YOU KNOW IN OUR TIMES…

When I was a kid many a times my father used to relate many Interesting stories about his childhood. Which typically started as ‘you know in our times….’ . And we used to react like a typical teenager and say ‘oh no.. not again’ . Well I hope your reaction is not similar, as my story also starts with  ‘ you know when I was a child…’


I feel positively ancient while saying this but yes I was born during the time when mobile phones did not exist.  Watching TV meant half an hour of Chitrahaar on Doordarshan.. Yes, the cable TV did not exist. It came into our lives quite late as my parents thought I wouldn’t study for my board exams if we had cable TV in the house.

But still I can assure you I had a very happy childhood. Things used to happen without technology also. Even though it sounds unthinkable now but plans were made to meet up with a friend at some place and we could locate each other without making multiple calls to each other. We had long chats with our friends without WhatsApp or Facebook. We used to remember by heart  the small five or six digit phone number of our all our friends. Playing with friends actually meant getting together, running, catching, jumping etc nothing was virtual.

It’s so different now. Technology has changed quite a few things in our life. And mostly for the better. Our life has become easier and more convenient. 

But there are small small things in our life which disturb me at times. Like I was horrified when I first heard my elder son declare to  his younger brother that he will kill him. I ran to the room and realised that they were talking about their onscreen game avatars. I explained to them that they shouldn’t talk like this but still among their friends I can commonly hear phrases like ‘i will kill you’ or ‘so and so is gonna die’. Makes me very uneasy. This life like graphic in video games has made the children so desensitized towards violence and bloodshed etc that it feels very normal to them.

While on the topic of teenagers, there is this game called as blue whale which is in news these days. It’s a mother’s worst nightmare come true. I still don’t understand how an unknown person sitting so far away can persuade a child to do bodily harm to oneself and even go to the extent of suicide. And here I a mother, the nurturer, the care giver, can’t even persuade my child to eat the green veggies. Jokes apart it’s a sad situation. The technology that was meant to connect us is alienating us from our loved ones. Everyone is busy with their head bent over a phone or a tab oblivious to the people around them. 

We have all heard of people dying while trying to take a perfect selfie. I don’t even understand this fad well enough to comment on it.

The convenience provided by technology is fast turning us into couch potatoes. Daily chores have become easier, lifestyle sedentary and then we have to spend thousands of rupees in the gym to get our body and health back in shape.

Recently I read an article about Facebook and Google shutting down their artificial Intelligence programs as the computers had  become too smart for the humans. They had developed their own language to communicate with each other, which the humans could not understand as it was more efficient as compared to our languages. Scary isn’t it. What if the machines decide that they are way smarter than humans and they don’t require humans at all. Doesn’t it remind you of the skynet of Terminator series. 

So as I was saying ‘you know in our times …’ What was considered as science fiction is fast becoming reality. I just hope it does not turn out like the man vs machine movies of Hollywood..

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OF DAYS GONE BY, THOSE THAT ARE AND THOSE YET TO COME

Oftentimes our human mind is hasty to picture modernization merely in terms of technological advancements. However, the concept of modernization is much broader than that. A reflection on the emergence and development of various civilizations of the world would make us realize that each civilization that came into existence centuries later, was more advanced and modern than those preceding it. That is how we have the Stone Age giving way to the Bronze Age which in turn gave way to the Iron Age. And gradually, we are today in what can aptly be called as the Digital Age! In historical and sociological terms, the present age that we are living in today is termed as the ‘post-modern age’.

As we look back to the blissful past, there are indeed certain things that dim the illumination of this post-modern age. Today, the world is teeming with high human population; but sadly humanity is on the decline. Education opportunities are on the rise – scholarships, fellowships and educational loans are easily available now than they were in the past. However increasing knowledge base has reduced the basic levels of common sense in people – leave alone digging deep into the mines of wisdom. IQ levels have risen, but EQ levels have miserably dipped. The global job market offers numerous opportunities for people to carve a niche for themselves. With high standard jobs come high income, more facilities and less peace of mind. Many people have tasted sweet success in their careers today, than they could do in the past. But the pressure to remain successful makes life and living stressful.

Newer explorations to the space, sun, moon, Mars and other planets are being planned everyday; while people have little communication with their own family members and with their neighbours. The picture at the dinner table is increasingly becoming like this: the family members sitting around the table – a spoon in one hand and a mobile in the other, eyes fixated onto the screen! Where is the time for bonding, communication, emotional development within the family that used to be a tale to boast years down the lane?

There was a time when families lived under thatched houses or one-room apartments, but did share their joys and sorrows with each other. With increasing modernization, bigger houses with excellent amenities mark prosperity. But, with it comes the concept of individual space (which is so widely misunderstood) – a room for each member of the family, thus isolating each person to his/her own corner. Gaps in the family bonding are wide enough to give space to extra-marital relationships and conflicts among the members.

Healthcare is at its best today than it was few decades back. But giving the healthcare think tanks a tough time, are lifestyle diseases and psychological problems, which are at their peaks today than they were anytime previously. Alienation leading to depression, performance pressure giving rise to anxiety disorders and the pressure to conform to changing patterns giving rise to personality disorders.

We are increasingly developing into an impatient generation. We want things to be done instantly – no matter to whatever extent we need to go to get our ends met. The practice of delayed gratification and self-control are quickly fading into the oblivion.

We cannot travel back in time to those simple days of innocence and bliss. Time moves forward. Development is the name of the day. And we all want to taste the boons of modernization. However as we aim to fly high in the air, let’s bear in mind that dust we are and to dust we shall return. No matter what era we belong to, we need to hold the basic life values dear to the heart and pass on the same to the generation next.

 

HOW DO YOU FEED YOUR 2 YEAR OLD

As a mother of a 2 year old – this is usually a question we often end up asking each other in kids play area while talking to other moms. It’s a challenge – that’s usually the answer from each one of us.

So, what do I do? Typical evening in my house.

“Joey, its dinner time. Come, mom made your favorite aloo parantha with curd.”

No reaction from the child. Then I hold him and tell him the same thing.

“No no no. I don’t want to eat.”

“Ok, do you want something else? Do you want butter with it? Or do you want paneer ki sabji?”

No reaction yet again.

“Come baby, we will read this book. I got you a new story book.”

“No, I don’t want.” He says while running around the entire house.

Tired after horrible day at work – I feel the frustration rising inside me. It is already 9 pm and if he doesn’t eat now, his sleep time will get delayed and then tomorrow morning will be a challenge. And a thought crosses my mind – when will the day come when he will just sit on his own and eat?

“Come Joey, we will watch YouTube – Dora the Explorer has a new episode”. I give up finally and that little tinge of guilt crooks up, but I turn it down. I will not give him phone from next weekend – I make a self-resolution which I know will not last.

Joey comes quickly as obedient kid and takes his place on his chair. Dinner is done in 13 mins maximum. And then another challenge begins.

“Joey give me the phone back now. Dinner is done.”

No reaction. He is just so engrossed in watching which place will Dora visit next! I wait till his episode of 20 mins get over. But damn this YouTube, they just start off the next episode in just 10 seconds. Then there is bit of struggle in getting the phone back from him but finally I succeed. So overall, 22 mins of phone time! This multiplied by 3 times a day. Not a good sign at all. It is not always YouTube there is Angry Birds, Talking Tom, Color Squad and so many more! Why do they make such apps and why do I even install such things?? No idea!

Post dinner Joey wants me to read a story to him and probably sing nursery rhymes with him at the top of the voice. And many times actually enact them as well. So we start doing just that. We start with “Teddy bear, teddy bear”, “Daddy finger”, “Incy wincy spider” and then the story of “Pied piper” followed by “Hansel and Gretel”. In middle of the story, I see my phone beep and there a WhatsApp notification from my best friend who is in the US. She will leave for work in some time and then I won’t be able to chat with her and there is one important topic that cannot wait. So now I start to multitask between WhatsApping her and reading stories to my son. 15 mins later, he is frustrated and cranky and so am I!

This is an everyday story for me and I am sure for a lot of other moms. I don’t know how our mothers managed us without mobile apps, Tata sky and chromecast. Our generation cannot think of not having technology as a partner in parenting.

Sometimes it is 2 year old not eating without phone, other times it is a 5 year old learning how to fight the goons from our Bollywood masala. There are also many 13 year olds who are fighting with their parents for a smartphone and others who want a Facebook or an Instagram account. There are many kids who love to play Dark Knight, Pokemon or Minecraft sitting in a room comfortably engrossed in the virtual world. There are kids who simply hate the fact that they are asked to play Football, Cricket, Tennis in the real fields. There are adults who check their phones on an average of every 10 mins – you can imagine the power of concentration that we have.

I recently read a sarcastic joke on WhatsApp – “Can you imagine that there are still some hopeless people in this world who hold a toothbrush in their hands as soon as they wake up instead of their phone?” Well it is indeed unimaginable. I don’t remember the last time I did not check my phone as soon as I woke up. Do you remember???

ARE WE BECOMING SLAVES OF MODERNIZATION?

A magnificent morning with a splendid sunrise in a small village. A small old thatched home with a small, yet a neat surrounding .the surrounding space contains plants and a small box like shaped home for hens. The morning alarm is the sound of the “Cock-a-doodle-doo” by the cock in the traditional way of standing on top of its small house. With the wake-up call, the elder lady in the house wakes up and starts cleaning the place, and the smoke evolving from the chimney of the house, as she starts cooking too. The place is well-kept single handed by the lady of the house. She wakes up everyone and simultaneously keeps on her household work too. All gets-up and starts on the daily chores. Kids wake up and start playing with the hen and chicks in the surrounding. They run around in the sand, the grass among the plants touching each and everything in nature. From one corner the father laughs at their play, another corner the mother is scolding them for spoiling the place. Yet, there is joy in the house- a harmony that is untouched by the modernization.

Nowadays, the scenario is totally different. Everyone wakes up with mobile alarms, gone are the days of even the clocks. Instead of God or seeking the blessings from the Lord, all are busy in checking WhatsApp and Facebook even before opening their eyes. There are no conversations, it is just message – binaries flowing everywhere. Every neck is bent down on to the mobiles or pads. Everything has changed.

The other day as I was passing the street near my home, I noticed few kids playing in the rain, with all the mud all over them. There was no tinge of scare or anybody to take care of them. They were like free-birds, enjoying their flight in the mother nature. This lets me think when was the last time I took a walk in the rain, walked around the muddy area and enjoyed the down pour. For a second I felt jealous of them.

Another day, from the balcony of my apartment, I kept watching the kids in the construction site. When our kids were enjoying the bliss of luxury, they were playing with single toys. Now kids don’t need toys they are all clogged to the mobile and iPad screens.

Technology has truly drained the childhood, making them more machine like. One day the whole will be like binaries- 1 and 0  with no one to distinguish the feelings of the heart. The insensibility created by the modernization is affecting the minds. Everyone around us is getting addicted to the facilities and the progression made by the world. Going back to nature and becoming one has become close to impossible.

We are slowly hurting the mother nature, to increase the comfort. But what does this comfort lead us

But what does this comfort lead us to?

Yes, Obesity, laziness, illness, and much more. The world is becoming a comfort-zone for all the illness too. Increase in pollution due to deforestation. There is a huge gap that is developed in the people with regard to income. And more over our culture is deteriorating gradually, unknowingly by our own deeds.

It is time to realize the impact we are creating in the world – distinguish the positive and the negative ones and react accordingly. We need to methodize some ways to preserve the nature, as well as our culture. We need to teach our kids the beauty of living in nature. Let them understand the life in a rightful manner.

WE’RE CHANGING OUR WORLD WITH TECHNOLOGY

Few years back I came across a documentary, “Love Child“. The documentary is based on a heart wrenching incident where a South Korean couple starved their 3-month old daughter to death because they were addicted to an online video game. Do you know what is the irony of the story? In the game they were addicted to, they were nurturing their virtual child while they left their real child unattended.

The game ‘Prius’ allowed them to create virtual characters of themselves as if they have a new life, after certain levels in the game they would be awarded with a child whom they would be parents for. A virtual reality game made them forget their real life’s responsibilities for a 12 hour stretch starving their baby to death. The state in which the child was found by the police in their apartment not only shocked the entire nation of South Korea but many other people around the world were left to wonder how much technology can effect us. 

Parenthood is considered sacred in South Korea, hence it is not culture but the addiction to ‘technology’ which is the main culprit. This is just one story, there are numerous others. 

Advent of internet, advancement in technology are the greatest achievements man has ever made, truly letting us do more in less time. Technology is not confined to internet, mobile, computer or other high-tech inventions, but any invention that can improve our life-style falls under the umbrella of technology, like airplanes, washing machines etc ., 

Majority of our every day tasks have some connection with technology. We cannot step out of our homes without mobile phone – we loose connectivity, we cannot navigate, we cannot even remember important dates without reminders.

It may not have been so obvious during the early stages of the development of technology, but our technology-driven world has taken a toll on today’s relationships. The use, and now dependency on cell phones, tablets and computers that our society faces today has changed the way we live. While there are many advantages of it, we cannot escape the negative effects of technology. 

  • Lack of socializing: We are so engrossed in our smart phones that we barely feel the need to socialize. We are able to talk, exchange feelings with anyone around the world in the blink of an eye making us totally forget what it is to have a fun evening with friends in a patio. 
  • Lack of physical activity: Cars, grinders, washing machines helped us save time but deprived us of physical activity. Video games erased the need of playgrounds confining our kids to play indoors. The second major reason to obesity to over-eating is ‘not exercising’…
  • Loneliness: Reduced interactions with people in office, at home is increasing at an alarming rate making people very busy with their virtual lives. While we are in a party we find it convenient to stare at our mobile, earphones with music on we commute, slowly we will find ourselves to have fallen victim to loneliness.
  • Reduced Empathy: This might sound untrue, but according to psychologists more population is becoming self-centered and selfish, making us less altruistic. Our anger levels have increased, carelessly we say “Get lost” or “Don’t ever talk to me again” forgetting that gadgets can be used and thrown, not people. 
  • Deteriorated Health: Continuous exposure to radiations emitted by screens of gadgets cause harm to eyes. Over exposure leads to head aches, migraines. Wrong postures lead to neck injuries, cervical spine or  even can damage parts of brain.

Aforesaid are very much inter-related. They can effect our family, social interactions and relationships very negatively increasing stress. As we run out of time spending our precious life with lifeless gadgets we cannot engage time into useful activities or even self ! 

At this juncture I want to share something that disturbs me when I hear it from my colleagues and friends – cellphone distracted parenting. As both husband and wife are working, they don’t get time to deal with tantrums of their kids . The most opted resort is to engage kid with a cellphone. Parents take pride saying, “He/She knows how to browse for favorite videos to play them”. Usage of gadgets at such tender age deteriorates brain growth. Studies also reveal that such kids play less with other kids, eat high levels of sugar and grow up depressed. 

Environmental damage, increase of global temperature are warning us of getting deprived of a place to live. Air pollution, water pollution, noise pollution, industrial waste are disrupting ecology. Heard of the word “technotrash” ? Waste produced from outdated or damaged electronics contains hazardous materials gets disposed making the environment unsafe.

I am in no way against technology or down-playing how awesome it is. I love being part of the generation who saw many strides in technology. We know exactly how it is to live with and without technology. Without the current technology you couldn’t be reading this article. While being thankful to technology to have helped us have this seamless  life, it would be wise to not fall prey to it so much that we stop to live, live in the true sense appreciating our relationships, lovely people around.

Technology… is a queer thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other. ~C.P. Snow

 

WHY GOD ALLOWED SIN TO EXIST?

This is the commonest question that always pops in our minds – “WHY DID GOD ALLOW SIN TO EXIST IN THE FIRST PLACE?”

It did trouble me too, thinking why really God had to allow sin in this world. He could have easily destroyed that inclination in us or in the fallen angels, but He didn’t do that.

Why?

I studied further to find possibly TWO REASONS of the existence of SIN.

A. GOD DIDN’T WANT TO REDUCE US TO BE MERE ROBOTS

God created human beings with a free will, giving them the freedom to choose to exercise their own wishes. He created them as intelligent creatures possessing moral natures who could differentiate between right and wrong and choose the right one.

If God would have stopped human beings a second before their sin – which He could have easily – He would have violated their moral natures and reduced them to mere robots  walking in His directions.

So God allowed sin to creep in and destroy His beautiful creation though the repercussions of sin were not taken back.

We had a week discussing about sin in brief and in details, yet I want to let you know few more facades of sin and how it traps us.

Prabhjot shared a video with me a couple of days ago about the now most talked about ‘Blue Whale Game’ and it was really disturbing for me while watching it.

The game goes on like this:

There are 50 tasks in the Blue Whale challenge. And nearly all of them involve waking up at a fixed time, 4:20am. After the wakeup call the second task is to tell your best friend you hate them. Each task has to be proved via Photographic evidence and submitted to an “administrator”. On day three, the teen is asked to watch a scary movie at midnight, usually “the ring”. Task four is complete when the teen makes his intent known to the outside world and updates his status to #IAMAWHALE. Alienation from society begins when they are tasked with watching scary movies through the day and listening to the audio files containing the sounds of breathing for up to three minutes that are sent to them by the administrators. It’s all a mind game until the self-harm begins. The teen is asked to cut the word “yes” or “F40” into their bodies to indicate that they are still in the game. At this stage most of them try to back out. But are usually blackmailed into continuing the game with the threat that personal information from their phones will be released to everyone to ensure that none of the teens begin to have doubts. The tasks now begin seeding the idea of suicide.

Horrible!!!

After jotting down the inscriptions shown in the video I found the exact picture how SIN entraps its prey.  Let’s bring down those words which I marked in “bold” letters and find out how SIN really entraps or treats us.

Tasks – That’s the face of sin… beautiful and challenging because it engages us with its allurements and motivations

Time – Sin takes our time… It keeps us busy

Hate – Sin changes our original attribute of love

Evidence – Sin keeps every record of us

Submitted to an “administrator” – Sin dictates us

Known to the outside world – Sin exposes us

Alienation – Sin alienates us from our own selves

Breathing – Sin attacks our life

A mind game – Sin occupies our mind

Self-harm – Sin prompts us to harm our own-self

“Yes” – Sin makes us agree to it

Try to back out – We try to get rid of it, when we understand we are trapped

But – Sin doesn’t allow us to exit from its trap

Blackmailed – Sin blackmails us

Continuing the game – Sin forces us to continue the dirty game

Threat – Sin threatens us

Suicide – Sin finally kills us

Are you not terrified by this? I am very much.

I tried to go little deeper to find out the severity of sin and what it really can do to us. I found 9 metaphors of Sin mentioned in the Bible for our clear understanding of SIN and how dangerous it can be. They are as follows:

  1. Sin is POISONOUS like a viper – Think when we lie against each other, spread rumours, assassinate the character of our friends and others.
  2. Sin is STUBBORN like a mule – Think when we disobey our parents and teachers being so stubborn.
  3. Sin is CRUEL like a bear – Think how our plans are so devious and cruel when we plot against our own for a piece property or to get a name or fame.
  4. Sin is DESTRUCTIVE like a canker worm – Think how alcohol and sexual sins slowly eats us up.
  5. Sin is UNCLEAN like a wild dog – Think what we think and do when we are all alone in a dark room.
  6. Sin is CUNNING like a fox – Think when we scheme to harm someone and backbite
  7. Sin is FIERCE like a wolf – Think how sometimes we beat our children or friend in anger.
  8. Sin DEVOURS like a lion – Think how we murder with such brutality and become cold blooded.
  9. Sin is FILTHY like a swine – Think the sinfulness we are in which nobody knows except ‘me’ and ‘my God’.

The severity and nature of Sin is very clearly understood considering the self-explanatory features of the above mentioned animals and insect.

B. GOD ALLOWED SIN SO THAT HE CAN DISPLAY HIS LOVE AND GRACE

God allowed man to sin so that He might display His grace. He had been exhibiting all His attributes apart from His Grace before sin came into the picture.

Let’s consider the example of us as parents and elders when we encounter a similar situation when our children show tantrums to allow them something that we know is harmful for them. They plead for their freedom and because of our love for them we allow them liberty to follow their wishes keeping a close eye on them. But we present ourselves at the right time when they are in trouble caused by their freedom. We exhibit our love and grace as God had been doing for us all the time we cry unto Him when we go through sinful crisis, a crisis which Dulls our ears from listening to wise counsels of our God and elders, Darkens our eyes to see things clearly, Diverts our feet from the right path to wrong ones, Defiles our tongues to speak spew venom than blessing people, Deceives our hearts away from God, Devours our moral intellect to make us foolish and finally, Dooms our souls taking us away from His presence to hell.

God is always ready to SAVE us from our –

Sins of Ignorance when we don’t know what is wrong and right and we commit;

Sins of Infirmity when we do commit at times because of our weaknesses;

Sins of Carelessness that we commit out of our slackness and negligence;

Sins of Presumption when we do knowing what is right and wrong;

Unpardonable Sins when we rebelled against Him and deny Him of His existence.

He loves us and He waits for us when we will come near to HEAR His voice, plead for His HELP so that He can HEAL us from the severity of our sins. He is a loving God, He doesn’t force us for anything unless we surrender ourselves in His mighty hands.

Stay blessed!!!

CORRUPTIBLE POWER

We’ve all heard Lord Acton’s oft repeated quote –

‘All power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely’

Power is a tricky thing. We all covet it, yet very few of us know how to wield it and not let it get to our heads. How often have you come across examples of people in positions of power abusing their offices and exerting their influence when they should not? How many times have you come across a situation when you have exerted your power over someone inferior to you in some way, because you felt you had the power so you could do it?

Power is a word that has both positive and negative connotations. When it is exerted for a larger benefit, it becomes a tool for victory, like in the case of the public exerting it’s power over a government for certain reforms. Yet when the same government exerts its power to crush and demoralize the public, it becomes a tool for oppression. It’s in such instances when exerting your power wrongly and unfairly becomes a sin.

Consider these instances from everyday lives –

  • A boss exerting his power over his employees to push them into working harder or longer.
  • A teacher punishing her students for misbehaving.
  • A parent forcing a child to do their bidding.
  • A police officer exerting his power over a prisoner.
  • The owner of a gun threatening an intruder.

Some of you may say that exertion of power in such instances is justified. Aye, it is. But there is a very thin line between justified use and power abuse. In all of the above instances, one unwarranted step could lead to abuse of power.

But I won’t just give you random examples of how exertion of power in the wrong instances is a sin, I’ll give you an example from my own life.

I must have been 11-12 when this happened. My Grandmother owned a building where she used to rent out rooms. In one such room stayed a family of two boys, and their parents. The older boy was a couple of years older than me. He was an absolute tyrant and bully. He would go around the village terrorizing children of my age, beating them up, or calling them names or using them for catapult practice. I hated him because he used to pull my hair and call me ‘Pootna‘ (a mythological demon in India).

But I hated him most because he killed a bird with his catapult just to prove to me that his aim did not suck! And the worst part of it was, I goaded him into doing that because I wanted to prove him a failure. That incident is seared in my memory. I don’t know if the boy had any guilt over the sparrow’s death, but I did, heaps of it. And possibly that was why I was horribly sick for a few days afterwards.

But no sooner had I recovered than he was at it again, calling me names, making faces at me. My guilt and the anger I had for him was mounting. My 11 year old pride was taking a beating and I did not like any of it.

So while he was playing in my grandmother’s courtyard, I let loose my Alsatian dog on him. The dog bit into his forearm and left several painful scratches. It let go only when I told the dog to stop. I still remember feeling all mighty and powerful at the time. But when his parents came to take him to the doctor, that’s when it dawned on me that I had wronged him. His parents did not say a word to me, but the look on their faces told me just how unfair I had been. They could not have said anything to me because I was a child, and also because they were tenants of my grandmother and respected her. But now I find it reprehensible that I misused this bit of knowledge and my ferocious dog, to exert my power over someone, even if he was a tyrant and a bully.

This incident taught me that I abused the power I had, whatever little I had of it. It taught me that one could go quickly from using their power for good, to using it for being a bully. And that’s when it becomes a sin.

When a person gains power over others in some way, it is obvious that the subordinates will be in a disadvantageous position. It is also obvious that with the gain of power, a moral weakness develops in the power wielder, where they tend to veer towards using their power for personal benefits or self-aggrandisement. It manifests not just in the human realm, but in the animal realm as well. Like when the leader of a pride of lions exerts his authority over the females and the cubs in the pride. But this is when a power wielder must understand that they must maintain a balance between rightful use and abuse of power. Most positions of power occur over monetary reasons or in positions of trust. An abuse of power in such situations is not just a sin, it also breaks the faith of the subordinates who look to the power wielder for support, guidance and leadership.

This is also when the subordinates must realize that they have power over a power wielder. We must always have a foolproof system of checks and balances where any abuse of power brings serious repercussions for a leader. Most authority figures tend to keep misusing their positions because there is no check on their abuse of power. This is where the power of the masses comes into the picture, and the masses should not condone an unwarranted abuse of power. At some point, the sheep must turn on the wolf masquerading as their shepherd.

We all have relationships in our lives where we may be in an authoritative position over others. A parent, a father or mother in law, an older brother or sister, a boss, an employer, a teacher, a doctor, a lawyer, a politician. There’s no end to such positions where one can wield power… and abuse it.

An authority figure must remember why he’s in power –

  • Because of the faith and trust reposed in him.
  • Because people look to him for leadership
  • Because he has the responsibility of protecting or providing for a group of persons

Breaking the trust of your followers and subordinates takes seconds, but good-will takes an age to earn, and regaining broken trust, takes even longer.

I think this quote from the Bible sums up what we must all remember when we exert our power, for good or bad:

1 Peter 5:2-3

“Shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock.”

 

Pradita Kapahi, 2017