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Read some thoughts on issues affecting daily life and life around our world. Read and join in the conversation. What moves you? How do you respond to the issues we face today?


i've just finished five days of fasting and feel like it probably was not enough. my body was still emitting toxic waste this morning before i eased my way back into the world of foodies with grapefruit juice. as i considered how to break my fast, i came across Nathaniel Bronner's website which proved useful -- wish i'd seen this before i commenced my fast though i'm unsure it would have kept me from indulging in golden spoon fro-yo right before i began.
all in all, i'd encourage people to try fasting -- it improves health, cleans our bodies, and provides rest from the toxins we ingest daily. yes, i remained hungry up to night 5 but i've done this before and at least i know, this time, that it's really worth it because i'll feel so much better afterwards. this time, i'm hoping to retain a more healthful approach to food and exercise which is difficult in india. i wish i could grab a salad from TJ's on the corner of safdarjung enclave's B5 market. or how about lentil soup from the dhaba across the street from me? india hasn't caught onto the health food craze, yet . . . that is only compounded by 110 degree F heat which makes outdoor exercise excruciating at best and untenable at worst. so hopefully, when i return to india next month, i'll be prepared for the more healthful lifestyle i prefer.

"And now you give me raise."

After signing off on my Office Assistant's petty cash receipts this morning, I watched his face light up with a big smile as he said, "And now you give me raise." I've been burned recently by being generous so I've been reigning in that impulse. I asked, "have you been here one year?" "August," he replied. To which I replied, "then we'll talk about this in August."
The moment he walked out the door, my internal analytics machine kicked into high gear. This guy just proudly enrolled his son in a new private school (public schools are notoriously poor in India). When we hired him away from his last organization, we offered a better environment with no pay raise. He requested a raise when he joined and I said, "let's see how it goes, first." A raise of $22.45 (at today's conversion rate) would make a huge difference in his life; gosh, we spent that on snacks for the staff last week! Is it right for me to "take out" my previous experience on him? Should I have asked him to sit down and explain why he's requesting the raise? This is a familiar situation in India. Come to think of it, my sweeper asked for a raise this morning! Yet we're talking about precious lives here and I don't want to gloss over the importance of their requests.
Life is often lived in the details -- what defines us is how we respond in these situations. It's tough!