Saturday, February 14, 2009

To be or not to be....

We cannot choose where we are born, who can be our parents, what we look like...But we sure can decide to live our life the way we want to. We are completely responsible for it.

Life offers us choices. I agree that life is not fair, but its unfair with everybody, one way or the other. If all was fair, we would all just be a set of robots made in batches living monotonous lives.

We can choose to live a happy and contended life. We can choose to live the way we like. We can dream of being anything and be it. Also, we can choose to whine and make our lives miserable.All it takes is the right choice.

I can choose to have a good and satisfactory job (vs) whining about my work everday.

I can choose to earn more (vs) whining about not having enough to spend.

I can choose to be healthy (vs) whine about paying hospital bills.

I can choose to have good friends (vs) whine about being lonely.
I can choose to live luxuriously (vs) whine about the neighbour's luxury holiday.

There you go-I am sorted.

How many of us make conscious decisions to improve our lives and how many of us seek solace in whining (kya yaaarrrrrr.......). Have we really questioned ourselves for the situation we are in? (well, please don't over do it and be a martyr and take all the blame on yourself and end up having low self -esteem).Most complaints people have (I guess a big majority of the population faces problems with their jobs, income and personal life) can be solved by making the right choices and not necessarily the tougher ones.

The problem with most of does not lie in identifying the right choice, we unconsciously go for the one with lesser efforts. If we do excel in something, its whining and the more optimistic ones divert that energy towards converting the whinings into EXCUSES!!!

Like health experts say, we do not like to be disturbed and love to be comfortable. So, our body gets stronger the more we "shake" it with workouts. Similarly our mind picks the easier choice by default, but we need to "shake" it a bit (consciously) to pick the "right" choice.

Choose what you want to be and surprise youself. All of us capable of much more than we think we are. All it takes is moving the a** around and work towards what we want.

Boys, stop being sissies.. Girls, stop being delicate darlings.. and make the right choice!!!

And whiners.... stop spreading the disease!!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


"Well, boys" resumed Gussie, having shot his cuffs and smirked horribly, "this is the end of the summer term and many of you no doubt are leaving the school. And I don’t blame you; because there's a froust in here you could cut with a knife. You are going out into the great world. Soon many of you will be walking along Broadway. And what I want to impress upon you is that however much you may suffer from adenoids, you must use every effort to prevent yourselves becoming pessimists and talking rot like Old Tom Travers..."

This is an extract of the speech given by a drunken Augustus Fink-Nottle, who is otherwise meek, to a class of boys of Market Snodsbury Grammar school in P.G. Wodehouse's "Right Ho, Jeeves".

Frequent reminders about optimism is a good thing, it reinforces what you believe in and reminds you of it in case you forgot about it for a moment. But what interested me here was the part about continuing to be an optimist even after leaving school. Let alone people becoming pessimists after completing their education, I am of the opinion education itself transforms them into one. Education has become more of transfer of information and less of knowledge.

This widely followed TV game show on Tamil channel where every question has upto 4-6 answers and the answers are ranked based on the responses to a previously conducted survey. One of the questions was "What makes parents proud of their children?"
The answers given by the participants were (each team has 4 people and each of them can give an answer):

  • Studying well
  • Winning a competition
  • Getting a good job
  • Achieving something

The answers were from 4 girls studying in a Law college. I was shocked at the nature of the answers since none of them was even remotely related to the character, health and good manners of the child. I was later relieved to find that respecting others was one of the right answers (whew).

The sense of competition has been fed into young minds in such a way that only winning has become everything. Later in life they tend to lose their self-esteem because they are not good enough for themselves. This turns out to be a curse especially in the corporate world. Even a good performer lacks confidence when he isn’t “the best”.

Children are born optimists; but their optimism goes for a toss with such expectations and the unhealthy competition they are subjected to. While education is supposed to prepare one for life, inculcating principles and making independent and confident human beings of them, has not even succeeded in passing “information” from the teacher to the student. More than half of this “information” one learnt at school is forgotten over time and the rest isn’t useful in any sphere of life except to may be take part in shows like "kya aap panchvi pass se tez hai?". Whether or not one has the aptitude for it, one ends up taking up jobs “to make parents proud” like the lawyers-to-be lassies said.

I am not against competition, even nature suggests competition; “survival of the fittest” is one of the laws of nature. But failure and success needs to be taken in the right stride and education needs to be more of “a putting in” than of a “drawing out”. We all talk of making the world a better place. Do we forget that the world is made of people and tomorrow’s “people” are today’s children?

Everybody has talked about it, from Albert Einstein to Abdul Kalam. Let’s hope someone listens and I hope the answers are more pleasing in some game show some time.

P.S.: I know of a social development organisation working on a different method of teaching. Can anyone enlighten me about educational institutions which use alternative teaching methods?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Google - Man's (new) best friend

I thank the kind people whose comments on my previous post helped me put my idea into words today!!!
The past 2-3 weeks after my first post ,I have been pondering over several topics like optimism, will power, affection, humanity, small miracles... only to hit a dead end. I just realised I did something weird and have done it a couple of times so far... I try finding solutions on Google. "What's new?", u may ask.. Keep reading..

I just googled "Does it really matter?" when a trifling issue was exaggerated that more important things that actually mattered were blotted out. Another time, I had googled "Do miracles happen?" when I was'nt feeling great.

Freaky, but true!!

The best part is, I HAVE found a solution on both these occasions, even if it means only to calm down. It feels like I have sent out my negative energies into the universe and I don't own them anymore. On both these occasions, I have seen plenty of pages open up with soooooooo many other people with the same problems and sometimes scientific solutions and reasoning (to my Qs).
May be finding people with problems calms me down and makes me count my blessings instead or simply poring over the same words for a while makes me feel better (read tired and enervated that "thinking" was impossible ;))

Whatever be the reason, I have found a friend on both these occassions !!! It has been a blessing and I discovered Google is a friend that never complains.. ;)
Writing down your worries have always been advised by experts. It can turn out to be a very "one-way" method of solving your problems, but Googling is both interactive and dynamic.
It has all that you would look for in a friend - attentive, emphathetic, doesn't complain, gives you solutions and DOES'NT TALK!!! So, what if it does lack the human touch, we are a breed who talk to our colleagues sitting next to us over Messengers ;)

Google your way to health and happiness ;)