The image problem

We worry about our image all the time. How did we reach here? It may not be a bad thing.

We live in an image conscious world. Thanks to social media, everyone (including yours’ truly is on a quest to show themselves as cool, outgoing and an amazing person to be with. We love to click selfies, show ourselves as always happy, fun loving and having a blast at all times. This to me is one of the blessings of the modern era. No one will know the inner you. The filter that you put on can help conceal what you are really within yourself.

I consider myself fortunate to have spent valuable times with my grandparents in my youth. They came from a generation that preceded the baby boomers. These people witnessed the world wars, the cold wars and every conflict that has come to define the 20th century. They have been through hunger, famine, struggle-everything you name it. These experiences shaped them to rough and tough people who called a spade a spade and walked the talk and talked the talk. Economic prosperity was however denied to them during their time on the earth. Fate did compensate them later with a change in the circumstances of their own children/ grand children.

I’ve had many colourful conversations with my own grandparents about life then versus now. Due to extreme hardships they faced, they valued people and money dearly. They would ensure that relations were maintained and money was spent wisely or not even spent all. They valued things and they abhorred waste.

For a moment consider the 21st century. We thrive in the era of commercialization. We thrive in an era of buying and spending beyond our means. For us economic prosperity was attainable due to the relative peaceful conditions that we live in. We love our gadgets and our instagrammed portraits of ourselves. There is nothing wrong in loving oneself and some may argue it is wise to mind one’s own business in a world such as today.

We live in different times. The human race of my grandfathers evolved into the one of mine that we see today. People would like to lament how good things were back then- but today is even better. It may be crowded and noisy today. But one can find true peace and harmony within oneself. Being image conscious may not be a bad thing after all. It is always better to be the best of what you can be each day.

I have learnt a simple lesson in life which I admit I learnt from my own grandparents. It was years ago and I still remember when my grandmother passed away and her body was moved from the home to the cemetery. My grandfather said he did not want to come and chose to stay home alone. As everyone made their way out, I went and had a look at my grandfather. He was really close to his wife of many years. She completed him and was there with him through thick and thin. He might have dreaded that day when they had to bade goodbye – and today it was here. There was sadness and a sense of fear in his face. Life is never going to be the same again. The realization that in the end, you are all alone by yourself- and your time could be next.

I think it is important to understand that your life is all about you and not anyone else. But I will never say that your world is all about you. The world has never owed anything to anyone and will continue despite you. It is wise to give importance to yourself rather than have a feeling of self importance or entitlement. You will be disappointed if you believe that latter is the case. The old adage holds a self evident truth – ‘Live and let live’. Always remember the first word – ‘Live’.

Returning

It is good to return

It has been 4 months since I penned my last post. Life has been good and hectic during this time and it is good to be back to what I know best- blogging.

It is always good to return.


Throughout human history we hear tales of people leaving their homes, their friends and family to embark on a journey- one that which their lives called them to do. Often titled as A Hero’s Journey, tales from religion, folklore, legends to even movies is when this journey commences. The whole sum of life is the time when this journey commences to when it ends.

During this journey, we meet a lot people, see a lot of places, stay in strange places and settings- but we do not remain there forever. We continue on our journey-as our soul is a restless one. One that cannot be quenched or silenced. It will not rest till it reaches its ultimate destination.

Mass and energy are inexplicably interlinked. Our bodies constitutes of the same ingredients found across the cosmos. When we die, the mass (body) decomposes or if cremated is ultimately destroyed. Our soul leaves and it is often believed connects itself back with where it originates. Masculine religions like Christianity or Islam believe that it reaches Paradise. Feminine religions of Hinduism, Buddhism believe that it gets reincarnated and the cycle of life continues.

No one knows for sure.

However it is the return that is important. We all return one day-to our homes, our loved ones, friends and family. We should always strive for that and pray that we are fortunate – to return.

Returning is good. Fulfilling our purpose in life is noble and quintessential.

Let our spirit lead us forward. Never look backward. We often return to the place where we started. That is life.

Photo Credit: The National Guard Flickr via Compfight cc

Oil may be Back

The end of last week has seen oil begin to make its slow and painful recovery after being in the dumps for a long time. There are however no indications that the price will bounce back to the earlier highs of yesteryears. It is a tough proposition for the industry but it does provide it with an amazing opportunity. One is the fact that baby boomer generation would have completely moved on to retirement and there are opportunities for the new generation to bring in newer ideas and much needed innovation/disruption to the industry. But the industry definitely need to put its foot down for the next boom cycle and bite less and chew properly because such regular devastating lows will drive out talent and create long-term consequences.

Run Mark Run!

It was amazing to see the run of Mark Zuckerberg through the smog filled roads of Beijing. When the common men of China cannot go anywhere without wearing a face mask due to rising pollution and industrial activity, the whole picture showed an example of frivolousness. It is clear that Mark has been trying everything to get on the good books of the Chinese from learning Mandarin to promoting the current Chinese leader so that the blockade on Facebook can be lifted. But considering how much advanced the Chinese social media offerings are when compared to Facebook, Mark should spend his time improving the FB experience and exploring newer avenues of growth than running in China following a failed misadventure in India.

Spring Forward

Spring is here. It is a time of rejuvenation. A time to start all over again. I read somewhere that life is a manifestation of the four seasons: summer i.e., one of happiness, success, joy and enjoyment; fall, one of failures which translates to the life lessons that one is forced to learn; winter, one of desolate, loneliness and hopelessness; and finally spring, one of starting all over again and working hard for the fun times promised by summer. There are intricate balances between these seasons of life. Spring is the best among the four because who can let go of the opportunity to start all over again and make a statement in life?

Trumping

Donald Trump is a bizarre candidate. His crazy momentum is one that bewilders everyone. Today evening his victory as the likely Republican candidate will be sealed. After 8 years of Obama, Trump will be the strangest candidate that the Americans have come up with. His momentum can be traced to some of the unresolved issues stemming from Obama’s presidency. The ever increasing and never ending unequal distribution of wealth, the untamed social media, highly unstable economy and senseless laws around immigration, environment and internet has left a very angry and frustrated electorate. Trump doesn’t solve anything if elected to power, but the biggest  mistake naysayers would be making is the one that has been continued till date – writing him off as a pushover. His sustained victory means just one thing, the system has failed to understand the populace.

Introducing Shorts

There is simply too much content in today’s world, so much that nothing excites any more. Most of the time it is the less that matter. A little of everything, as they say – short, simple and sweet is sometimes all that you need. The 80/20 rule, keep it simple stupid (KISS) are some examples. Hence introducing shorts- aka short notes which will help to convey bits of relevant messages more effectively. Hope you will enjoy it.