Sunday, 17 July 2011

The best things in life are free

This is an attempt to outline 6 of SOME of the best things in life. There are many others for sure, but I limit myself to these. They cost almost nothing but yet are so enriching.

1. Silence:
The i-series (ipods et al), B-series (BB et al), laptops, televisions, phones, etc, have almost drowned silence. Control them and you will gain silence. We need inner and outer silence to pray well, read well, and appreciate people and the beauty of nature surrounding us. We need silence for self introspection and examination of conscience that is fast becoming vital for the survival of the human person. “God is the friend of silence. Trees, flowers, grass grow in silence. See the stars, moon and sun, how they move in silence,” says Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Silence is golden. It is the door keeper of the life within.

2. Reading:
"In 29yrs of College teaching, I have seen reading ability go steadily down. A paper I would give a C to today, I would have given an F to 25yrs ago," comments Prof. Peter Kreeft. Good books, not just academic materials abound around us. Good enough, there are audios and e-copies of these books. Use them to broaden your horizon; to understand cultures, history and the mystery of the being called man. Related to writing, mind that you don't fall for the habit of 'text language'. A friend recently suggested that the literary masters of old would be disappointed to see beautiful words replaced with unnecessary abbreviations.

3. Music:
Music is a great force for good or evil. It is convertible, christianizable & baptizable. The two universal languages on earth are music and silence. Choose what to listen to & very importantly when to listen to them.

4. Conversation:
Real conversation is fast becoming a lost art. When last did you have a really thoughtful, honest conversation about anything that was important to any of the conversants? Conversation doesn't cost a kobo. We have to be particularly careful not to allow modern technology to destroy the wonderful act of conversation. If you know how bad it feels to see a ‘friend’ pinging on his Blackberry while at the same time trying to converse with you, you’ll know better not to do the same to someone else.

5. Sleep:
Don't act surprised! Optimum sleep is good for long-term memory, the immune system, reducing irritability and improving confidence. Did you know that Albert Einstein sometimes used to sleep for up to 8 hours, even 10hours? He said it was good for the kind of intellectual work he had to do. He would sometimes gain deep insights into his works after such sleep. Ever wondered why some people never do ‘TDB’ and still come out tops? Best to get 6 to 8hrs of uninterrupted sleep each day at a stretch and better in a noise free area.

6. Prayer:
Prayer is touching the human wire to the divine dynamo. It fires you up. There have been thousands of pages of advice about it. Instead of repeating any of them, I want to say just 2 little words..., DO IT! 

Credits to Prof. Peter Kreeft, whose book ‘Making Choices’ inspired this write-up.