OF SENSE AND SENSIBILITY

“I wish I was a deaf and dumb person! If I was deaf, I wouldn’t have to listen to all the derogatory things said to me. And if I was dumb, I wouldn’t talk stuff that irritate others. Better still, I think I should die. That would be the end of all my problems.”

An excerpt from a 10-year old’s chat which I received last week after she received a mouthful from well-meaning, but frustrated parents.

As adults, many of us have learned in the course of time to give a deaf ear to the harsh words of others or to mend our ways after getting a dose of constructive criticism which might not necessarily be music to the ears. But, is it the same for children?

There were times when spanking wasn’t really frowned upon. Rather, it was considered to be one of the corrective measures needed to discipline children. There were times when severe scoldings from parents, teachers, and elders made children rethink their actions and mend their ways. At least it was true for a majority of the population, with only a few scattered here and there who took the rebel route.

But, times are different now. We have highly observant children now who don’t hesitate to talk back. Call it genetic evolution or the influence of media or civilizational progress, children today are sharper, argumentative, rebellious, curious, independent, and thoughtful than those of the previous generations. They are not as compliant and submissive as most parents would want their darlings to be. To top it all, they are so very touchy!

There are numerous pieces in newspapers of late, of suicides by children who were either reprimanded for a wrong or refused access to gadgets – all which parents thought are measures of disciplining their children. But, the consequences proved to be disastrous thereby imparting strong messages to society and numerous amendments in Child Laws at the cost of precious lives.

So, what do we do? Give in to the whims and fancies of our children? Stop disciplining them? Use only sugar-coated words and ignore their wrongs? Keep worrying about their feelings and emotions all the time without caring for their holistic development? If our children are always kept in an aura of positivity, how will they learn to take negative feedback in their stride?

These and such other questions are bombarded by worried parents. Well, the approach to negative feedback is different for children and for adults. I will not dwell on those in this write-up. While adults are not expected to be childish in their response to negative feedback, children must also not be expected to behave in overly mature ways in response to criticism.

‘Sensitivity’ and ‘sensibility’ are the two words I want to leave behind for all to ponder upon. Criticisms, negative feedback, reprimands – all are parts and parcels of life. The way they are accepted depends most of the time on the way they are delivered and the outcomes they generate.

Never use kids as pawns in your fights for you can’t expect a sweet yield if you have sown bitter and poisonous seeds.
It holds true for a family, a society, a nation, and the world.

MOTHERHOOD AND GUILT ARE INSEPARABLE

Being a mom, you are going to be bombarded with so much guilt for everything you do to everything you don’t do.

Nearly, 90% of moms feel guilty- And yes it is not a surprising element. Right from giving birth, breastfeeding, parenting, helicopter parenting and much more, you will stumble every now and then with guilt.

When pregnancy starts, it begins creeping into the thoughts.

“Oh, I didn’t have this, my child would have got better eyes, lips..etc”

“Oh, I should have lost enough weight,so that I would not have gained this much during pregnancy, now how I am gonna take care of myself and my kids . . .”

Blah… blah… blah…

A lot many thoughts keep conflicting the mind, rather than focussing on the real thing.

Again, after giving birth, most moms around 10 % or so, struggle with breastfeeding, some do not have enough supplement, that they have to start on formula milk, some do feed enough that the baby is growing fatter… and much more..

The list just prolongs from then, there is never an end to it.

Again the common guilt which is prevailing is when a mother is back to work. The guilt is much heavier than an atom bomb, it just breaks away the confidence and the mother’s dreams, that finally she gives up, the hopes and be a dedicated mom.

But again, it is not the end of the story – the guilt is inseparable.

When kids grow up, the mother again feels lonelier and again guilty of giving up her career, and then finally not able to give a kick start to it, because she keeps blaming herself for all the decisions she took in her life.

So what’s the story now?

Why do women, especially moms feel the guilt?

Is it because she doesn’t do her things well enough? Or,

Is it the society, who is grading the moms?

People tend to forget that moms are also humans, they also have their share of life. All they need is some time on their own, a job to make them independent to boost their self-confidence. And they just need slight support, not huge though.

So moms, just chill, if you are feeling guilty;

  • Firstly you do an excellent job, being a mom.
  • It is not easy just being mom, it takes up so much effort and you are the best at it.
  • Remember that your happy mind keeps everyone around you happy. So smile, take your own time and chill out.
  • Not breastfeeding is not the end of the world. Somethings are not in your hands. There are thousands of women who are not able to lactate, and it is not their fault.
  • Parenting is indeed a mess, you fall in uninvited, but yes, you might take your time to gather around and swim across to the shore.
  • Do not compare your parenting with others, you need not be guilty for your choices if you know you cannot control it.

Moreover, it is not in your hands that, the people around you are beguiled by the traditional patriarchal child-rearing setup, which is mostly triggered by maternal guilt rather than parental guilt.

Leave the idea of perfectionism, rather than focus on what is good for the child.

Just ignore your guilt and then focus on your child. Guilt gives you nothing, your child will give you the universe of happiness.

HOW TO HANDLE EMOTIONS AT WORK

By nature, I am an extremely vulnerable person who can feel the emotions a little more in depth than required. I have often ended up in emotional mess because of this sensitivity. When I was you I couldn’t reason why some thing could hurt me so deep or why some small things make me happy. But as I started growing up a little self retrospection helped me understand.

It’s very easy for people like me to build relationships. What is difficult is to recover from the hurt if these relationships don’t work. I can quote plenty examples.

My first love, some of the friendships and some professional relationships too. We talk and hear a lot about heartbreaks and how to come out of it. Hence today I am going to talk about feelings and emotions at work.

In a corporate environment we often get overwhelmed about how to maintain relationships with peers and superiors. From my professional experience so far, I have learnt a lot about professional relationships and I have made some rules for myself. Sharing the same, it may be useful to you too.

1. No romantic relationships at work. A STRICT NO.

2. No friendships at work. Well, friendships do happen but not the ones that I may want to keep life long. Most of the friendships are need based. They are over when the need is over. I have suffered a lot with this before when I was a novice in this big bad corporate world. Slowly I learnt the tricks of the trade. But to be honest, my workplace has given me 2 beautiful friendships which are an exception to this rule.

3. No sharing personal life details in depth neither asking them to others. Often times, we speak volumes about our personal life with the person whom we trust at workplace but I have had experience when it turned a boomerang for me. I can do an entire separate post of this point 😎

4. No feelings towards anybody at workplace. When I say no feelings, I literally mean NO Feelings at all.. no jealousy, no anger, no attachment, no love, no hate. The only two feelings that I allow are respect and empathy. Lot of times, you may not respect a person, but you must respect the designation. This situation is a hard nut to crack. But not getting emotionally entangled often makes lot of things easier.

5. Just fix it in mind that you cannot take along all your relationships along with you till the end of your life. A person is surrounded by circles of relationships. Closer the circle to you, more important is the relationship. Now just imagine how difficult it will be to accommodate all the relationships in the inner most circle. Similarly, accept the fact that you can’t stand in the inner most circle of many. This point is difficult to accept and that’s exactly what causes emotional stress.

Hope these tips are useful. How do you deal with emotions and feelings? What challenging situations you have encountered and how did you deal with them? I would love to hear from you.

WAKE UP

Wake up dear

this world doesn’t stay the same always

Get up smell the roses and get on with your work

make the best use of your resources or they may just dry up one day..

Humans are generally very wasteful. We have successfully wasted the resources bestowed upon us by Nature. Air, water, wood, oil, wind energy, natural gas, mineral, and coal we have managed to misuse and waste all of them. 

When early humans discovered the use of these resources they thought that the earth is so plentiful that whatever we do we will have an unending supply of all these resources. Our processes didn’t take the environmental toll into consideration and the results are very visible now.

The hazards that we only studied about have become a stark reality these days. Be it the flooding of our cities during monsoon, or the famines our farmers are facing, or the air quality being so poor that we need masks to breathe. All these things are actually happening in the present and they are all a direct consequence of our callous approach towards our natural resources. 

What is surprising though is the fact that even though we all know that pollution is an issue (and one that we will continue to face with mounting urgency in the future), few of us have changed a lot of our simple habits to be more environmentally friendly. Why because we value convenience more. 

It’s time to wake up and take some really concrete steps. Small changes in our life style can help save a lot of water, energy etc. We all know what is to be done but right now we are not bothered enough. Guys time has come act now before it’s too late for our next generation.

One more definition of resources is “a stock or supply of money, materials, staff, and other assets that can be drawn on by a person or organization in order to function effectively.”

We have seen huge conglomerates falling because they were not able to efficiently use their resources. The bigger the company the more the leaks. And more the wastage of their resources. We should realise that everything we consume comes at a price and is limited. The raw material, the  machinery and the staff should be taken care of and used optimally. Only then would a factory be called efficient. 

Look at an even bigger picture. Even humans are a resource. A country’s progress depends on how well they train and take care or their human resource. People tend to move out of a place where they are not valued or don’t have enough opportunities. Brain Drain aren’t all familiar with that… 

Stop being wasteful. Be it the resources endowed upon us by nature or the things created by humans or even the emotions. Believe me if this is the way we keep going these resources won’t be around for long. Preserve this beautiful world don’t help destroy it. 

Wake up…

“PROMISE” – IS IT JUST A WORD?

It is said, “PROMISE is a big word. It either makes something or breaks everything.”

Well, one of our Indian movies has intensified it to higher ground, “It is easier to win someone’s trust and it is more easier to break it. But TOUGH is, ‘to sustain that trust’.” 

In the mid of this year, I was invited to join a National Conference at Shillong in October. Wow, Shillong! Who gonna miss it! Of course, ‘YES’ I replied. But after a couple of months, I received my University exam time table and somehow a 3 days gap between a couple of my papers offered me a break. As opportunities costs, I was asked to pay for the cancellation of my one-way train ticket and buy an air ticket. Penny-pinching and after a week-long thought-through I convinced myself to block the deal. Finally the day dawn, as likely my plan, I took the second-half break from the office and went to write the paper. Soon after, I called a cab for the airport to take the evening flight for Guwahati after 2 hours and then en route to Shillong by road. But as always, “human plans greatly whereas he has no idea what’s going to happen in next hour”, exactly so my cab took the U-turn and was stranded in the traffic for an hour. By the time, my cab driver gets space to sneak out for another route (of course, only possible on Indian roads:)) to the airport, I crossed my check-in time. One side, I was cursing my driver and another side blaming God, “how can you be so rude to me? Being an Almighty God, can’t you somehow give me a free road?”  Exhaust and down emotion, I reached the airport 15 minutes late to the scheduled departure of my flight. But to my surprise, my flight was flying 40 minutes late, as I stepped into the airport, my flight touched the ground and was taxing towards the terminal. With ‘let’s try’ thinking, I went for boarding pass and asked the executive, ‘I know I’m late to board your aircraft but I come to know your aircraft to Guwahati is flying late. And he slapping me with his words said, Sir, you are late than our delayed flight, YOU CANNOT BOARD THE FLIGHT. On my second request, he said, let me try Sir if it works! Again to surprise he handover the boarding pass and said, Sir, run to terminal 19, the gate is about to open. Hold on, the story doesn’t end there, there’s something for life-risk as well. By the time I land, Guwahati was raining like cats and dogs. Still praying, I got a brand new cab to Shillong, hungry and tired around 11 P.M I asked the driver, Sir, how long it will take to Shillong and can we stop somewhere for dinner. He replied, sure sir, around 1AM we will reach the Dhaba but Sir we must pray that there should not be any landslide. The way it is raining, I’m sure there will be landslide somewhere. After an hour, that skillful driver was good enough to turn the steering just in a few inches away from landslide. At 3 AM, I reached Shillong but again surprising my host was out of reach and I was in a drug-paddlers locality. With a bit more struggle, I got the connection of my other contact and finally, I got shelter.

Yes, as you think, my parents suggested me to cancel the trip and in fact, while facing each of the challenges I thought to withdraw from my “YES” to the conference organizers. But each time, one verse from the Bible went strong enough to convince me –

Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ 

Anything more comes from the evil one.

Promises are always made at the present time and mostly it is made about its future implications but the uncertainty of the future always appears as a challenge. As the future becomes present, at the most time it enfolds an awful lot of challenges. Logically, promises might be expressed with the help of word-formation but it isn’t just a word. The sustainability of our promise words shapes our identity – our character – our strengths – our understanding and majorly the other person’s TRUST. 

The well-known and well-uttered flamboyant phrase of our time is, “Heaven and earth may pass by but I will be with you at all times. You were meant for me”. But alas, since we tend to jettison our primary promises in most of our affairs we are experiencing more shattered relationships rather than the previous decades put together. Ironically, the British author Dr. John R. W Stott in one of his book on civilized society and its problems with morals and civility said,

“Many of the happenings of our civilized society would not exist if it were not for human sin. A promise is not enough, we need a contract. Doors are not enough, we need to lock and bolt them. The payments of fairs are not enough, we need to be with tickets that are punched, inspected and collected. Laws are not enough, we need the Police to enforce them. All these things and many others to which we have grown as a custom than we have taken them for granted are due to our sin. WE CANNOT TRUST EACH OTHER, WE NEED PROTECTION FROM ONE ANOTHER. It is a sorry state of affairs.”

SACRIFICING LIFE – CHOOSE WISELY

What exactly means sacrificing one’s life?

“It simply means giving up something we dearly want for the sake of others’ happiness.”

In this selfish world, does it really happen?

Yes, it does. If you look around we can find an uncountable number of people who sacrifice every moment of their life for others. It is not the poor or just the rich, not just a man or a woman, everyone around you sacrifice their precious peace for someone else’s smile.

A daily wager, walks kilometers breaking their bones working hard to earn enough to feed their family. A maid works cleaning the filthier plates, clothes, and homes without any taking any, just to keep their family has enough income to teach their kids to help them be successful in their life. An IT employee works 24/7 sacrificing food, pleasure, family, friends and much more just to earn and save for the future.

If you look out there are many who does these mundane things sacrificing their precious life. But what do they gain?

Do they gain happiness?

Do they gain relations?

Do they gain health?

No. Ultimately they lose all these in the long run. They forget to live in the moment. Their sacrifices are never valued. They sacrifice themselves for the sake of others and finally, they are not rewarded for their efforts.

woman carrying baby at beach during sunset
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Motherhood is yet another sacrifice

Women are again embodiments of sacrifice. They sacrifice much more than needed for their children.

All this is out of Love – the only emotion that helps anyone let go of anything.

woman running
Photo by RUN 4 FFWPU on Pexels.com

Winner’s Sacrifice

Most hardworking people, sacrifice their free time and devote themselves to tasks that make them ultimate winners.

It is said that when you say ‘yes’ to one opportunity, it means you are saying ‘no’ to many other things in life. 

The true side of sacrifice

Image result for the true side of sacrifice"

The real fact which leads us to sacrifice is that we tend not to prioritize many things in our life.  And if we affirm that we are sacrificing something, then we are not enjoying what we do.

A mother never sacrifices her sleep, hunger, emotions, just like that for a baby. It is because she loves her child to the core. Similarly, everyone sacrifices only when they love doing it.

But there are some exceptions too.

Some merely hide their sorrows, sacrifices their emotions and then finally surrender themselves to the wicked world. But yet again, it is not the end of the world. There is always a  brighter side of life.

No sacrifice goes wasted. 

If you look in our Indian Society, mainly, there are thousands of women who being highly educated, get stuck indoors doing mere mundane tasks. Their dreams, their aspirations all go wasted in those four walls.

But why do they do it?

No women are weaker. They are stronger than they are assumed to be. The moment any woman decides to set themselves free from all these, they can just walk away.

But here again, they sacrifice for the sake of others’ happiness. All they do is expect a miracle to happen one fine day, where their loved ones see their immeasurable sacrifice and appreciate them.

Yet, again their sacrifices are so used to by others, that they never escape from them. Some sacrifices become compromises in life and it is hard to escape them.

Certain Sacrifices are worth taking

It is important to sacrifice certain habits, that really put us in trouble. Certain things like improper meals, unhealthy habits, lack of exercise, overdoing certain things for others, etc. can be sacrificed for your betterment.

To wrap Up

Choose wisely, before you do something for someone. Some sacrifices are to be well-considered choices while some others are better to be avoided for your peace of mind. Life is just one, a gift of breathing that you get. A time that cannot be captured back, hence living for yourself is a priority to be considered amidst living for others.