Five Quotes I love and live by

The topic of choosing this month is "5 Quotes I love and live by".
Chosen by: Swapna Shirwalkar
Our pack is growing and we're now a group of 8 spirited individuals! More people, more fun, more perspective, more discussions and emails ! I thought choosing 5 quotes would be easy, but 5 favorites is one thing, 5 quotes I love and live by is a whole different ballgame. Here's my pick.

1. Whatever happens, happens for the best.
I do not know if that's an original quote in English, but in Hindi we have this saying "Jo bhi hota hain acche ke liye hota hain". We all pass through hundreds of decisions every day, some minor some ultra-major ones - life changing events - going back to India, filing for visa, resigning from a job, joining a new organization, making friends, letting someone go, forgiving forgetting and so on. Each of these no matter how minute cause us to think and then possibly think back later too and wonder if what we did was right. I have done that so many times. Double guessed my own decisions. But most times, whatever decisions I took with all heart are the ones I stayed with. It’s easy to say this, but to live by it is a struggle at times, I must admit. Every time something appears bleak and I teeter on the verge of regret, I have to really convince myself that I will see that silver lining pretty soon. So far I haven't been disappointed.

2. The grass is always greener on the other side.
Contradictory to the one above, don't you think? How can one always crib about the grass being greener on the other side and yet agree that whatever happens, happens for the best? That’s because we are innately human, we have this tendency to want, to aspire, to achieve more. When I was working, I wanted to take a break from work and do other things. When I was home for a year, I couldn't wait to get back to work. That's basic human psychology. So yes, many a times, my days start out like those too, but in the grand scheme of things #1 trumps #2 every time !

3. Opportunity never knocks twice
Easier said than done. This was a quote that I remember from the days I was growing up. I don't know how much of it I live by, but this is certainly something I believe. On the same lines, when one door closes, another opens, but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one that has opened for us. I try to keep up as much as I can. When I was home, I volunteered at the school - taught Math, taught Computer Skills to foreign immigrants, volunteered at the library. We've been to a lot of places in US, I love to travel, shamefully though I haven't visited too many countries, have gone skydiving, snorkeling, am trying to learn swimming, there's a whole bunch of things I still have to do ! It’s important to use the time and achieve everything you want to, be it something as simple as learning a new recipe. We never know if/when we would get another chance. I must admit I haven't always be able to "grab" these opportunities, especially those times when I mope around having lost the chance to do something else. But I'm trying!

4. "Neki kar dariya mein daal"
Now this is a quote, which I am not sure if it exists in English or not. It’s a very heartfelt saying that has always appealed to me, especially in the recent times. Basically, what it means is that "Do your bit and do not have any expectations from anyone around the outcome". Everything around us has become high-tech these days, friendships have moved online to social networking sites like Facebook, there are more "Facebook" friends and real friends talk rarely (even though when that rare talk does occur, it does not feel that way, it’s always as if nothing changed!). Families meet lesser and lesser by the day, demands at work ever-increasing, people have become more demanding and materialistic. In the midst of all this, relationships have taken a beating. I have slowly acclimatized to the fact, that just because I do a lot for someone or try to be a great friend to someone doesn't mean I have a great friend back. If I try and help someone in their time of need, does not mean that he/she would be around later on when I have a need. If I have that expectation, then I am not acting in the spirit of friendship/helping. So, I do my bit and forget about the rest. And no, that does not make me bitter. It just makes me understand people around me better. Except for immediate family and my closest friends, for all my acquaintances, this quote has started to seem more and more apt. “No expectations” is definitely a good way to go.

5. Be the change you want to see in the world.
Said Mr. M.K. Gandhi. And it is so true. A simple task can get delayed if you wait around for someone else to do it. I remember of a story in my Dad's Hindi textbook (when he had to take mandatory Hindi classes since he was in BARC) of 3 brothers who are farmers and a sparrow that builds a nest in their tree. After waiting around for his 2 elder brothers to get rid of the nest so the birds don’t destroy the crops, the 3rd brother finally has to do it himself. It is reality. Be it a "daily chore" task or a policy change, a way of life change, protesting against something unfair, doing something righteous, choosing the right path, helping someone, whatever be the "work", we have to do it and be fair ourselves. We talk about India having "baggage" in terms of corruption, cleanliness issues, littering, infrastructure etc. How are we ourselves ensuring that we do not accidentally/intentionally contribute to the wrong doing? Meager support of Anna Hazare is not going to solve it. We have to pledge ourselves to the cause too. Do not litter. Do not bribe. In other words, Be the Change!

I would love to hear your views!


  1. Good choice of quotations... All apt to inspire you and learn to live by them...

    1. Yeah well, there's quotation you absolutely live by and there's quotations you TRY to live by. Even in the subconscious, all of the above is still an attempt! Nowhere close to living by!

  2. Uncanny .. but our thoughts have a lot of similarity :-) .... I completely agree with # 5 ... reminds me of the song 'we keep on waiting , waiting, waiting for the world to change' ... # 4 is the ideal way to live people say but it doesn't gel with me .... there is a give an take in everything

    1. Like always :)
      As far as #4 goes, I try to follow but it isn't easy. Its mostly the last step after getting all frustrated!

  3. Swati: Still a struggle at times, I dont see myself really "getting there" where I can live by them 100% of the time, but its working fine so far :)

    Sonali: I know!!! And this isnt the first time its happening either!!! :) Yes, I agree with you too that there should be a give and take in everything, but then at times I look for the "give" and if there's nothing I get irritated. With the "no expectations" approach its giving me a better peace of mind!

  4. I stand by No 4 too, its always better not to have expectations at all. But I also use this sarcastically sometimes when someone doesnt appreciate what I have done for them :)

  5. Hey Deepa, I think the intent of quote#2 is to warn you that the grass on the other side always looks greener, so be happy with what you other words, a subset of quote#1. And actually I feel quote#3 is the one that conflicts quote#1 :)

  6. LOL! Turns out I only accidentally discovered the Reply button today and that I could reply to individual comments :) So am enjoying the feature now. Don't be surprised if you see replies to comments for which I had already responded earlier, by way of another comment!


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