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Posts Tagged ‘introspect’

Slow Down To Reflect

There is so much going around in our world these days. Whoever you talk to, is busy. Whenever someone calls us and asks what we are doing these days, we often respond with ‘There’s no time!’ There are so many things to take care of, so many projects to complete, so many goals to achieve. A lot of us make to-do lists every morning and try to strike off a few things from the list at night. But usually, a list for the next day is already ready in our minds by the time the day is over.

I often think whether what we are doing every day makes any sense to us. Have we entangled our lives so much that we have just created more work for ourselves? Are most of these things even thoughtful things that will help us become better and more fulfilled?         

We just go, go, go! We take an idea from here, a thought from there and follow the speeding world blindly, join the ongoing race without knowing its destination. We are only on the run. We are busy. We have no time. We entered this race without giving an analytical thought to what we are doing.

Now what we need is to slow down, take out time to reflect – reflect on our life and ponder over what is really needed – for us, for our children and for our family.  Our well-being depends on it. Reflect!

I have a friend who keeps herself extremely busy. She stays tense most of the time and gets upset at little things. When I tell her that she needs to take a break for a couple of days, she just looks at me as if I am crazy.  She wonders and feels that there is no way she can afford a break even for a few hours. She says, “I am actually short of time. If I could cut down more on my sleep, I gladly would because a few extra hours would definitely make a difference in my life. You are no stranger. You know I have no time to sit and relax or even to think.”

She is not the only one. These types of lifestyles are becoming more and more common. People seem to be forgetting what work is for. When we work, it brings us satisfaction, it keeps us busy and it gives us a reasonable income. But we have started racing! We race for success and we race for luxury; we race to appear better than others and we race to win over the whole world; we race to add new things into our lives and then we continue the race to maintain those things. Now we should spare some time to think if those things are really adding value to our lives? Or by consuming time, have they only deteriorated our personal and family life? Are we still able to find time to sit together with our family and friends and have pleasant, comfortable conversations? Are we still able to follow our hobbies and interests? Have we actually achieved something that has made us happy – really, truly happy?

People seem to get bigger houses and less time to enjoy them. They care more for the quantity of things they have and less for the quality of life they are living. They try to work hard and do several things simultaneously, in order to get the maximum in the minimum time. And you know what happens? Well, they do get better at doing multiple tasks at the same time – they become multi-taskers; but they become worse at carrying out any of those tasks properly. Their focus is to get through a lot of things by the end of the day, but they are not concerned with how they are performing at those things. They actually need to think, but do not want to think.

We really need to force ourselves to think. Think hard and think deep! We might be tangling ourselves in too many meaningless things. In a few years from now, we might think that we have wasted our life by not focussing on the right things, but by then it will be too late. Firm thinking is required – and required now! That is possible only if we slow down and reflect – on our children, our health, our happiness, our family, our minds and our life, which are all too important to ignore.

~ Nivedita Shori

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Teaching is Doing, Not Saying

When I was a school going kid, a hilarious incident happened, that still resonates in my mind. Our home was often visited by spiritual preachers and learned scholars. I remember that one of them used to give examples about how harmful a refrigerator is for one’s health. Once on his visit, when my father asked him why he was not touching upon the topic this time, he smiled and replied that this time he can not say anything against a refrigerator as it won’t leave the same impact because he recently bought one for himself!

 Indeed, the best lessons are taught by doing, not by saying. Whatever vices we have, we cannot condemn in others, least of all in our children. If we are not disciplined, for example, we cannot assume that our lectures of discipline to our children will leave any impact. After reaching my early adulthood now, I can very well see that I have acquired several of my father’s characteristics. We cannot neglect the contribution of genetics but watching and observing certainly influences the psychology and behaviour of children.

I think this concept of observational learning must be the basis of the importance of ‘good company’ which is emphasized by literature and the scholars of the spiritual world. Being a parent and a true friend it is our moral and ethical responsibility to ensure our kids stay in the company that will leave positive influence on them. The thought has to be extended not only to their friends, but also to the question of whether we ourselves are good company for them! Will our children turn out to be responsible, well-balanced individuals while growing up in our company?

 Let us focus on improving the environment (physical surroundings and the range of behaviours) in which our children are living. And for that we will not need to inspect what they are doing; we may rather have to start by introspecting what we are doing!

 Prashant Shori

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