Thursday, 7 January 2016

Small pockets but large hearts

Last night commenting on the parable of the multiplication of loaves by Jesus, Fr Palli offered the boys another version of the 'miracle'.  He said that perhaps Jesus did not really 'multiply' bread and fish.  But how then did the five thousand men eat to their fill?  Well, they certainly had their own tiffin boxes and carriages.  All that Jesus really did was touch their hearts to help them be generous enough to share with all what each one already had.  Thus not only was the food sufficient but there was extra/left overs too.

He concluded his goodnight thought saying: Even if the pocket is small but the heart is big, wondrous things can be done!

I guess this is the real story of most of our benefactors.  People with small pockets but large hearts!

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Praise... the right kind

I came across a very interesting and highly educative RSA doodle about the link between praise and learning.  The basic premise is about what are the success indicators, the educators or adults endorse? We may praise a kid for being smart ... and possibly ruin his future efforts or praise the kid for his effort and keep alive the innovative streak in him.  It is ultimately important to challenge and help children try different and difficult tasks and all along praise the effort, not the results or the already gifted skills.

Some profound insights from the video: 
  • Praise the process rather than intelligence itself.
  • The latter leads children to a performance or achievement oriented direction; the former (praise for process) leads to further efforts, even if the child suffers setbacks or failures.
  • The focus is to help children stay engaged and eager to learn, rather than achieve results.
  • When a child says 'it is boring', it actually means the child is afraid to try!
  • Convey a value system to children (that hard work is more valuable than rank; that effort is more fulfilling than appearing smart; that honing one's skill is better than resting on one's talent...)
  • Keep alive the learning curve... learn at all times and at all costs.

Shutter-happy

Another great vivid example of how 'shutter-happy' most people are was 'enacted' out today in our campus.  The daughter of the former Chief Minister, Mr YSR, Ms Sharmila made a stop at our place this afternoon.  The request was to let her, and her alone, have lunch in our dining hall. It was agreed on condition that her whole entourage  not follow her inside the house.  She was to have reached our place by 1 pm.  She made it only at 2.30 pm and when she did enter the campus, she decided to have her lunch in her caravan itself.  Her bevy of ministers though took the chance to eat indoors in our community dining hall.  Luckily they kept their promise of getting their own food.

Well that was one part of it.  The real point is the drama that unfolded when she came out of her caravan after lunch.  Everyone trying desperately to come close to her and get a photo clicked.  Barely was anyone interested in listening to her or letting anyone - anyone at all - to speak!  Everyone just wanted to crowd around her.  Perhaps I was the only fool who was watching all this from far, having made some arrangements for meals for the hungry bodyguards.

Some of our staff members were quite surprised to see me comfortably sitting at the entrance porch showing no sign of interest in joining the crowd!  Neither did they understand my wonder at their craze in being amidst a sea of people!  When the whole crowd dispersed I heard one of our staff members asking another staff member who clicked some photos to send him the photos so that he could upload them on his facebook page! Umph!

I suppose, each one is a city - an eccentricity! 

Monday, 4 January 2016

Creative enthusiasm

Two youngsters, whom I've met a couple of times already, in the past two weeks or so have begun to earn my appreciation. One has an MBA and another is a web designer by qualification.  Both of them have teamed up to bring out a rather qualitative year planner.  Not just a planner but one with some thought and research involved.  They tell me that this is not their maiden venture either.

What I find interesting in these youngsters is the enthusiasm to do something new and different.  In the process they are also earning something.  But the freshness and creativity and enthusiasm for finesse and quality is something worth emulating.  They are not just a couple of guys who are keen on earning big bucks by getting employed by some corporate sector bigwig.  They are out on their own, experimenting, kindling their creative genes and exploring... and most importantly enjoying!

The making of a legend

After much delay and deliberation and delayed deliberation I continued reading the novel which has been rolling around my bed and table since two months... untouched!!  Now that it has reached my office table, I forget the title really.

It is a rather interesting one by Amish about the Immortals of Meluha (I think that's the title). It is about a man of no distinct nobility rising up the ranks of hierarchy primarily due to a particular sign (a blue throat).  I'm still in the initial chapter wherein most people who see this person are all awe and show extreme reverence.  There are a couple of skeptics but very very few who recognise the sign and yet behave normally.  The person himself is yet to understand the significance of the special trait for which he is almost revered.  However, I was struck by one quote therein:
... whether a man is a legend or not is decided by history, not fortune-tellers.  
No on becomes great or let me use the right word, noble just because he has some features already he is blessed with or has some inborn talents.  It is basically what one does with what one is blessed with that makes him or her noble.

Friday, 1 January 2016

New Year's Resolution

Firmly convinced of the futility, further endorsed by Mark Twain's comment, of new year resolutions, I haven't even thought of one (or any)
... harmless annual institution, of no particular use to anybody... 
Read more of Mark Twain's thoughts here.

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