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Archive for the ‘Limtations’ Category

13-31-Be YourselfWe are often left wondering why we do not succeed and realize our full potential. Much as we ponder the answer seems elusive, our frustrations keep increasing and worse still we are envious and jealous of those whom we feel succeed beyond measure. The quote above gives clear clues as to why we fail to achieve success that is well within our reach. Here is a simple analysis of the clues and each one of us can interpret the analysis for ourselves and apply the learning to realize our full potential.

Lack of self confidence. The vast majority of us are never going to be in the top percentile of those achieving academic excellence. Unfortunately, there is an over emphasis laid on academic brilliance and that first dents the confidence of the vast majority who lack the academic powers. Perhaps this lack of confidence then translates into lack of clarity of personal goals, indecision, confused mind set, inability to focus, half hearted efforts etc. This then becomes a vicious circle where performance is not up to par and in turn one becomes even less confident. Breaking this vicious circle holds the key to regaining our self confidence and self esteem.

Comparisons with others. Almost everyone is guilty of this at some stage or the other in our life. Unfortunately, the seeds of this aliment are first sown by our own well meaning parents, elders, teachers and well wishers who invariably try to compare our progress and achievements with that of other peers. While we resented that comparison, far too often we have subconsciously imbibed it and end up doing the same and ending coming to the same conclusion ‘poor me’ or ‘lucky them’. The comparisons by themselves are not bad because it gives us yardsticks to measure ourselves. However the conclusion we draw and which then becomes our creed poses a huge problem for our personal well being and success.

Attempting to be what we are not. One of the consequences of our lack of self confidence and our penchant to compare ourselves with others is the metamorphosis that we undergo in aiming to imitate our perceived success heroes/ heroines. Unfortunately the metamorphosis is incomplete because we only end up imitating the individual without imbibing the virtues he /she possesses. The result is a lame attempt at masquerading as a success while the mind, body and soul have never come to terms with the artificiality and hollowness of the self we project.

Not paying attention to our strengths. In our eagerness to achieve success we seek to imitate others, search for shortcuts and give up far too easily when confronted with difficulties. What we fail to realize is that each of us is blessed with our own unique abilities, talents and strengths. All it requires us to do is recognize it, allow it to flower in our work and leverage it in both our personal and professional life.

Focusing too much on our limitations. Time and time again the biggest weakness that thwarts our attempts to attain success is our inability to get going. This is because we are obsessed about the limitations we perceive in us and tend to imagine failures as a natural corollary. So if at all we begin we do it with trepidation, keep looking over our shoulders for signs of failures and fail to stay the course when confronted with problems. We also fail to work on ironing out our limitations, let them become excuses and sadly become slaves to our own anxieties.

Not accepting ourselves as we are.  Perhaps the one single cause for our inability to achieve the success we are capable of is our inability to acknowledge our self worth. We are terrified of our limitations, under value our strengths, are unclear about our goals and search for answers to our problems around us. The reality is that we create a bigger problem than what exists and instead of seeking the simple answers that are within us refuse to accept the individuality we are blessed with.

Remember you are both the sculptor and the sculpture; it is never too late to chisel away at yourself and let out the individuality in you.

Try this:

  1. Write down 3 role models. Now outline 3 qualities / abilities in them that you envy and can adopt or adapt for your personal growth. Can you identify 2 traits / weakness in the role model that you detest?
  2. Write down 2 personal habits/ traits/ limitations that you would like to get rid of. Outline a month long plan to reduce / eliminate at least one of these 2 limitations.
  3. Given your personal and academic background, what is your dream job/ business venture?  What steps do you need to take to attain that? What are the 2 biggest stumbling blocks and the 2 major gains you attain in achieving them?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

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I take a lot of pride in being myself. I’m comfortable with who I am. James McAvoy

At various points in time, it is quite possible that an individual would have wished to be someone else, ideally his/ her role model or latest super actor or sports personality. Typically our daydreams of being some else begins in childhood with us taking a great liking to some hero / heroine of our favorite comics/ books. At adolescence one graduates to dreaming of being a hero/ heroine of movies and before long one is besotted by images of being the current celebrity. Typically, it is the fame, the adulation; the celebrity status and power that we imagine others to be having that makes us pine to don their avatar.

Yet when we cut back to reality, we find that we do appreciate our personal self, albeit with hope that we can make some key changes that will make us special. It is this pride that we take in our being what we are that spurs us on live life with hope, faith and determination. No one is perfect but that may not be a consolation for someone keen to overcome a perceived personal limitation. Someone short may pine to be taller; people who are lean would love to have a better physique; those who are intelligent may crave to be more outgoing and those who are extroverts may be hoping that their deeper insecurities are never revealed. While our perceived limitations could be a reality using it as an excuse not to fulfill our potential would be hari-kari.

To accept one’s self in totality one must learn to appreciate the blessings we are fortunate to have, make sincere efforts to overcome our inadequacies and limitations while simultaneously taking pride in the individual that we are. Here are 4 tips to help you take pride in the individual that you are:

Be positive – Try and see the silver lining. No matter what the situation change is a constant and it is in change that fresh hopes, new beginnings and greater opportunities abound. Your individuality will always have a chance to be showcased, appreciated and recognized. Making affirmative suggestions is another way to be positive. This can be done by positive self talk, positive visualization and keeping in the company of those who encourage, motivate and inspire you. E.g. You are to make your first major presentation and you are nervous. You can tell yourself that you have prepared well and visualize the confident manner you will make the presentation and even imagine the applause you will get. You can be sure that you will soon be oozing with confidence.

Leverage strengths – Give up the tendency to brood over what you hate, dislike or cannot change. Instead focus on your strengths and utilize it to the best of your abilities. One way to identify your strengths is to listen to the positive feedback and appreciation that you receive.  E.g. If diligence is your strength be diligent in whatever you do and don’t bother if you are not too creative or flamboyant.

Work on personal change –Many a time there could be limitations that can be rectified with a little help from others or by making some concentrated effort. Identify these areas of concern that needs a makeover and proactively go about making those personal improvements. E.g. you are shy and afraid of public speaking. If you are in a job that requires you to be more bold and visible it is obvious that you have to attend some public speaking classes at the earliest.

Don’t get bogged down by criticism – Criticism often deflates us, irritates us and demotivates us. Succumbing to criticism erodes our confidence, triggers negative emotions and punctures our ego. Our pride takes a tremendous beating then. If on the other hand, one can see criticism as helpful hints to guide us to the path of success, we would learn from it, ignore it if untrue and climb up the ladder of success by overcoming each criticism directed us it. E.g. You are a passionate sports person but are told that you have the tactical acumen but not the physical ability to become an extraordinary sports person. Use the criticism to change tracks from being a sports man to becoming a coach or sports administrator and still be actively involved in your passion.

Remember: Show class, have pride, and display character. If you do, winning takes care of itself. Paul Bryant

Try this:

  1. Write down your average monthly budget for expenses. Ensure your write down that figure now. Read further only if you have written down that figure. Are sure it is a realistic estimate? Recalculate that figure if you have to but write down that figure now. Now divide the figure by 2. The resultant figure should now be your monthly budget for the next 3 months. Try living on that budget for the next 3 months and then answer the following questions
  • Did you think it was acceptable challenge when you began the task?
  • Was it easy to live on that budget?
  • What was most difficult to manage on that budget?
  • What was easiest to give up in order to live on that budget?
  • Did you get frustrated attempting the challenge?
  • How did you motivate yourself to meet the challenge? 
  1. Choose one activity that you have never tried before and try to do it within a week
  • Make a couple of origami items
  • Learn 5 different types of knots that can be tied
  • Rustle up a dessert that involves baking and decorating
  • Physically handle an animal other than a cat or dog

 This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

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Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.  Howard Thurman

Many of us meander through life with a sense of regret that we have neither achieved anything nor made our mark in this world. One reason for this regret is the subconscious desire to make our presence felt and be recognized, applauded and rewarded for our contributions. In this quest to make our presence felt we strive to find a niche that we can quickly usurp and hopefully make it the showcase of our achievements. As many a dope tainted athlete would have realized, there are no short cuts to success and the illusion that our achievements are the focal point of attention is a myth that lasts only as long as we continue to hog the lime light.

On the other hand if we scan our immediate environment, we would find a large number of individuals who may not be changing the world at large but are definitely influencing the world around them. With a little introspection, we could also make the profound discovery that each one of us too has a deep and lasting impact on the many people who we come in contact with. The trouble is that we tend to undermine our own role, abilities and influence and fall victim to the irrational belief that we need to be a mover and shaker if we are to qualify as achievers. The truth is that every small, purposeful and positive action by an individual stirs up the environment around and its ripples reach out far and wide.

The skeptic in us would immediately question our contribution and influence rationalizing that we are too insignificant in the scheme of things. So then how can we really appreciate our importance and role in the mundane and humdrum existence that we seem to be destined for? The clue to this lies in seeking answers to three vital questions.

What are my values? While it may not be humanely possible to be a paradigm of every virtue, it is essential that we identify at least one virtue that we steadfastly hold on to. Most people would have a large list of virtues but it is the one critical virtue that would help one understand ones values in life.  It could be honesty/ sense of fair play/ compassion/ doggedness/ never say die spirit/ accepting challenges/ patience/ orderliness/ etc. The one central virtue is what will anchor the individual to the reality of life and inject in them the urge to proactively contribute and influence e.g. Those with a strong sense of compassion would seek out ways and means to be useful to the poor/ the destitute/ the suffering. Those who are dogged will resolutely pursue the goal they set themselves; be it bringing the guilty to justice or helping the underdog get his/her due.

How do I cope with my own personal weakness and failures? As human beings we are susceptible to a multitude of weakness and have to carry the cross of many a failure. The manner in which we cope with these limitations in us would have a profound bearing on our personality and life. .  E.g. those who are unable to cope with failure could be academically brilliant but completely risk averse. Yet the weakness by itself should be seen as an indictment of the individual for almost everyone has ample alternative strengths just waiting to be tapped. E.g. some of those who are prey to addictions would when sober be the most effective and efficient people to have around. The secret is to discover the potential and to harness that power.

What should I be doing? Nothing is more confusing than the answer to this question. How does a professional sportsman know when to retire? How much money would make a person happy? Should I give up a steady job to purse my passion and dreams? Should I be single or get married because that is the way of the world? When my conscience rebels do I succumb to the pressures of protecting my friends and companions or would I at the risk of losing everything stand up for the truth no matter how damaging it may be?  Once we are able to honestly and consistently answer this question of what should I be doing; then we would be doing what needs to be done voluntarily, proactively and confidently.

Answer the questions above in the silence of your hearts and they will open the doors to self awareness.  Life would then be more meaningful and fulfilling.

Remember: “I think self-awareness is probably the most important thing towards being a champion.” Billie Jean King

Try these:

How will you cope with this hypothetical situation?

You have attended a week long leadership training program. On the last day each participant in the program was asked to give one negative feedback for every participant. You come home with the sealed cover containing the negative feedback you have received. You open the cover and find 7 slips each outlining a different negative feedback as under. How many of these allegations are true about yourself. Can you think of one person whom you know for whom the allegation fits? Can you think of a specific incident that leads you to this conclusion about that person?

Slip 1 – In my view you are very lazy

Slip 2 – Why are you such a loud mouth

Slip 3 – I wouldn’t trust you with my purse.

Slip 4 – Your arrogant way of interaction annoyed me a lot.

Slip 5 – You are an unreliable person

Slip 6 – Wish you weren’t so negative and critical

Slip 7 – My impression is that you are too cunning

Write down the following goals for yourself.

1 personal goal

1 financial goal

1 relationship related goal

1 social commitment goal

1 goal related to a passion you have.

Now  jot down at least 3 steps (for each goal) that you will take to attain the goal.

(e.g. My Passion related goal to read at least one book a month.

 Step 1 – Identify at least 50 books by February 2012 end .

Step 2 – Buy at least 3 books before December 2011 end.

Step 3 –  I will read every Sunday between 4 and 6 pm)

Take a look at this poster that perhaps captures the gist of this post succinctly.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

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In time of difficulties, we must not lose sight of our achievements. Mao Tse-Tung

Difficulties are found in every walk of life be it in personal life, in the work environment, in the family, in business, in sports, in social communications etc. Obviously in an ideal world, we would hate to be faced with difficulties because it impedes our progress, causes disruption and challenges us to overcome it with a real risk of failure looming large. Yet with resourcefulness, ingenuity, grit and persistence more often than not we have overcome many a difficulty and perhaps occasionally also experienced a few bruises in the process. We would also have painful recollections of failures, discouragement, frustration, shame and pain when the difficulties could not be overcome. Yet if you are still reading this, it clearly means that no obstacle or difficulty could defeat you permanently and that is a very encouraging thought.

Despite this realization, we tend to get dispirited, frustrated and are often tempted to throw in the towel when some difficulties seem unreasonable, grossly unjust and we lack the temperament to fight our way through. Here are three facts about difficulties that we must bear in mind at all times.

  • We cannot avoid difficulties
  • We can plan to mitigate the possible difficulties that we can visualize
  • Every difficulty that comes our way can be dealt with; however success is not guaranteed but if we do nothing failure is certain.

With the above reality kept in mind we can tackle every difficulty that comes our way with equanimity and hope. Since we are sure that we cannot avoid difficulties, the first thing we need to do is accept the difficulties when it comes with faith in ourselves and hope in finding a solution. The numerous successes that we have had in tackling past difficulties will give us both the faith and hope needed to sustain when things look bleak and one is desperately searching for the silver lining in the dark clouds.

We walk into a large number of difficulties simply because we do not anticipate them. The major reason for this is a lackadaisical attitude, inept planning and false bravado. Casualness in handling a task means we are leaving too many loose ends that could bring about a variety of difficulties. Inept planning can be overcome by brain storming, ideating, imagination and a structured approach to any task on hand. This involves not merely thinking about an issue but enumerating the solution in writing and then assigning responsibilities with clear directions, deadlines and goals. Such planning must also make allowances for changes and alternatives must be kept ready for implementation. The reality is that even the best of plans can be devastated by the unexpected, unforeseen and unimaginable difficulties. A sense of false bravado often results in one plunging headlong into finding solutions when the reality is that one needs expert advice, the help of experienced personnel and perhaps the courage of conviction to change the course of action when the progress is certainly doomed in the original direction planned.

Many a failure experienced when confronted with difficulties, is merely because a lack of self belief or the exact opposite a stubborn mule like tendency to chase the impossible. Lack of self belief comes from lack of adequate knowledge, poor self esteem, an exaggerated fear of failure and stunted thinking that limits self belief. The stubbornness that each of us has in varying degrees is primarily the result of EGO and partly the outcome of ignorance, foolhardiness and the mistaken notion that giving up is equivalent to failure. The challenge then is to master the difficulty of accepting the reality that whispers aloud to us and says go on you can do it or when it says stop killing yourself pursuing the impossible. When the former whispers loudly then take a good look at the quote below and when the latter whispers louder than ponder on the quote at the very top.

Remember:  Difficulties mastered are opportunities won. Winston Churchill

Try this:

  1. How will you tackle the following difficulties?
  • You have borrowed your friend’s costly new mobile handset and have misplaced it.
  • You have studied hard for your exams. When the question paper is handed over to you, you are shocked to see the question paper of the subject that you had not anticipated. You then realize that unfortunately due to an error in jotting down the exam schedule, you studied the subject for the examination to be held a day later.
  • You are in a new city and suddenly realize that you have been robbed of your purse and mobile. With no know person in the city and no money you are badly stuck.
  1. The challenge / difficulty in this puzzle is to link all 9 dots (shown below) using four straight lines or fewer, without lifting the pen and without tracing the same line more than once.

 

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

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Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you. Thomas Jefferson

Many of us spend a lot of time pondering over the future and going around in circles confused and fearful about our fate. We shy away from finding out answers to some fundamental questions like

  • Who am I and how do I hope to shape my future?
  • What do I want to do with my life?
  • What are those values and qualities I cherish?
  • What are the fears that torment me?
  • Who are the people I can depend upon?
  • What are my yardsticks for success?
  • How do I go about achieving success?

Obviously there are no easy answers that will emerge in a jiffy but if we dismiss these questions as impossible to answer, the questions would keep lurking n our mind and torment us thereby impeding our productivity, happiness and peace of mind.

The answers to all the questions seem hidden, obscure and / or elusive but in reality they are merely packaged within the individual personality that you are. If you want to discover it, you would need to see yourself as a package doing the rounds in a game of ‘passing the parcel’ where a dimension of you is subtly revealed when you are vulnerable, exploited, hurt, abused or manhandled like the parcel, by those you interact and deal with. When every layer of the parcel is peeled out and you delve deeper and deeper, suddenly the parcel opens up to throw up a surprise gift ‘YOU”

The practical way out to discover yourself now is to unravel the real you and that can be done when you Act with Purpose, Ponder with Insight and Accept the reality with Grace.

Act with purpose : While our formative years were by and large guided and molded by parents, elders and teachers, our dependence on them will reduce as the years go by and we grow up to be mature individuals. Hopefully we would have accepted sane advice and guidance and focused on our values, education, manners, career choice etc. when we begin to furrow our own path our upbringing should discipline us make choices with positive purpose. The learning both formal and informal, our intelligence, our experience, the feedback we receive, the risks we take, the options we avoid are all partly subconscious but largely a purposeful goal driven activity. In effect we never idle away our time or waste our resources but act with purpose to achieve our goals.

Ponder with Insight: Of and on we do tend to look back and wonder about the twists and turns in our life and occasionally we would lament and rue some mistakes and lost opportunities and also be pleased about those right moves we made. Often we will keep analyzing the present, keep attempting to improve up on the existing and make efforts to learn, improve, adjust and adapt to the changes that we experience, perceive or imagine.  We would simultaneous also look ahead and with the wisdom of past experience, the knowledge of the current trends and the applying our commonsense and foresight, ponder with insight and plan for the present and future. Without realizing we would have discovered some key competencies, some harsh realities and the real facts about ourselves.

Accept the reality with Grace: Where we fail is in accepting the reality of our personality. We would need to enthusiastically accept our strengths, our abilities, our talents and our potential and leverage them to raise the bar of personal excellence. Tougher still is the challenge of accepting the reality of our limitations, our weakness, our insipid temperament and our irrational fears which curb our risk taking,  restrict our horizons and expose our inadequacies.  Once we learn to accept the reality of our personality with grace we would have discovered the secret of how to find happiness within ourselves.

Begin to be now what you will be hereafter.  William James

Try this:

How would you rate yourself on a scale of 1-10 (1 being very poor and 10 being excellent) your abilities on. Now ask your spouse or sibling or close associate to do a similar rating for you. Compare the results.

  • Managing your time
  • Taking decisions
  • Interacting with people
  • Handling crisis
  • Being creative

Download the attached file Human Emotions  and from the list of emotions list out 5 Positive Emotions and 5 Negative Emotions that are typical of you. Now for emotion that you have listed give a suitable example from your life to make sure the emotion has been experienced by you. Next take a print of the file and show it to the following people and ask them to outline those emotions which in their view are applicable to you. You may make some revealing realities about yourself from the replies of others.

  • A family member (preferably a sibling)
  • A close friend
  • A colleague
  • An old school chum
  • A new acquaintance (they have to judge your emotions based on your interactions)

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

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“Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.”  Winston Churchill

Most of us are natural critics but very few of us accept criticism with an open mind and the right attitude to learn from it. Criticism comes naturally, because each of us has an idea of a perfect world and invariably there is always something wrong with it. Thereafter it is a simple matter of pouting opinions on how things are not right and perhaps we pontificate on how we could set things right if only we were empowered. If the same conversation is initiated by others we can heartily concur and add a few more views without contributing very constructively. Of course the good part of the critical way we see things is that when the clamor gets louder some action takes place and there is improvement.

The problem that we face as individuals is that we ‘fear criticism’. No sooner we are subject to criticism, we see criticisms as a direct attack on our ability, we view it as the incorrect and inappropriate assessment of us and resent the reality when pointed out to us. We react to criticism with skepticism, attempt to justify and rationalize our short comings and in extreme cases attempt to discredit our critics or dwell upon what we perceive as their incompetence and inability to judge us correctly.  What we fail to appreciate is the reality that very few people will criticize us because human nature prefers to be good and sweet to one and all and being critical is an invitation to strain relationships. Equally important is the fact that any valid criticism is a good feedback mechanism that enables us to correct ourselves, bring about improvement and progress towards excellence.

Criticism is unavoidable and so we need to accept this reality and then leverage it to improve our life, our effectiveness and our relationships. The key to that lies in adopting the following approach:

Accepting criticism.  This is the toughest part to overcome. Our natural temperament is to refute, reject and rebut. However once we realize that most people criticize us with our welfare at heart, be it parents, teacher, siblings, family, friends, bosses and colleagues, we would pay heed to what they have to say. When there are disagreements and in a fit of rage an opponent or adversary makes a comment or observation that hurts us deeply, it could be a sure sign that there is an element of truth in it. This realization would be the ultimate test to walking the way of accepting criticism.

Harnessing the feedback got. The simple rule here is to ask yourself if there is there some truth in it. If yes, learn from the feedback and make the adjustments, learning, behavioral change, required. If some skills have to be learnt, if some relationships have to be mended or if some ties have to be cut off, however painful it may be, the same has to be done. Making all out efforts to implement  the change based on the learning from the feedback holds the key.

Being honest with our criticism of others so that we understand the shortcomings. As tough as it may seem, by being constructively critical, we are honing our skills of observation, improving our standards of excellence and fine tuning the art of disagreeing without being disagreeable. All these qualities will go a long way in improving our personality, our confidence and our outlook of life.

Learning to appreciate others so that we can adopt the good practices that we observe.  Compared to the previous point, this may sound extremely ironic for it involves making a complete U turn in our way of seeing things. Balancing this contradiction actually makes us develop an all round personality where we can learn to live with the good and the bad. When we appreciate, we are also unconsciously raising our own standards of performance for we will strive to attain what we see as the bar of excellence. Appreciation when balanced with criticism also enables us to remain rooted to reality; for while there may be many who would praise us and overlook our shortcomings, the ones who dare to be critical will be holding a mirror to our face. We can then see ourselves warts and all and then begin the process of sprucing up and making a fresh appearance worthy of our talent, our abilities and our aspirations.

Remember: Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man’s growth without destroying his roots.  Frank Howard Clark

Try this:

  1. Go and see new released movie without reading the critics reviews. On returning home from the movie, attempt to review the movie or at least jot down 3- 5 appreciative points and 3- 5 critical observations about the movie. Thereafter read the professional reviews and compare your own effort.
  2. Mark Anthony’s speech criticizing Brutus in Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar is a master piece of using the rhetoric to criticize subtly. To read the same, click on the following link.  http://tinyurl.com/yae2nno
  3. Can you recollect the criticism given by the following people, which was hurtful but helped you improve
  • Your dad
  • Your mother
  • Your favorite teacher
  • The teacher you disliked immensely
  • Your best friend
  • A third party, perhaps a passenger traveling with you or a motorist who rammed your vehicle or a player from an opposing team or a taxi driver

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

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“Spiteful words can hurt your feelings but silence breaks your heart.”

We seem to recollect those harsh and spiteful words spoken by others, that may have been spoken in anger, frustration, irritation, disappointment or pain, which have hurt us. However it would possibly take us a while to recollect the events that evoked a searing pain caused by those who hurt us by their silence.  Perhaps the latter hurt is so painful that we unconsciously erase the memory and keep it hidden in the deepest recess of the heart but secretly the bitterness and the painful experience engulf us. We would rather dwell on the hurt that is verbalized for it can be recounted and our senses can conjure up a rage and revenge possibility.

When is it that the silence resounds so loudly and painfully? Perhaps we too are guilty of creating this silent cacophony that deafens the senses and perhaps even our sense of self worth.

Remaining silent when we need to speak up. Often when our views seem to be opposed by a strong majority we have self doubts about our point of view and prefer to keep silent rather than risk ridicule. Remember the terrible feeling that overcomes us when latter on someone proffers our view and gets complimented and applauded for the radical idea? Similarly if you are standing in a line and an aggressive person attempts to break in do we meekly allow it or do we tick the person off for his/her uncouth behavior? If we keep mum do we hate ourselves for our spineless behavior?

When we keep mum to avoid telling the truth. Look back at school days when you ended up having a scuffle with a classmate or neighbor. If you came back with a black eye and are closely questioned by your parents after attempting some half hearted lies you would possibly have simply kept quite refusing to respond to any questioning. Despite pleas by elders and parents  to tell the truth on the promise of not being inflicted with any  serious ramifications  if you still kept mum and thereafter somehow the truth emerged and you were severely reprimanded and punished the embarrassment and shame never gets erased.  Imagine a situation where you have done something wrong and a classmate is reprimanded and punished and all the while you keep mum for fear of the consequences. Does the image of the innocent classmate pleading his innocence still hurt you?

When we clam up when we need to assert. Remember the school bully who constantly harassed either us or someone else who was weaker.  Visualize the shame and pain we felt for remaining powerless and quietly bearing up. The hurt is more when at some point we see a much smaller, more scrawny but stout hearted student assert and defuse the bully’s arrogance and bullying. We cringe at the thought for it shames us to recollect our own cowardice. Recollect the time you could not refuse your friends in joining them in their misadventure and flouted the rules and got severely punished for it. Thereafter did you feel lousy for not having the moral courage to boldly refuse being a participant in the misadventure?

When refuse to voice our concerns or vocalize our support due to sheer apathy or fear of the repercussions You may have experienced the pain of studying hard and appearing for an exam only to see mass scale copying all around. Yet you do not lode your protest with the authorities for fear of the consequences both by the students as well as the authorities who could extract vengeance.

The words of ” Pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) about the inactivity of German intellectuals following the Nazi rise to power and the purging of their chosen targets, group after group epitomizes the truth above

First they came for the communists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.

Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.

Remember:  “Lying is done with words and also with silence.” Adrienne Rich

 

Try these:

  1. Make a list of 3 – 5 social issues about which you as a responsible citizen have serious concerns. Choose one of those topics and write a letter to the editor of a local newspaper. Keep writing till you get atleast one letter published and then you can take pride that ‘your voice is heard’.
  2. Make a list of issues on which you believe you as a responsible citizen should file an RTI query. Ideally try and file an RTI query in all seriousness but for a matter on an issue in which you really seek information.
  3. Try and watch the movie Ek Ruka Hua Faisla (Hindi)  or 12 Angry Men (English). To know the gist of the movie click on the following link http://dearcinema.com/review/ek-ruka-hua-faisla-a-brilliant-adaptation-of-12-angry-men/0720  ( Notice how ONE man changes the views of 12 others and also the final verdict all because he refused to keep silent)

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

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