I hail from the family of Priests and Pastors in India. My tryst with “Om” and its significance in my life is immense. From early childhood, I was taught how to chant it with correct diction and feel so that it would bring my mind, soul, and body in unison with the vibrations of the chant.
I used to be an over active child and would never sit in one place to study or do anything with concentration and single-minded focus. The chanting of Om made my mind calm, it helped me focus on my studies and made me aware of my surroundings.
Continue reading The Power of Om – by Sridhar Rangaswamy
As a child, on Easter Sunday, my mother had my clothes neatly pressed laid on the bed. My wardrobe consisted of a light knee length dress, normally sky blue or ivory, with white socks, and white patten leather shoes. She’d tie a light blue ribbon in my hair and hand me rosary beads to place in my tiny white purse. Then my parents, brother and I went to church. I had been too young to understand the importance of the day. All I cared about was getting home to my basket of chocolate and toys. After mass we’d go to my grandmother’s house for pasta with simmering tomato sauce cooking on the stove and a rack of lamb with fresh garlic hot in the oven. It filled the room with a delectable aroma. Year after year we continue the same food tradition, not the wardrobe, and spend it with family. But this year may be different…
I’ve seen movies about it and even wondered if it could happen, but to live it, is surreal. Easter is April 12th. Will we be with family? Will anyone be able to spend it with their family or go to church? With Covid-19 aka Corona Virus across the world, who knows?
Continue reading Will there be an Easter in 2020? – by Lisa M. Scuderi-Burkimsher
Do you recall the first time you stepped into an international business reception at a major hotel and found yourself amidst a sea of Asian faces? If so, you may also have noticed a diversity of Asian cultures and conversations in some incomprehensible languages: Cantonese Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Malay, Mandarin Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, and perhaps others. If you have been put off when people in your presence have spoken a language other than English, you are not alone.
Continue reading Understanding Asian American Communication — by Dr. Julia Wai-Yin So
Editor’s Note: Two of the Interfaith Advisors of the ADR New Beginnings project offer inspirational words during these difficult times. All of us are praying for the health and well-being of so many and for better times around the planet.
A Light in the Darkness – by Robyn Lebron
Fear of the unknown is very common; something we’ve all experience, I’m sure. I remember when my daughter was leaving a 200-student middle school, and going to a 2,500-student high school. She was terrified that she would be “lost all the time” until I reminded her that her favorite mall was twice that size, and she was never lost there!
The “little child” in us rears it’s head when situations arise that we feel unprepared for. But as we pass through the eye of the storm, something miraculous happens! When human beings are faced with difficult situations, they rise to extraordinary heights! The spirit inside us blossoms and we become the beings we are meant to be. The sight of another person or community in need erases all those childlike fears, and we expose our “superman” uniforms!
Continue reading Pandemic Thoughts – by Robyn Lebron and Sridhar Rangaswamy
During Women’s History Month we pause to remember and celebrate the achievements of iconic women who positively contributed to shaping the social fabric of America.
One such woman is the spectacular singer, Aretha Franklin. She is still affectionately known as the “Queen of Soul” to her countless millions of fans and others worldwide who span generations of every race, color, gender, age and ethnicity.
Continue reading Women’s History Month Tribute to the Queen of Soul – by Elwood Watson
We relish lounging by the lake,
watching emerald waves lap
the shallow, grass-lined shore,
summer breeze caressing our faces,
nestled under canopy of oak leaves.
Hearing the cluttered world stutter
and slow its mind-numbing whirl
on a tilted, groaning axis.
Continue reading Praise Song for Lake and Love – Wesley Sims
There are many different beliefs regarding “Valentine’s Day,” and the most popular one is the celebration of love. When it became commercial; buying boxes of heart shaped chocolates and red roses, is irrelevant. I want to share with my readers why this day is so important to me.
When I was young, every year my father would come home with a box of chocolate for my mother and a beautiful card that she’d tear over. (A bit dramatic for my taste, even as a child, but I wasn’t the one reading the card and at the young age of seven, I didn’t care to.) My father would also buy me a little gift. One year he bought a little heart nick knack and I loved it. I kept it on my dresser and the red clashed with my pink bedroom walls. When my brother got older, he’d buy my mother and me a card and gift. The year he gave us both a porcelain nick knack of a little girl wearing a white dress with long braided blond hair holding a red heart against her chest, I hugged him and had been so thankful. I still have that porcelain girl today. Even at that age, those gifts had more feeling than chocolate or flowers and that’s when the day became special, until it became more so when I met my husband…
Continue reading Special Valentine’s Day – by Lisa M. Scuderi-Burkimsher
Education helps in enlightening our minds and intellect and makes us think differently. Education together with sound moral values and righteous behavior can lead the muse of an excellent superstructure. Education may be a steppingstone to success. It helps us connect and form a bond with individuals from different walks of life.
I come from a rustic that places emphasis and prominence on education and helping others to grow and develop to their full potential. I try and be unique and distinctive and step into the domain and realm of unknown, a path few embark upon. The Tech field, where I work every now and then, can be very dry, dull, and boring. So I dabble in fun things and comedy to boost and invigorate the environment, making the concept of learning and teaching more enjoyable and pleasurable.
Continue reading Education and Moral Values – by Sridhar Rangaswamy
When we have waltzed to cherry blossoms,
tangoed to tulips and daffodils,
jived to peonies and irises
and Spring has scattered her vestments to the wind,
it is time.
We meet beneath the Callery pear
and you shake her branches
while I pirouette in petal rain,
twirling and giggling
until I fall into your arms.
Image Credit: The “Lovers-Dancing-Silhouette” (designed by Vexels) has been colorized and superimposed on “Cherry Blossom Tree For Your Garden” (toplandscapedesign.com)
India’s hottest month,
table and ceiling fans work overtime,
never catching breath
as they drown out conversation.
I grow shadows, push
amorphous shapes down my mouth.
Children pitch tents in my uvula,
teach me how to be alive again.
May arrives each year
granting me permission to
slink away from the past,
gathering up skeletons
of discarded seconds.
Citation: Mumbai skyline (Rinsol.com) is superimposed on abstract art of Steve Johnson (Unsplash.com)