HEARTBEATS 2021 : Who Dares Question Our Intelligence?

DEDICATION: To my mother beloved who, I am sure, eternally holds my hands

When it was reported that the attention span of gold-fish has become more than human beings, with twelve seconds and nine seconds respectively, the possible cause was attributed to the impact of social media making human brain redundant.  With abundance of knowledge and information floating around on the social media platforms available on the press of a button, the thrill of human brain to seek knowledge and enrich life has become less and less challenging.  Although in reality knowledge goes one way and life the other, the human challenge was to become more and more knowledgeable in life.  This thrill of life we are losing day by day due to knowledge explosion.

However, the reality is not so bad as per the reports in the Journal of Memory Study.   Research by Prof. Risko and Gilbert 2016 of two groups, one experts in using Google and the other with less expertise, it was found that the group who could use Google faster performed well than the other.  Yes, of course, the usage pattern of data through the social media has acquired momentum compared with the olden era of memorization.  In fact, just like the fire created by ancient man by rubbing stones life has taken us to LED bulbs, bullock carts to rockets, and so on, social media has transformed human life by leaps and bounds.  It is an alternative route discovered by human beings, called ‘cognitive off-loading’ and is the modern method of enhanced human intelligence.  It opened up a new vista, a new world, a new era, and a new trend for the human mind to explore.

Has availability of knowledge on finger tips actually reduced the human intelligence?  Actually not, as it opens up new and intelligent areas for the brain to explore.  The researchers ask a question, whether the calculators, computers,and other gadgets have actually reduced the capacity and intelligence of humans? No it has happened the other way because the world has become  a big platform.

Today my six-year-old grandson possess latest knowledge in making use of social media and finding answers to any problem.  The challenges also have increased.  People with specialized skills are in demand.  Those who can’t keep pace with the change have to be left out.  It will have the impact of virtual world affecting human body in different levels necessitating people with different skill levels to tackle them.  All the mechanical and at all levels repeat actions with no value additions are being subjected to automation.  Robots and new technologies are taking over the workplaces.  People across the world are loosing jobs.  The dictum “keep pace or be left our” has become a reality.

Today in many developed countries you won’t find people breaking rock pieces by hand in a road making process.  You won’t find a road roller with stone wheels.  Similarly you will find all workplaces getting transformed. It’s a pace of life.  The changes nobody can stop.  In fact the change is the perpetual factor.

My opinion is that the human intelligence has multiplied and it has developed the capabilities to handle multi tasking and meeting deadlines to achieve the objectives.  Only the life is shifting to a different level, probably the human body isexperiencing  limitations to withstand the virtual impacts.  Perhaps people are requuired to spend more energy, time, and resources to tackle the new life styles.  The mushrooming wellness clinics, gyms, investment patterns, life style changes, are staring at humanity with an unpredictable future.

HEARTBEATS invite you to open your heart and share your HEARTBEATS .  Let us start a discussion and enhance our knowledge to strengthen our capabilities to face the challenges of the future.  Please offer your comments on this site.  Thanks.





















HEARTBEATS 2021:Man Is Working Against Himself!

There will be no human being who, at least once, has not thought of committing suicide. This is due to the faculty of ability to think, judge, and evaluate, and the thing called intelligence.  This ability also ignites the ego or the process of feeling proud of one’s achievements and inability to face failure.  In the absence of this thinking process, human being will be living like other animals with the common purpose of eat and mate, and there will be no occasions for emotional imbalances.  You can’t find a tiger or a lion got dejected and committed suicide irrespective of the number of times they fail to get a prey, there is nothing called failure in their life.  .

The Police Horse Shaktiman which was brutally attacked by a member of Parliament in the state of Haryana in India in the recent past is an example of heightened human ego.  The expressions of the MP in the video give rise to an impression that the horse is an enemy of humans and the MP a savior.  The attack has resulted in amputation of its leg, and the horse could only stand for days before it succumbed to death.  Since Shaktiman is an official member of the police staff, an attack on it is actually an attack on the police force.

The fact that the horse was a means of mobility of human beings, much before the automobiles were invented, and it has been instrumental in transforming the lives of humans in the universe, actually demanded gratitude and support from humans, though it may not mean anything  today after the invention of supersonic jets and rockets.  In such circumstances, if humans become extremely egoistic and nurture the tendency to ignore the horse, it is natural, though deplorable on the part of humans.

There have been ordinary human beings in history who have proved themselves as extra ordinary like Alexander Graham Bell who invented the phone, Thomas Alva Edison who authored about 1100 discoveries most useful to humans, Isaac Newton who invented the gravitational pull of the earth, and many more.  They have been the torch bearers of human progress.  Along with all these gifted humans there have also been people like Adolf Hitler, Idi Amin, Alexander the Great, Napoleon, and many others who have adopted the aggressive way of life and spent their lives to prove their worth, and at the same time we also had ideologists like the Mahatma, Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, and the like who have led humanity to the path of oneness and love.  We have seen that the word God has emerged from ‘good’, and the word Devil has emerged from ‘evil’.  Thanks to Osho the revolutionary mystic and writer who has advocated this concept.  The fact is that God and Devil have existed all along side by side and will continue toi do so.

Human beings have experienced the menace of slavery and its impacts from ages, and though we claim to have eliminated slavery, actually it exists in various forms even in modern society, even inside our houses, though the life styles of humans have tremendously improved and progressed over the years, thanks to the efforts of some planners, policy makers, and administrators, who continuously worked on education, freedom of expression, civil liberties, and human rights due to which we have been able to enjoy quality life in many part of the world.

We have also seen that, apart from slavery, the industrialization process from the sixteenth century that our factories were mostly working with the hard labor of children. Children were made to work even for 18 hours a day in our factories, while all the fruits of economic progress were being enjoyed by the few who were owners of the factories.  Acute poverty, and sufferings have forced the parents to surrender to the temptations to put their children to work, and even today we find such stray cases  here and there.

Therefore, child labour, slavery, human trafficking, and exploitation of the weak and infirm, have been the areas of interest for many from time immemorial, and we have not been able to overcome these negativities of human nature completely.  Actually these negativities exist in different shapes and forms blocking the progress of humanity, in spite of continuous efforts of many to get them eliminated.  Like the horse which was a pride possession of humans such negativities too have existed and existence of terrorism, religious hatred, atrocities on fellow humans, and cruelty towards animals, all are examples.

Today we have to recognize the presence of far more superior thinking process and we have really become universal personalities.  Today even young girls are seeking partnership in marriage rather than a one-sided social contract.  We have spent our resources, time, and energy to make our students, especially the down-trodden, able minded and conscious citizens, by showing them the Martyrs like Bhagat Singh who faced the gallows with smile as our heroes, and consequently when we find that student leaders like Kanhaya Kumar emerging as exemplary leaders, and when they point fingers at us, standing by the constitution and complying with our recommendation to ask questions, we are unable to bear.  However, how long can we go on breaking such fingers?  How long can we bear the somber and gloomy situation that we are in today.


HEARTBEATS – Few make it, many fail!

“Knowledge is power” we all know this well.  Awareness of this fact persuade most of us to strive for acquiring maximum knowledge in life.  We do everything possible and attempt even the seemingly impossible methods to make sure that our knowledge level is always at the peak, so is our anxiety to make our near and dear ones also more and more knowledgeable and talented.  See where the education sector has taken human society.

This knowledge mission has made us enter into a fiercely competitive age, and the process has undergone a wide variety of experiments and methods, and landed us in a situation where information and data have taken over theories completely.  We have of course become proficient enough in the field of acquiring, imparting and making use of knowledge.  In fact proficiency is at our finger tips.  What about efficiency?  As against proficiency which is the expertise in the area of our focus, efficiency is our talent or ability in life to make use of our proficiency in a nutshell.

Where both efficiency and proficiency meet, success emerges on its own.  Although life does not go the way we want, and at times, we experience the presence of some invisible energy, we may call it luck, fate, or whatever, yet the role of personal efforts, and the impact of environment cannot be overestimated.  In Psychology we call it the effect of nature and nurture.

The incidences of people who are highly proficient in their professional field, but a failure in practical life, are the people who gave their life to their professions, but ignored the life lessons, of loving, sharing, and caring.



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HEARTBEATS – The Golden Age

It’s a fact beyond doubt that age brings in tremendous changes in our life, affecting all of us without any exception.  While physical changes happen in front of our eyes, there are changes happening in our cognitive abilities, which largely depend on the biological changes happening in our brain.  Research findings reveal that while physical abilities do decrease as we age, the person gains more experience, maturity, practical knowledge of handling life situations, and acquires a wider knowledge base as the age goes up.

On nearing the sixties people start looking at you differently, naturally creating a feeling in you that you are getting old, and perpetuating your perception that you are likely to enter the last phase of your life “retired”.  The surroundings also makes you feel that you are actually becoming good-for-nothing, and your age, health conditions, and old age predicaments in general, will be a talk of the town in your circles of friends and relatives, and often there will be reprimands as well demanding you to take more care, and you may be  naturally needing more and more attention, but actually appear to be receiving less and less of it, sometimes have to face rejection, and may be even ultimate abandonment, in reality.

Research findings suggest that while there may be some decline on the episodic memory (memory of experiences associated with a particular time and space), the semantic memory (general knowledge) largely remains in tact.  Procedural memory or the knowledge level of performing any skilled tasks, generally remains in tact.  You may have seen some old people performing some specified tasks very accurately like cycling, yoga, walking, running etc. which of course are related with the physical ability of the person.

Unless the person suffers from some serious illness in the brain like Alzheimer’s disease or any other malfunctions of the brain, people will generally be able to retain the cognitive abilities in tact.  There are increasing evidence to show that even the decline in memory that happens with age, can be substantially compensated by mental exercises, like meditation, activities that require thinking, reading, reasoning and memorization.

The weight of the brain does decrease when age advances, 5% by age 70, 10% by age 80, and 20% by the age 90.  Also the frontal lobe of the brain, that plays a major role in maintaining our working memory, gets weakened over time.  As we go up in age, maintaining overall ability will be possible by maintaining proper vegetarian diet, physical (exercise, walking, running etc.), and recreational activities.   Education and life style of the person in general will play a vital role.

There are so many evidences to show that the intellectual abilities do appear to be in tact, until the person enters age 60, 70, 80, and beyond.  Only tasks requiring physical activities may decline in speed drastically as we age.  There may be slow reaction time, but this can be amply compensated by enhanced maturity level, experience and knowledge, which can be far superior to youngsters.  It has been found that intelligence (an ability to think and reason) increases upto the early twenties, and then start declining, whereas crystallized intelligence or the accumulated knowledge increases over the life span.

It is said that creativity declines as we grow older.  However, creativity is not the exclusive domain of the youth.  There are famous artists, inventors, and composers, who have completed major works of art very late in their lives.  Michelangelo continued his designing and painting until his death at the age of 83.  In the recent past, MF Hussein continued to shine till very late in his life, and we can see many more examples which explains that creativity does not actually decline as we age.

Along with steps to maintain physical and mental abilities, maintaining your contributions to your surroundings in such a way that your surroundings will really miss you will go a long way.  In fact old age is the time, when you can indulge in the activities you have always wanted to do, and be happy.  It can really be the golden age, with a little extra care to remain active..




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HEARTBEATS 2021- Don’t Let Depression Kill You.

All living beings other than humans are on auto tuner to live naturally and their basic system of life is eating, mating, and surviving.  A dog, for example, can drink water only with its tongue, so is a bird with its beak.  They are unable to indulge in paneer crispy, burger, pizzas, or any other luxuries.  They are always on natural diet.

Only human beings are tuned to expand beyond nature and explore the infinite, and possessed with the freedom to live at will.  Humans only are bestowed with the drives to project themselves better than others, to do whatever possible to enhance their comforts, and even the will to attempt the impossible.

Our thoughts and the urges lead us to action.  The thoughts become lively and result oriented when accompanied with action. Nobody can escape from physical or mental action, even while sitting idle.  Because of our ability to reason, which is the supreme quality of humans, we can consciously start observing and evaluating the thoughts, and decide what kind of friendship you want to maintain with them, which ones you want to carry through, and which one you want to discard.  You only have to have an internal communication with yourself and say “enough is enough, that is not for me” and can easily come out of it.  Only you can remove your depression away, quite easily, rather than depending on outside help and medicines.

Spend 15 minutes everyday, you can decide the time and the venue, my suggestion will be just before going to sleep.  Sit for some time, close your eyes, and roll the entire day, and the events in your mental screen, observe, and evaluate.  Think how you have made everybody in the house shiver with your angry reactions on finding the tooth paste tube with the cap somewhere else in the morning.  Imagine how peaceful and congenial the atmosphere would have been if you have picked up the cap and placed it on the tube yourself? Actually did you gain anything out of your angry out-pours except increasing the blood pressure of yours and others around you?  Thus the entire day has to be screened and observed, to become more and more aware about your mediocrity.

This can save you from the common problems of modern life like blood pressure, diabetes, cardiac, and many other diseases.  You will really find lack of time to spend 15 minutes everyday, or the events during the day would not have left any tolerance in you to remain silent for such a long duration.  Finally you may fall for your negativities and give up most probably.  In any case it is so much better than gulping drugs or lying in a hospital bed later.  Isn’t it?

The depressed among us will roughly constitute to the tune of 40% of the population according to some Psychologists and Researchers.  Suicide tendencies originate from depressive mood, and depression leads to many diseases, apart from perennial sickness and torture.  It makes you forget yourself, and its destructive nature compels you to tell yourself “enough is enough, I can’t bear anymore”.  You connect yourself with the negative thoughts so intensively that soon they become your sole driving force and companion.

This observation process is a protective mechanism of nature, proved for ages in many variations, and can undoubtedly help you a lot.  We will have painful, and problematic things of the past, which will be difficult to get disconnected, and on top of it the fear of future makes you more vulnerable.  In fact, fear is always futuristic.  By going to the observation mode stated above, you are creating space inside you for love, understanding, hope and peace.  You will totally be a different man altogether if you practice for some time.  Try it.  It has wonderful effect.

Courtesy:  TT Rangarajan, Motivational Speaker, on YouTube.