Saturday, 30 August 2008

In the face of death

For the first time today, I really sensed desperation in Baly's voice as I heard him describe Fr Jude's last moments - desperation because he was doing all he could along with the others but he was also observing that he was sinking! I can imagine if I, sitting here in my office, hundreds of kilometres away could feel it, that too for someone whom I've never met, seen or heard about before, how much more would those close to him have felt! And then, what would Fr Jude himself have been undergoing? It is true that he was gasping for breath - that must have been his only thought. But did he know that he would die? Or at any moment during those last couple of hours of running around hospitals, gave him a thought that he would not survive the day?

Friday, 29 August 2008

Mother Teresa and her magnanimity

Reading the lives of great people is a great source of inspiration. This evening I was reading the newspaper article on Mother Teresa which appeared on August 26, 2008 in The Hindu by Navin Chawla. Speaking about the simple talks of Mother Teresa, he had this to say: "My mind accepted them largely because of the respect in which I held her - a respect intensified because there was no difference between her words and her deeds, between her precepts and her practice and the fact that she could understand the poor because she was poor herself."
Here's Mother herself: "As long as we remain committed to the poorest of the poor and don't end up serving the rich, the work will prosper."
At the ceremony in Oslo, the then Chairman of the Nobel Committee, John Sannes, had this to say: "... In her eyes, the person who, in the accepted sense, is the recipient, is also the given and the one who gives the most, Giving - giving something of oneself - is what confers real joy, and the person who is allowed to give is the one who receives the most precious gift..."

Thursday, 28 August 2008


The situation in Orissa is a perfect example of 'angst' - desperate anger towards and for nothing! Those innocent victims are being tortured for no fault of theirs, they know not who and when will they be hunted, for what reason and by whom! The worst I can sense is the desperation they must be feeling when they cannot even get angry - because then they will be going against the very tenet for which they are being persecuted. Neither can they appeal to anyone, for even those who are supposed to protect them are the ones perpetuating the violence. This is real 'angst' according to me!
And here I am, in the comfort of my office, sitting and philosophizing on their plight!

Sanctity and devotion

Attending Mass with Sarath's people the other day was a reminder of the sanctity of the ceremony. They were squatting on the floor and I was seated on a chair beside them. When it was time for the Consecration, they spontaneously knelt down - even though the place was very very congested! When I told them, to remain seated, since it was very difficult to kneel for all, they were not really very convinced of being seated!! It was then it struck me that they really knew the importance of the event and therefore their devotion. For me it was just another moment of another Mass of another day!!

Sunday, 24 August 2008

My vocation as a Brother

The other night driving back from the airport with both the former and present Mother Generals of SAPs, I had a short but nice conversation with Sr Ernestine. I've had it with others too but not too often. People ask me why I didn't become a Priest and decided to remain a Brother life long? I ask them in return, Why should I become a Priest at all? Just because I can speak well, I'm intelligent, I'm capable ... are these the core of Priesthood? Truly, I've never felt the call to be a Priest.... but Don Bosco, YES!! So why should I force myself to become something that I'm not called to be! People tell me I'll make a very good priest. But that's not what I've been called to! I certainly may do well, but in the heart of heart I'll know that it is I who want to become a Priest - not the One who called me!

My Salesian life...

Sometimes I just let my mind wander a bit and dwell on strange thoughts... me being out of the congregation, me working in a very rural and completely telugu mission station... and so on!! Most of these are entertained during boring sermons!! Well, somehow, even in instances where I let my mind wander about me being out of the congregation, there's something still Salesian about me there, in that state of life too!! Somehow the thought of what would I be had I not joined the Salesians at all, just doesn't come! And to be also aware that even after attending the vocation camp, I had no intention of joining the Salesians is a real paradox of thought!! So here I am: a few years ago never thought of being a Salesian, and now cannot think anything without a tinge of Salesianity!

Saturday, 23 August 2008

Depth of a person... for what?

Reading the writings and reflections of great men and women, I wonder where do they get such splendid ideas and thoughts. Then there is also this selfish intercession, 'Lord help me also get such ideas!' But thinking a bit deeper about these personalities, say our own Rector Major, Fr Chavez himself, I cannot avoid noticing the depth and strength they manifest. Looking at them and hearing them, you know they have something more than the rest of us. They are made up of a different substance all together, within. With that also dawns the realisation, that they are where they are now, not merely because they wanted to be there! They are where they are because God wanted them there!

This thought has been strengthened by my little experience with Sr Franceschina, the Mother General of SAPs, who laid down office today. She exudes a sense of grace and confidence that binds you and makes you say, 'Wow'! Last of all, comes the unwilling prayer: 'Lord, not my will but Yours!'

Friday, 22 August 2008

Vocations as the crowning glory of Youth Ministry

I've heard this phrase often... 'Vocations as the crowning glory of Youth Ministry' and feel guilty every time I hear it. I'm the only one to survive from Don Bosco school, Sanathnagar!! Among the thousands who've passed out of Don Bosco, Sanathnagar why is it that only one opted and is still a Salesian. In the Vietnam and Thailand provinces, I'm told that there get a good number of vocations from the tribal groups we work with. Why is this not true of the dozen technical and boarding schools that we have in the Province? After so many years of living, interacting and being enriched by us, why don't they make that final 'yes' to become Salesians? Something lacking somewhere...

Let God... rest awhile!

Let God also rest a while!! Often we "trust" God so much, I wonder if He is able to rest a while!! I'm reminded of that anecdote of Anthony De Mello: A disciple came riding on a camel to the tent of his Sufi master and walked in. "So great is my trust in God that I've left my camel outside untied, convinced that God protects the interests of those who love him." I love the response of the Master: "Go tie you camel, you fool!! God cannot be bothered doing for you what you are perfectly capable of doing for yourself."

Shrunken faces and spirituality

Last night Alphonse, our cook made a very spontaneous and innocent statement which caught my attention immediately. It was regarding the Sisters who left the refectory within 20 mins after their supper - something unusual given the long time they'd spend otherwise. The reason according to Alphonse: "They started their retreat." How did he come to know that? "They were silent and their faces shrunk!" If our witness power is just that much - silence and shrunken faces - it says a great deal about the impact such a great source of spiritual renewal has on others and more importantly on us!

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Making the other feel wanted...loved...

Listened after long to this favourite song of Ronan Keating: "If Tomorrow Never Comes" There is a line in the same which goes like this:
'If I never wake up in the morning
Would she ever doubt the way I feel
About her in my heart
If tomorrow never comes
Will she know how much I loved her.
Did I try in every way to show her every day
That she's my only one'.
I wonder how many of us feel the same about our own confreres, the ones whom we share so much of our life. As religious we always specialise in throttling our feelings, especially about others. At the most what we do is speak about some one to someone else, but not with the rightful person whose feelings we talk about!

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Idea of oneself

Started rereading The Alchemist a couple of days ago. Managed to read a few pages yesterday after long. How different words mean in different contexts! I read this book first when doing my Media studies in Mumbai and was fascinated by it. The words, 'When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.' had a significance then. Yesterday when I read those words I scoffed at them!

Anyway, what caught my attention yesterday was some other text... not sure if it struck me then! When someone sees the same people everyday, as had happened with him in the Seminary, they wind up becoming a part of that person's life. And then they want the person to change. If someone isn't what others want them to be, the others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own. Now that's one point, hardly anyone can dispute , especially the last one!!

Monday, 18 August 2008

Don Bosco, the Marchioness Barolo and me!

Yesterday I was reading up something of Don Bosco and Marchioness Barolo and their connection, especially in the light of the Srs of St Ann and their General Chapter. Nice to know that Don Bosco and the Marchioness had a mutual admiration right from the first time they saw each other. They both recognised each other as holy and charitable persons doing their bit! That the Marchioness was one behind the famous 'Barolo' wine famously referred to as the 'wine for the kings' was indeed an amusing revelation. But what amused me most was the reversal of roles here these days. I can imagine Don Bosco meeting the Marchioness several times seeking permission to carry on his activities with the boys and balancing this personal charism with the entrusted responsibility of being the chaplain at St Philomena hospital. Then it was the Marchioness who gave shelter to Don Bosco - even though temporarily. Today, it's an interesting reversal of roles: the Sisters of St Anne of Providence are at Don Bosco!! What's more, their Provincials and General Councillors running after me, a mere son of Don Bosco, seeking for this and that!! What a day!! Anyway, glad to be able to reciprocate the generous hospitality that the Marchioness offered to Don Bosco in his time of need.

Sunday, 17 August 2008

Justice and mercy... and a Sunday

Listening to the sermon today, I was forced to think or meditate on what really does justice mean? To add to my confused state of mind, none of the three readings of today use the word 'justice'. Surprisingly the only word common in all three readings of today is 'mercy'. I remember Fr Stan telling us that God does not know how to condemn. In His mercy, all are saved. While it is true that there is hell, it is also highly probable that there is no one in it! God is too good to let anyone in there! God's justice is best understood by me through the parable of the vineyard owner who employs servants to work in his farm at different times of the day and at the end of the day pays them all equally. That is justice... to each one his due. Not each one according to the other, or in comparison. However, there is also this tag line at the end of that parable: God's way of thinking is not the same as our human way of thought. What I consider justice is mercy in the eyes of God... for in God there is no condemnation, only benevolence.

Problems and Solutions...

Here's another anecdote: When NASA began the launch of astronauts into space, they found out that the pens wouldn't work at zero gravity (Ink won't flow down to the writing surface). In order to solve this problem, they hired Andersen Consulting (Accenture today). It took them one decade and $12 million. They developed a pen that worked at zero gravity, upside down, underwater, in practically any surface including crystal and in a temperature range from below freezing to over 300 degrees C.
And what did Russians do...???
The Russians used a Pencil instead !!!
"If you look at what you do not have in life, you don't have anything""If you look at what you have in life, you have everything."
In other words, "Focus on problem leads to inventions! & Focus on solution leads to discoveries!"

Put the glass down

Here's an amusing and interesting anecdote that I read today: Once a professor began his class by holding up a glass with some water in it. He held it up for all to see and asked the students, "how much do you think this glass weighs? '50gms!'?...'100gms...'125gms'....
The students answered, "I really don't know unless I weigh it."
The professor said, 'now, my question is: What would happen if I held it up like this for a few minutes?'
'Nothing' the students said.
"OK what would happen if I held it up like this for an hour?" the professor asked.
"Your arm would begin to ache" said one of the students.
"You're right, now what would happen if I held it for a day?"
"Your arm could go numb; you might have severe muscle stress & paralysis; have to go to hospital for sure! Ventured another student", all the students laughed.
"Very good. But during all this, did the weight of the glass change?" Asked the professor.
"No" was the reply of all the students.
"Then what caused the arm to ache; the muscle to stress?" After a pause the professor asked "Before my arm ache, what should I do?"
The students were puzzled.
"Put the glass down!" said one of the students.
"Exactly!" said the professor, "Life's problems are exactly like this. Hold it for a few minutes in your head; they seem OK. Think of them for a long time; they begin to ache. Hold it even longer; they begin to paralyze you. You will not be able to do anything."
It's important to think of the challenges (problems) in your life, but EVEN MORE IMPORTANT to 'put them down' at the end of every day before you go to sleep. That way, you are not stressed, you wake up every day fresh; strong; can handle any issue, any challenge that comes your way! Remember to put the glass down everyday!

Saturday, 16 August 2008

Perfection, yes! But at what cost?

This evening I chanced upon an interesting article by Gail Collins in the Deccan Chronicle, titled 'The Lin and Yang of lipsynching'. Speaking about perhaps the most memorable event of the Beijing Olympics inaugural ceremony, the article speaks of the extent to which we human beings can go to, just to achieve something as minimal as an impression. The little girl in a bright red dress who mesmerised the audience all over the world through her song that August 8, 2008 - Lin Miaoke (aged 9) was not the one who really sang the song. It was Yang Peiyi (aged 7) who really sang the song. Why then was Yang not let to do the singing live? Purely because she had imperfect teeth!! Wow, that's a mighty big reason why one little angel should be prevented from doing her job as herself. Thinking a bit broader, I think, we too do the same when it comes to offering bouquets and flowers to dignitaries on the dais during a function, we choose the most cute and smart ones. Those on the darker shade or unkempt are easily overlooked and ruled out! What I like of the author, Collins was that she stressed on the psychological harm that such a thing would do not just to little Yang but to Miaoke as well. Because Miaoke let to think that the whole world was listening to 'her' song.

Well there is a real need to strive towards perfection, and it does involve some pain and those involved have to bear the cost. But I think there's also a limit to that pain and cost - even that cannot be made perfect! You cannot be so ruthless, so as to bash on regardless of even the slightest consideration of breaking down a human being - all for want of perfection. Perhaps a good lesson for Salesian educators like me who hanker much for perfection!

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Lessons in prayer

This afternoon I learnt another lesson in prayer and evangelisation - though short-lived, for I almost forgot it by now! Fr TV Jose narrated how Fr Chacko made Maria and someone else go and pray all the while they were drilling a bore in BIRDY. It then struck me that the thought of asking God's help - though all and sundry were asked to help - never occurred to me today. I was very much humbled - and ashamed - when I then remembered that even in the morning one of the ladies who came to weed the garden began with a prayer! So much for being a religious. But may be the hectic activity of the day and night is taking a toll on me. Early today someone asked me what I'm doing tomorrow. I said nothing. Not celebrating? I asked, celebrate what? The person at the other end was shocked: "It's independence day and the feast of Our Lady!" Only then did I recollect it!! I think it is a problem of prioritizing. It is true that I did manage to accomplish most of what I had to, today. If delayed they would have been delayed for another two weeks. But was it worth the loss of time, memory and Our Lady?

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Evangelisation as a Brother...

It was a nice solemn day without much of fanfare or hypocritical flattery. Happy to have done something for Sarath. He's one of the few guys I appreciate for their sincerity and dedication to the higher principles and values. It is also true that scolding him comes easy - may be the principle of 'weak with the strong and strong with the weak'! Anyway, God bless him with strength and vigour to inspire many more to be like him.

This evening Fr Noel brought to my attention how a simple act of invitation that I extended to a youngster to join the community for the evening Rosary could be a courageous act of evangelisation. Every time I hear my name and the word evangelisation, I feel thrilled. Perhaps because it is not a often heard combination: a Brother and proclamation! That's the reason also I mentioned about being congratulated for evangelising through the web. Frankly speaking, it was a spontaneous invitation, nothing preplanned. Yet I never felt bad neither about inviting her to join nor about her refusing to join us. I guess this is what the Church tells us when it calls us to 'proclaim Christ'. I still remember Fr Ivo telling, 'Our responsibility is to proclaim, not convert. Conversion is the work of the Holy Spirit'!

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Grounded formation - days at Gunadala

Reflecting this whole day on formation and formation processes, I was reminded of my grounded formation in Gunadala. Looking back the first few months at Gunadala were the most formative days in community living. I'd reached the aspirantate with a very high opinion of those who came there to become priests and brothers. Once there I was in for a rude shock when I observed within the first month that very many boys there, were worse than my school companions whom I'd kept a distance from!!! That brought me back to the earth! Priests and Brothers are after all made of the same flesh and bones like the rest of humanity!

The second experience which kept my hopes and aspirations alive was the celebration of the community day. That was the second time I wept in Gunadala - only this time they were tears of joy and a sense of great fulfillment. The feeling of being together with such a large group was terrific. What we can do as individuals is great and praise worthy, but that what we can achieve as a community focused on a particular mission is something unbelievable.

True that I've learnt much more over the years in the Salesian congregation, but these initial experiences I'll never forget!

Rebellious day...

It's been a rebellious day. The girl in the kitchen decides to act on her own whims and fancies and starts rebelling to every instruction or help sought from her by the cooks. Resolve that first thing in the morning and join the community for morning prayers, the Psalms have the theme of rebellion! Some smoke of rebellion was seen also in the meeting today! Anyway, at least the day ended without anything more - at least so far!
Nice to feel better too! I was literally dragging myself yesterday... today was much better.

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Religion, Spirituality and hell

This morning's Sunday Times of India had this amusing quote by Bonnie Raitt: Religions is for those who are scared to go to hell. Spirituality is for those who have already been there.
I'd like to differ very much. Left to me, I'd rephrase it this way: Naive Religion is for those who are scared to go to hell. Spirituality is for those who've tasted heaven. That reminds me of the Spirituality course that I attended as part of the Diploma Course in Theology, two years ago in Shillong. That was one substantial course, I'd love to take again.I still have the class notes - one of the handful notes that I preserved of my two year study!
Something interesting that I realised during the study of 'Spirituality' was that most often we associate spirituality with divinity while it has more to do with humanity. A holistic understanding of spirituality can be had only on the horizons of humanity and divinity - not in the clouds or heavens alone. Perhaps in secular terms, the word 'integrity' would come closest to describing it.

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Nice song... Absolutely Everybody

By chance heard the song 'Absolutely Everybody' by Vanessa Amorosi on the net today. It really caught my atttention. The music is very lively and so are the words:

Absolutely everybody

Absolutely everybody,

Everybody needs a little loving,

Everybody needs somebody thinking of them.

Everybody needs a little respect,

And whatever it takes, I’m gonna get it.

Everybody needs a hand to hold,

Someone to cling to When the nights are getting cold.

I’m no different, I am just the same,

A player in the game.

Absolutely everybody,

Everybody, everybody.

Absolutely everybody

In the whole wide world.

Absolutely everybody,

Every boy and every girl, Absolutely everybody.

Everybody needs a human touch.

I can’t live without it, It means too much to me.

Everybody needs one true friend,

Someone who’ll be there ‘til the very end.

And absolutely everybody breathes,

And everybody, everybody bleeds.

We’re no different, We’re all the same,

Players in the game.

Absolutely, everybody, Everybody, everybody.

Absolutely everybody In the whole wide world.

Everybody breathes, And everybody needs.

Absolutely everybody. Absolutely everybody.

Every boy and girl,Every woman and child.

Every father and son.I said now everyone,

Yes now everyone. Everybody needs a human touch.

Everybody, everybody needs love.

I’m no different, I am just the same,

A player in the game.

Absolutely everybody.

If not the sun, the stars...

Here's another one from Rabbi: I love the light for it shows me the way, yet I endure the darkness because it shows me the stars. How often so many of us wander in the dark, perfectly content to stumble rather than ask for help - even though help sought from God is only lip-help. If only we dare to lift up our eyes to the stars above. If not for the light they cast, at least for the assurance that we're not alone.

As days go by, I'm feeling more confident that life not a tyrant after all. If I can manage a week without most of the amenities and with a General Chapter going on in the campus, I think, I can! Just a matter of organisation and coordination. Of course, prayer is something that I should not miss out on. For the first time, I've been skipping personal prayer continuously for long. But I realise, I'm mastering an art that I've heard from my novitiate days onwards: ejaculatory prayer! Well, if not the sun, at least the stars!

Don Bosco and his works

Watched the video of the Rector Major's visit to Togo, Costarica and Bennin this afternoon. Somehow, this Don Bosco is fantastic. God must be still working through him in us all! How then can I explain or understand the magnanimity of our works all over the world. So many works, so many youngsters, so many people, so many projects, ... Gosh! And all this just with perhaps half our efforts. If only we'd put in our whole selves - our complete heart and soul...

Rain, rain, go away...

Rain, rain go away, come again another day!! Well, that not just another of those nursery rhyme for me, but a prayer! It's exactly a week since the main motor of the house has given way and we are still struggling to put it back - submerge it! Everything possibly that can go wrong is going wrong!! First, it burns off. then refuses to come out of its hole! Once out, it takes a hell of a sum to repair it. Now it refuses to go in. So does the bore rig lorry to come and clear the hole!! But as they say, God never closes a door without opening a window. BIRDY's motor is helping now. So far so good. Let's hope for the better!
Earlier I prayed for rain and now I'm praying for sunshine! I suppose our prayers don't get answered most often because they get annulled by such contradictory prayers. Poor God, how do you expect him to answer everybody when each one is asking just the opposite of what the other has asked! And yet we say, 'God save the world!'

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Learning 'living' the hard way...

Early this morning, I received this sms from my friend, Rabbi: I heard people saying, "life is hard" but I'm tempted to ask always, "Compared to what?" And to reinforce this idea was Fr Joji's sharing during the homily during the Mass. When we really open our eyes - and hearts - to the sufferings of others, we forget our own petty difficulties. I've experienced the same. On the rare occasions that I've been to the hospital for some treatment for myself, I've been long enough and seen enough in the hospital, to resent and curse myself for having come there. Compared to the pain and agony of those patients, I feel totally out of place!

Tuesday, 5 August 2008


Today, for the first time, I distributed salaries to the staff of the house. I got this idea of inserting a small 'thank you' note into each of the envelopes containing the salary and felt it was good that I did so. However, handing the envelopes was an experience in itself!! I could clearly see emotions and feelings so confused, written all over their faces. There was joy at receiving the money, the sadness of the loan-amount being cut, the anxiety of managing with the cash in hand, the hope of doing something (perhaps purchasing something), the doubt of miscalculation by me.... Gosh! It was all there - none could have missed it! Then there were some who just wouldn't stop perspiring and fretting when the loan repaid did not tally with their account. Only when it was clarified and cleared did a breath escape their nostrils! There was another who practically emptied his envelope within 10 seconds of receiving it: clearing debts in house!

I had the joy of handing over their salaries - implying I had so much of cash in hand. For me the currency in my hand was mere paper. But for them, it was life! It was their sweat and blood - every bit of it precious and life-giving. I know I don't spend money lavishly - some even call me stingy! Yet my monthly expenditure - if I were to calculate ALL my expenses - would be more than the monthly income of some of them. To top it all, it is I who have taken the vow of poverty - and they, have no choice but to live it! I wonder if I'd be able to manage a whole family with what they receive as their monthly salary?

Strength in weakness

Was reading the book This opened my eyes by C.P. Varkey and read this particular instance where a man narrates an incident wherein he is just present with is friend in the hospital when his friend's baby passes away. He recalls this presence, this 'being there' as the most important thing he'd ever done. He concludes saying this happened when he was totally helpless. He never did anything or said anything. All that he did was be present there with the family in its sorrow.
Again, a reflection of what is said by Jean Vanier. Our vulnerable moments are really the moment we achieve something meaningful, or do something beyond our own capabilities. Perhaps this was also the experience of St Paul who says: When I'm weak, then I'm strong.

Stooping to conquer

Ever heard of 'the art of stooping to conquer'? I always thought it was 'standing tall' and 'towering above the rest' that was the key to success. Perhaps this 'stooping to conquer' is another art of victory - may be tedious, challenging and demanding enormous patience - but worth a try!

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Visit to Muthangi...

For the first time went to see and spend time at Muthangi. Had heard a lot about the place and happenings related to it. However, never felt drawn to it. Today had the opportunity to see the place and spend some time there. As we entered the adoration hall, I said to myself, 'Be open... let not my prejudices prevent the Spirit from working in me.' So I listened to the preaching - and its translation too! I should say, the translator was doing a very good job.

What amused me most was the people who went up to give witness on being called from among the multitude by the preacher by the graces they received. I asked myself: Is the miracle worked before or after their witness? Perhaps the 'miracles' - if one wishes to say so - happen once the people climb up and see the whole multitude thanking the Lord for their cure/healing/special grace.... To go up on stage and witness to something different indeed takes guts. At least you've got to live that 'miracle' for sometime. Anyway, let me not speculate more - Lord, I believe... help my unbelief!

Saturday, 2 August 2008

The thin red line... journalism & life

There was a great temptation since last night that I have so far successfully resisted: that of becoming a news monger!! Well, there was this train accident somewhere after Warangal in the early hours of yesterday. Nothing special, only that of the 32 victims burnt in that accident, three were physically challenged persons who were here in the same campus (at BIRDY) for almost a week and were returning to their homes. They were from PARA, Ravulapalem. Now, as the web-coordinator, I wanted to "own" this "news" for our Province website, but then I felt that I was playing cheap. I cannot make their death an issue just because I want news bits! I did not want to demean their life - and death - to mere news articles. Had I really met these people and taken time to interact with them while they were here, I'd have certainly put that up - but not because I want news! I feel better this way. May their souls rest in peace!

Friday, 1 August 2008

Teach me. I'll do it!

Slowly getting into the job of managing time and tasks effectively - the time remains the same, the only problem is that jobs keep increasing! Anyway, was at a point when was about to close up everything and just take a walk when I said, 'let me read something'. And then there was this book lying on my table since yesterday, given by Fr Noel - This opened my eyes by C.P. Varkey. Opened a page and read this interesting bit:

My role model is my mother. She escaped from Nazi Germany when she was 17 and came to the US, where she sold dresses and learned to speak perfect English. When my dad died of a heart attack, I saw my mother cry and mourn, and then take over his real estate business. I remember one of her office managers saying, "You can't do this. You don't know anything about real estates." And my mother replied, "No, I'll do it. Teach me, I can do it." I never forgot that: "Teach me. I'll do it." I've done quite a few things in my life. I have produced some smash hit films. I'm the chairperson of Paramount Pictures now. "Teach me. I'll do it." Sherry Lansing (Reader's Digest)

Wow, that's some lesson to learn. Feel bit refreshed ... and inspired!

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