To Err Is Human

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To Err is human, To forgive is divine. At some point of time in our lives, we all have heard these lines written by Alexander Pope. I was first acquainted with the words in one of the many philosophical sessions with my grandfather. I was a child at that time, 8 or 9 years. The quote was embedded in me, but it was only with time that I understood its importance in real life. The feeling of gratitude when I received forgiveness for the mistakes I made, and the feeling of satisfaction when I forgave friends and family for the mistakes they made is just surreal.

If you are one of those who made a mistake and are struggling with it, the first thing you need to do is accept it. Pride and Denial often lead to further downfall, and it will suck you up into a blackhole from where it would be difficult to come out. Yes, accepting it might lead to people not liking you or seeing you in the same way as before, but in your heart you would know that you are true to yourself and that will ease your pain with time. As L.M. Montgomery said “Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”

If your wrong doings have affected the people around you, you should have the courage to ask for forgiveness. But at the same time, you should be prepared of people not accepting you or your sincere apology. To undo wrong doings takes time, and you have to be strong enough to pass through rejections, un-acceptance and the trials that come with it. However, understand that you have to learn to not be so hard on yourself. The right people will understand you and the ones who are not meant to be will not. I would like to share one of the excerpts from Steve Maraboli’s book “Life, the Truth, and being free”:

“If people refuse to look at you in a new light and they can only see you for what you were, only see you for the mistakes you’ve made, if they don’t realize that you are not your mistakes, then they have to go”

If you are one of those who are having a tough time coping up with the mistakes made by your near and dear ones, I know you are hurt. I know you got something you did not expect. But if that person really means something to you and has an impact on your life, it is time to clear the clouds of disappointment and look deeper into why did a person do what he/she did. What was the motivation behind it? This is your chance to help someone who have lost their way, and trust me there comes immense satisfaction to show the beacon of light to a fellow being in need.

The world has become a darker place with ego, pride and greed controlling the better part of us. But I believe that there are millions out there who still believe in humanity and wish for a peaceful and better world. To all those, let go of your err’s, understand the people around you and with forgiveness and love in your hearts, you can make the change you wish to see.

“It is unwise to be too sure of one’s own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err” – Mahatma Gandhi

K.A.

 

Life, a window of opportunities.

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“The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word ‘crisis.’ One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger–but recognize the opportunity.” – John F. Kennedy

It has become human nature  for us to see the things in life that we do not have, and then sulk about it. Right from childhood, we have this compulsive desire to have the toys that our best friend has, and as we grow older, we make this a habit of wanting things that are around us but are not ours for some reason or the other. In the midst of all this, first, we forget to be thankful for the things that we already have, and second, we concentrate our energy on the “I do not have it” part rather than focusing upon the “How can I have it” part.

Everyone in life has an equal opportunity to achieve things that they want. The only difference between the winners and losers is that the winners take advantage of the opportunities that are presented to them. Some might argue that only the lucky few get the opportunity to do something big. Well, opportunities are not only for a select few. They are prevalent all around us, and it is up to us how we seize them. A pessimist might see his burned house as a life lost, an optimist will see this as an opportunity to build a new life.

It is not reasonable to stay in one’s comfort zone and complain about the things that are not going in the direction one wants them to go in. If you want to change your life and make a difference, then you ought to come out of that comfort zone and explore the opportunities that are around you. If you are unhappy with not having something in your life, introspect and understand why that is happening. Once you find the gaps between you and your aspirations, then comes the task to find the opportunities which bridges that gap. This will require determination and focus, but it’s better to do something for what you want rather than sulk and be depressed about not having it, isn’t it?

I began the article by a quote from John F. Kennedy which elucidated the beauty of opportunity. I close the article by a quote from Clifford Irving which says that one usually fails to perceive the opportunity, as what follows is hard work and perseverance to make it a reality.

“And also don’t forget, the reason opportunity is often missed is that it usually comes disguised as hard work.” – Clifford Irving,TRIAL – A Legal Thriller: Clifford Irving’s legal novels: Book 1

K.A.

Breathe in your courage, exhale your fear.

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Just stumbled upon this wonderful quote by Jonathan Lockwood Huie and felt like sharing it here. Breathing has always had a great significance in times of anxiety or distress. Be it the moments before an interview or the unexpected appearance of a crush, our first instinct is to breathe heavily to abate the tension building inside us. Breathing also plays an important role in yoga and meditation, thus suggesting its impact on relaxing us and improving our thinking abilities.

“I breathe in my courage and exhale my fear” is a wonderful pithy which tells us the essence of deep breathing. Whenever encountered by a tough situation, all we need is a balance of mind to come out of it, and the only thing that impedes us from doing so is our inherent fear of the opposition. Thus, practice the art of deep breathing daily so that whenever you are trapped in an intimidating circumstance, you can focus your thoughts and overcome your fears.

I hope this bold message serves as a kick start of the day for you all 🙂

K.A.

The Beauty Of Womanhood

Reblogging an article on womanhood, that I had written earlier, to celebrate woman’s day 🙂

Reverberations

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Womanhood is something special and is a storehouse of amazing powers. However, most of us women do not acknowledge this great energy within us, firstly because we are ignorant about it and secondly because we are trapped in a society with numerous stereotypes, for instance, women can’t drive, women are not productive at work, women are weak, women talk a lot of nonsense, women are supposed to cook, women are supposed to understand their husbands and compromise or adjust.  All of these external stigmas impede women from unleashing their true potential. But let me tell you one thing very frankly, being a woman is not about doing house chores, it is not about getting married and it is certainly not about producing children. A successful woman is one who can build a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at her.

In order to fight these conventions, we first…

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A Manifesto For Change – APJ Abdul Kalam & V Ponraj

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Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, the 11th president of India, has always been a visionary and has passionately served the country with his leadership. This is evident by the fact that even after his presidency he continued to work for the betterment of the society by taking up research and development activities and interacting with the youth of the nation and encouraging them to actively participate in developing the country. His last words were those to the students of IIM Shillong.

Dr Kalam’s passion for working for the nation is mirrored in his book “A manifesto for change”, co-authored with V. Ponraj, an ADA scientist and former technical advisor during Dr. Kalam’s presidency. The book is very timely written and enumerates, with facts and figures, the current socio-economic scenario of the Republic of India.

The book kicks off with a whole chapter on “creative leadership” and how it has and can help in the development of the nation. It then builds upon the different levels of leadership in India, starting from Panchayats and moving on to the central government. It delineates the development areas that need to be concentrated on at the village, state and central level. The book ends with a “vision for India”.

I would give this book 5 out of 5 stars and that is because when I picked up this book I was like every other youth in this country who propounds the rhetoric of developing the country but is vaguely aware of the facts and figures. I am now well versed with how my country has performed in the past three decades and what steps need to be taken to elevate my country’s status to a developed nation. This book, in very simple language, gives an in-depth analysis of the following:

  1. How has India performed over the past years; which states have fared well and which need to improve.
  2. An emphasis on the PURA (Providing Urban amenities to Rural Areas) model and how it can be used to bridge the economic divide between urban and rural areas and promote an integrated development environment.
  3. Initiatives to be taken at the Village level by tapping the full potential of Panchayati Raj. The authors narrate some examples as well of how creative leadership at the panchayat level has led to fruitful results.
  4. Initiatives to be taken at the state level. This section is heavily loaded on facts and figures and will give you an idea of the strengths and weaknesses of our states.
  5. Major development areas of the nation – with innovative suggestions like smart waterways systems and integrated agricultural, industrial and services sector development.
  6. Role of the government – MPs and MLAs – in developing the country and a chapter on how critical our parliament sessions are to ensure the country’s growth.
  7. Ways to improve the quality of life in addition to economic growth.

I would really commend the writing style of this book, the language is simple and succinct. If you wish to become aware and informed about the socio-economic aspects of India, this book is for you. In just 255 pages it covers important points and gives meaningful and well researched suggestions. I would highly recommend this book to the youth and encourage them to carry forward the vision of Dr. Kalam and bring this nation to the level at which it deserves to be.

K.A.

Would You Fear or Dare?

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We often limit our potential because of our inherent fears. We fear, but worse, we blow it out of proportion, and then it stops us from moving forward. What we need to realize is that nothing comes easy. The only difference between the people who succeed and those who don’t is their perception of fear and their ability to overcome it.

Being nervous and a little fearful is a part of being human. In fact, the fear of failing at something is a result of our internal desire of succeeding at it! If you would not have wanted it so much, you would not have cared to win or loose in the same, and this is why I was deeply inspired by the quotation “Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear”, by George Addair.

Hence, stop wasting your energy in fearing, rather invest it in working harder. Life is too short to compromise on your dreams just because of your fears. I’ll leave you all with a quote said by Michael Jordon – “Never say Never, because limits, like fear, are often just an illusion”

Since this is my first post of the year 2016, I wish all my readers a fearless New Year! May you reach the heights you deserve 🙂

K.A.

Happiness Lies In Humankind

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We all today live in an era of science and technology and in a world which is better connected. We Humans have progressed to a level which seemed impossible just a few years back, we have set foot on the moon and in no time we will be ready to walk on mars. We today have opportunities to innovate and excel beyond our imaginations. We are jostling our way through life to climb the ladders of success. On the basis of what I have just said, I can safely conclude that the 21st century is the time to be, it is the time to rise and shine. However, reality suggests a different picture – An average human being is not that happy as he was in the previous century, and the depression rate is increasing at an alarming rate (The number of people diagnosed with depression increases by 20% every year.(http://www.healthline.com/health/depression/statistics-infographic)

There are many factors that lead to an unhappy life, but in my view the only thing that contributes most is our ignorance towards basic human relationships and to humanity. As Mother Teresa rightly said “if we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other”. We are so much embroiled in our jobs and day to day life that we don’t even have time to talk to our close family members, let alone the community! India was a pioneer in the system of joint families, where up to three generations lived in the same household, helping each other and being there for each other in all walks of life. But alas, the nuclear family system is now prevalent in our culture rich country as well. We now want to be more independent, we want our “own space”, we want freedom! But then why, even after having all the freedom do we feel that something is missing?

There is a new way to become social these days – social networks, again a gift of technology. These networks were developed to give us the power to connect with the world, however what I see is the complete opposite, wherein we have given power to this technology to control us and our lives. It’s funny how a person will refrain from talking to his/her neighbor, but will have no reservations at all in sharing his/her personal life on the web with an unknown fellow living at an unknown place. We then become sequestered from the real world and try to find solace in our self-created virtual world. We share photos, information, our day to day activities on the social network like a madman, just hoping to receive a like or a comment from someone out there so that we can satiate our hunger of “company”.

If you are alone and depressed today, it is nothing but because of the result of your own actions. No outer force can help you come out of this state. You need to make changes in your lifestyle. Talk to the people around you, build real social networks, join community service! “If you are not making someone else’s life better, then you are not living at all” I love this quote by Will Smith. The joy you get, when you find time from your busy schedule and go out to help someone in need, rejuvenates you! It gives you a purpose to live. We surely weren’t born on this earth to live mechanical and independent lives and just die, did we? We were born in a community for a reason. Let us all revive the convivial spirit that is buried deep down within us. Let us try and be happy for what we have. Let us be ambitious, but may we never forget the roots and the culture to which we were born to. Let us make time for our family. Let us make a difference in someone else’s life. Let not technology control us, but let us build a more safer and happy world by holding and giving helping hands.

K.A.

Youer than you!

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In order to understand our desires in life we constantly evaluate ourselves with respect to the world around us. We observe the people who are successful and we then try to emulate them in order to taste success in our own lives. Folks, there are only two kinds of reactions that you can get if you follow such kind of an approach: You would either be enamored by the other person’s life and end up being jealous, or you may get intimidated by the person’s success and end up losing your confidence!

You need to realize that the life around you and the “successful” world around you was built up by people who are no smarter than you! The only difference between you and such people is that they stood out from the crowd and followed what they believed in, while you never introspected of what you really wanted, and you blindly started following them!

Stop living someone else’s dream. Try to find your own inner voice. Believe in yourself and your passions. Don’t be daunted and afraid to walk on a path that takes you away from the well traveled path. If your will to succeed in your dreams is strong enough, you would eventually find the ways and resources you need to achieve them. Everything that happens to you does not depend on the world outside you but it relies upon what you believe in with all your heart. Take your life in your hands because, as Dr. Seuss said, there is no one youer than you! 🙂

K.A.

Miles To Run Before I Sleep – Sumedha Mahajan

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This book narrates the journey of the author herself, from being an ordinary woman to an extraordinary and inspiring individual. Sumedha took up the daunting task of running 1500 kms, from Delhi to Mumbai, in conditions so tough that even the strongest men may not have the guts to pursue. Running on Indian highways is no joke for they are an amalgamation of pollution and rash driving, coupled with nasty oglers and suspicious eyes if you are a woman. Yet, Sumedha relentlessly followed her passion to run for a cause and make a difference.

However, this run made her live through a wide gamut of emotions. She Faced brutal conditions throughout her run which ranged from coping up with health issues including asthama, infections and fractures, to withstanding noise and pollution while gushing through the hustle and bustle of roads inundated with traffic. She also experienced silence and spirituality while running through the hills and being close to nature. She fought against moments when she wished to quit and kept moving on. Amidst all this, Sumedha came out be a new person all together: endurance and perseverance had become her friends, and when the whole thing got over, she experienced self-realization and found her purpose in life.

“Miles to run before I sleep” is thus an excellent piece of work by such an extraordinary woman. Being a woman comes with a lot of convictions by default. One such belief is that “woman cannot run because they are weak”. True, female bodies go through a lot over time, which includes the monthly cycle of menstruation. But that does not make them weak in any way. Sumedha’s run is a strong reply to people who think this way as she kept on running even when she was going through the same female natural process. She defied her cramps and showed the world that women are made of stronger stuff.

I am a woman and I aspire to break all the shackles of stigma that prevail with respect to women, and achieve my dreams. Gifted by someone special who believes in me, this book just took my determination to another level. If you wish to be inspired, please go grab a copy asap!

K.A.