Sunday, July 3, 2016

"Do You Feel Useful?"

"Do You Feel Useful?"
by Paulo Coelho

"Ask a flower in the field: ‘Do you feel useful? After all, you do nothing but produce the same flowers over and over?’ And the flower will answer: ‘I am beautiful, and beauty is my reason for living.’ Ask the river: ‘Do you feel useful, given that all you do is to keep flowing in the same direction?’ And the river will answer: ‘I’m not trying to be useful, I’m trying to be a river.’

Nothing in this world is useless in the eyes of God. Not a leaf from a tree falls, not a hair from your head, not even an insect dies because it was of no use. Everything has a reason to exist. Even you, the person asking the question. ‘I’m useless’ is the answer you give yourself. Soon that answer will poison you and you will die while still alive, even though you still walk, eat, sleep and try to have a little fun whenever possible. Don’t try to be useful. Try to be yourself: that is enough, and that makes all the difference."

"Feeling Useful"
by Rohan Rajiv

"One of the little things I realized is that I feel happy when I feel useful. Of course, this shouldn’t be all that surprising. Happiness and meaning have been showed to be very closely linked since time immemorial. The only issue with that is that ‘meaning’ is a big word, and one whose meaning is not all that easy to understand and apply (ironically enough). It seems like we, as humans, share the need to wake up in the morning and do what we do knowing that if we decided not to show up tomorrow, we would be missed, hopefully sorely missed, not only for what we do but also for who we are. To simplify further, we share the need to be feel useful and feel loved. Of course, the debate takes a new twist once we get down to understand what if we are useful/loved and don’t feel so. Too bad. Doesn’t count.

The wonderful part is that one half of this is entirely in our control. We have so many options  to feel useful- if the feeling isn’t coming from our work, we have more opportunities than ever before to participate and do thanks to this wonderful internet thing. (in addition to all those opportunities that already exist, of course!) Of course, while the internet could mean the not-so-useful side of Facebook, Twitter and the like, it could also mean volunteering for not-for-profits, building online teams to work on initiatives, teaching kids steeped in poverty via the internet. Two sides to every coin after all.

We have the power. With that, comes great responsibility.. We can choose to make it count. ‘Looking for excuses, you are? Gone, they are. Left them behind 10 years ago, we did.’"

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