The famous teacher J. Krishnamurti observes that people usually are not really in touch with their fear, thus are unable to deal with it effectively. They tend to escape from fear itself, either through words or activities of the mind. Hence they become separated from the fear.
“When there is a direct contact with fear, there is no observer, there is no entity that says, ‘I am afraid.’ So, the moment you are directly in contact with life, with anything, there is no division — it is division that breeds competition, ambition, fear.”
It is important then to understand fear. Such understanding “can only take place when you come directly in contact with it, as you are in contact with hunger, as you’re directly in contact when you are threatened with losing your job — then you do something; only then will you find that all fear ceases—we mean all fear, not fear of this kind or of that kind.”
Source: J. Krishnamurti, The Book of Life. Harper Collins Publishers, 10 East 53rd St., New York, N.Y. 10022, U.S.A.
Humility is constantly listed as one of the enduring values or virtues of humanity. Yet it seems rare to find people who are genuinely humble. Most people who appear humble are actually timid — something vastly different from true humility.
Dr. Jacobson G. Kliatchko, in his book Making Work Values Work, states that there are two pitfalls we must guard against. “One is a proud assertion of one’s talents. . . .The other is a false, but equally proud tendency, to exaggerate one’s weaknesses, with the silent intention of drawing praise.”
Here are some observed qualities of true humility:
Humility is not self-debasement. When one has a certain talent, it is not honest to deny or misrepresent such talent. There is sincerity and truthfulness in humility.
Genuine humility requires the fortitude to delve deep into one’s soul in search for truth — the truth about oneself.
There is eagerness to learn.
One is ready to seek help when help is needed. Unwillingness to seek help is a sign of pride.
One does not brood over one’s defects. Defects are seen as they are, and one endeavors to correct them, rather than be depressed over them.
One respects the opinion of others. Not only is it a sign of sensitivity to others, but it is also willingness to learn from whatever source.
One is willing to do small or menial tasks.
One feels comfortable or secure with oneself, rather than be judged according to one’s social or material status.
Source: Dr. Jacobson G. Kliatchko, Making Work Values Work. 49 Gen. Luna St., Iloilo City 5000, Philippines.
If a child lives with Criticism, he learns to Condemn.
If a child lives with Hostility, he learns to Fight.
If a child lives with Ridicule, he learns to be Shy.
If a child lives with Shame, he learns to feel Guilty.
If a child lives with tolerance, he learns to be Patient.
If a child lives with Encouragement, he learns Confidence.
If a child lives with Praise, he learns to Appreciate.
If a child lives with Fairness, he learns Justice.
If a child lives with Security, he learns to have Faith.
If a child lives with Approval, he learns to like himself.
If a child lives with Acceptance and Friendship, he learns to find Love in the world.
Animals are usually trained by whips, chairs, threats and screams. Right? Well, almost right. At least, many trainers of lions and tigers do such methods.
But Ralph Helfer and his wife, Toni, found that there is a better way – training by affection. This husband and wife team is known as two of the leading trainers of wild and fierce animals in Hollywood. They found that it is a far better way of dealing with animals.
The idea came to Helfer when he was convalescing in a hospital after he was mauled by a 500-pound lion. While lying in the hospital bed, he mused:
“Violence begets violence. . . The big cat had been ‘fear trained’ with whips, chairs, and screams . . .; and though he performed his tricks well enough, he had no love for humans. Just as a battered child grows up to be a child abuser, a battered animal awaits its chance to do unto others as has been done unto him. I had been done unto royally by that lion, and I had plenty of time during a long convalescence to figure out why. That lion had attacked me, as so many other animals have attacked humans over the centuries, not because he was ‘wild,’ but because he was unloved. Your dog or cat is not different, nor is your horse or fish or pig or bird.
The idea of affection-training was born in that hospital bed. Animals respond to their lives emotionally, I reasoned. If an animal could be trained by addressing its negative emotions (with threats and punishment), he could probably also be trained by appealing to his positive emotions. Surely the results would be even better with love than with pain, for the animal would be motivated to cooperate. Where pain might get the horse to water, love could induce him to drink.
Since that time, I’ve proved my theory with almost every animal known to man. I’ve traveled from the jungles of Africa to the forests of India, working with everything from hippopotami to tarantulas.”
Source: John Robbins, A Diet for a New America. Stillpoint Publishing, Box 640, Walpole, NH 03608 U.S.A.
Peacefulness and peacemaking are qualities that start from childhood. When people are taught early, they learn to listen, be assertive, and avoid unfair or violent modes of settling conflicts. Here are suggestions on how to teach children peacemaking from Barbara C. Unell and Jerry L. Wyckoff in their practical book, 20 Teachable Virtues:
Here are some suggestions on teaching children:
When we need to reprimand or call the attention of a person regarding a fault, we must not forget that we must do so without unnecessarily injuring a person’s self-respect. Dale Carnegie considers this a very important factor in dealing effectively with people, whether our subordinates in the office or our children at home. If we have to tell a person his faults, let us do so privately.
The author Antoine de Saint-Exupery wrote: “I have no right to say or do anything that diminishes a man in his own eyes. What matters is not what I think of him, but what he thinks of himself. Hurting a man in his dignity is a crime.”
Dale Carnegie, How to Enjoy Your Life and Your Job. Simon & Schuster Inc., 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020, U.S.A.
In undertaking campaigns for or against something, writing letters to newspapers is an effective approach. Here are suggestions on writing to editors:
Source: Maritza Pick, How to Save Your Neighborhood, City, or Town. Sierra Book Club, 730 Polk Street, San Francisco, CA 94109, U.S.A.
Child-rearing is often the task of the mother in many households. Fathers are usually out earning a living, sometimes coming home late, and rarely seeing his children. According to John Gottman in The Heart of Parenting, researches show that fathers are not just “assistant moms.” They play a different role from mothers.
Here is a concluding observation of the author John Gottman:
“While our studies showed that mother-child interactions were also important, we found that, compared with the fathers’ responses, the quality of contact with the mother was not as strong a predictor of the child’s later success or failure with school and friends. This discovery is undoubtedly surprising, especially since mothers typically spend more time with children than fathers do. We believe the reason fathers have this extreme influence on their children is because the father-child relationship evokes such powerful emotion in kids.
Source: John Gottman, The Heart of Parenting. Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, 38 Soho Square, London W1V 5DF, United Kingdom.
How do you define true success? Is it becoming famous? or rich? or powerful?
Here are some qualities of authentic success as seen by author Sarah Ban Breathnach:
Authentic success is:
Source: Sarah Ban Breathnach, Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy. Warner Books, Inc., 1271 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020, U.S.A.
There are seven major ingredients that can keep your body healthy, excluding causes that have psychological roots:
Donald M. Vickery, M.D., and James F. Freis, M.D., Take Care of Yourself. Addison-Wesley Publis
Some people are subject to panic attacks — those mysterious feelings of imminent danger that may come without any apparent cause, and may last for a few minutes or as long as a day. The body reacts intensely to these attacks.
Below are ten Golden Rules for Coping with Panic, sent to well-known columnist Ann Landers by a reader:
1. Remember that although your feelings and symptoms are frightening, they are neither dangerous nor harmful.
2. Understand that what you are experiencing is merely an exaggeration of your normal reactions to stress.
3. Do not fight your feelings or try to wish them away. The more willing you are to face them, the less intense they will become.
4. Don’t add to your panic by thinking about what “might happen.” If you find yourself asking, “What if?” tell yourself, “So what!”
5. Stay in the present. Be aware of what is happening to you rather than concern yourself with how much worse it might get.
6. Label your fear level from 0 to 10 and watch it go up and down. Notice that it doesn’t stay at a very high level for more than a few seconds.
7. When you find yourself thinking about fear, change your “what if?” thinking. Focus on and perform some simple, manageable task.
8. Notice that when you stop thinking frightening thoughts, your anxiety fades.
9. When fear comes, accept it, don’t fight it. Wait, and give it time to pass. Don’t try to escape from it.
10. Be proud of the progress you’ve made. Think about how good you will feel when the anxiety has passed and you are in total control and at peace.
Source: “Arkansas” in Ann Landers, Wake Up and Smell the Coffee! Villard Books, Random House Inc., New York, N.Y., U.S.A.
“If you are working just for money,” writes Andrew Matthews in his best-selling book Follow Your Heart, “you won’t be happy and you probably won’t make much money. It’s the universe’s way of prodding you to do something you really love.” Here are points to consider according to Matthews:
Source: Andrew Matthews, Follow Your Heart. Seashell Publishers, P.O. Box 325, Trinity Beach, Queensland, Australia 4879
Here are simple steps to handle procrastination:
1. Divide large tasks into smaller tasks.
2. Write them down.
3. Allocate time for each task. You will feel more in control.
4. Do first what you like least. The momentum you establish in doing this will carry you through the rest of the project.
5. Turn your work into a game, such as pretending to be a rocket scientist instead of a typist; or perfecting your telephone voice.
6. Document your rewards. Take note of what you have accomplished by treating yourself to something when it is done, such as a break or a walk in the park.
7. Apply 100 percent effort. Not only will this enable you to do the task quickly, it will give you an unexpected level of satisfaction.
Source: Paul Wilson, Calm at Work. Penguin Books Ltd., 27 Wrights Lane, London W8 5TZ, United Kingdom
Conflicts within the family are due to behaviors that tend to offend other members of the family. If a husband always comes home late, for example, the wife may feel growing anger. When both are interested in strengthening the relationships, there are steps that both can do in order to resolve such conflicts. Both will feel like winners.
Authors Mendel Lieberman and Marion Hardie, in their book Resolving Family and Other Conflicts, suggest six steps in solving such problems:
v Define the problem using two tools:
a. Conveying your concerns through “I-messages.” Instead of accusing the other person of wrong doing (“You are always . . .”), state your concern by using the word “I,” as in “When I see or hear . . .” “I feel that . . .” “The effects on me are . . .” “I want. . . .”
b. Actively listen, which means listening fully to both the verbal and non-verbal content of the messages, affirming your understanding without interrupting the person; letting the other person feel that he or she is genuinely understood.
v Brainstorm possible solutions. Let the parties to the conflict offer any possible solution as they come to mind, in a kind of free-association process. These ideas should not be judged or censored but just listed down and acknowledged, even if they appear ridiculous.
v Evaluate proposed solutions, to see which ones are feasible and can be adopted. In doing such evaluations, the parties must take note that the feelings of the parties are recognized. When a person feels disappointed about the rejection of a proposal, such disappointment must be recognized and acknowledged.
v Choose a solution by consensus. Consensus is not agreeing by majority vote, neither does it mean unanimity. “Consensus can be based on the desire for an outcome in which all concerned can feel that, although they might have desired another result, they feel committed to the conclusion reached because it preserves the feeling of unity and commitment of all members to the group and to the outcome achieved.”
v Implement solution as agreed by the group.
v Review and re-evaluate. After sometime, it may be necessary to review the agreement due to change in circumstances.
Source: Mendel Lieberman and Marion Hardie, Resolving Family and Other Conflicts. Cymbidium Books, 13393 Sousa Lane, Saratoga, CA 95070, U.S.A.
Here is a song written by Barbara Aiello, with music by Bud Forrest:
Kids are diff’rent
We don’t even look the same
Some kids speak diff’rent languages
We all have a different name
Kids are different
But if you look inside you’ll see
That tall kid, that small kid
Is just like you and me.
Some folks are surprised that
Kids in wheelchairs play
Blind kids read, deaf kids talk
Except in a diff’rent way.
Able kids, disabled kids
There’s nothing we can’t do
Just take a look inside yourself
You’ll be so proud of you
Kids are diff’rent
We don’t even look the same
Some kids speak diff’rent languages
We all have a different name.
But if you look inside you’ll see
That tall kid, that small kid
Are just like you and me.
Naomi Drew, Learning the Skills of Peacemaking. Jalmar Press, Rolling Hills Estates, California, U.S.A.
How can we best love our neighbors? Dr. Joshua Loth Liebman, author of best-selling inspirational book Peace of Mind, says that “we best show our love for our neighbors when we achieve an inner tolerance for the uniqueness of others, when we resist the temptation of private imperialism.”
v Who are private imperialists?
a. Those who make those nearest and dearest to them pay tribute all of their lives to their tyrannical decrees;
b. The father who forces his artistic son into his business
c. The mother who rivets her daughter to her service by chains of pity and guilt, subtly refusing the daughter a life of her own.
In contrast to such totalitarian attitudes, we show love to those closest to us when we permit them to be themselves rather than to submit to the strait-jacket of our dominating desires, wrote Dr. Liebman.
v Tolerance means also the acceptance of the essence and uniqueness of others. “This is a variegated, pluralistic world where no two stars are the same and every snowflake has its own distinctive pattern. . . . So is it with human beings.”
v Intolerance is an indicator of the uncertainty within oneself about the rightness of one’s inner pattern. “He who is sure of himself is deeply willing to let others be themselves. He who is unstable in his own character must reassure himself by trying to compress others into his mold.”
v Tolerance is the positive and cordial effort to understand another’s beliefs, practices, and habits without necessarily sharing or accepting them. It even goes to the extent of defending an opponent when their rights are assailed.
v Tolerance is not moral laxity or easy deviation from established principles. If we say apathetically, “One notion is as good as another,” we are not being tolerant; we are merely being lazy.
v Tolerance is the bulwark of social and individual liberty, the guarantor of a hundred civil rights, and the chief element in any cultural advance that a society may expect to make. Democracy is the principle of tolerance extended into the sphere of politics.
Joshua Loth Liebman, Peace of Mind. Simon and Schuster, Inc., 630 Fifth Avenue, Rockefeller Center, New York, NY 10020 U.S.A.
The moment the slave resolves that he will no longer be a slave, his fetters fall. He frees himself and shows the way to others. Freedom and slavery are mental states.
The use of force is but temporary. It may subdue for a moment; but it does not remove the necessity of subduing again: and a nation is not governed which is perpetually to be conquered.
War will never cease until babies begin to come into the world with larger cerebrums and smaller adrenal glands.
H. L. MENCKEN
If only I had known, I should have become a watchmaker.
[On his role for making the atomic bomb possible]
To me it is a strange and dismal thing that in a world of such need, such opportunity, and such variety as ours, the search for an illusory peace of mind should be so zealously pursued and defended, while truth goes languishing. . . . A querulous search for a premature, permanent “peace” seems to me a thinly disguised wish to die.
DR. KARL MENNINGER
Self-knowledge is the beginning of wisdom. This self-knowledge is not to be gathered from books, but you can find it for yourself through observing your daily relationship with your wife or husband, with your children, with your boss, with the bus conductor. . . . [Then] you discover the workings of your own mind, and this understanding of yourself is the beginning of freedom from conditioning. If you go into it deeply, you will find that the mind becomes very quiet, really still. This stillness is not the stillness of a mind that is disciplined, held, controlled, but the stillness that comes when, through the understanding of relationship, the mind has ceased to be a center of self-interest. Such a mind is capable of following that which is beyond the measure of the mind.
— J. KRISHNAMURTI
The man who is aware of himself is hence-forward independent; and he is never bored, and life is only too short, and he is steeped through and through with a profound yet temperate happiness. He alone lives, while other people, slaves of ceremony, let life slip past them in a kind of dream. Once conform, once do what other people do because they do it, and a lethargy steals over all the finer nerves and faculties of the soul. She becomes all outer show and inward emptiness; dull, callous, and indifferent.
Theosophical Society in the Philippines