Do Cartoons Spell D.A.N.G.E.R.?

Cartoons are part of a child’s life. Whether watching cartoons is good or bad has been debated much as well.

One of the positive elements said about cartoons is that it helps a child learn words, especially English, at a very early age quite effortlessly. This happens when the child listens to cartoons and picks up words and phrases and repeats them.

Another positive is that many cartoons often depicting animals convey stories containing morals. This can help in the development of the child’s personality in a very positive sense.

As far as the attitude of parents is concerned, they opt for their children to watch cartoons so that they will be able to do something without children interrupting them. This is not good in the long run. Ideally, parents should make a deliberate effort to spend quality time with their children. They can play with them, go for visiting places together or even go shopping.

In other words, allowing the television and cartoons to take the role of parents spells D.A.N.G.E.R.

The danger of cartoons is that they invade every available space. Try going shopping for the needs of your children. Be it a snacks box, a pencil box, a bag or name slip, or rain coat or whatever else you can name, you get stuff with cartoon characters printed on it. Quite evidently it is a clever marketing technique employed.

Another danger is that cartoons introduce children to a world of violence at a very impressionable age. Many cartoons have violent fights. This definitely influences children. And some cartoons contain violence for which no punishment is given. Both the one who does the violence and the one who prevents it appear in all episodes. So what message does that convey about evil and violence in the real world?

Some parents have raised the concern that their children don’t listen to anything they say. But if they tell their children that this is how this particular cartoon character would like you to behave, they immediately obey. This trend is very dangerous because a child is giving more authority to a cartoon character than his or her real parents.

Again children who watch violent cartoons can easily show aggressive behaviour. They might try to imitate certain ways in which their favourite cartoon character reacts to situations. Such behaviour may not be acceptable to other children playing with them. This can cause friction and tension between children. It can become ugly if parents take sides and families get involved.

Yet another point is what cartoons do to a child’s imagination. Cartoons easily draw boundary lines in a child’s mind. A child easily thinks and acts the way his or her favourite cartoon does. It is very difficult for him or her to exercise creativity in more imaginative ways. In that sense the child is limited by the imaginativeness of the cartoons he watches.

On further thought there is the mixing up of reality and fiction. When children see cartoon characters jump from high rise buildings to the ground and suffer no harm, they can get a false notion that they too can do it and survive. Similar is the case when they see a lot of shooting and fight with lethal weapons.

And if parents watch cartoons with a very critical eye, they will see that a lot of subtle or subliminal messages about attractive dressing, boy girl relationships, supernatural and evil forces etc. are conveyed through cartoons which may not prove healthy for their children.

To conclude, let me remind that cartoons will be with us for a long time. Today’s generation grows up with images and catch phrases of cartoon characters all around them.

The challenge is whether parents will yield their moral leadership to cartoons or not. If parents can spend quality time with their children and help them discern what is good and what is bad; then there is hope for kids to have a better tomorrow.

Jesus Christ of Nazareth!

1 Minute Speech for Children on Respect

Respected Teachers and my dear friends,

A warm good morning to one and all.

We all use the word respect quite often. But what does it mean? It means esteem for the worth or excellence of a person.

First of all we should respect ourselves. Each one of us is created in God’s image. Each one of us is unique—a very special creation of God. Therefore each one of us should value ourselves highly.

Secondly we should respect our elders. It includes our parents, elders, and teachers. In doing so we are respecting not only their age but their wisdom and the good they have done to society.

Thirdly we should respect the law, our government, our nation, our national anthem and our national flag. We should always remember with thanks all those people who sacrificed so much for our nation’s freedom.

Finally let it be noted that love and respect go hand in hand. The Bible says that a husband should love and respect his wife and the wife in turn must respect her husband.

So let us respect all people who come our way–even those who hold a different opinion than ours!

Thank you.
Jesus Christ of Nazareth!

“However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband” — St. Paul (Ephesians 5:33 Bible).
Husbands, in the same way be considerate as your live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers” — St. Peter (1 Peter 3:7 Bible).

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2 Minute Speech for School Children on The Importance of English!
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A Sample Speech for School Kids on Humility
Tips for Compering

The Awesome Power of Decisions!

No one can live without making decisions. But it is better to say that no one can move forward without learning to communicate decisions. It involves responsibility.

Some try to skip the responsibility of taking decisions by allowing the toss of a coin or some similar gimmick to decide for them. Though it is an easy method when choices involved are neither critical nor unduly important, it should not be made a habit.

Instead, one has to learn to make decisions. That does not mean that one graduates in decision-making at any point in life. But as you mature you tend to make more wise decisions. Of course, mistakes are a definite possibility in decision-making. But not all mistakes are as life-threatening as choosing between cutting a red or blue wire in a ticking time bomb not knowing which one spells life and which one spells death.

Therefore the possibility of making a wrong decision should not freeze the decision-making process. Instead one should utilize any time available to weigh the pros and cons of a decision. Then one has to arrive at a wise decision. Also it would be wise to foresee the possibilities of redeeming the situation if the decision you take turns out to be not the best.

If at all things go wrong, instead of blaming it on others, the weather, or fate, it is best to take the responsibility. Only when you do so would you retain the respect of others and also have the courage to find a solution to the mess you created. Such a responsible attitude will bring forth hidden creativity in you. It will enable you to make amends and emerge better and stronger out of the chaos caused by wrong decisions. Who knows, the learning experience of today’s mistake might give you insight to make a major decision correctly tomorrow!

Another difficulty in decision-making comes when you try to please everybody. This is impossible. Trying to do so is like becoming a football whom everyone can kick. The direction it then takes depends on others and you can do nothing about it.

To prevent such a difficulty, you have to have a set of values in life. When decisions are based on such values, you will have courage to face the storm of criticism that will be levelled against you. Even though others may not like your decision, they will at least show respect to the values that guided your decision. In other words, having a set of values is like setting rules and laws for decision-making. If absent, it leads to arbitrary decisions which can spell disaster.

Yet another crisis in decision-making comes when others press hard and corner you to give a decision on a matter immediately. Then you feel pressurized. You feel like saying “Yes” when in your heart you are not excited nor emotionally involved. The best thing to do is not to rush your decision in such situations. Instead, ask for time with diplomacy and tact.

When you are in doubt say “No.” Remember that in such situations a “No” answer is almost always the “first” best answer. Even though a firm “No” may be resented by the other party; it relieves you of a lot of pressure.

Also remember that “No” is your best defence when peer pressure compells you to act against conscience. The first time you say “No” it might seem the most difficult thing to do. But once you say it, you find that there is greater courage, self-respect and dignity in saying “No” than be a weakling in saying “Yes” just because you feared to be left out of the gang!

But the important thing to note is that you should communicate “No” with respect to the other party, their feelings and sentiments. Be tactful about it. A gentle answer can soothe hurt feelings and keep relationships alive.

On the other hand, when you take “Yes” decisions, you should be fully convinced in your mind why your decision was positive. Otherwise, when you are tested during the working out of your decision, you will find yourself stumbling in the dark. It is during such rough periods that so many will come and try to tell you why your “Yes” decision was wrong. The mistake that you can easily make at this juncture is to stop your work to convince such people why your decision was right.

Do not waste your time thus, for your critics will never be convinced. Instead, go about your business quietly and prove them wrong with your success. The point is that rough weather will come even though the decision to sail was right. But keep your sails steady, brave the storm, be patient and set your sights on the harbor to be reached.

Moving forward, the question comes about the time element in decision-making. For example, a fire-fighter has to make split-second decisions. The fact is that not all decisions can be made at leisure. But that does not mean that all quick decisions are wrong. If the decision-maker has a track record of basing his decisions on values on a consistent basis, his quick decisions will also bear that stamp and imprint.

Even then, as a safety measure, it would be wise not to be hasty in decision-making. A reasonable delay can clarify many doubts and allow you consider other options and possible outcomes which might not have surfaced earlier. The one thing to avoid here is a never-ending “analysis-paralysis” which freezes the decision-making process; naturally leading to lost opportunities.

Another element of interest is the part of emotions in decision-making. Some say that they are emotional or intuitive in decision- making. They also validate their statement by quoting the success rate of their decisions. Though emotional decisions can have its place in the scheme of things; it can never be a substitute for intelligent thought.

And one last thought. Just think of the number of decisions, both big and small, you make every day. Your reading this article was also a result of your decision to do so. Similarly every day of your life is built on several decisions. So think of decision-making seriously from now on. For every decision counts and has consequences; both in time and eternity.

Tips for Compering
Jesus Christ of Nazareth!

“But When You Pray”

Prayer is the highest form of communication possible to man!

A better understanding of prayer can help us be great communicators; for prayer is conversation with God. When Jesus taught about prayer (recorded in his famous Sermon on the Mount), he said:

“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

Praying Hands
Praying Hands drawn by Prasad Vignesh, BPPS Batch 68 & 140

Several key thoughts emerge from this single statement on prayer. The most revolutionary thought is that prayer is a relationship. It is talking to your Father in heaven. It is not that God does not know what you need. That is not the reason why Jesus encouraged those who heard him to pray. It is because God delights to hear his children speak to him because that is the most natural way of expressing a relationship. The Father in heaven is near and approachable when his children come to him in prayer.

The second thought is that prayer is spending time alone with God. This happens only when there is love between man and God. For those in a love relationship do not mind spending time with each other, however long hours it takes. Unfortunately the common thought is that prayer is some kind of burden when you put on a long face. But God promises joy to his children in his presence when they spend time with him in prayer.

Another thought is that Jesus encouraged people to talk directly to their Father in heaven. He said to “go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen.” The focus is on you and God; all alone:

What a picture this is! Can you imagine the privilege to have God as your audience? What will you speak? Yes, in the secret place of your talking with God, you can be honest with him. It is here that you open your heart and let God know of all your fears, doubts, anxieties, worries, temptations and expectations.

And imagine again the truth that you need no one else’s help to pray. Jesus said that you can approach God directly in prayer. What a privilege this is! Nothing is said about perfect grammar, right pronunciation or a particular language to pray. Even a broken heart too burdened to say words is accepted by God as genuine prayer. What a comfort this is!

Then there is the promise of reward. One way of seeing reward is how God teaches us humility and dependence on him in prayer. He refines our character and makes us better by helping us wait for the answers he has kept for us. This is the toughest part for it goes directly against the tech savvy “I want it and I want it now” generation. But in the waiting process, the praying man or woman is changed to be a better person; and that is definitely one reward of prayer.

Let me conclude with one final thought. There is a great promise on prayer in the Bible which says: “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” The invitation to pray is God’s. His promise that he’ll answer your prayers is true. And there are things unknown to us that God will show us when we pray. What more do you want to ask for?

Bible quotes (NIV): Matthew 6:6, Jeremiah 33:3
Jesus Christ of Nazareth!
7 Sayings of Jesus on the Cross

7 Steps to Get Out of Inferiority Complex

“I’ve severe inferiority complex. I would like to talk about it sometime”; so said an IT professional to me over phone a few weeks ago. I suddenly felt the pain with which he spoke.

It also reminded me of many other students I had met in my training sessions; who though putting on a brave and confident face on the outside hid a nagging problem of inferiority on the inside. At some point they too had revealed that their struggle was with inferiority complex more than anything else. Many did confess this with tears in their eyes.

Why is inferiority complex so widespread? Why does it affect people who sport a very confident face otherwise? Is there any solution to this? If so, how can one get out of this as a better person?

Honestly, no easy solutions come to mind. Each individual may have had struggles early in life which are unique to that person. A sympathetic understanding of underlying causes might help to kick-start the journey on the road to recovery and wholeness.

Yet whatever be the cause, the root of inferiority complex is lies and deception. It happens when we believe wrong and unjust estimates about ourselves. Others might pressurize us to believe these lies or we might just be deceived to believe them on our own. If you can learn to unmask these lies and deception; then you stand a greater chance to get out of inferiority complex. Indeed, it is the truth that will set you free.

#1. Know that you as a person has value in God’s eyes.
No matter how unjust the comparisons that are made about you; and how unfair that criticism that is made against you, God loves you and values you as a unique individual. You are not someone lost in the crowd; but you’re someone with great worth in God’s eyes. The Lord says: “I have loved you with an everlasting love.” Do you believe this? It is the first step on the road to recovery.

#2. Know that the glamorous and the glossy that is presented as good and perfect in the media and advertisements are mostly grossly inflated presentations.
The real world is more about failures, disappointments and despair along with occasional triumphs in the daily grind of life and dull routine. So do not measure your worth against unreal values the marketing world attractively and temptingly presents.

#3. Know that in spite of everything you can think of negatively about yourselves, there is one thing that is good about you.
Your challenge is to find that one thing and be very good at it. Make it a great strength of yours. Let it become your passport to greatness. Though weakness is common to all; it is your duty to work hard and excel in one thing you are good at. When you excel in that one thing the root of inferiority complex can be cut down.

#4. Know that the past with all its pains, hurts, failures and heartbreaks have to be forgotten.
So many people find themselves struggling with guilt and fear because they had been victimized in the past. Such experiences do take time to heal. But your cooperation is a must. You need to decide to get up from where you’re lying down. Do not be comfortable with your pain. Shut the door behind to such memories and get on with life.

#5. Know that you can learn to see the negative circumstances in your life differently.
See bad circumstances in life as the training ground where your character is made strong through the fires of difficulty. Also be thankful for the difficulties in life. The thankful attitude, if practiced constantly will give you joy and enable you to defy the downward pull of inferiority complex and rise above negative circumstances.

#6. Know that labels need not be allowed to stick permanently on you.
Once a doctor told me “My two children are introverts.” I was shocked. Because her children who had attended my training sessions had done so well in class; especially team events. So I asked her why she held the belief that her children are introverts? She told me that their school teacher had told her so. How sad that this mother so thoughtlessly parroted this in front of others in the hearing of her children. I was compelled to tell her that the teacher’s role and duty was not to label her children negatively but to help them come out of their shells. However, I told her, I was happy that her children did not believe what she or their teacher had told. So you need to recognize that negative labels don’t define you. Instead you have the power and the ability to tear off these negative labels. Why not do it now?

#7. Know that you can make a difference.
There are many people who need you. Often it is the sense of uselessness that creates inferiority complex. Get involved in building up the lives of others; especially those who have not many to encourage them to succeed. The knowledge that you put a smile on someone’s face by a kind word, gesture or deed; the realization that your help gave someone the courage to live another day; is a great healer.

In conclusion, let me tell you that inferiority complex is not a problem that is solved in a moment’s time. Sometimes it can be a lifelong battle. Those who are suffering from inferiority complex need not lose heart if the struggle seems too long drawn out. There is yet hope. Do not despise yourself. But be thankful that you can still make a positive and creative difference in the lives of others in spite of struggling with feelings of inferiority!
Jesus Christ of Nazareth!
7 Sure Steps on How to Handle Confidence Loss!
7 Sayings of Jesus on the Cross
Tips for Compering

Speak the Truth in Love

Changing times do not change timeless truths. As I thought about our speech in daily conversations, this line from St. Paul caught my attention. He wrote,

“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.”

This is how he began his short and poetic sketch of true love.

Gongs remind us of our school days when it was used as a bell and cymbals remind us of the school band where at the rear along with the big drum you could see and hear the clash/crash of cymbals. They made big noise. Just like that, our speeches if not spiced with love are just loud noises at best. It does not matter If I can speak in the tongue of angels who speak words of praise to God. But what matters is whether I can speak in love.

It is difficult to meet this standard. Sometimes in our eagerness to speak the truth we wound our loved ones. Because we fail to speak it in love. Again I am reminded of St. Paul who wrote, “Speak the truth in love.”

Criticizing and finding fault without taking into consideration the other person’s limitations, frustrations and difficulties they face in the context of their lives are ways in which we often do not speak the truth in love.

I read somewhere that if we hear the sound of a glass fall to the ground with a loud noise at home, immediately we rush to the spot and ask, “Who did this?” That is speaking without love, without understanding. Instead if we can ask, “What happened?” it would lessen the impact of our words and create an atmosphere of love where an honest expression of truth can happen.

Perhaps nothing colours a message of truth more negatively than the tone in which it is delivered. We often manipulate, terrify and trick people by our tone of voice. But let us resolve otherwise, to try to speak the truth in love.

Let us consider every moment that the person we are talking to is a person with needs, fears, longings and dreams just like any one of us.

It is our ability to see the other person in such a sympathetic light that enables us to talk well, when meanings are painted against a backdrop of love.
Jesus Christ of Nazareth!
7 Steps to Get Out of Inferiority Complex
7 Sayings of Jesus on the Cross
Tips for Compering