Read, as if your life depends on it…

… for most likely, it does!

One of the most significant changes that people are dealing with is the fact that in the lockdown stages they don’t have people in front of them telling them what they have to do, but rather they need to read instructions (most likely in a chat message or an email) telling them what they what they need to do.

Don’t underestimate the magnitude of this change. This is a sea change for most people. Where people didn’t need to read words spelt out, they didn’t need to understand the written language because they could always depend on the person in front of them explaining to them, could depend on them to infer the particular confusion that they chose to have at that point. From that point they need to actually change to make sense of a few words written in front of them. Many people don’t even realize the handicap they give to themselves by refusing to read.

Over the last few years. I realized that most people who are so-called literates are effectively illiterates. They’re only people who can write somehow. And I say this because most people don’t read. They may have the ability to read. But that doesn’t make them literate. Because they choose not to read, and behave like illiterates. What do you say?

Why do I say this?  Lets take the example of sign-posts.  Or that of emails people receive.  Even signages that point out dangers are glossed over as if they never existed.  They probably don’t exist for the masses.  This phenomenon is even more striking for me because I work in a profession that lays the highest importance on Safety, which in turn means that paying attention to signages is the foremost responsibility of every worker and officer.  Even so, the literacy of people is evinced to the same extent as in the rest of the region of South Asia. Most people depend on being told by someone, rather than having to read anything.

This aversion to reading, even the one or two words of a sign-post, has always remained a mystery to me, when I know the person can read.  It is the ultimate disrespect to the person who wrote it, and also to one’s own intellect and ability, to not use it.  Our life certainly doesn’t seem to depend on it.

Notice that Kerala has had the best response to the pandemic in recent times, and is it a coincidence that it is the state in India with the highest literacy rate?  Thank God at least some of those people (if not many) actually must have read the advisories, the analyses, the way forward, and communicated with many others as civilized thinkers.  Reading and writing polishes thinking.

Ultimately, reading and writing help us develop the discernment that comes from being well-read, and being sorted in our thinking. Our life depends on it…

— O —

Faith? At a time like this…

It is paradoxical and extremely unfortunate that there are elements among humanity who seek to take advantage of the heightened faith that we humans tend to have at times like this, when we don’t really know the cause of our suffering, or its remedy… the ‘fake news’ pandemic is what we see growing all around us, and we are likely victims of it with every other message we receive…

https://www.linkedin.com/feed/news/scamsters-make-hay-amid-pandemic-5165994

It is a very opportune time I feel, for each one of us to recall that the only Truth is what we believe in.  Truth is what we give credibility to.  Even the dictionary defines Truth as a Definite set of beliefs.  So what is the truth?  Lets talk a little more about what it is not.

Taking advantage of the faith and belief that we, the people repose in them, scamsters like Baba Ram Rahim (an example from some months ago), and thousands before and after him, grow in their influence and prosperity.  Our faith also needs to evolve to keep pace with their increasingly ridiculous statements, until we can safely label our faith as ‘blind’, after which there seems no remedy to our future.  I can recall many living ‘legends’ who may qualify in the category who we repose faith in as ‘lay’ people.. Heads of state the world over are joining this club.. Or have we been pushing them towards it ourselves?

So called ‘God-men’, and they abound in every part of the world where they have people to believe in them, were the founder-members of this club.  In fact even in play, we realize that GOD actually stands for ‘Greater On Demand’… the one we demand to be greater becomes God!  We just need to realize the ways we are demanding them to be greater, and we will get all the answers to the questions popping up in our heads. We, the herd, have been pushing forward the sheep who don the lion’s skin at the front, and make sure the herd always believes in their own ignorance (sheep-like). This ignorance of ours is what gives them their power over us.

Many years ago I had thought FAITH was the Feeling of Adoration Inspired by Trust and Hope.  I do not discount for a minute, the possibility of hope arising out of helplessness, ignorant faith being confused for trust, and sycophancy being mistaken for adoration.  Let’s us be mindful of the monsters we create ourselves.

So what is the Truth?  What can we have Faith in? What must our behavior be like?

The answers lie within us, within every one of us.  Discerning, meditative inquiry, and mindful behavior lead us to the manifestation of our Truths, while at the same time protecting us from what is not the truth.

  • Discerning, meditative Inquiry
  • Mindful Behavior

Stay mindful, stay safe, stay enlightened… the ultimate responsibility is our own!