Ever made a mistake in life?

(Photo credit: rocketjim54) We talk about mistakes, and sometimes fear them. They let us down, and reveal our weaknesses in flesh and blood. These are common mistakes that everyone makes, and some that only a few, or even just you. But ever made a mistake that was big and probably changed the course of your life? Sounds dreadful! Those are big decisions, big events. But a guy in the train today put it in a most amazing way. If you have never made a mistake in life, then your life is… not complete, he said. It set me thinking, and so today I learnt a new thought from a stranger. To have never made mistakes is probably as good as to have never lived. For when we strive, mistakes are inevitable. “Sully yourself,” was part of the advice I was given long time ago, in college, by a teacher-friend from another college. We spoke of relationships, norms. But I was too young in those...
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How long would a vow of non-violence last?

If one were to take a vow of peace and non-violence in all its forms – speech, thought and action – chances are it wouldn’t last five minutes in the big world. Every sphere of life is ridden with conflicts that never fail to arouse us, and it is always the passionate animal inside that they ping on. It did not take long for Moses to lose control and break his first commandment. If you get up in the morning and your thoughts are full of hatred, curses, and ridden with reactionary violence, that is the time to remember that what makes us human is that part of the psychological iceberg that rises up above the water, on which shine the bright rays of the sun. Anger is the most stupid thing in the world. How bad it makes us feel long afterwards? Recently in the overcrowded train, a young man argues with an older man over a most silly situation. As is...
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Richard Cory and the world

There was this poem, Richard Cory, that we read in school. Richard Cory was a gentleman, from sole to crown. He was rich, fluttered pulses, and was graced in every virtue. Everyone wished to be like him. And yet, one fine evening, he went home and… The last line, when we read it, only amused our young minds. We didn’t wonder much about his last act. It even seemed like, sort of natural… a result of some hidden misfortune, pain or grief. Adults could harbour such pain, we felt, and it could happen. It was a normal, volitional act of a well meaning, healthy man. There was no point speculating on what ailed him; the poem gave no clues. That’s how complex life could be. Looking at today’s booming world, it could drive normal sensitive men nuts. Is there a cause to be happy? The ones who are happy are happy. The sadder lot carries its misfortunes alone. Some can take it in their...
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Some thoughts on beating modern life stress with habit formation

Man is a creature of habit  (Photo credit:: Wikipedia) There is no instrument so malleable and adaptive than the human body. Biology may have gone deep into the cells and tissues, yet how much our bodies take care of themselves with a little help from us is an insight known to the few. We know of the timers that are set in us, the ones that make us go to sleep and wake up at fixed times. The same habitual patterns can be inculcated or set by us in other aspects of bodily health and functioning in order to maintain good health. Our diet or what combination of food we take during the day and at night can influence our health to a great extent. Sticking to the combination that one likes and that works best, and then varying it with seasons is a good strategy for maintaining health. Selecting food that does good to the body is a process that we must...
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Living a dual life

The most famous of all notions about man describes him as a social animal. That is to say, it is a part of his nature, an instinct, to form groups and communities wherever he lives, and that man cannot live without society, and ought to do so. However, the term ‘man’ in the sentence ‘Man is a social animal’ refers to mankind as a whole, and not individual human beings. It is the nature of an individual that needs introspection. The contention arises when the individual is described solely in social terms. Does this notion of man really describe an ‘individual’ in his or her totality? Is it a true reflection of his or her real nature? There are times when an individual wishes to interact with others, and there are times when he or she wishes to be left alone. All of us live a dual existence, as individuals and as members of groups and communities. Individuals in human society seem...
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Living in a box

When one has lived for long in conditons of limited freedom, as in regulated and heavily censored countries, it conditions the mind in such a way that exposure to greater freedom only produces an instinctive revulsion and dislike. The mind gets so used to living in protected environments where there are no free spirits to be encountered, that any change that appears to produce a free lifestyle seems wicked and corrupting. This is probably the reason why a good part of the world where conservative religions hold sway dislikes much of western culture. They find it difficult to come to terms with the uninhibited show the western media puts up every night. A free and open life, which has only recently come to be seen as good for humans, remains as disliked as it probably always was. The condition is much like those of boys in conservative societies who do not interact with girls, and find the whole idea of a free...
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Happiness is a side effect

Happiness appears to be the most sought after commodity other than money, and the contest between the two is nearly settled by the saying, ‘money can’t buy happiness,’ although being happy too can’t get you money by itself. That everyone wants to be happy is a universally accepted fact. Why would anyone want to be sad or suffer? Does this mean we are some kind of pleasure-driven, biologically programmed machines seeking happiness all the time? No one appears to have ever felt ‘hungry’ for happiness, felt an urge to be happy, or suffered when deprived of its pleasurable aspects. One may desire more money, more pleasure, more success, or more power, but never has anyone reported to want more of happiness after once being happy, or as suffering for want of it. Nor did religion ever spoke of happiness as a virtue, laying stress instead on denial of pleasure. How then does happiness enter into the scheme of our life, to the...
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Over the hills in an Indian countryside

The very first sight that I had of the hills standing right in front of my house had made me long to go there – it was the monsoon season, and the hills were covered with several waterfalls flowing down their steep slopes. Tempting though the sight was, it was only sheer coincidence that brought me to scale to the top of these majestic hills. With two holidays following one another, I was feeling impatient to go out and relax myself in the open air, under the sun. For what better way to spend a holiday than to be out exploring the world around, taking in new sights and experiences, and letting the world soak into you! A complete exercise for the body, mind, and soul. The plan was to go cycling toward the countryside, a plan which, like the fate of all plans, came to nil as there were no bikes available on rent. I therefore decided to go walking, considered...
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