Tag Archives: Social Sciences

Creativity???

By Malathy Madathilezham

Creativity_is_boundless_by_Pixelnase

Are you creative and how? Explain about your creativity? Blah, blah, blah creative skills/creativity? I am stumped by these questions!

Rendered speechless!

I am still looking for a perfect answer that would satisfy both me and the person asking that question…

Do I talk about of my flair for writing/sketching?

or

Do I talk about my interest in analysing situations/problem (of and for others :P) and coming out with ‘creative’ solutions!

or

Do I talk about the stupid/intelligent but creative one liners I sometimes pop while conversing/chatting with friends!!

Then again I find these kinds of questions absurd.

First of all, I believe that all of us are creative though not in the most obvious ways. But isn’t it true that all of us dream and other than the artists, musicians, authors there are some of us who can ‘spin’ great stories, cook innovative dishes, dress up in different styles and looks, make houses look like homes in different designs and create different kinds of ambiance and so many other way that we all use our creativity.And not all of these make for convincing answers!! 🙂

There is so much to talk about and share and personally I am not able to sum it up in few sentences which would also spark an interest in the listener… so whenever I am asked that question… I go blank and say something (which am sure is neither impressive nor interesting!) just to go to the next question…

Which may be equally confounded like – Where do you see yourselves five/ten years from now!! 😀 I do not really want to get into the nuances of answering that question right now… I think that would make for another good write up later on! So any suggestions on answering the creativity question is welcome!!

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The Night Before The Exams

night before exam

By Robin Choudhary

“ Wake up Robin.. !” Kushal, my roomate, called me, as I was sleeping, in an ever so wornout, cold and chilling evening on my uncovered shaky bed after those over- exhausting classes in the college. “HEY its roll call” he shouted and banged a dirty, dusty pillow on my head, and hell, that smelly stuff woke me up. I saw Ankit sleeping too, curled disoriented and incompletely aligned in another garbage-appearing bed. I never try wasting my already drained and sucked up energy to call such a huge mass who perhaps is, in mid of his deepest subconscious level of mesmerizing romantic dreams. So, it is therefore, a total waste of time, energy and resource to even try calling him up.

It was 7:00 pm; We all attended the roll call. The cool evening had shockingly taken form of a beautiful romantic atmosphere with cool air and light breezes framing its heavenly delight. “Best time to be with your girlfriend “ said Kushal, with seemingly dry hopes. “Yeah… but not the right topic to talk about, today” said Ankit.

And he was indeed, damn very right. We have our series exams starting from tomorrow, and god knows why the hell does this climate flawlessly shape itself to such a cool and cozy atmosphere, exactly when the exams start. These are those days, when we have to try staying awake late night to atleast make up with something to pass for the exam. And when something as soothing as this might surface itself so elegantly on a totally unwelcome phase of time, it is a crime, a merciless injustice that is showered on us.

Its about 8:00 pm. After having the coffee from h- pocket market, we all were walking together towards the flat to prepare for that gruesome war with tomorrows exam. As the romantic mood was still alive; on the way, Ankit was advising to Kushal with traditional concepts of love. One among them was in his over- joyous state and the other in over- sad state. But, with the armours of saint –like thoughts of Ankit, they were attacked flamboyantly by his infinite wisdoms and resolutions. Me and Jatin were as usually cracking jokes hearing them.

“WHAT IS THE SYLLABUS?” is probably the most famous and asked question of that time? Its 9 by now and no one among us have started studying yet. Slowly and gradually, I have started to feel the biting terror of syllabus and amount of modules to study. And as I held the photocopy, I gazed at the massive 2.8mb(82 slides) ppt on laptop and analysed the syllabus and time left, I had no choice but to insanely laugh at my state. It’s a state of expression, which, perhaps, only a laugh can fulfill.

And now every one in the room have started mugging, swallowing, cramming whatever they have to, with a pace directly proportional to the magnitude of syllabus. In this war, sleeping is like DIEING.

Its 12:00 pm, and I am already seeing dead bodies in my flat. Ankit is as if dragging from room to room with his red eyes and is slogging hard in a semi-dead state. I m pretty sure he will die soon too. But, there is one man, strong and robust. Undefeated by any sort of comfortable climate and is awaken this long with an enthusiastic sprit of scoring good marks. Jatin is always alive throughout the war, till the end. His weapons are his extraordinary mugging abilities and unpredictably launched illogical and senseless jokes, which he cracks, boundless of any time and place. Sometimes, figuring out what he said is more difficult than the studying itself. For me both are senseless anyway.

It was 2:00 am, now; even I have started to show signs of death in me. Jatin came from the other room with headphones stuffed in his ears, humming loudly. “Lets make Maggi” he said. At once came the reply “YES” by me, Ankit and Kushal in utter synchronization. MAGGI, at that point of time, is more valuable than even the luxury of gold and diamonds. We all were eating maggi when Anand woke up, still drenched in half dream, smelling strong the masala of it and like a baby he ate it and went to sleep again, as innocently as he just woke up. I wondered , how can smell of a maggi be stronger than taste of an unappeased exam.??

After eating the maggi, I had no other choice. Bed seemed like seducing me to sleep with it. Silence in my room, cool air from the window, Ankit sleeping on the bed and Kushal on the chair and topics becoming undigestable. Seriously , I had no other choice, nothing was in my favor. I was half paralyzed, over-drowsy and blank. I had to surrender my self to death, I went back to my immensely beautiful uncovered shaky bed n let die myself peacefully.

I closed my eyes to feel the hollow emptiness in my head. It was dark and silent but certainly very peaceful. I left it for the destiny to decide the result of this war. Yeah.!!Because, here, THE DEATH DOESN’T MEAN I AM LOST!!

 

 

Mindful?

Sharon Andrew, Happiness Evangelist at Happiest Minds Technologies, Bangalore, writes about being mindful of one another and treating each other with respect and kindkness.

31Take a simple test….

Extend your right forefinger (left, if you are left-handed)…

Draw the capital letter ‘E’ on your forehead.

Did you draw the letter that it faces you or in a way that the person looking at you can read it?

Neither way is right or wrong. But the direction of the letter reveals a lot about your disposition.

Social scientists have used this simple exercise to measure perspective taking – the ability to step outside one’s own experience and see the world from another’s viewpoint. Adam Galinsky and his colleagues at North Western University’s Kellogg School of Management used the E test and some other techniques to investigate the connection between power and empathy. They found that while most people took the other’s perspective, those who had a surplus of power seemed to be connected to a deficit of empathy. They write “On the altar of action orientation and tough-mindedness, we’ve sacrificed the fundamentally human quality of empathy”.

Daniel H Pink, the author of Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us says: The key is to strike a delicate balance between action-orientation and perspective-taking. It’s not a matter of deciding between hitting your numbers or drawing the E. It’s a matter of hitting your numbers by drawing the E.

When we empathise, we figure out what others think and feel; this forms the basis for meaningful and fruitful relationships and the ability to see things as others see them.

So let us be MINDFUL of one another. Let us EMPATHIZE more and treat each other with RESPECT and KINDNESS.

And the next time, we are asked to draw a vowel on our forehead, we know what to do :-)

The Relation Between Communication and Happiness

Communication is central to our success. It maintains and sustains relationships within a Company. The challenge is to channel the myriad communication means so that they enhance the Company’s competitiveness and bolster happiness. Read what  Sharon Andrew, Happiness Evangelist at Happiest Minds Technologies, Bangalore has to say about the relation between communication and happiness.

communicate

Communication is central to our success. It maintains and sustains relationships within a Company. The challenge is to channel the myriad communication means so that they enhance the Company’s competitiveness and bolster happiness.

Therefore, it is important to watch out for toxic communication patterns, referred to by John Gottman, psychologist at the University of Washington, as the ‘Four horsemen of the Apocalypse’.

  • Criticism – attacking the other’s actions and behaviours, conveying the I am Okay – You are not okay belief.
  • Contempt – attacking the other’s core sense of who they are: sarcasm, name-calling and hostility.
  • Defensiveness – refusing to listen to feedback received and defending our viewpoint.
  • Stonewalling – refusing to interact, not engaging in conversation, communicating via monosyllabic responses

To be the happiest person and create the happiest workplace, it is important that our communication is sustained, inclusive and transparent.

Our communication predicts our happiness.

What Has Science Taught us About Happiness

This post has been written by Sharon Andrew, Happiness Evangelist at Happiest Minds Technologies, Bangalore.

happiness

“The science of a meaningful life’ has exploded over the past 10 years, with many more studies published each year on gratitude, mindfulness, and other core themes than we saw a decade ago” say Jason Marsh, Lauren Klein and Jeremy Adam Smith in their article: 10 Things Science Taught Us About Happiness in 2012. (http://www.yesmagazine.org/happiness/10-things-science-taught-us-about-happiness-in-2012)

Three of the findings on living a meaningful life are:

Happiness is about RESPECT, not riches

Research suggests that money doesn’t buy happiness. Those who felt accepted, liked, included and welcomed were happier than those who were simply wealthier. The study (Anderson, Cameron, Kraus, Michael W., Galinsky, Adam D. and Keltner, Dacher (2012). The Local-Ladder Effect Social Status and Subjective Well-being, Psychological Science, Jul 12, Vol 23 (7), pp 764 – 771) found that happiness is strongly correlated with the level of respect and admiration we receive from our peers, which is defined as ‘sociometric status’ (as opposed to socioeconomic status). “You don’t have to be rich to be happy; but instead be a valuable contributing member to your group”.

KINDNESS is its own reward 

A study of children found that they spontaneously help people in need. They do this out of a deeply rooted concern for others and not the desire to please adults. Their kindness is motivated by deep, innatefeelings of compassion for others. (Hepach, Robert, Vaish, Amrisha, Tomasello, Michael (2012). Young Children Are Intrinsically Motivated to See Others Helped, Psychological Science, Sep 12, Vol 23 (9), pp 967 – 972). They appeared happier when they gave away a treat rather than when they received one. “Performing altruistic acts that involve some kind of personal sacrifice made them happier than helping…at no cost to themselves” (http://pss.sagepub.com/cgi/content/long/23/9/967)

euphoriaWe can train ourselves to be more COMPASSIONATE 

Stanford researcher Hooria Jazaieri and colleagues randomly assigned 100 adults to a nine-week compassion cultivation training program or to a ‘waitlist’ control condition. Participants completed surveys that measured compassion for others, receiving compassion from others and self-compassion, before and after taking the training program. Participants showed increases in compassion across the three parameters. This has far reaching implications for homes, companies and for society. (Jazaieri, Hooria et al. (2012). Enhancing Compassion: A Randomized Controlled Trial of a Compassion Cultivation Training Program, Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012)

Why Should You Learn a Foreign Language: a Learner’s Perspective

Learn Foreign Laguage

 

Anuj writes why learning another language apart from the one’s you know is so important in self as well as world development.

“Die Grenzen meiner Sprache bedeuten die Grenzen meiner Welt.”

The limits of my language are the limits of my universe. (Ludwig Wittgenstein)

Communication is the only thing that can bring people close to each other. The thread that connects people from diverse culture is called language. Learning a new language is a gradual process which could be real fun. Learning another language opens up new opportunities and gives you perspectives that you might never have encountered otherwise. People learn new languages for different reasons i.e. passion for learning new languages, job prospects, business reasons, pleasure, to build formal and informal relationships, etc.

A language is not an academic topic that you can pass or fail, but a means of communication. There is no failure here but various degrees of success while using a different language. Even a small success of being able to buy lunch in a new language, even with average grammar is worth being proud of. Hence when we learn a new language it’s always advisable to enjoy the process of learning it. This rejection of the mere idea to score marks will change the way you think and learn a new language, thereby making the process more fun.

“I speak English, so I don’t have to learn a foreign language”

Everyone speaks English, right? Well, certainly not everyone speaks English. According to the CIA World fact book, only 5.6 % of the world’s total population speaks English as a primary language. That number doubles when people who speak English as a second or third language are counted. By conservative estimates, that means that well over four-fifths of the world’s population does not speak English.

It’s true that English has become a global lingua franca over the past several decades. This fact, however, really should have little effect on your decision to learn a foreign language. The attitude that English alone is enough in fact creates self-imposed limitations. To remain monolingual is to stunt your educational development, to restrict your communication and thinking abilities, and to deny yourself the ability to fully appreciate and understand the world in which you live.

“No culture can live, if it attempts to be exclusive.” – MK. Gandhi, Indian Nationalist.

Learning another language gives the learner the ability to step inside the mind and context of that other culture. Without the ability to communicate and understand a culture on its own terms, true access to that culture is barred. For survival in the global community, every nation needs such individuals.

A person competent in other languages can bridge the gap between cultures, contribute to international diplomacy, promote national security and world peace, and successfully engage in international trade. As globalization and mobility and communications are bringing the world closer together, even more urgent is the need for global citizens to be competent in other languages.

Pedagogy

There are many places and ways to learn languages in any country. There are some well established institutes associated with teaching languages. The pedagogy followed may be slightly different but most of them concentrate on spoken and written communication. The language courses for each levels range from 3 to 6 months.  The good thing about certain institutes is the key principle of restricting students to use English or any other language apart from the one that is learnt.

A learner may feel like a fish out of the water initially but that changes for the better and he/she starts taking cue from the visuals, body language, symbols etc.  Certain Institutes do not even permit students to use a dictionary in class which may be surprising initially but is helpful in the long run. Thanks to these institutions that language has gained significant importance in many countries and this has encouraged people to become more dynamic.

If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.

(Nelson Mandela)