THOUGHT PROVOKING GURU GYAN
HAPPINESS & THE “RAT RACE”
Ever wondered what is this ‘Rat Race’?
We run in the race because of FOMO (fear of missing out).
How can we escape the Rat Race?
Simple. Don’t run in the race, but what does that imply?
We can escape if we focus on our needs rather than wants, because our needs are limited, whereas our wants are infinite.
Our inner being speaks to us, telling us what really appeals to us, suits us and what does not.
Most elements in society tell us how inadequate or incomplete we re because we are lacking this or that. So we pursue what we are told is appealing rather than what is genuinely appealing to us.
If we follow our heart and take the mind with us, we can escape the ‘Rat Race’.
The ‘Rat Race’ can only hold the promise of success. Success however is external to our being so we have to look for it outside. Happiness is inherent within us, it only has to be realised from within our being.
Rich or poor, the ‘Rat Race’ cannot deliver happiness. More money, power or success does not mean more health and happiness. They just help to buy a better quality of unhappiness. If we examine carefully we will notice that the rich are comfortably unhappy and the poor are uncomfortably unhappy.
Live simply, eat moderately, love intensely, work and play passionately is a good mantra for living outside the ‘Rat Race’.
We need more education, less schooling.
India boasts of a Human Resources dividend because of a young working population in the present times and in the foreseeable future. Actually, going by present trends India is heading towards a Human Resources disaster. Here is why.
Schooling refers to not only schools but also colleges. One does not have to dig very deep to understand the poor outcomes of schooling.
No schooling is probably better than bad schooling. Bad schooling wastes resources and time, it misleads children and harms their potential to be successful and happy.
Surveys have always confirmed what I have experienced in recruiting employees. Our schooling system is out of sync with the needs of our society and our humanity.
As per ASER (Annual Survey of Education Report) India 25 per cent of Class 8 students can’t read Class II text.
Another statistic, 56% of Class 8 students cannot do simple basic math
School girls – yogendra-singh-y08-unsplash
As regards college graduates one survey revealed that 47 Percent graduates in India are unemployable for any job. Another report reveals that, over 80% Indian engineers are unemployable, lack new-age technology skills
The causes are numerous and blunders of historical past cannot be undone. However with understanding and commitment, transferred into action the future can be created. The sure sign of an impending disaster is that in spite of knowing that the situation is very bad, we are unable to or unwilling to act.
Though Schooling and Education are terms often used interchangeably, there is a big difference. Schooling is the pushing out of facts, figures, data, instructions, and the regimentation of the student, by instructors but called teachers so as to get students to think and behave in a reliably predictable manner.
Society has evolved and changed dramatically but the approach to learning remains mostly unchanged. Mandated by government bureaucrats and effected by various boards, schooling as is currently effected is damaging, if not disastrous to society.
Schools nowadays may have modern infrastructure but their soul has mostly been lost. Schools currently do only two things, they babysit students and deliver curriculum.
At the end of their schooling, an intelligent, innocent and pure child will in all probability be converted into an indoctrinated arrogant creature lacking values. Will possess at best a lot of facts and figures and struggle to live a wholesome, happy and successful life.
Most schools now focus entirely on ensuring that students pursue and achieve high marks in various mandated board examinations, so that the student can join the next level of rote learning and progress to being further dumbed down in colleges.
Only a small percentage of students with the guidance and support of their parents and some committed teachers be able to escape the trap. They will join select institutions and rise to become something.
Anyone or anything that provides a lesson is a teacher. In the schooling system of today, the teacher only transfers the information from a syllabus to the student so that the student can pass an examination based on his or her memory.
Education is the creation of an environment which stimulates the student to thirst for information and knowledge, which they will find exciting, relevant and useful. Education is a pulling of knowledge from formal and informal sources. Education is also experiential learning while schooling provides only rote learning.
Schooling significantly disregards the numerous natural intelligences, and natural inclination of individual students, so as to produce identical products which will be considered normal. While education excites human intelligence and therefore inspires, schooling tends to deaden and degrade human intelligence.
Schooling certainly enhances intellect and memory, but it is not the same as enhancing intelligence and creativity which comes only from education. Schooling is a top down approach whereas education is multidirectional. Education can come from ones research and experiences, from public sources, internet, libraries, peers, seniors, juniors, colleagues, associates and even strangers. One of the most impactful source of education are parents and family.
Demotivated by school managements running as businesses or as ineffective and inefficient government bureaucracies, overworked and distracted by excessive regulations, and curriculum, intimidated by aggressive parents, teachers in schools have little or no room to really facilitate student learning.
As a result the student receives information in such an insipid manner, and without understanding its relevance and application, that, whatever is taught is crammed and quickly forgotten after the examinations. Most schools at best convert ignorance into arrogance by providing vast amount of information.
Many of my friends are men of extraordinary character and capabilities. We owe much of our achievements and happiness to the great education we received from our parents, companions and teachers. Pursuing education and not mere schooling made all the difference.
The only way to build a better society and a better humanity is to provide more education understanding and awakening and less of schooling and testing.
STRESS Vs PERFORMANCE
Conversations about stress and de-stressing, seem to dominate our lives. To talk about stress has become a fashionable but necessary need
First thing to appreciate is that not all stress is bad. Without some stress we would not even be alive, an excess of stress incapacitates us. Too little or too much stress over a period of time can kill us.
For a person to admit that he or she is not stressed is often considered an admission of non striving and the hallmark of a non-achiever. It might very well be that the individual is performing at his or her peak capacity.
Simply put we are all ‘energy beings’, a concentration of energy manifested in a body, and mind. And we know that energy can not be created nor destroyed, energy only transforms as it moves through the universe and our individual lives.
Energy is generated within us as it comes from our physical and intellectual diet and our environment. This energy therefore has to find an outlet. Too few the outlets and demands of this energy causes it to rise within us corroding and destroying us from within. Too great the demands from the individual being than what the body can generate strains and ever threatens our very existence.
Our ideal world and existence lies within these two extremes of ‘Rust Out’ and ‘Burn Out’. Between too little an outlet to too extreme a demand.
At one end is ‘boredom’ which is the desire for desires. It is the seeking of application of mind and body towards some application of our manifest energies. To avoid Rust Out, we seek to just be engaged, to want to feel alive, to feel useful, wanted, loved and a being, ideology, an idea be able to shower our energies on.
Boredom is what drives us to extreme, ridiculous and even dangerous behaviour.
At the other hand it is the desire to chuck out excess demands of our energy. So excessive that it strains our being almost to breaking point. This is called ‘Burn Out’. That is why people go berserk on holidays, and weekends.
During the weekdays, it’s even worse, we indulge ourselves in some addictions, alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, and a whole host of stimulants that will help numb us to accept our situation while providing us temporary energy to make it through the week and our lives.
Life and work balance is nothing but the functioning at an optimal level where we can perform at our very best over a ling period of time.
My children are not my friends
During a visit to Kolkata, my cousin, a deep and wonderful man, asked me, “How would you describe your relationship with your children?”
Puffing my chest out, proudly, I replied, “Why, we are friends.”
He replied, “Forgive me my brother for pointing it out, but your children have many friends, where as they have only one set of parents. The only people who will be firm and honest with people are their parents and their genuine teachers.”
I was irritated that my cousin 15 years younger than me, should even think this way. “How old fashioned and outdated was his outlook?” As with disturbance to deeply held beliefs, Raja’s statement disturbed me.
When I returned from Kolkata, I decided to ask my two sons over Sunday lunch, about defining our relationship. We discussed my trip and what all had transpired.
Eventually I got around to my conversation with cousin. I then asked them, “Do you think I should be more of a friend or less of a friend to you guys?
Both my sons replied in unison and without hesitation, “Less of a friend”.
I was flabbergasted, and felt somewhat disappointed. I had to know why they said that.
Then our elder son said, “Dad we love and respect you, but you know, with friends there are no boundaries, and sometimes, we take you for granted. When we treat you as a friend we often say or behave silly, sometimes even disrespectful. When we behave like that with you, and even though you never get offended, we deeply regret it. This is why, it is better that we be more respectful, than friendly.”
“Wow! I did not see that one coming”, I told myself.
I realised it is the fashion to be friends with one’s children, but there is big difference between being friends and being friendly.
Maybe you should ask yourself and your children the same question!!
That is, the one and only, our real home.