Have you ever met Ajay Tao in the blogosphere?
I’ve met Ajay at the beginning of my blogo-journey and enjoyed his comments on my blog: always kind, encouraging and very thoughtful.
I used to follow Ajay’s blogs, including his last one – AjayTao Botanical Photography. However a year ago Ajay’s beautiful posts stopped appearing in my ‘feed’ as he passed away in August last year after a prolonged battle with cancer.
Dear Ajay. Even though you are no longer with us, your kind words are still warming my heart and your beautiful images bring joy to my eyes. Rest in peace…
They have no mouth, but seem to speak
A thousand words so mild and meek.
They have no eyes , but seem to see
And bury thoughts into me…
Poem from http://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poem/flowers
Images from AjayTao Botanical Photography
Oh, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person:
having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words,
but pour them all out, as they are, chaff and grain together,
knowing that a faithful hand will take and sift them,
keep what is worth keeping,
and then, with the breath of kindness,
blow the rest away.
~ George Eliot, 1819 – 1880 ~
Do you have such special person in your life?
“Soft words butter no parsnips”
* * *
“When I met Fred Hollows, I didn’t think I would end up on this path. He wanted someone who knew what they were doing to go to Eritrea and help set up a plant to manufacture intraocular lenses – artificial lenses that can be transplanted into people’s eyes to defeat cataract blindness and allow them to see…
An old colleague from the medical school introduced me to Fred as a scientist who could build labs in Africa and Asia, but Fred, who usually made a point of being as rude as possible, didn’t even acknowledge me.
“Yeah, but is he any bloody good?” he snorted and kept moving…
Fred had a tendency to say whatever he thought he needed to get the results he wanted. I’ve seen him with patients and he was the classic gruff, kindly old physician with them. And there was no one smarter than he was when it came to community medicine. Everybody else, though, only got to see the foulmouthed tough guy. He loved to challenge people: “Jeez you’re ugly, you’ve got a face like a hatful of arseholes,’ was a standard greeting. But he was also a supreme example of how one person can inspire people to do great things.”
* * *
( 1929 – 1993 )
“Fred Hollows was an internationally acclaimed eye surgeon and social justice activist who championed the right of all people to high quality and affordable eye care.
The Fred Hollows Foundation was established in Sydney, Australia, on 3 September 1992, just five months before Professor Fred Hollows passed away.
We have a vision of a world where no one is needlessly blind. We work to restore sight and end avoidable blindness in more than 29 developing countries across Asia, Africa and the Pacific.
Our sight-restoring work is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.
Since 1992, The Foundation has restored the sight of well over one million people around the world; in many cases all it took was a simple 20 minute operation costing as little as $25. In the last five years alone, The Foundation has also trained more than 30,000 eye health workers.”
“When someone loves you they don’t have to say it. You can tell by the way they treat you.”
People gossip for many reasons, often due to insecurity. Most gossip arises from either a misguided desire to defend oneself against another who is perceived as harmful, or in order to connect more strongly to others in our social groups.
How can gossiping be distinguished from other ways of sharing information in a social context?
Firstly, by intent. Gossipers often have the goal of building themselves up by making others look bad and exalting themselves as some kind of bearers of knowledge.
Secondly, by the type of information being shared. Gossipers speak of the faults and failings of others, or reveal potentially embarrassing or shameful details regarding the lives of others without their knowledge or approval. Even if they mean no harm, it is still gossip.
Pope Francis’s words offer us a clue as to where to draw the line between gossip and heartfelt conversation: does the conversation aim to work toward unity and reconciliation, or is its aim self-assertion or putting down others?
How can we deal with gossip?
- Before speaking, ask yourself these several simple questions mentally about what you’re about to say before speaking aloud:
- How would you like it if someone said this about you or your beloved ones?
- Is it true? Maybe it is, but is repeating it necessary?
- Is it kind? It may be true, about yourself or someone else, but if it will harm another, you have no right to repeat it.
- Is it just?
- Is it honest, compassionate, with the person’s best interest at heart?
- Does the other person need to know that?
- When speaking about other people, choose positive words. It might be fun to say a little nasty joke behind someone’s back laughing at people’s clothes, hair, careers, talent, choices, and/or emotional state. However just because things are fun and easy doesn’t mean we should do them. Challenge yourself to resist that temptation.
3. Silence is good. Don’t just talk to fill the air with conversation. Speak only when you feel that your words are better than your silence.
4. Be careful who you open up to.
5. Be indifferent to gossip about yourself. Spending time focusing on the negative things people say about you will totally damage your focus and leave you questioning yourself. In order to forge ahead and stay true to yourself, you have to not care about other people’s opinions of you or your work, unless it provides constructive criticism.
And don’t forget the feathers of gossip: once a gossip leaves someone’s mouth, no one knows where it ends up. It flies on the wings of the wind, and it is impossible to get it back.
- Gossip: The bad, the good and the ugly
- Four ways to avoid gossip
- How to not gossip
- How to avoid spreading gossip in 5 easy steps
- What is gossip anyway?
I heard your voice today, it brought a smile to my face
I heard you laugh and talk so sweet, my heart began to race
I had so much to say to you, but the words would not come out
I had so many questions, but still my heart was full of doubt
I heard your voice today, it brought me joy and so much pain
And afterwards I thought of you, while just admiring the rain
I wondered how you were doing, if things were going well
I wondered if you were happy, or living like in hell.
I heard your voice today, it was like music to my ears
It brought back many happy memories, and also several tears
I wonder if you heard my voice, heard all I was trying to say
I wonder if my pain you felt, if perhaps you felt the same way…