HEARTBEATS – amazing humans

The world is going through innumerable predicaments like terrorism,  detrimental effects of criminal minds through the modern tools of social media, economic instability, religious atrocities, and ever expanding crimes of various nature, but the most unfortunate reality is the inability of human beings to realize and understand that human beings are possessed with unlimited power to transform their lives positively, against all odds, and negativity, though easily accessible, may not be the sole solution.

There are many examples of human beings who have proved this time and again, in human history and yet we somehow appear to be unwilling to accept this miraculous ability of man.  We are aware that conspicuous changes in the society and life styles of human beings have been the result of extra ordinary efforts and achievements of ordinary people, and not by extra ordinary and super intelligent people, academic achievers, technocrats, or so called professionals.

The boy who was rejected by schools saying that he does not possess average intelligence, forcing his mother to teach him at home, and later when he became inventor of 1098 discoveries extremely useful to mankind, Thomas Alva Addison, proved the extra ordinary merit of human mind.  The extra ordinary lives of Joan of Arc, Helen Keller, Florence Nightingale, Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Junior, Nelson Mandela, Winston Churchill, and so on, the list of extra ordinary game changers the world has seen is endless.

There are living examples too in Mata Amritanandamayi, who is only lower primary school educated, knows only one language Malayalam, and yet is capable of addressing millions all over the globe, Arnold Schwarzenegger, six times Mr. Universe title holder, evergreen Hollywood Hero, Governor of California, who was actually an amazingly slender boy when he entered the gym for the first time, Oprah Winfrey who was raped by a group of boys and thrown in a garden in New York, who became host of the world famous Oprah Winfrey Show on TV, actor, producer, and a woman of substance, presently draws a salary of $75 million, with a net worth of $3.1 billion, as per Wikipedia, and many others, the list of living examples of amazing humans is again endless, and growing.

Why is it that only a few are able to realise their potential fully while a majority of others are not only unable to realise it but they succumb to failure, depression, and perennial miseries, leading to even suicidal tendencies.  There have been enough evidences to show that the main reason for such disharmony of lives is because majority of aspirants are extremely worried about tomorrow or the future, which is uncertain and unpredictable, afraid of failure and uncertainties, which knowingly or unknowingly keep on drawing their attention from the tasks at hand.

In fact if you do things at hand superbly and excellently well putting your full energy to use, leaving no room for any sort of anxiety, it will automatically make you successful and safeguard your future.  In fact this is the secret of success of all the extra ordinary achievers mentioned above.  But ordinary people make them the role models, get inspired and venture to emulate mainly focusing on their success stories, rather than inner strengths.

Gopalakrishnan Naduvathery



HEARTBEATS – Knowledge Explosion

In the 1970s Encyclopedia Britannica used to be available for sales on door-to-door basis in Mumbai, and knowledge enthusiasts used to buy, and array the big volumes in their show cases, in the office or residence as a dignified possession, while making use of it for acquiring knowledge.  Though the original cost was about 56k rupees, subject to my memory being correct, it used to be offered for a price range of 2.5k to 5.0k rupees depending on the edition of publication.

The printed version of Britannica used to be the biggest knowledge bank, with 32 volumes, 32640 pages, 40 million words, containing 65000 articles, covering half a million topics.,  The last print edition was in 2010 and subsequently it has been digitalized.  It is constantly being updated and now covers more than 120000 articles in digital form.  Today encyclopedia of various kinds are also available on the net.

Whatsapp also has taken the shape of an encyclopedia in reality with voluminous messages, videos, and news being presented by enthusiasts.  If you gather all the messages and information being transpired, it will become nothing less than a huge knowledge bank.  You may be right, if you think for a moment, that if people respond to the Whatsapp messages, grasp them, and put them into practice, their life will be so noble and great, because the messages floating around are advisory and motivational in nature.  We are, of course, first and foremost, experts in improving life of others.  However, the flow of information has become so majestic and voluminous that it has gone beyond our capacity to handle, and people have compulsively started turning a blind eye towards them.  The reactions are same towards all digital communications.

Psychologists have suggested that there are many reasons as to why we start neglecting messages, like being too busy and no time to view, being lazy, and unwilling to read and react, being fed up of receiving unsolicited information, and data, and even an egoistic attitude of – we know all.

According to me, the most alarming reason is that we are bored, and we have entered a state of getting ‘used to it’, and our Whatsapp and other social media sites have become post offices, where messages come and go, some times get read, get re-forwarded, get deleted, and they have actually become ritualistic, and don’t really stick to our heart.

This is human nature,.  We get used to everything in life, over a period of time, and get bored with repetitions, since they are forcible encroachments into our life.  Anything given free has no value in the long run and if it voluminous, God save us.  The phenomena of getting used to, affects every aspect of our life.  It happens in marriage and friendship as well.  Even slaves start getting used to slavery over a period of time, and they start deriving happiness out of it.

The latest report is that the attention span of humans has come down to 8 seconds from 12 in 2000.  It’s 9 seconds in case of gold fish.  We have gone below gold fish, and the way things are going, there is every possibility that it will still go down, because our mind also is becoming post office, life also is becoming post office, monotonous, and boring, with nothing to contribute, as everything is available off the shelf.  Human beings want constant changes in the presentation, contents, actions, and reactions too.  ‘Variety is the spice of life’.

What is the solution? Simple!  Don’t forget the old habits of reading, writing, live interaction, live socialization, and live responses. Don’t rely only on messages with selfies and videos conveying ‘love you’, ‘miss you’, and so on, and don’t ever avoid personal meetings, and live shopping, even though social media and online shopping facilities are available.  Keep up with the enthusiasm of life and the fragrance of live relationships.  It will be worthwhile to concentrate on lively energizing and motivating the partner.



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HEARTBEATS – The Vanishing Individual

Sound waves can travel at 1100 feet per second and in a digitalized communication network, information can travel at 15000 miles in an instant, as per David Brooks (The Social Animal).  The impact of digitization is so colossal that the cognitive capacity of humans cannot keep pace with it and the humanly created barriers like geographical boundaries, religion, caste, creed, or color also become totally irrelevant as far as human life is concerned.  One has to agree, however, that “the most important part of the journey of communication is the distance between a person’s eyes or ears, and the various regions of the brain”, to comprehend the communication explosion without which the entire communication process is meaningless like talking to a buffalo.  How are we making use of the information being communicated, how are we adapting the ideas and emotions being percolated out of it, or are there any cultural or social compulsions distorting the way it is required to be understood, are the questions for which we need to seek pertinent answers.

Look at the way a religious bend of mind working against the society, by presenting twisted ideologies suiting to certain segments of the members, which is almost at par in all religions, in total disregard of the fact that religions have caused elimination of maximum lives from the society than any other cause.  All the identities, differences and discriminations are humanly created basically resulting in refusal of freedom to the human soul.

At this stage, it is noteworthy to recollect a Whatsapp message from a friend of mine which reads “I am a Patidhar, I am a Rajput, I am a Chaudhary, I am a Jain, I am a Thakkar, I am  Barot, I am a Brahmin, I am a Hindu, I am Christian, I am a Muslim, and so on, and this is the only reason why Britishers could rule India for 200 years, because they found no Indians in India”.  Although this is not an authenticated statement it appears to accompany an element of truth within.  It is most unfortunate that almost the same situation persists even today, and we seldom find pure Indians without those identities in India, and what we have lost is pure Indianness, in spite of the fact that the religious knots which we so proudly hold on to, actually rests in the hands of a nurse in a maternity hospital, isn’t it? Isn’t it high time that we realize that the conceptual barriers dividing humanity have to be totally neglected looking at mankind as a whole and the identity of a global citizenship?

A person who is born and brought up in New York, for instance, though belonging to a Community in Kerala, cannot rationally hold on to the localized concepts belonging to that community back home, and reduce his global stature, which will be inviting adversity intentionally.  Today we have to view things with a different perspective particularly loving your neighbors rather than distant relatives.

In the digitalized communication world, we are forced to react or gulp down the information, having no chance to make attempts to comprehend, and being at the receiving end without participation, we often land up in frustration and heightened anxiety.  An entire life we used to spend in acquiring knowledge and information, which are now readily accessible any time, and what remains is a life totally dull, unproductive and monotonous, as there is nothing more to do, and nothing more to achieve.  The focus on relationship, understanding and empathisation have become impractical and outdated concepts.

Life demands live socialization, and activities to make it more merrier, with some sort of mechanical and quick fix solutions, have become the call of the day.  Passion and instincts used to be the supreme force behind any action, but not any more.  Gadgets and data have taken over.  Logic and rationality have taken over every bit of it.

In the digitalized world of communication, every caller is desirous to get connected to a human being, which every service providers have started realizing.  After pressing 1 to 8 for various services, the customer is asked to press one more button to speak with a human customer service representative, who will be always busy, forcing the customer to hang out.  The deprivation of human touch will cost us heavily in the form of a desperate and dissolutioned customer segment.

Gopalakrishnan Naduvathery