Table of Contents

  • Happiness: Practice Random Kindness
  • Inner Peace: Eight Rules on the Art of Living
  • Personal Effectiveness: Setting Priorities in Your Life
  • Personal Effectiveness: How to Get On Well in Your Job
  • Inner Peace: When You Are Unjustly Criticized
  • Health and Healing: The Effect of Prayer on Healing
  • Social Peace: If You Own a Gun, Read This
  • Self-Mastery: How to Conquer Procrastination
  • Inner Peace: Cut Your Worry Time by Half
  • Interpersonal Relationships: Ten Commandments of Love
  • Happiness: Making Older People Happy
  • Ecology: Using Less Wood for Housing
  • Global Peace: I Didn’t Speak Up . . .
  • Parenting: No Time for the Kids?
  • Marital Happiness: Questions for Those Getting Married
  • Resources: Peace Quotes
  • AnimalWelfare: Do You Wear Fur?
  • Inner Peace: How to Measure Your Incredible Wealth


Practice Random Kindness

Just as violence begets violence, so too does kindness beget more kindness. And you can be part of this revolution that can make this world a much better place.

A company called Playfair teaches the practice of random kindness to hundreds of college campuses. Kindness can be done individually or in groups. It can be a very simple thing, or can be done in a grand scale. Here are examples which have been done by others:

Leave thank-you notes for maintenance people
Serenade a senior citizens center
Let the person behind you in line at the grocery store go ahead of you
Leave a note to the owner of a garden expressing your appreciation for the pleasure the garden gives you when you pass by
Make a meal you can bring to the homeless people in your area
Random Kindness groups can be formed and can meet regularly.

Source: Matt Weinstein, Managing to Have Fune. Simon & Schuster, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020, U.S.A.

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Eight Rules on the Art of Living

Geoffrey Hodson, a prolific writer on spiritual and theosophical subjects, gives these guidelines based on a long and fruitful life:

Do not continually look for trouble. There are two things about which one should never worry. The first is things that cannot be altered. The second is things that can.
Learn to like to work, thus avoiding work tension arising when work is disliked.
Have a hobby which gets the mind off work tension. During work relax occasionally and briefly think of the hobby.
Learn to like people. Avoid a grudge against anyone, for this is disastrous. We have to live with people, so let us learn to like them.
Be satisfied when the situation is such that you cannot easily change it. If you cannot easily change the situation, adjust yourself to it.
Learn to accept adversity. Do not let it defeat you. Do not brood on trouble and do not wallow in self-pity.
Learn to say the cheerful, humorous thing. Never say the mean or the cruel thing. Help others to feel better and you will feel better yourself.
Meet problems with decision. Decide what you are going to do and then stop thinking about it.
In general: Keep your attitude and thinking as pleasant and as cheerful as possible.

Source: Geoffrey Hodson, Basic Theosophy. Theosophical Publishing House, Adyar, Chennai, India.

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Setting Priorities in Your Life

If you are not clear about your priorities, the likelihood is that your time is being managed by circumestances and by other people. By the end of a day or by the end of a year, you may find that you have accomplished very little. Here is a suggestion by author Merrill Douglass on how to start to take charge.

First, examine your goals. Write down your goals in a sheet of paper regardless of their importance. Then write next to each goal a letter (“A”, “B”, or “C”) to determine its importance. An “A” means the goal is very important to you, and a “C” means that it is not really that important.
Go over your “A” list and put a number after each of them according to their relative importance. Put “1” on the most important, and so on.
You may find that this is a tough job, but if you don’t do it, then you have abandoned the right to determine how you are going to spend the rest of your life.

Source: Merrill Douglass, Success Secrets: A Common Sense Guide to Lifelong Achievement. Honor Books, Inc., P.O. Box 55388, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74155, U.S.A.

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How to Get On Well in Your Job

Effectiveness in our chosen work is one of the chief sources of fulfillment in life. There is something that we can do to make our job successful and pleasant. Here are six suggestions from Robert J. Lumsden:

Always be conscientious.

See that you do not rob your employer in any way. Be punctual. Consistent lateness is daylight robbery.
Don=t waste his materials. This may be done by thoughtless appropriation for one=s purposes, or by carelessness.
Don=t waste his time through gossip, extended tea-breaks, personal jobs, private phone calls, etc.
Be the best of your ability. He engaged you on that assumption.

Improve yourself in every way. For example, try to look tidy and clean, even if your work involves getting dirty.

Take an interest in your work. Know something of the history of your job, your trade, your profession, and your firm. Visualize its future development.

Be willing. Employers like people who are willing to undertake some new job, to take on new responsibilities, to do something in addition to their actual duty. Willingness enhances the value of any employee. It is a priceless quality to be manifested by anyone aiming at promotion.

Be cheerful. Cheerfulness is closely allied to willingness and is equally valued by employers. Cheerfulness makes us likeable, it puts people on our side. Like willingness, it puts us on the royal road to advancement.

Acquire relevant skills. If you see that certain skills will help in the more efficient execution of your duties, make it your business to acquire those skills. Would typing help you? The learn to type. Public speaking? Begin to master it. Look ahead, too. What skills are possessed by your immediate superior. You will not rise to his rank easily until you too have those skills.

Source: East & West Series, 10 Sadhu Vaswani Path, Pune 411 001, India

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When You Are Unjustly Criticized

What do you do when you are unjustly criticized? Do you feel righteous indignation B and ruin the rest of your day? Here is the suggestion of best-selling author Dale Carnegie:

AI discovered years ago that although I couldn=t keep people from criticizing me unjustly, I could do something infinitely more important: I could determine whether I would let the unjust condemnation disturb me.@

Carnegie quotes the advice of Matthew C. Brush, President of the American International Corporation:

“I said to myself, >If you get your head above the crowd, you=re going to be criticized. So get used to the idea.= That helped me tremendously. From that time on, I made it a rule to do the very best I could and then put up my old umbrella and let the rain of criticism drain off me instead of run down my neck.”

Carnegie is not saying that we should ignore all criticism, but only unjust criticism.

When Lincoln was running the United States during the Civil War, he described how he handled his critics, a statement that has become a classic:

If I were to try to read, much less to answer all the attacks made on me, this shop might as well be closed for any other business. I do the very best I know how B the vest best I can; and I mean to keep on doing so until the end. If the end brings me out all right, then what is said against me won=t matter. If the end brings me out wrong, then ten angels swearing I was right would make no difference.@

Source: Dale Carnegie, How to Enjoy Your Life and Your Job. Pocketbooks, Simon & Schuster Inc., 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, N.Y., 10020, U.S.A.

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The Effect of Prayer on Healing

Cardiologist Randolph Byrd studied about 400 heart patients in the San Francisco General Hospital and found some interesting correlation between prayer and recovery.

The patients were divided into two groups, both of which receive full medical attention. The first group however was prayed for and the other was not. Their first names and a brief description of their conditions were given to various prayer groups throughout the United States.

Dr. Byrd found that the patients who were prayed for:

Were far less likely to develop congestive heart failure;
Were five times less likely to require antibiotics;
Were three times less likely to need diuretics;
Did not require endotracheal intubation (breathing tube inserted in the throat);
Fewer developed pneumonia compared to those who were not prayed for;
Fewer experienced cardiopulmonary arrest, requiring resuscitation.
Susan Smith Jones, Choose to Live Each Day Fully, Celestial Arts Publishing, P.O. Box 7123, Berkeley, CA 94707, U.S.A.

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If You Own a Gun, Read This

Do You know that on the average, in the United States:

Every 2.5 minutes – a person is injured by a gun.
Every three hours – a teenager commits suicide by the use of a gun.
Every day – a child is killed by a gun.
Every year – 30,000 people are murdered by guns, 1,500 people die as a result of gun accident, and 12,000 people commit suicide using a gun.
If you own a gun at home, or considering buying a gun, think again. Fewer lives are saved by guns in self-defense, than lives lost due to the unwise use of guns.

Source: From editorial of USA Today, quoted by Richard Zimmerman, What Can I Do to Make A Difference? Plume Boo, Penguin Books, 375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014, U.S.A.

. . . And This

Q: What do these children have in common?

Scott Feltner, 10
Erin Smith, 8
Evie Sue Hagan, 4
Walter Jones, 12
Silvio, 4
A: They are five children who were shot with handguns by other children, three fatally, in a one-week period in Florida.

Source: Richard Zimmerman, What Can I Do to Make A Difference? Plume Boo, Penguin Books, 375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014, U.S.A.

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How to Conquer Procrastination

There are two main reasons for procrastination: unpleasantness and complexity. The more common reason is unpleasantness. Ironically, the more we postpone the task, the more unpleasant it becomes. Here are tested approaches for dealing with procrastination, according to Merrill Douglass, author of Success Secrets:

When dealing with unpleasant tasks:
Do the toughest job first. Get them out of the way early.
Analyze the task. Why do you dread it? Directly confront the distasteful part.
Tackle the task in bits and pieces. Cut it down into segments you can do a few minutes at a time.
Set a deadline for yourself.
Promise others that you will complete the task by a specific time.
Reward yourself for finishing the task.
Have someone else do the task for you.
Consider the cost of delaying, and the benefit of acting now.
Complexity is the other reason for procrastinating. Here are four steps to get beyond the fear of complexity:

Break the task down into small steps.
Focus on one step at a time.
Break the steps down further, into several “mini-jobs” that can be completed in ten or fifteen minutes.
Don=t wait for the right mood; start now. Talk yourself into starting any way you can.
Source: Merrill Douglass, Success Secrets: A Common Sense Guide to Lifelong Achievement. Honor Books, Inc. P.O. Box55388, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74155, U.S.A.

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Cut Your Worry Time by Half

Surveys have shown that half of all adults say they spend up to 90 minutes a day mulling over their problems. This worrying time is not in one chunk but may be spread throughout the day.

Here are steps recommended by a team of psychologists who have effectively reduced worry among many executives:

Devote 30 minutes every day for nothing but worrying.
Avoid worrying at any time other than during the 30-minute session.
Identify exactly what is bothering you and write it down.
Imagine the very worst that could happen (and notice how rarely it does occur)

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In an experiment on 100 people who described themselves as brooders, doing the above guidelines was surprising. The people who complied were more balanced and at ease at the end of a month. Structured worrying placed their problems in perspective. Their troubles were still real, but lost much of their imposing or frightening quality.

They decreased their worry time by half: 30 minutes structured worrying plus another 15 minutes intermittent worrying throughout the day.

Source: Jim O=Brien, International Management Review. Room 906 Albion Plaza, 2-6 Granville Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hongkong.

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Ten Commandments of Love

A loving relationship does not just happen. It is something created and nurtured through the years. Leo Buscaglia has written a list of qualities that make relationships work. Rev. Joseph Galdon has selected some of them in one of his sermons and called them the Ten Commandments of Love:

Take your time. the creation of anything worthwhile takes patience and energy. You don=t build a relationship overnight.

Don=t smother each other. Never force anyone to do anything for you “in the name of love.@ Don=t feel as if you are required to spend every waking hour with those you love.

Don=t brood. Get on with living and loving. Stop going through life in self-pity and self-blame.

Exercise feelings. Feelings have meaning only as they are expressed in action. Increase tenderness and intimacy.

Forming a relationship takes a lot of looking. Grow up together constantly.

Don=t be afraid. Stop all worry. Most of what you are worried about you=ll have difficulty remembering a week later.

Learn to listen. You don=t learn anything from hearing yourself talk. See all criticism as positive, for it leads to self-evaluation. You are always free to reject it if it is unfair or does not apply. If you take time to talk together each day, you=ll never become strangers.

Don=t lose touch with the craziness in you. This, with a large dose of caring, will assure that the relationship will never be boring. Keep the child in you alive and playing. Keep laughing.

Don=t be afraid of disagreements and arguments. The only people who do not argue are people who don=t care B or are dead. After an argument is over, forget it. Learn to bend. It=s better than breaking. Watch out for little irritations. They grow into destructive monsters. Verbalize them at once. Don=t hold on to anger, hurt or pain. They steal your energy and keep you from love.

Stop playing games. A growing relationship can only be nurtured by genuineness. Stop wrestling for control. No one wins this kind of match, except divorce lawyers.

Source: Joseph A. Galdon, S.J., The Mustard Seed. Bookmark, Inc., 264 Vito Cruz Ext., Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines.

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Making Older People Happy

Most of us have elderly loved ones who will become happier if we keep these seven tips in mind:

Aid his challenges. If he wants to move to another area, be supportive rather than be a source of conflict by saying that “Little Jaime will miss you so.” For many people, retirement is not the end of the road but a chance to find new friendships a new interesting way of life. Bolster his morale by having the florist send a bouquet to his new home.

Write newsy letters. Often the most trivial details may turn out to be the most interesting.

Remember anniversaries and birthdays. The older a person gets, the more previous are his memories.

Ask his advice. If you are planning to move, change jobs, or make other arrangements in your way of life, talk it over first.

Visit often. Do not let holidays or special occasions slip by without a visit. Many elderly people say that they stay busy and in good spirits until a Sunday or holiday comes along. If you cannot visit, try calling.

Aid in adapting to change. Do not discourage new projects, part-time jobs or hobbies. Such morale builders can actually improve general health.

You can extend your own youth and vitality by helping someone else to extend his.

Source: Health and Home. Philippine Publishing House, Baesa, Caloocan City

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Using Less Wood for Housing

A typical 185-square meter wood-framed house uses about 40-50 trees. Using wood substitutes can reduce this. Here are some alternatives mentioned by Armando Ang in his book Saving the Trees:

Use plywood or veneered particle boad instead of solid wood. Although they are made of wood fiver and glue, these products use valuable materials to advantage.
Try to use plantation-grown woods and avoid seriously depleted species, such as narra.
Walls can be constructed with “rammed earth,” the material used in building the Great Wall of China and homes to 1.5 billion people around the world. It is an ancient technique where moistured mineral soil is placed in a mold and compressed to harden it.
Agricultural waste such as straw can be used as a buiding material. Jerry Miller’s contribution to straw-bale technology involves spraying a mixture of concrete and sand onto stacked and braced bales, which are used as insulating materials.
Another substitute is Easiboard, developed by Pierce Parker, which involved heating and compressing straws into two-and-a-quarter inch panels and then covering them with paper. Since straw has its own adhesive properties, no glue or resin is needed. It is designed to replace walls of two-by-fours and plasterboard.
Source: Armand Ang, Saving the Trees, Bookman Printing House, Inc., 373 Quezon Avenue, Quezon City, Philippines

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I Didn=t Speak Up . . .

Marin Neimoeller, a German Lutheran pastor who was arrested by the Gestapo and sent to a concentration camp in Dachau in 1938, wrote this piece about individual action:

AIn Germany, the Nazis first came for the communists, and I didn=t speak up because I wasn=t a communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn=t speak up because I wasn=t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn=t speak up because I wasn=t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn=t speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left to speak for me.@

He was freed by the Allied forces in 1945.

Source: Richard Zimmerman, What Can I Do to Make A Difference? Plume Boo, Penguin Books, 375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014, U.S.A.

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No Time for the Kids?

Many busy career persons find themselves saying that they just don’t have enough time for the family anymore. They may be investing much time for their career but they may find that they may be heading towards a disaster course. When the family begins to fall apart, the career will begin to lose value and significance.

A secret suggested by author Bob Harrison is to schedule family time and activities the same as business appointments are scheduled. They are not less important.

And when you are there, “don’t just place your physical body in their presence. Let them also have your mind.”

Quality time is when you and your children are enjoying yourselves together. Take the effort to discover or reawaken your sense of fun when you are with your family. This is one of the most fulfilling investments you can make.

Lee Iacocca, legendary Chairman of Chrysler Corporation, said: “Of all the jobs I’ve had in my life, none has been more important to me than my job as a dad. I’ve always felt that when I die, if I can say I’ve done well by my family, then I’ve lived a full and good life.”

Source: Bob Harrison, Power Points for Success. Honor Books, P.O. Box 55388, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74155, U.S.A.

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Questions for Those Getting Married

Here are nine sets of questions suggested by Earnest Tan that will help young people to decide whether they are ready for marriage:

Time. Do we know each other long enough to realize each other’s strengths and weaknesses, interests and values?
Approval. Do we get the nod and approval of important people in our lives in the sense that they can see we are becoming better persons as a result of the relationship? (People in love do not usually see themselves objectively.)
Communication. Do we share openly with each other and feel we can talk easily about many things? Do we know how to work out our disagreements and conflicts, including how to express feelings, listen to one another, an to make the other feel we could truly understand his or her point of view?
Friendship. Do we really enjoy each other’s company, including our friends and family members? Does our relationship help us grow to be better persons?
Vision. Do we include each other in our dreams and aspirations for the future? Do we project how each of us would be like 10, 20, 50years for now and still would like the other? Do we see each other’s weaknesses and project if we could live with these?
Jealousy/Possessiveness. Do we become so emotionally dependent on each other that we do not allow space for other persons in our life? Do we discourage growth for the other in terms of friendship and career?
Values. Do we share similar values, priorities, and morals? If not, do we at least respect each other’s viewpoint and can we discuss alternatives by which we can agree without necessarily compromising your and my position?
Trust. Do we have full confidence with each other? Do we manifest ourselves to be dependable in terms of being truthful and open and honest? Do we feel assured of the other’s support and affection?
Commitment. Do we feel we are ready to pledge our love for one another publicly? Do we feel ready to take responsibility for each other? Do we feel ready to risk in partaking of whatever consequences our relationship will involve?
If you can respond affirmatively to these nine items, then there is more solid ground from which you can consider marriage as an option.

Source: Earnest L. Tan, How to Attract Love. Spiritus Works Publication, P.O. Box 24, Murphy District Post Office, 1110 Quezon City, Philippines.

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Peace Quotes

Men are born unequal. The great benefit of society is to diminish this inequality as much as possible by procuring for everybody security, the necessary property, education, and succor. — JOSEPH RUSSELL LOWELL

The test of democracy is not whether the minority is tolerated. — WILLIAM TEMPLE

If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, that he if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind. — JOHN STUART MILL

The most important single ingredient . . .

. . . in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people. — ANONYMOUS

There is no more evil thing in this present world than race prejudice, none at all! I write deliberately — it is the worst single thing in life now. It justifies and holds together more obscene cruelty and abomination than any other sort of error in the world. — H.G. WELLS

Prejudice is not held agianst people because they have evil qualities. Evil qualities are imputed to people because prejudices are held against them. — MARSHALL WINGFIELD

Two things a man should not be angry at: what he can help, and what he cannot help. — AUTHOR UNKNOWN

The World is a better place to live in . . .
. . . because it contains human beings who will give up ease and security and stake their own lives in order to do what they themselves think worth doing. They do the useless, brave, noble, the divinely foolish and the very wisest things that are done by man. And what they prove to themselves and to others is that man is no mere automation in his routine, but that in the dust of which he is made there is also fire, lighted now and then by great winds from the sky. — WALTER LIPPMAN

My definition of a free society is a society where it is safe to be unpopular. — ADLAIR STEVENSON

And God created the world . . .
. . . and He created man and woman. And then to keep the whole thing from collapsing, He created humor. — ERNIE HOBERECHT

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Do You Wear Fur?

If you wear fur or any clothing material from animal sources, take a moment to think how your fur was derived. First, they have to trap the animal, such as beavers, rabbits, foxes, coyotes, seals, opossums, etc. When these are trapped, one out of four Achews off his or her own leg or foot to escape, but those who drag themselves away from the traps often die later of blood loss, predation, or infection. Trapped animals who do not die before the trapper arrives are shot, beaten, or stomped to death; trappers are taught to stand on the animal=s chest and yank the hind legs out, crushing the lungs.@

Beauty without cruelty is more beautiful.

Source: Ingrid Newkirk, Save the Animals! Warner Books, Inc. 666 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10103, U.S.A.

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How to Measure Your Incredible Wealth

If you want to know how rich you are, here is a suggestion from Dale Carnegie:

Would you sell your eyes for a billion dollars?
What would you take for your two legs?
Your hands?
Your hearing?
Your children?
Your family?
Add up your assets, and you will find that you won=t sell what you have for all the gold ever amassed by the Rockefellers, the Fords and the Morgans combined.

But do we appreciate all this? Ah, no. As Schopenhauer said: AWe seldom think of what we have but always of what we lack.@ Thinking of what we lack has probably caused more misery than all the wars and diseases in history.

About 90% of things in our lives are right and about 10% are wrong, says Dale Carnegie. If we want to be happy, all we have to do is to concentrate on the ninety percent that right and ignore the ten percent that are wrong. If we want to be worried and bitter and have stomach ulcers, all we have to do is to concentrate on the ten percent that are wrong and ignore the ninety percent that are glorious.@

Source: Dale Carnegie, How to Enjoy Your Life and Your Job. Pocketbooks, Simon & Schuster Inc., 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, N.Y., 10020, U.S.A.

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Prepared by:
Peace Center
Theosophical Society in the Philippines