It was not an easy decision to take 10 days off my busy schedule and travel to the other side of the planet to be with my sister for one of her milestone birthdays. It was not easy because I had to allocate time to respond to time demanded by my clients and team.
However, I made the decision, went through many challenges getting the visa because my busy travel schedule provided me only a small window to obtain the visa, worked long hours to clear as much work as possible so that I can be with the families of my sister and brothers during this time.
I am so glad that I made this decision to see the joy in my sisters face when I arrived at her door at 7am a few days ago, with my brother who picked me up from the Toronto Airport. I am so glad that I can spend time with the families of my brother and sister, catching up on their lives, sharing nostalgic moments, visiting interesting places, and spending quality time together.
As I cherish the wonderful experiences on the day of love, peace, giving and forgiving, a profound message at the Christmas Mass last mid-night re-enters my mind. This message not only gave me a new perspective to the attitude and behaviour of the Inn keeper, it made me realise that peoples thinking and action can have a higher purpose that we may not understand, and therefore makes us misunderstand them.
We’ve grown up hearing the account that the “inn” in Bethlehem was full, with no “room” available, so Joseph and Mary ended up in a stable, with Jesus Christ born and laid in a manger there. This image has been used to promote the typical Christmas nativity scene for generations.
Have you ever had a situation where you have a purpose different to the purpose of a family member, such as a spouse, parent, sibling or child? Has this situation led to misunderstandings, arguments, anger, violence or estrangement? How did you handle the situation? Has it made you become disgruntled about the notion of ‘purposeful living’. I will try to address this issue in this blog post from the limited experience I have had in dealing with such situations.
Recently I had the opportunity of counselling a couple who were facing such a situation; the husband is a successful chief executive of a company and the wife is a senior manager in a bank. They have two adorable children. The family is financially sound with means of passive income. The husband was very caring to the family and they were always happy. The wife had always been supportive of the husband, specially in the early days of their marriage when he was struggling to move up the corporate ladder, while caring for the children. Continue reading “When Purposes Clash in Families – Purpose of Living – Part 24”→
It’s interesting that the month of January 2019 was a month where I did as much free work as paid work. The first free assignment was to provide a keynote address at the new year celebration of a leading organisation in the insurance industry to inspire the staff of over 1000, who were gathered for the celebration, on the 1st of January. The second free assignment was to continue to help the administrators, parents and past pupils of my alma mater, St Anthony’s Collage, to take forward the strategic plan that I facilitated in formulating one year ago. The third free assignment was to help an important arm of the government of Sri Lanka to develop the leadership of a very important category of officials in becoming better leaders and making a better contribution for the development of the country. Continue reading “Finding Purpose in giving – Purpose of Living – Part 23”→
I wish you a Merry Christmas. In this season of Love, let’s give our love and kindness to all living beings with the intention of adding value to the process of life.
As I write this blog post, the first instalment of phase 3 of this series, on Christmas day, I feel it is appropriate to explore how we find purpose at Christmas. We explored the notion of purpose from various viewpoints in the first phase (ten blog posts) and then we attempted to understand the process of purposeful living in the second phase (eleven blog posts) of this series. We now step in to the third phase of purposeful living that deals with practical aspects of living a purposeful life.
While a lot of effort goes in to dressing up for Christmas, in terms of our homes, our clothes, our social media pages and our websites, it would be appropriate to find out the purpose, reason or intention behind this dressing up? I believe purposeful living is being joyous, learning from our struggles, living with noble values and being of service to our world. Continue reading “Finding Purpose at Christmas – Purpose of Living – Part 22”→
It was really heart warming to see the visions and hear the sound bites of the Inter-faith conference held in Colombo Sri Lanka as a part of the visit by His Holiness Pope Francis on the 1st day of his 3 day visit to Sri Lanka. The conference was led by some of the most senior leaders of Buddhism [followed by the majority of Sri Lankans], Hinduism, Islam and other Christian religions. It was attended by over 1000 members of the clergy of each of the religions. The ceremony included a welcome from a Catholic Bishop, a chant from a Buddhist Monk, blessings from Hindu and Muslim leaders, and an ecumenical Christian prayer led by the head of Sri Lanka’s Anglican church. Each speaker had a message that had peace, unity, reconciliation and respect for each other. Pope Francis said inter-faith work should not blur the lines between different religious convictions and he sought to reaffirm respect for each religion’s beliefs but to ground such respect in a full and forthright presentation of our respective convictions and that religion cannot be used for violent purposes. The Sri Lankan Muslim leader Ash-Sheikh M.F.M. Fazil said, “I will fail in my duties if I do not mention the attack, the killings, that took place in France, in Pakistan,” Fazil said; “Children were massacred and killed in the name of Islam. As we know very well, Islam has no relationship with regard to such practices and evil conduct and deeds,” he continued. “Islam promoted peace, love, and harmony.One of Sri Lanka’s senior Buddhist leaders Niyangoda Vijithasiri Thero who delivered a sermon mentioned all religions are important and used the metaphor of different treatment methods to cure the same disease.
Sri Lanka’s newly elected president, Maithripala Sirisena, was at the airport to welcome the pontiff and in his welcome speech mentioned that he is blessed to have the Holy father visit soon after his elections and requested for his prayers. This is significant coming from a Buddhist, the 1st citizen of a Buddhist country.
The Mass by the pope was not only attended by the Buddhist but by members of other religions and many of them had mentioned to the media that this is one of the most significant days of their life. All this augurs well for inter-faith corporation and understanding that can lead to peace, unity and reconciliation. The world has seen many efforts of unity by world leaders.
In December 2014 President Barack Obama went in to a peace deal with Cuba with a symbolic prisoner exchange and anticipated reforms by Cuba and lifting of embargos by the USA. In January 2015 all political parties in Sri Lanka united to appoint a President known for his virtues and to form a government that will reform the political culture in Sri Lanka. A few days ago most world leaders gathered in Paris to show solidarity after the attacks in Paris. It was significant that both the leaders of Israel and Palestine were a part of the world leaders who had locked hands together in solidarity. In the backdrop of the various conflicts, terrorism and armed conflicts going on around the world, these are efforts to find love, peace, truth, justice, reconciliation, unity, progress and happiness to make our efforts to finding love, peace, truth, justice, reconciliation, unity, progress and happiness to make our world a better place.
Can you guess the Job that needs the most hours per week?
Can you guess the Job that requires staying on your feet most of the time?
Can you guess the Job that requires you to have meals late and sometimes even skip them on behalf of your customer?
Can you guess the job that requires staying up the whole night quite often and then starting early morning again and going on till late night?
Can you guess the Job that requires a good knowledge and skills in medicine, finance, banking, teaching, home science, networking, sales, negotiating, human resources, teamwork empathy and relationships all at the same time?
Can you guess the Job that needs the most amount of multi-tasking?
Can you guess the Job that requires sacrificing things you desire on behalf of the customers despite all the qualifications and responsibilities listed above?
Can you guess the Job that does not pay you despite all the qualifications and responsibilities listed above?
Can you guess the Job that does not earn gratitude despite all the qualifications and responsibilities listed above?
Can you guess the Job that sometimes results in humiliation and insult from the very people being served despite all the qualifications and responsibilities listed above?
Can you guess the job that requires unconditional and selfless love to their customers?
Yes the answers to the above questions are one and the same. MOTHERS. Let’s remember and pay respect and gratitude to our mothers and all the mothers we know. Lets start today as someone thankfully invented mother’s day to remind us of the most precious person in our life and make every day of our life mothers day.
I dedicate this blog post to my own mother Carmen, the mother of my children Jennifer, my sister Kishani, my sisters-in-laws Bashi and Mirani and all the other mothers in my family, all the mothers known to me and all the mothers in this universe. God bless you all.