolutions being made for the New Year. Almost all of them are the same : about spending less & wisely, exercising, eating healthily, working smart or spending quality time with loved ones etc.
Hey, didn't we all make the same resolutions year after year and yet, most of the time, they invariably end up broken?
But I do like to make a few wishes because wishes don't require that I exert myself to make them happen. I know I am two weeks behind time as I've been in a lazy spree lately...briefly, here are my wishes:

For our country :
That our leaders will be wiser and treat us as adults. That more of their brains are engaged before their mouths are opened!
That they will set an example for us to live in unity and respect each other irregardless of race and religion.

For private companies :
That they give more to charity because they genuinely want to help and not for the sake of publicity or some advertisement gimmick.

For event/race organizers :
That every event and race will be executed 'from the heart' and not just to make some quick bucks from the participants.

For children :
That we make time to listen to their needs and learn from them at the same time.
Learn to love them unconditionally.
Stop forcing them to grow up so fast, and then insist on treating them like children.

For my fellow runners and athletes :
That they will always remember this quote from Emil Zatopek, "A runner must run with dreams in his heart, and not money in his pocket."
And winning does not always mean being first; winning means doing better than what we've done before.

For my husband :
That he will never lose his unique sense of humour.
That he will continue to share his passion in running with me for as long as possible.

For myself :
That I will always be able to keep my conscience clear and know that I'm doing the right thing.
That I will never be made guilty, left out or stupid just because I choose to stay at home.
That I can continue to run, travel, write, dream, do good and never lack of friends.

Friday, January 9, 2009


The Violinist in the Metro
A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that thousands of people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

Three minutes went by and a middle aged man noticed there was musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried up to meet his schedule.

A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping continued to walk.

A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.

The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.

In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written,with a violin worth 3.5 million dollars.

Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston and the seats average $100.

This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of an social experiment about perception, taste and priorities of people. The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?

One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be:
If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?

To listen to a brief clip from Josh's subway concert, click here:

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Another Year Has Dawned

2008 was a strange year and will definitely be remembered for its drama, troubles and strengths. In spite of it all, I have learned many lessons. This year of sorts has taught me about the difference between needs and wants and about connection between the economy and the environment. Therefore now, it is so important for me to take into account of what really appreciate what I already have, to count my blessings, to be grateful for the simple things in life and to be mindful of people around me - the less fortunate, the homeless and especially children living in anguish and fear.

Today, especially today as we greet the dawn of a brand new year I wish to share this meaningful poem (posted by my friend Julie) here :

Another Day Has Dawned by Kit Callum
Amidst our chaos and confusion
Amidst our anguish and despair
Amidst our ever-ending questions and blame
…Lies a world of lessons.

Through our tears and astonishment
Through our hopelessness and desperations
Through our anxiety and grief
…Lies a world of shame.

For it is our world that is responsible
It is our world that allowed this sadness
It is our world that has lost its youth
…And it is our world that needs to change.

It is a warning for those who would isolate it
It is a warning for those who would bury it
It is a warning for those who think it will not touch them
…It is we, who need to address it.

For this is the birth of our own generation
This is the birth of our own problems
This is the birth of our own mistakes
…It is we, who needed to watch over them.

A new generation who have hopes and dreams
A new generation who have life and laughter
A new generation who deserve a chance at peace
…It is we who need to make them secure.

It is time to stop talking in circles
It is time to stop blaming and pointing
It is time to stop questioning and guessing
…It is time to accept the burden and act.

We are not blameless
We are not above reproach
We are not perfect role models
…For we are the generation they emulate.

Look beyond your own circle of life
Look beyond your picket fences and chained doors
Look beyond your own backyard
…And admit your frailties and failures.

Did you not once look the other way?
Did you not once stay quiet when you should have spoken?
Did you not once say I can not change it?
…Do you know that we can make a difference?

One small voice can begin to move mountains
One caring gesture can begin to enlighten others
One shoulder to lean on can ease another’s pain
…Did you know that you are that one?

Listen to those who are in jeopardy
Listen to that small voice whispering that they are in trouble
Listen to that child with the wayward furtive glance
…And be prepared to take part in their future.

For if you do not listen and talk
If you do not participate and take responsibility
If you do not guide and offer them your heart and wisdom
…It is we, who will join in their misery.

It reaches beyond your own immediate children
It reaches beyond their friends and peers
It reaches beyond their nieces and nephews
…For it is every child you come in contact with.

Positive action begins in our own backyard
Positive action flows through your own neighbourhood
Positive action can encompass your own small town and city
…And through this, we are all connected.

Be a mentor when others fail to counsel
Be a counsellor when others fail to listen
Be a listener when others fail to notice
…Be a positive experience with every child you meet.

For yesterday, someone looked the other way
Yesterday, someone pretended they did not see
Yesterday, someone passed by without offering help
…But today, it is not too late.

Today, you can make a difference in someone’s life
Today, you can offer your love and guidance
Today, you can choose to be a positive influence for another
…And then maybe, just maybe, our world will change you.

May we all have a most fruitful year ahead!