Art of Living

A good half of the art of living is Resilience ’– Alain de Boton

This quote of the Swiss philosopher Alain de Botton defines all our lives in two lines.

Here is an interesting story. Amidst the ruins of World War 1, there was a boy who dared enough to dream. When he returned from World War 1, after serving as a red cross volunteer, he wanted to make cartoon motion pictures. At the age of 19, he started his own company. He lived with his friends as he had very little money to pay the rent. He failed to sell a single cartoon. At the age of 22, he went bankrupt after the failure of his cartoon series. He went bankrupt several times. He was fired by a newspaper editor, who felt that he lost creativity. Three years later, he left for Hollywood to pursue his childhood dream. He converted his garage into his office and produced short animations. But even this success was short-lived. His cartoonists left him and he went back to being homeless. Then finally he got his golden opportunity when he created the famous character of ‘Mickey Mouse’.

Yes, the boy was none other than Walt Disney, the guy who made our childhood memorable.

Now, wait! Let’s go back into the story to that 22 years old boy who had no financial backup. It was an unstable time between the two World Wars. Nothing was in his favor but he still chose to pursue his dreams. All his efforts were received with regular failure. Nothing stopped him. Life had tested him many times and he proved his worth and never gave up. Now, for a second put yourself in his place, how would have you reacted?

97 % of us would have given up at the very moment when the boy went bankrupt for the first time. Only 3 % of us would have kept on putting constant effort and that’s where life starts differentiating between successful and average people. The battle of life is not just about being smart, talented or rich. In fact, only a small portion of the population is blessed with all these things. What makes this trait meaningful is resilience.

Life does not work according to our plans all the time. At times, we come across some unexpected obstacles. The real art lies in dealing with those obstacles. One is supposed to change plans as per the call of the situation. Sticking to one’s plans and not evolving and adapting with time is not a trait of a successful person. The only resource that successful people rely on is their passion and ‘belief in themselves’. To put it in the words of our protagonist, ‘If you can dream it, you can do it ’- Walt Disney.

Feminism and Equality

There is no force more powerful than a woman determined to rise ’- Dorothy Dandridge

The word ‘Feminism’ has been on the frontline of trending issues for a long time now. In recent years, we have been witnessing various aspects of feminism such as the crimes against womankind, and, ‘feminism’ being used in the wrong way, etc.

Literally ‘Feminism’ means the advocacy of woman’s rights on the grounds of equality of sexes. The word ‘equality’ plays a major role here which has been argued upon for a long time now. There is clearly a difference; some argue it to be due to the culture established by a male-dominated society whereas some argue it to be due to the biological differences. Some people use science as a tool against feminism by stating that, on the grounds of physical strength, women are weak, and therefore, the oppression they have been witnessing was a consequence of this weakness. Such people forget that life battles are not always physical power. In fact many times, it is all about sustaining tough times and reacting at the right time. The same science also states that women are emotionally stronger than men and tend to deal with tense situations in a better way. This trait of a woman, which was supposed to be her biggest strength, has been portrayed as a weakness. Women were made to believe that they are weak and cannot take care of themselves and are always supposed to be dependent on men for survival. This manipulation or stereotype has continued for ages and now it has affected our mindset to an extent that even now, we seek approval from men for ‘feminism’.

Some people use religion as an argument to establish that women are inferior. In Hindu mythology, womankind had always held a respectable status. In Hinduism, a female figure is used to symbolize power. Even today, Goddess Durga is worshipped as a symbol of strength and power and is termed as ‘Shakti’. How the same womankind went to become a symbol of weakness. Where does this weakness come from?

This weakness is nothing but a darkness of unawareness. An unawareness born out of the manipulation that you have been witnessing through ages. When you become self-aware, you see your real strength. When you truly realize and appreciate your strength, the world will see it. It is not a matter of approval from the other gender; it requires you to realize your true potential.

It is important to remember that ‘Feminism’, in no way means that men are any less respectable. They have their strength and you have your own. A combined contribution is what makes society what it is. So respect others as much as you respect yourself.

Importance of Hobbies and Passion

People with many interests live, not only the longest but the happiest ’- George Mathew Allen

What do you think about all day? Earning money, fulfilling responsibilities, getting good grades, or, some other target?

Out of 24 hours a day, eight hours are spent sleeping and eight hours working for a living. Out of the remaining eight hours, some time is consumed in daily chores and the remaining is spent in fulfilling other responsibilities that we have as a parent, child, spouse, sibling, friend, neighbor, etc. This is the breakup of a single day for most of us.

But wait!

What about the relationship that you have with yourself? In what part of the day are you addressing that?

When we share a relationship with somebody, it requires constant care, mature handling, and efforts from both sides to keep it alive. Merely having it certified by the society doesn’t keep it going. The same is true for the relationship that we have with ourselves. The effort we put in for the sake of this relationship is called passion, which manifests itself as hobbies. Most of us have some fields in our minds that we are truly interested in. But not every interest pays well and is easily attainable. Call of the moment commands us to leave our passion and pursue something else to fulfill our basic requirements. Eventually, we find ourselves in a stable position and everything falls into the right place. But still, something feels missing and incomplete. Why?

Maybe because we get so involved in fulfilling responsibilities towards somebody else and compromised greatly on our responsibilities towards ourselves, that we are no longer happy. We may proudly claim to be good parent, child, friend, citizen, etc, but we will always find our inner self looking at us in despair. As a result of which all our achievements and happiness seem incomplete. Hobbies and passion make us feel happy. It is all about oneself. We are not bound by any responsibility. It makes you feel complete all by yourself and enables you to find happiness within yourself. Therefore, one should try to dedicate at least 1 hour every day doing what they like.

Though it is not easy for everybody to follow their passion but enough efforts should be put in. Giving up on your dreams means prioritizing the challenges more than your happiness. Every problem is merely a challenge, and, if the expected end result is your happiness, then the struggle is worth it.

Child within You

We nurture our creativity

  When we nurture our inner child

  Let it run and roam free

  It will take you on a brighter journey”- Serina Hartwell

This beautiful quote by Serina Hartwell took me back into a world of memories where I met a little girl. She was around twelve years old. With gleamy eyes and excited face, she was watching her favorite cartoon. As soon as it got over she ran to her grandmother, laying her head on her lap started telling her how she was so inspired by the house in the cartoon. The mere imagination of her dream house gave her immense pleasure. She started discussing her plans with her grandmother, who in turn looked down and smiled at the innocent girl, and then she looked up at me. Her smile was pointing towards the quantum of transformation that I had undergone. It struck me hard. I could see what I had lost in this so-called process of ‘Growing up’.

Though it was merely my imagination it made me realize a very important thing. It was that little girl whose dreams I was fulfilling by working so hard. I realized how important it was for her to be with me when I entered my dream house. Without her, all my achievements would become meaningless.

This happens with most of us when we grow up. To be more and more mature and responsible, we keep on subduing the little child within us and ultimately end up killing it. Unfortunately, we consider this process to be fine, whereas, in reality, along with that child inside us we also give up our real self and happiness.

We see around people complaining about each and everything. We set big targets and settle down for nothing less than that. If by any chance we fail to achieve our target, we feel very demotivated, stressed and nothing makes us happy. This continues for some time and then we set new targets and chase it with all our heart and soul. But during this process, we miss all the little moments of happiness, which we complain about afterward. On the other hand, a child finds happiness in every little thing. It easily gets excited and upset about life. It never fixates on a particular event and flows just like a river. Just like a river never stops flowing even when it hits rocks, a child never stops living life. It finds it’s own way of happiness and lives every moment to it’s fullest.

Remember life is not just about big targets. It is a combination of small moments and bid targets. The mature adult and the child within you need to embark on this journey together. They are incomplete without each other.

Information and Connectivity web

‘My views’, ‘My stand’, ‘ right thing to do’- heard a lot of such terms right?

Most of us would have come across situations where two people having contradicting views claim to be pursuing the right stand for the same situation. Ever wondered why?

Since the day we are born, we come across a variety of people and various kinds of situations in life. Slowly and gradually we start thinking and analyzing the situations, as a consequence of which, we start forming views and further train our minds to judge the situations we come across. Henceforth, we judge everything around us based on the conclusion derived from our analysis. A newborn baby has no friends and enemies, nothing is right and nothing is wrong. Choices and views are the perspectives we develop over some time.

 We live in a society where there are laid out rules for everybody. It has made a clear distinction in the form of what is right and wrong, and this data is passed onto us in the form of values. Every time we do something, which society considers to be right, we are appreciated and praised. Every time we do something that society considers being wrong, we are criticized and punished. These criticism and praises work as negative and positive reinforcements respectively.

Domestication of Human Beings

When children are brought up, they are treated with a series of positive and negative reinforcements to train their minds and to make them act in a way that the society feels is correct. When we start believing that we are independent don’t need anybody to tell us what is right and wrong, that is the point when we are completely domesticated.

Maybe this is why children are more creative than adults. The process of domestication restricted your thought- process.

Connectivity web

Information web of the society

If we consider how we were domesticated, we realize that we are nothing but a product of various kinds of information and influences we received. Just like a spider’s web, made of silk catches its prey, the world is nothing but a web of information and every human being denotes the intersection point where multiple information threads intersect. Just like no two intersections are the same, similarly, due to the variation in information available, no two human beings are the same. This intersection further give out more threads starting a new web.

We keep on analyzing everybody around us and judge them as being right or wrong. But we need to understand that ‘right’, or, ‘wrong’, at times, can be very subjective. It depends upon how one has been nurtured, how the concerned person is viewing the situation, and at times, the side of the situation which is completely hidden from us. We should never be very rigid with our judgments and choices and try to gather as much information as possible before forming a viewpoint.

It does not mean that right and wrong does not exist. Being right is merely acting right based on the information available to us and that evolves with time. It only means that one should not be very rigid while judging others and always be open to new information and other view points.