DON’T WASTE TIME, EXPLORE YOUR POTENTIALS

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Life is a stage, so says the famous Williams Shakespeare. Everyone has a role to play in this Universe. Greatness in its entirety lies within one’s self, hence the path of exploring your potentials to attain greatness in your lifetime.

I came across a very interesting yet inspiring article (dramatic) by Bruce Kasanoff, and I thought I should share with you.  According to the author, it’s fiction. Trust me it is worth you time.

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It’s seldom a good sign when you are 2,000 miles from home and the phone rings in the middle of the night. I grabbed for it, my stomach already clenching.

“Hey Bruce, it’s Lilly.”

Lilly? It takes me a few seconds, but I remember…

Lilly, who started a wine company, by walking around San Francisco and inviting restaurant owners to share a glass of her first vintage.

Lilly, who went to Africa to create more sources of clean water… the very same night the thought occurred to her.

Lilly, a friend of a friend, with whom I felt a bond that couldn’t be explained.

That Lilly.

“You busy?”

I smiled. “Lilly, it’s 4 a.m. here.”

“Yeah, I figured you’d have time to talk. Plus, I saw online you were on the road. You know I still read your stuff almost every day. If I have access, of course.”

Still half asleep in the dark, I almost blushed. It had been at least ten years since I’d seen Lilly. I would have guessed she’d forgotten me.

“Can you put on some music?”

“Now? On the call?”

“Yeah, I would, but I don’t have any.”

The thing about Lilly was that she was always making crazy requests, and people would just do them. Earlier in the night, I was listening to The John Butler Trio Live at Red Rocks, so I just started it up again.

“Much better. Nice choice. Hey, Bruce, I gotta tell you something. It’s pretty important.”

She paused for a long time, then continued.

“You’re so very close, Bruce.” She paused again.

“Not sure I follow you, Lilly.”

“You’re a good guy and you’re talented, and you have a great heart, and you work hard.”

A “but” was on the way, I could see it coming.

“Imagine, just imagine, what you could accomplish if you were always there. I don’t mean for an hour or two at a time. I mean day after day, week after week. How long could you keep it going? Could you spend a month in that state? A year? Maybe two? More? Could you? What would it take?”

Now she was talking in time to the music, tossing out words in spurts.

This wasn’t a completely foreign subject to me, although I rarely discussed it at 4 a.m. “You mean to be present, right?”

“Yeah, present. Completely present. 100%. Present. In the zone. It’s possible you know. You can do it. I’m not just blowing smoke at you. You could stay there for an incredibly, amazingly long time. You’ve got a good, long run in you. I’ve never said this to anyone else, and I just had to tell you. I wish I could have told you…”

Was she crying? She got quiet, and I thought I heard her starting to sob.

Then more silence.

“Lilly?”

“We both screwed up. I should have told you sooner, but you should have figured it out long ago. You aim too low, you know? You get a burst of inspiration, it lasts maybe 45 minutes, and you thank the heavens above. That’s trivial. Not even worth mentioning. That’s not a life, it’s a fast food stop. It’s a blip, an afterthought, a pale shadow of your potential. Do you understand your potential? I know you don’t, that’s why I had to call.”

She laughed.

“Hey, Bruce?”

“Yeah?”

“You’re not going to forget what I said.”

“Of course not, Lilly.”

“That wasn’t a question. You’re not going to forget what I said because your phone recorded this entire call. Sorry that I don’t have more time. Truly sorry. So long.”

Huh? I stared at the phone in my hand, then finally put it down and laid back in bed. A few minutes later, I jumped up and pulled out my laptop. I looked up Lilly on Facebook. Nothing. LinkedIn? Nothing. No Twitter either.

Then I found it, a short piece in the Kalamazoo news section on Mlive.com. It was two weeks old.

Lilly Raymond, 47, died in a boating accident on Lake Michigan.

A sense of calm came over me, inexplicably strong. My normal reactions were no longer in play. My brain wasn’t spinning, my stomach wasn’t clenching. I took my time, but there was no doubt in my mind. I swiped down on my phone and searched for Voice Memos, an app I never use.

There was one recording there. I pressed Play.

“Hey Bruce, it’s Lilly.”handmade miniature roses

Hey, it’s me again, the real Bruce. I have a few questions for you.

  1. Has anyone ever tried to tell you something, but you weren’t ready to listen? Before you answer, think carefully. I bet it happens more than you realize.
  2. Have YOU ever tried to tell someone else that you believe in them – deeply – but they just weren’t hearing you?

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That one idea that keeps popping up in your head can change the world for good and make you a huge success. Why not explore it?

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CRITICISED: Malaysia passes new detention without trial law, raising human rights fears

 Malaysia’s landmark Petronas Twin Towers illuminates the night skyline in Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia’s police chief said suspected militants were detained for allegedly plotting to carry out terrorist acts in the country’s largest city. Photograph: Joshua Paul/AP

Malaysia’s landmark Petronas Twin Towers illuminates the night skyline in Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia’s police chief said suspected militants were detained for allegedly plotting to carry out terrorist acts in the country’s largest city. Photograph: Joshua Paul/AP

Malaysia was accused Tuesday of waging an assault on civil rights as parliament passed a tough anti-terrorism law aimed at countering Islamic militancy.

The passage of the Prevention of Terrorism Act came as the government announced that 17 militants — whom police say were arrested for plotting terror attacks in the country — had drawn their inspiration from the extremist Islamic State group.

The new law allows authorities to detain terrorism suspects without charge. The political opposition as well as legal and rights groups had urged its withdrawal, warning of abuse by the long-ruling government.

“It introduces long-term detention without trial, is open to abuse and is a grievous blow to democracy,” said opposition lawmaker N. Surendran.

The government has previously said the law would not be used against anyone over their “political” views.

Authorities have repeatedly warned of an imminent threat of terror attacks in the wake of the Islamic State’s (IS) rise in Syria, saying dozens of volunteers from traditionally moderate Muslim-majority Malaysia had volunteered for the IS jihad.

Amid the heated debate over the legislation, police said that on Sunday they arrested 17 IS-inspired militants who were plotting to kidnap unspecified high-profile figures, rob banks and launch terror attacks.

Releasing some details Tuesday, national police chief Khalid Abu Bakar said the conspirators planned to rob banks to raise money and to raid armed forces and police facilities for weapons.

“Seventeen people between the ages of 14 to 49 were arrested while they were holding a secret meeting to plan terror attacks in the (Kuala Lumpur area),” Khalid said in a statement.

“The aim of this new terror group was to form an IS-like Islamic state in Malaysia.”

The attacks were to take place in the capital Kuala Lumpur and in nearby Putrajaya, seat of Malaysia’s federal government.

Khalid said the arrests brought to 92 the number of people detained over the past year in Malaysia for suspected involvement in the IS jihad in Syria.

The political opposition has complained that the government has shared no details of its dozens of claimed arrests or on the extent of the purported terror threat.

– ‘Giant step backwards’ –
Opponents of the coalition which has ruled since independence in 1957 but suffered setbacks in recent elections fear the anti-terror legislation is a ruse to bring back detention without trial.

A previous repressive security law allowed such detentions, and was repeatedly used to lock up opposition politicians and other critics for long periods.

That law was scrapped in 2012 amid public pressure for reform.

“The passage of this (terrorism) law is a giant step backwards for human rights in Malaysia,” Human Rights Watch’s deputy Asia director Phil Robertson said in a statement.

“Passage of this legislation raises serious concerns that Malaysia will return to practices of the past when government agents frequently used fear of indefinite detention to intimidate and silence outspoken critics.”

The United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), the dominant party in the ruling coalition, has faced a stern test in recent elections from an opposition accusing it of corruption and abuse of power.

Prime Minister Najib Razak promised in 2011 to create “the greatest democracy” and launched tentative political liberalisation moves.

But since a poor showing in 2013 elections, the government has done an about-face.

Dozens of its critics including opposition politicians, academics, activists, and journalists, have been hit with sedition or other charges in what political analysts see as a campaign to harass and cow opponents.

The anti-terrorism legislation was passed after midnight, following 15 hours of debate, according to media reports.

The government did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Last August police said they foiled an IS-inspired plot to bomb pubs, nightclubs and a Malaysian brewery of Danish beer producer Carlsberg, arresting more than a dozen people.

Since then a string of other suspected IS-related arrests have been announced, though few details have been given.

 

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