P2P Competition!

You know what, my son Siddharth is doing great in his coaching classes for IIT Jee. Today, his teacher was telling me that he would surely make it to top 100″, says a parent P1 to another parent P2, who is the father of Shreya, who’s Siddharth classmate.

Oh, is it! That’s wonderful. Shreya is somewhat lagging behind in Chemistry. I just hope she is able to catch up, am a little concerned whether she will be able to qualify the exam”, responds P2.

You know what, you should start sending Shreya to this wonderful coaching institute in our neighbourhood, if you really want her to succeed”, P1, being a proud parent that he is, is always on look-out to offer free advise to other parents living in the same community.

I guess, you are right! Let me enrol her in the same program as Siddharth”, conforms P2.

If you are wondering whether P1 and P2 might just be an exception to the rule when it comes to parents demonstrating concerns for their kids, think again, for that’s what you tend to see in majority of parents these days.

What most kids’ routine would look like in today’s competitive world:

5:00 am Good morning

6:00 am Tutor at home, who takes care of kid’s Science and Math lessons

7:30 am Kid goes to school in an air-conditioned bus of the respective school which has curtains, and kids seem to be cut off from the world outside, few among who, spent most of the time in the bus, browsing on the internet, or watching some random video or chit chatting on Whatsapp

3:30 pm School gets over, kid sits in the same bus, comes back home, around 4:30 if he/she is lucky enough and his/her house comes first in the list of the drop-offs

5:00 pm After a quick snack of sorts, kid has some extra-curricular lesson with a relevant tutor coming to the house, be it a piano session or a tabla session, for kids need to excel in not only their studies but also other things, which gives a parent an opportunity to showcase their kid as a trophy of sorts to the who’s who of their society 

6:30 pm Kid goes to a coaching institute, where he/she is supposed to prepare for a competitive exam

8:00 pm Kid comes back to the house, totally drained out, but wait a minute, he/she needs to complete a set of assignments given either by the morning tutor or the school

9:30 pm Kid gets a chance to have his/her dinner and by the time, he/she is able to finish the same, there is no energy left whatsoever to remain awake, yet he/she, courtesy the mobile phone, spends sometime on the same, before falling asleep

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And this continues for the entire year, which goes against the very fundamentals of how a kid should spent his/her wonderful childhood years.

Courtesy the quality of teachers we have in the system, the school system kills the inherent curiosity of a kid, ensuring that he/she is thrown into the rat race from the very moment, he/she is able to perceive the world in a certain manner.

Courtesy the eagerness of the parents to see their kids not lagging behind, the kid suffers tremendous stress, few of them succumbing at times to the same, few who might be lucky enough to not meet the same fate as above, end up spending the wonderful years of their life in a tizzy.

Courtesy the immediate society who are thriving on the vary act of comparison, ensures that the kid, who is so called not able to make it big, ends up going through a mental and emotional trauma, which surely leads to having repercussion in the latter half of their life.

What a waste, I would say!

Just because competing with someone has become the very basis of life, parents have a tendency to put their kid through enormous amount of stress.

Just because a parent considers it as their right to get their expectations fulfilled by their kids, they forget that the very life they have brought into this world is meant to experience and explore, rather than just meeting those man-made targets.

It’s high time that we as a society and parents begin to realise, that what we define as success, is it really the case?

And if not, then why the hell we are bent upon putting our kids through such torture.

My advice:

Calm down parents, be sensible, for this competition among yourselves would end up in being a disaster for not only your kid, but also for the society as a whole.

Source for the Image: http://www.altonschools.org/index.cfm?page=1045

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Deciding to Obey!

Since childhood,

Be it our parents or teachers,

Be it the moral science books,

Be it any other elder in the neighbourhood,

We have been told to obey, for the sheer reason being that all the stakeholders mentioned above have experienced life much more, in terms of no. of years, than what we might have.

Fair enough, some would say!

But few might ask, is this the only and probably the right way to approach any or every aspect of life?

Well, may be and may be not!

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May be, because of the communication relationship and the trust that you might have been able to build with the person over a period of time.

May be not, because, unless and until you have experienced it yourself, you might have a tendency to stop being curious and accept it at a surface level.

So, it comes down to whether the acceptance is because of the very concept of obedience or because you decide, having experienced the same, to give your consent to obey.

Considering the kind of argument one gives behind obeying, in a way, influences the way your thought process shapes up.

From a teacher or a mentor point of view, it is extremely important that obedience is a consequence of the decision a kid chooses to take, after having had a complete understanding of the relevant aspect of life.

For, all the kids out there, there is a strong need to delve deeper into what’s being said and ask as many questions as you can, before you decide to accept,

and

For all teachers and parents, the imperative is to encourage kids to be curious and let them explore before expecting them to obey.

Source for the Image: http://dawnhydebooks.com/montessori-how-obedience-and-will-power-develop-in-young-children/

Talking to the Source!

I don’t know, it’s just that my parents wanna get me through to IITs, so be it!“,

When such is the reply coming from a very bright 17 year old girl on being asked casually as to what she would want to do in her life, then surely there is a cause for concern.

As a society, when you see kids committing suicide, reason being not getting good marks or not being able to qualify a particular exam, we need to delve into it at a much deeper level on an immediate basis.

Just imagine the stress and anxiety that kid might have gone through before taking such a drastic step.

What is it that we are trying to inculcate in our kids as parents?

Many parents argue that it’s for their kid’s good that they are pushing them to be successful in life.

Really?

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Is being sad a part of that very success story?

Is feeling anxious about not being able to fulfil their parents’ dream a part of the process?

Is taking to drugs a reasonable part of their response to the kind of expectations parents have from them?

And,

As parents, are we reinforcing all the above, by pushing them towards the most undesirable thing in their lives at a point in time?

Why, the very source of creation, becomes an enabler for the impending disaster?

Why, the very nurturer becomes the destroyer?

Why, the very so called good intentions, become malign?

For parents, you are the ones who would enable the creation of a sensible or a nonsensical society!

Choice is yours, so why not be sensible about it,

Some food for thought for parents of our generation!

Source for the Image: https://www.ypad4change.org/suggested-dance-parent-etiquette/

See_the_ME!

A philosopher once said, “If you really wanna know how a person is, you need to dive deep into the ocean of her eyes, for eyes tell nothing but the truth, if you perceive it well, that is!

A beautiful thought indeed, though what’s needed is to become a keen and focused observer to understand the very fundamentals of all emotions, be it love or hate and the very existence in itself.

What we refer to as the connect is very much a part of our realisation that each and every matter in this universe is nothing but a derivative of the same cells or particles.

Only if we were to remove the conditioned garb, which we tend to adorn with great pride each day of our lives, would things be perceived more than what it seems to be right now.

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Which leads to a zeal to explore and in turn a possibility of a discovery beyond imagination,

Be it that one moment you would die to spend with the special one of your life,

Be it the cause that you would want to dedicate yourself throughout your life,

Be it spending quality time with your ageing parents,

or

Be it lying in the garden and looking at the beautiful starts.

For thou shall perceive, what you ought to, and what’s about to happen will reveal what it was all about in times to come!

Source for the Image: https://www.pexels.com/search/dawn/

Million Dollar Job!

Let me start by what it is not:

An Investment banker who makes every second of his day count into making loads of money;

A startup tycoon, who has tread the hard steps to become what he/she is today;

An IAS officer who, among all the competition has managed to secure for himself the most coveted of posts;

A Scientist or a researcher, who has to his/her credit numerous published papers and books and might be the most wanted expert in his field;

Wondering, what it could be?

One that most of us have come across possibly each day of our lives for the past whatever years, we have been in existence;

One which most of us take for granted;

One which is nothing but a natural consequence of being here;

One on which we can depend on without the give and take norms of the society;

One which, few amongst us, might have already had the fortune of attaining that status;

Being a PARENT. 

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Comes with lot of pleasure and an ability of being able to act the very agent of the source of creation;

Though, the role, if not performed well, has drastic consequences for not only the life whom we have brought into this world, but also for the society and in turn the ecosystem at large.

What follows just after the birth is a roller coaster where you go through the ups and downs;

Yet, one thing that cannot be taken from one as a parent is the possibility of directing the life into becoming a sensible being;

Which requires a dedicated commitment from the parents for a minimum of 18-20 years, where one tries to make sure that the individual evolves into a sensible being;

Capable of looking beyond what’s obvious and being able to make conscious decisions, which leads the world into a sustainable place to live in;

For few, the very process of parenting results in stress and discomfort; one needs to deliberate the very nature of the same;

What’s needed for a parent is to become sensible himself/herself before one treads the path;

So, just before deciding whether we want to become a parent or not;

Don’t you think, it’s sensible enough to ponder over the very sensibility of the act and the process!

The Delta Flotation!

What people might refer to as distractions, I might want to call it the hidden desires, though, why hidden is a question that we all need to ponder over as a society!

The limitation of not being able to say a NO when you don’t really want it, and the anxiety of being judged by the who’s who of your own community, in case you gather the courage to speak out, is a dilemma that most face in today’s judgemental and opinionated world.

Have you ever wondered, what happens to those desires, when they don’t find an expression?

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Well, to a certain extent, you try to conform to the norms of the society, by merging it with distorted terminologies such as daily distractions, or the likes; at other times you just choose to internalise the very same, which might find an expression through your eyes, if the one who perceives is open enough to the possibility of understanding the very nature of what that might mean.

What lies at the core is a wonderful possibility of being open to the very nature of life and its dynamics, for the hidden must find an expression.

So, what are you waiting for, unless and until you take that delta step towards being in a state of flotation, what more there is to it!

Source for the Image: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/jordan-dansky/the-decisionmaking-dilemma-are-you-a-picker-or-a-chooser_b_7221866.html

Game of Educating!

Have you ever wondered, why education has just become a means for attaining good marks, which in turn gets you a so called good job thereafter? And the education providers a business for churning out mechanical robots day-in-day-out.

After all education was never meant to be a business and a factory for generating the above, it was meant to lead to creation of responsible and sensible individuals who could, after growing up, make rational and sensible decisions, guiding the world towards a sustainable and joyful place to live in.

The question that arises is whether that’s happening? And if not, what needs to be done to ensure that it happens? Very valid questions indeed and we do have an answer, though it might not go down well with the herd mentality of trying to make millions of dollars, yet can have an immense impact on the way people perceive education in a holistic manner.

Before we get into the dynamics of how it can be achieved, let us take a pause to understand what it means for a kid. Kids are born with inherent curiosity, which they express in so called constructive or destructive ways, yet one thing that should not be taken away from them is a zeal to ask questions.

Shouldn’t our education system be encouraging questions and enabling the curiosity to flourish among kids?

Once the curiosity take its own course, kids are bound to find answers to the same, be it asking their elders (parents, siblings, teachers) or seeking it for themselves, be it internet, any chat bot or other means of digital access.

Coming to our role as adults is to provide kids an environment and assets through which they can explore this wonderful world, ask us questions when they feel like and get the answers to the same or a guidance as to where they would be able to find the answers to the same, the latter being the preferred modus operandi, as it leads to self-exploration and building a confidence to explore.

Having said the above, there are many aspects to providing this environment, especially in the current scheme of things (assuming the kids are able to come to a school, though there are other aspects of how to bring underprivileged kids to the same which encompasses mid-day meal programs etc.):

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  • Physical Infrastructure

 

      1. Classrooms (black/white boards, chalk/marker, chairs, tables, lights etc.)
      2. Toilets
      3. Playground (garden, trees)
      4. Projector
      5. Computer
      6. Science Labs (chemicals etc.)
      7. Staff room

 

  • Learning Material

 

      1. Text Books/E-Books (in every language)
      2. Videos (in-person/animation) (in every language)
      3. Experiment kits (aligned to concepts and real life examples) which kids can play with, relate to and learn from the same
      4. Tools equipped with AR/VR

 

  • Teachers

 

      1. Friendly, learned enablers having teaching aides (digital and physical) who promote the culture of openness and asking questions

 

  • Parents

 

    1. Acting as enablers off the school campus, giving children an opportunity to explore

The very idea to create an exploration environment equipped with technology and other fundamental assets to make the learning process a joyful experience is what one would want to aspire for when it comes to developing that all important vision of educating the next generation.

The learning process needs to be made joyful and easily understandable which means presenting concepts etc. in a manner in which the kid would want to receive it as, which in turn means that we need to have a fair understanding of what would be received well by different kids of different levels of understanding and the matter or the material being designed in accordance to the same.

Does that mean that the grades need to be rethought and regrouped into a fundamental parameter, such as level of understanding?

If that’s the case, can the concepts be organized per se according to the levels of understanding and not grades?

Does it also translate into different explanations/pedagogy for the same concept for different levels of understanding that kids might have?

After all, a concept is grade agnostic and the very assumption that the kids of a certain grade wouldn’t comprehend a particular aspect of life is derogatory in itself.

It’s like putting the kids into unwanted boundations and making them believe of the very limitations which don’t really exist.

Strong need to rethink upon how education can be made:

Relatable (to what one sees around oneself),

Realistic (based upon pure observation),

Simplistic (easy to understand),

Unbounded & limitless (making a conscious effort of not creating superficial boundaries in the minds of the kids)

and

most importantly Enjoyable.

Source of the image: https://www.education.com/game/number-demolition-11-20/

Artificially Intelligent (AI) Human!

It’s kind of scary to think about the very tasks and jobs being taken away from humans by the AI world that seem to have found world-wide acceptance among the visionary thinkers.

But, if you have the time and patience to delve into the aspects a little in depth, you will realize that it’s after all not that scary.

For the world, that is being created around us, is on the basis of human limitations and not human potential.

And when we talk about human potential, we better respect the boundlessness of what it is, especially going by the ability of a human mind to find itself in use and the very limitation of the artificially intelligent human being able to do so.

Sometime back, I had written about this concept of kundalis (horoscopes) being used for determining the job-person fit for recruiting people in organizations.

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Now, certain machines are doing the same, which work on this algorithm, where in the skill sets are matched to the key words in job descriptions (JD) and there you get the perfect looking AI man all set to rock your organization and take it to the next level of sorts.

But the very assumption, that success=skill sets or is derived in some way from the same, is far from reality, as many of the HR professionals might have already encountered, their biggest worry being the attrition rate in their respective organizations.

For, if the human was as simple as a+b=c, then the world would look too predictive and robotic in that sense.

Good or bad, to express human capabilities in the form of an equation, no matter how complicated looking, it might be, as it turns out, the predictions made are far from what ends up being the truth.

Need to wonder upon the very foundations of the assumptions made in this regard? Rather than blindly following those assessments and perspectives given by a bunch of western philosophers or psychologists and treating it as the ultimate truth?

High time, one discards the deterministic attitude of knowing how a person might behave and high time to start treating human as a potential and not just a resource.

So, all organizations out there, if you do just the way you are doing, what you might end up getting is an AI man, who might not fulfill your vision, instead result in the creation of a dissatisfied and disheartened AI workforce.

Am sure, you wouldn’t want that. Time for change in perspective?

Source for the Image: https://philosophyofmetrics.com/the-artificial-man/

Fearing the If?

How many times have we woken up to a thought what if what we are expecting today to happen doesn’t go the way we want it to?

Be it a cricketer, who wants to score and contribute in the next IPL game to see his team through to victory,

Be it an investment banker, who wants to make that life changing deal, hoping to retire at age 40,

Be it an advertising professional, who wants to get out the most creative idea, that he has to offer to the world today,

Be it an actor, who thinks of making it big in the Bollywood industry, with his first big hit this very Friday,

Be it a doctor, who wants to successfully conduct the most complicated surgery he has ever done,

Be it a scientist, who wants to make that all important discovery, which would benefit the mankind in times to come,

Be it a student, who dreams of becoming an IAS officer and whose civil services results are supposed to be out the very day,

Be it a labourer, who is hoping to get that meal for the day, which he aspires for everyday in his life,

But no matter, how much one aspires to make this day, the most significant day of his life, there is that fear of seeing it not happening.

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Some might have lost hope, seeing the fear coming true everyday of their lives,

Some might want to maintain a so called positive demeanor, hoping the day will come sooner or later,

There are only few, who manage to come out of this fear, and start to live life, as it is supposed to be experienced and cherished.

Have you ever wondered why most of us find ourselves incapable of relieving us from this fear?

Is it because of the assets that we have accumulated over a period of time and for which we are liable to repay a huge debt?

Is it because we have this concept of a wonderful materialistic life towards which we keep putting in the hard work?

Is it because we feel we are burdened with loads of responsibilities and expectations from the near and dear ones?

Whatever might be the reason, for which we see ourselves doing what we do, day-in-day-out, have you ever wondered, whether this was how life was meant to be?

Getting up, rushing into the daily chores, running off to work, coming back late, barely having time for dinner and family, pushing off to bed, and then repeating the same everyday.

Was such the very concept of life, we were born to?

Probably not!

Life is much more than what most of us have made it into.

Isn’t it about getting up each morning from the bed of death to witness another beautiful day?

Isn’t it about getting another chance to spread the joy and make others happy around you?

Isn’t it about working towards a cause that really gets you going, aimed at making this world a wonderful place to live in?

And much more…

If you think, it is, then why not just get that fear out of your life forever and ever.

After all, one day, each one of us know, where we would end up, having realized this, don’t you think, it’s high time we say goodbye to our fears and start living!

Source for the Image: http://randalldsmith.com/fear-and-heart-health-the-letter-to-smyrna-revelation-28-11/

Ironical Success!

A sage once asked a man, “Do you want to be successful or secure?

The man replied, “But how are they different?

The sage replied, “Well, for most of the people, the success happens by chance, which makes them more fearful of what if and what if not!”

What the man chose thereafter, let us leave that to history, but what’s more important is to mull over the above a tad bit.

To see whether it’s really happening around us. Are we really becoming that insecure, as we tend to accumulate more and more assets in our lives.

Are we scared of losing things to so called destiny?

Are we looking for some kind of insurance, leave alone the other ones which, in any case, we are choosing to have day-in-day-out, instead of focusing on what to do and what not to do, especially when it comes to our health?

To a certain extent, yes!

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Be it any time of our day, tend to haunt us with questions,

What if the maid doesn’t come today?

What if I were late for a so called important meeting?

What if the investments that I have made are hit by a financial crisis?

What if the real state scenario doesn’t become better?

What if I am not able to travel in business class?

Our minds and thoughts putting us in an unstable mode, where in consequences of situations which hasn’t even happened start to trouble us the very moment we are awake.

No wonder, so much importance is being given to sleeping 8-9 hours a day ;).

What if, the very act of waking up came along with the pleasant thoughts, which instead of making you fearful and insecure brought in fresh air and fragrance of life!

Wouldn’t that be a fantastic way to lead life?

And would it even matter bothering about answering the question which the sage asked, once upon a time 🙂

Source of the Image: http://www.pragyata.com/mag/ashtavakra-the-great-indian-sage-110