When the Bleakness of Winter Sets In


Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm of the Grimm Fairy Tales fame.
Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm of the Grimm Fairy Tales fame.
Grimm's Fairytales
Grimm’s Fairytales
"The Wooden Bowl"
“The Wooden Bowl”
"A Dad's Blessing"
“A Dad’s Blessing”
Dad's Blessing in a Bible.
Dad’s Blessing in a Bible.
Life is an Echo - your Karma is a reflection of what you've put into it.
Life is an Echo – your Karma is a reflection of what you’ve put into it.
The Brick
The Brick
Throwing a brick at a passing car.
Throwing a brick at a passing car.

Baghban Poster

Amitabh & Jaya Bachchan make a superb couple in Baghban.
Amitabh & Jaya Bachchan make a superb couple in Baghban.
The last, scathing speech of Amitabh Bachchan in "Baghban" which has a subtle, meaningful message.
The last, scathing speech of Amitabh Bachchan in “Baghban” which has a subtle, meaningful message.
The Bleak Winter
The Bleak Winter
The Treatment of Winter Ailments.
The Treatment of Winter Ailments.
The Winter of Our Lives.
The Winter of Our Lives.
Elderly Couple
Elderly Couple
"In the Bleak Midwinter"
“In the Bleak Midwinter”
Old and homeless - so sad!
Old and homeless – so sad!
A Luxurious Old Age Home.
A Luxurious Old Age Home.

St. Joseph's Home for the Aged in Chicago, U.S.A.

Nevada City Sanitarium
Nevada City Sanitarium
Dispensing Medicine to an elderly patient in a Geriatric Ward of a hospital in the U.K.
Dispensing Medicine to an elderly patient in a Geriatric Ward of a hospital in the U.K.

Family is a Safe Haven in a Heartless World

The Love of Family is Life's Greatest Blessing.
The Love of Family is Life’s Greatest Blessing.
The Love of a Family Makes Life Beautiful and worth living for.
The Love of a Family Makes Life Beautiful and worth living for.
For the Unlearned, Old Age is Winter.....
For the Unlearned, Old Age is Winter…..

The Three Signs of Old Age.

Respect and Love Your Elders. All too soon, you will be old too!
Respect and Love Your Elders. All too soon, you will be old too!

Read the following heartwarming and touching, inspirational short stories.

These are well-known short stories written by anonymous authors from eons gone by – the ESSENCE of each story NEEDS TO BE CARVED IN YOUR MIND AND HEART as being words of unparalleled wisdom that have trickled down to us through the ages.

It is such a pity that the most people in the world today have forgotten what is the meaning of humanity, love, kindness and caring. I’m sure that you’ve already guessed the reason. It is what happens when people tend to get totally absorbed in their own SELFISHNESS and SELFISH WAYS – for them, being SELF-CENTERED; SELF-ABSORBED AND SELF-IMMERSED is all that matters.

It is what happens when people just CANNOT or WILL NOT LOOK BEYOND THE END OF THEIR NOSES. I honestly wonder when people will ever realize that everything in Life is NOT about them and what they want – OTHER PEOPLE ALSO MATTER!

YOU NEED TO LEARN – HERE AND NOW – HOW TO BE SELFLESS, LOVING AND KIND. When you’ve learned how to IMPLEMENT THESE VIRTUES into your daily lives, it will become the ultimate moment of Truth.

Remember these stories and remember them well throughout your lives. Pass on their essence to the entire world so that others may benefit too. Do you know why? Someday these situations could very well apply to you too.

—————————————————

Story 1:

“The Old Man and His Grandson”/”The Wooden Bowl”

by The Brothers Grimm

Translated by Margaret Taylor (1884)


There was once a very old man, whose eyes had become dim, his ears dull of hearing, his knees trembled, and when he sat at table he could hardly hold the spoon, and spilled the broth upon the table-cloth or let it run out of his mouth. His son and his son’s wife were disgusted at this, so the old grandfather at last had to sit in the corner behind the stove, and they gave him his food in an earthenware bowl, and not even enough of it. And he used to look towards the table with his eyes full of tears. Once, too, his trembling hands could not hold the bowl, and it fell to the ground and broke. The young wife scolded him, but he said nothing and only sighed. Then they bought him a wooden bowl for a few half-pence, out of which he had to eat.

They were once sitting thus when the little grandson of four years old began to gather together some bits of wood upon the ground. “What are you doing there?” asked the father. “I am making a little trough,” answered the child, “for father and mother to eat out of when I am big.”

The man and his wife looked at each other for a while, and presently began to cry. Then they took the old grandfather to the table, and henceforth always let him eat with them, and likewise said nothing if he did spill a little of anything.

————————————————

Story 2:

Dad’s Blessings

A young man was getting ready to graduate from college. For many months he had admired a beautiful sports car in a dealer’s showroom, and knowing his father could well afford it, he told him that was all he wanted.

As Graduation Day approached, the young man awaited signs that his father had purchased the car.  Finally, on the morning of his graduation, his father called  him into his private study. His father told him how proud he was to have such a fine son, and told him how much he loved him. He handed his son a beautifully wrapped gift box.  Curious, but somewhat disappointed, the young man opened the box and found a lovely, leather-bound Bible, with the young man’s name embossed in gold. Angry, he raised his voice to his father and said “With all your money, you give me a Bible?” and stormed out of the house, leaving the Bible.

Many years passed and the young man was very successful in business. He had a beautiful home and  wonderful family, but realized his father was very old, and thought perhaps he should go  to  him.  He had not seen him since that graduation day.  Before he could make arrangements, he received a telegram telling him his father had passed away, and willed all of his possessions to his son. He needed to come home immediately and take care of things.

When he arrived at his father’s house, sudden sadness and regret filled his heart.  He began to search through his father’s important papers and saw the still new Bible, just as he had left it  years ago.  With tears, he opened the Bible and began to turn the pages.  And as he did, a car key dropped out from the back of the Bible.  It had a tag with the dealer’s name, the same dealer who had the sports car he had desired. On the tag was the date of his graduation, and the words PAID IN FULL.

How many times do we miss Spirit’s blessings and answers to our prayers  because they do not arrive exactly as we have expected?

————————————————-

Story 3:

The Mountain Story

“A son and his father were walking on the mountains.
Suddenly, his son falls, hurts himself and screams: “AAAhhhhhhhhhhh!!!”
To his surprise, he hears the voice repeating, somewhere in the mountain: “AAAhhhhhhhhhhh!!!”
Curious, he yells: “Who are you?”
He receives the answer: “Who are you?”
And then he screams to the mountain: “I admire you!”
The voice answers: “I admire you!”
Angered at the response, he screams: “Coward!”
He receives the answer: “Coward!”
He looks to his father and asks: “What’s going on?”
The father smiles and says: “My son, pay attention.”
Again the man screams: “You are a champion!”
The voice answers: “You are a champion!”

The boy is surprised, but does not understand.
Then the father explains: “People call this an ECHO, but really this is LIFE or KARMA.
It gives you back everything you say or do.
Our life is simply a reflection of our actions.
If you want more love in the world, create more love in your heart.
If you want more competence in your team, improve your competence.
This relationship applies to everything, in all aspects of life;
Life will give you back everything you have given to it.”

YOUR LIFE IS NOT A COINCIDENCE. IT’S A REFLECTION OF YOU!”

— Unknown Author

——————————————————-

Story 4:

THE BRICK

About ten years ago, a young and very successful executive named Josh was traveling down a Chicago neighborhood street. He was going a bit too fast in his sleek, black, 12 cylinder Jaguar XKE, which was only two months old.

He was watching for kids darting out from between parked cars and slowed down when he thought he saw something. As his car passed, no child darted out, but a brick sailed out and – WHUMP! – it smashed Into the Jag’s shiny black side door! SCREECH..!!!! Brakes slammed! Gears ground into reverse, and tires madly spun the Jaguar back to the spot from where the brick had been thrown. Josh jumped out of the car, grabbed the kid and pushed him up against a parked car. He shouted at the kid, “What was that all about and who are you? Just what the heck are you doing?!” Building up a head of steam, he went on. “That’s my new Jag, that brick you threw is gonna cost you a lot of money. Why did you throw it?”

“Please, mister, please. . . I’m sorry! I didn’t know what else to do!” Pleaded the youngster. “I threw the brick because no one else would stop!” Tears were dripping down the boy’s chin as he pointed around the parked car. “It’s my old father, mister,” he said. “He rolled off the curb and fell out of his wheelchair and I can’t lift him up.” Sobbing, the boy asked the executive, “Would you please help me get him back into his wheelchair? He’s hurt and he’s too heavy for me.”

Moved beyond words, the young executive tried desperately to swallow the rapidly swelling lump in his throat. Straining, he lifted the young man back into the wheelchair and took out his handkerchief and wiped the scrapes and cuts, checking to see that everything was going to be OK. He then watched the young boy push him down the sidewalk toward their home.

It was a long walk back to the sleek, black, shining, 12 cylinder Jaguar XKE -a long and slow walk. Josh never did fix the side door of his Jaguar. He kept the dent to remind him not to go through life so fast that someone has to throw a brick at him to get his attention. . . Some bricks are softer than others. Feel for the bricks of life coming at to you. For all the negative things we have to say to ourselves, God has positive answers.

Story 5:

The Bollywood Movie, “Baghban” 

“Baghban” (meaning, “Gardener”) is a 2003 Bollywood drama film directed by Ravi Chopra, featuring Amitabh Bachchan and Hema Malini in lead roles. It is mostly a copy of the 1937 movie Make Way for Tomorrow. It released in cinemas on 3 October 2003 and was critically acclaimed, turning out to be a critical success at the box office. “Baghban” was premiered at the Leeds International Film Festival in LeedsEngland. It was critically acclaimed and went on to become one of Chopra’s biggest hits.

In this movie, the age-old issue of  indifferent, selfish, mean, miserly and materialistically-motivated children who are not willing to take the responsibility of their parents has been dealt with – especially when the latter has become elderly, infirm and dependent on their children.

This is one of those movies that makes the youth of today think and analyze their own relationship with their parents. 

The entire crux of this movie is in the last speech that Raj Malhotra (Amitabh Bachchan) delivers at the launch of his book “Baghban.” 

———————————————————

Winter is the coldest season of the year in temperate climates, between autumn and spring. Winter is often associated with positive and joyful phenomena like snowflakes, snowmen, gifts, angels, turkeys, chocolate-log cakes, the festivities of Christmas, Christmas trees, bells, sleighs, Santa Claus, reindeer, boots, snowshoes, icicles, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, the Winter Wonderland, etc.

However, it is a given fact that the negativity of winter far outweigh its positive aspects. Winter is associated with extremes of cold, freezing, dull, icy,  frosty, chilly and windy weather. It is a frigid season that is punctuated with dangerous snowstorms and blizzards. It is associated with dreary, gloomy, dull and dismal weather – reminiscent of  desolate and barren landscapes, devoid of vegetation and life.

Some common health problems, such as asthma, sore throat and cold sores, are triggered or worsened by cold weather. Other ailments associated with cold weather are the norovirus (the winter vomiting bug); arthritis, rheumatism and painful joints; Raynaud’s Phenomenon (commonly known as, “cold hands” – a condition where fingers or can go white, then blue, then red and throb and tingle. It’s a sign of poor circulation in the small blood vessels of the hands and feet ); dry skin; influenza (‘flu); pneumonia and an increased risk of heart attacks in winter.

Humans are sensitive to cold – blistering cold causes snow blindness and seasonal depression. Slipping on black ice and falling icicles are other health concerns associated with cold and snowy weather. In the Northern Hemisphere, several homeless people die from hypothermia every winter.

Thus, when we say that people have reached the, “Winter of their Lives” it implies the onset of old age and infirmity. 

Old age consists of ages nearing or surpassing the average life span of human beings, and thus the end of the human life cycleEuphemisms and terms for old people include seniors, senior citizens, older adults (in the social sciences), the elderly and elders.

Old people often have limited regenerative abilities and are more prone to disease, syndromes and chronic, debilitating diseases than younger adults. Older people living alone or in residential/nursing care and those with physical illnesses and/or disabilities are more at risk of falling prey to dementia/Alzheimer’s Disease and clinical depression. 

Many older people experience psychological or emotional distress associated with factors linked to old age, including isolation, loss of independence, loneliness and losses of many kinds, including bereavements. The elderly tend to suffer from a slow gait; lessened and weakened hearing; diminished eyesight; reduced mental and cognitive ability and tend to have a heightened risk for injury from falls that otherwise would not cause injury. They tend to have a greater susceptibility to bone and joint diseases such as osteoarthritis and osteoperosis and memory loss.

The fact of the matter is simply this: IN CONTEMPORARY TIMES, WHILE THE LONGEVITY OF AN AVERAGE HUMAN BEING HAS INCREASED TREMENDOUSLY WITH THE MANY ADVANCES IN SCIENCE, THE QUALITY OF LIFE (OF THE ELDERLY ESPECIALLY) HAS NOT INCREASED PROPORTIONATELY.

The elderly of the world today are more in need of love, kindness, safety and comfort from their own children and family members than that coming from a stranger. They can do without the amenities and/or luxuries that any OLD AGE HOME, SANITARIUM or GERIATRIC HOSPITAL WARD can give them. You might very well be paying a high price to keep a domestic helper or cook for your elderly parent(s) or grand-parent(s) – but that is not what the elderly really WANT.

They need the aid of a helper in their daily lives, it is true – but it is for a smile, a kind, polite word, attention and love that they really crave for. They crave for somebody who will talk to them and laugh with them – people who will stay by their side when the darkness of night falls and the fear of dying alone creeps in.

Whether you want to believe it or not, old people crave for a  TRUE AND LOYAL FRIEND.

An emotional and moral “SUPPORT SYSTEM” that comes from one’s own loving and caring family members has more curative value in the longer run than all the allopathic drugs and medicines put together.

DO NOT TO MOCK AT OLD PEOPLE. NEVER FORGET THAT SOMEDAY YOU WILL BE OLD, INFIRM, HELPLESS AND INCAPACITATED TOO.

History has a nasty way of repeating itself and Life always comes to a Full Circle – believe it or not. It is what you’ve put forth in your life that comes back to bless or haunt you.

2 thoughts on “When the Bleakness of Winter Sets In

    1. Thanks so much, Stefan. Glad to be of help in this regard. Do keep in touch with the blog….. please help me to change the world by speaking about this blog to your family and friends. Thanks again – in advance!

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