Monday, April 30, 2012

Why Life can be hell

The biggest mistake by most human beings: 'Listening half, understanding quarter, telling double'. 

Hat-Tip: Pravs World

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Nonsense of Laughter

Calvin and Hobbes - (C) by Bill Watterson 

There's something profound about this cartoon strip (like many others by the brilliant Watterson). 

Friday, April 13, 2012

One Truth

I'd never disagree with this, even if my life depended on it. :-) (And, if the person being subjected to such a phenomena also has a categorical view on what is right/wrong, nothing on Earth can possibly save the people associated with him/her!). 

When I looked up Born on Wikipedia, I found something amusing and interesting. He is supposed to have contributed significantly to the field of quantum mechanics. Now, whether he was able to discover the secrets of quantum mechanics because he did not believe in one single truth or vice versa is something we may never find out. ;-)

A supplementary caveat to this quote may, arguably, be that it should not matter as long as people keep their beliefs to themselves and do not try to manipulate others (directly or indirectly) to tow their line. So, if, for example, I believed that there is no God but made no attempts to brainwash or ridicule others (who believed that there is a God), I should not be considered an evil entity in society. But does my belief remain within me, in reality?

Not necessarily. Even if I made no conscious effort to change the mental make-up of others, if my belief is strong enough, it is likely to be reflected in my actions (if not via words of advice) and that may in turn influence someone to suddenly become a skeptic (sticking to the example above). Am I an evil entity in such a situation? 

I think not. After all, my genuine and embedded thoughts will naturally emerge via my actions, choices, behavior etc. What others are influenced by because of their self-motivated observations and introspective conclusions cannot be attributed to me. (A charismatic and inward looking leader or author may easily influence hundreds of people without even intending to)

What is, however, a deciding factor in concluding whether I am potentially an evil entity or not is whether, in spite of my strong convictions, I have the attitude and the ability to be open to listening to people who have opposite views and consider their views sincerely. The key point here is to not be casually dismissive of opinions different from one's own. The need is to be mature enough to understand that a different view is a result of different and deeply embedded experiences, contexts, mental abilities and so forth. I may not be convinced by an opposite view, ultimately, because of being married to my own thoughts or because of being unable to relate to foreign examples or values of the other party. But that is fine as long as I continue to be ready to listen to the same or a variation of the view in future and untiringly reconsider my views, inspect it from unexplored angles and see it from various distances. (Unfortunately, it is also, apparently, important to retain one's sanity during such situations ;-). While the nicer lot have to focus on not losing their own sanity, the, er, rowdy lot will have to focus on not driving the other person up the wall). 

In certain cases, it may be slightly simpler and involve letting go of a situation (by avoiding the exploration of alternative views till a more conducive situation comes up in the future) because you clearly see that the other person may never understand your point of view and accept the simultaneous existence of two views because of not having gone through an essential experience (that you, however, went through). 

More food for thought: 

RT @freedomsway: "Freedom from the desire for an answer is essential to the understanding of a problem." ~ Jiddu Krishnamurti


No idea where I went with this post. :-) Whew. Let me know if I drove you up the wall, but for reasons different from those mentioned above. ;-)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Time for some inspiration

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you‘re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit— 
Rest if you must, but don‘t you quit.

Life is odd with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a person turns about
When they might have won had they stuck it out.
Don ‘t give up though the pace seems slow— 
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor's cup;
And he learned too late when the night came down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out—
So stick to the fight when you‘re hardest hit,— 
It's when things seem worst that you mustn‘t quit.

Note: Source: Internet. No idea who wrote this poem.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Children can Fly

Excellent quotes on parenting:

Do not confine your children to your own learning, for they were born in another time. -Chinese Proverb

There are two things children should get from their parents: roots and wings - Goethe

Watterson on TV

C&H by Bill Watterson

Close on the heels of my previous post on Kids addicted to TV....

Monday, April 02, 2012

Time to Change

I'd be lying if I said I was never ever addicted to TV. I recall being addicted to humorous serials, cartoons, adventure stories, and the weekly movie watch etc. Actually, I suspect I was more addicted to advertisements than the TV programs themselves, while I was in school. I have no reliable data on approximately how many hours of TV I got to watch every day but I think it was rationed and regulated to a large extent. Even otherwise, there weren't as many channels or even 24-hour channels, those days (Gasp! I must be older than I'd care to admit). 

Ask me what I think of TV now and my expression might be a honest and funny blend of disgust, irritation, sarcasm, exhaustion, anger and what not. I am truly the happiest when the TV is switched off (which normally means the house is silent and serene). I'd rather sit and read a nice book whilst eavesdropping on chirpy conversations between the neighborhood's birds or listening to the music of the breeze on the trees. I might watch an occasional cartoon or a nature/science program during the weekend, a nicely done low-drama musical contest or show and a rare good movie (if I happen to somehow know it is being aired or accidentally discover it). But my intention is to not watch more than a few hours of TV every week (let's say 7-8 hours a week). 

Intuitively, I am irrevocably convinced that watching a lot of TV is a miserable and dangerous habit for one's mental, spiritual and physical well-being. It distracts us from so many good and important things in life, reduces us to mute (or excited) spectators of many events, encourages us to be lazy, slows down our mental processes in many ways and fires our negative imagination more often than not (going by the types of serials and reality shows that are aired).  Even though the previous sentence may sound like I put the blame on TV and not ourselves, the undeniable truth is that it is up to us to not let TV dictate to our lives.

My biggest worry though is not so much the TV-watching habits of adults but the early onset of the habit in children. We're obviously robbing them of their wonderful lives by introducing them to the Idiot box and then "leading" by example. Think of families where there is minimum interaction between the adults and the children and all they do together is watch TV. Think of families which only have a debate or discussion when they need to decide which channel or program to watch. Think of families which know little about the real world around them but believe that the sensationalized and dramatically presented programs they watch on TV is what is real. Think of families that quite often collectively sacrifice silence, reading, music, playing a sport or game, pursuing an art, exercise and intimacy with nature and animals for their favorite TV programs. Think of what the children in such families are missing because of their biggest attraction and focus being TV. 

It's been discovered by many researchers that children who watch a lot of TV are more susceptible to attention deficit disorders. Children who lose their ability to concentrate and ability to think on their own because of being fed to the teeth with commercially motivated and deliberately packaged opinions in the form of advertisements and TV serials have obviously lost many things in their lives. Children who are unable to turn away from what is being fed to them and introspect in order to find their own version of truth and come to their own conclusions on how they want to lead their lives are, of course, not getting it right. If that's not a sad thing, I don't know a sad thing when I come across one. 
Source: Internet. (No copyrights were attached to the image)
This picture above winds (pun intended) it up for me quite well. It is time to change. It is time to stop watching so much TV. It is time to stop leading children into the mucky and deceptive whirlpool called TV. It is time to intelligently choose what to watch and not let our children's creative and energetic brains die a sad and early death. It is time to shape the future of our children, country and world by introducing them to different dimensions of the real world.

Note: This post has been written and submitted to the "Time to Change" contest on IndiBlogger -

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Decision Making

We all arrive at conclusions, take decisions and judge situations and people based on information that we have access to. Some of us settle for the raw information that comes to us. Some analyze it and discard what does not seem useful or 'right' and add their own perspective (based on past experiences, insights, intuition) to the rest and then conclude/decide/judge. Some embark on a journey to collect more information from other sources that they think are reliable, objective etc before they take the next step. 

In the last case, the preferred length of the journey depends on various factors like the significance and complexity of the situation, consequences of taking decisions or judging people, availability and cost of information, distractions and changing priorities etc. No one can say for sure that the person who embarks on a long journey and collects tons of information before concluding on something is more likely to arrive at the right conclusion as compared to someone who settles for raw information. The degree of information consumption varies from person to person and like in everything else, one thinks that the best strategy is moderation. We should neither settle for raw information and jump to uneducated conclusions nor should we reserve our judgment until death or, well, the obsoleteness of the requirement.