“IF YOU DON’T BEAT LONELINESS, IT WILL GET WORSE”

Loneliness kills. It is dangerous than obesity and about as deadly as smoking, warns an article in The Atlantic. “A lack of social connections can spark inflammation and changes in the immune system, so lonely people are far more likely to die prematurely.”

    Surprisingly, lonely people tend to become lonelier with time. “People with few social connections experience brain changes that cause them to be more likely to view human faces as threatening, making it harder for them to bond with others.”

   John Cacioppo, a psychologist at the University of Chicago, has studied loneliness and has ideas about overcoming it. He says loneliness is not about being alone but ‘feeling alone’. It also serves a purpose, like hunger. “Hunger takes care of your physical body. Loneliness takes care of your social body.” It lets us know that we need to bond with people. 

   “Think about patients in hospitals: They aren’t alone, they have all the support they could ask for, but they tend to feel very lonely.” A married person may feel lonely if the cannot connect with their spouse and family.

     Digital interactions on facebook do nothing to ward off the feeling. “If the only acceptance you can get of yourself is a fake representation on the web, that’s not going to make you feel connected.”

    Is there a way lonely people can come out of this self-stoking cycle? Cacioppo suggests doing volunteer service in something they enjoy.

     He has a plan to “ease your way back into social connections.” Begin by extending yourself a little bit at a time; recognise that it is going to be hard– most people won’t like you and that’s alright; seek out people with similar interests, activities and values, and do all of these expecting the best outcome, not seeing others as a threat to yourself.

     At last I just want to say that–

“Take initiative and don’t fear from anything. Its your life so do what you want to do.”

And  “live positive, stay positive.”    Keep smiling………

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“STOP CRIBBING AND SIMPLY SAVOUR THE MOMENT”

As human beings, we have the tendency to complain about the state of things or about someone essentially, we just crib a lot. That is why we tend to constantly feel miserable about events going on in our lives. The paradox is we so completely dedicate ourselves with tenacity and determination to reach the space that we are in at the moment, but when we finally reach that platitude or goal, the same factor that was driving us, motivating us or that which we thought we could not survive without, does not hold any significance for us anymore. We are back at the base camp, the Crib Spot.

     We never seem to be happy at any point of time. We seem always to be in a state of dissatisfaction. To look at it differently, dissatisfaction as a state of mind is needed, otherwise the wheels of society will not move and the structure will not function. But, how does one manage this sensibly and in a balanced manner?

     The answer to this way provided by Gautam Buddha. His first lecture-  at Sarnath’s Deer Park-  called Dhammachakkapavattna sutta-  addressed this very question as to why humans are always on the edge. It was called the Chatur Arya Saccani or Four Noble Truths i.e, practical, clear, easy to understand and to follow. The first point was to accept that there is a problem which is dukkha, or sorrow.

    The solution was to find out the cause of this problem, which was addressed in the second noble truth called Dukkha Samudya, causation. The cause is linked to twelve states or nidanas which set in motion a cycle where each state is attached to the other and in the process, sets a chain of action in motion. Once the problem is identified, it needed to be addressed. Again like a deft physician, Buddha prescribed the practical remedy, which was the Astthangika Marg or the eightfold path. This was bereft of any rituals, mumbo jumbo or any deep abstract metaphysical interface. The four noble truths laid down by the Buddha explicitly highlight there has to be acceptance and there has to be analysis of the cause element. Ignorance is the main trigger that sets off this never-ending cycle of wants.

        We are ignorant of the fact that everything is in a state of flux; nothing is permanent. This theory is called Patticasamuppda, the wheel of life that surmises why we go through conflicts and challenges. Craving, the Buddha says, begins because of sense-object attachment. We do not want to associated with things that we detest, or get separated from things that we love. We keep succumbing to this never-ending chain reaction.

  So what is the way out?  It is the Madhyama Marg or middle path that could help us address this; which is, doing all our activities in a judicious, sensible manner, attaching the right importance to it. Actions should be done with alobha, generosity; adosa, goodwill; and amoha, knowledge.

       Accordingto Gautam Buddha the basic factor is to accept that there can never be a perfect situation and one has to strike a balance and find middle ground. Most importantly, do not get attached to situations howsoever good or bad they may be, as they are all at the end of the day, fleeting states.

                           Simply stop cribbing; just savour the moment.

DIFFERENCIATE BETWEEN SELF-RESPECT & EGO

Self-respect is conducive to a wholesome life. The key to it being useful in the real sense lies in one’s prudence in exercising it. In the right proportion self-respect is good. But excessive and unjustified self-respect loses its sublimity and positivity. It becomes insidious and mutates into the negative, pernicious force called ego.

Ego is the big, ugly sense of ‘i’ and ‘mine’ that leads to unnecessary complexities in life. It is inordinate self-obsession, narcissism, bigotry, rigidity and vanity to the point of being a pain for self and others. An egoist will be lacking in reason, sensitivity, clarity of thought, confidence, courage, transparency in speech and conduct and above all, a clear conscience. The sole aim of his life becomes the gratification of his sense of ‘i’ and ‘mine’.

To prove his point, an egoist may go to any length — howsoever unethical or inimical to others. He is blind to reason. Deep down, he is weighed down by misery and discontent and is starved of happiness. Hence, one needs to keep one’s ego well in check and be wise in practising self-respect.

There is a thin line between self-respect and ego. When we stand up firmly for a just cause involving us, it is self-respect and when not for a just cause , it is ego.

There are many factors contributing to the growth of ego like insecurity, inability to face life’s challenges and high aspirations not in sync with one’s capabilities. Self-justification is a major contributor to ego development . We keep justifying our wrongs under the facade of safeguarding our self-respect, when in reality it is the undeterred havoc of the ego. This can be highly injurious to our personalities, behaviour and relationships.

 Conversely, self-respect is a propelling, uplifting force. A meek, unassuming and well-behaved employee, when persecuted unjustly by his boss, may depict unprecedented courage and tenacity in his retaliation. This unexpected show of mettle is driven by self-respect. Hence, self-respect is a pre-requisite to a qualitative life. It is synonymous with self-love. It bolsters our innate instinct of self-preservation.  

  Transcending  ego is a Herculean task. All the same, we need to work at it continuously. Sublimating the ego also helps mitigate it. When we live a virtuous life of  profound awareness, we become deeply connected to ourselves. In such a state, we start becoming aware of our frailties. We start observing the ego in ourselves, thereby beginning to go beyond it.

   Ego can be a major blockade in one’s advancement on the spiritual path and in receiving Divine grace. The extent of its harm can be gauged from Ramakrishna Paramhansa’s dictum: 

“The water of God’s grace cannot collect on the high mound of egotism. It runs down.”

“You must be the change you want to see in the world…”

 

Dusron pe depend ho k koi b success nii pa sakta hai isliye–

Sabse pehle apko vo change apne andar lana hoga jo ki aap duniya me dekhna chahte hai. Iske liye apko khud hi initiative lena hoga.