Books play different roles for different people. For some it could be a stress buster, for some it could be a source for spending time usefully, others may use it for entertainment, for gathering knowledge, as a mood-changer, companion–to each his own. But what books can also do is transform. Well, not all. But some have this impact that it stays with you long after you’ve leafed through the last page. You continue to live with it and it’s characters, you ruminate the lessons learnt and you really crave to practice them to see if the magic really works.
I took to the habit of reading quite late in life, but found myself smitten by it. So much so that I could not sleep at night until I read at least one page from a book. This love affair continued for long before life took a turn and other, bigger responsibili
ties took over. For a very long time, I tried to get back to my love, but my commitment faltered every time and I was always guilty. Until a couple of weeks ago when I downloaded and read ‘The Dalai Lama’s Cat’ by David Michie. It was so inspiring that every time I put the book down, I longed to get back to it. After a really long time, I came across a book this good.
I will not write a review of the book because that is available online but what I want to share is the power of the words that forced me to think and decide that I want to change–change for the better. What is the use if lessons learnt cannot be put into practice?
Some of the ideas that the book propounds and forced me to think are:
- Changing the way we look at circumstances, rather than
- changing the circumstances itself to bring in more happiness into life.
- The best way to bring happiness into your life is by making others happy. Be generous with spreading happiness and see how contagious it can be.
- As we think, so we become. So watch your thoughts.
- Fear prevents people from taking up actions that they know can liberate them.
- Underestimation of self and the lack of self confidence (“I can’t do it”) is referred to in Buddhism as a sign of a weak mind. This must be overcome.
- How you deal with your problems defines your future happiness/unhappiness.
- Knowledge is meant to be shared otherwise there is no point in having it.
- Karma is more like a charge, an energy that grows with time. It propels us into all kinds of situations. A small act of generosity with good intentions can reap great rewards in future.
The list is exhaustive. As I was reading on my kindle, I aggressively highlighted sections hoping to come back again and immerse myself in the inspiration that the words brought in. Sometimes, it is hard to understand if it is the words that spin magic or is it your current state of mind that inspires. Sometimes, it is also possible that with age and lessons learnt from the challenges life throws at you, you understand and agree with some basic, inherent truths. I’m not sure, if i would have enjoyed this book 20 years back. Nevertheless, I’m glad I picked it up now and I recommend this to others too, who are taking out the time to read this blog piece. I hope that with time, I will be able to imbibe some of the lessons that it had to offer.