We were waiting for our food to be served in a restaurant when I noticed a toddler refusing to eat her food in our neighbouring table. Her parents addressed the issue immediately by handing over a mobile phone to her. The rest of the meal was taken care with the child happily watching the videos.
This is the scenario in many households today. Dora, the explorer and Doremon are the companions of our children on the dining tables. This habit formed at a young age continues through teenage and later, in our busy lives, we tend to multitask while we have our food. Various studies show that we need to be mindful while eating our food. Why is this so? What are we doing to our children?
Really? Is it true? Yes, dear friends ... it is a truth indeed!
Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light.
Tell me, how many of us have the secret desire to travel the whole world and see how big this world is? Yes, you are right. Most of us. Then start reading a book and see how it enlarges your world. You are never alone when you're reading a book. Have you ever felt it when you are reading your favorite book? When you are relaxing… sinking down in the sofa... slowly… just like a movie fade out... that your real world is evaporating and you are alone inside the world of the story of your book... living the life of the story? Isn't that our most favorite feeling?
“Happiness is always a choice. I have to create my own good fortune. So look for the ways to be happy always”.
This is the quote I have written on the front page of my diary. When I wrote this, I wrote it to myself…. in my mind. What is the main aim in everyone’s life? What everyone wants? What everyone seeks for? What everyone longs for? What everyone have in themselves? What is the ultimate cause and effect of all our deeds?
H A P P I N E S S ……
“Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil.” – CS Lewis
As the 21st century children seem to be smarter than ever, the importance of a value-based education has become a necessity like never-before. Technology has crept into Education and has opened infinite windows to information. The young minds are now exposed to the ocean of thoughts and ideas, without boundaries. In the light of this exposure, educating children on their values have become the need of the hour.
“If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands (clap clap), if you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands (clap clap), if you’re happy and you know if and you really want to show it, if you’re happy and you know it clap your hands.”
This is a song that we were taught in kindergarten and it still brings a smile to my lips and a sweet rhythm to my soul. Happy!
If you're a human being, I am pretty much sure, you want to be happy. What is happiness for you? In the U.S., there is a minor use of the term to mean luck (“That was a happy accident.”), but generally happiness refers to an individual’s positive emotional state.
According to Wikipedia, ‘Happiness’ is a mental or emotional state of well-being defined by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy.
The movie ‘Sound of Music’ featured a famous song ‘My favorite things’. In this musical, the lyrics to this song are a reference to things Maria (the character) loves, such as "whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens". These are the things she selects to fill her mind with, when times are bad and when she is unhappy.
I like the things Maria chose, surprisingly, it wasn’t money, new clothes, a big house, a whopping bank balance and fancy cars, although, I am sure that these days, these are the things that would make us happy and would probably be on our list of favorite things.
Okay, so for one long moment, I would want you to think about the ‘what if’ questions, for e.g. what if you didn’t get the morning doze of your nourishing beverage or time to be with friends, time to heal someone with your words or actions, didn’t have your children / or young ones running around you, sharing their little stories, didn’t have the sweet aroma of your mom’s / wife’s home-cooked food, or your spouse telling you about their accomplishment at work or at home, a peaceful nap, or that much awaited weekend, family time, or just the hand over your forehead when you are desperately trying to relax or calm yourself? Can these small trivial things be replaced for the big important things? Wouldn’t these small little things make you just as happy or may be a tad bit happier, irrespective of whether or not we have the big items in our life that we struggle for all our life. Aren’t these small little things less expensive or free of charge most of the time? Off-course, it does cost us our time, however, aren’t we spending so much of our time worrying about the big items on our list?
“I am determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may find myself. For I have learned that the greater part of our misery or unhappiness is determined not by our circumstance but by our disposition.” – Martha Washington, wife of 1st U.S. President George Washington
Well said! So let me come back to my question, “What is happiness for you?
No matter what things (big materialistic ones or the small trivial ones) you choose to make you happy, I am going to help you choose the right disposition, the right attitude, to create the positive emotional state that will bring a smile to your face. And for our reference and ease, let’s call it, ‘The Feel Happy’ factors. So here are a few of the ‘Feel Happy’ factors that if practiced can help us achieve our happy disposition.
- Look for two positive things in every situation – chronic complaining is not a sign of happy people. Fault finders are easy to find, let us try being people who appreciate and motivate others.
- Feel proud of who you are, no matter how little or how much you have accomplished in life – give yourself a pat on the back. Don’t be overly critical.
- Engage in a passion or a hobby, that doesn’t involve whipping out a piece of plastic, or cash. Live your life investing in your mental and physical growth, like reading, cooking, biking, a sport with kids, after all anything brings satisfaction without a debt.
- Be addicted to the wellbeing of your family – allow more time with your loved ones, if your child is passionate about an academic subject, spend time with them, trying to understand how they learn, what excites them. Remember once your kids get older and wiser, you will crave this time with them. Live this time with them now.
- The past is in the past – Do you remember your childhood? That first bad fall from the bicycle, that injured your legs or hands, the first time you failed a test in school, the first beating you got from your parents, the first heartbreak, the first appraisal that went bad, that first deceit, and the list is endless, so I am guessing, that if you are still alive and reading this, you are pretty much okay and survived everything from your past, and I also believe that you not just survived, but you are doing pretty good. So the point I’m trying to make is, ‘If you are doing pretty good, then why you still lugging on the baggage from the past? You are already a winner, because you SURVIVED!’ - According to Psychology Today, there are four ways to cope with regret, failures of the past (1) learn from mistakes but don’t dwell, (2) if nothing can be changed about the situation, to let it go, (3) make sure too much blame is not being undertaken, and(4) reframing the situation more positively.
- Look forward to your future – Most people love being worried, if not about the past then about the future, there are very few souls who say, “I can wait to grow old”, “I can’t wait for life to surprise me”. Everyone has problems, the rich, the poor, the short, the tall, the wise, the naïve, the differently abled, the healthy, just about everyone, what we don’t understand is, it’s not the problems that we should be worried about, it is the way we will handle it, that should concern us. Happiness is a choice, it’s a gift, and we have got it, free of charge. It is in the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, in the smiles we share, it’s on that pat that we get on our back, it is on the faces we see, it is in the love we hold so fondly, it is in the hope of what tomorrow will bring, the gifts we give away. So enjoy the beautiful simple things in life and experience them fully – Be present – Be happy!
- Forgive easily – its simpler to hold grudges, sulk, hate, loathe, detest, abuse, be negative, be angry etc right? If the answer is yes, then it should be fair, that if someone is hurt by you, they should treat you the same way, which is to hold a grudge against you, make faces at you, hate you, loathe you, detest your very presence, abuse you, be angry with you constantly? If not, then start forgiving people, so that they can start forgiving you, don’t carry needless weights on your shoulders. Carry the bag that spreads love and happiness. It is a lighter weight to carry around.
- Count your blessings and be a blessing – Make it a point to say thank you to the universe every night for the simple fact that you are alive and you are home safe and your family is safe. Thank the universe for recycling your energy, your love, your determination, your smiles, your positive attitude, your helpful nature, your happiness, and giving you the same stamina and energy to face a new day with its new challenges. Next, teach your family to do the same thing.
- Sharing is caring – Happiness is squared when shared. Share it, not just with family, but anyone who comes your way. Try it, it’s simple!
HAPPINESS IS SIMPLE! MAKE THIS CHOICE TODAY! YOU WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE, IF YOU STAND WITH A SMILE, IN THE MIDST OF CONCERNS!
So here is my question once again, just rephrased – So if happiness is simple and its free, won’t you go out there and share your happiness with others?
Samsidh MLZS Horamavu Branch
We are beyond the power of changing the way we look but we can change the way we think and feel. Health and Happiness can be worked together, it is not easy because health and Happiness are the sides of the same coin and one cannot work without the other. When things are good we are happy and when things are not like we want we are unhappy, health can make us feel good and at times make us feel miserable when we don't have a good health .
Everyone wants to be healthy but sometimes our habits and sometimes when we refuse to let go the things that make us sad can make us very unhealthy. It gatherers and bounces back as a result of being unhappy and unhealthy.
Happiness is the Highest form of Health.
A young boy once asked his teacher, “Teacher, which career path should I choose when I grow up and where I don’t have to compete with anyone?” The teacher smiled and replied “My dear, choose to become a great human being, and this is the only path where is there is no competition, but there is co-operation, compassion and contentment”.
Well, this is absolutely true; in today’s world success is measured in terms of name, fame or money one has earned in his/her life rather than the values one has inculcated. It is the values that make a human, a society or a country great. I would like to share two incidents which depict how the values within us make this world so wonderful.
Once a chirpy, cheerful child returned home after playing and started narrating to her mother how her team won two throw ball matches. The mother however didn’t pay much attention at the beginning as the child had such stories to narrate almost every day! But the child was highly delighted to share her success story. “Do you know mamma, I played two matches, in the first match, my team had members who kind of knew how to play throw ball, and the opponent team had members who didn’t know how to play, except for the captain. The mother reluctantly said, “What is so great in that, it is obvious that your team has won because you had experts in your team”.
The child replied “wait mamma, let me complete, the opponent captain got angry and said I won because I had a good team, and she told me to exchange the team members. I said fine and we exchanged the members. Now I was leading a team which is new to the game”. Now the mother was curious to know the outcome of the game and asked, “So, did you lose this time”? The child with her sparkling eyes proudly said, “No, we won this time too. Want to know how?” The child continued “Every time the ball came near my team members, I screamed, “catch it, you can do it, you are the best!”. They got inspired by my words and were able to play nicely”. The mother said “that’s interesting, didn’t your opponent captain do that?” The child replied “ No, whenever the ball came near her team members, she shouted “leave, you can’t do it, let me handle”, eventually no one was able to catch the ball, they just dashed each other and the ball was on the ground, She simply didn’t trust her team in both the matches”.
Now it was mother’s turn to feel proud. She kept on musing “when did my child learn these values like trust, teamwork etc.”
A few days later, the mother was browsing through the Facebook pages, and saw a post on one of her child’s teachers in the school’s Facebook page. The child too joined the mother to read about her favourite teacher. After reading, the mother started writing a comment on the post, “you are the best teacher, and I wish all teacher were like you” The child immediately stopped her mother from hitting the post button and said “Mamma, please edit your comments, and please delete the 2nd part of the comment, it gives a feeling that we don’t like other teachers. I love all my teachers and all teachers love me. My teachers never judge me, then why should I judge them”.
The mother was surprised how an eleven year child can think in such a matured manner.
In both the above incidents, the child has exhibited the values deep rooted within her. I am so happy to share that the child is a student of Samsidh MLZS and she is my daughter. We owe a lot to the school for inculcating such priceless values in our children.
We as parents, focus a lot on the marks/grades obtained, awards and accolades won by our children, but pay less attention to the mind-set with which our children are growing. Our children need to develop a co-operative attitude rather than a competitive mind-set. It is better to win over others rather than defeat others. The values such as honesty, humility, compassion and love for the world around make a person happy, guilt free and successful in the journey of life. The happy and contented people in turn make a happy society, and a peaceful world. What can be more valuable than happiness and peace of mind?
It is time we value the values, for they are invaluable assets.
Mother of Shruti Hegde (Grade 6)
MLZS, HSR Branch
It’s that time of the year again when kids have more time on their hands than they know what to do with. Parents, on the other hand, worry about how to keep the kids quiet and make best use of the break.
While parents accept that the children deserve the well-earned break, they are unsure about how to manage it. Their primary concern is to keep the kids away from the TV and also restrict kids’ online activity--a task, all parents agree, easier said than done.
Summer holidays are, by definition, meant to be spent outdoors. Spending a good amount of time outside of the house can benefit the children in more ways than one. There are also activities like reading which give the kids a chance to discover the wonderful world of books.
To help you in this important mission, we have put together a list of activities suitable for children of all ages, after considering the need to maintain the delicate balance between the necessity to be practical and the necessity to enforce discipline:
- Tidy study desk: Now that exams are over, kids have a substantial collection of old notebooks and textbooks they won't be needing. Get them to de-clutter their desk by selling it to the neighbourhood old paper mart. This can serve as a good lesson to your children about how recycling paper can help the environment.
- Learn Swimming : Get your kids to take up swimming lessons which is not only a life-saving skill but also a good, all round physical exercise. Make sure to find a swimming pool that is well maintained and does not compromise on safety. Buying quality swimming accessories like goggles and earplugs is also very important.
- Join a library: It is very important to restrict your children’s video game-playing and TV watching to a bare minimum. Joining a library is the best way to reduce dependence on electronic gadgets and the internet. Reading books also boosts brain activity and promotes creativity and critical thinking in children.
- Take up a hobby: Our greatest adversary in modern times is technology, which, while being a useful thing can also increase our dependence on gadgets and equipments. Taking up a hobby like gardening makes the children spend time outdoors which can help them to de-stress and get them interested in environmental issues.
- Visit family: Invite your friends and cousins home or plan a visit to kids’ grandparents. Spending quality time with them can benefit your children a great deal. The interactions are also a great opportunity to teach the kids about the importance of family as a support system they can rely upon at all times.
Mount Litera Zee School (MLZS) urges everyone to have a good time and make the best use of summer holidays-- but be safe and alert while you are at it!
As days are changing people are getting busier day by day. A good home, a good career, good marks, good looks, to sum it up a “Good Life” is all that we need to be happy. Constantly we are struggling to find the best for ourselves and using it as a measure for Happiness. Parents are happy when a child get good marks but not with the effort a child takes to prepare for the exams. Getting admission to good schools/colleges gives us happiness but not the fact that how much our child is able to learn within those fancy buildings and luxurious rules. A high end mobile handset brings us more happiness than the phone calls made to our loved ones.
Are we really happy with these materialistic objects or are these objects used to camouflage our insecurities, our shortcomings, our dreams which we were not able to fulfil? Are these all we need to be happy.
As per the dictionary the meaning of Happiness is: joy, pleasure, contentment, satisfaction, gladness. If we take a moment to ponder and observe these words, then these are feelings which relates to our inner self. It’s a state of our mind which tells me that this is what you need and not what you want. Needs can be fulfilled but wants are endless. Happiness is nothing but acceptance of fulfillment, to look inside ourselves and say I am trying my best. The moment we stop comparing ourselves to others, using them as a yardstick to measure our lives, we become contend with what we have, in other words we are Happy. “I “should be a measure for myself.
No one is incharge of my happiness except me. It’s a feeling that comes from within. A voice which praises me for the endless hardships I faced to overcome my difficulties. Acknowledging that as a human I have my shortcoming and accepting that I am not perfect. It’s an encouragement that tells us to dream and let your dreams be your inspiration but don’t let your dreams be materialistic which can be concluded in two words “achieved” or “not achieved”. Dreams can never be achieved, it can be fulfilled and the sense of fulfillment brings happiness.
When we are at peace with ourselves that is the time we are happy, and this happiness is very infectious because this is positive happiness which has come from within ourselves and like the sweet fragrance of a flower it spreads across the garden of life.
- Mrs. Sakhi Ghosh Dastidar
Parent of Ayanika Ghosh Dastidar (Sr. KG)
MLZS, HSR Branch
First, let us look at the importance of conservation of nature and wildlife with the help of some numbers. Consider the following gloomy statistics:
- According to the World Resources Institute, 100 species die each day due to tropical deforestation.
- A recent study shows that global warming could drive up to one half of all plants and animals species on dry land to extinction by the year 2050.
- Around 30 countries today face chronic freshwater shortages. That number is expected to hit 50 by 2020.
How can we arrest this downward slide into an abyss? Now for some good news: Children, as one notices, are able to communicate with animals in a language grown-ups cannot comprehend. They are also a lot more sensitive to issues concerning the environment. Therein lies the hope for our planet, which is under tremendous stress brought on by unbridled human activity.
Children are our last hope for the continued good health of the earth and all its inhabitants. In fact, it is the grown-ups that need to be constantly reminded of their duty and commitment to the preservation of our environment. Littering, unscientific disposal of garbage, polluting of water bodies, and deforestation are some of the biggest threats endangering our existence.
Conservation: Impress upon children about the need to maintain the balance in nature between man and animals. Animal products like skin, fur and ivory products should never be bought as ’when buying stops, killing stops too.’
Outdoor lifestyle: When children develop a love for the outdoors they begin to see nature with a fresh perspective which is ultimately beneficial. For instance, taking up swimming can make them aware about the pollution of our water bodies.
Community efforts: As a community, we can achieve great results with cleanliness and awareness drives as has been demonstrated by scores of school children all over the country.
Catching them young: Humans are creatures of habit and it is easier to mould young and impressionable minds. Teachers and parents have an important role to play in guiding students to become environmentally aware and responsible citizens of tomorrow.
Finally, all of us are equal stakeholders in the good health of our planet and we must act collectively, with children taking the initiative being the more energetic taking the lead. Adults’ role is to encourage them to spread awareness by providing them with logistical and moral support.
MLZS is passionate about conservation of environment and we appeal to everyone to play your part in this noble mission.