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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

TIME MANAGEMENT

TIME MANAGEMENT


What do you do with your time? Do you accomplish the things you want to accomplish in a day, or do you find that time keeps moving on even though you are not getting the important tasks done. Discovering where you spend your time is important if you want to take control of what is happening in your life. The process of managing your time is valuable. If you want your dreams to come true, it is necessary to create and plan time for your expectations to become reality.

The first step in managing time, is exploring what you are presently doing with your time. This can best be done by keeping an hour to hour monitor of what you do. This can be a simple eight column spreadsheet that has the hours of the day in a column down the left side of the paper, and space for each day across the paper. You will need to mark on the monitor when your activity changes and how long each activity takes. This will include details like showering, eating, watching television, talking on the phone, preparing meals, traveling in the car, getting dressed, work, classes, and any other activity that absorbs time in the day. You should also keep track of how many hours a day you sleep, to determine if you are sleeping too much or too little.

At the end of the week, take time to tally just how many hours you are watching television, or wasting time in other ways. You may be surprised at how much of your time is consumed by meaningless activities. It is important after completing a week of time-inventory that you ask yourself this question, “Do I really want the rest of my time on earth to be spent the way I have this week?” Most people who are not time conscious will respond with a resounding, “No!” One study showed that the average American watches 30 hours of television a week. The average millionaire watches 2 hours of television a week. The difference is that the people who are successful are filling their day with the activities that are significant and productive, not in pursuit of brain numbing entertainment.

Steven Covey, in his book First Things First, suggests reasons why people waste time. He broke time management down into four quadrants. This categorized activities into: urgent unimportant, urgent important, non-urgent important, and non-urgent unimportant. He explains in his book that people spend so much time in "urgent unimportant" tasks that they become discouraged and worn out. This leads individuals to spend more time in non-urgent unimportant escapes like drinking alcohol, television, gambling, and other time consuming vices. Covey suggests that if a person can develop a plan that includes important non-urgent tasks such as: Going to college, developing a skill, pursuing a hobby, exercising, reading inspiring literature, etc.; the outcome of that person’s life will be a great deal more positive.

So what does that mean to the average person trying to manage their life? It means make time for the things that are really important. This entails prioritizing and planning. Many people are opposed to planning, because they say it destroys their sense of spontaneity. If spontaneity is taking you where you really want to go with your life, then you do not need to worry about time management. For the majority of us, spontaneity means waiting for a break in the tedium. Planning eliminates the tedium, and provides movement into a productive life. It does not mean you will not be able to do the things you want to do. It means now you will plan for leisure, work, school, studying, relaxation, relationship building, and any other worthwhile pursuit.

One necessary tool in your journey toward time management is a planner. This can be as complicated as the exclusive Franklin Planner, or as simple as a pocket size weekly calendar. There should be space for each day of the month, and it is important that you carry it with you so that it can be used. You will start each day by checking what is on the list of activities. Perhaps you have not written anything down for the day. Take the time to write down one task you would like to start on this day. Try to include things that are important to you, but do not have a specific deadline. These are the tasks that get forgotten and cause people to get frustrated with what is happening in their life.

Review you planner after a month and look at what activities dominated most of your time. Are you taking time for yourself? Does most of your energy go toward someone else’s goals and needs? If the answer is yes to these questions, you need to schedule some time for yourself. Mothers often find themselves in this situation. It is easier to meet the needs of a family, if a mom takes some time to unwind, and attend to her own priorities. This might be taking an exercise class, reading a book, or planning time for a long bubble bath. It is imperative to see to the needs of the self if an individual is going to be effective in all other areas of life. As you look back at the month of planning, analyze how much time is wasted, and how this waste can be eliminated. Think about tasks you would like to accomplish in the coming month and write them into the calendar. This becomes a pleasant chore as you realize how planning is helping you to get to the activities that hold meaning for you and enhance your existence.

People often complain about their lack of time. It is true that we pack many activities into our day, yet prioritizing and exploring options may lead us to more efficient routes, and goals achieved. It is possible to make better use of your time, but this is an individual choice. Will you make your dreams a reality or allow the majority of your time to slip into clouds of unrealized fantasy?

Fear

I feared being alone,Until I learned to like myself.
I feared failure, Until I realized that I only fail when I don't try.
I feared success, Until I realized That I had to try In order to be happy with myself.
I feared people's opinions, Until I learned that people would have opinions about me anyway.
I feared rejection, Until I learned to have faith in myself.

I feared pain, Until I learned that it's necessary for growth.
I feared the truth, Until I saw the ugliness in lies.
I feared life, Until I experienced its beauty.
I feared death, Until I realized that it's not an end, but a beginning.
I feared my destiny, Until I realized that I had the power to change my life.
I feared hate, Until I saw that it was nothing more than ignorance.

I feared love, Until it touched my heart, making the darkness fade into endless sunny days.
I feared ridicule, Until I learned how to laugh at myself.
I feared growing old, Until I realized that I gained wisdom every day.
I feared the future, Until I realized that Life just kept getting better.
I feared the past, Until I realized that It could no longer hurt me.
I feared the dark, Until I saw the beauty of the starlight.
I feared the light, Until I learned that the truth would give me strength.
I feared change, Until I saw that even the most beautiful butterfly Had to undergo a metamorphos is before it could fly.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

ADVICE FOR ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

ADVICE FOR ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

Abandon Annihilating Ameliorations;

Banish Blighting Beautifications;

Cease Catastrophic Constructions;

Displace Deforesting Decorations;

Eliminate Endangering Expeditions;

Forbid Fobbing Fabrications;

Gyve Gourmandizing Gratifications;

Hinder Horrid Habitations;

Impede Ill-proportioned Industrialization ;

Jettison nature- Jilting Justifications;

Keelhaul Kinky Knowledge-acquisitions;

Leave [environmental protection] Lowering Legislations;

Muss Mortifying Mutations;

Nullify Newfangled Nuclear-proliferations;

Oppose Omni-destructive Operations;

Put down Polluting Productions;

Quash Quixotic Quantifications;

Reject Rotten Revolutions;
Seclude Senseless Scientific speculations;

Turndown [nature-depleting] Trivial Technological Temptations;

Uproot Usurping Utilizations;

Vitiate Vitriolic Vocations;

Wean away from Warring Wealth-acquisitions;

X-ray into future and avoid X-axial expansions;

York Yawing Yataghanisations;
[cricketing term]

Zuruckhalten Zoologically depletive Zealous occupations.
[German word
‘stop at once]

Balayogi

KALI

Why from Kalidasa to Sri RamakrishnaParamhamsa worshipped kali. In Hinduism every symbol,ritual, form and manthra has a concept behind it.

A Mantra For Kali

One important Mantra for Kali is: om aim hrim klim camundayai vicche svaha!

Each syllable of this mantra conveys a distinct vibrational energy, and whoever chants this mantra, after a short while will feel that they are tapping in to a deep spiritual energy.
Om is the sound corresponding to the absolute reality in its entirety. Aim is the syllable of knowledge (Sarasvati). Hrim is the syllable of purification (Parvathy). Klim is a syllable corresponding to transformation (closely related to Kali). Camundayai is a name of Kali. Vicche means cut (as in to cut of the head of the demon, demon referring to the ego) and svaha ends the mantra.

Kali Ma
Kali is one of the best known, but poorly understood forms of the Goddess. She is dark destructive and terrible in image. She is allied to the forces of death and destruction. The most common image of Kali shows her dancing on Shiva. This article aims to give an insight into Hinduism\'s use of such mystic imagery.
Shiva & Shakti
Within Hinduism, the divine is not restricted solely as masculine or feminine, which is a unique feature compared with other major religions of today. The divine is not referred to only as \'He\'. In the Shaivite tradition, the supreme divine reality is represented as Shiva-Shakti. Shiva is the masculine force, the power of peace, while Shakti translates to power, and is considered as the feminine force. In the Vaishnava tradition, these realities are portrayed as Vishnu and Laxmi, or Radha and Krishna. These are differences in formulation rather than a fundamental difference in the principles.
Both Shiva and Shakti have various forms. Shiva has forms like Yogi Raj (the common image of Himself meditating in the Himalayas), Rudra (a wrathful form) and Nataraj (performing the dance of destruction).
About Kali
The Sanskrit word Kali literally means \"time\". Kali is the feminine word for time, for which the masculine is \"kala\". Time as we are forced to understand it, is the foremost power that we experience. Kali is the personification of time and it is not surprising that the deity of time has a terrifying image. After all, time is the slayer of all. Time is the very stuff that our lives are made of - to waste time is to waste life. The reason as to why time is represented in a feminine form is that time is the great womb - the great mother - from which we are all created - therefore it has a feminine quality. Time is also the force which causes all living beings to perish. Therefore Kali is like the mother who destroys the children which she has created - which is one of her frightful features. Yet, through the action of time, Her action, occurs our salvation. Through time, over repeated births, we experience all that we have to and learn all that we must learn in order to merge back into our eternal existence, from which we fell into limited time and space.
Why Is She Dancing On Shiva?
Shiva, in the Shaivite tradition, is the all pervading eternal primeval consciousness of the universe and beyond, who is beyond motivation. Hence, He is commonly shown as meditating in tranquil. His action and motivation occur only prior to the final destruction and dissolution of this cycle of creation. Hence, when Shiva dances, it is considered to be the terrible awesome dance of destruction.
It is on the passive, ultimate reality of Shiva, that Kali (time) does her dance, causing the constant cycles of creation, life and death of all things in the universe. Shiva is the substratum upon which Kali acts. Hence, in this part of the Hindu spiritual traditions, the entire divine action and existence is represented by the dance of Kali (time) upon the changeless all pervading consciousness, Shiva.
Does Kali actually have a seperate consciousness or is she just a represenatation of time as an unthinking scientific principle?
Hinduism personifies what to us are abstract spiritual truths as Gods and Goddesses. Spiritual ideas are clothed in concrete imagery, and approached as living beings. This does not reflect a lack of reasoned thinking, or attachment to form, but rather an experiential contact with the higher truths, as living forces. Hinduism creates a personal relationship between ourselves and the forces of the cosmos, and eventually leads us to realise that these forces are within us rather than separate. All forces of the universe are pervaded by consciousness, hence the reason as to why they are approached as living beings is because in reality, they are. The purpose of vivid imagery is that whilst meditating upon the image, our mind is shocked into thinking into the depths of the concept we are trying to understand and know, beyond our usual conditioned ideas. In that way we can really experience the truth of time as an awesome conscious force and understand how our existence relates to it. Kali is a particularly important deity, because by understanding Her we stop identifying ourselves as only our body - we come to terms with the utter impermanence of our body and begin to perceive the true existence of ours which lies beyond - which most people believe but wish to experience directly. Hence she is said to kill the ego - the attachment to pettiness, which is represented in Her image by the severed head she hold in Her hand.

--- JAI KALI ---

Monday, December 13, 2010

PONGAL - THE VIRGINAL UNIVERSAL FESTIVAL OF CHEERFUL THANKSGIVING TO NATURE

















Actually I wrote this article some 13+ years back in my former name v.karthikeyan for an AUSTRALIAN portal which wanted me to write about some festival unique to my region.

TOLERANCE

TOLERANCE



Tolerance is not that easily possible through intellectual analysis, emotional approaches, rational perception, social ethics, legal enforcements, political slogans or even religious morals; for, all these are essentially Conditioned and have an inherent filtering system; besides, all these edifices are
built on the foundations of thought and passion, the two great factors of discrimination and division.

Tolerance is possible only through an unqualified love born out of a comprehensive understanding of the fact that everyone and everything is the result of Divine Will and Divine Manifestation.

A TO Z OF TOLERANCE


Tolerance is a natural Attitude and the Attitude of nature;
It forms the Best Behavior and it is the Best form of Behavior
It Characterizes the Cream of a society and is the Cream of social Character
It Dwells in the heart to make life a hearty Dwelling;
It is an Enlightened Emotion that leads to Emotional Enlightenment
It is a Faithful Foundation that makes the Foundations of Faith
It Generates Glory and Glorifies your Generation
It is a Humane Habit that Helps Human Habitation
It is an Important Inducement that Induces Importance
It joins everyone with Joy
It is a Kind of Knowledge that Knows Kindness
It is a Lovely Lead that Leads to Love
It Matters Most in Most of the Matters
It is a Nice Necessity and a Necessary Nicety
It Observes really with Openness and Opens up real Observation
It Provides peace and a Peaceful Providence
It is a Question less Quietude and an unquestionable Qualification
It Reaps Reciprocal Reactions
It is the Seventh Sense that Sobers other Six Senses
It causes Total Tranquility and tranquil Totality
It Unifies humanity and helps humane Unity
It is a Vital Virtue and a Virtuous Vitality
It Works, Wise Wonders and is a Workable and Wonderful Wisdom
It causes X-axial compatibility
It Yields high dividends and You too Yield
It Zeroes the differences and the indifferences are Zeroed.

TOLERANCE is

ruly
O ffering
L iking
E ncouraging
R especting
A ccepting
N urturing and
C aring for
veryone and Everything

and the ATTITUDE to be adopted is  

A LWAYS
T OLERATE
T HE OTHER BECAUSE
NTERDEPENDENCE, AND NOT ISOLATED IDENTITY IS
T HE TRUTH OF LIFE.
NDERSTANDING THIS UNITES
D EVELOPS AND
NDEARS AND ENLIGHTENS EVERYONE

ATTITUDE

Attitude is not a subject matter it is a subjective matter, the secret power working twenty-four hours a day. If you can synergize your head and heart properly with the understanding of the divine life force you have an attitude. And like your heartbeat and brain cells it also works 24 hours a day throughout your life. Physically mal-functioning and poor maintenance of heart and head can determine the length of your life. Similarly your attitude determines the length of your relationship in society, in the family, with your own inner self and ultimately with the universal divine life force. They may either influence behaviors or be influenced by behaviors. In short it is an encapsulated presentation or representation of the whole gamut of ourselves [our thoughts, our beliefs, our value systems, our culture, our ethics, our morals, our actions, our reactions, our conditionings, our social milieu, our gender, our religious upbringing, our education, the instructions we have accumulated, the persuasions we have undergone etc] to the outer world. Attitude maintenance, therefore, requires embedding certain traits and ejecting certain others. So there can be no templates but only tailor made adjustments and indications to go about them. Neither are these meant to guide you to any sort of attitude formation tutorial. Being a subjective matter it always is a voyage in experimentation, experience, enjoyment expecting very optimistically whether it could lead to enhancement of our relationships and enlighten our perception. In the voyage I have realized one fact that Attitude cannot be confined to or evaluated by any specific category as Psychogenic factors, bio psychosocial factors etc it is a matter of multi-dimensional manifestations involving various aspects of life.
Multi-levels and variety are the inevitable aspects of everything connected with life be it aesthetics, arts, attitudes, sensory perception etc

The rainbow is a profoundly hopeful symbol, which separates the white light of appearances into its multiple spectrums, revealing a hidden dimension!

DIVINE LIFE FORCE- THE MASTER TEMPLATE

1] Let us remember that everything that happens to us and everyone that we have a relationship with are the work of a divine life force, as our life itself is a gift of this divine life force.
This life force manifests in everyone in a unique way and it is evident in all your actions.
Let us face everything and everyone without any prejudice and precondition because all are made of this life force.
Variety is not just the spice of life it is the undeniable fact of life and the vindication of the various manifestations of the One Life Force.
Trying to homogenize the various manifestations of life force is therefore acting against the basic fact of life.
No single Ism or Ideology, however great and good it may be, even if it is time tested, can be, therefore, considered as a perfect model for human race as a whole or a panacea for all human ills.
For the convenience of collective survival we can adopt some common practices under certain conditions but it is foolish to try them out in all situations.
Evaluation of anything must be done only through the feeling of the life force that is at the core of the thing.
To understand this life force there is no need for any specific technique. It has no specific label or form as everything is formed out of it.
Life force of anything can be understood once we get into any matter with passion. Then, peruse and perceive it with total intensity and intense totality.
It is a sort of unqualified and unprejudiced attentive in depth observation. When we do this, we develop a relationship with the life force that goes on to make the thing or person.
When we are in relationship we feel with all the senses and therefore we understand.
There is no need to dissect anything into pieces, no need to develop jargons, no need to have lengthy discussions as to whether micro or macro analysis is suitable to understand.
This element called the life force is what makes anything pleasant and workable.
The more we develop a relationship with the life force of anything, anyone or any situation the better we can understand.
Our entire biological frame, the human anatomy with all the software and hardware that makes us as functional living creatures was packed into a very tiny egg only by this life force [proof that Nano technology of the highest order has been there always. Only thing is, we have recently been trying it out with a new label called Nano technology]. It grows and survives only because of this life force and finally at an appropriate time when the hardware weakens and the software mal functions the life force moves to another form or frame.
When we grasp this life force of anything it unravels the hidden mysteries and marvels of that thing. Almost all discoveries are made this way. That’s why most discoveries are made by simple folks who have not made great academic achievements or by great scholars accidentally when they took their mind away from the scholarly pursuits and instead looked into life in a relaxed manner.
There are many undiscovered mysteries waiting to unravel provided we bother to study by getting to feel the life force of the matter [for example water ‘WATER IS NOT JUST MADE OF H2O IT HAS AN UNEXPLORED THIRD ELEMENT IF IT WERE MADE OF JUST TWO ATOMS OF HYDROGEN AND ONE ATOM OF OXYGEN THEN WE COULD EASILY PRODUCE WATER UNDER SPECIFIC TEMPERATURE AND PRESSURE -http://waterthesupremeenergy-balayogi.blogspot.com/] …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..] or life force of certain persons [ how sometimes very ordinary individuals achieve extraordinary things all of a sudden]. It may not be achieved merely by the information packed academic exercises or research alone but along with it developing a unqualified relationship without inhibition with the subject of study. I mean a sort of real intense love affair with the subject of study.
Every stride that scientific discovery has made has been the revelation of this life force.
Every natural splendor, every natural phenomenon, every living organism is in essence made of this life force.
A beautiful rose made of plastic or paper may be so attractive that it may rival its original one in color and texture but it cannot have the fragrance of the original one. A perfume of rose essence may smell better than the original rose but it cannot carry the original color of the rose nor the honey to attract the butterflies nor can it entertain the dew drops. Whereas, it is this life force that is packed in a original rose flower proudly seated on a rose plant as its color, its fragrance, its shape, as the sweetness in its honey, as the soft petals amid a multitude of stiff thorns, as the cushion to his ancestors the dew drops, oh what a marvelous mechanism that brings out the colorful rose.
Whatever may be the advancement of science, however well it may reproduce several things artificially; it can never inject the life force into anything.
This divine life force is also manifest in several things in varying degrees of intensity and when its intensity gets reduced it is a form of decay.
In babies it is very intense, in children little less, and as we grow and accumulate many thoughts and things that pollute it, its intensity gets reduced.
Once we accept this template, rather the basic template of divine life force and learn its features we can make wonders.
All best forms of arts, great pieces of literature, important works of sciences have used this template.
Let us study the various features of this template and how best we can make use of it.
The human body is an energy system involved in a process of perpetual self –construction and self –destruction and this energy system itself is just a part of that Divine life force. All are part of this Divine life force and this Divine life force is part of everything. So let us try to
Approach it to appreciate, adopt, assimilate, accommodate or at least to adjust and not analyze and judge,
Befriend it being made of the same source,
Care to connect and stay connected with it with conviction,
Deal with it dearly to develop mutually,
Empathize and encourage it,
Fulfill its needs,
Gear up to give into it and take from it,
Help and highlight the need of its help,
Intermingle with all its manifestations to initiate intelligent interactions,
Join with it jovially,
Keep up kindly to its expectations,
Link with it loyally and lovingly and love and live aware its link,
Make meaningful moves to meet its needs,
Nullify narrow and negative notions near it,
Offer to cooperate with it in all good opportunities,
Participate proactively with it to promote progress and peace,
Quit all quarrels of questionable identities of isolation,
Reach out with it to remind the roots to everyone,
Savor its presence -the space between words and the silence between sounds,
Take a trip to its source and become more resourceful,
Understand the ubiquitous unity of this life force,
Value its intrinsic aspects,
With it work for a worthy world of wisdom,
X-ray into our inner self with it to get enlightened,
Yoke the light weighted heart with its help, then
Zoom into zealous raptures with it and because of it.
Attitudes are formed as a result of this ongoing process of evaluations. We all constantly evaluate everything, everyone and various aspects of our environment. So to ensure correct attitude we must analyze what are the tools with which/basis on which we evaluate? The methods we adopt to evaluate? And how we evaluate? All these, in turn, will determine to a great extent our attitude in most of the cases.
This will also give us an idea whether our attitude influences our behavior or our behavior influences our attitude.
Evaluate the purpose of life by the amount of happiness you have given to others.
Evaluate the value of life by the extent you have been useful to others.
Evaluate the meaning of life by the love you give to others.
Evaluate the destiny of life by the amount of love you get from others.
Evaluate the quality of your life by your attitudes.
Evaluate the wisdom of your life by the experience you have gained and the lessons you have learnt and the knowledge you have acquired from your experiments and actions.
Evaluate the worthiness of your life by the amount of or extent of realizations you have had.
Evaluate the totality of life not by owning anything or even trying to own life itself but by living life.
But the best way to evaluate life is to live it.
And you live based on what you have and who you are.
Even if you are schooled in irrelevant, inadequate, out dated, useless, erroneous trivia at least do not base your belief systems or thoughts on them because
Your thoughts and beliefs decide your life irrespective of whether you are prosperous, peaceful and happy or the other way.
Because they help you to make the choice and the choices you make decide who you are and what you do depends on who you are and ultimately what you do gets you whatever you have.
But unfortunately we tend to think the process topsy-turvy. We want to have whatever we want and think that it will make us and shape us.

Be on your own don’t choose for others nor let others choose for you. so have your own set of resolutions to make and break.

CHOICE

Our brains and energy I have perceived have all along and continue to make significant and unassuming contribution, often unnoticed and unappreciated by the majority of those around. For me, personally and for whatever contribution my own life may have made or may still have to make what counts most are your enlightened views which have had their foundation only on intrinsic values of life than any other appealing emotionalism, or attractive intellectual argumentation or even the usual anodynes of materialism.

The inevitable terrific cosmic laws are that truth is not specific, life is not athanasic, scriptures are not authentic and even where authentic they need not necessarily be taken as authority, our atavistic senses are too static, survival is too hectic, our intelligence is too scientific, thus goes the unending asyndetic rhetoric.
Life is a pendulum of beauty in relativity, oscillating between utility and futility and in this constant activity it hardly knows where is reality, and what is reality; whether it is within the points of its oscillation or somewhere away from it or beyond the reach of its emotions and perceptions; thus man functions in total confusion with intervals of illusions, making in his stride complete contradictions, deft definitions, emotive expressions, intellectual and idealistic ‘isms’, petty resolutions and perilous revolutions.

So are we to take note of a particular thing or anything or everything or nothing. The basic thing is each and everything has its own value, importance, utility, nature, beauty etc. Therefore we cannot deny or defy or denounce the importance any aspect of anything outright, nor is it possible to accept everything, protect everything or even perceive everything.

It is these reasons that force us to make a choice. So that at least within a limited circle we can lead a life with comfort. But how are we to make a choice? Based on what? Whenever we make any choice, it involves our mind and conscious perception which are basically conditioned by various influences and impressions. Ultimately every so-called choice we make is nothing but our registered response to receive one or a few among the many and various possibilities. Every new choice is either born out of imaginary expectations or is a mere confirmation of our collective, accumulated prejudices and limited perceptions. Every new choice is an extension of our prejudices or adscititious manifestation of our prejudices and the limitation of our perception.

Consciously or sub-consciously or unconsciously we develop an in-built filtering system. Whether we filter the filth and consume what is of worth or is it vice versa cannot be easily universally defined because it is again judged by our limited perception.

So ultimately what is right or wrong? of what use are the instructions of do’s and don'ts/ how to determine all these things and with what yard stick to evaluate all these rights and wrongs, scientifically, psychologically, philosophically or based on economic theories ?

 No, not any of these, for, all that each category of evaluation can offer can at best be fragmentary evaluation of something as varied and as excellent as human life. So for a wholesome and handsome evaluation we need unqualified love which must be manifested with total intensity and intense totality born out of unbiased compassion for everyone and everything.

On choice recently there was an excellent you tube video in ted.com from Sheena S.Iyengar, a must watch for everyone. Her details are
Sheena S. Iyengar
S.T. Lee Professor of Business
Columbia Business School
Management Division
Uris Hall 714
3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
Office Phone: (212) 854-8308

Friday, December 10, 2010

INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF BIODIVERSITY 2010

INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF BIODIVERSITY 2010

The reason for writing this now is that THE INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF BIODIVERSITY 2010 is coming to a close, and till 2000 International Biodiversity Day was observed on 29th December after which it was changed to 22nd May.

Many detailed reports and narrative articles appear on all days of some specific significance like VALENTINE’S DAY, MOTHERS’ DAY, WOMEN’S DAY, and FATHERS’DAY ETC. There are innumerable advertisements wishing and offering many things to the focused groups on these days. These are done not only due to a sudden realization or recognition of love, importance of motherhood, concern for women or respect for fathers but also because of the enormous commercial interest involved. Well, there is nothing wrong in these, but what irks me is the total indifference (especially in the media) for some days which are of greater importance for the entire humanity at present and for the planet in future. One such day is INTERNATIONAL BIODIVERSITY DAY (As per the Calendar of Designated Dates for the Environment PUBLISHED BY THE GOVERNMENT OF ALBERTA- and this day was sponsored by the UNITED NATIONS )

We need to make use of this occasion and bring to the common man’s reach certain activities which are going to affect him and the planet in the long run. He is totally unaware of these activities. Unfortunately these activities are going on either with the tacit connivance or active cooperation of those in power as well as the higher authorities and institutions of the academic world. This preamble leads naturally to some pertinent questions.

  1. What are these activities?

They are too many to explain in detail, besides, in this article my intention is to make every young citizen of Bharath to read this and think at least for a day about this and not make them put away reading this by confusing them with subject specific jargons.

  1. Where they are going on?

Almost in every place. Besides, irrespective of wherever it happens, the repercussion or impact is on every one of us in some form or other. Having said that I cannot avoid or dodge the next inevitable logical question.

  1. What can we do about it?

Are we to make huge publicity stunts like resorting to reel out reams of pro biodiversity literature with activists voicing their opinions right left and center and feed the news channels and print media one day of free content?

Are we to make it into another ritual of calendared concern of either celebration or moaning? It doesn’t matter if it is either way once it is a calendared ritual, which we do anyway, in every walk of life either for entertainment or for engaging the ego, or for satisfying someone’s earning or for satisfying the society so on and so forth.

Unfortunately the very intrinsic value or purpose for which the ritual is intended gets masked by our over enthusiastic and deep involvement in the different aspects of rituals. Basically in any aspect of life, in any part of the world neither fanatical extremism nor superficial ritualism has ever produced any result of meaningful and lasting value.

  1. Can we then afford to avoid addressing certain specific facts of importance pertaining to bio diversity by talking only in such general high tones of intellectual ivory towers, or churning out statistical statements or googled research works, or pronounce in patronizing proposals like arm chair advocates of reform, or dodging like diplomatic bureaucrats or spicing up like present day superficial journalistic reporting? No, we can’t do any of these.

  1. Then, the easiest and best way is to encourage personal responsibility through sensible and simple means without complicating, confusing and confining it as a matter delegated to be dealt by some specialists. Damage to biodiversity is a diagnosis of some small or big imbalance somewhere in nature as is the case with all diseases or damages. Either our perception of the symptoms or the intensity of the symptoms have led us to this diagnosis. Now without any preconceptions let us probe the cause and treat to either control, curb or cure completely whichever is possible. But this can be done only through personal responsibility. Not turning to any specialist. Nothing in nature is the preserve of specialists. By declaring such a statement I am not trying to court a controversy here to boost my personal TRP rating. I am very well aware that, of course, we do need specialists in all realms of life to peep and probe into the many yet unexplored and undiscovered area of life to the extent that I would not even object if I get a nasal pain I am made to consult two specialists one for left nostril and another for the right nostril. But the point is I must avoid banging my nose to create a pain, or avoid doing anything that can cause the nasal pain before seeking a specialist or at least learn not to repeat the mistake once the specialist advises me to follow certain course of action. This is precisely what I mean by personal responsibility . It is easier to resort to criticisms like too much specialization leads to reductionism of several kinds and thereby leads to lack of overall perspective. Let me also add that we need to approach anything without diverting, deviating or dodging from facts and reality but taking realistic steps. Popping ideas, spinning specialist jargons, sprinkling graphs and charts, stocking stalks of statistical surveys, making unloving criticism about all new technologies etc may not lead us anywhere. Here I would like to repeat what I have said earlier neither fanatical extremism nor superficial ritualism has ever produced any result of meaningful and lasting value. There may be some or many areas of our lives wherein damage to biodiversity may be an inevitable and in some cases irreversible part of our life or at least life style. Then we need to tread carefully in those areas and find out how best we can minimize the damage.

6. Personal responsibility coupled with realistic approaches can reap at least reasonable results bit by bit as life itself is being lived byte by byte.

Haven’t we evolved as a species from the time of Menicus who remarked “people are of supreme importance, the altar of gods of earth and grain come next, last comes the ruler”. Well, this is not an election slogan. Can we take for granted that human beings have untrammeled right over everything else in environment. Another reality, whether we like it or accept it, is that many factors both in nature and human beings are neither meaningfully quantifiable nor measureable and therefore not easily manageable.

7. Then why must give undue importance to human factor over the rest?

It is because we are concerned with and we can control only the impact on the environment caused by human activities. We cannot do anything about incomprehensible or mostly hitherto unperceived or unpredictable havocs caused by nature on the environment we have failed to remember what our own Gandhiji said, ‘nothing should and can be done without the involvement of the people.

8. These entire thing apart, if we bother to delve deep into and make an unbiased review of human –environment relationship, it is human beings who have wondered at nature, worshiped it, worked it up and wrecked it.

9. These are most natural and normal manifestations of the unique characteristic of human species, which alone can consciously think, understand, reflect, record, recollect, redo, remove, rectify and above all respond verbally. It is precisely this characteristic that makes life a constant process of becoming. What we become is determined by who we are, and who we are, is determined by what we become, a sort of obverse. Therefore, it is both being and becoming that decides our life and environment. This involves personal responsibility i.e. serious perception of the inner self and the inner perception of life’s seriousness and its sequence in the scheme of things. It is this very responsibility that has enabled and ennobled us to understand better the interdependence and interaction with the environment.

10. This very personal responsibility goads humanity to try constantly to understand human life and the environment and the relationship of humans to other human beings and nature and search for a meaning and purpose of life.

11. In the process of constant trial of human emancipation human beings have either knowingly or unknowingly abused, over used or disused all available resources in nature to its enhancement.

12. Personal responsibility also is a process that is constantly undergoing changes depending on varying degrees of ignorance.

13. As Phenol portrays very well in ‘THE UNWRITTEN COMEDY’

“To be ignorant of many things is expected.

To know that you are ignorant of many things is

The beginning of wisdom.

To know a category of things of which you are ignorant is

The beginning of learning.

To know the details of that category of things of which you were ignorant

Is no longer to be ignorant”

14. Personal responsibility as a first step must, therefore, honestly and humbly acknowledge that it has been ignorant about not looking at alternative modes of life and many of its relished and revered developments have been the causes damage to biodiversity- the beginning of wisdom.

15. Personal responsibility as a second step must accept the responsibility of narrowing life into rigid reasons and fanatically homogenizing variety and standardizing the non standard items and prescribing these as the panacea for all human ills and on top of it all, enforce all these on the entire globe by constant indoctrination, war, propaganda, cultural invasion, now terrorism etc. This has been a curse of human race, this tendency to homogenize everything be it religion, political system of governance, health care, economic methods. Now we know the category of things of which we were ignorant.

The beginning of learning

16. We are not getting into fault finding or finger pointing exercise but getting to know the causes, that is, to know the details of the category of things of which we were ignorant to emerge out of ignorance. These indoctrinations used with psychological emphasis, religious fervor, social respect, political sponsors, logical justifications enforced with incentives and punishments suppressed the natural, unbiased and unqualified sensitivity and sense of sharing and belonging of the inner self which helps to relate without psychological and social bias human beings with other human beings with other species, with the environment, with the spiritual world etc and instead developed the conditioned and indoctrinated mind as a second nature which provided socially hassle free survival.

17. So human race in most parts of the world which were penetrated by these armies of indoctrinators under various identities manipulated every aspect of life and ensured that the very pattern of human behavior was operating only based on certain conditioning whereby human beings, if they wanted to lead a respectable and dignified living, were allowed to operate all their six senses only based on this second nature. So, now it is too difficult or impossible to wish away the rot created by indoctrinations of so called civilization. But what we can do is to slowly and steadily place a different indoctrination through that very second nature, because as a species most of the human beings have forgotten their roots, thanks to the expert and successful indoctrinators of homogenization and hegemonization. This new indoctrination must, out of sheer bitter experience of the previous indoctrinations, ensure that it is devoid of any self limiting conditions, homogenizations, realization that the very hope of biological survival of all species and environment, and the emancipation of dignified living of human species rests on what Ross Ashby writes in ‘Law of Requisite Variety’, “Only variety can absorb variety”. Thank god, that India which has nurtured variety as an excellent pluralistic society in all aspects because of its ancient culture is also blessed with more than 100 temperature zones. As Lady Luck has a preference for the eager and hardworking, Nature’s bounty has a preference for the honest and humble whose culture and ethos, I mean obviously the great unspoiled children of Bharath, do not operate with hidden agenda, lurking suspicions, simmering discontent, manipulative motives, fanatical faiths etc but welcomes every human being as a loving guest of her motherland with a warm heart and hearty welcome without any inhibition. I can be excused for expressing my heartfelt feeling for my motherland.

18. There is something called SAPIRWHORF HYPOTHESIS according to which “the words available in our vocabulary influence the way we think about things”. Conversely it also means the world may not benefit from our thoughts, however great or good they may be, if we are not able to communicate them in a comprehensible capsule through any medium be it language, painting or music. Till this is done, as for as the world is concerned our thoughts are of no use. It is like winking at a girl in the dark. It does not serve the purpose. So we must be adequately equipped with relevant, I cannot say correct, information about biodiversity which must be available or made available to our Personal responsibility so that it can produce the necessary and reasonable changes.

19. How to go about it?

Gregory Batson says ‘in Biology there is a quantity which has an optimum value. Too little Calcium is a deprivation; too much is toxic”. In the age of coercive indoctrinations through various means like colonialism, cultural invasions etc there was deprivation of information, lack of documentation, lack of means of communication. Now on the contrary due information explosion through too many ‘Windows’ and though too many holes in ‘Net’ there is toxicity due to excess. But it is a welcome toxicity as its geographical spread has the twin contradictory effects while it has shrunk the world it has also enhanced awareness and improved appreciation of different cultures, ideas, religious practices, traditions, philosophies, policies of governance and the many systems of life outside one’s conditioned and indoctrinated ideologies. Above all, it has the greatest advantage of giving enough room for everyone to express freely without fear or favor which can be used to promote harmony and help.

20. Conrod Hopman, of New Caledonia writes in his ‘ Book Of Future changes, living in balance in the electronic age’,

“In a sense, the whole Universe is an exchange medium. Observable reality can only be observed because it is information. Information is meanings and meanings define each other in context…there is a constant process of exchange in the form of different and varied strata of manifestation of energy continuously taking place….Plants breathe in what the animals breathe out, animals consume plants and each other. So species keep each other healthy; Herbivores do not over breed and over graze; Carnivores develop keen sense. The interplay of evolution, eliminating the superfluous, like a sculptor, creates humans-who continue the exchange process again on more complex, subtle levels”.

Unfortunately, this exchange process has got struck or blocked, for a longtime, in human greed of all sorts due to various reasons [I do not want to generalize many particular causes and reasons or particularize something general] and has lead to imbalance in biodiversity. But with Personal responsibility this problem can be easily overcome. Most programs and reforms have failed because of the presumption that human beings need to be directed, whereas, in reality people want to and like to direct the course of events, and to do this effectively we need to go beyond the logical and illogical to the psychological aspects. Heroic deeds need to be simple but sustainable and for this you do not need paradigm-busting ideas of scholars or tags of PhDs to your name, you do not need to be either a great visionary or a big missionary All that you need is a heartfelt concern for the future of the planet and ensure to make personal changes in that direction everyday lifestyle. Many of the world problems happen and many of world population is manipulated with two major factors i.e overreaction to risks and ignorance caused by irrelevant facts or overemphasis on selective aspects.

21. All forms of exchange have always been taking place unnoticed, unnamed and unassociated. It was labeling that enabled us to attach values to them. The human brain likes to objectify everything, and likes to perceive only objects or objectifiable abstractions, concepts, ideas etc, a weakness of the Cortex which likes to swirl within the few circuits at the maximum where it has comfort level while there are many, both known and unknown, circuits referred to ancient Indian tantric texts.

22. So all our inputs to motivate and activate the Personal responsibility preferably must play within the ambit of these predominant and preferred ranges of perceptions so that it produces some pleasant and positive results gradually.

23. Now we must get into preparing a list of such motivating materials or activities. We have looked up to nature all these years and she has never disappointed us and now it is our turn to look after nature. Especially, we must take a resolve to do something this year as United Nations has declared it as International year of Biodiversity followed by 2011 as International year of forests. For, after all, forests are for rest of the species so we need ensure their due.

24. Then there must be review of the results with fixed targets.

25. We must consciously and carefully make subtle and silent changes into the very psychological approach of individuals and make it sink into their subconscious level without putting too much pressure to change present lifestyles.

26. I am tempted to quote from an article titled GENE DREAM written by NIKKI VAN DER GAAG in the excellent magazine THE NEW INTERNATIONALIST , “ Biotechnology actually reduces the world's biodiversity by promoting certain species over others. Of the world's 220,000 plant species, only 150 are grown commercially and just 20 provide over 90 per cent of the world's dietary energy. We are already massively over-dependent on a fraction of the species available. Genetically-engineered (and transnational-controlled) seeds will reduce this active stock even further. Farmers in countries such as India are setting up their own seed banks in order to preserve the existing variety of seeds rather than having to use those promoted by the biotechnology corporations, for whom the Third World is a huge potential market”.

27. Beyond everything else, anything psychologically and subtly injected and socially encouraged will enhance optimism and pride in individuals based on their personal involvement in a good cause. Subsequently the collective of this personal optimism will result in a very important social resource. If we carefully study history this is how all leaders, organized religions and new political ideologies have worked out. Human beings need sense of belonging and identity. This has been well described by Lionel Tiger in his work ‘Optimism-The Biology of Hope’, “Private optimism is a public resource. Public optimism is a private facility. When in myth various forces of life escaped from Pandora’s Box, one remained at the bottom-HOPE. Atlas no longer holds up the world…….even if Gods and other forces have fallen, or become slogans, what Pandora rescued maintains its claim on our attention-That is HOPE. So, let us hope humanity takes care of biodiversity.

28. Make children to know and learn lot of details pertaining to biodiversity from sites , through several projects, literature, power point presentations and educative You Tubes like the following :-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5ELFfbQAXU&feature=player_embedded#!

29. What they need to know basically about biodiversity in simple terms?

All life on earth is part of one great, interdependent system. It interacts with, and depends on, the non-living components of the planet: atmosphere, oceans, freshwaters, rocks, and soils. Humanity depends totally on this community of life--this biosphere--of which we are an integral part. Biological diversity, or biodiversity, is the variety of the world's organisms, including their genetic diversity and the assemblages they form. It is the blanket term for the natural biological wealth that holds human life and well-being. The breadth of the concept reflects the interrelatedness of genes, species, and ecosystems. Simply stated, biological diversity, or biodiversity, is the sum total of all life forms on Earth. It is the variety and variability of all species of plants, animals and microorganisms, as well as the ecosystems they compose.

30. What is the necessity to maintain maximum biodiversity?

Maintaining maximum biological diversity assumes far greater urgency as population increase, as the demand on various energy resources also increase due to increasing development activities and all these in turn increasing the rates of environmental. Diversity in genes, species, and ecosystems provides the raw materials with which different human communities will adapt to change, and the loss of each additional species reduces the options for nature -- and people -- to respond to change conditions.

31. What direct and indirect economic benefits biodiversity provides?

Biodiversity provides ecological services such as water purification and oxygen production, which serve and sustain our lives in countless ways. In agriculture, disease- and pest-resistant crop varieties are continually derived from wild relatives of domestic crops.

Nearly half the prescriptions worldwide are for medicines based on compounds extracted from wild plants, animals or microorganisms. Major resource-based industries, such as fisheries and eco-tourism, depend heavily on biodiversity. Earth’s ecosystems and its peoples are bound together in a grand but tenuous symbiosis. Ecosystems are the productive engines of the planet, providing us with everything from the water we drink to the food we eat and the fiber we use for clothing, paper, and lumber

32. Make a list of fundamental environment requirements to protect the biodiversity which are indispensable for the healthy survival of species and which also ensure availability of natural resources and good environment for posterity. This must be used as an E-score and strictly enforced with incentives and penal actions.

33. What must be the goal of biodiversity conservation? And how to go about it?

Successful action to conserve biodiversity must address the full range of causes of its current loss and embrace the opportunities that genes, species, and ecosystems provide for a development that does not jeopardize the environment by preventing further degradation of key natural ecosystems and protect them effectively. This program must also address the problem of many of the world's habitats that have been modified for such human uses as agriculture. This program must include measures to maintain diversity on lands and in waters that have already been disturbed along with measures to restore lost species to their former habitats and preserving species in gene banks, zoos, botanical gardens etc. This program must make an in depth study of biodiversity and document its composition, distribution, structure, and function; the roles and functions of genes, species, and ecosystems taking into consideration the complex links between modified and natural systems.

34. This involves engaging small communities by providing them with necessary, unbiased facts and making individuals realize that biodiversity and environment are as important a matter to be attend to as food or shelter. Once such a level of personal responsibility gets into the individual psyche, then the automatically environment would be taken care of. Otherwise, with our present system of functioning with pre-conditioned perceptions, corrupt academicians, selective scientific statements publicized by mass opinion molders-the multiple media, vacillating values and zigzagging zeal we cannot protect biodiversity.

35. Finally I would like all concerned citizens to ponder over the following

UNIVERSAL DECLARATION of the RIGHTS of POSTERITY

Which was drafted by the UK council for posterity initially by a gentleman called Professor Scorer and a group of other concerned people like ecologist Herbie Girardet, Tanya Schwarz of the Forest Peoples’ Support Group, Guy Dauncey environmental consultant and Nicolas Albery of the Institute of Social Inventions.

UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF THE RIGHTS OF POSTERITY

(DRAFT, JULY 1989)

Whereas our descendants’ generations, although likely to prove far more numerous than ourselves, have no voice or vote in any of our political systems, we therefore declare that all the generations yet to come, for as far into the future as human life survives on this planet, are entitled by natural justice to the following rights, which those alive today have a duty to respect and uphold:

1. The right to inherit a planet that has been treated by its human occupants with the utmost respect. And more particularly:

2. The right to inherit a planet with oceans, lakes and atmosphere undamaged by human activity, with safeguards for planet’s climate, such as rainforests, still intact.

3. The right to inherit a planet with an undiminished diversity of species.

4. The right to inherit adequately maintained reserves of fossil fuel and other mineral resources.

5. The right to be born into world of human-scale societies, undamaged by population excess.

6. The right to inherit a world unmarred by nuclear or chemical wars, incidents or wastes.

7. The right to expect that previous generations will have cleaned up their pollution, repaired their damaged environments, on land, sea and in the air ( including outer space), and protected places of natural beauty.

8. The right to inherit political, legal, technological and social systems that respect individual human dignity, such as those laid out in the UN Declaration of Human Rights.

9. The right to inherit the full uncensored cultural heritage bequeathed by former generations, as expressed, for instance, in their art, history, literature, libraries and museums.

10.The right of future generations to have their interests considered and, where appropriate, represented by a competent advocate, in any present day tribunal or assembly that is deciding courses of action that might have harmful log-term consequences.

In short, for reasons of practicality, in terms of positivity, on the basis of reality and as a matter of absolute necessity we need biodiversity for our very survival.