Pick Me Ups

A friendly picker upper for the perfect stranger.

Life – A Book Review August 22, 2011

Filed under: Other — neepaparikh @ 1:38 pm
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When I was born I was given a book called Life. I have been reading it almost every day since. Admittedly, sometimes it goes on the shelf and gets neglected for a bit, but so far I have always come back to it. The funny thing is though, that even after all these years I have only just started to really appreciate it and get into it. In fact, I can’t honestly remember the first section of the book at all.

Life isn’t a short book and it’s not an especially easy book. Ideally it would take two or three run-throughs to start to fully understand it however, due to the sheer length you will only get through it once. The author is unknown although there are a number of claims that name the author as God, Allah or Shiva and many other names. I will not try to assign an author myself, but as you progress through this masterpiece, I’m sure you will draw your own conclusions. You may not make up your mind until you reach the end of Life.

There are more characters in Life than in any other book known to man, and each character no matter how incidental has their own motivations, story and their own purpose. This is no drugstore paperback. You are delving into the richest world ever conceived here. The character development can be good at times, yet sometimes the characters can seem flat and two-dimensional, predictable and uninteresting. But the conflicts, oh the conflicts, it’s enough to make an English teacher scream! There are conflicts on every conceivable level, between the characters, between the characters and the environment and even within the characters themselves. It’s a wonder that anyone manages to function at all!

Storywise, Life can be hard to follow at times. There are so many stories happening at once, all inseparably intertwined, that you may find yourself struggling to keep up and know which bits to concentrate on. This is made even more daunting because at the start you jump into an already established and incredibly detailed world, and the story of Life continues long after your final paragraph. In truth, although you could concentrate on the core story, you would be missing out on most of the beauty of Life. Trying to follow everything that is happening is difficult, but well worth the effort as you will share in the dreams, tragedies, and loves of many unique characters.

There are people who dedicate their entire lives to the mammoth task of analysing Life and all the themes, references and concepts you can find in it, and I respect them deeply for that. Believe me when I say that this book covers every theme you could possibly imagine, showing it from every angle you can think of and many you may not have. There is a risk though that you could get so caught up analysing Life that you forget to take the time to enjoy it. If so, you are the kind of person who likes to meditate on the deeper meanings and what lies between the lines. I’d suggest you make sure you learn to enjoy Life before you try to pull apart the meanings. Remember, you only have time to read it once.

Don’t be put off by the complexity and length. Life can be incredibly enjoyable. Admittedly, it also has its tough parts but, as with all the best literature, you get out as much as you put in. In Life, you will laugh, you will cry, you will love some characters, and hate others. It will inspire you, and beat you down, fill you with bliss and annoy you intensely. But one thing is for sure, by the time you’re done, you will never be the same again.

 

Return April 3, 2011

Filed under: Other,Uncategorized — neepaparikh @ 7:34 pm

I haven’t been much of a friendly picker upper lately. I’m sorry. I feel the need to explain.

I have been having a really hard time dealing with expectations that others have for me and the expectations I have for myself. I feel that these stresses have hindered my ability to see things in as positive a light as before. Not being as positive, it’s been difficult to write notes that are supposed to bring happiness to others.

But I’ve realized that this blog is more than just me writing about pleasant thoughts. This blog is a way for me to share the amazing things that I encounter in life. Like I’ve said before, this blog and the notes are almost like my field notes about life. It’s a way for me to document where I am in life and what I think people need to see. So maybe, not all of the notes I leave have to be happy. Maybe some of them can be melancholy or just observations. Whatever it is that I decide to do, I cannot stop writing these notes.

So readers, thank you for sticking with me the past few months. I’m going to bring back those notes and start sharing again. For you and for me.

 

An Inspirational Man – Nick Vujicic August 14, 2010

Filed under: Other,Uncategorized — neepaparikh @ 10:51 am
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Born without arms or legs, Nick Vujicic has not let anything stop him from living the life he desires. A man who truly loves life, Nick Vujicic gives plenty of motivational talks to kids, youth and adults and has served as an inspiration for many. He speaks to both Christian and non-Christian groups around the world. Here is a link to a preview of his self-directed Life Without Limbs video: Life Without Limbs

 

Clarification May 24, 2010

Filed under: Other,Uncategorized — neepaparikh @ 8:47 pm
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During the past few weeks of living at home, I have realized something: I don’t really know anything about anything. The older I become, the more I’ve come to understand the expression ‘the more you learn, the less you know.’ What I have learned is that unfortunately, life can’t be broken up into convenient little subjects like science, history, geography and math. Life lessons aren’t taught in school or by your parents. Life lessons seem to be learned through life experiences.

Knowing this, I also know that I haven’t experienced much. I haven’t experienced heart-break. I haven’t experience true adversity. Even as a somewhat independent student, I’ve been really lucky to have family and friends who have skilfully protected me from stressful and difficult situations. I have parents who have always been there to buffer the tension of financial worries. And every time I’ve failed or even come close to failing, someone has always been there to pick me up and help me get back on my feet again.

So as much as I’d like to declare myself an authority on life, I can’t. I have to get off my moral high horse and leave judgement to those more experienced. I have to clear my slate and start from the beginning. Because really, what do I know anyways?

So then what are these notes? If I really don’t know anything then why do I write about life and beauty and chance? Well, perhaps one could look at these notes as field notes, notes of observations and conclusions that I have come across while living life. They are lessons that I’ve learned or things that I’ve seen that I’d like to share with others. Maybe that makes these notes boring but to me, that just makes these notes more genuine.

 

Explanation May 18, 2010

Filed under: Cards,Other — neepaparikh @ 11:13 pm

Location: Laundry room

Note:

Dear Perfect Stranger,

I’m not sure that you or anyone else that reads my cards will understand what they mean but allow me to attempt an explanation. I am pretty sure that I am one of those people who others find incredibly annoying due to my sometimes too cheerful demeanor and my overly considerate need to be a do-gooder. This card and the others like it that I’ve left around are a reflection of those two character traits of mine.

I will not say that I have personally experienced or witnessed too much unhappiness or cruelty in this world. That isn’t true. On the other hand, I have not lived a completely sheltered life. I know what it means to be unhappy, stressed out or just melancholy. These notes are an attempt to help spread the feeling one gets when being the recipient of a random act of kindness.

Maybe this note will put a smile on your face and maybe it won’t. I don’t know. What I do know is that I have made an honest effort to elicit a smile. I hope that you can do the same today with a friend, family member or even a stranger. Good luck with that, Perfect Stranger, and thank you for picking up my note!

Sincerely,

Your friendly picker upper 🙂

 

Not so great response April 18, 2010

Filed under: Other,Uncategorized — neepaparikh @ 1:06 pm
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Regardless of the level of embarrassment I endured when leaving the last note in the lobby, I thought it was a good idea. What I found out was that students more than being appreciative of the note asked the question “Who does that?” Well my friends, the answer to that question is someone who has learned to appreciate the little things in life and is willing to do what it takes to get a smile. Sure, you may find the notes stupid and a waste, but if you’re making fun of the note with your friend, are you not laughing? Bam! Mission accomplished. I don’t worry about how the  note influences you just that the note does influence you.

With that noted, I’d like to say that despite the negativity I’m finding students are projecting when reading the notes, I am not going to be discouraged. There have been plenty of responses and comments on this blog that are positive. Yes, many of these have come from notes left outside of the student bubble but that will not stop my notes from getting into student hands. Apologies students. If you don’t love the note, show it to your friend, make some jokes, laugh a little at my expense. It’s all good. As long as you are smiling I’m happy.

 

Great Response April 17, 2010

Filed under: Other,Uncategorized — neepaparikh @ 2:10 am
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Today was probably the most eventful day I’ve had when it comes to this blog. Aside from being completely embarrassed, I had an incredible encounter earlier in the day. I work at an elementary school some days and I left one of my first cards on a water fountain there a few weeks ago. I knew who would pick up the card because I knew who cleans around there.

Today while washing my hands, that very same person asked if she could have a word with me. Her questions were thought out and came out slowly. First she asked me about my classroom, if I’d seen any cards lying around, if I knew about the Pick Me Ups, and finally if I knew the author and I answered that I do. She then explained to me that she knew it had to be me that left that note because there’s nobody else that would have done it. Certainly no students in the school at the time would have and there were no teachers around at the time so it had to be me. I panicked a little and a voice in my head said “Deny it all.” She smiled though and I told her yes, it was me and I explained the purpose of the notes to her.

She then told me how great she felt while reading the card. It really served as a pick me up for her that day. Instead of dreading the long night of cleaning ahead of her, she worked quickly so that she could show the card to others. She said it’s not about the message, but the gesture. She told me the Pick Me Ups were a great idea and that others should do the same sort of thing. We talked for a few more minutes and I walked away with a skip in my step.

I’ve made someone’s day brighter. Mission accomplished 🙂