THE QUESTION IS, WHAT CAN YOU DO FOR INDIA?

Gone are the days to only expect someone else to do something — today you, yes you my friend, are called to make a change in India. The question is, will you rise up to the challenge?

 You may ask me – what can I do, I am a simple citizen of this country.

True, I tell you. True, you are just one citizen. True, there are so many problems in this country that you may think you are miniscule.

But let me tell you this – India has not needed people like you to make a change before.  And this Republic Day, such a proud day for our country – a day when we made our mark in the world map.  Thanks to the hard work and sacrifice of gentlemen such as Dr Ambedkar and his team, we got our constitution and became a Republic.

Of course, we have not forgotten – but all that is history – the tales of sacrifice and service seem like a distant memory.  We are the golden generation of Indian history – living during a time when India is indeed the fastest growing economy. Today our culture, our business is spreading far and wide.

We, who live in the cities, live in this golden bubble of wealth and grandeur. Our daily discussions with our families revolve around which movie to watch, or which new restaurant to try.  We complain about the colour of paint in our homes, and save up to buy second (and third) cars.

Do we wonder about what is happening elsewhere in the country? Even in our own cities? Does anyone care? Well, these guys did.

Let’s talk about Sunitha Krishnan. And let’s talk about sex abuse and slavery. If sex slavery does not move you to tears, nothing will. Young children, girls, promised jobs in big cities, are snatched away from their parents (sometimes even sold by parents) and pushed into the prostitution business.

Sunitha Krishnan was in the news when unknown assailants vandalized her car. Why? She was protesting against a gangrape case, a clip of which went viral on social media. She was looking for the rapists, whose shameless faces were caught on camera. She appealed to the people of India to identify these men, so that action could be taken against them. Putting her own safety at risk, Sunitha singularly battles rapists, pimps and traffickers on a daily basis.

Take a look at her TED talk (Warning: Graphic images of abuse):

Now, let’s talk about climate change and rapid disappearance of forests. Can you do something about it? Well, this man did! Environment activist Jadav Payeng loved his little island in Assam so much, and was so affected when he saw the trees disappearing because of floods and deforestation, that he decided to do something about it. This man singularly spent 40 years growing trees on 440 hectares of land. Today his forest is flourishing – so much so, that the birds and animals that were long gone, are slowly returning.

Payeng was conferred with the Padma Shri award on the 25th of January 2015 in recognition of his service to society and the environment. We salute him and congratulate him for this recognition.

See his story here – it is moving to say the least:

How about sanitation – now? We keep hearing on the radio and television how the government wants to make more and more toilets, not just for the sake of sanitation and health – but also for privacy, especially for women.

There’s nothing you can do about this, you say? Let the government handle it, you say? Let me introduce you to the ‘Poop Guy’. Meet Swapnil Chaturvedi, a man who left his cushy job in the US, and returned to his country with only one mission – to build toilets for the urban poor.

See his inspiring story here:

Speaking of sanitation, all you women, having a sanitary napkin is as normal for you as sugar in your tea. You probably have one in your purse right now. But have you once stopped to think of all those women who cannot afford one – for whom a sanitary napkin is luxury? These women have to use extremely unhygienic cloth during ‘that time of the month’.

Meet Arunachalam Muruganantham, who, in a bid to impress his wife, started a revolution in India when he created a cheap sanitary napkin by himself. This sanitary napkin now is being used by thousands of women across the country.

This is his story:

Now, think to yourself, how many times have you thrown your trash out of the car, or on the side of the road. Do we stop to think about how ugly it looks, do we think of the next person who walks by and also throws some more trash, until it becomes a huge mound of trash? Then we complain that the government is not doing anything? Do we recognize that we could have been the first one to throw it?

These college kids from Mumbai decided enough was enough. They had enough of their beloved train station turning into a garbage dump. So they decided to act – themselves.

Take a look:

A true act of community service, we should be proud of these kids – who, in their act of service, inspired the people there to take up the broom and do their bit too.

And finally, let’s come back to human trafficking – THE most despicable act that can be done with human hands. Aaboo Verghese and his NGO Purnata, are working day and night, collaborating with the police, lawyers, other NGOs and rehabilitation centres, to cut this evil from its very source. As he mentions in the video below, the task can get very overwhelming most of the times, but he is determined to do his part, and we salute him for that.

This video is an eye-opener for all those who don’t know much about how trafficking takes place. Take a look:

On Tuesday, we will celebrate our glory as a country – we will celebrate our greatness – the French President Francois Hollande will be there as the chief guest and will witness the parade. All that is great – it is good to feel good about our country.

But this Republic Day, let us be burdened to do something, anything – it is time to give back to our country.

Author Bio:  Khristina Jacob, works as a Writer & Editor.

IDENTITY QUEST, NOT CRISIS

Do animals reflect on who they are, and what they are doing here? Probably not. The question might arouse a mental image of a cow chewing grass obliviously. It’s not that animals, even the chimpanzee, the gorilla, orangutan, the dolphins and whales, but most especially your pet dog or cat aren’t extremely intelligent, because we know they are. But intelligence reaches a critical point, and, voila! We achieve self-awareness. We ask ourselves, whether we drop everything at the moment, or even continue with whatever it is we are doing at that moment (because we are driving in heavy traffic, or holding a baby or a hot pot of soup), “Who am I? What am I? How did I get here? If this world was made for me, if I am so special, then why haven’t I achieved greatness and the recognition I deserve?”

My answer is that, well, it all depends on who you are asking.

Identity crisis is merely the tip of an iceberg with foundations that reach deep in the misty darkness of time and consciousness. Even though our questions seem of the moment, really we all go through a lifelong struggle to reconcile social expectation with individual expression. The very signposts of personal growth must change from infancy to old age, or don’t bother asking at all. If you puzzle over your life’s meaning, then you’re probably accomplishing your purpose without even realizing it.

We want to be recognized by society, not for what it expects of us, but for what we believe to be our endearing attributes. On a sliding scale, perhaps on one end we think of ourselves as sexually exceptional specimens, with impeccable physical beauty, as I’m sure Kim Kardashian does. And on the other end we are selfless servants of society, with such a great connection to our spiritual foundation that poverty and obscurity pose no threat to our ego, like Mahatma Gandhi. It is natural to feel we have failed at life’s calling, whether our butt is still not as big as we had hoped (Kardashian), or not having yet liberated an entire country from colonial oppression (Gandhi). Expectations, they’re relative!

Speaking of relatives, some of us have experienced being infantilized by our family. That is, our parents, siblings, aunts and uncles, and the people we grew up around still and always will treat us like little children, just as if we had never aged past nine years old. Even though we each grow older and wiser, there’s something about gathering together on the holidays at the dinner table that brings out the infantilizing riposte in my family. I could be the first man to walk on Mars, and my mother wouldn’t take my word for what’s happening in outer space: “Is that right, Jim?” she might turn to the opinion of my brother-in-law, who for some inexplicable reason would be endowed with greater knowledge than I, the only person to have walked on Mars. It’s humiliating, a real whack to the ego. All that work of being an astronaut and Mom still has to verify my professional opinion by asking my brother-in-law (a successful business man)!

I digress, but not too much. You see, we define our worth on the basis of the opinions and judgments of the wrong people—we can actually make ourselves sad and insecure because we are infantilizing ourselves! Sure, we are supposed to love our family. We don’t throw them away just because we have grown (and they haven’t). Just as civilization accumulates and becomes increasingly sophisticated over the millennia, it is possible we have exceeded the boundaries of the understanding of our ancestors in matters of who and where we are in this jigsaw puzzle of society. Better to just pass the potatoes, and let brother-in-law Jim expound on the rarified atmosphere of Mars, a place he has never been. Trust that the right people will comprehend our significance at the right time and at the right place.

Author’s Bio: Gregory G Lewis, is a psychologist, a social scientist, and a web programmer. He has learned more by watching the waves than from any book.

3 QUOTES ON IDENTITY CRISIS

Sometimes I love to publish these quotes only to get some insights and inspirations out of it.

Are you inspired???

Keep reading and keep commenting…

Stay Blessed!!!

 

HOW GOOD IS OUR MASK OF PRETENCE?

Few days ago I was listening to an audio clip of my favorite Christian Preacher Rev. Dr. Ravi Zacharias. There he shared a beautiful story, which goes like this –

Once a man was in the search of a job. He was walking by a zoo when he saw the advertisement of a job vacancy. He spoke to the zoo manager and was appointed as a monkey. His job was to reach the zoo before sunrise and to put on the costume of a monkey. He was to be fed peanuts & bananas the whole day by the people and his work would be to entertain the children. On the first day while the man in monkey’s costume was entertaining children by swinging from branch to branch, he fell down inside the cage of the lion. The man looked at the lion and screamed in fear & shouted “Help!! Help!!”… Immediately the lion started speaking, “Shut up! Don’t shout or else we both will lose our jobs.”

The greatest lesson I learned from this story is that like those two men every one of us in this earth is wearing a mask. We are exactly the opposite of our looks. What others see is just a mask, not the man behind the mask. When I looked for the reason of this act of pretence the Bible answered me that we are simply imitating the patterns of this world, rather than being transformed by the renewing of our minds. We think that to sustain and succeed in this fictitious world we need to wear the mask of pretence. We have failed to discover our real identity. Even though man has reached the peak of success and knowledge he is still struggling with the issue of “Identity Crisis”. This crisis has ultimately made ‘India’ the global capital of suicide cases.

The biggest question of this generation is, “WHO AM I?” All our worldly achievements have failed to answer us. Our true identity is that we are created in God’s IMAGE and God’s Spirit resides in us. So with an unveiled face before the mirror we ought to change into the godly image by accepting all our sins and seeking His godly power to live a life which can reflect God’s glory.

Our IDENTITY is that we are the IMAGE of God to reflect the exact proportion of His character.

Be blessed & stay tuned!   

Avinash Das

‘WHO’ YOU ARE IS MUCH MORE THAN ‘WHAT’ YOU ARE

Tell us about yourself” is one of the most common questions asked to an interviewee by an interview panel. Pat goes the well-prepared answer describing oneself, one’s strengths and weaknesses, educational qualifications, likes and dislikes and so on. The answer presented in a formal interview is one that would appeal to the interviewer panel. But when we ask ourselves the question ‘Who am I,’ how many of us find the answer appealing?

Pages and pages of credentials in the CV, the accolades earned from friends and family and the upward climb in the professional ladder may at times be just a facade that we have so successfully portrayed before the world that our real identity remains yet undiscovered.

Every individual’s identity is a combination of the following basic identities: identity by birth, gender identity, identity owing to marital status, religious identity, identity due to one’s achievements and professional identity. These identities pretty much define who we are with respect to the societal standards. Professional identity is significant in adulthood since it fulfills an individual’s need for recognition.

This cumulative identity declares before the world who each individual is. But, we are more than merely a sum total of our individual identities. We are spiritual beings encased in our earthly bodies. Whereas everyone does a lot to formulate their earthly identity, most people are unaware of their spiritual identity. Let me make it clear. Spiritual identity is not the same as religious identity. Religious identity has to do with identifying oneself as belonging to a particular religion based on societal standards. However, spiritual identity refers to one’s relationship with the Creator. It is this spiritual identity that defines our real selves.

Are you aware of your true identity?

Identity

DO YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE?

In the mid-2000s, one Indi-pop chartbuster became one of my all time favourite songs.

The song is called “Bulla Ki Jana Main Kaun” – and it was by the Indian musician known as Rabbi Shergill. The song itself is based on the poetry of Muslim Sufi mystic called Baba Bulleh Shah.

If you listen to the words carefully, you will realize that the entire song talks about “who exactly IS Bullah?” Does Bullah know who he is? The stunning poetry is evident in the lyrics of the song, but the hidden pain, not so much.

In today’s fast-paced life, we all want to identify with something or someone. But how many of us really know who we are, and what are we called for? What is our purpose in this life? What is our identity? 

Most people live their entire lives not knowing the answer to this question.  I want to tell you, you were born for a purpose; your life is not in vain. Your identity is set. Let us all go on this journey of finding ourselves.

Just as Bulleh Shah asked in his poetry, ‘Who is Bullah?’, let us ask ourselves the question today.

Here is the beautiful song for you – listen to the words carefully.

 

 

Identity

HAVING A SELF-IDENTITY

Each person is unique in his or her own way. Even though everyone lives together in a society one would react differently from another in a number of situations. It has been evident that the provisions of similar physical environments have also resulted in different individual patterns. This is what we call Individuality. “The outstanding characteristic of Man is his Individuality”, thus emphasised by American psychologist Gordon Allport. The realisation of this individuality can be referred to as having a self-identity.

Basically, a person who has a self-identity is aware of his or her purpose in life, can justify own existence and act according to situations keeping in mind his or her ideals. He or she is said to be consistent and therefore maintains own equilibrium in matters of importance.

I would just like to emphasise on the characteristics of individuals with a healthy self-concept and identity:

  1. They are able and willing to take up responsibilities appropriate to their age.

  2. They participate with pleasure in experiences belonging to each successive age-level.

  3. They willingly accept responsibilities pertaining to their roles in life.

  4. They enjoy confronting and eliminating obstacles to happiness.

  5. They make decisions with a minimum of worry and conflict.

  6. They abide by a choice they make until convinced it is a wrong choice.

  7. They get satisfaction from real rather than imaginary accomplishments.

  8. They learn from defeats instead of finding excuses for them.

  9. They do not magnify successes or apply them to unrelated areas.

  10. They know their work and leisure timings.

  11. They can say ‘no’ to situations harmful to their best interests and ‘yes’ to situations that will aid them.

  12. They can endure pain and emotional frustration when necessary, while showing affection appropriate in kind and amount.

  13. Most importantly, they accept the fact that life is an endless struggle.

     

 

 

Identity