The thing inside of us that makes us go up is our attitude.

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"The day I stopped drinking milk" by Sudha Murthy

Some excerpts from the book:

  1. We can't choose the community or religion that we are born into - so we should never think that our community is our identity.
  2. Money comes with expectations and spoils the delicate equilibrium of social work.
  3. I realized then that only diseases and not honesty and integrity are passed down to the next generation through genes.
  4. Once a volunteer becomes a paid worker, there is always a chance of corruption making its way into the organization.
  5. When a person is dead, caste is never an issue. One's birth only decides how one's body should be disposed of.
  6. Normally, when people lend a helping hand, there is always an expectation of getting something in return. But if you are a true philanthropist, the expectation decreases over time. A sense of ownership becomes meaningless in the larger context of life. This selfless helpfulness brings true happiness to a person.
  7. There is a saying that when you get a gift, don't think of its price because it is the thought that is more important.
  8. If you want to know people, you should know the history of their land and where they come from. History also tells you about culture and culture is a big part of people's personalities.
  9. Sharing is an important quality that binds people and society itself survives on sharing.
  10. Don't judge a person by their looks or from rumors. Looks can be deceptive. It is not that all rich people are bad and neither is it true that all simple-looking people are innocent. Ignorance is different from innocence. Ignorance is a lack of knowledge but innocence is about trust and believing other people. A child is always innocent but we adults are ignorant and hardly innocent.
  11. Having good relationships, compassion and peace of mind is much more important than achievements, awards, degrees or money.
  12. Compassion cannot be taught, sold or brought. It is one of the characteristics that you have to develop from the beginning. Understand that life is a journey. In that short journey, if you can show compassion to others, show it now. 
  13. Tradition is different from ritual. A tradition passes down values to the next generation but a ritual or ceremony is what you do by practice and habit. We shouldn't break traditions but rituals can be changed depending upon the circumstances. Rituals are almost always formed based on geographical, economic and social conditions.
  14. Knowledge and the ability to work hard are the two qualities that are the stepping stones to success.
  15. It is very difficult to earn trust. It takes years to build and it can be destroyed in an instant by one bad deed. Trust requires an enormous amount of integrity and you have to prove every time that you are worthy of it.
  16. Every human being has an ego. But it is up to us to decide how much we have and how we exercise it.
  17. A fire cannot be extinguished with another fire. It is only water that can make a difference.
  18. People remeber the acievers in their own field or if they are close relatives or friends. The rest of the world reads your name in the newspapers and forget easily.
  19. Time is precious. If you don't do your work on time, it is as good as not doing it.
  20. Poverty does not mean just a lack of money but also a lack of confidence. Money can be earned in life but confidence is easy to lose and very hard to gain back.
  21. I learnt that there is a limitation to human power and achievements, and that even with money you cannot help everyone. You cannot substitute many things in life with money.
  22. Most people do not have  the same values when they get money. Money changes a person completely. Very few people can withstand the lure of money and they are difficult to find. I have learnt that wherever there is money, people like to take advantage of the situation and maximize their return.
  23. When a person passes away, what he may have collected materially over a period of time becomes irrelevant to the next generation.
  24. When a doctor makes a mistake, a person goes six feet below the ground. When a judge makes a mistake, a person is hung six feet above the ground. But when a teacher makes a mistake, the entire batch of students is destroyed.