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“You are only as weak as your strongest link; this is only half the truth. You are also as strong as your strongest link”: Khalil Gibran.


Lesson 01
Woolathil irikarar alaga, mogathalai katidum=Where there is great beauty on the inside of you, it will be sure to shine through on the outside.

How profound a message, in my mother-tongue: Tamil, and how absolutely true. I have seen this in so many people I have met on my extensive travels, be it in the rural parts of India, Juba in the South of Sudan or in the hip and happening streets of New York.

I have been admonished by many friends and family alike, that I tend to go through life wearing my proverbial rose tinted glasses. I tend to agree with this notion as I try very hard to embrace the lessons taught to me by my parents, to try and see the good in others and to look for the positive even in the worst of situations.


Lesson 02
Velai Poora Onra ponathai kayil varamalai=when something as precious and as rare as a white dove leaves your hands; it will be near impossible for it to return to your hands.

Lines from a famous Tamil song, which advises us to remember to treasure all that is valuable and by this they did not mean material things but rather, relationships and things that truly matter in the end.


Lesson 03
Ke Sera Sera = whatever will be, will be.

This line from another famous Spanish song was one of my mom’s personal favorites. She always encouraged us to embrace whatever challenges came our way and to take each day as it comes with a modicum of control, and the knowledge that something greater and much more powerful was shaping our individual destinies.


Lesson 04
Si Amas Algo, dejalo libre. Si regressa es tu jo, si no noncu la fue = When you love something, set it free. If it comes back to you it’s yours. If it doesn’t, then it never was…

I believe, this was a Spanish poster my parents saw on their own travels. Both my parents loved languages and the sheer power of language.  I hope I have done them justice by capturing the correct words, spelling etc. – purely from my own traipse down memory lane…


Lesson 05
Se ne pluis de changement es tu restent le maime = the more things change, the more they stay exactly the same.

The famous French saying that said “sometimes over an extensive period of time things appear to change, but do they really?”


Lesson 06
Never re-heat yesterday’s dinner for breakfast.

It is another quote my mom reminded us of on a regular basis. If a problem was discussed and then resolved, there was absolutely no need to bring it up over and over again.


Lesson 07
Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson and Albert Einstein (Jackson Brown).

My parents were big on calling; visiting and caring for all those around them – both family and friends alike. They passed this on to us. In a time where there is little communication, in and among people, I still make sure I call my relatives; make the time to visit friends; and ensure that I try to be there for anyone that needs me. This habit I got directly from my folks. I simply followed the sterling example set by them in their daily lives.


Lesson 08
On baggage

My parents always felt that you should share freely your sense of both heritage and history with your children, but that you should try not to share your baggage – for it is not theirs to carry through life.


Lesson 09
You definitely cannot change your PAST, and you certainly will not be able to predict your FUTURE, BUT you can ruin a perfectly good PRESENT by being stuck in either! (Anon).





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