Wednesday 26 July 2017

#Appearances can be #deceptive

Today, I have two stories for you. Both of them are true. Here's the first one:

Maxwell Morrison was well and truly screwed. He was standing in a courtroom in Bangkok, waiting for his sentence. The offence was drug trafficking, and if found guilty, the sentence would be life in one of the most horrific prisons in the world. The problem was that Maxwell was innocent. the drugs had been found stashed in a musical instrument he had agreed to carry through the checkpoint for a woman who had appeared to have her hands full with a baby, two young children and a whole lot of hand luggage. Of course, the moment the sniffer dogs singled him out for special attention, the woman and her children evaporated into thin air.

He had tried to explain this to the judge in his super-fast-track case, which had so far lasted less than 45 minutes, but the prosecution had countered by pointing out that it would take a very stupid person indeed to be suckered into carrying anything through a security checkpoint for a stranger - especially in this modern post-9/11 world. They had also pointed out that back home in Nottingham, Maxwell was a police officer. A security expert, who could never be as naïve as he was now pretending to be. Maxwell's only counter-argument to that had been, "Appearances can be deceptive". The Judge had given him the strangest look when he said that.

No, things were certainly not going well for him in this case. His only witness had been a British passenger who had seemed a bit drunk during her testimony. She admitted she had seen the woman hand the instrument to Maxwell, but added that they appeared to be travelling together. Again, Maxwell's defence was, "Appearances can be deceptive".

He remembered with irony the first time he had actually heard the expression "Appearances can be deceptive". It was in the eighties. He was a teenager going through a punk rock phase. He wore nothing but black, had multiple body piercings and was always playing with a scary-looking flip-knife. All the kids in school were afraid of him and steered well clear. One afternoon when he was enjoying some peace and quiet behind the boat shed, listening to Grateful Dead on his walkman, he heard a commotion. Three kids were bullying a foreign student. They were about to throw the little kid into the river, and the poor boy kept crying, "Please! Please, I can't swim!"

Maxwell intervened. At first, the three bullies wanted to fight it out, but Maxwell was a good three inches taller than the tallest of them. Plus, he had his knife, and he made them believe he was happy to use it. So they dropped the little foreign boy and went off to find a new victim. Maxwell asked the relieved kid if he was alright. The boy adjusted his glasses, looked at Maxwell for a long moment and said, "Appearances can be deceptive".

"Why do you say that?" Maxwell asked.

"Well, everybody thinks you're scary. Some kids even said you stabbed a teacher once. You're the last person I'd have expected to come to my aid. But thank you for doing so. I would have drowned if you hadn't. In Thailand where I come from, you owe the person who saves your life an eternal debt which you spend the rest of your life paying back. My name is Tran Pack, and I will never forget what you did for me." With that, he shook Maxwell's hand and ran off.

Back in the Bangkok courtroom, Maxwell allowed himself a wry smile as he recalled that childhood episode. Thirty years after he saved a Thai kid's life, he was now a 45-year old policeman, about to spend the rest of his own life in a Thai prison, all because appearances can be deceptive. He snapped out of his reflections as the judge banged his gavel three times. It was time for the verdict.

And that's where I'll end the first story. Here's the second story.

Judge Tran Pack could not believe his eyes when Maxwell Morrison walked into his courtroom. Thirty two years had not done much to change his appearance, so Tran recognised him at once. He listened patiently for 45 minutes and then banged his gavel three times before giving the verdict. "Mr Morrison, appearances can indeed be deceptive. Not guilty. You're free to go."

And that is the end of the second story.

My people, I know I don't need to say much more about the lessons from these two stories. As you live your lives, please take every opportunity to do something unforgettable for someone who can't pay you back today. They'll pay you back tomorrow with interest.

Kindness is not a debt you pay, but an investment you make.



Tuesday 18 July 2017


The lion couple was away leaving the little cubs behind in the den.

The cubs were hungry and were crying for mother. A goat, in her motherly instinct, had pity on them and fed them with her own milk.

After it she started playing with them, so that they do not go far from the den.

After some time, the parents came back. Seeing the goat, they wanted to kill it. But the cubs shouted, don't kill. She saved us by her own milk.

The lions were very pleased and let the goat go.

Thereafter the goat became a friend of the lions. She even reached for leaves in the high branches standing on the back of the lion.

A hawk was very impressed seeing the goat's relation with the lions.

It asked the goat, how could you be a friend of the lions?

The goat said, I had once saved the cubs, and the lions are still grateful.

The hawk thought, I also will save souls in distress. One day, during heavy rains, it saw some small mice struggling to survive. It took them under its wings. The mice were saved.

When rain stopped, the mice left, but the hawk discovered that when they were under his wings, they cut all the feathers.

The hawk was unable to fly. He asked the goat, I saved their lives, but they left me crippled.

You had saved life of cubs and all the lions are still grateful to you. Why is it so?

The goat replied, if you want gratitude, help lions, not mice. Only the lion hearted reciprocate, not mouse hearted.

You can not expect lion's character in mice.




Friday 7 July 2017


*Creativity and Ideas Need Action for Success*

At first a balloon is flat. You could have it in your pocket or in the middle of a book and nobody has any idea of what you are keeping. Sometimes you could hold it in your hands without anybody noticing what you have.

But the moment you blow air into it steadily, it becomes impossible for you to put it in the middle of your book like you did earlier! Once you start blowing the balloon, you cannot fold it in your hands as you did before! Everybody around you begins to notice the balloon. They begin to pay attention to its colors and its size.

This is how the life of a man is supposed to be. When you have an idea, it may first be in your book or on a sheet of paper in your hands and isn't seen by anybody. But when you start to blow creativity into your idea, people begin see it. It also becomes impossible for you, the visionary, to hide the idea.

The idea attracts attention itself. Just like all the balloon needs to start receiving attention is consistent air, all your idea needs is consistent creativity blown into it.

Air sustains the balloon as long as there is no place for air to escape. Your business also thrives as long as creativity is not allowed to escape.

The balloon traps air inside to be able to exhibit its real size and at the same time it takes advantage of the air to move up. The breeze does not often favor the balloon but the balloon still takes advantage of the breeze to dance in the air. You and I know so well that the balloon might be fully blown but it does not move if there is no breeze to carry it.

*You do not have to start with money. Start with what's on your mind.*

There are people who have ideas and are waiting for money to start. What amazes me is that there are people who have money and are waiting for ideas so that they can invest their money! If money really gets things started, the people who have money would not look for ideas.

You may also be interested in the fact that the balloon lasts longer because of its flexibility. When it hits anything, its direction changes.

When you hit a hard rock, while sailing through life, don't stay put. Don't say it's the end of the road. There's a long way to travel beyond the rock.

When the balloon is pressed, it bends and flips because of pressure. Learn to endure. Use pressure to bend and flip to the next level.

The route a balloon or your life takes isn't going to be straight. Like an alphabet written on a straight line, you have to go zigzag before picking the letters that form success. I know you can be a success!