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This election has been, for many of us, a wake-up call. Not the joyful wake-up call of birds on your windows, entreating you to open your eyes to the sunrise over mountaintops, not the wake up of roos...
'Nations need idiots; otherwise who is going to fight the wars?'
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The fear is that perhaps one is a bad person. The fear is that we may discover that we are a bad person after having cultivated an image of being a good person. We appear to be a good person—we...
I'm now in my 30s, and have accumulated a bunch of experiences in the journey so far. One tough move for me was to take the plunge and follow my calling. It took me a year or maybe more than that to finally do it. And every time in that one year, my little heart said just do it, my mind told the heart, speak when you're spoken to!
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For five days I was away from the world, without newspapers, clocks, alarms, doorbells and television. But during a trek up in the mountains, the cell phone caught a whiff of network - that's when we came to know of the Paris attacks. Along with the news, I read enough comments dripping with hatred and suspicion to wish the network away. Thankfully, the cell phone tower obliged and I sunk back into oblivion. But the sharp words kept gnawing at me.
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I respect women. I actively participate in candlelight marches for rape victims. I write Facebook posts supporting women's empowerment and liberation. I project myself as a man of the changing world and try to embody its evolved approach towards women. I am a man who fears everything. Yet, when I introspect and look into the depths of my heart, I realise I don't believe enough in my own beliefs.
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When fear comes, what to do? Why should you ask to do anything? When there is fear, be afraid! Why create a duality? When moments of fear come be fearful, tremble with fear, allow fear to take possession. Why this constant inquiry: What to do? Can't you allow life in any way to take possession of you?
My father, who went to jail for two-and-a-half years in 1942 for his role in the independence movement, told me that the greatest gift that Gandhiji gave to all Indians (besides independence) was to rid them of their fear of Englishmen. This removal of fear brought in a quantum jump in the mindset of Indians and made them aware that they could manage their own affairs with their own people.
In Buddhist terms, all of the problems in our society stem from a lack of understanding, a fear of the unknown. When we challenge this ignorance through logic, through reasoning, through tapping into our boundless internal resources of wisdom and compassion, we manifest hope - not just for ourselves, but for our world.