Humanity

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Why Are We So Idiotic?

Imagine if suddenly the astronomers discover a planet, within reaching distance, just like Earth. How excited everyone would be. Let's say it has oceans and lakes, has a good temperature for humans, h...

The America I Know, The Humanity I Kno

I start to write this as I sit in a coffee shop in a mall in India. It's early August. The monsoon is ending, but it feels like the beginning. The heavens have favoured this parched land, and the earth and leaves appear nourished, refreshed and renewed. It has been difficult to avoid another spectacular deluge taking place on the other side of the world -- the dissonant downpour of the US Presidential election. I am protected by a loyal umbrella: my unshakable faith in humanity.
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Mothers Are The Most Creative Beings On Earth

You are creating a human being--that is the greatest creation! A painter paints a picture; we call it great art. Picasso--we call him a great artist. But what about the mother who created Picasso? A poet writes beautiful poems, but what about the mother who created Shakespeare? We don't think about mothers as the greatest creative people on Earth.
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Why You Shouldn't Bother To Be ‘Good'

All these ideas of being good are of postponement. How can you be good right now? You will have to wait for tomorrow. To be good means to train, to discipline yourself, to drop many things, to grow new qualities, to have a new character, morality. Of course it is going to be very painful because you will constantly be in a fight with yourself. Anything that creates a rift in your being is ugly.
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Shit, My Best Friend Is a Muslim

In these troubled times, with the attacks in Paris, Lebanon, Pathankot and beyond creating a climate of fear, I feel the collective and justified hatred towards religious terrorism. But when this hatred spills over to every human being practising Islam, I fear for my friend. And that's when I think, "Shit, my best friend is a Muslim."
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Loving Another Is A Difficult Job

Jean-Paul Sartre is not absolutely wrong when he says the other is hell. Alone you can be silent, peaceful. With the other everything becomes difficult, everything becomes a conflict. The very presence of the other makes demands on you. You have to be very compassionate, very kind, to not get caught into an intimate enmity; otherwise the other is going to become a hell to you.
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Don't Control Your Anger, Transform It

You can control your anger, but what will you do? You will suppress it. And what happens when you suppress a certain thing? The direction of its movement changes: it was going out, and if you suppress it, it starts going in -- just its direction changes. And for anger to go out was good, because the poison needs to be thrown out.
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All You Need Is... Science (But With A Difference)

Neil deGrasse Tyson recently explained that the meaning of science "can be summarized in one sentence, which is all about objectivity: Do whatever it takes to avoid fooling yourself into thinking something is true that is not, or that something is not true that is." Like almost all contemporary scientists, he has not quite followed his own guidelines: he is only giving us half the story. By "objectivity," he is talking about a science that discovers what is "out there." But what about the science that discovers what is "in here"?
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Where Survival Is Religion, Is There Really Time To Hate?

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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Violence Is Man's Conditioning

Violence is inevitable for beasts, it is a responsibility for man. It is a fact for beasts, for man it is merely a historical memory. It is the present for beasts, it is past for man. We have the choice in front of us. Man can take a decision to be nonviolent; he can take a decision to be violent also. That is why when a certain person takes a decision to be violent, no beast can compete with him.
Amrit Sharma

Photoblog: The Everyday Heroes of Sindhupalchowk District

I'm devastated and disturbed after spending the day in the mountains of Nepal's Sindhupalchowk District with Dr Fahim Rahim. He chartered a private helicopter to deliver food and plastic tarps to several remote villages, which have been completely flattened by the earthquake. Today I realised that most professional journalists and bloggers (including myself) have gotten it so wrong. The story of the Nepal earthquake is not about the rubble, it's about the people.