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Virtual Volunteer Opportunities

If you are searching for ways to virtually assist those in need, here are some safe and socially-distanced volunteer opportunities.

If you are searching for ways to virtually assist those in need, here are some safe and socially-distanced volunteer opportunities.

Be My Eyes
Be My Eyes is a free app that connects blind and low-vision people with sighted volunteers for visual assistance through a live video call. A blind or a low-vision user may need help with anything from checking expiration dates to navigating new surroundings.

GLOBE Observer
GLOBE Observer, sponsored by NASA, is an international network of citizen scientists and scientists working together to learn more about our shared environment and changing climate. GLOBE Observer currently accepts observations of clouds, mosquito habitats, land cover, and trees.

Missing Maps
Missing Maps is an open, collaborative project in which you can help to map areas where humanitarian organizations are trying to meet the needs of vulnerable people. Many of the places where disasters occur are literally ‘missing’ from any map and first responders lack the information to make valuable decisions regarding relief efforts.

Red Cross Virtual Volunteer
In times of disaster or social isolation it can be difficult for people to leave their homes to volunteer in the community. Even while staying home, there is opportunity to support the Red Cross mission virtually. We have a wide range of volunteer opportunities in which volunteers can engage remotely. Enter your zip code and then search for “NHQ” or “virtual” in the key word search bar to find virtual/volunteer from home positions. Positions will vary based on location

Smithsonian Digital Volunteers
Smithsonian Digital Volunteers help make historical documents and biodiversity data more accessible by transcribing pages of field notes, diaries, ledgers, logbooks, manuscripts, and more from the last two centuries.

Translators without Borders
Translators without Borders is a U.S. non-profit organization that aims to close the language gaps that hinder critical humanitarian and international development efforts worldwide. Because of the COVID-19 crisis, people urgently need access to accurate information in a language and format they understand to make well-informed decisions during this pandemic.

United Nations Volunteers
The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) program contributes to peace and development through volunteerism worldwide. Online volunteering pairs organizations and volunteers together to address sustainable development challenges in several subjects, including COVID-19 response.

BookShare.org
Book Share offers thousands of books to people with reading disabilities. As an online volunteer you can either scan books to be added to the collection or edit books that have been scanned.

Distributed Proofreaders
These online volunteers turn public domain books into online books, mostly for Project Gutenberg. Many volunteers work on a book at the same time and proofread each other’s work.

NPower
As part of preparing students for a career in technology, NPower engages tech professionals to share their knowledge, experience, insight, and advice. Connect with NPower students in-person or virtually, in small or large group settings, and for short or long-term projects.


MentorNet
MenttorNet is a division of Great Minds in STEM (GMiS) and strategically matches STEM students and professionals in compatible online mentoring relationships.

National Multiple Sclerosis Society

  1. Create MS Cards – We are looking for cards that express thank-you to our participants, volunteers, and fundraisers, and keeping in touch with people living with MS. We welcome creativity when it comes to physical or e-cards! For physical cards, contact Ashlyn Iervasi at ashlyn.iervasi@nmss.org to get the address of the staff member that will distribute them. For e-cards, www.Canva.com or www.GreetingIsland.com are both free to use!
  2. Create a Video – Calling all creative volunteers! Create a video cheering on cyclists or virtual walkers for the chance to featured in the virtual broadcast! You can also create a video about why you enjoy volunteering for the MS Society or why it’s important to you! Videos should last anywhere from 30 seconds up to 2 minutes.
  3. Phone Calls – We are looking for volunteers to make phone calls to participants and volunteers who have not registered. A script, phone list and Google Voice instructions will be sent to those who are interested in this activity.

Register here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/remotevolunteering

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Treasure hunt in the real world

Imagine a secret world hidden in plain sight. Everyday paths, everyday objects transformed into clues and secret codes, that lead you towards a secret treasure hunt. The path cannot be seen or read until you join the pack. Sounds like Harry Potter or something out of Dan Brown novel isn’t it?

Well, read on because this is a true story and it is a treasure hunt.  I was looking to motivate myself to get out more, go for walks/runs and I accidentally came across this unique game of Geocaching. Geocaching is where you hunt treasures hidden by other players while exploring interesting locations.

Let me break it down for you, geocaching is a game where you use GPS coordinates to track down a container ( treasure) usually called a “Cache”. These Caches vary from micro to large in size. In simplest form caches usually contain logbook to log your find, larger cache may contain prizes or other cool items. I know what you must be thinking,  who hides these caches? Whats in it for them? What do you get out of it?  Relax!! i am getting to it. Caches are hidden by other “Geocachers”, they hide it in locations that are either close to their heart or its a cool location, sometimes after a long trail, it could be any other reason.  These geocaches are hidden all over the world by fellow Geocachers, hidden in plain sight, some are cleverly disguised, some have puzzles etc. Once a cache is hidden, its GPS location is provided worldwide, this cache is now in the open to found by fellow Geocachers. The objective of the game is to explore locations, walk, run, have fun. The real treasure is in the hunt not the find. You will be surprised by the number of caches hidden in your neighborhood.

I run in a park close to my home and was surprised to find 3 caches hidden in the same park. I was intrigued, i wanted to find them. I registered in https://www.geocaching.com (free registration), downloaded the app to my phone (free download) and was ready for my first hunt. I used the app to get coordinates of my first cache, its exactly like google maps says how far you are away from the cache. I didn’t know what to expect, just started following the path to the cache, walking/running through park to get to the location. Its exciting as the app shows you how many feet you are away from the cache. As i approached the location, all i could see was a tree, is the cache on the tree? inside the tree? I went back to the GPS coordinates, there is a small little button which says “hint”, in my eagerness to get the cache i forgot to read. The hint read “Tree Hanger”, which means the cache is hanging on the tree somewhere. I started scanning the tree for any clues of the cache, nope nothing not a trace. I started questioning if its the right tree, maybe its the next one. Then i went back to the tree started looking at it closely. I realized that the pine cone shaped thing on the tree is not a pine cone but a cache!! I found my first cache, i was thrilled!! In my excitement i forgot pen to write down in the logbook.

Here you go pictures of my first cache find. I cannot reveal the location and spoil the fun for other Geocachers so this would do for now.  Once you find a cache, you write an entry into the log on the paper and entry online, thank the cache owner (person who placed the cache) and be respectful and place the cache back where you found it.

This made my regular walk in the park an exciting race to find the treasure. The thrill of finding the cache, exploring new areas, figuring out where its hidden is an exciting adventure for you and your family. I am sure you will love it too, give it a try!!

 

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Creepy nursery rhymes

Innocent rhymes that parents all around the world sing to their kids have gruesome backstories. I am sure you never expected rhymes to contain coded messages that indicate death, alcohol and punishment. 

We all grew up with nursery rhymes, your parents sang it to you and you sing it to your children. These innocent rhymes that parents all around the world sing to their kids have gruesome backstories. I am sure you never expected rhymes to contain coded messages that indicate death, alcohol and punishment.

This started when I was trying to teach my daughter some nursery rhymes. 

Ring around the rosie or Ring a Ring o Roses,
A pocket full of posies,
Ashes! Ashes!
We all fall down

I tried to explain the meaning to her and it sounded strange. A nursery rhyme, i knew so so well and yet did not make any sense. Does Rosie mean rose flower or rose garden perhaps? what is pocket full of posies? and  even more strangely Ashes! Ashes! I started digging to understand the true meaning of this mindless rhyme that i knew so well. This is stuff for nightmares – There was plague in London in 1665. A plague so great that it killed nearly 15% of the population. The “Rosie” is the rash that is developed on the skin of the plague sufferers. “Posies” are bunch of herbs or flowers that one needed to carry to avoid stench caused by the plague, hence “A pocket full of posies”. “Ashes! Ashes! We all fall down” well it means death caused by the plague. (I told you this is stuff for nightmares). I gave up explaining this to my 3 yr old.

Oh it gets better,

Baa, baa, black sheep,
Have you any wool?
Yes, sir, yes, sir,
Three bags full;
One for the master,
And one for the dame,
And none for the little boy 
Who lives down the lane  (original lyrics)

And one for the little boy, who lives down the lane (changed lyrics)

This one is not so bad you might say, until you learn that the original was “And none for the little boy who cries down the lane

This one is about taxes levied on wool during medieval trade. In medieval England, wool trade was a booming business.  It was used to produce cloth and everyone was raising sheep. Even wealth was being counted in terms of how many sheep owned. In 13th century, King Edward imposed wool tax. Under the new rules, a third went to him “one for the master” , a third went to the church “One for the dame” and the last to the farmer. Therefore there was nothing left for little shepherd boy. Also black sheep was considered bad luck because their fleeces cannot be dyed and were valued less.

The next rhyme is applicable for a drunkard or about death. Either way it cannot be a simple kids rhyme

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.

“Humpty Dumpty” was a popular drink made of brandy and ale. Possibly referring to a drunk person sitting on a wall and injuring himself. There is another theory, “Humpty Dumpty” is a slang for Hunchback. There was King Richard III often called hunchback king. At the battle of Bosworth, his horse named “wall” abandoned him. The king fell down from the horse and supposedly hacked to death. It gets better, there is one more theory, during English Civil war there was a cannon named “Humpty Dumpty”. The cannon was very powerful, sat on top of church tower and killed hundreds of parliamentarian troops. Humpty’s great fall came when the church tower was eventually blown up. The kings men tried to defend the tower but could not defend it without Humpty’s fire power.

You must know this one

Here we go round the mulberry bush,
The mulberry bush,
The mulberry bush.
Here we go round the mulberry bush
On a cold and frosty morning.

and goes on…

This rhyme originated at Wakefield prison in England where female inmates had to exercise around the mulberry tree in the prison yard.

You would be surprised a lot of the rhymes “Jack and Jill”, “Rock-a-bye Baby”, “Goosey Goosey Gander” have some inner meaning which relates to taxes, kings, religion and other stuff definitely not for kids.

Its funny that we don’t bat an eye while teaching kids these weird rhymes. I am not saying that we should not teach them, it interesting to see how mindless we really are as people!!

-Raghav

 

Everyday Detective

Everyday we all play many roles dad, mom, employee, colleague, friend, teacher etc.I am going to tell you a real life story where i played role of a detective.

Everyday we all play many roles dad, mom, employee, colleague, friend, teacher etc. The roles we assume are not only for other people, they are also about our own needs. They are our way to simplify the world and process it on a daily basis.

I am going to tell you a real life story where i played a detective. We were planning to go to India for a vacation. As we were visiting after a long time, we had lot of luggage to carry. We borrowed an extra suitcase for the travel from our friends as well. Wait a minute!! I said a detective story right? let me get creative..

Location: My home

Time: 11 PM

People in the house : My kids, wife and myself

Mood: Packing frenzy. Everyone frantically pacing the room, kids too excited to sleep.

The episode opens few hours before our journey. Time to fly 0400 hrs

Wife: Did you get all the medicines?

Me: Yes, packed

Wife: Where are the gifts?

Me: Red Suitcase

Meanwhile, i check weights for luggage (International flights have a max limit for each piece of luggage). As we are doing this, my younger one is playing with the red suitcase.

Wife: How much does the red suitcase weigh

Me: Let me check..definitely over the limit..have to get some stuff out.

That’s when we realize its locked!! My younger one must have locked it unknowingly.

Time: 11:45 PM  Time to fly: 4:00 AM

Tension sets in, as the luggage that is locked is the borrowed suitcase and not one of ours. We have less than few hours to get it unlocked, as the airport authority might ask us to open luggage for inspection. Not to mention the extra weight.

We try to call our friends but its late in the night, we couldn’t expect a response until morning.

Me: I try everything, default pass code for luggage, trying to open it up using force. Nope nothing works.

Wife: Panicking, trying to call friends, google, anything to help!

Time: 12:00 PM Time to fly: 4:00 AM

Real panic, nothing works. We are thinking about consequences of breaking the lock but we need the suitcase operational as well.

That’s when Detective Moi enters –

Detective Moi – Cool and calm inspects the luggage for any visual clues. Within minutes the detective notices something..a Clue!! Immediately puts everything together and open the suitcase. 

Time: 12:05 PM

Wife: Shocked!! How did you open that pass code?

Me – Acting very cool (at least that’s what i thought in my head)

The luggage pass code has 4 digits and one of the digits looks worn out than the others. I inferred that the luggage must have been in the closet after it was opened and the digits must have accumulated dust over time. I just had to match the rest of the digits to the worn out numbers and Voila!!

I was never proud of my analytical skills more than that day! Lol! It was a close shave for us, we could have ended up paying for extra baggage fees. Not to mention hassles of getting a locksmith to open the suitcase, or worse if we had to open the suitcase at the airport, telling them we don’t have the pass code would be very awkward conversation.

I just thought it was interesting how often we take different roles based on our need and  take on the personality that matches the role.  Have you played a unique role lately?! Let me know!

-Raghav

 

Bill the Legend!

My attempt at writing a 100 word short story

Intro: I got this idea from a friendly banter. My friend said something about being verbose in my writing style, to which i said maybe i should restrict myself to a 100 words. That stuck with me. Here is my first short story with only 100 words.


After 34 years of service, Bill was retiring today. Everybody loved Bill, he got along with everyone. One could often see him with a pad writing invoices of spare parts arriving and leaving the factory. Management decided to give him an award for his dedication and service at the farewell. That is when management realized that Bill did not work for any department. During the company reorganization 10 years ago ,the work done by Bill was automated but he was never moved. He continued to do his work and got paid every week. That is how Bill became a Legend!

Tale of two strangers

This is a true story of how i played a crucial role in saving a strangers life!! No, this is not a click bait!!

This is a true story of how i played a crucial role in saving a strangers life!! No, this is not a click bait!!

The story begins in Hyderabad, India. I was working as a project trainee for a company called Foursoft. The training facility was typical of what you expect from a company training center. Tight schedules, difficult courses and training crammed into couple of weeks. We had classes to attend in the morning, followed by training/working on the project after classes. We were all in work mode, heads down into the project. So much that we didn’t interact with anyone outside our module (typically a project has multiple modules).

On this fateful day, i finished my classes, had an early lunch and returned to my work space. I was working on some task that i couldn’t finish the previous day. There were only handful of people in the training center. Just then i heard sound of someone barging into the work area. I saw this guy, though i didn’t know his name, i knew that he was one of the new recruits. You could make out that he was clearly tensed. He was desperately asking to the people in the room, if anyone knew how to drive a motorcycle. I thought it was an odd request, hesitantly I told him, I can! but i don’t have a motorcycle.

He placed a key in my hand and said we need to hurry. She might die!! I was shocked and obviously confused. I asked him Who might die, What happened, Where do we need to go? He said one of his friends had called him and told him that she had a fight with her boyfriend and this was her last goodbye call to him. He couldn’t reach her mobile after that call. He said he does not know how to drive but was able to get a motorcycle that we could use from one of the trainers.

I realized we needed to hurry, asked him to guide me to the vehicle and tell me the location. We needed to get to Woman’s Hostel in Ameerpet (Hyderbad, India) which was about 30-35 mins drive from the training center. I think i have never ever driven a vehicle that fast in my life. We got there in about 20-25 minutes. He kept calling her mobile on the way, no response. He called her mobile once again, when we reached the hostel, no response. I asked him to check her whereabouts in the hostel. He came back saying she left the hostel few minutes back. We started looking in the areas surrounding the hostel, typical hangout spots, etc. Problem is I haven’t seen her, so we are depending on one person to scout a large area. Few minutes into search, we are trying to reach her other friends in case she contacted them.

Then suddenly this guy spots the girl coming towards us. She appeared wobbly and we rushed towards her. He asked her if she is ok? he was worried if she hurt herself? She replied in slurry sentence – “i drank pesticide”!! My reaction was WTF!!! The guy i was with didn’t know what just happened, he just blanked out!! Clearly it was a situation, neither of us were prepared for. We knew she wanted to do something to harm herself , but never planned for dealing with it. Luckily common sense prevailed, i told him we need to immediately get her to a hospital. But how? Calling an ambulance would only waste precious time as the time it takes for them to dispatch one and get her to a hospital. I didn’t know how much time had passed since she consumed the poison. I immediately hired an auto-rickshaw (most common transport in Hyderabad), asked him to take us to the nearest hospital. I followed them to the hospital. She was rushed to an emergency and doctors saved her life. The guy thanked me for helping out and told me that he would stick around at the hospital.

I met the guy after couple of days and he told me that she was on her way to full recovery soon. I was just glad we could get her to a hospital on time. I do not know the girl’s name, nor do i remember the guy’s name now. It was all a weird chain of events, me being there at the right time.

I wish the girl had someone to talk to before she made the choice she did. Many of them don’t. Every country has a suicide prevention lifeline. We can all help prevent suicides. Suicide is not inevitable for anyone. By starting the conversation, providing support, and directing help to those who need it, we can prevent suicides and save lives.

I am including some of the suicide prevention hotlines/websites for reference:

 

-Raghav

Please do not forward this S###

My take on forwarding messages in social media

Hi There!

I am talking to you, yes YOU!!

Many of us are guilty of forwarding messages. We have all done it at some point in time. Its one of the easiest things to do, click forward and share. For a large majority of the people its the new entertainment medium. The reach of Whats app is 450 million users in 2018. It shows you how powerful just one social media platform can be.

If you use whats app or similar app for messaging, the amount of messages you get per day is staggering. I am sure if you check your phone right now, there must be messages from at least 3 groups you are a part of – family, cousins, friends, work etc.

It is good to stay connected with friends and family but I prefer genuine “Hello” once in a while to whats app group blast of Good Morning everyday (with background image of flowers, sunrise or some other stuff). Everyone thinks the other person sends too many messages but is guilty of doing the same. The number of forwards you get on Whats app without a way to know their authenticity is way too many.

This is an old hoax but just humor me –

“Good News In India: As announced by PM Modi- If you have a function/party at your home and when you see lots of food may get wasted,Pls don’t hesitate to call 1098 (ANYWHERE IN INDIA ONLY) – child help line.They will come and collect the food…Please circulate this message which can help feed many children. PLEASE DON’T BREAK THIS CHAIN, “Helping hands are better than Praying Lips” Copy n paste takes only few seconds…”

I am sure you have seen this forward.

CHILDLINE 1098 service is a 24 hour free emergency phone outreach service for children in need of care and protection. They deal with Child protection issues such as abuse & violence, trafficking, child labor, conflict with law, sexual abuse, street children, drug abuse etc. This is the website http://www.childlineindia.org.in/.

The amount of phone calls generated because of above fake message is huge and so much that the website (childlineindi.org.in) has a permanent message on the homepage

“Warning : We understand there is a chain mail circulating that says – one should call up 1098 to pick up left over food after a party etc so that it is not wasted. This is not true. We are India ‘s only and most widespread Children’s phone emergency outreach service (1098) for children in need of care and protection. We do not pick up food or distribute food. This mail was not initiated by us, kindly do not circulate it. Your cooperation is appreciated.”

Its sad that educated illiterates are forwarding this message without validation because the message appeals to their urgent need to do social service without putting in effort. I have seen this message float in multiple groups in the past few years even after repeatedly telling them its fake news.

It takes seconds to forward a message, it may take one additional minute to validate the message but that one minute can save a life. Imagine a real child in need missing out because the phone lines are busy.

Atleast email spam can me marked as SPAM but whatsapp spam continues to grow until you and me take a stance. Do not forward non sensical messages on Whatsapp without validating authenticity.

The only reason i have whats app is to communicate with friends and family but there are hardly any meaningful conversations anymore, just forwards. At least i have set all my group message to mute and not show any notifications because of this.

To all my whats app groups-

  • If you wake up to send good morning and good night to everyone on the group. Please stop and have a life.
  • I do not need your inspirational quotes to handle my life.
  • I am definitely not interested in knowing what you ate for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
  • Please stop forwarding videos that i can watch on you tube or elsewhere, my phone data plan sucks.
  • I have zero interest in messages involving current news, importance of yoga, some fruit, water or anything else. Thanks but no thanks!
  • If you want to wish your mom, dad, wife, sister or brother make a call and talk to them. Do not wish them on social media, it looks odd!

Please remember if you constantly keep forwarding stuff, people wont take you seriously when you really need them to.

-Raghav

Happy Festivus….For the Rest of Us!

Christmas is round the corner, Holiday fever in the air! Gifts, shopping, visiting friends and family, food, vacation, the list goes on and on. That’s great, but what if you do not celebrate Christmas? Because you belong to a different ethnic background or just do not celebrate Christmas? We got you covered, Happy Festivus people!!!

I am not making this up. Festivus was first introduced to me by Seinfeld (popular 90s sitcom) many years ago. It appeared in an episode called “The Strike” (if anyone is interested). It’s a fictitious holiday that can be celebrated by anyone. After all these years i am reminded of this unique tradition at my office. About 60% of the people in my office celebrate Christmas and the rest are from different countries and follow different traditions. To include every one in the festivities we celebrate “Festivus” instead of regular Christmas party.

Festivus is an alternative to the pressures and commercialism of the Christmas season (Not my words, this is from Wiki). Like all festivals, Festivus has its own traditions. The usual holiday tradition of a tree is manifested in an unadorned aluminum pole called the “Festivus Pole”, which is in direct contrast to normal holiday materialism. Followed by “Airing of grievances” which is an opportunity to tell others how they have disappointed you in the past year.  As you can imagine, this is longer each year. Its hilarious, people complaining about being loud on calls to leaving empty milk cartons. We have a shorted version to keep grievances to a minute per person. Traditionally this is followed by “Feats of Strength”, we have decided to skip this part as we did not want to risk our developers getting hurt displaying stunts. We included “Secret Santa”, where everyone gets a random person’s name and we need to get a gift for that person. These gifts are discreetly placed under the Festivus pole before starting festivities. The person needs to open the gift addressed to him/her in front of everyone and guess who gave the gift. The tradition ends with a “Festivus Lunch”.

Although it is not an official element of the holiday or its celebration, call all slightly non-routine events as ‘Festivus miracles’. If you got the last piece of the pizza or someone cancels a meeting, making in time before elevator closes, all these are excellent examples of “Festivus miracles.”

“Happy Festivus” is the traditional greeting of Festivus. Festivus is a holiday celebrated on Dec 23rd. Thats right, its today!! “Another Festivus Miracle”!!!

– Raghav

 

 

Things i learnt from my two year old daughter –

This is my small attempt to look at the things i learnt from my daughter

While we try to teach our children all about life, Our children teach us what life is all about — Angela Schwindt, home schooling mom

Each day you learn something, we just have to be open to idea. Fatherhood has been truly transformative experience for me. I don’t know how children do it, they make parenting exhausting and fun at the same time. Being woken up in the middle of the night to finding soft toys in my office bag, my two year old has changed the way i look at life. I have learnt things that i already knew but forgot because i was busy being an adult.

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Accept everyone with an open heart – My daughter has made our quick grocery runs to prolonged shopping cart rides. With at most enthusiasm greets everyone passing her with a “Hi!”, followed by a quick “How are you?”. There are people who stop, say hello and talk to her. There are others who don’t respond. She is relentless, she tries to get the other persons attention. Who can resist a sweet little smile, it immediately puts you at ease. You are forced to step out of your comfort zone, talk to a total stranger. Her attitude has thought me to smile/ be nice to strangers, its OK if they don’t respond. Most of the times it warms people when random strangers are nice to them, makes their day slightly better.

Always be yourself – Kids do not care who is watching, they keep doing what they want. My daughter hums her little songs while playing, something she must have picked up watching her mom. She does not care if she does not know the lyrics, how her voice sounds, what will others say. She does it for herself. We as adults think too much about how people perceive us. We worry if people will approve of it, what would they think if you took a certain decision. We should stop worrying about others and start thinking about ourselves. It is something that i am not very good myself, but slowly learning from her. It is OK to be yourself.

Do More – Make the best of a situation, be creative. Creativity is not just singing or drawing. It is ability to pursue ideas despite hurdles. My daughter transforms her little kitchen into the game she is playing. She imagines the kitchen window as a mirror when she playing dress up, the same kitchen transforms into a store or her little bakery. I am amazed at how she transforms the same plaything into countless other playthings. Make the best of a situation, if you are stuck in a traffic jam listen to a podcast,music or call a friend.

You can find happiness in little things – My daughter loves exploring things, even the shortest walks take interesting turns. She looks at the leaves, birds, squirrels, waves at the dogs. She finds happiness in watching snowfall, rain, shadow of trees, moon, even mundane things like opening mail, filling up a water bottle is extremely exciting to her. As adults we tend to become jaded, i am learning to slow it down. Enjoy your cup of tea, eat a peaceful meal, drive to a nearby park and walk, observe the beautiful gifts of nature. Everyday is a fresh start!

Attitude – My daughter has a never give up attitude. When she decides to do something, it does not matter how many times she fails, she keeps trying until she gets it right. It is interesting to see her make a mistake and then watch as she learns from it. Her goals might be small i.e. learning how to jump, climbing a chair but its a good lesson for me, as i set out my bigger goals for myself.

If you thought i went through that list without telling you my daughter’s name? Check again!! The first letter of each learning makes her name AADYA – Sanskrit word for “Power”, “The First”, “Unequaled”.

– Raghav

Butterfly Effect?

butterfly-effectButterfly effect states that a single occurrence, no matter how small, can change the course of the universe.

The concept of the butterfly effect applies to the natural world more than you think it does. Think about the where you are in life, we are all here today because of the actions and events that occurred in our lives. Some we are responsible for and for some we are not.  When we choose any action, we inadvertently set a series of future events into motion. You may feel that this is philosophical, but one can follow along with a rational perception of this theory, and it makes sense.

This story is of Phalguna my classmate while doing my bachelor’s degree. We were having some tests at the college. I finished my test and decided to head home early. I told my friend that I was heading home and can drop him off at the nearest bustop. He usually comes along, but not that day. He told me that another classmate volunteered to drop him off at his place and it would be much easier to hitch a ride home than catch a bus. I don’t remember the reason but I did not go to college the next day. I called my friend at home to ask about the classes, his mom picked up the phone and informed me that my friend met with an accident. I was shocked, and rushed to the hospital only to find that the accident was bad, he is paralyzed from the waist down. Even more shocking is that; I came to know few years back that he passed away. The other classmate who was with him came out with minimal injuries.

Looking back, I don’t know what would have happened if he came along with me, would it save him or maybe not. The accident obviously affects his family, friends, every person that would have interacted with him in future, but no longer will. It affects the other classmate as well, he would have felt guilty for the tragedy and is sure to influence him, thereby altering his future interactions.

If we can apply the idea of the butterfly effect to our own lives then maybe we can take comfort from the fact that even the smallest action, word, thought or gesture may have a ripple effect which we simply cannot perceive now. You cannot change the past but you can do something about the present and thereby altering your future.

The point? Everything you do matters. Start today!!! Try to be positive, the positive ripple will spread and impact others. Your actions will help you in some way and those who were affected positively by them will assist you and make your life better.

-Raghav