Wait for Me – A Poem By Konstantin Simonov

KonstantinSimonovWait for me, and I will come
Wait with might and main.
Wait when autumn’s drizzles drum
dreary on the pane.
Wait in winter’s blinding snow
Wait in summer’s heat.
Wait when others long ago
have recognized defeat.

Wait when no more letters come
from places far away.
Wait when tortured nerves go numb
from waiting every day.

 

Wait for me and I will come.
In no least thought abet
those who to the strain succumb
and urge you to forget.

Let mother, let my son lament
my all too certain loss.
Let my closest friends asent
with a hasty toss
shake a tear and gulp a drink
in memory of me.
Wait but do not dare to think
I’m in eternity.

For how are they to understand
those who could not wait
That it was you, not fortune’s hand
who saved me from my fate.

 

Dear readers, this used to be one of my favourite poems. I’ve rendered this from memory because I cannot find this version of the translation anywhere, or a copy of the print magazine. So there may be mistakes here.

I have no memory of the translator’s name. I believe I saw it in a 1969 copy of the Sputnik magazine. It was accompanied by the above photograph.

If anyone knows a link to this version, or have a printed text, let me know. I’d be happy to edit my copy to make any corrections.

I believe this version reads far better than the one that is currently popular. You can find that version here. Compare for yourself.  You can read more Konstantin Simonov poems and learn more about the poet here.

For some reason, I find the older translations of Russian poems far more appealing than modern ones. Is that just me?

 

 

3 Things You Can Do to Improve Happiness and Well-being

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Here’s what Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, a leading expert on well-being and author of Flow: the Psychology of Optimal Experience says you can do to improve happiness and well-being:

  • Be attuned to what gives you genuine satisfaction. Although many people assume that popular activities like watching TV are enjoyable, their own reports generally indicate that they feel more engaged, energetic, satisfied and happy when doing other things.
  • Study yourself. To better understand their own happiness, Csikszentmihalyi says, people should systematically record their activities and feelings every few hours for a week or two. In recording your observations, try to focus on how you actually feel, rather than what you think you ought to be feeling or what you expect to feel. Afterwards, note the high points, particularly, and the low ones. Then try to adjust how you spend time according to your findings.
  • Take control. Repairing unhappy conditions requires active effort. People often assume external conditions will change for the better or let chance determine their response. That’s a mistake. “Get control,” Csikszentmihalyi says. When things aren’t right, “you have to put in the same effort you would if your business were in trouble. Just as markets move, life changes too.”

The above is an excerpt from a Time magazine article. Click on link for the original article, Getting Serious About Happiness, by Jeremy Caplan.

 

Research on Happiness and Bad Decisions…. from Dan Gilbert

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Research shows that when we (humans) make decisions, we tend to focus on what we’re getting and forget about what we are forgoing.

I was just going to share this interesting article–Buried by bad decisions–by Dan Gilbert with you. But then I happened upon Dan Gilbert’s TED Talks:

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You can access them all at Dan Gilbert’s Ted page.

Enjoy the article. Its really interesting. Enjoy the talks, I am yet to complete all three. But I’ve watched the first one some time ago.

What are your character strengths?

24CharacterStrengths image source-viacharacterblogdotorg

Shown above in visual format are what researchers in the field of positive psychology call character strengths. There are 24 and each of us have many of these to some degree. What are yours?

There are online tests to see where you stand on each one. How far or lower they are ranked.

Here’s one link (for which you must register, but its free):

I am nearing the end of a Coursera online course by the RELAY Graduate School of Education. While the  course is about Teaching Character and Creating Positive Class Rooms the course content is very useful for everyone. Many of us participants are benefiting personally in terms of figuring out our real character strengths and also weak areas.

The discussion forums are brimming with great ideas on how to use this info with kids in classrooms, outside, and at home.

Even though it may be too late to take part in the course, you may want to check out the videos and understand the concepts. There are lots of resources for you to check out as well. The course ends in a week or so.

But you can download the content for future reference provided you register in the course. Hopefully it will run again sometime.

The course is led by Dave Levin whose work with KIPP academies is mentioned in the book How Children Succeed. Other people I read about in that book, like Dr Angela Duckworth and Dominic Randolph, another educator like Dave Levin, are interviewed.

There are real case studies from real class rooms in action.

Researchers into relevant topics are also interviewed. These include:

As I’d read many things about the course content, including the above books, I found it even more interesting. Especially the explore section with additional resources.

Check this out. You’ll thank your self and your kids will thank you too.

RandomLines 2

Here are four more lines from books within easy reach…

When all is said, perhaps their happiest legacy is the ‘Baila’ dance and song; pleasant to think it was the creation of Portuguese slavery.
~Norah Roberts in Galle As Quiet As Asleep

By a process called reverberation, a memory corresponds to the strengthening of connections from an increase of brain activity in a given sector of the brain–the more activity, the stronger the memory.
~Nassim Nicholas Taleb in The Black Swan

As one of my learned friends is fond of commenting – sitting in the top floor of the ivory tower, the sea always looks calm – it is only when you are battling the waves in a dinghy when you realize the actual situation.
~Vivek Sood in The 5 Star Business Network

The beli fruit (Aegle marmellos; vilvam T; bael E) is a rare example of the same medicinal agent serving diametrically opposite ends under different conditions.
~C.G. Uragoda in Traditions of Sri Lanka: A Selection with a Scientific Background

RandomLines 1

When I was studying for CIMA, my best friend at the time and I had a silly game. We’d pick a random sentence of a book and try to use it all the time. The best one we came up with was:

I am positively amazed by your persistence of this absurd notion.

I have no idea what book it came from, but I used it all the time and it was cool. This gave me the idea to pull out random books from my bookshelf and do the same, this time by myself. I guess RandomLines is a natural progression from BookChapters and FIRST LINES in both Mindculture’s Blog and at BusinessTrainerSriLanka blog.

 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Here are the first results in the series:

Snoopy is the one character in the strip allowed to kiss, and he kisses the way a child does: sincerely, and to disarm.
~David Michaelis in Schulz and Peanuts: A Biography

One way to bring this about is to organize congressional watchdog groups (CWDs) to monitor each of the 435 districts across the country—to lobby all members of Congress on behalf of their constituents, on behalf of an agenda supported by a majority of Americans.
~Ralph Nader in The Seventeen Solutions: Bold Ideas for Our American Future

Whenever the LTTE was on the back foot, they would try to make a comeback with a devastating attack elsewhere.
~C.A. Chandraprema in Gota’s War: The Crushing of Tamil Tiger Terrorism in Sri Lanka

When foreigners first came to China in large numbers in the 1970s, many were impressed by the ‘moral cleanliness of the society: a discarded sock would follow its owner a thousand miles from Peking to Guangzhou, cleaned and folded and placed in his hotel room.
~Jung Chang in Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China