Train of Thought

ON THE POWER OF PATIENCE

Patience has been described through the ages as the Mother of all virtues. In its self, talking about patience numerous times as a virtue and its importance, may feel overused or underwhelming.

James Hayes states during the past 100 years, the rate of change has accelerated, with it, the pace of events and expectations of fast decisions and actions as such resulting into conflict between unrealistic expectations and realitys challenges of our patience.

Despite, the rush of modern events and affairs against time, thought and progress, being impatient is obviously unwise and unnecessary. Rushing trees and people is a ready formula for weakness and failure. Embracing the power of patience takes strength, meaningful planning, self-analysis and a healthy amount of conscious restraint.

Someone who is able to embrace patience challenges lifes challenges with the inner knowing that the calm, composed and reflective mind will always overcome as it remains in the loving embrace of wisdom.
Wisdom in this case, being happy to wait and being prudent enough, because one has learnt through experience that waiting produces honorable fruits and as such patience is a persevering response to the uncertainty of an absurd world.

It recognizes that impatience generates no peace of heart or mind and causes the mind to lose focus, clarity and perspective. However, for most people in this day and age, patience feels like a chore or some duty to keep the peace or hold ones pride. 

We are easily fatigued and stressed by its request to keep waiting and yet, if we learn to wait, being patient comes from an understanding that the outcome you seek is most assured by doing whats sound, this means foregoing and embracing the desired outcome that you are justly entitled to and acting in accordance with your rational conscience thought and simply allowing the destination to take care of itself.

“Patience (or forbearing) is the state of endurance under difficult circumstances, which can mean persevering in the face of delay or provocation without acting on negative annoyance/anger; or exhibiting forbearance when under strain, especially when faced with longer-term difficulties. Patience is the level of endurance one can have before negativity. It is also used to refer to the character trait of being steadfast.”

Hayes further states An Admirer once remarked to the great pianist Paderewski on how much patient effort he must have invested to perfect his art. Paderewskis casual reply is classic, stating that Everyone has patience. I learned to use mine 

Admittingly, one of the hardest things in life is to practice patience in the face of cruelty and unfairness. When the world beats you down, insults your being, when all things constantly go wrong, when anger fills your soul, when all your plans seem like nothing and you never see good progress. Patience is more than just surviving or a will to survive and persist. It is more than waiting.
Patience is about the courage to continue, the strength to smile through pain, and the hope that no matter how rough the weather – the storm will pass. Being patient has a lot to offer.

Zig Ziglar tells the story of a Chinese Bamboo Tree.  When this particular seed of the Chinese Bamboo tree is planted, watered and nurtured, for years it doesnt outwardly grow as much as an inch. Nothing happens for the first year. Theres no sign of growth. Not even a hint.
 The same thing happens  or doesnt happen  the second year. And then the third year. The tree is carefully watered and fertilized each year, but nothing shows. No growth. No anything.

So it goes as the sun rises and sets for four solid years. The farmer and his wife have nothing tangible to show for this labor or effort. Then, along comes year five. After five years of fertilizing and watering have passed, with nothing to show for it  The bamboo tree suddenly sprouts and grows eighty feet in just SIX WEEKS! 

Did the little tree lie dormant for four years only to grow exponentially in the fifth? Or, was the little tree growing underground, developing a root system strong enough to support its potential for outward growth in the fifth year and beyond? The answer is, of course, obvious. Had the tree not developed a strong unseen foundation it could not have sustained its life as it grew.

BEING TOO PATIENT? 




In his work, Fredrick Nietzsches remarks about patience seem to be birds of different feathers. One interpretation is that, patience is an instrumentally valuable capacity, but the exercise of patience is not always virtuous or, is not always, in Nietzsches view, noble. 
A different interpretation is that patience is a virtue, but that the weak person has misappropriated the term patience to describe traits that simply are not themselves expressions of virtue at least not as Nietzsche sees it. 

In our everyday language, patience may be used to describe a capacity to remain calm, forbearing, and steadfast when faced with various delays and frustrations, which can be put to virtuous or vicious uses. In this sense, patience simply describes a particular psychological state.

On the other hand, we might reserve the term patience for the virtuous exercise of the capacity to remain calm, forbearing, and steadfast; here patience serves as the name of a virtuous composure.

In the latter sense, we dont have to be too patient, and losing our patience would always be a bad thing. We could call this, the Aristotelian way of patience, since Aristotle prefers to use the virtue terms in view of degrees, on his golden mean as with courage, the corresponding sides reflect cowardice to a lower extent and rashness to a higher extent. 

The basic idea is simply that there are situations in which it would be wrong or foolish to wait calmly, or to continue waiting, or to be forbearing and otherwise patient. To be patient at such times would be to permit the stupidity or injustice of others, perhaps to let them walk all over oneself, being an extreme pacifist is not being patient at all.

Through the hell and high water of life, Patience does truly mean power, learning how and when to act patiently is an incredible virtue of self-mastery and an overall attribute of the good life. 

The easiest thing you can ever do in any hardship is just give up, anyone can be impatient but, it does take a strong willed, growing individual to fight and embrace the heat of the moment with dignity, knowledge, strength, love and compassion for self and others with patience.

“Patience is not an absence of action; rather it is timing. It waits on the right time to act, for the right principles, and in the right way.” 

Fulton J. Sheen

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ON SAFETY AND OPPORTUNITY

With freedom comes independence, individuality and self-expression. To ensure that we enjoy this freedom, we protect said freedoms. Safety in our jobs, money, insurance, relationships and more. Despite all this, do we ever feel completely safe or ever insured that the walls we build will withstand the storms of life?  

Great cities of old bear testimony to life’s sorrowful realities. What stood must at a time fall. Your next step could be your biggest mistake, you don’t control the bigger cause and effect realities that surround your life. From the small life threating diseases to the next nuclear bomb, we are left feeling defenseless, fearful and at most filled with unrest.

Life growing up isn’t as promising as it was sold. We never really have enough information to make the right solid decisions over the course of a life time. We can try to hold back all these detrimental forces of life but, soon enough, we are shadowed and engulfed by the chaos and madness. 

All the things we think, feel and have placed our safety are as King Solomon puts it as “chasing the wind” and the weight of living hits us and we see and realise how desperately venerable we all are.

 

Our hold on life should as such and should be loose, grateful and instead of seeking total safety, we must see grandness of opportunity. Being mindful of this is helpful but, being able to live with it is another task.

Deep down, we all feel weak and hurt, mostly when our cheerful expectations go south, but to embrace a hold on the uneasy realities of life and turning them into opportunities of fortune, individuality and societal growth is our truest and greatest stronghold. 

Enduring doesn’t make you strong nor does crying make you weak. How we act and take hold of the opportunities are what makes us conquerors.  As Emerson wrote: “what lies behind us and what lies in front of us pales in comparison to what lies within us.” And that’s life’s greatest opportunity. 

His paper on ‘self-reliance” holds a bitter sweet strong but bright shining message, we can all learn from through life’s unforgiving dark storms. 
Here’s what he says in his essay Self-Reliance;

 “A man should learn to detect and watch that gleam of light which flashes across his mind from within, more than the lustre of the firmament of bards and sages…
There is a time in every man’s education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better, for worse, as his portion; that though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given to him to till.”
“The virtue in most request is conformity. Self-reliance is hate. It loves not realities and creators, but names and customs. Being a self-reliant man and having strength means one must be a nonconformist. 
He who would gather immortal knowledge and skill must not be hindered by the name of goodness, but must explore if it be goodness. Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind. Know yourself, and you shall have the right and power to overcome the world.”

paraphrased

“Strength doesn’t come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t”

– Rodgers

ON LEARNING TO MAKE BETTER MISTAKES

Failure is as much a part of life as success. Whether you let it consume you or use it to make a better you. To make “better mistakes” is not just an act in itself but, should be a reflection of a universal attribute we should all have and always cultivate.
“Greek tragedy” is a perfect representation of the reality of failure. Failure does happen to all and it can happen to anyone, good or bad. This should make us not only be calmer to give the proverbial answer of shit happens” when failure comes, but this should make us kinder and loving to everyone despite their shortcomings.
Throughout history, man has greeted failure differently. From death, loss, despair to triumph, growth and lesson. In truth, humanity has had a long history of screwing up. In view of lessons learnt from failure, the general world view isn’t entirely welcoming to the concept of making “better mistakes”.
Failure is seen as detrimental and engulfing one’s value center, one is nothing if they don’t succeed or make something great happen. A common theme in ancient roman was seeing failure as not an option, success is all that matters, it’s here and now and the true signs of success are money, power, strength and respect, which in turn brought a lot of frustration and guilt around failure if not achieved.
Failure was understood as being accompanied by shame, great guilt and depression. The only true way of bearing this shame of failure was to literally kill one’s self. From time passed, the world has a broken definition of success and failure. Nobility and money are equaled to success as failure is equaled to unproductiveness and unintelligence. Despite the misconceptions surrounding the possibility and attitudes around failure, there is a lot to learn from it.
We will all fail at one point in our lives, despite whatever the definition of success or failure is. Failure is part of the journey to success but, how can we take the highway and learn from failure.

HERE ARE SOME LESSONS TO BE LEARNT FROM FAILURE
1. Success isn’t everything, hard work will not betray you.
Edison once said that it was ten thousand failures led him to success in inventing the light bulb. This is mostly quoted in relation to encouragement, not giving up but, it also surprisingly speaks about hard work. In truth, if you work to the best of your ability, do whats required and still fail you really have nothing lost.
We don’t have total control of what happens but, we do have control of how to react to what happens. Choose to have an attitude that treasures the way to your goal, just as much as achieving or not achieving your goal. Shit does happen.
2. What doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger (in this context anyway)
Famously said by Fredrick Nietzsche, reality is failure, in most of modern life that doesn’t mean death or a need for suicide. It may mean that you may not be well because of the failure, but its a new day, new opportunity, and new time to learn from your old ways build and be a better you. It may take you a lot of attempts but keep at it. Many people don’t get to where there are without little or a lot of failure, here and there.

A failure is a project that doesnt work, an initiative that teaches you something at the same time the outcome doesnt move you directly closer to your goal.
A mistake is either a failure repeated, doing something for the second time when you should have known better, or a misguided attempt (because of carelessness, selfishness or hubris) that hindsight reminds you is worth avoiding.
We need a lot more failures, I think. Failures that dont kill us make us bolder, and teach us one more way that wont work, while opening the door to things that might. 

Seth Godin

3. Failure teaches you to never give up, Success doesn’t come cheap.
It’s easy to smile, be glad and very content when you are always winning. Its boring  really… but, when you have adversity and when you do your best and if you lose, the fun can be the chase, really. And when you do succeed after all the fighting it definitely feels worth it.
Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm, said Sir Winston Churchill. Success has its roots in believing in one’s self and not deciding to quit, but striving to do better, be better and be wise.
Henry Ford was the inventor of the assembly line and American-made cars, he didn’t have an instant success. His early businesses failed and left him broke five times before he founded the successful Ford Motor Company. So you failed once and want to give up, shame on you.

 Final thought
Life is a journey, life is truly what you make it. You may have to climb mountains, cross deserts, swim through seas to get what you want and as long as you are human, you will have your less than impressive moments, setbacks but, what you decide to do will make a hell of a difference to get to where you are going.

I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I cant accept not trying.

Michael Jordan

Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.

Henry Ford

ON THE PSYCHOLOGY OF SELF 

​”How people experience themselves affects every moment of their existence. Their self-evaluation is the basic context in which they act and react, choose their values, set their goals, meet the challenges of life. Their responses to events are shaped in part by who and what they think they are-how competent and worthy they perceive themselves to be.

 Of all the judgments they pass in life, none is more important than the judgment they pass on themselves. To say that self-esteem is a basic human need is to say that it makes an essential contribution to the life process, that it is indispensable to normal and healthy development, that it has value for survival. 

Without positive self-esteem, psychological growth is stunted. Positive self-esteem operates, in effect, as the immune system of consciousness, providing resistance, strength, and a capacity for regeneration.”

Nathaniel Branden
The book “The psychology of self-esteem” by said author is an exploration into the idea of Self-esteem not just a “feel good concept but, Nathanial Branden also shows instead how self-esteem, rationality, perseverance, self-responsibility, and personal integrity are all intimately related.
Self-esteem calls to light an attention to building an authentic and grounded sense of self, rather than an over-inflated and unrealistic self-perception. Montaigne’s three key ways that people feel inadequate or lack self-esteem are through: discomfort with their bodies, unease at being judged and feeling intellectually inferior.
Now people of course, make a strong distinction between self-esteem and self-confidence. The difference being whether you believe youre worthy of respect from others (self-esteem) and whether you believe in yourself (self-confidence).
In the end, both amount to the same thing,
Now one of the keys to truthfully and authentically being yourself and embracing your being is recognizing that youre a dynamic process, a growing being  not a fixed thing. You are a work in progress or a progressive entity and in order to properly and confidently do so self-esteem is but a must.
It goes without saying but self-esteem hones in important aspects of yourself that makes you – you. One can’t live or enjoy life with his own self approval, self-appreciation and ultimately these all add up to self-esteem.
We live in a world where everyone is a critic, you included. With self-esteem, you embrace yourself and with that comes embracing “the weakness of strength”, which means we acknowledge both the reality of the weakness and strength dwelling within us.
No one’s perfect. People and yourself will talk whether you do good or bad, right? So self-esteem comes into build a wall which makes you live with who you choose to be and be comfortable and confident about it, rather than let the chaos of your mind and others hold you captive.
Self-esteem is the greatest reminder as to why you do what you do. This means as such where the seat of your self-worth dwells.
We all feel scared, we all feel misunderstood and that we just don’t fit in but, self-esteem comes in to both agree and disagree to all these in the greater sense.
Self-esteem says “be yourself, love yourself and you will never know yourself until you just be you, learn and grow. Dont over or under think it. Being the best you can be is all that matters come success or failure.”
Only you can love yourself fully and truly. You have a will and you have that sense of consciousness, the power is indeed in your hands. No one wants to beat themselves up for no reason or for times when they didn’t know better. So instead take time to nurture and appreciate you for the basic fact that you are you.
Never let anyone steal your joy, not even you. Only when you accept yourself are you able to change you, knowing full well one should and is never defined by one’s past actions or thoughts.
Self-esteem improves by changing both your thoughts and behaviors. You must practice new thoughts and behaviors until you begin to turn the tide of your feelings about yourself. And you must continue practicing them to maintain a healthy love for yourself.
Begin making choices and decisions based on what you want, what is sound and good for you, not what you think others want for you is what the psychology of self-esteem is all about.

ON THE MELANCHOLY OF LIFE

​Believe me, every heart has its secret sorrow which the world knows not; and oftentimes we call a man cold, when he is only sad. 

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The idea behind the word melancholy is that it involves feelings of a degree or genre of sadness inherit to the fact that life is truly unfair and difficult and that suffering, injustice are part of life and the big universal expression and experience. 

Melancholia, in the past was considered one of the four temperaments in pre-modern medicine and proto-psychology, representing a state of low mood or depression. As at now, a person suffering from melancholic depression, life often seems meaningless or without purpose.

It is normal to want to be happy, to encourage happiness and love but, in truth we must admit to ourselves and others that indeed most of life is about grief, pain and loss. It is said that the good life is not one without suffering but one that contributes to our strength and development.

The melancholy expresses the reality that one must not be grim, miserable or alone but grasping without rage, wrath or confusion the facts of life and one must know that its rare to find a solid perpetual inner peace and that its hard to live comfortably with anyone, as well as the person we love – the good may have a hard time, the bad may be as free as a bird.

We see the world, the news – hear, read and know of peoples suffering but as much as we sorrow, sorrow as well at our own lot, we in a way regret that we are powerless to do anything and we are saddened by the mindless hurt, that can be a heartbreaking thought. 

Being betrayed, hurt, abused, misunderstood seem to be what we see and feel mostly. Life is such a shit storm, we may desire to look for answers and its not surprising that in such moments people want to take the pain away through drugs, sex, religion or whatever it is and who can blame them.

Sadness does sometimes makes sense. We learn so late about stuff, wishing to go back, change one’s actions. We feel like we have wasted time and yes we all have. The melancholy attitude makes us regret less, to not let us be held by our small and big screw ups, this is wise as opposed to that of bitterness, pain and misery making home in our hearts.

Having a melancholy mind rests in the idea that your sorrow isn’t felt alone and isn’t all about you. You are not in pain alone, your suffering belongs to humanity as a whole past, present and future. To absorb this breeds an attitude of selflessness, compassion and empathy. 

One becomes the “bigger man” which sadly is a rare virtue in our time. This idea of suffering in life shouldn’t make us desperate and lost but more forgiving, stronger, kinder and better able to focus on what really matters with the time we have.

“You can’t always go back and change but you can move forward and improve.”

ON LEARNING HOW TO DIE

​”Why should I fear death? If I am, death is not. If death is, I am not. Why should I fear that which can only exist. When I do not?”

Epicurus

The subject of death isn’t exactly a comfortable one to anyone, but this exact fact is true and a shame in itself. The idea of loss and pain be as it many is life as is, we all do have every right to resist and to sweep the issue under the rag is but, a common emotional defense mechanism.
 
The very idea of death has a way of paralyzing and drowning our minds. Death is a reality and despite it being a hard pill to swallow, the best we can do as mortal beings is confront the issue, be of comfort and learn to make the best out of the life that we have now.

Whether you subscribe to an afterlife or not, when the idea of death roams the mind of someone, its common to have thoughts about;

– What one has done so far with their life?

 – What is being done and what is being planned to be done with their life?

– One wonders is it meaningful? 

– That if after I kick the bucket as they say, is it going to matter that I was here?

Of course, all these encompass a plethora of answers but, really do have a core theme about them. Like many people, I sometimes feel uneasy that one day I will die, that my family and friends. All my loved ones will as well and we will all be non-existent but, its reality. 

It is also a petty that the only real time we do give some thought to death is when someone dear to us is gone or almost left, we start thinking about what does it means, and then the thought of our own death ensnares our minds but, to know youre going to die and be prepared for it at any time, thats a better and healthier way to face this reality.

Far too often, we want a world of comfort and peace. We want to distract ourselves from what matters, what needs to be addressed and attended too because, to acknowledge what matters is an acknowledgement that we hardly conceive of it. Having a healthy and mindful approach toward death is important and necessary that way you can be actually be more involved in your life while youre living.

 Every day, that inner voice or dialogue you have with yourself that asks, Am I being the person I need to be? Is today the day? Am I ready to expect the unexpected reality of death? Am I ready to embrace death? Am I being the person I want and need to be before death comes?

Once you learn how to die, you learn how to live. Most of us walk around as if were sleepwalking or on autopilot. Learning how to die means we bond so strongly with every event and moment in our lives. 

We appreciate every sunset, sunrise, every walk, every phone call from our parents, every conversation with our friends, every quiet moment of reflection, every culinary delight, every simple pleasure, every sweet sound, every moment of smile and bliss.

Each instant of life would be laced with urgency and passion, memory and attention, of course we can’t remember every second and moment but, the essence of it is what we should truly grasp. We should remind ourselves of the significance that every human experience can yield and cherish each moment. Loving the good and learning from the bad.

We should pinch ourselves regularly as a reminder to appreciate the moments and people we hold dear before death arrives. We should make all days and events meaningful and memorable, monotonous ones as well and as such we choose to make more meaningful steps to make our lives, people’s lives and our future generations lives better than ours. 
By living each day as if it were our last, we relate to each life experience passionately, powerfully with embracing purpose.
Thinking about the future, we should realize that life isn’t endless and we only get to do it once. This realization is striking and should give us the desire and thought that now is a good time as any to take inventory, introspection and make clarity on things that we want to accomplish and experience in the future, when the time is right as life permits.

Although some days feel like an eternity and its easy to take life’s routine for granted, the reality is that time moves us, and if we aren’t conscious and honest with ourselves about what we want our lives to be and embrace the reality of death in ourselves and others, chances are our lives will be met with confusion, regret and heartbreak.

I don’t know what happens after we die and as far as am concerned nothing, but I do know that we have a responsibility and moral duty to ourselves to take charge, to make the best of our abilities and time as we live on earth. To do otherwise is selling ourselves short and taking the life you have for granted.

Learn and figure out what is truly important to you and create a plan to accomplish it. Make a difference in the world and engage in fulfilling tasks. Spend time with the people you care about and don’t live in fear of life passing by or let the reality of death keep your life inactive but, be aware that you are alive and be an active participant in it.
 

Chart your course, be your boss and fight the good fight. It’s never too late to alter its direction, as long as there’s life there is hope. The most important fact of all is that life isnt about anything except the meaning given underneath it, as well as to it and death is a reality to be embraced and accepted.

“Its not the days in our life but the life in our days”

“Those who have lived a good life do not fear death, but meet it calmly, and even long for it in the face of great suffering. But those who do not have a peaceful conscience, dread death as though life means nothing but physical torment. The challenge is to live our life so that we will be prepared for death when it comes.”

Anonymous 

​ON KNOWLEDGE

“One thing only I know, and that is that I know nothing.”

Socrates

The famous proverb ipsa scientia potestasest meaning knowledge itself is power was famously stated by Sir Francis Bacon. The phrase knowledge itself is power means that knowledge is the most powerful tool to achieve or do anything.

Knowledge has always and forever will be half the battle. It further means that the more knowledge a person acquires, the more control he is able to exercise upon others and over himself.

To make smart choices means a person takes decisions based on sound knowledge and facts, despite the case to act otherwise. To work smart and not hard means making well informed and well thought decisions, carry out calculable risks and as such opening the doors for massive chances success. 

How wonderful is it to know that an understanding of that or this is made stronger through the proper application of knowledge, wisdom and understanding  as its gives one an edge in a field of inquiry.

The growth and survival of mankind depends upon knowledge. From the Stone Age till date, man has struggled to know the unknown. He explored land, water and space by virtue of his knowledge. Man has made progress in all fields starting from science, technology to arts.

At the dawn of civilization, the birth of rationality, man was at the mercy of nature. He lived the life of a nomad. He invented tools and weapons for hunting and gathering. His intellect grew and verbal communication developed. He discovered fire and the wheel, resisted the elements and climbed to the top of the food chain. These were the initial steps taken by man by utilizing his brain.

Man, then started living in communities and tribes. He settled near rivers and took up agriculture and iron smithing. The settlements soon transformed into villages, moving from caves to man-made structures. Waterways and canals were constructed for irrigation purposes. He built storage units to preserve his bounty. 

Soon villages transformed into towns, then provinces and later cities and provinces. He discovered new places and things and invented things for his own benefits. The gradual change and development from the stone Age to the Present Age has been made possible by knowledge.

The successful discoveries and inventions encouraged new ideas. His ability to rationalize, analyze and store the events in his memory enabled him to achieve success and was further stored through art, books and paper.

 Knowledge gave him the power, confidence and courage to make life worthy of living. He began to use the forces of nature for his own benefits. Thus, life became comfortable. He utilized his knowledge to improve his own life.

Man has been able to eradicate a number of diseases like polio, pox, and plague from the face of the earth. The human body can be operated upon for removal of cancer or for an open heart surgery.

The discovery of a number of antibiotics and drugs have reduced the sufferings of mankind. More agriculture techniques were developed. The use of high yielding crop yield. The invention of the devices of communication has transformed the world into a global village. Computers have changed human life altogether. 

All these have been the fruits of mans quest for knowledge. Knowledge gave man the feeling of strength and power. To think smart is holding true to the old adage of knowing being half the battle.

Knowledge develops human faculties, because our ancestors thought smart, this leads to the excellence of the human mind. It enables one to give sound judgment if wielded properly. 

Education and knowledge are thus desirable for systems of governance. This further leads to the continual spread the knowledge base in all fields in the masses as of today.

Man has placed himself at the top of all living beings and natural objects of the world by means of his great knowledge which he has acquired over the ages. Man has conquered the space above, tamed the sea and scaled the snow-clad mountains. 

He has dug out the wealth that remained deposited long in the womb of the earth. He makes use of air, water and other elements of nature to run his machines.

According to Kofi Annan, Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family. Knowledge is a powerful factor that empowers people to achieve great results. The more knowledge a person gains, the more powerful he becomes. 

There is no end to knowledge. There is no limit to what a person can learn. Knowledge helps human beings to utilize the various forces of nature for the benefit of humanity. The rise of human beings as the most powerful living-beings on the planet is only due to the knowledge and the proper application of knowledge.

Knowledge plays a vital role in every sphere of human life and activity. Knowledge has helped in the advancement and development of civilization and culture. The application of knowledge has led man to the path of progress.

 If we use our knowledge wisely, we can create a better and safer world than the world of today. Why waste time duplicating something that has been created or optimized by someone else? Instead of spinning your wheels. 

We can choose to tap into the experiences of others and learning from them. Take their ideas and solutions and build on them. Glean the basic concepts that can become the foundation for your own ideas. Now thats thinking smarter.

Many times, pressure is self-induced. We set unrealistically high goals or standards for ourselves and feel like we should be doing more. To think smart empowers a person to control events. 

A knowledgeable person is able to turn an event, situation, or person in his favour. Ones talent, aptitude, or ability to perform entirely depends upon his level of knowledge, understanding and education. Thus, knowledge is a precondition for success

The issue of personal productivity is too complex for one formula to be developed which will suit every persons specific requirements. That has to be done on an individual basis, adopting whichever principles are most applicable, adapting others to suit the circumstances and coming up with new hybrid combinations of various ideas. Your actions today create the circumstances of your tomorrow. 

According to Carlo Cellucci to the question of What is happiness? does not admit a unique answer, and hence the answer is not necessarily Knowledge, does not mean that knowledge is irrelevant to happiness. On the contrary, in a sense knowledge is an important precondition of it. 

“An essential condition for a happy life is to know who are we, and to a large extent we are what we know. We mirror reality, and reality is for us what we have access to and know. Generally our aspirations, desires, hopes are essentially bound to what we know.” 

What is the role of knowledge? 

He states that a lack of knowledge also generates superstition, and prejudice and superstition are the cause of so many fears and human sufferings. 

“Knowledge does not only play a biological role, it is not only sought as a means to satisfy that basic necessity of life that is survival, nor has it only a cultural role. Knowledge is sought also as it is a precondition of that state of emotional well-being that we call happiness. In these three roles  biological, cultural and as a precondition of happiness  knowledge shows its nature and finds its reason, its purpose and its accomplishment.” 

“The greater our knowledge increases, the greater our ignorance unfolds.”

 John F Kennedy

 

ON MEDITATION

​”Meditation is to dive all the way within, beyond thought, to the source of thought and pure consciousness. It enlarges the container, every time you transcend. When you come out, you come out refreshed, filled with energy and enthusiasm for life.”

David Lynch

Why bother? Meditation is not an easy thing, it feels somewhat boring to really calm an active mind whose biological history meant it was not to be calm but, active and attentive to the ever-present dangers around it. 

It takes time and it takes energy for one. It also takes determination and a lot of discipline. It requires a host of personal qualities which we normally regard as unpleasant and which we like to avoid whenever possible.

Meditation, despite this is a way of transforming the mind. Buddhist meditation practices are meant to encourage, strengthen, develop concentration, character, clarity, emotional positivity and as well as build a connection with the true nature of things.

By engaging with a particular meditation practice they learn the patterns, structures and habits of their minds, and the practice offers a means to cultivate new, more positive ways of being, as it said to bring deeper meaning and perspective to you and how you relate to the universe.

Buddhism teaches that it is the only real cure to our own personal sorrows, anxieties, fears, hatreds, and general confusions that affects the human life and condition. 

Why rather bother at all? For one, I do understand that am not a master of the art, but I do embrace, its core need or importance in the busy 21st century rush hour life. Each inhalation and exhalation is tracked with focused attention. When meditating, it’s important to identify the in-breath as the in-breath, and the out-breath as out-breath. 

The mental discourse begins to subside as one embraces the serenity of pausing and being present, letting go for a brief yet, meaningful moment the reality of things.

Calming the chaos or the “monkey mind”, a swift pause from all the bullshit is a good and noble practice, but of course, if you live in this modern jungle one must not aspire or desire to stay there.

 Meditation offers a gate way to take a breather and yes really does have a great amount of health benefits from the obvious relaxing and reinvigoration, it aids in stress relief, better attention and mental focus and much more. Science approved.

Life seems to be a perpetual struggle, some enormous effort against staggering odds, meditation has some spiritual implication and some deep mystical vibes but, despite this being true or not, its a healthy way to get back on a much needed regular stance. 

Meditation is intended and meant to purify the mind. It cleanses the thought process. Many unique techniques of meditation are available which anyone can get into and benefit from.

Meditation is a state of both nothingness and mindfulness. It reduces your tension, your fear, and your worry into measurable and manageable pieces. Its not obviously a permanent solution but, a reliable, small and yet profound tool in a demanding, constant and melancholy world we find ourselves in.

“Meditation is all about the pursuit of nothingness. It’s like the ultimate rest. It’s better than the best sleep you’ve ever had. It’s a quieting of the mind. It sharpens everything, especially your appreciation of your surroundings. It keeps life fresh.”

Hugh Jackman

ON PROVOCATION & PRIDE

​Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.

Rev. John Watson

Including you.

Glennon

Every human experiences has a similar set of emotions to act upon that respond to a wide range of human encounters. From the ups and downs, we react as to interact with the world and people in it.

Despite being able to reason, our emotions are these essential yet, primitively rooted mechanisms driving us to take immediate action based on instant defensive judgments. 

While yes, our emotions contain precise remarkable wisdom and insight that has guided our ancestors’ survival in years past, emotions often get it wrong, especially in our modern world. Man isn’t in one way built for the urban jungle.

Anger results in a bigger sense from humiliation, an unjust challenge to stature, in this case any aspect of one’s being.

Some people are easily provoked to anger; they just seem to be angry all the time, at everyone and everything. This may be caused by their fragile ego, specific hostile personality traits, or because they hold too unreasonable rules for making decisions or how they see the world.

Anger is the emotion that seeks to preserve and defend our sense of self or as a response to a provocation or a really hurt pride. Anger is an urgent plea for Justice, a strong and often misguided method of both defence and offense toward life.

Pride is a strong and powerful emotion that is rooted in self-value as well, however vague the individual knows oneself. Provocation is an attack on pride and the awareness energizes us to take swift decisive, in most cases uncalculated action leading to violent action-verbal or otherwise to preserve and restore justice, repair our loss or hurt frame of mind and achieve our goal despite, whether said attack on our pride was fallacious or not.

In his book, “Why Insults HurtAnd Why They Shouldnt”, William B. Irvine explores the idea of provocation and pride through insults which is truly meticulous and timely to anyone who really wants to get some footing.

He states “What is the best way for us, as individuals, to deal with insults? We should, to begin with, develop a strategy for preventing others from insulting us.”

He jokes by saying One way is by avoiding other people,” A loner’s wet dream, I guess? But obviously this isn’t pragmatic and so unrealistic, for we see and need people. And even if this is possible, what happens when people decide to come to you?

This might not seem like a sensible thing to do if our goal is to minimize the harm the insulter does us, but under some circumstances, capitulation can be a singularly effective weapon. “It will make the insulter look cruel for having said whatever he said.

Staying true to the child in us, a popular way to rejecting an insult is to retaliate with a counter insult. He further says “This response seems utterly appropriate. By insulting the person who insulted us, we are following the Old Testament injunction to take an eye for an eye: we are attempting to make the insulter feel the pain he made us feel.”

Furthermore, if our counter insult causes the insulter to experience enough pain, I mean, we say, they started it. But well, Ghandi kind of had it right, despite the need to gratify someone with insults all we have is a blind world.

  

Ones thinking despite this is that the insulter will think twice about insulting us again. Thus, by responding vigorously to an insult too.  ”Who are they?” Who are they to say that about me?” So says the archaic instincts driving us within. This means most people would maintain, prevent future insults. Responding to an insult with a counter insult is also likely to be emotionally satisfying.”

But, is this the best way to go about it? Let’s explore the available counter responses by Irvine to which we get to use if provoked.

(1)The dismissive response – deal with an insult by shrugging it off. We thereby demonstrate to the insulter that his insult did not hurt us. In another kind of dismissive response, we dismiss not just the insult but the insulter as well. In doing this, we dont attack the insulter personally, the way we would in a retaliatory insult. Instead, we imply that because he is who he is, the things he says to us can have little or no effect on us.”

(2) Retaliatory insults – “Retaliatory insults can be ranked on a cleverness scale. At the bottom of this scale, we find echoed insults: when someone calls you lazy, you respond by saying, No, it is you who are lazy!

 

The proverbial ” i can do anything better than you” .These insults are easy to express and deliver as they can be used in response to any insult someone might direct your way.

“Poet A. E. Housman, for example, is said to have written down in a notebook witty insults that might come in handy in the future. All Occasions, Louis A. Safian explains that he compiles insults so people will have snappy comebacks to use when they have been insulted. This is either an interesting venture or a true narcissism at work or both.

(3) The Smart Aleck – I guess all responses do make you sound like a clever dick or a smarty pants but, this one takes the cake. Another way to respond to an insultuseful to those of us not likely to go down in history for our skilful reparteeis by dismissing it. In doing this, we dont offer a counter insult. 

We dont ignore the insult either. Instead, we make it clear to the insulter that the insult has failed to damage its target. One way to dismiss an insult is by instantly forgiving it.

We should say: I know. Thanks. Which sounds like a good idea but…

(4) The Middle finger response – The peoples favourite, a trigger to the eventual self-imposed shit storm. The most aggressive way to dismiss an insulter can be summed up in the statement, Whatever, Kiss my ass.  

“In saying this, we are implying that we dont really care what the insulter thinks, that his feelings are irrelevant. It was this response that allegedly triggered an outburst of anger in actor Russell Crowe. 

He had been unable to reach his wife on a hotel phone. When he called the hotels concierge to complain,
The concierge responded, Whatever, and on hearing this, Crowe threaten to come down and kick his ass. Subsequently, he did go down, but instead of kicking the concierge, Crowe threw a phone at him. It was an assault that could conceivably have put Crowe behind bars for eight years. Such is the power of a dismissive response. People just dont appreciate being dismissed.

EVER CONSIDER BEING A VERBAL PACIFIST?

A pacifist is a person who refuses to respond to violence with violence. Hit him and he will not hit you back and therefore an insult pacifist is a person who refuses to respond to verbal violence with verbal violence: he will not respond to an insult with a counter insult, which means an insult pacifist will be unwilling to unleash first-strike insults, the way a pacifist in the usual sense of the word will be unwilling to strike a first blow.

We will worry that if we respond to the insult with pacifism, the insulter and those who witness his insult will regard us as a safe target for insults and will therefore pummel us with them in the future. This concern will stand between many people and the practice of insult pacifism. Is this concern justified? Is it true that insult pacifists will find themselves deluged with insults?”

Irvine says “I have, in recent years, paid attention to other peoples use of insult pacifism and have experimented with it myself. I have discovered that pacifism in response to insults isnt nearly as risky as one might think.”

“If a pacifist responds to an insult by declaring himself to be an insult pacifist, she is likely to be astonished. It will probably come as news to her that someone can be a pacifist with respect to insults. As soon as she recovers from her initial astonishment, though, she might put his pacifism to the test by bombarding him with insults to see whether she can provoke him into hurling one back. 

As long as he keeps shrugging his shoulders in responseSorry, but like I said, I dont do insultsshe will ultimately grow weary and try to seek out an easier target for her put-downs. it is important that he remain calm internally in the face of an insult.

“If he can accomplish this, his failure to respond to an insult will not simply be a show put on for the benefit of the world around him; it will instead be a true reflection of how he feels about the insult. This is coped with learning the art of building a frame of mind that prevents insults from upsetting or using any of the above responses within the heat of the moment.

All in all, a pacifist will strive to become a person who, besides seeming to be immune to insults, is in fact immune to them. This vital emotion yet explosive emotion called anger, would serve us better if our snap judgments were more accurate, our sense of justice was more widely shared, and if anger would lead us to justice without starting a fight or a need to insult anyone.

We all have a unique view-point on the world based on our own centre of awareness. Its good to have a decent amount of self-worth, which should as such never be decided or defined by insults. We are responsible for the choices we make and the results, good or bad. We apply knowledge to choose our beliefs and ultimately how and where we place our self-worth as we relate to our pride and the provocation the world dishes out at us.

On An Attitude of Gratitude

​All you need are these: certainty of judgment in the present moment; action for the common good in the present moment; and an attitude of gratitude in the present moment for anything that comes your way. Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 9.6

From the onset, the idea of gratitude comes from a place of appreciation and gladness in the everyday endeavour from the big to the small acts of goodness toward us.
Gratitude being itself not an emotion but value and virtue is more important in daily living then most may think. 

From the rituals of religion to the labs of academic thought, to be grateful isnt only pragmatic but, is an underlining root of human maturity and mental serenity.
Cicero believed that gratitude is a precursor for all of the other virtues, including happiness, kindness, reason and courage. Wealth, possessions, and good fortune are not necessary for happiness
Gratitude in its linguistic sense comes from the idea of being thankful, pleased and agreeable, but at its core has more to offer than just useful social, psychological and physical benefits. 
You hear a lot of talk about gratitude, but most of the time,It’s hard to do and most seem adamant, but gratitude is at its essence an active process of constant practice, willful attitude and purposeful self-reminder.
To have an attitude of gratitude comes from a place of revolt, maturity and appreciation toward life’s goodness as opposite to its ever present bad state. A stoic attitude of kindness, humility and proper response to a good state of affairs,be it by divinity, chance or the probability of the reality of things.
It is a call to the human heart to affirm the goodness of others and a reminder that we are beyond ourselves. It is an unescapable fact,we are dependent on each other.
To be grateful is dynamic, realistic, its a loving endeavour, the bridge to common courtesy, kind recognition and mutual kinship benefit to the solace of our minds and the people around us.
The attitude of gratitude stems from 2 stances, one must ask themselves, what it means to be a giver and what does it mean to be a receiver?. It goes without saying but pillar to these two positions is knowledge and clarity on the elements of what constitutes a grateful response is critical for developing an accurate account of what gratitude actually is.

THE GIVER 

No one is  truly obligated to give anything really. To give is just a gesture of goodwill. To give as McConnett states mostly deals with ideas of cost, sacrifice, risk and liability. So why give at all? Why go the distance with if in most cases, no real benefit at all?

We are givers if we do it out of love, love by heart but accompanied by attitude and deed. To be mature is to give more than you take out of life. We celebrate the present. We give because it is a good thing to do.

Gratitude is the truest approach to life. We did not create or fashion ourselves. We did not birth ourselves. Life is about giving, receiving, and repaying. We are receptive beings, dependent on the help of others, on their gifts and their kindness.

William Arthur Ward states that “Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.”We need to know how, who and when to give. The mature giver learns not to give for giving sake. But from an uncommon place of kinship with a right heart, motive and mind set.

It’s often thought that a reservation in giving is an attitude of selfishness but thats untrue. Unmindful giving is just as destructive as untamed egoism. To give well comes from the pillars of healthy self-Awareness with undying empathy.

Be a grateful giver is having in mind you are doing this because it is what you want to do, or because it is the right and or sound thing, responses of the receiver becomes unimportant. Accept that some people simply expect people to continue to just do things for them with no reciprocation or acknowledgement. 

Some people don’t know or are unable to show almost any emotion or emotionally stunted and I doubt if most intend to convey what they conveying,that is to show no gratitude. But then again, we don’t know people perfectly and its unhelpful to assume malice as a norm to said individuals.

You will meet people who may be completely self-absorbed to the point that they don’t even understand that other people are just as human as themselves. If you have it in your mind you are doing something because it is what you want to do, or because it is the right thing, their reactions become unimportant.

Be polite and respectful. No surprise, this can be hard to do, though. You have to constantly recheck your reactions and thoughts, Being the giver is as Seneca part of “living with the lot’ of life, living with the occasional resentment and not be possessed by it. Living above the pity thoughts, one needs to find a way to still be kind and gracious without building resentment and never giving out of some moral superiority.

It means we have to strip down our egos and be aware of this unhealthy sense of false entitlement or indebtedness because of our very act of goodwill. We can’t change people and should not be in our interest to forcedly teach anyone to show gratitude.  We should draw respectful intellectual and emotional lines.

Joseph B. Wirthlin put it like this, Gratitude is a mark of a noble soul and a refined character.” We like to be around those who are grateful, Being a mature giver ultimately means you are motivated by an appreciation of people, possessions, the present moment, rituals, feeling of awe, social comparisons, existential concerns, and believing that behavior which expresses gratitude is good for us all, a badge of love and resilience.

THE RECEIVER

We all begin life dependent on others, and most of us end life dependent on others. The human condition is such that throughout life, not just at the beginning and end, we are profoundly dependent on other people. Bring a grateful receiver means not falling prey to Forgetfulness, apathy, pride and laziness  towards the acts of others. 

In truth, we will never  really have enough of what we want to pursue, only if we dare to relax our guard long enough to draw pleasure from what we have, an embrace of our gifts  and ultimately our mortality.

Dr. Robert Emmon and others heralds of gratitude advise us to taking time to count our blessings, displaying positive character traits, appreciate the quiet moments of nature and by keeping a daily gratitude journal where we express joy for all of the good things that happened to us.

As such they also suggest that we are wired to take things for granted. The garden variety of daily dissatisfaction, fears of life and complacency can make gratitude arbitrary. All these sadly cemented by unfair, unrealistic conscious or subconscious comparisons of our peers and the world around us.

Novelty and gratitude wear off quickly. To be more grateful or its practice stands in deep conflict with a central drive in human nature: ambition and desire, the pillars of the human ego. Human beings are not just beguiled by the occasional reminder to be or see no reason at all to be grateful. 

We use what makes us happy as the default, the baseline from which things are judged. We start to feel entitled to have things the way they are, instead of in most cases due to luck or the efforts of others. So practicing gratefulness is a great art and we would be less likely to take life for granted.

 Our lives get transformed, Seneca stressed that time is a fleeting and slippery possession. Every moment of every day we die. This is completely outside of our control. It makes sense to value our time and use it well. This lies at the heart of what it means to be a good receiver.

As such, the receiver is at most content with how things already are. The attitude may sound like a kind act of pretension but with a world full of constant indifference and usurp, to be grateful is a humble acknowledgement and one of life’s noble insurrections.

We may not get all that we want or be eternally happy and fulfilled. Bad stuff may be the talk of the day but, we don’t need to become slaves to our lot and fear- big or small, we fight light with darkness. 

We need to remedy ourselves with the reality that more often than we should that we dont yet recognize the dissatisfaction that arises is our unrealistic frequency of attraction to things, this only is perpetual to the cycle of dissatisfaction, hatred and ungratefulness.

A mature receiver isn’t a stance to pull us away from our real ambitions, or to not be absorbed by the lights and glamour of the world, it just means that it doesnt let it get in the way of a better life. 

Camenisch (1981), suggest that just as forgiveness, the receiver may not feel a sincere need to say and express thanks but the act prompts developing grateful beliefs, feelings and other dispositions that they may not have at the time of thanking and in turn signals the giver to commitment to ridding negative thoughts and feelings that are bad if it had not been said. Which is a healthy characteristic of human relationships, sounds obvious but is extremely pivotal.

In the beginning, exerting an effort and attitude of gratitude in many cases need not be inconsistent with being grateful, just as exerting an effort of will to help a friend under similar circumstances would not make one a bad friend. Hence what’s truly at the center of gratitude isn’t feelings or acts but an attitude prompting them that makes its essence.

The very act of expressing the words “thank you” is the least yet best thing one may do and the giving of thank-you gifts or the doing of return-favors isnt and shouldnt be due to indebtness and in truth, must be done when possible as is a cardinal foundation of good and healthy relations.

The very act of expressing the words thank you despite, the depth of a relationships stands as a statue and a frequent reminder of humility and as an oasis to the monotonous hot ego expectations of the everyday giver.

“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” Albert Schweitzer. The mature receiver exercising their perceptions and by reaching out to friends by celebrating their progress as we would our own and this requires that we first get over ourselves.

The attitude of gratitude as such means we recognize and accept  that there are already at this moment very good reasons ,even if its  minimal to be a little more satisfied with who we are, what we have become and what we have.

“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow…Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.”

Melody Beattie