Who are You?

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Sorry guys, haven’t been writing since some days. Got caught up.

So this Saturday, after studying mechanics straight 9-1, and programming 1-3, we finally had something different by the college. A guest lecture on “The Art of Self Management.” Just like one would expect, we walked in expecting another boring lecture on stupid stuff. But it wasn’t quite anything like one would expect. Now, we don’t have any non-Indian faculty, none that I have seen. Yet here he was, a white guy wearing a kurta and dhoti and a mala round his neck. Quite a fascinating sight for most Indians. Can’t seem to understand why. Maybe because Indians don’t really understand “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” concept. But anyways, here he was. We all settled down. He’d written the words “Herd Mentality” on the board and on one side he’d written “7 mins”, “8 mins”, “9 mins” and “10 mins”. Now, speaking for myself, I was actually waiting for him to explain why he had written that. As, it happens in every class, people were huddling, chatting, texting. Suddenly he became hard on us and asked a guy who was talking on the phone or chatting to give him his phone. After repeatedly calling us buffalos, and telling us that we came 10 mins late, he started demonstrating how we’d been acting and how we reacted when we saw him in the class. He said that when you guys see a white guy, that too in this attire, you react as if you’ve never seen anything like it! Some people even ridiculed him, which they thought he didn’t notice. He also pointed out that we were basically laughing at our own culture. And then he explained it to us why these reactins were so funny. It’s ’cause they’re ridiculous! He also pointed out about how we all so rely on other people to do our work for us. We basically have someone cleaning our rooms, making us food, doing our laundry (though for us hostel people the laundry, at least, is self-done) etc.

And after much more comic relief, he came to the main point. Why do we go against our conscience and come late to class, and still act cool? Why do we think that it’s okay to do whatever everyone does? It’s cause of our “Herd Mentality”. And thus the term for us, buffaloes. All the buffaloes walking in one direction. In a herd. (This was just the first class of many.)

Why? Why’d we do it? True, as I quoted earlier, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.”, but what about our own indivisuality? Does looking cool and trying to fit in really matter more than being yourself?

What do you do when you realise that you’re not yourself anymore?
Give it time to sink in. Think.

Rafiki’s Wisdom #2

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The Paradoxical Commandments
By Kent M. Keith

1. People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered. Love them anyway.

2. If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives. Do good anyway.

3. If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway.

4. The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.

5. Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable. Be honest and frank anyway.

6. The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds. Think big anyway.

7. People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs. Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

8. What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight. Build anyway.

9. People really need help but may attack you if you do help them. Help people anyway.

10. Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth. Give the world the best you have anyway.

© Copyright Kent M. Keith 1968, renewed 2001
-Kent M. Keith, http://www.paradoxicalcommandments.com/

Rafiki’s Wisdom #1

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Forgive and Forget. Forgiveness is not about the other person. Forgiveness is not about their fault. Forgiveness is not about how big was that fault. Forgiveness is about you. It’s about you as a person.

Suppose you’re walking along a path. The path goes straight, and there is nothing but the path, nothing on either side. And by nothing, I mean totay nothing. The edges of the path is where everything ends. You’re walking towards a destination. You walk freely, without any restrains. And you enjoy the walk peacefully.
Now you encounter bags full of something, which smells really bad. And the bag covers the whole path. Now you decide to pick up the bag, and carry it on your shoulders and walk along. Maybe trying to find who left the bag.
As you progress, you find the journey becoming tiring and irritating. And you start balming it on the bag, but never really letting go of it.

That bag is a burden on you. If you forgive the other person, you let go of the bag and leave it behind you. And you attain peace. And when something bad comes along, you fight it instead of being unable to fight because of the burden and then blame it on the bag. You fight and you win. You deserve peace. So Forgive And Forget.

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.
-Mahatma Gandhi