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The Perils of Not Serving Coffee In A Company

Courtesy: Mike -

Courtesy: Mike –

The boss’s head seemed directly perched on his torso, for his neck was lost under his overlapping pink jowls. And, fittingly, he wore gold-rimmed spectacles. His hair had receded over the years from either side of the forehead and now stood in firm protest against further encroachment of the tonsorial desert at a point of perfect longitudinal symmetry to the back of the ears.

In other words, every inch of his head and body emanated the look and confidence of a shrewd corporate chief.

He had managed to convince his local sponsor into investing a few hundred thousand dollars in a new agency, and had personally supervised the furnishing of its office. He liked black and ordered lovely black leather couches for his suite. Even the transplanted tuft on the front portion of his pate was dyed black, although his natural hair was brown.

The first nine months he ran the office in true boss-like manner. Everybody, he insisted, was to address everybody with a mister before the first or last name. When some of the harder working staff began to repeatedly arrive a little late in the mornings, because they had been repeatedly working late into the night, he installed the latest timekeeping machine available in the market, which even printed a good fortune prediction alongside the punched time (no predictions, good or bad, were seen alongside the times of those over 15 minutes late). Every high and low employee, except the boss, had to stand in helpless submission before this machine twice a day, and use it to punch in and punch out, and, when no one was looking, punch on.

The machine lasted eight days. For some strange reason, since its appearance those harder working staff seemed to be as punctual in their leaving the office as in their arriving. At the stroke of 5 pm on the office clock, everyone dropped their pens, or fingers from the keyboards, stood up as if on cue, and walked to the punching machine.

After several days of perplexity observing the whole staff (except the office boy, who always had to stay back to lock the office after the boss leaves, which was always around 9 pm) queue up in front of the timekeeper every evening at precisely the same time to punch out, it seemed to have dawned on him some faint light that the new device might perhaps be the culprit behind the recent reduction in the volume of actual work done in the office.

Anyway, after several failed attempts to regenerate employee enthusiasm and after the consequent several near attempts to split his precious tuft, he caved in to the silent revolt.

One year of operations was coming to a close, and the account books still looked dismal. The sponsor had given the boss a whole year of unlimited funds to prove himself, and the pressure was now mounting. About three months before the end of the fiscal year, the idea suddenly struck him that a possible cost cutting scrutiny into the office kitchen expenditure was probably the one remaining area he hadn’t looked into in trying to salvage the company from closure.

The circular read:  ‘Please note that coffee will hereafter not be served any time in the office for staff, and is for the use of guests only. Staff, however, may help themselves to tea, subject to a limit of two cups in the morning and one cup in the evening.’

Surprisingly, not a syllable of a protest was heard from any coffee drinker, not even from Antoinette, our Lebanese secretary, a hardened caffeine addict. Instead, the next day, the office pantry was stocked with new bottles – Gold Café, Maxwell, Davidoff, Polson – each neatly labeled with the owner’s name.

The sponsor of the agency, a highly sensible and educated Arab – a double doctorate holder from Harvard, we were told – came to the office on a rare visit shortly after the circular was issued. Sulemani was the sponsor’s favorite beverage, but on that particular day he opted for coffee d’ lait, and on that very day the last teaspoonful of Nescafe in the official coffee jar had already been consumed an hour before by an earlier guest.

The office boy came back to the boss’ suite, and the dumb creature instead of going first to the accountant for some petty cash and rushing off to the nearest grocery…yes, instead of doing that, he said loudly to his boss,

‘Sir, only Miss Anita’s and Mr Cherian’s and Miss Antoinette’s and Mr Ashok’s coffees are available, sir.’

And that was the precise moment the boss’ coffee beans were spilt.

The sponsor got to hear the whole story of how coffee was expected to play a very substantive role in ensuring a favorable balance sheet. A couple of days later, he invited the boss to his office, and nothing is known to this day what actually transpired between them. But the boss came back to the office smiling, yea, smiling, and full of beans, contrary to all our expectations. He told us: ‘I’ve been offered a new and important assignment, guys. And it’s across the ocean. In Brazil.’

He couldn’t even wait to accept a sincere farewell party from his staff. So greatly was the urgency of the assignment pressed upon him by the sponsor that three days after he announced his new job, he had left the country.

The sponsor brought in a new general manager. He wore no gold-rimmed spectacles and his hair was bushy and unkempt. But after another six months of operations, the company was in the black for the first time, and continued to be so for a few years more.

Seven years later, after most of us had left the agency, one of our old colleagues told me he had heard from an employee of the sponsor that the old boss was still somewhere in South America. It seemed he was a supervisor in some import-export company dealing in roasted coffea arabica seeds.


Pappa Joseph






Responses to Pappa Joseph Messages

Old Fashioned

Every one in my family likes to read your magazine [formerly editored by Pappa Joseph] and I always suggest it to all my friends. You are doing a great job!

I always read your foreword and every time I admit how right you are and I truly share your point of vieEditw. In this fast hi-tech world it is hard to find a person with strong values. Rather, people consider it quite old fashioned. So I wish you many more years of success.

I am a passionate parent myself. God blessed me with 3 beautiful daughters and being a full timeI dedicate most of my time to their upbringing.

Aeliya Khan   Dubai


Quaint Indian Lilt

You write so well – and I hadn’t actually read an account like that from such a standpoint.

I would very much doubt anyone will take any exception to your editorial – it’s very thought provoking and well written.

David Silcox was here yesterday, and commented how well you use the English language, putting many of us in the shade!

This just in from John Halford [Editor of Odyssey magazine] in the States, Joseph:

“This article passed the acid test – I got past the first paragraph and wanted to continue.

So Joseph can write well! Nice, chatty style – with that rather quaint Indian lilt. He doesn’t need too much work – a ‘stylist’ would mess him up.”

Tony Goudie   UK


Suffering from Depression

I would like to share this with you because it concerns you in a very big way!!!

I had a call early in the morning from a lady who introduced herself as Mrs. J…she registered herself  [for forum hosted by me] and her husband and two kids and then told me her story…

Well she said she religiously buys the magazine every month from the petrol pump and she reads each and every article word by word and absorbs each and everything and her life has changed ever since…

She told me though she has never met the editor, she adores how he writes, his thoughts and his columns…Trust me this woman brought goose bumps on me, to think of someone in this was is really something out of the ordinary!!! It actually means this woman’s whole life depended on your writing…she is at the moment suffering from depression and that’s why she really wants to attend this forum!!

Well I told her Joseph would be hosting the forum and she jumped with joy!!! Yes you guessed right…she said she is going to be the earliest so she can occupy the front seat…

Sukaina Hussein   Senior Sales Manager
Parent Plus Magazine   Dubai


Depression is life’s most deadly affliction, and the deliverance of people in depression is among World Daily Bread’s greatest missions.


Paddle Did Go Very Well, Sir

It’s been almost 20 years since I have left Bethany Academy. So not sure if you would remember me. But I still talk about you to my colleagues and friends. I must admit it was you who taught me all the English I have learned… not to forget the ice cream scoop spanking stick you had… It’s been a blessing to have been your student and so happy to see you now.

Mathews Kuruvilla   Kerala


I remember your face well, but not any of the incidents (though I remember the ‘paddle’ well – I now regret very much using it on my beloved students then, although I meant well for their good.). I am in my 60s now, and the Bethany years with my students have been among my happiest. I will be setting up my website in the next few days, and it’s ‘A Site for the Inspiration of Decisionmakers’ like you.  I will inform you when it’s up. Till then, God bless you greatly in every way, my son.


Paddle did go very well, sir, it did indeed. And I am really proud that I had you as my English tutor. It was from you I picked up my reading habit. Went on quite well that even today I am the one who drafts letters and do language check on important mails and communications in office among colleagues. Above all grateful to God for his grace. Wishing you a blessed day sir. Do remember us in your prayers. Waiting for the info on the website.


The Greatest Gift You Can Give Your Children (or Anyone)

I just finished reading your Greatest Gift article… it was pretty deep. It took me quite a while to get through it, a lot of the words were not common to me – disquietude, wizened, imbibed. By reading this I am convinced you are an intelligent man and a professor of education!  I’m taken back!

Anyway, I want to publish this in June… I think it’s beautiful and I dont even have any kids!

What a beautiful article…

Wendy    Editor  
Emirates Parent Magazine   Dubai


Professor of education? Well, actually, I am a college dropout who self-educated himself with just God’s help. And what awesome education he is willing to grant those who earnestly ask him! And because he helped me and educated me himself, PhDs and MBAs attend my seminars and gain insight from my messages.

The article referred by Wendy is available on this website.  CLICK HERE


Guiding at Every Step of Parenting

I am a young mother of a lovely 15 month old daughter, Ananya, who was born here. I must say that you all have really helped me in taking care of my daughter. You are doing an extremely amazing job. For young couples like us who have no daily support from our families it’s really great to have you to guide us at every step of parenting as well as marriage and family issues.

And I would like to tell you that the articles in your magazines are very practical and honest and above all you hold the values that are the same as our parents hold and that have been passed down to us.

I really appreciate all your opinions and sincerely thank you for your guidance.  It really does help us a lot. I hope I can come to you for your help and guidance if I come across any difficult situation in parenting.

Maria Deep   Dubai




Everything Exists for A Relationship

Heart to Heart
Personal from Pappa Joseph

You and I are here today, wherever we are now, for one purpose – to have a relationship. Not just human beings, but every living thing on earth exists for a relationship – cat, dog, ant, plant. But that’s not all. Every single nonliving object on earth, created or manufactured – stone, river, pen, knife, computer – exists to facilitate and enhance a relationship. Now if some objects are used by man to destroy relationships it is not in any way the fault of the object.

The single most important activity in your life today is building relationships, starting with your loved ones.

The single most important activity in your life today is building relationships, starting with your loved ones.

Obviously, nothing exists for a relationship for a person to whom everything had its origin in a primordial nonrelationship. If everything is an offspring of a primeval accident or aberration, then everything can logically exist for one purpose only – to survive at the cost of every other existence by becoming the fittest, which is possible only by making others less fit than it.

Everything exists for only one purpose for the one who believes in that origin – to aid him, to please him, to comfort him and to give him pleasure in his relentless quest to make his survival as fit as possible.

But if you are among those who believe that the universe and all things in it, including you and the people in your life, were put here for a purpose that transcends the self, then you better be taking great care to ensure the continuance and health of your relationships. You better be always building and developing relationships all around you, otherwise the relationships are going to wane and eventually wither away. There is no middle ground in relationships. You build, develop and cherish, or you neglect, demolish and cast away.

Every uplifting word you speak today will go unswervingly on its ordained course to build a better relationship; every harsh word that you utter, if left unchecked, will be an avalanche gathering even harsher words and acts and crash in the abyss of a bitter relationship. This is the ultimate result of the universal law of cause and effect.

Far more than the law of gravity and the laws of motion, this causal law is more immutable and more inexorable than any other universal law. Immutable, because it cannot be altered or changed in any way; inexorable, because it cannot be stopped or avoided. The law of gravity is immutable but it is not always inexorable. A man who defies or does not believe in the law of gravity and jumps from a five-storey building to prove he is right suffers the inexorable consequence. But I have heard of at least one published case of two drunks opening what they thought was a door and falling from the French window down several floors, and then getting up from the ground and staggering arm in arm jovially away. But I am yet to see or hear of a case of someone escaping the effects of the causes he set rolling in his relationships.

There is no middle ground in relationships. You build, develop and cherish, or you neglect, demolish and cast away.

As a parent, every word you speak to your child is going to enter his conscious and from there into his heart and boomerang to you in multiplied effect. Ever noticed that when a child screams at his parent it is always at about 50 decibels higher than it is when the parent shouts at him? The words that wound the child’s heart continue to have their domino effect even into his adulthood, spilling into his relationship with his wife, his children, his colleagues, his fellow commuters, and even with his Dalmatian that jumps on him in affectionate greeting when he returns home after an unnice day at work. Put the blame on his father or grandfather, or somebody else up the line, who got the verbal cannonballs rolling down the generations.

As a husband or wife, every word you speak to your spouse is like a chunk of concrete falling from the ceiling of a beautiful edifice, or a polished stone that goes to further reinforce the foundation. Golden wedding anniversary celebrating 50 years of intimate relationship happen when all the words and acts of the husband and the wife have inexorably gone on to finally complete a celestial home for the couple. Divorce after 10 or 20 years is where the dagger-sharp words and deeds kept shedding vital pieces from off the marriage mansion year after year, until there was nothing left to live in, and the couple go looking for new mansions to live in.

‘I am a marvelous housekeeper’, said Zsa Zsa Gabor. ‘Every time I leave a man, I keep his house.’ The beautiful actress had nine mansions to keep, but not a single heart to weep with her.

May your every word go forth to soothe, and not to seethe. Let your fingers handle to bring the healing touch, to always caress and to fondle, and never to harass.

This website has one purpose in all its contents – that you and your family may go on to build beautiful lives and homes which you can pass on from generation to generation.

 ‘We have all made such a fetish of financial success and forgotten frequently that success of any kind, when it does not include success in one’s personal relationships, is bound in the end to leave both the man and the woman with very little real satisfaction.”   Eleanor Roosevelt 




Have You Been Doing the Same Kind of Job the Past Seven Years?

Heart to Heart                                                                                                            
Personal from Pappa Joseph 

Courtesy: Victor1558 –

If you have been doing the same work for the past seven years – I mean, doing the same kind of activities in your job, receiving the same kind of rewards, going through the same level of life experiences – I am afraid you may be unwittingly living on the mediocre plane. Seven years is plenty enough for any ambitious person to start moving out of his or her present borders of accomplishment to new frontiers in their dreams. But I suppose a large percentage of people in any human endeavor are quite content working the same way they have been doing since the past many years, as long as their job is continuing to remunerate them with what they have been happily receiving from it all along.

But for a small percentage of people, mediocrity is the biggest thief of their human potential. These are the people who are always moving on, the ones who are always expanding their present borders and exploring uncharted territories. These are the relentless innovators who are always trying out new methods and untried strategies in their work. And such people do not remain long on any pinnacle of success they have attained.

“One of the temptations in life to be guarded against is that of sinking into a spirit of complacence, to slack off. As we climb the hill of life, it is natural to rest a moment on reaching the summit of a ridge. The temptation is to stay there, satisfied with your efforts.”   Lord Chatfield

In the sunset of your life, when you look back at all that you have achieved, your greatest sense of fulfillment comes from the bold and extraordinary initiatives you took in your job, in your personal life, and above all, in your relationships. You refused to be an ordinary bleating sheep in a familiar herd grazing contentedly within the fences erected by others, or even by yourself. Your spirit soared to new limitless pastures that your inner eyes had espied beckoning you from a distant shore.

‘The difference between a successful person and a very successful person is the size of his or her dreams.’   Robert Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad.

If you resolutely decide that from today you will begin to break out of your ordinarily successful life and search for unexplored new frontiers in your professional and personal goals, then on this very day you have flapped your wings of aspiration and begun your ascend to the azure skies of your grand vision. And if you dont take your eyes of that distant shore, you are surely going to reach it sooner or later.

Perhaps, if you are a business executive, or a professional, you can start by trying to implement something extraordinary in your company – something that no colleague of yours was innovative and daring enough to try so far. If you are a decisionmaker, perhaps you can stretch your vision still further to include some seemingly ludicrous projects – until the world gasps at the fruition of what they once thought was merely your eccentric dream.

‘We must overcome the notion that we must be regular. It robs you of the chance to be extraordinary and leads you to the mediocre.’   Uta Hagen

By the way, for the sake of some odd men whose wings are clipped not because of a dearth of imagination but because of another reason – a marital one – I give below an insight from a renowned achiever of the fairer gender. I came across this quote soon after I finished writing the preceding paragraph. It will give all our male readers a new perspective on mediocrity:

‘Women want mediocre men, and men are working hard to become as mediocre as possible.’   Margaret Mead, US anthropologist & popularizer of anthropology (1901 – 1978)




History’s Most Proven Secret of Success

Heart to Heart
Personal from Pappa Joseph

The Queen of Sheba Kneeling before King Solomon. Solomon is recognized in several faiths as the greatest human achiever in history.

As the former editor of several business magazines and corporate publications, it was part of my job to research, glean and compile the world’s best ideas in business management and professional excellence. And now I have given up all other jobs and returned to my native country to focus on searching out and bringing you the most effective and proven principles for personal and professional fulfillment for today’s aspiring men and women.

If you are a young professional, you very likely began your career with a dream goal. You wanted to reach a certain high station in your career journey. You are now headed in that direction, and it is most probable that you will reach that station if you are diligent and persevering enough.

Motivational writers, management gurus, seminar presenters, professional trainers, and business consultants make millions of dollars in royalty and fees showing lesser mortals how they too could make it to the top echelons of their business or profession. They share with their readers and audiences the proven secrets of effective management, or the various strategies for corporate dominance, or the core principles of right decisionmaking, or the seven spiritual laws of success, or the bunch of golden keys to becoming an influential leader.

Here, in this message, I would like to share yet another ‘secret’ for aspiring achievers – of a different dimension. This secret comprises a set of keys that most success propounders have little knowledge of, or if they do, they do not have the gumption to ruffle the settled feathers of their readers and audiences by clinking these unusual keys before them. You see, these keys are corporately and professionally of sensitive nature and the risk of making a politically incorrect statement might mean fewer readers and fewer invitations to speak in chandeliered corporate meeting halls.

Almost always, all the laws and principles of success that are presented by management experts have one basic origin: in the pia mater of brilliant men. And because these laws are extruded from the wide experience and exceptional knowledge of wellknown achievers, their application in the lives of aspirants often do produce better work and greater achievements.

I had been a fan of motivational writers from my boyhood. I enjoyed collecting all kinds of motivational books –  how to win friends and influence people, how to fall in love or make a woman fall in love with you (after several pathetic flops in sincerely applying the laws of attraction revealed in this book, they finally worked with the umpteenth woman I tried to draw into a longterm relationship), how to be assertive and confident, ‘how to develop a million-dollar personality’ (in those days nobody had amassed a personal fortune that reached ten figures, or the author, J. V. Cerney, would have revealed the secrets to developing a billionaire-grade personality; but I recommend that you get a copy of this book from Amazon – in the least it will take you on memorable fantasy rides), how to generate mind power by thinking positively, how to ‘bluff your way in publishing’ (also available on Amazon), how to build a powerful memory (this book set me on a brief career course where I found myself conducting memory training seminars in companies…until my own memory began to give way), how to successfully raise kids and rear chickens at the same time (the kids worked, the chickens didn’t), and on. I enjoyed jotting down notable passages from the writings of the great in business, politics, religion, sciences, arts, military – starting from Dale Carnegie and Napoleon Hill to Peter F Drucker and Tom Peters, from Norman Vincent Peale and Dwight D Eisenhower to Warren Buffet and Herb Kelleher (former CEO of Southwest Airlines, my favorite model among business leaders of this generation. I strongly recommend every young executive to read his influential article ‘A Culture of Commitment’, available free online – just type the title in your search engine). Their books, articles and the passages I have jotted down are literally among my most prized possessions today.

Just a few days before I gave up my job in Dubai and returned to India to take up this mission, I received an invitation to meet seven of the world’s ‘top leaders and leadership thinkers’. The invitation said it was my ‘once in a lifetime leadership experience’. The seven leaders mentioned were Rudolp W Giuliani, Jack Welch, Tom Peters, Alvin Toffler, Lester C Thurow, Frank Maguire and Michael E Porter. I was familiar with the names of three, very familiar with one, and hadn’t the faintest clue who the other three were, but the seminar seemed to promise some precious nuggets of insights I couldn’t dig up anywhere else on good earth. Of course, there was some cost to accepting the ‘invitation’ – about US$ 3000, with a substantial discount of $450 if I pay up five months in advance. Anyway, I had to leave the country permanently before the seminar was held, but I don’t think I missed much by not meeting these ‘top minds’ as I had tunnel access to a nugget mine with incomparably more prodigious output than all that the savviest brains could offer me. Nevertheless, I would certainly encourage my readers to get their eyes on the writings of these and other respected authorities whenever they can. What they say is based on their successful experiences in leading global corporations, in researching into what makes excellent companies, in analyzing world events, in probing the profound depths of human innovation, and in laying bare treasures discovered from previously unknown gorges of the human subconscious.

The World Daily Bread site of inspiration for current and aspiring decisionmakers does include insights gleaned from the quintessence of the lessons promulgated by the world’s great leaders and successful people. But the provision of such insights is only supplemental to the core purpose of this site, which is to inspire men and women of intelligence and deep compassion to go beyond the borders of their imagination, beyond the frontiers of the ordinary achiever’s aspirations, and blaze through paths never trodden before and reach territories never attained in corporate or national, or even global, history before.

Based on my decades of observing various categories of achievers and studying the writings of many successful people, I am convinced beyond a shadow of doubt that if a person diligently applies the principles propounded by them, he or she will attain a high level of success in their respective fields of endeavor. But this success is not guaranteed, and even if one achieves his dream goal, the duration of his tenure at the helm of success is never certain. There are a thousand factors that can keep a diligent and intelligent person mediocre or a failure all his life. There a million negative forces everywhere, any one of which could pull the success rug off the feet of a promising achiever.

While I know many earnest men and women who have achieved what they had aimed for, I know far more equally capable people who have been prevented from reaching their goals because of a sudden or eventual physical infirmity or other adversity that cropped up in their lives. Some were hindered because of mere bad luck or bad timing (for example, a small invention in Japan obsoletes overnight a product of years of dreams and hard work of an earnest entrepreneur in a third world country); others were trapped in political circumstances (think of the potential achievers languishing in the turmoil and upheaval prevailing in many war-torn countries).

Some have all the material success they had aimed for, but are now more miserable than the biggest flops in corporate history, because of a marriage gone sour, or a death in the family, or quickly diminishing eyesight, or something else their otherwise fine intellect can’t cope with. One old friend of mine was having all the success he wished for in his life: fine wife, three mansions, great business. One day, while driving his car, he rapidly began losing vision in both his eyes. His whole life course changed from that moment. After some time of struggling to cope with her husband’s handicapped state, my friend’s wife quit and left him alone. His business also left him and probably his mansions too might have changed hands – I didnt ask him. But he survived. After his series of calamitous misfortunes, he slowly started to pick up his broken life, and a few years ago I met him and arranged to have him visit a wellknown eye specialist in my country to see if he could regain at least partial sight so he could go about his life without having to depend on anyone to take him around.

But not so in the case of another friend of mine. In the prime of his life as a successful executive, he, like my other stricken friend, began to lose his eyesight, but at a less galloping pace of deterioration. When total darkness continued to become increasingly imminent and he realized he could not continue much longer before he had to totally depend on others to move around, he reached an emotional nadir. Rather than choosing to live in total darkness and complete dependency, he chose to consume poison and cut short what he believed would be a tragedy swept life. He was an ardent believer in God but hadn’t grown in understanding yet to realize that it is in tragedy that God gives those who depend solely on him their supreme opportunities for success in life.

You see, achieving the pinnacle of one’s goals as taught by most success teachers is dependent on too many factors beyond man’s control. It can never really be guaranteed by any human..

Many consider King Solomon as the most successful man in history. His final conclusion about his great achievements?

‘Vapor of vapors and futility of futilities. Smoke, nothing but smoke. There’s nothing to anything – it’s all smoke. What’s there to show for a lifetime of work, a lifetime of working your fingers to the bone? What profit does man have left from all his toil at which he toils under the sun?  Oh, I did great things: built houses, planted vineyards, designed gardens and parks and planted a variety of fruit trees in them, made pools of water to irrigate the groves of trees. I bought slaves, male and female, who had children, giving me even more slaves; then I acquired large herds and flocks, larger than any before me in Jerusalem.
‘I piled up silver and gold, loot from kings and kingdoms. I gathered a chorus of singers to entertain me with song, and – most exquisite of all pleasures – voluptuous maidens for my bed.
‘Oh, how I prospered! I left all my predecessors in Jerusalem far behind, left them behind in the dust. What’s more, I kept a clear head through it all. Everything I wanted I took – I never said no to myself. I gave in to every impulse, held back nothing. I sucked the marrow of pleasure out of every task – my reward to myself for a hard day’s work!
‘Then I took a good look at everything I’d done, looked at all the sweat and hard work. But when I looked, I saw nothing but smoke. Smoke and spitting into the wind. There was nothing to any of it. Nothing.’1

The greatest achievements of mortals on earth in the final analysis count for literally nothing and will eventually prove to be mere smoke ascending into nothingness from a fire that burned for a fleeting moment and snuffed out forever. Unless…unless those achievements are based on the one success secret.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Nobel laureate and tireless critic of Soviet totalitarianism, was among the most persecuted men in Russian history, but today he is regarded by his nation as one of their most successful and esteemed citizens. Solzhenitsyn wrote:

‘Over a half century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of old people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: “Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.” Since then I have spent well-nigh 50 years working on the history of our revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous revolution that swallowed up some 60 million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: “Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.” ’2

So what is this one absolute secret of lasting success? The greatest human achiever in history, whom I mentioned earlier, and who finally saw the real worth of all his efforts, concludes his life findings in the following words:

“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is man’s all.”1

Whatever a person’s faith, when he or she determines at the outset of their pursuit of success, at the outset of undertaking any great project, that they will always fear God and keep his commandments – specifically, The 10 Commandments – then that person is guaranteed absolute success in his or her life.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, one of the greatest men of the 20th century.  By Verhoeff, Bert / Anefo [CC-BY-SA-3.0-nl], via Wikimedia Commons

Consider the lives of the leaders in the political world who towered in their lifetimes during the 20th century. Ponder the achievements of the billionaires of that era who reigned in the corporate world. The ones who feared God and kept his commandments have left a lasting legacy that continues to benefit not only their descendants but thousands and millions of other people long after they were gone. Their memories are cherished and the earth is now a little better place for their brief existence. But the many leaders and billionaires who disdained belief in God and did not base their thoughts and actions on their Maker’s laws of success, left behind works that eroded into oblivion some years after they departed. And if any continue now, those works, if you care to go deep into probing them, are festered with the sores of strife, sexual depravity, and social upheaval. The earth is today a worse place for their having come into existence.

This website will explore the lives of political leaders and business magnates of the two kinds and examine the fruits of their achievements.

All the secrets of success expounded by motivational writers and speakers work only if they are acknowledged and applied as ramifications of the laws of perpetual success revealed by the Lawgiver himself, which he codified as ‘The 10 Commandments’. And the plain exposition of these ‘secret’ laws is what this website and all my books are about. Every message in here is based on these laws of success which have proven themselves astonishingly effective in the lives of men and women of exceptional achievements throughout history – men and women who attributed their great success solely to their earnestness in keeping The 10 Commandments – the Creator’s greatest gift to men and women who seek good success.


1 Ecclesiastes 12:13
2 “Solzhenitsyn – Voice from the Gulag”, Ericson, Edward E. Jr.




English Usage for Earnest Professionals




Don’t use ‘after’ before a verb with ‘having’ in it: ‘after having written’, ‘after having eaten’, etc.

Unidiomatic: ‘After having texted the message to Martha, Jack waited with bated breath for her response.’

‘having texted’ means ‘after texting’, so ‘after’ is redundant in the sentence. Write either ‘After texting the message…’ or ‘Having texted the message…’


amidst; amongst

Obliterate the useless ‘’ from the above words. Another similarly ugly word that appears now and then in modern communications is ‘whilst’. Doesn’t ‘while’ serve the same purpose?


blatant; flagrant

Often thought of as interchangeable words. ‘blatant’ is associated with noise and unpleasant sounds. ‘flagrant’ means doing something bad openly and unashamedly. ‘His flagrant vice is exceeded only by his blatant boasting of it.’


careen; career

‘careen’ means to tilt or heel over.

‘The speedboat careened sharply as it rounded the buoy.’

‘career’ means to move uncontrollably at high speed.

‘The speeding car careered into a crowded pavement.’


deadline; dateline

‘deadline’ originally meant the line round a military prison beyond which a prisoner was liable to be shot. The whole of the 20th century was a time when corporate bosses threatened subordinates with this word to ensure they finish a task in time…or else something was going to drop dead. Join ESF in eliminating this morbid word from the English vocabulary and substituting ‘dateline’ for it.



‘A senior-aged lady, prim and prudish, was on her way [to] or returning from church on a Sunday.’

The bracketed prepositions in such cases can be ellipsed.

Definition:  ellipsis   [pl. ellipses] 
a. the omission from a sentence or other construction of one or more words that would complete or clarify the construction, as the omission of who are, while I am, or while we are from I like to interview people sitting down.
b. the omission of one or more items from a construction in order to avoid repeating the identical or equivalent items that are in a preceding or following construction, as the omission of been to Paris from the second clause of I’ve been to Paris, but they haven’t.
c. Printing . a mark or marks as ——, …, or * * *, to indicate an omission or suppression of letters or words.



‘transfer has an idiotic system of spelling for its derivative words:

‘transferable’ or ‘transferrable’ – both are traditionally accepted as correct but ‘transferred’ and ‘transferring’ cannot be spelt ‘transfered’ and ‘transferring’.

I recommend the consistent spelling:  ‘transfered’, ‘transfering’



‘utilize’ is not the same as ‘use’. The writer of the following sentence has not used the right word:

‘She utilized all her savings on a new Fendi handbag.’

‘utilize’ means ‘make good use of something that is generally not intended for that purpose’.

‘The school’s facilities may be utilized for the convenience of visitors to the carnival.’




English Smarties & Beauties

Phrases and Passages Worth Emulating





They tend to swarm like minnows into all sorts of crevices whose existence you hadn’t realized and before you know it the whole long sentence becomes immobilized and lashes up squirming in commas.   Lewis Thomas


exciting as

as nailbitingly exciting as a race between tortoises


getting worse

Things are not improving but we can celebrate that things are getting worse more slowly.


like an acorn

like an acorn that must become an oak, a spore that must become a mushroom, a space vehicle that must stick out its spidery legs and start collecting geological samples.   Peter Goodchild



as obstinate as a demented octogenarian


oven mitts

It’s as if we’re currently trying to play the piano while wearing oven mitts. Right now, we’re trying to embrace our lover, but we’re wearing a hazmat suit.   Rob Bell

hazmat – a material or substance that poses a danger to life, property, or the environment if improperly stored, shipped, or handled: ‘regulations for transporting radioactive materials and other hazmat’.



Comedian Rowan Atkinson, more famously known as Mr Bean, is described as a close friend of the Prince of Wales. No doubt the prince and his bride will be hoping he doesn’t initiate any Bean-style pratfalls in the Abbey.   CNN

pratfall – a fall in which one lands on the buttocks, often regarded as comical or humiliating; a humiliating blunder or defeat.


reliable as

as reliable as a guide dog with acute astigmatism


the continuum

the continuum between temporality and eternity, between matter and spirit, between man and ‘the other’.   George Steiner



The retribution came with such velocity and ferocity.




Ama-musing New Words

Amazing and Amusing New Words

Created and Contributed by Users of
‘Change Your English, Change The World’ 


    Image Courtesy: Poporetto (

Courtesy: Poporetto –



1. The ambit within which odor from a person’s underarms has effect on.
2. The area within which a person’s arms can operate.

Pappa Joseph



Trick a person into buying someone a drink at a pub.  Noun: bamboozer.

 Pappa Joseph



A wide bread eaten by Puritans, and referred to in their thanksgiving prayer ‘Lord, we thank thee, for thou hath given us out of thy bounty our daily breadth’.  Ref: bread + th, as in hath, doeth, and other words with the suffix ‘th’ loved by King James Bible lovers.

 Pappa Joseph



Breath that smells like death.

Pappa Joseph


dump and dumper  

Technical term used by garbage truck operators to refer to a situation when the garbage bin is full and when it overflows.  Ref: Dumb and Dumber, film starring Jim Carey and Jeff Daniels.

 Pappa Joseph



An egalitarian who eats only ‘vegetarian eggs’, that is, unfertilized eggs, but who also believes that all eggs, even those begotten of an intimate foul encounter, are equally tasty.

Pappa Joseph



Used when members of a church fellowship gather together to sip some beverages.

V. V. Jacob
Kochi, Kerala, India



A bellow used in the lower spirit world to fan the flames of hell.

Pappa Joseph



Opposite of ‘hallowed’, used by Satan worshipers in their lord’s prayer in the verse ‘hellowed be thy nail’.

Pappa Joseph



A kiss given just before one dozes off; a good-night kiss.

Pappa Joseph



Irresistible urge to kiss everyone; sexual urge felt on the lips.

Pappa Joseph



A word used to refer to the race of human beings descended from the original Siamese Twins.

Pappa Joseph



Used in the case of a half-witted castaway when he sleeps off on his mattress on the beach at low tide and is carried away into the ocean at high tide.

Pappa Joseph



A sound made when a moaning person hurts his toe against a stone; the sound made by a groaning person when he complains.

Pappa Joseph



The lease used on dog constables.

Pappa Joseph



Spread bread crumbs on the carpet.

Pappa Joseph



Song you sing while showering.

Pappa Joseph



A word used to describe the action of bumble bees, humming birds, etc, hovering over a flower in a light shower.

Pappa Joseph



Snail mail, that is, mail delivered by the postman.

Pappa Joseph



Song you hear on your car radio when crawling your way through a thick smog.

Pappa Joseph



A smile that masks a snarl; a snarl made to appear as a smile.

Pappa Joseph



A surfer with a secret phobia of the ocean, but loves the sport so much he is willing to suffer for it.

Pappa Joseph



Smatter butter on the table while spreading it on your slice.

Pappa Joseph



A woman who has had her womb surgically strictured as a contraceptive measure.

Pappa Joseph



A soldier overcome with anxiety that he may die in combat.

Pappa Joseph



Users:  Be imaginative with your existing range of vocabulary and come up with more such interesting and colorful creations to enlarge the English vocabulary. Or if you come across such words in any writing, send it over, mentioning the original source.

Copyright warning:  The words listed here belong to the users of Change Your English, Change The World. Anyone planning to use any of them for their own purpose must acknowledge this website as the source, or at least think a thankful thought to us while using the new word. Thank you!




English Howlers, Bloopers, and Gaffes

Glaring Mistakes in English Usage
That Even Smart Writers Make




Howler  –   ‘ A stupid or glaring mistake, especially an amusing one.’
Blooper  –   ‘An embarrassing error.’
Gaffe  –   ‘An unintentional remark causing embarrassment to its originator.’


A slip on Marilyn Monroe’s dress


‘There is one collector who claims to own the lion’s share of Monroe memorabilia…Investment banker and collector David Gainsborough Roberts… Roberts’ collection may be extensive, but the jewel in the crown for him would be the billowing white dress worn by Monroe in 1955 film “The Seven Year Itch.” Owned by film star Debbie Reynolds, Roberts said that it is going up for sale in Las Vegas this summer. ‘Every time I talk to Debbie, she mentions millions’, said Roberts.’   CNN article, ‘Why gentlemen still prefer Marilyn Monroe’.

There’s a ‘dangler’ in the second paragraph. A dangler is a sentence that leaves the first part of its statement dangling in the air. CNN first states, ‘Owned by film star Debbie Reynolds’, and the next thing it mentions is Roberts, leaving the white dress dangling in limbo. The undangled sentence would read:

Owned by film star Debbie Reynolds, the dress is going up for sale in Las Vegas this summer, said Roberts.’

But that’s not the only slip in that CNN article. The way “The Seven Year Itch.” is punctuated really itches sensible writers. The unquote (”) is meant for the Itch, not for the whole sentence. The period is meant for the whole sentence, not for the Itch alone. But now it seems that the title of the movie includes the period, and the sentence is left without an end. The sensible way to punctuate:

‘Roberts’ collection may be extensive, but the jewel in the crown for him would be the billowing white dress worn by Monroe in 1955 film “The Seven Year Itch”.’


Never slip on your commitments

‘We are committed to continuously widen the association with Indian academic institutions in international higher education. TECOM Education Cluster is confident our partnership with institutions of higher learning from India – inspired by our common mission to deliver quality education – will continue to open promising academic avenues for the UAE and the regional student community.’   Dr Ayoub Kazim, Managing Director, TECOM Investments’ Education Cluster, Dubai, at the annual conference Emerging Directions in Global Education held in New Delhi.

When someone I newly employ tells me, ‘I am committed to fulfill all the job responsibilities you give me to your total satisfaction’, I may not doubt his sincerity, but I certainly question his ability to speak and write in the way I want my professionals to communicate. Dubai’s prestigious TECOM Education Cluster comprises the Dubai International Academic City (DIAC) and Dubai Knowledge Village. DIAC is, in their words, ‘the premier destination for higher education in the region’, and its campus is host to over 18,000 students of more than 100 nationalities. These students have access to over 300 higher education programmes, but one vital programme seems to be missing – on professional English usage. Any student graduating with the highest distinction from DIAC, and then going around using sentences such as the one Dr Ayoub Kazim used at the global conference, is certainly going to put a slight blotch on TECOM’s reputation as a ‘premier destination for higher education’. Be careful when you use the word ‘commit’ with the preposition ‘to’. The verb these 2 words always takes the ‘ing’ form. Examples:

‘When a man marries, he is committing himself to providing his wife all her needs and wants.’ ‘The firm has committed itself to completing the project with its present workforce.’

So, Dr Ayoub Kazim should have said:

‘We are committed to continuously widening the association with Indian academic institutions in international higher education.’


Slipping on the floor of Starship Enterprise

Panorama of the Enterprise's bridge from the 2009 Star Trek film.

Panorama of the Enterprise’s bridge from the 2009 Star Trek film.

I was watching my favorite tv serial, Star Trek. The episode that was being shown was ‘Half A Lie’, in The Next Generation series. A female member of the starship community had fallen in love with an alien who is a visitor on the Enterprise. Towards the end of the serial, the visitor tells the woman that back on his planet when a person reaches the age of 60, they kill themselves before they become a burden to their relatives and to society. The lover had reached his time to die. When the day came for the visitor to return to his planet and end his life, the woman mourns the impending suicide of her lover, and plans to go with her lover. The woman’s daughter, an officer of the starship, tries to comfort her with the words:

‘You’ll never be one of those who dies before they die’.

Pardon me, lady officer, you certainly arent talking just about your mom who is going to die before she dies, but about all the other people as well who die in the same unnatural way. Pull up your slip, ma’am, or your reputation is going to slip down on the sleek starship floor.

‘You’ll never be one of those who die before they die’.




Photo on top of the page beside subheading courtesy of Eva Machandel (evamachandel –