In a forum discussing on violence against children, I got to know that more than 80% of child abuses are done by the family members or the immediate relatives. ‘Why?’ my heart cried.
Then the answer came. Children are warned about the outsiders: Do not get in to vehicles, do not talk with people you don’t know. But, family and relatives are assumed to be trustworthy. Because they are assumed trustworthy, children have no doubts about what they do to children. Children even think that is how they are treated. So they do not raise the question. They offer the least or no resistance. And the abuse may go on for a long time, before it is uncovered.
One solution came up is teaching children about ‘good touch and bad touch’. Schools in Europe educate the children about it. It’s a good thing. Children can make up their own mind. They are educated. They can decide.
There’s always a peculiar reason for weird things. But isn’t it the most obvious reason?
Why we fail to see is our assumptions about the world. In this case the wrong assumption was : family and relatives are protectors, keep away from outsiders, they can harm you.
Think of a peculiar reason, when confronted with problems and assumptions.
Augmented reality (AR) and Virtual reality (VR) will transform humans in to smartphone addicts. Make no mistake, it will make humans super addicted, most of the time to something not real. Marketers and sellers would decide what should be your bubble. Though you may think you have access to all the information in the word, in truth what happens is the feed that you get is tailored based on your likes and views. If you like ‘samsung’, you will get more of them. More and more of them. If you don’t like ‘Trump’ you will get more of anti trump news. And that creates your bubble. You are served inside your bubble. And you like it because you obviously like it, and you will think that world is what you think it is.
AR and VR will layer a digital film on top of the realness you see in the world. You see something, you click on them, and you’ll get what marketers want you to see. You will consume more. Tech founders are excited about this new phenomena ” this will make people connected and help build communities”. Yeah ? we have mostly become self obsessed with selfies, digging for gossips to kill our creative time, and become slaves to e-commerce. That’s what has happened up to now, with these wonderful connectivity.
‘Building communities’ is to be sold. That’s what social media has achieved wonderfully well so far. And if you think that new layers of tech, diving in to your cameras to make more pics an videos more interactive, will build communities? . Think about it. How many hours of your day is sucked in to social media now ? Will it get less ? Will AR and VR reduce your fear of missing out ?
I am traveling in a Leyland bus ( Fort to Anuradhapura). I looked at everyone seated. All had their necks tilted, scrolling the world through facebook and chat apps.
Internet and mobile phones are so common now that we do not even think of “offline”.
I was in a workshop. I heard ” if we can get more people online, the better the world would be”.
I thought rise of social media will help us to solve problems. I thought the more we are connected, the more motivated we will be to solve problems.
After 10 years, we are connected so dense, in a manner we did not imagined. We are connected to gossips, selfies, games and shopping. We want to show we are better than others. That’s how dense we are connected.
Whatever the situation, hygiene of the mind is important. Whatever we put in to our mind, it takes hold of us as the reality, if we feed too much of the same.
If you scroll through FaceBook, every moment you get a chance to look in to your phone, you will be very much conditioned by your feed. Your ability to be in the moment will be compromised.
If you watch too much crime/war drama, your ability to see humans as peace loving will be very low.
If you have abusive, bullying friends, your ability to treat other people with goodness will be less likely.
If you have low trust with in your team, your next action better be trustworthy. Every action you take otherwise will be another step towards the breaking point. Everyone has a breaking point for everything.
Gossip brewed in news channels, pushes audience to their breakpoint of critical thinking. May be that’s what media channels want, yet hygienically not good for our minds. It makes us to be caustic and skeptical about even good things, even good people. People will start doubting the ability of humans to be human. They will stop believing that a human can help another human with no expectation of a return. People will love gadgets more, and would want robots to get things done. Singularity* seems a great tipping point in human evolution. May also be the breaking point.
Singularity * – The technological singularity is the hypothesis that the invention of artificial super intelligence will abruptly trigger runaway technological growth, resulting in unfathomable changes to human civilizations (Wikipedia)
Bakery business is more or less the same, especially in my neighbourhood. But there’s a bakery I like, I go there often. The food is good, tea is fine, yet there are places where food is much better than here. So why?. I go there for the warmth of a chat over a tea.
I know the staff well. Customers also connect with customers, because the staff engages them. We share our experiences. There are stories to tell and listen. Laughter. There are limits for topics. It’s not intrusive.
I get to eat on days when I forgot to bring in money, or when cash is short. I will pay on next day I’m there.
Somedays, I let them keep the change if they don’t have it. Next day they remember and deduct. There’s a natural balance, like a home.
There are other branches around the city by the same bakery owner. But they are not like this.
There’s one person here, who is friendly and duty conscious. He spreads caring to his team and then to customers. Who says one person cannot make much change in an organisation ?
Though many say “time is money”, time in organisations is not actually treated in the way we treat money.
Organisations in meeting rooms waste hundreds or hours in few hours.
I was recently at a meeting with 25 people for 2 hours. That is 50 man hours. What we achieved ? – confusion and boredom. Only one decision was taken. That could have easily achieved through one email.
Many want consensus in decision making. It’s all good. But we simply forget how difficult to get consensus even between 2 people. Try deciding what movie to watch with your spouse, if you think consensus is easy.
Rather, focus on what people want. Ask questions, and be ready to accept answers as they are. Be bold to be surprised and vulnerable. Think “there’s always a better way to do things, even routine activities”. Then act differently. Courage to act after getting that feedback is the loop that keeps you improving.
To get feedback, you don’t need meetings. Feedback can happen in your way to the water dispenser, with the right question. Sometimes humans are relaxed and more responsive when they are standing on their feet. You don’t need to have an answer. But you need to have the mind space to accept the response to your question.
There comes a time in our lives, we are sick and tired of talk and want to do stuff. Anything, but talk.
The frustration that our thoughts do not matter is an acute feeling. It cripples us.
However, action done right or done wrong has a solid realness that we can relate to, no matter how insignificant we think it is.
Send that email that is in drafts, pull out those admin tasks you delayed for so long, make that phone call you are irritated to take. Whatever that gets something done.
Watching entertaining late night political talk shows, and engaging in social media storms feels like we are on a rocking chair. We engage in those nonsense with all the people we meet in our lives. We are moving, but going no where. Somewhere down that slippery slope we think we don’t matter.
The world around me, is created inside me, by what I put inside my head. And how I feel about it in my heart.
Thameera asked me “why you need news at all?” and shared this post on how I can go newsless.
I thought it is not possible, because I thought I need to know what is happening.
But then I realised most of the news I consume is not healthy for my sanity and have nothing to do with my circle of influence. They are some manufactured pieces of stories to keep my attention from real stuff that I can make a change.
It was time for a strict diet.
I unfollowed all media twitter accounts. Did same for Facebook media pages.
There were friends who were sharing news content too frequently. I ‘muted’ them on twitter, and unfollowed on FB, so that their posts will not get on my feed. But I am still following them on twitter and still friends of Facebook. No hard feelings, just that I am on a strict diet for a while.
Signed off from all news portals I have subscribed to.
It’s now 9 days. Here’s what has happened.
I was used to check social media and click on links that ushered me to news sites early in my day. Now, because I am on strict diet, and I had to form a new habit, I turned to meditation early in the morning. I would get up, and meditate after a cup of tea. Mind was all over the place. But I knew how to sit still and just watch the breath, because I have been doing it for a long time. Yet somewhere down the line, that habit of meditating first thing in the morning, gathered dust. 30 minutes of meditation activated that habit, and I am so glad.
Then I would write my journal to get my agitated thoughts out of my system, or if my thought process is refined, I would just open a word document and punch on keyboard to create a blog post. Just like this one. And you can see I am still not on internet. So that is 15 minutes of writing.
Then my mind is settled and ready for work. I take the most important ( usually the hardest) task in my to do list and do it for 15 minutes. Usually it is a simple mind map to gather my thoughts, an email or a report. So, 15 minutes of the most important task.
During the day in breaks between work, instead of social media snacks, now I consume books. Real books, not e-books. I finished reading a fiction. This was after a very long time, I mean, last time I completed a fiction in straight go was more than 2 years back. That felt really good.
I cannot explain the soothing peacefulness I experience, because it is simply beyond words.
So much gratitude to Thameera for sharing that article.