Monday, January 17, 2011

Happiness Explained and other emotions - feelings

Happiness Explained and other emotions - feelings

Happiness is the undying quest of life, the unquenchable thirst and the insatiable hunger of all human kind. Happiness is what we all seek for, what we long for. But can such bliss be nothing but an elusive state of mind, which is here one moment and gone the next, or is such a positive outlook attainable for a lifetime? Perhaps it is, it just is

The extraordinary power of love can be overwhelming and transforming. Love is indefinable and yet all pervading.

Nature provides us with the very essence of life. However, the world is increasingly taking recourse to synthetic and toxic materials, which is polluting the atmosphere and curtailing human longevity. It’s about time we shifted the accent to nontoxic, nonpolluting and eco-friendlier natural habits and habitats.

Breathing is synonymous with life. Yet, for most of us, it is just one more of those things that we take for granted. After all, it is just about inhaling oxygen and exhaling carbon dioxide, right? Wrong. And it’s high time we realized that

Despite centuries of Man’s continued existence on this planet, he has failed to conclusively solve the riddle posed by two indelible facts of human existence—Life and Death. What is Life? Religions have preached about it, philosophers have pondered over it and ordinary mortals have lived through it. But the eternal mystery of Life still eludes us.

The human quality of forgiving everyone and everything including yourself is taking a step nearer to enlightenment and the ultimate peace of mind. To forgive, the masters would have us believe, is the best gift you can give yourself.

Ethics and Values
It is said that evolution is as much of a biological issue as it is an ethical one: the higher you are on the evolutionary ladder, the more important become ethics, or the concepts of right and wrong. In fact, what sets Man apart from animals is a heightened sense of ethical and moral value—be it in the soothing realm of the family or the rapidly competitive world of work

Success is what dreams are made of. Success is about making it in life. Fast cars, expensive penthouses, designer labels—in other words, high material viability is the new success mantra. Yet we see large hordes of people demanding to do more than that by trying to find a common denominator for success. No longer weighed in terms of tidy bank balances, success is now regarded as all-inclusive quotient of material, emotional and spiritual gratification. Belying Alvin Toffler`s apocalyptic cry against capitalism and urbanization, success does not remain merely a socially abrasive economic phenomenon in a highly competitive world. Today success represents a holistic and positive attitude to life.

Attitude is everything. If you think you can, you most certainly can. Success is not closeted within some kind of brick and mortar premises. It assumes the individuality of a complete act executed with perfection. Material achievements do not define life. We do not remember the sports stars for the products they endorse but the spirit of achievement they represent. In the abundance of positive attitude underlies the grandeur of a truly rewarding and rich life.

Ancient Indian wisdom believes that the most qualifying aspect of success lies in following the four Purusharthas (tenets) of life. The Purusharthas are based on the four tenets of artha (wealth, social security), kama (fulfillment of desire), dharma (principles) and moksha (salvation). Wealth or artha means earthly possessions and material gains. People usually work hard to procure such standards of success, and yet, find themselves wanting more. Desires condemned by puritans the world over, is motivating force behind all action that manifests as success. High moral credo or dharma is a life based on principles. However the crowning glory to successful life is moksha or freedom from all desires. Artha, kama, dharma and moksha patterns a rite of passage for an adult life. According to Indian thought, success depends upon the smooth transition of an individual through each of these passages

Total transformation is perhaps the ultimate evolutionary step that the spirit can take. Yet, what has always been on the fringes of human endeavor—the preserve of saints and sages—is today moving into the mainstream. With modern day strains and stress-related problems, transformation is becoming your business and mine. Transformation is being sought as a solution to life’s problems and as a tool for personal development.

Less than a century ago heart disease was an extremely rare disease. However, today it is the cause of death of more people in the world than all other deadly diseases taken together. The most encompassing researches and studies on heart health have indicated that lack of happiness and gratification is by far the biggest risk factor resulting in heart problems. Since happiness is amongst the principal expressions of love, only those medicines that are love-based can truly and completely heal the heart and protect one from disease and ageing. If fear is the motivating factor that compels someone to go for a particular treatment or initiate major changes in life style or diet the chances of disease prevention or recovery are minimized. The current approaches for achieving heart’s health, free from any life threatening condition, are primarily symptom-orientated and do not deal with the underlying causes.

In many developed countries fatality rate from heart conditions have decreased a bit. This has happened due to breakthroughs in medical education and new medicines, the bypass surgeries and the angioplasties. Now the beneficiaries of these advancements are living, but with consequences. The less healthy hearts still beat, but they are not strong enough for living and enjoying a good quality of life.

Apart from giving a wide range of side effects most presently used treatments for heart diseases transfuse enormous fear in body cells, which react by releasing large amounts of the stress hormones. This by itself can threaten the healing system. Until lately, these treatments were conceived to be more or less safe but are now distinguished by leading heart centers and resources to be the primary cause of a new ailment known as chronic heart failure. Chronic heart failure is a gradual death-experience that has attained epidemic ratios. The inability of the science systems to make this organ healthy again instills the obligation for healing back to where it always belonged. That is the heart, body, mind and spirit of every being. It opens the way for alternative healing.

Believe it or not but the tendency to think that one will have a healthy heart all life lone without any extra effort is inherent by birth. Have u been taking your heart for granted? Are you waiting for something tragic to happen to realize how fragile this human organ truly is? The chances are the answer is a big yes. The sooner one takes the waking call and stops’ expecting the heart to perform well in spite of all one does the better.

The heart is merely not a pump - it is the headspring of every feeling and emotion, whether it is delight and excitement or gloominess and frustration. Mental and emotional tenseness disrupts the emotional heart, whereas, a junk diet, insalubrious lifestyle and absence of physical excises weakens the physical heart. Several illnesses such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high blood cholesterol and obesity are also known to be the contributing factor for heart ailments. Smoking is also a major contributor to coronary diseases. Smoking may actuate coronary spasms where the blood vessels of the heart are pinched or narrowed, causing chest pain or a heart attack.

A holistic approach to keeping the heart healthy requires one to nurture the emotional along with the physical heart. Prevention, as known, is always better than cure, however, in case of health of the heart there is less possibility of a complete cure. However, the possibility remains but only possible with an holistic approach. Salubrious diet plans and an active lifestyle coupled with emotional freedom will lay a strong foundation and ensure that the heart beats with life till the very end.

For most of us, aura is that golden glow emanating from deities` images in calendar art. However, this energy field is not the sole property of divine beings. We all have it—including dogs, cats, a block of wood or a piece of paper. And, in each case, it depicts the personality, health and the spiritual evolution of its material half

Wellness or good health is that state of vibrant equipoise between the individual and the universe. A state in which the body, mind and spirit are free and fully expressive

What is the next step in human evolution? Where are we, as a species, going? While some people believe that we have reached the acme of our possibilities and that now it’s time for entropy to take over, others believe that the superman is yet to come. Considering that the human race has been on earth for a very short span in this planet’s evolutionary scheme, it does seem more likely that we have tapped only an infinitesimal percentage of our potentials

An absolute power in modern society—money makes everything click! It remains the single source of almost all temptations and motivations ever known to man—entire empires and kingdoms have been raised and decimated for the lure of the lucre. Today, when social scientists raise ethical issues over the nature of man’s relationship with money, many agree about the constructive potential involved in making it. But at the end of the day the most eternal of all facts is that—all of us need it!

Omnipotent. Omnipresent. Omniscient. These are recognized as the universal attributes of God. But who or what is God and for that matter, which is the one `true` path to this Divine Soul? Should we meditate on a formless Supreme Being or worship a Divine idol? Better still, should we realize Him within our very own selves? These questions have plagued mankind down the ages and continue to do so till date, so much so that nations are erected in His name, wars fought and innocents massacred!

All in the name of God—and that `authentic` path, which might lead Man to this Supreme Being

What is death? The final good-bye? Or a transition from one level of existence to the other? Most religions talk of an afterlife. In fact, almost all concepts of morality are based on what’s going to be meted out to us after we die. So, does that make death a moment of mourning, a sad occasion when we see our loved ones for the last time? Or is it a moment of celebration, when we prepare to break free of the mortal form and exhilarate in the communion with the eternal?

Personal growth
Personal growth is the process of unfolding your full potential and achieving what you came to the earth for—your own Godhood, no less!

What does work mean? Is it just a means to earn your livelihood? Or is it an expression of your perception of life? If so, then, while choosing your career, should you go by what’s lucrative, or by your inner instincts and aptitudes?

As a natural state of mind, tolerance indicates an ability to coexist with others, to respect alternative points of view, to neither dominate nor be dominated. It suggests both the ability to be yourself as well as allow others that freedom. It is both sturdy individuality and acceptance of other points of view

When we share, we break out of the boundaries of our ego and recognize the humanity of the other. Sharing breeds inter-dependence, happiness and harmony

The word `stress` is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as "a state of affair involving demand on physical or mental energy". A condition or circumstance (not always adverse), which can disturb the normal physiological and psychological functioning of an individual. In medical parlance `stress` is defined as a perturbation of the body’s homeostasis. This demand on mind-body occurs when it tries to cope with incessant changes in life. A `stress` condition seems `relative` in nature. Extreme stress conditions, psychologists say, are detrimental to human health but in moderation stress is normal and, in many cases, proves useful. Stress, nonetheless, is synonymous with negative conditions. Today, with the rapid diversification of human activity, we come face to face with numerous causes of stress and the symptoms of anxiety and depression.

"Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances."
—Thomas Jefferson

The Dynamics of Stress
In a challenging situation the brain prepares the body for defensive action—the fight or flight response by releasing stress hormones, namely, cortisone and adrenaline. These hormones raise the blood pressure and the body prepares to react to the situation. With a concrete defensive action (fight response) the stress hormones in the blood get used up, entailing reduced stress effects and symptoms of anxiety.

When we fail to counter a stress situation (flight response) the hormones and chemicals remain unreleased in the blood stream for a long period of time. It results in stress related physical symptoms such as tense muscles, unfocused anxiety, dizziness and rapid heartbeats. We all encounter various stressors (causes of stress) in everyday life, which can accumulate, if not released. Subsequently, it compels the mind and body to be in an almost constant alarm-state in preparation to fight or flee. This state of accumulated stress can increase the risk of both acute and chronic psychosomatic illnesses and weaken the immune system.

Stress can cause headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, eating disorder, allergies, insomnia, backaches, frequent cold and fatigue to diseases such as hypertension, asthma, diabetes, heart ailments and even cancer. In fact, Sanjay Chugh, a leading Indian psychologist, says that 70 per cent to 90 per cent of adults visit primary care physicians for stress-related problems. Scary enough. But where do we err?

Just about everybody—men, women, children and even fetuses—suffer from stress. Relationship demands, chronic health problems, pressure at workplaces, traffic snarls, meeting deadlines, growing-up tensions or a sudden bearish trend in the bourse can trigger stress conditions. People react to it in their own ways. In some people, stress-induced adverse feelings and anxieties tend to persist and intensify. Learning to understand and manage stress can prevent the counter effects of stress.

Methods of coping with stress are aplenty. The most significant or sensible way out is a change in lifestyle. Relaxation techniques such as meditation, physical exercises, listening to soothing music, deep breathing, various natural and alternative methods, personal growth techniques, visualization and massage are some of the most effective of the known non-invasive stress busters.

Stress Can Be Positive
The words `positive` and `stress` may not often go together. But, there are innumerable instances of athletes rising to the challenge of stress and achieving the unachievable, scientists stressing themselves out over a point to bring into light the most unthinkable secrets of the phenomenal world, and likewise a painter, a composer or a writer producing the best paintings, the most lilting of tunes or the most appealing piece of writing by pushing themselves to the limit. Psychologists second the opinion that some `stress` situations can actually boost our inner potential and can be creatively helpful. Sudha Chandran, an Indian danseus, lost both of her legs in an accident. But, the physical and social inadequacies gave her more impetus to carry on with her dance performances with the help of prosthetic legs rather than deter her spirits.

Experts tell us that stress, in moderate doses, are necessary in our life. Stress responses are one of our body’s best defense systems against outer and inner dangers. In a risky situation (in case of accidents or a sudden attack on life et al), body releases stress hormones that instantly make us more alert and our senses become more focused. The body is also prepared to act with increased strength and speed in a pressure situation. It is supposed to keep us sharp and ready for action.

Research suggests that stress can actually increase our performance. Instead of wilting under stress, one can use it as an impetus to achieve success. Stress can stimulate one’s faculties to delve deep into and discover one’s true potential. Under stress the brain is emotionally and biochemically stimulated to sharpen its performance.

A working class mother in down town California, Erin Brokovich, accomplished an extraordinary feat in the 1990s when she took up a challenge against the giant industrial house Pacific Gas & Electric. The unit was polluting the drinking water of the area with chromium effluents. Once into it, Brockovich had to work under tremendous stress taking on the bigwigs of the society. By her own account, she had to study as many as 120 research articles to find if chromium 6 was carcinogenic. Going from door to door, Erin signed up over 600 plaintiffs, and with attorney Ed Masry went on to receive the largest court settlement, for the town people, ever paid in a direct action lawsuit in the U.S. history—$333 million. It’s an example of an ordinary individual triumphing over insurmountable odds under pressure. If handled positively stress can induce people to discover their inherent talents.

Stress is, perhaps, necessary to occasionally clear cobwebs from our thinking. If approached positively, stress can help us evolve as a person by letting go of unwanted thoughts and principle in our life. Very often, at various crossroads of life, stress may remind you of the transitory nature of your experiences, and may prod you to look for the true happiness of life.

Stress Throughout Evolution
Stress has existed throughout the evolution. About 4 billion years ago, violent collision of rock and ice along with dust and gas, led to the formation of a new planet. The planet survives more than 100 million years of meltdown to give birth to microscopic life. These first organisms endured the harshest of conditions—lack of oxygen, exposure to sun’s UV rays and other inhospitable elements, to hang on to their dear life. Roughly 300,000 years ago, the Neanderthals learnt to use fire in a controlled way, to survive the Glacial Age. And around 30,000 years, Homo sapiens with their dominant gene constitutions and better coping skills, won the game of survival. Each step of evolution a test of survival, and survival, a matter of coping with the stress of changing conditions.

Millions of trials and errors in the life process have brought men to this stage. Coping with events to survive has led men to invent extraordinary technologies, beginning with a piece of sharpened stone.

From the viewpoint of microevolution, stress induction of transpositions is a powerful factor, generating new genetic variations in populations under stressful environmental conditions. Passing through a `bottleneck`, a population can rapidly and significantly alters its population norm and become the founder of new, evolved forms.

Gene transposition through Transposable Elements (TE)—`jumping genes`, is a major source of genetic change, including the creation of novel genes, the alteration of gene expression in development, and the genesis of major genomic rearrangements. In a research on `the significance of responses of the genome to challenges,` the Nobel Prize winning scientist Barbara McClintock, characterized these genetic phenomena as `genomic shock`.This occurs due to recombination of events between TE insertions (high and low insertion polymorphism) and host genome. But, as a rule TE’s remain immobilized until some stress factor (temperature, irradiation, DNA damage, the introduction of foreign chromatin, viruses, etc.) activates their elements.

The moral remains that we can work a stress condition to our advantage or protect ourselves from its untoward follow-throughs subject to how we handle a stress situation. The choice is between becoming a slave to the stressful situations of life and using them to our advantage.

Enlightenment or illumination is a fundamental philosophical concept which beyond religion and essentially means being illuminated by acquiring new wisdom or understanding.

The Buddhist Bodhi, Zen Satori and Hindu moksha all refer to this state of being. In all these traditions, enlightenment means one is ultimately free from the cycle of suffering and rebirth and to be born only to save others by aiding them in the path toward Enlightenment

Yoga is a way of life. It is predominantly concerned with maintaining a state of equanimity at all costs. All yoga schools of thought emphasize the importance of the mind remaining calm, because as the saying goes, only when the water is still can you see through it. Yoga Darshan or Yoga Philosophy also happens to be a valid discipline of Indian metaphysics (Brahma Vidya). It is the result of human wisdom and insight on physiology, psychology, ethics and spirituality collected together and practiced over thousands of years for the well being of humanity.

The basic idea of yoga is to unite the atma or individual soul with the paramatma or the Universal Soul. According to Yoga philosophy, by cleansing one’s mind and controlling one’s thought processes one can return to that primeval state, when the individual self was nothing but a part of the Divine Self. This is the sense encapsulated in the term samadhi. The aim of the yogi is to be able to perceive the world in its true light and to accept that truth in its entirety.

In Sanskrit, the term `yoga` stands for `union`. A yogi’s ultimate aim is to be able to attain this `union` with the Eternal Self with the help of certain mental and physical exercises. It is often said that Hiranyagarbha (The Cosmic Womb) Himself had originally advocated the traditional system of yoga, from which all other yoga schools have evolved. But for all extant knowledge of yoga and its practices, such as yogasanas and pranayama, the entire credit goes to Maharishi Patanjali.

Patanjali systematized the various yogic practices and traditions of his times by encapsulating them in the form of aphorisms in his Yoga Sutra. In this momentous work, he describes the aim of yoga as knowledge of the self and outlines the eight steps or methods of achieving it. These are:

• Yamas or eternal vows,
• Niyamas or observances,
• Yogasanas or yoga postures,
• Pranayama or breath control exercises,
• Pratyahara or withdrawal of the senses from distractions of the outside world,
• Dharana or concentration on an object, place or subject,
• Dhyana or the continuance of this concentration-meditation and
• Samadhi or the ultimate stage of yoga meditation.

Don’t we all come to this world as guests—constantly striving to find the golden rule of a successful rapport with everybody and everything we come across? From birth to death a person’s success or failure is measured by the kind of relationship he/ she have had with elements of this world: people. Nature and beyond it all, with the spirit behind this "relative world". But striking the right chord in a relationship often proves a hard nut to crack.

The world seems to constantly echo with a disconcerting chorus of voices, the result of frustrated relationships between parents and their children, husbands and wives, friends, siblings, in-laws, employees and colleagues—individuals disillusioned with themselves for not being able to relate successfully to their environs.

The most interesting aspect of this scenario is that, today there happens to be no dearth of methods to arrive at that elusive "success" in the act of relating.

The phenomenal flux of changes in every sphere of our lives since the last century has redefined the role of human relationships. Social revolutions such as the women’s lib, the cult of the individual, and even the human potential movement have re-patterned the basic premises of relationships. A good relationship today is not one that just lasts but one that coexists with self-respect, individuality and the need to grow.

For it to thrive successfully, marriage counselors and psychologists, also, stress the need for this kind of "space" within a couple’s relationship. An individual in a marriage shouldn’t be a repository of one’s own needs and desires; in fact both the people involved should be totally committed to their relationship. They must be ready to take responsibility for themselves as well as the relationship.

How to Make Relationships Work

• Don’t try too hard to convince the other person of your love. Love and trust yourself more. This will relax your love defenses and enable you to give yourself totally to relationship.
• Don’t question the other person’s love all the time.
• Feel the oneness of the universe. Step beyond the `me first` conflicts that mar relationships. This would help you be complete within yourself.
• Don’t use your relationships to fulfill your expectations.
• Know yourself. Analyze the cause of your reactions.
• Acknowledge the other person as an individual. Grow and let grow.
• In a conflicting relationship, check where you went wrong rather than where the other person failed. Listen to each other. Communication strengthens the foundation of a relationship.
• Take the first step in working out a relationship without worrying about who is in the right. Don’t depend on any person and don’t let the other person depend on you.

One of life’s greatest achievements is to grow and let your seeds grow. Nothing in life is more fulfilling than watching your children blossom. More so when you have to nurture, educate and guide them towards a life most suitable to them. Millions of parents do it all the time—some, with a lot of effort, some without a thought. So, what really is good parenting? Is it discipline, moral education, freedom to let your child be what he is? Or is it something more subtle, something that goes by the name of life’s lessons?

But it might be a good thing to remember that, no matter how eager or ambitious we are in shaping our children’s lives, there is a limit to what we can accomplish. Swami Vivekananda, founder of Ramakrishna Mission, uses the analogy of growing a plant to drive home the point:

"You cannot make a plant grow in soil unsuited to it. A child teaches itself. But you can help it to go forward in its own way. What you can do is not of the positive nature, but of the negative. You can take away the obstacles, but knowledge comes out of its own nature. Loosen the soil a little, so that it may come out easily. Put a hedge round it; see that it is not killed by anything, and there your work stops. You cannot do anything else. The rest is a manifestation from within its own nature."

"You cannot make a plant grow in soil unsuited to it. A child teaches itself. But you can help it to go forward in its own way. What you can do is not of the positive nature, but of the negative. You can take away the obstacles, but knowledge comes out of its own nature. Loosen the soil a little, so that it may come out easily. Put a hedge round it; see that it is not killed by anything, and there your work stops. You cannot do anything else. The rest is a manifestation from within its own nature."

• Teach values such as honesty, integrity, patience and self-control gradually and steadily, that too by your own example.
• Praise them openly and often, reprove secretly and seldom; reprimand the bad behavior, not your children.
• Teach them self-esteem and self-confidence (something they’ll carry for the rest of their lives).
• Restrict television watching and recreation time. Keep a watch on your children’s company.
• Try to keep alcohol and drugs away from the house, or keep them in moderation.
• Maintain a happy and loving home environment.
• Give a lot of your time to your children, both quality and quantity.
• Make humor and laughter a part of your relationship with children.
• Allow children to grow and learn through the mistakes they make.
• Hug and show feelings of love whenever possible.
• Communicate gently but clearly and firmly.

• In a time of nuclear families in which wives also contribute to the family kitty, it is imperative that fathers too share the responsibility of bringing up a baby. Don’t view the time spent with your child as a chore. It is an integral part of your life that will help strengthen the parent-child bond.

• The keynote in approaching fatherhood is to relax. A baby is responsive to the parent’s feelings. If you are anxious, so will the baby be.

• A baby often makes demands on its mother at the most outrageous times, leaving her exhausted. At this time you can encourage her by taking on some of the tasks—such as changing nappies or waking up in the night to look after necessary chores.

• It might seem difficult to change your lifestyle that the baby’s presence would inevitably demand. You may have to say good-bye to indulgent hobbies that you have developed over the years, the partying that used to be fun. But if you allow yourself to get involved in the process of your child’s growing up—building blocks with him, doing jigsaws, and reading from picture books—you will discover a new joy, as you watch the wonder of life unfold through its eyes.

Current medical wisdom regarding the rearing of children, upholds some traditional Indian practices while rejecting others:

• Avoid pre-lacteal feeds like honey water, glucose or formula milk.
• Talcum powders serve no purpose and can be avoided. Soaps, if used at all should be mild.
• If your religion your child to be circumcised, postpone circumcision till a later stage and make sure that it is done by a qualified surgeon.
—Dr Promilla Butani in Parenting
• don’t give the child any water or juices until he starts on solid food.
• Avoid applying kohl in the baby’s eyes.
• Take any ailment, even a minor fever, seriously in a newborn
• Avoid putting ear or nose-rings
• Use cotton clothes and diapers.
• After feeding, burp the child. Don`t let the child lie down face-up immediately after feeding.
• Don’t try tricks such as coating your child’s thumb with chilies to rid it of thumb-sucking habit. These are psychological problems that should be handled by a pediatrician.
—Dr Dwarkadas Motiwala

We alternately love them and hate them, but one thing’s for sure—what would we do without them? Our companions for life, our competitors, our confidantes, our rivals, our comrades-in-arms against the whole mad world—what would we do without them? No other bond in the world can beat siblings at sharing such a unique and complex love-hate relationship!

The true worth of having had brothers and/or sisters around while we were growing up never strikes us till we are way past our childhood. The most important lesson we learn at that stage of our lives, is how to get along with individuals other than ourselves. That was also when we learnt to develop social values such as cooperation, honesty, kindness, and tolerance.

Learning such important social skills usually takes a lot of time, but they are imbibed much faster while living with brothers and sisters. Children with siblings learn how to share and resolve conflicts quite easily. And with the right kind of guidance from parents, siblings also get a lot of practice in learning how to be cooperative, supportive, and nurturing to others.

In other words, we probably turned out much better because we had that bullying older brother or the irritating younger sister it prepared us for all the important relationships we encountered later in life.

Tips for Managing Quarrelsome Siblings
• Let siblings express their feelings.
• Try to comment only on the disagreeable behavior and avoid telling one child that a sibling is better at something.
• Try to give each sibling according to his/her individual need.
• Don’t take sides in sibling fights. Instead, try to let the children work out differences on their own.
• It takes time and persistence for you to learn new ways of treating your children and for them to learn new ways of getting along. • Don’t give up.

A friend is someone who walks in when the whole world walks out. Our friends are equity shares we earn in life. We continue to reap dividends on them throughout our lives. Yet today how many of us have shoulders to lean on outside our immediate familial relationships? In a highly competitive and result oriented world, we seem to be drifting away from each other all the time. This is not to say that the world is short of amiable individuals, but rather that we have forgotten the art of maintaining positive camaraderie. In a mad rush to keep up with the fast changing pace of urban living, we fail to nurture and care for basic ties of love and warmth that binds us all together.

Tips for Better Friendships

1. Being Fully Committed
2. Taking Personal Responsibility
3. Taking Care of Yourself
4. Being honest, and
5. Doing Your Work—will allow you to experience the love, happiness, joy, and quality of life that you deserve, and is worth your best effort!

As parents seek admission in schools for their children, they need to pick up the prospectus, fill in forms, seek information, and even go through long tests. All for the elusive `perfect` education for their child... Is it possible to have both—academic skills as well as a free and happy childhood?

Talent is not synonymous with creativity. For, unlike the talent concept , which most often means being good in a certain field, the concept of creativity is that it is a point of view, an approach towards the mundane that transforms every blade of grass into a wonder of life

The Latin term "communitatus" from which the English word "community" comes, is comprised of three elements, "Com-" - a Latin prefix meaning with or together, "-Munis-" –that means "the link" and "-tatus" a Latin suffix suggesting diminutive, small, intimate or local.. German sociologist Ferdinand Tonnies, defined that "community" is perceived to be be a tighter and more cohesive social entity within the context of the larger society, due to the presence of a "unity of will." He added that family and kinship were the perfect expressions of community but that other shared characteristics, such as place or belief, could also result in a community. Pehaps, the key is “unity of will”. Communities can be truly empowering and could provide a tremendous support system to all of us. The Indian term “satsang” that talks of a group of like minded souls is the seeker’s solace, support and mainstay.

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