5 Love Languages

We think everybody is like us.
We want everybody to be like us.

Not everybody is like us.
Each person is different.
Each person is unique.
Everybody wants to be loved in their own unique way.

I realized several years ago that I was using motivating “terms” that worked on me with Kumar and Adi. Didn’t work. It backfired so badly. It was very frustrating.

After several years of trying to figure it out..I hit a brick wall. That is when one of my friends pointed me to “5 Love Languages”. It was a Eureka moment.

I did the “5 Love Languages” quiz. I also had Adi and Kumar do the quiz. It lead the three of us to understand how each of us wants to be loved. We discussed and laughed about it.

For several months, we worked on using the “love language” that was needed by the other person and not the one we wanted for ourselves. Initially, it was hard work…because we were changing our auto-pilot natural way of being and doing. But, like building muscle or adapting a habit, it eventually came to us. We still lapse. But, we know now how to get back on track.

You would think it is common sense to love as somebody wants to be loved. But, alas, as you know, common sense is not so common.

Do yourself a favor. Take the quiz. Have the family take the quiz. Have a discussion afterwards. Laugh about it and promise to each other to honor them and love them as they want to be loved.

And, tell me how it goes.

Even if you don’t believe in this, go through the exercise to see things from a different perspective than you would normally see.

Trust me. It will be one of the best things you did for yourself and for your relationship with the ones that truly matter in your life.

Unconditional Love

I practically do nothing for Rainbow…except remember to give her food and water.
I don’t play with her.
I don’t rub her belly.
I don’t take her for a walk.
I don’t put her on my lap and spoil her silly like the boys do.

I don’t do anything of that.

I think she missed me quite a bit when I was gone for most of this week.
Perhaps, that is why she has been camping out under my chair ever since I returned home.

It is kind of sad that she can’t speak and use words to tell me how she feels.
I can only wonder what goes on under those beautiful brown eyes.

unconditional-love-ambal-balakrishnan

Returned with More Love

There is something about each culture…the big and little things. Even if you immersed yourself in it for your entire lifetime, it might take you another lifetime to learn it.

Let me describe the “returned with more love” tradition that is part of the Indian culture.

When I was a child, Mommy’s neighbors were always there for each other..for all the big and little things.

For example, let us assume Mommy ran out of filter coffee powder when a guest arrived. She would loan a cup of it from one of her neighbors. When she returned it back, it was not just the one cup of filter coffee powder. She added something more…maybe some jasmine flowers, some dessert or veggie item that she had made just then. Same with our neighbors. When they returned something to her, it was always something more. The reason I knew this…..was because I was the shuttle person back and forth…the neighborhood dabawala.

One of my lovely neighbors Thendral was sick last weekend. So, last Sunday, I made some extra sambar, extra rasam, extra veggies and sent Kumar to drop it off with her. She is a very good cook. I poured my heart into the cooking to ensure that her family had a pleasant lunch experience.

Today afternoon Thendral called me to say that she made some of my favorite payir payasam (it is a form of pudding) and was going to have her husband Viba drop it off.

I have the feeling that the making of the payir payasam was not an accident….it was made on intent….to stick with the age old tradition of “returned with more love”.

I hope you are keeping your social bank’s credit maxed out, debit at an all time minimum and always “returning everything with more love”.

My Love Affair with Math will Never Ever End

We all have a responsibility to volunteer somewhere and I’m lucky that I get the education and get taken to places to see what’s out there and see what’s happening and to then be a part of it in hopefully an impactful way.
-Jennifer Garner

My love affair with math will never ever end.

I volunteered at Adi’s math club yesterday to share my love of math with middle school students.

In a parallel universe, I am a math professor.

To support the boys school, I have taken on many avatars.

Here is one of them. Crossing guard.

Crossing Guard Avatar - Ambal Balakrishnan