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Archive for the ‘Life is’ Category

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“”A skeptical scientist who had spent his career studying the mechanics of the brain and dismissing patient tales of journeys to heavenly realms has revealed his extraordinary conversion after his own encounter with the afterlife during a near-death experience””

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Origin of life on earth, it’s debatable of course and science Vs religious faiths have been clashing over this topic for long time.

 

 

Quoting Wikipedia:

Abiogenesis or biopoiesis is the idea that life arose from inorganic matter. In particular, the term usually refers to the processes by which life on Earth may have arisen. Abiogenesis likely occurred between 3.9 and 3.5 billion years ago, in the Eoarchean era (the time after the Hadean era in which the Earth was essentially molten). Hypotheses about the origins of life may be divided into several categories. Most approaches investigate how self-replicating molecules or their components came into existence. For example, the Miller–Urey experiment and similar experiments demonstrated that most amino acids, often called “the building blocks of life”, were shown to be racemically synthesized in conditions thought to be similar to those of the early Earth.

 

Even after reading this paragraph one might wonder … how complicated it appears … when we try explaining how the earth was created and how the tiny molecules came in to exist … it sounds even more perplexing with scientists’ jargons … and yet … many persistent questions remain … unanswered.

 

Since there’s no absolute theory on formation of life … which everyone would give stamp of approval then to educate us on the beginning of life form on earth, scientists have much to do … ok then … what about “after life”…? Where do we go from here …? yet another mystery for us Humans to solve.

 

But now and then … we hear many stories of “near death experiences” … could these episodes shed light on what happen to our imprecise “Soul” after leaving the tangible “Body”.

 

This article on “Daily Mail’, caught my attention … I read on, captivating … interesting

 

 

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15 years as an academic neurosurgeon at Harvard but he was struck with a nearly fatal bout of bacterial meningitis in 2008 and had no brain activity when he lay comatose for seven days at a Virginia hospital.

Though he was unconscious and unresponsive during that period, he is now describing a ‘hyper-vivid and completely coherent odyssey’ to a place beyond, filled with butterflies and resounding music that has shaken his scientific viewpoint on human consciousness. He says he entered a place filled with clouds and the sound of chanting, and was met by a beautiful blue-eyed woman.

Dr Alexander describes his paradigm shift from focusing solely on the scientific make up of the brain to considering the spiritual realm of the mind, in a deeply reflective essay in Newsweek in advance of the release of his book, Proof of Heaven.

‘As a neurosurgeon, I did not believe in the phenomenon of near-death experiences,’ he writes in his article, explaining how he had previously relied on ‘good scientific explanations for the heavenly out-of-body journeys described by those who narrowly escaped death.’

Though he considered himself a nominal Christian he said he lacked the faith to believe in eternal life.

When his patients would tell tales of going to heaven during near death experiences, he relied on ‘current medical understanding of the brain and mind’ and disregarded them as wishful thinking.

But after he became the patient, he says he ‘experienced something so profound that it gave me a scientific reason to believe in consciousness after death.’

The 58-year-old has an impressive pedigree. His ancestors were well regarded politicians and prominent fixtures in society in Tennessee. His father was Chief of Neurosurgery at Wake Forest University from 1948 to 1978.

The younger Alexander graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy and received his bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1975. He earned his medical degree from Duke in 1980.

He spent 15 years teaching neurology at Harvard Medical School and the University of Virginia – lecturing on and researching brain mapping, the treatment of brain tumors and trying to understand cognition.

In 2008, the father-of-two was in ‘good health and good shape,’ preparing to embark on a hike with his son of a volcano in South America, he said in a July interview about the ordeal with Skeptiko.

Little did he know that he would soon become a patient at the very hospital where he taught.

The doctor’s life was nearly cut short on November 10, 2008, when he awoke at 4:30am to get ready to go to work at the Lynchburg General Hospital in Virginia, where he worked as a neurosurgeon.

All of a sudden, he developed a severe pain in his back and within 15 minutes he was paralyzed in anguish and could barely even move.

His wife, Holley, rushed in to assist him and began to rub his back to relieve the tension but his condition worsened.

Before he began convulsing in a seizure, his last words to his wife were, ‘Don’t call 911,’ and he lost consciousness and has no memory of what happened for an entire week.

Fortunately for him, his wife disregarded his advice and he was rushed to an area hospital and was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis.

‘My entire cortex – the part of the brain that controls thought and emotion and that in essence makes us human – had shut down,’ he writes in his essay.

‘Doctors determined that I had somehow contracted very rare bacterial meningitis that mostly attacks newborns. E. coli bacteria had penetrated my cerebrospinal fluid and were eating my brain,’ he added.

He was placed on a ventilator at the intensive care unit and for six days he was treated with triple antibiotics to fight the bacteria but his brain had little functionality and he was unresponsive, leaving doctors to believe he would not recover.

As his family prepared for the worst, on the seventh day he suddenly opened his eyes.

His breathing tube was removed and he miraculously told doctors, ‘Thank you.’

He suffered from amnesia and could not remember his life at all prior to his illness and remained in a haze for the first few days after he came out of the coma.

As he recovered though, he began to recall vivid memories of a magical mental experience during his time in the coma.

Alexander admits his description might sound like something straight out of Hollywood, but to skeptics he says he has a clear sense that it was indeed real and ‘not some fantasy, passing and insubstantial.’

After his remarkable experience in 2008, Alexander says the impact has been both on the professional and the spiritual.

Now the scientist has committed his energy to ‘investigating the true nature of consciousness and making the fact that we are more, much more, than our physical brains as clear as I can, both to my fellow scientists and to people at large.’

But the self-described Christian-in-name-only, now says his experience with heaven has deepened his understanding of God and strengthened his faith.

‘At the very heart of my journey [is this], that we are loved and accepted unconditionally by a God even more grand and unfathomably glorious than the one I’d learned,’ he concludes.

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A different point of view … perhaps, you’d agree!

THE TABLECLOTH 

The brand new pastor and his wife, newly assigned to their first ministry, to reopen a church in suburban Brooklyn, arrived in early October excited about their opportunities. 

When they saw their church, it was very run down and needed much work. They set a goal to have everything done in time to have their first service on Christmas Eve. They worked hard, repairing pews, plastering walls, painting, etc. and on Dec 18 were ahead of schedule and just about finished. On Dec 19 a terrible tempest – a driving rainstorm – hit the area and lasted for two days. On the 21st, the pastor went over to the church. His heart sank when he saw that the roof had leaked, causing a large area of plaster about 20 feet by 8 feet to fall off the front wall of the sanctuary just behind the pulpit, beginning about head high. The pastor cleaned up the mess on the floor, and not knowing what else to do but postpone the Christmas Eve service, headed home.

 

On the way he noticed that a local business was having a flea market type sale for charity so he stopped in. One of the items was a beautiful, handmade, ivory colored, crocheted tablecloth with exquisite work, fine colors and a Cross embroidered right in the center. It was just the right size to cover up the hole in the front wall. He bought it and headed back to the church. By this time it had started to snow. An older woman running from the opposite direction was trying to catch the bus. She missed it. The pastor invited her to wait in the warm church for the next bus 45 minutes later. She sat in a pew and paid no attention to the pastor while he got a ladder, hangers, etc., to put up the tablecloth as a wall tapestry.

The pastor could hardly believe how beautiful it looked and it covered up the entire problem area. Then he noticed the woman walking down the center aisle. Her face was like a sheet. “Pastor,” she asked, “where did you get that tablecloth?” The pastor explained. The woman asked him to check the lower right corner to see if the initials, EBG were crocheted into it there. They were. These were the initials of the woman, and she had made this tablecloth 35 years before, in Austria. The woman could hardly believe it as the pastor told how he had just gotten the Tablecloth. The woman explained that before the war she and her husband were well-to-do people in Austria. When the Nazis came, she was forced to leave. Her husband was going to follow her the next week. She was captured, sent to prison and never saw her husband or her home again. The pastor wanted to give her the tablecloth; but she made the pastor keep it for the church.

The pastor insisted on driving her home that was the least he could do. She lived on the other side of Staten Island and was only in Brooklyn for the day for a housecleaning job.

 

What a wonderful service they had on Christmas Eve. The church was almost full. The music and the spirit were great. At the end of the service, the pastor and his wife greeted everyone at the door and many said that they would return.

One older man, whom the pastor recognized from the neighborhood, continued to sit in one of the pews and stare, and the pastor wondered why he wasn’t leaving. The man asked him where he got the tablecloth on the front wall because it was identical to one that his wife had made years ago when they lived in Austria before the war and how could there be two tablecloths so much alike.

He told the pastor how the Nazis came, how he forced his wife to flee for her safety, and he was supposed to follow her, but he was arrested and put in a prison. He never saw his wife or his home again all the 35 years in between. The pastor asked him if he would allow him to take him for a little ride. They drove to Staten Island and to the same house where the pastor had taken the woman three days earlier.

He helped the man climb the three flights of stairs to the woman’s apartment, knocked on the door and he saw the greatest Christmas reunion he could ever imagine. 

Ever thought of missed out opportunities in your life? I certainly have, ah those of course the chances which I was aware … then what about the ones I wasn’t aware?

Whether this story, a fiction or real, I cannot help but notice, the many times it speaks of grabbing opportunity. If you fail to see my meaning then allow me to point out how the end of the story was determined, merely because the characters decided to grasp the (limited or you may even say, were insignificant) opportunities which were at hand, especially when it looked everything was working against them.

One instance was the rain damaging the paint, the pastor had to think of an alternative, and he thought of making the maximum out of a tablecloth, which was available but what if the pastor ignored the chance given, went for a different possible choice?

Then there’s no story to tell.

And then the old lady misses the bus, the Pastor invites her to take refuge under the church roof, she accepts, and sees the familiar table cloth and recognizes, what if she didn’t miss the bus or take Pastors’ offer? Wouldn’t she have missed the opportunity to meet her long lost spouse?

My point is that, we too can tell our stories one day to our young ones. They’d notice, the opportunities we grabbed and the ones we let go.

Opportunities are obviously there … however, it’s our choice … which makes the difference, sometimes, opportunities seem insignificant and they come knocking when there’s chaos around, but if you fail to hear the faint knocking or to look around with a different point of view … opportunities will slip away, without you even knowing they were there!

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Situation : 01

I became pregnant in very unfortunate circumstances. I had been having a relationship with someone who had been told that he couldn’t have children, so we hadn’t been using contraception. On what must have been the last occasion that we had sex though – just before we broke up – I became pregnant. I found out two weeks later.

On finding out, I felt 30% happy, 30% devastated and 40% confused. The father made it clear that he didn’t want anything to do with the situation, and I really didn’t know what to do myself. It wasn’t until a couple of weeks later that I made the decision to have an abortion. It was a difficult decision – I would definitely like to have children one day – but I knew it just wasn’t the right time for me to have a baby.

Setting up the procedure was fairly straightforward and I had an early medical abortion at six weeks – the process is that you go in on the first day and take a tablet, and a few days later you insert a tampon that is infused with another drug. That empties your womb.

This procedure was quite simple, but not without its problems – you go through much of it at home, and I did feel very numb and alone

Situation: 2

A YOUNG mother clamps her hand over her baby as she tries to smother him in shocking footage played to a court. Seconds earlier, the secret hospital cameras had captured Shantaniqua Scott, 18, placing a blanket over the four-month-old’s face. The baby desperately kicks and struggles for life – and by the time she removes her hand, his body appears limp and still.
Incredibly, he survived the attempt on his life after alarms went off and doctors rushed in to help him. The footage was yesterday played to a courtroom in Fort Worth, Texas, where Scott is on trial for attempting to kill her baby son Raymond Jurors sat in stunned silence as the sickening video was played.

The tot had been taken into hospital after he was reported to have stopped breathing. Doctors at first thought he suffered from severe acid reflux, when acid from the stomach backs up into the oesophagus. He had surgery to correct the condition and was released from the Cook Children’s Medical Centre.

But two days later he was back in the emergency unit after he mysteriously stopped breathing again.

Staff suspected he was the victim of abuse and set up a hidden camera on the ward.

Heart specialist Dr Sami Heed said the baby would have died but for the intervention of staff when his monitors sounded an alarm. He told the court: “I get night sweats when I think about it.

“I take care of the sickest of the sick. His life was being put in danger by someone who was supposed to take care of him.”

Jurors were told Scott confessed to police she no longer wanted to care for her son and admitted smothering him.

Sgt Pedro Criado, of Fort Worth Police Department, said Scott told detectives she did not want her child anymore. He added: “She just basically stated that she wanted to go back to that carefree attitude she had before she had the child.”

Doctors said it was not known if the child, now being looked after by social workers, would have any lasting injuries from the lack of oxygen.

Scott faces life imprisonment if convicted of two counts of causing serious bodily injury to a child in July 2010.

Situation: 3

If you are a woman who has spent your life imagining what it would be like to have a child, then you know how exciting it is when you finally decide that you are ready to make that leap. You are finally prepared to put yourself second. You are willing to make a child the number one priority in life. You are ready to get pregnant.

If you are a woman who has tried and tried and who has been unable to conceive, then you also know the veritable barrage of emotions that you encounter — grief, embarrassment, uselessness.

As a 27 year-old woman I have been married for almost three years and have been with the same man since I was a junior in high school. I can hardly remember a time when I didn’t want to have children with him. I cannot remember a time at all, for that matter, when I didn’t daydream about being a mother. I feel very strongly that we are all on this planet for a very specific reason and I have always thought that my reason was being a mother.

Every woman in my family is like a fertility machine. They get pregnant the first time they try. They get pregnant every time they try. Imagine my surprise when after a year of trying I still wasn’t pregnant.

You might not think about it often, but it’s a relative shot in the dark. It is amazing how many people get pregnant unexpectedly, actually. It has to happen one of three or four specific days which are often hard to pinpoint for many women.

Frustration sets in. Why me? Why can so many people get pregnant the one time they have unprotected sex while I’m doing everything ever suggested by doctors, old wives tales, myths, and the woman down the street who has eight kids?

When you spend a year trying to conceive and are unable, it is often considered an early sign of infertility. You (and your partner) are then subjected to every test under the sun, most of which involve full or partial nudity in front of one or more people, often with legs spread in a very compromising position.

For many, these tests reveal very little. Some slight hormonal imbalances, a “barely” low count here or there. These things all result in orders to eat better, lose weight, and are more likely than not accompanied by some sort of medication that will throw your body into complete turmoil — in my case, starvation tempered by the fact that the sight of food makes me sick. Exhausted but unable to sleep. Oh, and did I mention the hot flashes?

Another year goes by. I start to feel guilty. My husband and I have always planned to have children. The doctors believe it is likely something in my body causing the problem. As a woman, if I am not able to conceive, what is my purpose? I can say with absolute certainty that my husband does not hold even an ounce of contempt or blame for me. That does not hold off the guilt and feelings of uselessness. They rear their ugly heads on a daily basis.

With the guilt comes the worst feeling of all. When you want so desperately to have a child and cannot, you begin to begrudge the people around you the same happiness you want for yourself.

One of my best friends becomes pregnant. I am simultaneously happy for her and extremely bitter. Her baby shower is torture because not only do I feel angry that things are so good for her, I feel like a heinous person for even having these thoughts in the first place. I am angry at everyone, including myself.

The kicker of all of this? Stress, they say, makes it harder to conceive. Right. No problem.

So here we are, almost three years into the process (because that’s exactly what it’s become – a process) with no results. I am on the cusp of having exploratory surgery to see if there is something being missed. Fertility treatments are not an option for us. Adoption would be wonderful… five years down the road after we can save up the $25,000+ that it would take.

It would be nice for this to have a happy ending like me writing in all bold letters “I’m pregnant!” I’m not. But, I can say that taking the time to explore the virtual tidal wave of emotions that I’ve gone through, and am still experiencing, has made them much easier to weather.

A child … is considered as Hope … why not … indeed.

You were a child, once. I was too.

What if … our mothers had to go through one of the above mentioned situations? What then … ?

I won’t be here writing this … you won’t be here to read either …

May be the answer … to all situations … is Adoption!

Think people … A joey climbs into its mother’s pouch upon being born, honeybees communicate by dance the direction of a food source without formal instruction, animal courtships, internal escape functions, and building of nests … everyone of these … represent nature, natural instincts.

We humans are born for a purpose, we need guidance, pampering, love, and protection … most importantly bringing new lives in to the world … meaningful lives that is of course … for continuity.

Let’s hope … one day humans will learn to value human lives … once again …

Let’s hope … a baby labeled as ‘unwanted’ finds a ‘needy ‘mother …

for both …  only have one thing … and one thing only …

Hope …

Anne’s Story

I don’t remember the first time I learned I was adopted. It wasn’t like in the movies: There was no shocking revelation or teary-eyed confession. It has just always been a part of who I am.

Sure, when I was younger it sometimes made me feel different than the other children. Whenever I made a wish, especially on my birthday, I would think of my biological mother. I’d wonder where I came from and if she shared my eye color. But most of the time, my adoption story just struck me as special. My mom was somewhat religious and told me it was God’s way of putting our family together. So I just always knew this was how my life was meant to be, and it was never something I kept hidden.

Over the years, I’ve felt so fortunate for the life I’ve led. My mom repeatedly reassured me how my biological parents chose adoption because they loved me, so I’ve never once resented their choice. Instead, I’m thankful for the opportunities adoption has provided me – an amazing childhood with caring parents. My dad was a lawyer who coached all of my sports teams, and my mom was a teacher who stayed at home with us for a good chunk of our childhood. I lived in a nice suburb of Chicago, and I was always surrounded by my large extended family. My brother was also adopted from The Cradle, so I didn’t feel alone in that regard.

Still, in the past, I did occasionally find it difficult to relate to other people. But that feeling was rare, and when it happened I would turn to my parents for comfort. They would help me understand my background, or at least as much as they knew about it. I was adopted in 1979 when closed adoption was still the norm, so the information they could pass on was limited. Even so, they knew my history was important, and they even brought me back to The Cradle to see the nursery where I stayed as a baby.

About a year ago, I reached out to The Cradle to find out more about my biological parents. I had been diagnosed with breast cancer and wanted to do a file check on my medical history. As luck would have it, it turned out my biological mother had also recently contacted The Cradle to reach out to me. One of The Cradle’s social workers asked if I would be willing to exchange a letter, and so I did.

I still don’t know my biological mother too well, but I think she was relieved to hear how I’ve turned out. But because my life has been more tumultuous recently, I’m taking our reconnection just one step at a time, moving forward at a slow pace. I’ve only written that one letter, and she has sent me a couple. Still, I’m eager to strengthen our relationship and I’m looking forward to what lies ahead.

And it’s Hope …

                                 Don’t you think?

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Time has changed … irreversibly changed I know … and I can’t help think that it was a beautiful time we had … a few decades ago … when we were young, getting up early in the morning and studying was fun … getting dressed and running to catch the school bus was fun too … seeing our favorite teachers … spending time with our friends … enjoying each day was absolute fun … not to forget all sorts of childhood activities … actually they were not just activities … they were super fun activities …

 

I’d recall something like … standing near the 3rd floor (our classroom) windowsill … and poking the broom stick out … on to the mango tree … adjacent to the building … trying pry the mangoes from its stem and leaving one of us under the tree to collect the mangoes (she’d pretend to be waiting for someone …  in case the principle sees her and inquires what business she has under a mango tree at the hour when she s supposed to be studying in the class) …

 

Once we successfully liberate those juicy mangoes from the tree … we’d bring them up to the class and distribute equally … we’d peel them off and cut them in to pieces and sneak them in to our pockets and munch away … oh well I forgot to tell you … we tasted them but not during our Tiffin break … who could wait?… so we’d decide to attack our pockets while the teachers were in the class … teaching…

 

We’d take a bite … leave the rest of the piece in pockets … assuming our teacher would not see … but it could be a real mess when she all of a sudden asks us a question … oh sweet mother of god … how to answer when your mouth s full??

 

And she‘d say “ohh still not finished?? how many you guys got this time??” … alas … the secret’s never been a secret after all … and we’d turn red …

 

I suppose the kind of influence … experience … joy … nurturing we had … only belonged the era we lived as kids … these aspects made us different people I’d say … unlike kids in present generations … our generation and the generations before us … were more compassionate … our sensitive nature wouldn’t change over time … even when we went on different paths … started to follow our destiny …

 

I came across such person … belonged to a different generation … a senior to me of course … amazingly passionate … and he surprises me …  

 

Take a look at what he has to offer … to the next generation …

 

In this time of year you can enjoy the beauty of the polar mesospheric clouds. With our high-angle illumination, we were able to capture a thin layer of noctilucent clouds at sunset.

‘Mystery Island’ …located in the Indian Ocean close to Madagascar. Interesting features on the island and the unusual shape should be enough to help you discover this beautiful place.

Of all the places of our beautiful planet few can rival the beauty and richness of colors in the Bahamas. In this photo, our ship is seen against the backdrop of the Bahamas.

Northern lights in the distance in one of the finest nights over Europe. The photo clearly shows the Strait of Dover. Paris is dazzling with the city lights. A little fog over the western part of England, particularly over London.

Above the center of the Atlantic Ocean, before another stunning sunset. Downstairs in the setting sun visible spiral Hurricane Earl.

Wonder whose work this’s?

Douglas H Wheelock an Astronaut of NASA

PERSONAL DATA: Born May 5, 1960 in Binghamton, New York and considers Windsor, New York to be his hometown. Doug’s parents, Olin and Margaret Wheelock, reside in upstate New York.

EDUCATION: Graduated from Windsor Central High School, Windsor, New York, in 1978. Received a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Science and Engineering from the United States Military Academy, West Point in 1983, and a Master of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from Georgia Tech in 1992

search for more of his work on :

http://www.amusingplanet.com/2010/11/astronaut-douglas-wheelock-shares.html

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Assume there are about 10 families living down your road … four of them have 2 – 3 kids –parents married, both working; another two have single child each – parents married , father works – mother housewife; another two families 2 – 3 kids – single parents – working of course; and the rest, either living-in partners or singles …

 

Each of these families have got their own set of rules of living … value systems, traditions, patterns of doing things, methods of raising kids, different social lives …

 

Beyond any doubt, they surely overcome many hurdles in day today life …  but if you think about it … aren’t they doing the same thing every day like every one of us?  In different ways may be? They live their lives … and that’s what they do …

 

One question though … would you call them ‘courageous’ … just because they go through many complications  every day, minor or major? … What about you and me? Would you call yourself courageous?? … Why not??

 

I believe we are as courageous as we can be … Who said it’s an easy life we have? … Each new day, one thing or another … yet we conquer … is it not?

 

So ok, it’s confirmed, we face each day and take anything and everything in our stride … we live our lives and we are daredevils … but are we “happy”? … Especially if you aren’t happy after going through hassles of life … if you still feel “some thing’s missing“what’s the purpose of running this relay each passing day? …

 

It’s so gallant of you, if you could say “Oh well … I have the perfect life, have no complains … I never whine” … In a fairy tale, sure … but in truth we all do feel sometimes that we haven’t got enough or we could do better in life … if you’d think “oh how lucky I am … if I could live the life of Angelina Jolie / Prince William … just for one day“… Why assume? that they have the most care free lives? ask them … and they’d tell you that it’s not what you think it is … Sure, we have incomplete lives … we don’t have this and we don’t have that … Of course, we know that every day s not going to be the same … there are ups and downs in life … but still there’s nothing wrong in striving for the best? Is there? …  No … absolutely not … so again, we chase this and we chase that … but hey, still … there’s something missing … hmm …

 

Say you were born in to a broken family … as a kid you have been shuffling between parents … or just had one parent to care … or your parents lived their own lives … they weren’t really bothered about you (but you are here, aren’t you? they gave birth to you, didn’t they? that’s enough I suppose, if nothing else to count) …

……………………………or they loved you no matter what … not much of comforts they could provide you though… but they gave you love, protection and a sound education … Do you see any bad karma in any of these situations?  Is there anything here for you to complain about?

 

People … If you have got all your body parts functioning properly … I mean “ all of it”… be glad, and if you have someone to call mom – dad … though they aren’t together any more or they care – less … (unlike an orphan , at least you know who they are), still …  be glad … if you know  how to differentiate what’s good – bad for you and if you could stay out of troubles … be glad, if you could get some education … have a decent way of earning your daily bread … be glad … there’s nothing to complain. If you live frustrated life thinking you are the most unlucky … or if you think yours are biggest problems … then what would you say about a blind, a deaf, or an orphan, or a person who have never seen the insides of a school, or a jobless??

 

If we think positive … have inner strength, wisdom and courage … during this short time between Birth and Death … then, we can consider our selves as true winners … we sure need to learn how to appreciate what we’ve got … you need to face reality of life and appreciate life at the same time …

 

It’s not only you and me (the lucky ones) … everyone else go through problems, a beggar, a crippled, an orphan … they too face life …

When you are in ‘hot waters’ never have “self pity” … it s like “quick sand” … the more you indulge in pity, the more you sink …

When you are on a cliffhanger … think … if you get over it … you’ll be on top of a mighty rock …

…………. and

If you are on tracks of time … running the marathon of life … think … Ana Quirot … you’d summon courage ….

 

Personal Information

Full name Ana Fidelia Quirot; born in 1963, in Santiago de Cuba, Oriente, Cuba; married Raul Cascaret (a wrestler; deceased).

Life’s Work

 

Ana Quirot (Keer-OAT) was born in the suburbs of Santiago de Cuba, in the country’s Oriente province. Athleticism ran in the Quirot family. Ana’s father was a boxer, her brother ran the 400 meter dash, and her sister has played basketball with the Cuban national team. In her earliest years Ana seemed destined to be the exception to her family’s rule. Her friends called her “La Gorda,” which means “fatty.” Interestingly enough, the label has stuck even through a decade of world championships. If she was fat as a young girl, she soon enough shed the weight when she began running seriously as a teen. At the age of 13 she won placement in one of Cuba’s prestigious state sports schools. There her conventional education was embellished by a serious training regimen in a state- of-the-art facility. Therefore Quirot’s parents did not have to pay a penny for her coaching, room and board, or other fees. The state paid for everything. As James Anderson noted in the Los Angeles Times, Quirot “was groomed and conditioned to become the world-class athlete that she is.” For the tiny island nation of Cuba, sports championships are a means to establish international stature. Only ten million residents strong, Cuba is able to boast Olympic medals and world championships in sports as varied as boxing, baseball, and track and field. Chief among the Cuban track and field stars of the last decade is Ana Quirot, whose brave comeback from a potentially career-ending injury was the talk of the 1996 Summer Olympic Games.

Quirot’s chance to prove herself on the international level for the first time came in the late 1980s and early 1990s. She won double gold medals in the 400 and 800 meters at the 1987 Pan American Games, then in 1989 turned in an undefeated year in the 800 meter race. Her string of 39 consecutive victories in the 800, as well as her dominance at that distance in 1989, led to her being chosen as female athlete of the year by the International Amateur Athletic Federation.

Going into the 1991 Pan American Games ranked at or near the top in both the 400 and 800, Quirot dazzled the hometown crowd by winning gold medals in both races and breaking the Pan Am records at both distances. Few victories were ever sweeter for Quirot–she had helped to carry the bricks and mortar that built the stadium in which the games were played. Another challenge presented itself: the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. There, in the early weeks of a pregnancy, Quirot ran the 800 in 1:56.80 for a bronze medal. Widely admired for her beauty as well as her talent, she seemed poised to take the world by storm. No one could have foreseen the strange turn her life would take in the wake of an unfortunate freak accident.

On January 23, 1993, Quirot–then seven months pregnant–was preparing to launder clothes in her apartment. A long-standing economic embargo of Cuba by Western nations combined with a cessation of aid from the Socialist bloc had led to severe shortages in Havana of nearly everything from gasoline to soap. Like many other Cubans, Quirot used a small kerosene-powered cookstove to do her laundry. She thought the stove was not lit when she added isopropyl alcohol to the hot water in the pot. The alcohol spilled over the lip of the pot, ran down the side and burst into flames when it hit the kerosene burner. In seconds Quirot was engulfed in a fire that burnt 38 percent of her body and brought her to the verge of death. Quirot regained consciousness in the burn unit at Havana’s Hermanos Ameijeiras Hospital, “I will run again,” she has said. She passed in and out of shock as her system reacted to the burns. Her baby, born prematurely, died. And her once-legendary beauty was marred by scars on her face and neck.

Nor was Quirot exempt from the speculation that surrounds any celebrity in the face of an accident. Rumors abounded that she had attempted suicide after ending her relationship with fellow track star Javier Sotomayor, the father of the deceased baby. Others said she had started the fire to try to win Sotomayor back. Quirot offered no explanations at the time, but she has since said the accident was just that, and that Sotomayor had actually been quite supportive, during her recovery. “When you’re famous, people are always speculating–and never in your favor,” she told Sports Illustrated. “Sometimes it’s good to be famous. Sometimes it’s bad.”

Facing numerous skin-graft operations and a very lengthy recovery period, Quirot fought depression and hopelessness by working out even in her hospital room. Within two months of the accident she was riding a stationary bike and running up and down the stairs in the hospital. She was released after three months, to the amazement of a hospital staff that had first thought she would not live and then thought her recovery would take a year. Less than four months after the fire, she was back on the track.

Quirot’s training time was restricted to the early morning and late evening hours when the sun could not hurt her damaged skin, and her ability to move was restricted by the scar tissue on her stomach, arms, and hands. Still she persisted. Her fighting spirit was intact. “It wasn’t only to win again that I drove myself, but to draw myself out,” she explained in the Chicago Tribune. “If I hadn’t been an elite athlete, I believe I wouldn’t have made it. In competitive sport, you learn to go beyond your means.”

In November of 1993 Quirot won a silver medal in the 800 meter at the Central American and Caribbean Games in Ponce, Puerto Rico. Her monumental victory helped to ease the sting of a mass defection of Cuban athletes at that event. Quirot was 29 when the accident occurred and was therefore believed to be in the twilight of her career anyway. She had other ideas, however. After missing the 1994 track season for no less than a dozen rounds of plastic surgery, she returned to contention in the 800 in 1995. At the world championships in Goteborg, Sweden in the summer of that year, Quirot won the gold medal in the 800 meter race before a crowd of 42,453 at Ullevi Stadium. Not only did the gold medal re-establish Quirot as a force to be reckoned with in the 800, it also made her the world champion going into an Olympic year. She was thrilled. “In my worst moments, I never thought I could come back so strongly,” she told the Chicago Tribune after the race. “This is the most beautiful victory of my life.”

Quirot stepped down in 1996 after having become Cuba’s most famous–and favorite–female athlete. Her fame in the international arena is assured as well, both as a symbol of fighting back from devastating injury and as a spokesperson for a struggling nation. She concluded in the Philadelphia Inquirer that sports had saved her life–that without her will to run again she would not have lived through her accident. “If I had not run again, I believe I would have died,” she said. “And when I started training again, that gave me life.”

We all have our own life to pursue, our own kind of dream to be weaving. And we all have some power to make wishes come true, as long as we keep believing.

– Louisa May Alcott

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“The family of a missing mother had Christmas dinner with her fiancé, opening presents only yards from the garage where her battered body would be found in a suitcase.

Marie Stewart’s father and sister arrived for the meal expecting to find her with her fiancé, music teacher Andrew Lindo.

But he told them she had walked out on him.

Unable to believe that the 30-year-old graduate would act this way, they contacted police and asked them to investigate. The family later received text messages from her mobile phone telling them not to interfere, it was revealed yesterday.

Shortly after Miss Stewart’s disappearance, 29-year-old Angela Rylance, who used to work in a sex shop, moved in with Lindo.”

sad story …

__________

 

Serial ‘Cheaters’ … oh yes, they live too … have you ever come across one? Noticed how they behave? It’s fascinating to see … trust me … you’d find it quite amusing… observe the next time … quietly … once you confirm the fact that he / she is one of them … ask about their spouse (if there’ s one still living) … oh such devotion … ever the “loving partners” … only have eyes for their loved ones … ‘praise’s the only thing they know when it comes to their partner …  you can’t believe your ears? … hard to digest? pity …

 

How to confirm whether it s infidelity you are looking at? … Oh for the love of god people … it s not rocket science … look at them … they’d have the most wandering eyes … always catch details of something which detect their knowing eyes … they are simply ‘pro’ s … it s their second nature …  con artists at best …

 

Is it true?? … I mean … is it true that ‘Once a cheater … always a cheater’?

 

Seriously … Infidelity is one of the most devastating things that can happen in a relationship. When one partner cheats on another it leaves lifelong scars. Sometimes those scars may not be evident until later in life but nobody escapes infidelity unscathed …

 

Ok, then … why do people cheat? If you ask a cheater why they cheated they will most likely try to blame their infidelity on the relationship, the circumstances surrounding the affair, the person they cheated with or even the person they cheated on. They rarely blame themselves … oh wow … such arrogance don’t you think? …

 

I read … Most cheaters know that what they are doing s wrong and feel the need to justify their bad behavior. They will have a variety of excuses ranging from impairment to something lacking in their partner, but in the end they cheated because they wanted to.

 

Try as they might to give a good reason for their behavior they rarely have one. People who cheat do so because of something inside of them. Nothing another person does can make a cheater cheat. No matter how unhappy a relationship may be a cheater makes a choice to deal with that unhappiness by cheating. They have nobody to blame but themselves …

 

Nowadays we read about “Cheater turned killers” … fantastic isn’t it?

 

Cheating has been taken to ‘new’ heights … If a cheater is unhappy in a relationship … they don’t have to cheat, they can leave. They choose to betray the trust of another person by cheating …  rather than ending the relationship. There is never a good reason to cheat; there are only good reasons to break off a relationship.

 

Cheating is not only selfish … it is cruel … and then what about killing someone? … When some miserable, pathetic example of a human, can’t face the out side world with their cheating hearts … without breaking off the relationship with dignity … they kill …

 

What right do they have to take someone else’s life? Do they think that they’d get away? What a ludicrous  situation …

 

Say, one fell in love … for some reason; could be the ‘red’ hair of that woman, long nose of this man or it could be the that 99 year old mans ’Bentley’ which truly caught the eye  …  oh well, the relationship could have been  a fluke from your part … but then  … once or IF the appeal wears off people … for god sake … LEAVE … true love or no … how on earth one keep another … by force?

 

No one needs that …

 

Then again the world out there  … could you control what others think, say or do?? … be open … say the words ‘ it’s over ‘ … and get over … world will never stop because of your sorry status … be done with it with dignity … what went wrong in your life has got nothing to do with others … let them think what ever they please … might think one of you cheated … so what?? Isn’t it better leave … than bickering  … and bleeding tears … or than sitting on the “Electric chair” … and being roasted alive??

 

God … some humans … empty heads … irritating

 

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Birth till death … we wakeup – sleep, eat – drink, laugh – cry, earn – spend … living extremely busy lives. And of course there’s birth – death, comfort – pain, ups – downs, winning – losing all that too. Everybody have their own version of explaining how and why things happen this way. For some it’s believed as wish of their God and some believe is good/bad Karma (your own past good/bad deeds) …

  

As its said in Buddhism

“In Buddhism, more than one Pali or Sanskrit word is translated as “greed” or “desire.” When we speak of the greed of the Three Poisons, the word for “greed” is lobha. This is an attraction to something that we think will gratify us. Lobha is fixating on a thing we think we need to make us happy. For example, if we see a pair of shoes we think we must have, even though we have a closet full of perfectly good shoes – that is lobha. And, of course, if we buy the shoes we may enjoy them for a time, but soon enough we forget the shoes and want something else.The word translated “greed” or “desire” in the Five Hindrances is kamacchanda (Pali) or abhidya (Sanskrit), which refers to sensual desire. This kind of desire is a hindrance to the mental concentration one needs to realize enlightenment.

The Second Noble Truth teaches that trishna (Sanskrit) or tanha (Pali) — thirst or craving — is the cause of stress or suffering (dukkha). Related to greed is upadana, or clinging. More specifically, upadana are attachments that cause us to remain wandering in samsara, bound to birth and rebirth. There are four main types of upadana — attachment to senses, attachment to views, attachment to rites and rituals, and attachment to a belief in a permanent self.”

  

One of the main teachings of the Bhagavad-Gita

 “This body you (the soul) reside is temporary, but the real you, the soul, is eternal. Just as we change those worn out clothes, old jobs to new ones, houses, cars, and partners, one day you will be forced to change your body too. So don’t get attached or carried away about this temporary body and materialistic life. It’s like a manufacturing company, designing its raw materials today for production of goods in the future. Similarly you are designing your next body with your thoughts, attitude and actions today. Perhaps you’d think let me enjoy the present and forget about the future as its unknown. Thus you are thinking your next life is not worth thinking about now. Then your next life will be that of nothing. You will take a birth, among the 8 million species of living beings, below that of human beings (animal and plant kingdoms), only if you forget how worthy it’s your human life, only if you think, the most important s to concentrate only on – living today.”

  

Religions there, but some wonder; well … if religion too one of those things created by Man, just another man made phenomena … then what?  Why of course should you believe in religion? Obviously there’s no one went to heaven and came back to prove that it really exists … where s the proof by the way?

 

Well I have my own theory … I’d say heaven – hell … both Man made too … it’s already here … around us … it’s what we create … when we see the true purpose of our lives … and live in a simple life … we create heaven … oh but when one take a U TURN and start chasing the “wrong things” in life … you end up in “hell” …

You don’t have to believe what I say …

Why don’t you read … and once you are done … remain where you are and think a minute!

  

Stories of 8 Lottery Winners

For a lot of people, winning the lottery is the American dream. But for many lottery winners, the reality is more like a nightmare. “Winning the lottery isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be,” says Evelyn Adams, who won the New Jersey lottery not just once, but twice (1985, 1986), to the tune of $5.4 million. Today the money is all gone and Adams lives in a trailer. “I won the American dream but I lost it, too. It was a very hard fall. It’s called rock bottom,” says Adams.

“Everybody wanted my money. Everybody had their hand out. I never learned one simple word in the English language — ‘No.’ I wish I had the chance to do it all over again. I’d be much smarter about it now,” says Adams, who also lost money at the slot machines in Atlantic City. “I was a big-time gambler,” admits Adams. “I didn’t drop a million dollars, but it was a lot of money. I made mistakes, some I regret, some I don’t. I’m human. I can’t go back now so I just go forward, one step at a time.”

Living on food stamps

  

 

William “Bud” Post won $16.2 million in the Pennsylvania lottery in 1988 but now lives on his Social Security. “I wish it never happened. It was totally a nightmare,” says Post. A former girlfriend successfully sued him for a share of his winnings. It wasn’t his only lawsuit. A brother was arrested for hiring a hit man to kill him, hoping to inherit a share of the winnings. Other siblings pestered him until he agreed to invest in a car business and a restaurant in Sarasota, Fla., — two ventures that brought no money back and further strained his relationship with his siblings. Post even spent time in jail for firing a gun over the head of a bill collector. Within a year, he was $1 million in debt.

Post admitted he was both careless and foolish, trying to please his family. He eventually declared bankruptcy. Now he lives quietly on $450 a month and food stamps. “I’m tired, I’m over 65 years old, and I just had a serious operation for a heart aneurysm. Lotteries don’t mean (anything) to me,” says Post.

  

 Deeper in debt

Suzanne Mullins won $4.2 million in the Virginia lottery in 1993. Now she’s deeply in debt to a company that lent her money using the winnings as collateral.

She borrowed $197,746.15, which she agreed to pay back with her yearly checks from the Virginia lottery through 2006. When the rules changed allowing her to collect her winnings in a lump sum, she cashed in the remaining amount. But she stopped making payments on the loan. She blamed the debt on the lengthy illness of her uninsured son-in-law, who needed $1 million for medical bills.

Mark Kidd, the Roanoke, Va., lawyer who represented the Singer Asset Finance Company who sued Mullins, confirms her plight. He won a judgment for the company against Mullins for $154,147 last May, but they have yet to collect a nickel.

“My understanding is she has no assets,” says Kidd.

  

Back to the basics

Ken Proxmire was a machinist when he won $1 million in the Michigan lottery. He moved to California and went into the car business with his brothers. Within five years, he had filed for bankruptcy. “He was just a poor boy who got lucky and wanted to take care of everybody,” explains Ken’s son Rick. “It was a hell of a good ride for three or four years, but now he lives more simply. There’s no more talk of owning a helicopter or riding in limos. We’re just everyday folk. Dad’s now back to work as a machinist,” says his son.

Willie Hurt of Lansing, Mich., won $3.1 million in 1989. Two years later he was broke and charged with murder. His lawyer says Hurt spent his fortune on a divorce and crack cocaine. Charles Riddle of Belleville, Mich., won $1 million in 1975. Afterward, he got divorced, faced several lawsuits and was indicted for selling cocaine. Missourian Janite Lee won $18 million in 1993. Lee was generous to a variety of causes, giving to politics, education and the community. But according to published reports, eight years after winning, Lee had filed for bankruptcy with only $700 left in two bank accounts and no cash on hand.One Southeastern family won $4.2 million in the early ’90s. They bought a huge house and succumbed to repeated family requests for help in paying off debts.

The house, cars and relatives ate the whole pot. Eleven years later, the couple is divorcing, the house is sold and they have to split what is left of the lottery proceeds. The wife got a very small house. The husband has moved in with the kids. Even the life insurance they bought ended up getting cashed in.

“It was not the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow,” says their financial advisor.

Luck is fleeting

These sad-but-true tales are not uncommon, say the experts.

“For many people, sudden money can cause disaster,” says Susan Bradley, a certified financial planner in Palm Beach, Fla., and founder of the Sudden Money Institute, a resource center for new money recipients and their advisors. “In our culture, there is a widely held belief that money solves problems. People think if they had more money, their troubles would be over. When a family receives sudden money, they frequently learn that money can cause as many problems as it solves,” she says.

Craig Wallace, a senior funding officer for a company that buys lottery annuity payments in exchange for lump sums, agrees. “Going broke is a common malady, particularly with the smaller winners. Say you’ve won $1 million. What you’ve really won is a promise to be paid $50,000 a year. People win and they think they’re millionaires. They go out and buy houses and cars and before they know it, they’re in way over their heads,” he says.

 Are you really a ‘millionaire’?

Part of the problem is that the winners buy into the hype.

“These people believe they are millionaires. They buy into the hype, but most of these people will go to their graves without ever becoming a millionaire,” says Wallace, who has been in the business for almost a decade. “In New Jersey, they manipulate the reality of the situation to sell more tickets. Each winner takes a picture with a check that becomes a 3-foot by 5-foot stand-up card. The winner is photographed standing next to a beautiful woman and the caption reads: ‘New Jersey’s newest millionaire.'”

Winning plays a game with your head

Bradley, who authored “Sudden Money: Managing a Financial Windfall,” says winners get into trouble because they fail to address the emotional connection to the windfall. “There are two sides to money. The interior side is the psychology of money and the family relationship to money. The exterior side is the tax codes, the money allocation, etc.”

“The goal is to integrate the two. People who can’t integrate their interior relationship with money appropriately are more likely to crash and burn,” says Bradley. “Often they can keep the money and lose family and friends — or lose the money and keep the family and friends — or even lose the money and lose the family and friends.”

Bill Pomeroy, a certified financial planner in Baton Rouge, La., has dealt with a number of lottery winners who went broke. “Because the winners have a large sum of money, they make the mistake of thinking they know what they’re doing. They are willing to plunk down large sums on investments they know nothing about or go in with a partner who may not know how to run a business.”

What if you get so (un)lucky?

To offset some bad early decision-making and the inevitable requests of friends, relatives and strangers, Bradley recommends lottery winners start by setting up a DFZ or decision-free zone. “Take time out from making any financial decisions,” she says. “Do this right away. For some people, it’s smart to do it before you even get your hands on the money.

“People who are not used to having money are fragile and vulnerable, and there are plenty of people out there who are willing to prey on that vulnerability — even friends and family,” she cautions. “It’s not a time to decide what stocks to buy or jump into a new house purchase or new business venture. “It’s a time to think things through, sort things out and seek an advisory team to help make those important financial choices.”

As an example, Bradley says that people who come into a windfall will typically put buying a house as No. 1 in list of 12 choices, while investing is No. 11. “You really don’t want to buy a new house before taking the time to think about what the consequences are.”A lot of people who don’t have money don’t realize how much it costs to live in a big house — decorators, furniture, taxes, insurance, even utility costs are greater. People need a reality check before they sign the contract,” she says.

Evelyn Adams, the N.J. lottery double-winner, learned these lessons the hard way.”There are a lot of people out there like me who don’t know how to deal with money,” laments Adams. “Hey, some people went broke in six months. At least I held on for a few years.”

(MSN Money) – By Ellen Goodstein, Bankrate.com

Am I right or what … sometimes it’s ok to yell “off with their heads”…

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