“I Listen”!

In a colloquial conversation, in a public gathering, a teacher was once asked, “what do you do for a living?” 

He answered, “I listen!

Funny to the core as it might sound, it had a very deep trans formative meaning to the same.

Most of the teachers by any set of imagination, would go on talking on how well they teach, how well they are able to bring out the curiosity in the kid, how well they are able to communicate their learning, and so on.

But here, this gentleman was standing amidst the who’s who of education sector, answering the very fundamental of what you need to do in order to make sure that every kid on this planet gets an opportunity to learn, as per his/her needs, convenience and adaptability.

For if one doesn’t listen to what the kid has to say, how would one know, what he/she wants, what are the kind of challenges the kid might be going through in his/her life be it getting bullied by a set of rogues or failing to understand that one concept in science on which he was made to believe that his entire future would depend on.

This fantastic habit, which we all refer to as listening, goes well beyond what I have spoken above and is a mool mantra of sorts when it comes to our day-to-day life.

Be it professional, or personal, though everything is personal (another thought for another time ;)), yet for clarity and for discussion purposes, lets keep it separate.

Professionally, an organization is one big family, where in the father/mother or the so called CEO tries to make sure that each kid performs to the best of his/her ability, reaping proportionate awards for the same, at the same time, making this family a prosperous unit.

kids-listening-clipart-listen02

Personally, father and mother, try to do everything possible for their kids, trying to make sure that every need is met with a suitable material/emotional support for the child to grow and become a productive and healthy individual.

But if the above forget to listen to what their kid has to offer in terms of advice, in terms of feedback, in terms of sharing his/her concern, in terms of discussing his/her problems, then no matter how good the HR policy is

or

The home conduct rules and values are, the kid will end up suffering, because of the chaotic environment around him/her which doesn’t seem to offer that much needed ear, leading to multitude of problems, both physical and psychological, that our society needs to be caught in big time, at this very moment in our lives.

So, if you want to become a good father, a good mother, a good CEO, a good leader or whatever category of good, you need to imbibe this art of listening.

I wonder, how many are indeed listening ;)!

Source for the Image: http://www.clipartpanda.com/categories/free-clip-art-children-listening

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Strategic Middle Path!

Yesterday, in the evening, I had this wonderful opportunity of visiting my paternal aunt’s place (bua) after a long time. Though, I happen to live in the same city as she, yet I would like to admit that I had been acting a little lazy of late and had not been able to find the time and motivation to visit her place in recent times. Though, some of this laziness can be attributed to the kind of work that I do and the kind of revoluntionary age that we all happen to be living in, which truly can be referred to as the age of internet.

On one hand where the internet tends to make our lives comfortable and easy, on the other hand, it tends to create a divide amongst the friends and relatives who all seemed to be caught up in this web that is woven by the technology around ourselves and we end up leading our lives in a virtual world.

Have you ever wondered whether living in this virtual world has made us all lose touch not only with our near and dear ones but also the nature and the environment and in a way has deprived us all of the pleasure and happiness that togertherness seems to shower upon us?

Yes, in a way, the internet has been instrumental in solving numerous problems and issues that might have haunted us in the years to come and it has indeed proven to be a boon on numerous occassions and situations where otherwise we might have found ourselves wanting.

But the manner in which, we have ended up using the services of this ubiquitous facility has to be called into question and needs to be reconsidered and deliberated upon. It is always a good idea to extract all the good things and to discard away all the bad ingredients. True to its core, we haven’t managed to do just the above and have ended up losing upon the fun and excitement that human contact tends to bring along with itself.celebration

Breaking away from this mode in which I had been caught since a couple of months, I decided to break away all the shackles and tried catching up with all the family members who could possibly turn up on this occassion where we all gathered to celebrate the birthday of one of my bhanjas.

It was a truly memorable experience having had long conversations with my cousins on topics ranging from anything to everything. To put a cherry on the cake was the delicious food and the desserts that were served immediately after the cake cutting ceremony.

As I bid goodnight to all the relatives present there and sat in my car to drive back home, I realized how much I might have missed in the past couple of months just because I happened to make myself hooked on to the virtual pleasures of life ignoring the reality altogether.

It is amazing how a balanced lifestyle can end up increasing the happiness quotient and in turn the well being of an individual. It plays a very significant role when it comes to getting rid of and overcoming our tensions in life. It acts as the best antidote to the increasingly materialistic rat race that we all seemed to have got so used to running and the associated stress that comes as a part and parcel of the failures and success that we end up facing having become a part of all the hooplah surrounding this race.

At the end of the day, the onus of finding peace of mind lies on the individual. Some amongst you might want to derive it by earning lot of money. Some might want to abandon all this and instead choose to live a life of seclusion. As suggested by Lord Buddha, and as propagated by numerous philosophers, the Middle Path seems to provide us with the best way, which if tread, tends to give us the most amount of happiness and satisfaction in life.

But what the hell is this middle path? And how can one go about treading the same? Does it mean that we should give away all our ambitions and instead lead a life which is dull to the core?

Well, these are some natural queries that tends to haunt our mind in order to achieve this eternal happiness that we all tend to crave for at some point or other in our lives. As far as I am concerned, I have been able to come out with this definition of Middle Path which might not find resonance with the original proponents of the theory but seems to do me good:

We all are social beings. All our motives, apart from the basic needs, are culturally and socially determined, which makes me think that if we are able to take care of our social needs, we will end up living a satisfied life.

In every society, there are norms, values and definitions of what is successful and what is not. We are culturally and socially conditioned to follow and accept most of these defintions. Breaking away from these is indeed an onerous task. So, instead of correcting or modifying such defintions, it is not such a bad idea to accept some of these which tend to fit in our own concept of life and to ignore those which don’t tend to go along well with this concept that we have developed over a period of time.

What we are left with is a set of customized concepts of what we might want to achieve in life. Having found the concepts, the next step is to develop a strategy for achieving the same and to implement it thereafter.

Even after knowing the strategy and the goal, one might not always emerge successful. By this I mean one might not always end up achieving what one might have thought of achieving after successful implementation of a strategy.

First of all, you must think that the success lies not in achieving the fruit but in implementing the strategy to the best of one’s ability. Of course, there will be sense of disappointment, but it will never be able to have an impact on your confidence.

What this will ensure is that it will give you the courage to re-evaluate your strategy and will help you in putting your best foot forward for a second time with increased determination and motivation.

Amongst all this, by maintaining a balance between your professional and social life, you will be able to find that synergy needed for rejuvenating one’s mind and persona and the support that no matter how much one denies, everyone seems to need it at some point of time in their lives.MP

So, if I have to conclude all the above in a single line, I would say: Middle Path is all about going after your customized goals keeping at all times a customized definition of success in your mind, at the same time maintaining that all important balance between personal/social and professional life.

Source for Image: http://theunboundedspirit.com/following-the-middle-path-in-depression/, http://louisejames157.blogspot.in/2012/04/birthday-celebration-scavenger-hunt.html

The Responsibility!

Yesterday I was talking to a kid, some 7 to 8 years old, who lives next door. I was amazed to see the kind of exposure young kids are getting these days via the internet or the television.

And it is not always that they get exposed to ethical or good things in life. More often than not, courtesy the kind of tv soaps and programmes being telecasted, they end up getting exposed to the unethical and bad part, which they learn thereafter.

The credit for them learning the same goes to their parents and teachers who demonstrate the same that their children see on tv in their real lives by treading on the path wherein the parents would go to any extent to have and maintain a lavish lifestyle.

In such a situation, how can we expect the youngsters to learn a moral way of life, when they are being made to learn that one can only lead a happy and satisfied life if he or she thinks just about himself or herself without really being concerned about the others in the society and without being concerned about what is right and what is wrong.exposure

As one can already notice that the next generation is more street smart then the previous one and the parents take great pride in the fact that their child is becoming what can be called a chalta purja who is capable enough to take on the world with his/her intellect and smartness and is able to emerge out successful and rich, irrespective of the means being employed for the same.

With such unethical and immoral encouragement given by their parents to boost their egos, they end up becoming irresponsible citizens of our nation, which has immense and drastic consequences when it comes to the well being of our society.

A multi-pronged approach is the need of the hour to stop this degradation that is taking place in our society. The parents should try to ensure that their child is exposed to ethical things in life and this should be reinforced by their own actions.

The schools should ensure that the children are made to learn and rehearse the virtues of life with special recognition given to those who end up doing so.

My parents tell me that when they were young, with the kind of joint family system that was prevalent in those days, morals and virtues were passed on to them from their grandparents who would ask them to sit down and would narrate all the stories with a thing or two to learn at the completion of the story.

WIth the joint family system taking a beating in the present scenario and the parents not having the time and energy to devote towards their children, it becomes even more probable for a child to get influenced more by the things he or she is being exposed to in terms of tv or internet.

With no one at disposal to offer him or her a correct interpretation and explanation, the child has no choice but to accept what he or she sees or witnesses and thereby starts seeking immediate gratification. As a result it leads to the formation of a poor cognitive framework in the mind of the child which tends to get reinforced by the kind of things happening in the real world and an attitude which can be described as impulsive and self-centred.

The child might even astray from the normal and might end up commiting things in life which a parent would certainly not be proud of.responsible

So, all parents of my generation out there, what are you waiting for? You need to start behaving like a parent and make sure that your child is not left alone in this world which is so full of vices, until they are big enough to be able to differentiate between what’s right and what’s wrong.

Source for Image: http://cameron-jung.deviantart.com/art/Energy-Film-Long-Exposure-53339778, http://candiland30thedition.wordpress.com/tag/change/