For You, Daddy!

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

A Few Good Men

Filed under: Giving,Personal Beliefs — by For you, Daddy! @ 4:30 am
Tags: , , , ,

 

 

Over the past year or so, I have attended talks by a few people who were in town for various reasons. I am going to highlight the three who wowed me the most.

 

First, I will list their names and the topics they spoke on.

 

1. The Dalai Lama
Ethics for the New Millennium

 

2. Justice Albie Sachs
Light on a Hill

 

3. Dr.Karan Singh
The Relevance of Vedanta* in Today’s Context

*A brief explanation further down.

 

Each one of these speakers impressed me, and I learned a little something from all of them. Also, each of these speakers had experienced personal hardships, either in their childhood or later in life. Despite covering various subjects, I found a common theme among all three in their talks:

 

– All human beings are equal. There should be no divisions of any sort in the human race.

 

– Each one of us has the power to make changes in the world. The changes don’t have to effect large sections of society because it is not the amount of change that’s important. It is making that first small change that is most crucial. The rest will follow.

 

– Materialism does not bring happiness.

 

Each of the three spoke well and each was humble about his accomplishments and his stature in society today.

 

Having heard him speak several times earlier on TV and YouTube, and being a bit of a fan myself, I had expected good oratory from The Dalai Lama. I went in not expecting anything in particular from either Justice Albie Sachs or Dr.Karan Singh. In fact, I had not heard of either of them until a few days before I went to hear each speak.

 

And boy, did these boys blow me away! They were soft spoken and those sort, coincidentally (or not), are my kind of guys. 🙂

 

 

1. The Dalai Lama
Ethics for the New Millennium

 

This image is from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/

 

I chose this picture deliberately because it captures that mischievous twinkle in his eye as he is about to slam dunk a purposely playful response.

 

As I said earlier, I had heard The Dalai Lama speak a few times before, but this was the first time I saw him speak live; 6 rows away from me.

 

I am not going to tell you who The Dalai Lama is and what he is all about because he is a bit of a rock star. What I will share is that I found him to be quick witted, humourous (although he admitted to having a bit of a temper), shorter than I had imagined and not pudgy at all, as I had imagined. In fact, he struck me as lean; muscular even. He needs to fire his stylist for draping him in those shapeless tents swaddling robes. 😉

 

 

2. Justice Albie Sachs

Light on a Hill

 

This image is from http://www.zimbio.com/

 

A South African Constitutional judge, a Human Rights activist and the former dean of Harvard Law School.

 

Justice Sachs, 77, was a victim of a targeted bomb blast in Mozambique in 1988. He lost his right arm and right eye in that attack, so he is slightly bent in posture, but his peaceful aura stands tall.

 

Shortly after he recovered from that gruesome attack, Justice Sachs asked to meet the man who deliberately planted the bomb in his car. He wanted to tell him that he was not angry with him, that he did not hate him.

 

When they met in the prison where the man was incarcerated, Justice Sachs told him that he forgave the man for his heinous* deed.  

*My opinion; not the word Justice Sachs used. In fact, when recounting this experience, he abstained from all judgmental words.

 

What left the deepest impression on me was this.

 

At the very start of their conversation, Justice Sachs apologised to the perpetrator for using his left arm (instead of the traditional right arm) to shake hands with him! Wow.

 

How blissful he must be to be rid of the burden of revenge and resentment that we typically tend to harbour!

 

In my next post, I will share my experience of the power of forgiveness.

 

 

3. Dr.Karan Singh

The Relevance of Vedanta* in Today’s Context

 

*This is the simplest explanation of Vedanta that I found on Wiki:

“A group of philosophical traditions concerned with self-realisation by which one understands the ultimate nature of reality.”

 

Still confused? So am I.

 

This image is from http://article.wn.com/

 

A former member of the Indian parliament and a champion of interfaith dialogue.

 

Dr.Karan Singh, 81, was my absolute favourite! 🙂

 

He was born a prince in Jammu and Kashmir. When he was old enough to understand his privileged position, he consciously discarded his royal title, thereby ending the royal lineage in Jammu and Kashmir. He lived like a commoner, chose to be an educator and worked towards dispelling barriers to allow those at the very broad bottom of the Indian pyramid have a chance at a better life.

 

As if all this weren’t fantastic enough, he is the most wonderful orator I have heard in recent memory. Frail and mild to the eye; but strong in the convinction of his beliefs and practices. He had me in a trance as his rich language flowed from the very first sentence, and he whisked me away for the rest of the all-too-short-a-time that he waxed eloquently.

 

You know how some lucky winners, celebrities or contestants (usually) are asked which idol of theirs they would like to have dinner with? I don’t fall into any of those categories, but if I were handed such a momentous opportunity, my answer, without a moment of hesitation, would be Dr.Karan Singh!

 

I’d actually make a special request – I would ask it not to be a dinner meet.

 

Because by God, even to an avid gastronome such as myself, food would be inconsequential when I have his eloquence to drool over! Sigh.

 
 
 
 


Thank you,  The Book of Terrible  and mj monaghan  for commenting on my last post.

Thank you, The Book of Terrible, for liking my last post.

***********************************************************************

P.S.: Cheerful Monk adds a footnote to every post acknowledging those who comment on her previous post. She also links the commenters’ names back to their own blogs.

 I like both these practices of acknowledging the time and effort made to comment, and the free advertising! So I’m doing what I do well – being a copycat! 



 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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6 Comments »

  1. I actually have not heard any of the three speak. The Dalai is one whom I know the most about. I know nothing of Dr. Singh.

    I’m going to have to pull something up on youtube to listen to him. I’m a big fan of inspiration/motivation from speakers. Anything that causes me to learn and think.

    How great to be able to listen to all three of them. Great that you could give us a review of them, as well.

    Thanks for the post, Kate. 🙂

    Like

    Comment by mj monaghan — Wednesday, 1 August 2012 @ 1:08 pm |Reply

    • >I know nothing of Dr. Singh. I’m going to have to pull something up on youtube to listen to him.

      – I’ve done that a few times to get my ‘fix’. 🙂

      Here’s one.



      A word of caution though. His talks are peppered with Sanskrit words. If it’s any consolation, they *whistling sound of something flying fast* over my head, too.

      >I’m a big fan of inspiration/motivation from speakers. Anything that causes me to learn and think.

      – Me, too! Actually, I’m a bigger fan of how people behave.

      >How great to be able to listen to all three of them.

      – Aye. Very lucky, too, that each of the three and I were in the same part of the world at the same time and that I could fit the timings of their talks into my schedule. Things like this are priority for me usually, even when I’m on holiday.

      >Great that you could give us a review of them, as well.

      – That’s part of the, uh, oath I took when I decided to plunge into the blogging world – share what I’ve learned from and laughed at elsewhere.

      One of the places I do both – learn and laugh – is your blog. 🙂

      >Thanks for the post, Kate. 🙂
      – You’re welcome, MJ! Glad to return the favour.

      Kate

      Like

      Comment by For you, Daddy! — Thursday, 2 August 2012 @ 2:41 am |Reply

  2. You’re like a wisdom sponge, Kate! You absorb the knowledge, wisdom and beauty around you, process it, and then you share it with the world around you – meaning all of us at WordPress!
    Beautiful work.

    Like

    Comment by The Hook — Wednesday, 1 August 2012 @ 2:24 pm |Reply

    • >You’re like a wisdom sponge, Kate! You absorb the knowledge, wisdom and beauty around you, process it,

      – Hmmm. I’ve noticed that you haven’t said ‘practise it’, Hook? No mistake there, I know. You’ve seen right through my shiny façade and you know what I’m really like. Hee hee! Kidding.

      It’s not easy at all living life according to what I think is important. Here’s what I wrote to a priest friend of mine recently.

      I haven’t been to confession for … I don’t even remember. I have no plans to go anytime soon either. There are some sins that I have stopped committing and there are some sins that I still choose to commit. Since I have no intentions of stopping them, I don’t think it makes sense to go for confession, come back and commit that very sin again.

      Also, the sins that I commit do not hurt anyone. Okay, you’ll say that it hurts my relationship with God. Possibly. But for now, I’m okay with still committing those sins.

      Daddy must be cringing (rolling?) wherever he is. He raised a bit of a hell raiser who breathes her own brand of fire. 😉

      >and then you share it with the world around you – meaning all of us at WordPress!
      – Talking to … you? I mean, talking about yourself? Well, that’s what you do, too, Hook.

      As I say often, you write posts that remind me of things I should not do. Such reminders are as important as the ones that remind us of what to do.

      >Beautiful work.
      – Thank you, Hook. Don’t confuse the ‘halo’ wrapping with the lesson within the content. You deliver equally “beautiful work” although the content is oft times sordid and distasteful. Viva variety, and more importantly, lessons (of caution) to learn, too.

      Kate

      Like

      Comment by For you, Daddy! — Thursday, 2 August 2012 @ 2:47 am |Reply

  3. Great people and great speakers !

    All human beings are equal – God created us equal but we have our own uniqueness. We have our own identity and personality. No one has the right to judge a person for who he was born to be.

    Everyone of us has the power to make changes in the world –Small efforts combined with the small efforts of a number of people can make a great difference to bring changes to the world. We can change the world together.

    Materialism does not bring happiness – Money cannot buy love and happiness. Happiness is in what you do and how you feel about it. It could be a simple acts of kindness and compassion and giving meaning/purpose in life.

    Like

    Comment by Elvie Mesiona — Friday, 3 August 2012 @ 12:37 am |Reply

    • >Great people and great speakers !

      – Great opportunities for me, too! 🙂

      >All human beings are equal – God created us equal but we have our own uniqueness. We have our own identity and personality. No one has the right to judge a person for who he was born to be.

      – It is so easy to point a finger at someone and judge them for being different from us in some way, but it would make our own lives easier, to begin with, if we looked for similarities or the good in people. It’s something my parents preached (and practised) and something I finally understood a few years ago. Well, better late than never, huh?

      >Everyone of us has the power to make changes in the world – Small efforts combined with the small efforts of a number of people can make a great difference to bring changes to the world. We can change the world together.

      – I’m not interested changing the world, Elvie. Or even thinking of change on a large scale. It’s too tiring. 😉

      Given the priorities in my life today i.e. my immediate family and friends over a financially rewarding career, my scope for change is very limited. But I still do what I do because I know it makes a difference. To them, of course, but to me, too. I feel happy helping out.

      “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” ~ Mother Teresa

      >Materialism does not bring happiness – Money cannot buy love and happiness.
      – Money bought me lots of pretty clothes and good food, and trips to beautiful places. 🙂 And the kind of attention I did not like. 😦

      Then I got hooked on spending more time with the people in my life who matter. 🙂

      >Happiness is in what you do and how you feel about it. It could be a simple acts of kindness and compassion and giving meaning/purpose in life.

      – Absolutely! Your posts are a classic example of this, Elvie.

      When you write about all your experiences, you never fail to mention all the people who helped make that particular event easier or more enjoyable for you. We all want our words and deeds to be acknowledged. How happy the people you acknowledge must feel when they read your tributes to their efforts!

      I like that you do it right away, too. Instead of waiting until a birthday or Christmas or a major family festival. It saddens me when I see tributes pour in after a person is dead, especially when I know that before the person passed away, they felt alone and abandoned.

      I try to practice carpe-ing the diem and making someone’s diem. And then we proceed to suck the very marrow out of life as we swing from silvery moonbeams. 🙂

      Kate

      P.S.: I like your Gravatar. Cute. 🙂

      Like

      Comment by For you, Daddy! — Friday, 3 August 2012 @ 8:24 am |Reply


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