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Joys of… Giving of Yourself

Giving material things in charity is easy. Giving your own self is difficult – but it is most rewarding.  Money and assets are limited, and you have only that much to give.  The receiver also can use them only till they last.  But when you give of yourself, you lose nothing, you gain a lot – and the receiver gets a gift that lasts forever.

In a world headed towards an epidemic of loneliness, there is a dire need of warm, caring and sensitive people who are willing to prove to the world (and to themselves), that they can give without any remuneration.  It is not easy to be emotionally charitable.  We all have our egos, our emotional needs, our own desires to be loved and cared for.  Yet, the beauty of voluntary work is that one gets all this, and we do not lose anything in the bargain.

By giving you play a very significant role in society, not only because you are not charging for your services, but also because your motivation level is generally higher than employees.  You may be a person from a good background and can be instrumental in getting in more resources or volunteers through your contacts.  You may have special skills that can make the cause more effective.  You carry higher credibility when you speak to others about the mission.

Yet, deciding to do volunteering work, fitting yourselves into the right slots, keeping up your motivation, and being consistent is not as easy as it looks.  Developing and maintaining a dedicated volunteer spirit and continuity requires a great deal of effort and expertise, and constant adapting.

You may be looking to give a deeper meaning to your life, and the best way to do it is by giving of yourself.  Life may have treated you wonderfully, or you may have had more than your share of setbacks and challenges.  Either way, supporting and being there for others can make your life much more beautiful.  Find the right outlet for your genuine intentions, fit into the work with single-minded passion of helping without expectation, and the rest of your life will be the best of your life.

Here are a few simple but time-proven tips on keeping up your motivation:

  1. Build rapport with others doing similar work, ask them about their experiences, get to know them personally, inquire about them, share thoughts and doubts.
  2. Ensure you are balancing your professional, personal and community service activities.
  3. Have a periodic get-together with the others, arrange picnics or talks.
  4. Try to get other friends involved, keep talking about the work you are doing, ask for suggestions.
  5. If required, have a mentor who can give you emotional support and guidance, and can keep motivating you.

We need volunteers in 9 different public hospitals located in different parts of Bangalore city, to guide, help and give emotional support to patients and their care-givers.  Regardless of your age and background, if you have 3 hours to spare once in a week getting the joy of selfless service, please get in touch with us.

You have not lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you

Time has come for exams, tension, anxiety …..and hopefully the end of the academic year.  Then the rush for admissions, entrance exams, confusion of which course to take.

We teach children for 12 years in school, but do not give them any skills to choose their careers.  There is a mad rush for Computer Science Engineering or medicine, and lakhs of students prepare for years and years to crack JEE or NEET, without knowing what they are in for and where it is leading them.

It is the responsibility of all of us to give inputs and familiarize students, and their parents, about which career (out of innumerable lucrative choices) is suitable for any specific child, and to resist the herd mentality.  Please make that effort…..

It is a question of their whole future, they need a little hand-holding.

Learn to Enjoy Stress - By Dr. Ali Khwaja

How often have you felt that you are stressed out the moment you think of studies and exams?  Have you ever felt like just giving up and running away somewhere?  If you have faced or are facing such situations, did you ever stop to think how and why stress accumulates in some of us, while others are carefree and whistling their way through exams and life?

There are answers to these questions.  All we need to do is to take a short break, stop getting stressed out by thinking of exams all the time, and pay attention to a few important facts.  Otherwise we will become like the over-enthusiastic boy who was so happy when he got a contract to cut trees that he just went on chopping with all his might.  He never stopped to sharpen his axe, with the result that all his efforts were in vain.  The blunt axe could not cut, and in his frustration he kept hacking harder and harder till he dropped of exhaustion and lost the contract.  Are you ready to sharpen your mental axe?

The countdown to exams has begun.  You are probably counting days now, and are getting tensed, particularly when you think of those tough and boring subjects that you have begun to hate.  No one can be good at all subjects.  There are at least eight types of intelligence: mathe-logical, linguistic, interpersonal, intra-personal, bodily-kinesthetic, musical, spatial and ecological.  Eventually you will find the right vocation that suits your intelligence, but right now you have to study all subjects from languages to technical ones.  To make the best of it, here are a few tip:

  • Start with relaxing BEFORE you sit down to study. Don’t wait till you are tired and fatigued.  The fresher your mind, the more you will be able to take in, in the least time.  Find out a method of relaxation that suits you, don’t copy what someone else is doing.  A few examples are: Long, brisk walk; Jogging, Tennis, golf, Swimming, Aerobics / dancing, Playing with child/pet, Gardening; Driving into nature, Shouting loudly and freely, Yoga, Meditation, Prayer / discourses, Talking to a friend or counselor, Listening to (or playing) music, Maintaining an informal diary, Thought-provoking books, Punching a pillow, Tearing old newspapers.  Experiment till you hit upon the right one.
  • Take periodic breaks. Never study till you are so tired that nothing is going to your head.  Only you know how long you can study before you need a break, follow your mind.  The duration may vary depending on whether you are studying an interesting or boring subject.  At the same time, keep in mind that your break should be short and relaxing, and not taking your mind away into another activity.
  • Study systematically. List out all the chapters, mark those you have trouble with, keep periodically revising or reviewing.  Don’t get bogged down into one subject the whole day.
  • Keep giving yourself periodic tests, both verbal and written. Do mock exams even at home, they will prepare you for facing the actual exam.
  • Keep track of your biological clock, when you are at peak energy, and when you are down and out. Study difficult subjects when you are feeling energetic.  For boring subjects, allot a fixed time and tell yourself that you will finish as soon as the time is over.

As your exams get nearer, do not cut down on your sleep beyond rational limits.  You can certainly do with 25-30% less sleep than average, but cutting it down to 50% or less can actually add to your strain.  Keep up your hygiene, food habits, get fresh air and clear your mind periodically.  On the day of the exam, don’t cram till the last moment.  Have a healthy meal, go early and check out the place, talk to friends or family to calm down your nerves, and then begin the exam with the clear thought – it is just an exam, it is not going to kill you.

Ali’s Notes:

Technology has advanced immensely. Schools have state-of-the-art facilities in every aspect of child requirements, and millions are spent for providing all comforts and amenities to the students. Yet a survey by Banjara showed that 95% of all children, including those in high-end schools, still carry a water bottle in addition to the already heavy bag. Is it not possible to provide purified drinking water to the students in their classrooms? If we really cared for our children, we can think of these (and many similar) small steps to make life convenient to them.
We have still not managed to reduce the size (and weight) of the school bag in today’s e-learning era. We continue to give all our attention to home work, completion of portions, innumerable tests and exams, and rote learning.
If we wish to create a better world around us as the next generation takes over, it is high time we took some initiatives.