Tag Archives: Religion and Spirituality

Inspiration: Happily In Service…

“In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.”  Acts 20:35

Inspiration: Happily In Service…

Inspiration: Happily In Service…

Recently, I connected with a group of bloggers committed to addressing issues of poverty in a compassionate way. Each month, a topic is shared  to write on and contemplate. This month, the topic is about Service and the questions: Which bible verse guides you to serve others? What led you to become a Compassion Blogger?

I grew up a Catholic home and from an early age, I was made aware, first by my parents and then by the nuns in school, that service to others and the sharing of alms were an important part of being a Christian.  My parents were always participating in fund raisers and giving donations to help distant relatives and other people in need. I remember that we often had guests at home who came specifically to thank my dad for helping them in some fashion. They thanked him profusely, singing praises in his name and showering us with blessings. So the idea of service was inculcated in me quite early and remains a vital part of my life. I remain happily in service to the groups I support by regularly volunteering time and skills.

“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:10

Inspiration: Happily In Service… Compassion bloggers serving in Tanzania

Inspiration: Happily In Service… Compassion bloggers serving in Tanzania

My family came from a culture that believed in the value of helping extended family members and sharing our largess with gratitude. It also meant tithing at church and volunteering. The nuns at school were always saying “It is more blessed to give than to receive,” and in time, it became a favorite verse of mine. The other verses I’ve shared here resonated with me because they are reminders that we all have gifts and skills that we can use to help uplift others.

In school and in catechism, we learned that charity and service were requirements for being a good person of faith, and we read stories that reinforced the message.  Our daily prayers included portions on serving the poor, and when possible, The Story of the Good Samaritan was read and explained over and over again. Looking back on the experiences of my childhood, it makes sense that being a compassionate blogger would appeal to me.

One major event in my life that solidified the importance of service for me was the civil war. The war forced us to flee the city and appreciate the time spent in my father’s village during the Nigeria-Biafra war. Dad’s village was deep in the interior part of the countryside and this meant that many displaced families ended up there. It was their last stop as refugees and, by the time they reached us, most were destitute and quite distraught. Because the wartime struggles affected many families, everyone had to learn to share limited resources.  Being able to serve gave us a sense of purpose and people readily shared their crops and their homes. Being hospitable to the refugees around us led to life long friendships that continued long after the war ended. More below!

Continue reading

About these ads

The Dalai Lama: Gems On the Road To Peace…

“We can never obtain peace in the world, if we forget the inner world, and don’t make peace with ourselves… ”  Tenzin Gyatso Dalai Lama of Tibet.

Dalai Lama: Gems On The Road to Peace...

Dalai Lama: Gems On The Road to Peace…

“We need to make this a century of dialogue…
Because you have to lead the rest of your life in this century, you have to think, from time to time, about global issues. And for that please make good preparation: education, skill, expertise. Then another thing is your determination, your will power; that is very much based on self confidence. In order to develop self-confidence, be truthful, honest and just. These are key things and … transparency…” Dalai Lama

To people around the world, the 14th Dalai Lama is an important religious leader and teacher in the Buddhist tradition. He is a Nobel Peace Prize recipient, a great humanitarian, philosopher and advocate for the path of universal responsibility, peace and compassion. We see his charismatic side even as he gives somber talks about the growing global crises or speaks about the urgency for global peace. Yet, there is another side to him; a humble, unassuming, playful side. He is a spiritual master who radiates a scintillating energy that pulls you in and steadies you, silencing the noise and cocooning you in a blanket of peace. In his presence, all petty thoughts drop away, time is suspended, and we are reminded of our collective, energetic human bond. Such is the power of his presence.

“If we combine our knowledge , skills and expertise with our will power and determination, then no matter what problems we face, we can solve those problems forever ”  Dalai Lama.

Dalai Lama: Gems On the Road To Peace...

Dalai Lama: Gems On the Road To Peace…

“(Forgiveness and self-discipline)
These are the key points. So, keep in your mind; education and knowledge. In the meantime warmheartedness, willpower, determination, being more compassionate. These are, I think, sources of our strength. So, combine our knowledge and inner strength then no matter what obstacles or difficulties, we can overcome these problem.” Dalai Lama

Recently, I saw the wonderful film, Road To Peace: Ancient Wisdom Of the Dalai Lama of Tibet about the beloved 14th Dalai Lama  produced by Leon Stuparich. 15 years ago, Leon turned his focus on the Dalai Lama. He wanted to know more about the man behind the myth; about his incredible presence, and how to achieve happiness and a “more centered, peaceful life.” The film, which you may watch for free via the link above, takes us on a personal and up close journey with the Dalai Lama.

During the course of the film, the Dalai Lama answers an important question: How can we apply universal responsibility in our lives? His advice and wisdom which he gives liberally, and which I’ve included in my block quotes above and below,  are gems to mull over again and again. I call them his gems on the road to peace. Leon’s goal is to expose as many people as possible to the Dalai Lama’s teaching and peace efforts. You can participate by watching the film and sharing your “like” of this inspiring movie with friends. 5% of the profits from this film (Road to Peace) will be donated to the Tibet House Trust. More below.

Continue reading

Reflections: Keep The Faith…

“The sum total of my life experience profited more from negative than positive events. When you’re able to survive and reach another level of awareness it gives you more strength and confidence and enriches life more….”  Cicely Tyson

Reflections: Keep The Faith...

Reflections: Keep The Faith…

My dear friend and fellow blogger, Barbara of zeroto60andbeyond fame, had the Cicely Tyson quote on her post and it resonated deeply with me. It articulated what I needed to share in this post and so, I’ve split it into three parts which you can read. Our beliefs guide our faith. Faith matters to me and is present in everything; including the air we breathe. It has carried me throughout my life. I’ve written on it in different posts so, I’m adding links to some of them for your perusal.  As we enter a new year, we need to do a self scan and plan to change and grow.  It’s time to set aside petty hatreds and show kindness. Our beliefs and attitude will have an impact. My advice to us all is  – Don’t Give Up! Inspiration: Live by Faith Not by Fear…

“The negative experiences help me to find the positive, survive stronger, and richer, and fuller. More in touch with what God wants me to be in touch with…” Cicely Tyson

Reflections: Keep The Faith...

Reflections: Keep The Faith…

The world is made up of people with varied interests and motivations. Some of us are lovers and some are haters. Both add something to the world and to our growth. Haters are insecure, accusatory, suspicious, but they remind us to be grateful for the lovers in our lives. Lovers support and champion our efforts. They understand our humanity and thus, our failings. My advice to us all is – Enjoy the process. Grow! Mustard Seed: Faith in Small Things… More below!

Continue reading