Sunday, March 3, 2019

Weakness

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I am not naturally strong or quick,
and I am certainly not the smartest person around
I had to learn those thing to survive.

I have many many weaknesses
I get emotional over stupid things
I don't sleep enough
I don't stick to any routine
I procrastinate and waste time
I start but not follow through
I have difficulty asking for help, but expecting it- nonetheless
I loose temper and patience
I play the victim and feel sorry for myself
I take the low road when convenient
I say mean things that I don't mean
I hold back strong emotions till they burst out
I care too much about meaningless things and not
Enough about the important things
I take pride in being Alice in wonderland
and sometimes refuse to grow up
I put people on pedestal and not qualities
I get disappointed in myself quickly
My ego is too big and my mind too small
Often trapped inside itself

But – I don't accept that I am what I am 
and that I am doomed to be all this only
No.
I cannot accept this version of me.
I’m fighting – I am always fighting.
I struggle and I am scrapping
and kicking and clawing at those weaknesses
To change them.
To change me
To stop them
To not let them get the better of me
To be free

Some days I win. 
But some days I lose the battle
And lie bruised and bleeding and empty and lost
But, after the dust and blood settles
And through the tears that have washed the blood away
I can see in the distant horizon -  
the hazy image of the person I can be someday
A person certainly better than me today
Pulled by a purpose 
And that gives me new hope and energy to get back up
Own my shit and take responsibility, 
love myself a little more - again.
And I move forward.
With my fists clenched and tight,
head a little lower in humility -not shame
and heart bruised open and tender
Towards the battle – toward the struggles – Towards freedom
From the shackles of my mind
To take small steps with big determination
To strive to be just a little bit better today
Than I was yesterday
I try to grow –
That is all I know.



Monday, February 18, 2019

Emergency for Emergence ?

The recent Pulwana terror attack in India on February 14th 2019 is bone chilling, and somehow feels more real as we see pictures and videos everywhere. 
I don't watch TV or read news, now with good reason too. And so I was suddenly jolted into the tangible reality and magnitude of this incident when I received a whats-app message from my mother-in-law, of a prayer chain for the soldiers who died trying to keep others safe.
I sat upright and began to think how much different this was then, say maybe be 15 years ago. When an incident like that was more a statistic than story of a brother or a son, that we knew, and more importantly mourned for. Even as I did forward the mail, a behavior I don't subscribe to generally –
I wondered at the power of the collective intent to move people they did not even know and lead a movement without even knowing it.
Do we always need an emergency for emergence?
Sometimes the cost of the emergency, just because have we have gotten used to it, may be too high. A heart attack, a death, a broken relationship, an injured foot, a shutdown, a tsunami .. . We don't have to win at a losing game.
Are we going to be a bystander in our own life and the world we live in or are we going to take responsibility and participate?
 How powerful an impulse was that. This also reminded me of the Nirbhaya case few years ago when the whole Nation became united. 
A collective experience of connection with a fellow human being. Pain somehow made the borders porous.
My heart at once felt a deep sense of loss for the lives that went off in a jiff and a sense of profound hope for us as people for allowing the emergence of humanity to express itself. Doesn't matter the medium. 
However - I am left with an uneasy question,
 On further contemplation on the fractal of this phenomena…. I realised this was also true in my personal life. Few years ago I was 20 kgs overweigh, stuck in a situation in my life for close to 10 years unable to move on, even though I wanted to. I then met with an accident on my birthday which then of course made me move. Newtons law of motion certainly held true: Any object will continue to stay in its state of inertia until acted upon by an external force.
Reminder to self - I am not an object.  
As a leadership consultant with organisations, I have also seen this emergency for emergence phenomena play out. The ‘unhealthy’ practices and systems will continue to exists and carry on without realising its higher potential, and the excuse being we are good - Untill the impulse to move from good to great takes over naturally or forcibly. Sometimes it looks like drastic steps, shutting down some bleeding business, make the organization leaner by letting people go -all of this certainly painful, but in the longer view serving the growth impulse.

My question, again – Do we need emergency for emergence?? - If not what else is the other option?
In evolutionary context, as thinking beings, we have the ability to self reflect and connect abstract dots in order to be an intelligent participant in the process consciously. If we don't do this, we are still anyways unconsciously choosing – but this way we cannot be the “designers” we merely become the ‘designed”. Nouns not verbs.
We are currently in times where exponential good and bad are happening simultaneously. Technology is very quickly accelerating the process – in the way information and communication gets organised and broadcast. And the freedom to do so. 
And so, we have two choices
Allow the unconscious pull of the pain, suffering and attachment to the past to continue and keep waiting for emergency after emergency to wake us up and move forward....
Or,
Consciously mindfully and intelligently learn from the past patterns and predict and redesign a more elegant beautiful future.  
Because if we don't do it, the default will happen anyways.
Its time we start the movement. - The choice needs clarity.

The future of our generations may well depend on that answer.

Rhea

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Utopia - Fairy tales gone too far?

Is our failing attempt at Uptopia giving rise to Dystopia??

In the book, good to great Jim Collins talked about the Stockdale Paradox ,named after admiral Jim Stockdale, who was a United States military officer held captive for eight years during the Vietnam War.

Stockdale was tortured by his captors for many days, and never had much reason to believe he would survive the prison camp and someday get to see his wife again. And yet, as Stockdale told Collins, he never lost faith during his ordeal:

What  - is the paradox ?

While Jim Stockdale had faith, he noticed that it was always the most optimistic of his prison mates who failed to make it out of there alive.

They were the ones who said, ‘We’re going to be out by Christmas.’ And Christmas would come, and Christmas would go. Then they’d say, ‘We’re going to be out by Easter.’ And Easter would come, and Easter would go. And they died of a broken heart.”

Is Thomas more’s Utopia, the idea of a non existent imaginary place that is Perfect  - creating a shadow that is not allowing us to see what is ?. And maybe its time we think about how can an imperfect people create a perfect place?? Or even define it? 
Have fairy tales gone too far?

The belief that humans are perfectible and can and must strive towards perfection, inevitably leading to the continuation of the idea of utopia?.

So what?

Utopia and therefore utopians are especially vulnerable in a social theory, based on a perfect world view of integrity and collective ownership and discipline which collides with our natural-born desire for autonomy and choice. This gets further complex with the addition of natural differences in capability, motivations and interests within any group of people leading to growing intolerance, disillusionment and eventually disruption- quite synchronistically  creating the exact opposite -  dystopia.

This phenomena is quite evident in our everyday world and may even be the underlying reason for some of the mindless violence in the name of a ‘Perfect’ relationship, society, religion, world, way of life??

Now what?

Going back to Jim Stockdale, the fact that he lived to tell the tale was credited to the fact that while he had faith he was also in acknowledgement of the brutal realities of his surroundings. He did not give in to utopia.  We may often mistake faith for the utopian view.  While faith is the belief in the unknown – The idea of utopia is a belief in an absolute future which is perfect.  His behaviour can be explained with another neologism – protopia – an incremental progress in steps toward improvement, not perfection. A state in which today is better that yesterday. 

Maybe this , protopia is the answer or at least one of the answers to acceptance and peace??





Wednesday, September 5, 2018

She

Born wild
Born different
Born differently
Born to prayers
Born into chaos
Born from the gods
Born close to ghosts
Born weird
Born confused

Born old
Growing young

One could tell
Some could tell
She was different
She was not like the rest

Born strong
Born wrong
Like a song
Played backwards.

She lived.
She was curious
She was surprised
She talked to the trees
And the trees talked back
She asked lots of questions
Of the butterfly and the earthworm
And sometimes the dragonfly
They didn't mind, often

She wandered
Unafraid
To the boundaries of the garden compound wall
Beyond which was the world
That gave her strange glances
Intrigue and sometimes fear writ large in their eyes

That was when she ventured and explored
beyond thin boundaries of her own mind
She knew she was crazy in a way
And she though it was delicious

Born with eyes open
Born too clever - Born too dump
Born with words tumbling incoherently
As she tried to swallow the world with her dry tongue
It hurt.

She grew
What else could she do?

She was like the wild weeds
She was looking for more seeds
She felt the feelings
That others discarded
She made her garden of weeds

She felt the wetness of rain
And the weight of each drop differently
She could see the soft grey cloud melting
Finally letting go
Reminding her of her own grief
Thick grey full

She felt the agony of the mosquitoes
When the black smoke-gun guys came and killed them
She suffocated

She felt the struggles and rejoiced
As the little seed broke into a two leave clover
She felt born again..and again ..and again.
And she died again ..and again and again.

She cried at dawn
When everything was ruined and torn
She was ill
She was still
As the world and the sufferings came gushing in.

She wept and she swept
Under the bed under the carpets
Where people hid their fears, disappointments an  shame
Some had her name.
Some regrets were kept wrapped in pink shiny paper
as Christmas gifts – a poor excuse for the absence
She had tripped many times

That is when she started changing
Closing up
Hardening
Pretending
Trying to fit

The sky frowned
The caterpillar stopped his mindless eating to look up
The earth sighed
And maybe died
A little
Like her

She felt she had a task
She had to wear a mask
That was the ask
Of the world
She thought.
As the world ‘conformity’ sought
She did. Her way was rebellion
That was the mask

Born first
You learn fast
Burn fast
Get empty and hardened like a cast
Many will be created in this mould
The mould, will remain empty

She has been left at the altar
She has been bruised by the pain
She has been touched without permission
She has been judged without trial
And yet - yet ... She will grow
She will show
She will march into the fire
She will stand in the piercing rain and sometimes be the holding cloud
She will perch on the tops of trees and balance
She will tumble in the rivers and sometimes change its course
She will ride the tornado and sometimes become it.
She will lay down on the soft earth and let the worms breathe in and out

She will.
Because that is what she is made of
The Earth
The Fire
The Water
The Air
She is the Space
She is the face

She is.
And there is no excuse.

Weakness

--> I am not naturally strong or quick, and I am certainly not the smartest person around I had to learn those thing...