Symbolism

Not Listening


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The problem with the closed minded people is that their mouths are always open

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I am sorry to my readers who were kept waiting for the details of the current blog. I wanted to finish it, the moment I started last month but for some unavoidable circumstances I could not complete it. Please accept my sincere apologies for it.

The idea to write blog came as a surprise to me, as I was taking my class of Leadership and Motivation and I was making the students to understand the significance of listening. One such argument written in most the books on communication is normally shared by the teachers, teaching business communication, that nature has given us two ears and mouth, thus signalling to speak once and listen twice.

One of my student came up with this notion, that if we don’t want to speak we can shut our lips, which are very much there on our face stopping our tongue not to speak. We don’t need to make use of any other external source to remain silent, where as if we don’t want to listen, we need to put something (outside of our body) into our ears so that we don’t listen.

This again is something, which nature wants us to refrain from speaking and emphasizes upon us to listen more and more so that we learn more.

I can only talk what I already know and if I am speaking that simply means that I am only trying to convey someone the information I have. But if I listen to someone, that someone is not necessarily talking about something which I already know and even if I know it already, may be s/he is having a different perspective of the same information.

Usually if someone elder then you is talking, then chances are that s/he might be talking about something which you don’t know at all. So, there is no harm in listening but you can harm yourself more by Not Listening.

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Sajjad Hussain

Eduaction, Ethics, Philosophy, Self development, Symbolism, Wisdom

Opting for a Religion


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Disclaimer:          This blog is written for people across the world keeping in view various beliefs and religions existing, and to give the reader a thought based on logic, without any intent of asking my reader to change his/her belief.

This time around, I am replicating my answer to a question posted on Quora, “Which is better Buddhism or Islam”?

There is an Indian movie named PK is worth watching to understand the underlying message of how people react to, when asked about the authenticity of a religion.

If I have a knife (knife here is used as a symbol to make my point) and I am a dacoit, I can take someone’s life, but if I am a medical surgeon, using that scalpel (knife), I can save someone’s life.

It is not the knife, which is curing or killing someone, it is the ‘user’ who is making use of that knife to his or her own advantage by virtue of his or her knowledge or ignorance.

Applying that same analogy to religions, not a single religion existing in the world, ever said killing people is justified. I respect all the religions and expect every one of us to do the same, yet it is a far cry in wilderness of ‘Manimals’ (sorry to use the word ‘manimals’, because when man starts behaving like an animal, what else can s/he be called).

In mathematics, when we want to draw graphs in two dimension, we draw X and Y axis. On X-axis, we have independent variables and on Y-axis we have dependent variables. X-axis is drawn horizontally, whereas the Y-axis rises vertically up.

There are two types of dreams, the dreams, which we see in the night, and day dreams. The dreams in the night are beyond our control, so we can put them on X-axis. The dreams which we see during day time are very much in our control i.e. they are dependent, so we can put them on Y-axis. In other words, we can say that the dreams which we see during day time are not dreams; they are our plans which we want to implement in our lives for success. When anything is done using proper planning, the chances of success rise.

When I look at my own body, I see quite a few things which are dependent and others are independent. My heart and lungs are independent of my acts, whereas my eyes and hands are very much dependent on me.

If I manage to use those body parts, which are dependent on my actions, effectively, I am bound to rise.

Our age is dependent on time and as such we can put it on X-axis and our mental capability, which is very much dependent on us, can be placed on Y-axis. So, as we keep making use of our abstract mind to explore the world around, we can see what is otherwise invisible to our naked eyes.

I would not emphasize upon anyone to follow X or Y or Z religion. You as a human are born with a free will and that free will basically is going to be judged on the ‘Day of Judgment’ deciding your fate to be in ‘Hell’ or ‘Heaven’.

If I am a historian and I have a leaning for religion X, I will write every good thing about my religion and in a subtle manner would portray religion Y as negative and reverse would be the case if I am the follower of religion Y.

Whosoever is born after say 500 years after me (as a historian) and tries to find the truth about various religions, and /she comes across my book (written as a historian), s/he would get confused as due to my personal bias and hidden agenda, s/he would not get to the truth. Before getting the truth, s/he would be required to go through various scriptures and instead of getting the right guidance, chances are that s/he would be more confused and distracted and as such s/he would opt to become atheist.

I do come across these kinds of discussions every now and then (as I teach Ethics) and I suggest my students not to follow blindly any one. Try to find the logical reason behind every talk given by preachers of various ‘School of Thoughts’ and verify their talk in view of what is written in various scriptures. If you head for the truth with an open heart and an open mind, I assure you that your own ‘MIND’ will guide you to the ‘right path’.

Now again a question arises, who is going to decide that whatever I am or for that matter anyone is following, is the ‘right path’? The answer is, it is way too difficult for us as humans to precisely find it, as we would somehow or the other always require to rely on the books written by various historians and the history itself, which is but written with a bias and with the hidden agenda of the writer. So, no one can guarantee that whatever you are reading is nothing but the truth. Ending up in more confusion is, but very much natural, as we humans are most of the time, biased in our wheeling dealing.

The confusion so created after going through history or reading the books, written centuries ago, is something to be cherished, because it shows that you are ‘thinking’ and this thought process at some point in time, will guide you in the right direction.

I may be wrong but this is how I think, and it is more than enough for me to find solace in my heart that at least I am not a blind follower and I am making use of that beautiful gift of ‘HIS’ called the ‘Mind’.

Sajjad Hussain

Arts, Eduaction, Motivation, Philosophy, Self development, Symbolism, Wisdom

Cherished Possessions


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The idea to write this blog came to my mind, while I was responding to a question on Quora. The question was, “What do 50-year-olds know that 20-year-olds often don’t? And here is my answer which I have put in this blog. 

Today while coloring my beard, I came to an unusual analogy, amazingly different then what I ever thought. I like to look young because it gives me strength to face the odds of life, so I color my hairs. By the way I am having less hairs on my head, which in fact made me think of the situation unusually.

In my 20s my hairs and beard were of dark black color, now down the line in my life, I have to color my hair and beard to look young. The question which would pop up in your mind will be, what is unusual about it (it’s very much normal) and when you raise this question you are rightly justified in coming up with the question.

My analogy in this whole story is that while you are in your 20s, normally you have less possessions, not because you don’t like to have them but because you don’t have spent enough time by virtue of your age to accumulate those possessions which you liked to have.

Contrary to this, usually you have more (if you lived your life normally based on your job, qualification, savings and experience) worldly possessions then you actually need. You do accumulate them not because you need them but because you have to save them for the rainy days.

If you don’t have quite a few life obligations to meet, you become less possessive as compared to someone in his/her early 20s.

‘Ignorance’ is depicted by ‘Black’ color and ‘Knowledge’ by ‘White’. So, when you are in your early 20s, you actually are more ignorant then knowledgeable, which is rightly quoted by someone that ‘Life is a journey from Ignorance to Knowledge’, so when you are ignorant you are more inclined towards engaging yourself into acquiring more worldly possessions. You come to realize the true essence of life only, when you have gone through bitter experiences, which compel you to think that the real life starts when you have exhausted all your resources to live a life, worth living.

According to ‘Maslow’s Thoery of Need’, in later stages of your life, you actually start thinking about ‘Self Actualization’, which is the true meaning of life, which you can’t even imagine in your early 20s.

That’s is one of the reasons why, mostly people after retirement opt for social work and charity, because now they have realized the fact that it is now time for them to give back to the society what they got from the society until now. Yet we see people like Mark Zuckerberg, who in his 20s made fortune, but understood the meaning of life at this tender age and donated his possessions to reach to the level of ‘Self Actualization’.

If you manage to capitalize on this understanding in your early 20s, then I think by the time, you cross your half century, you will be far ahead of me, and that’s how you will grow.

So, to conclude my blog, I would say, when the color of your hair turns to white from black, you start losing quite a few of your cherished possessions, like beauty and freshness of your face, your eye sight, and you are faced with other health related issues. At this time, you are left with nothing but cherished memories from your gleaming past, if you have lived it to fulfill your dreams, else it’s nothing but a feeling of remorse to live, yet another life.

Sajjad Hussain

Symbolism

Order and Chaos


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I had been thinking of writing a blog on this topic, since I wrote a quote on Order and Chaos. The underlying message, I am trying to give is, are we part of order or part of chaos?

As written earlier in my quote, the real life is somewhere between order and chaos. It simply means that we are not in order or in chaos, actually we are lingering somewhere in between.

We will try to find the answer by observing our day to day living and from among the things and/or situations, we come across on a daily basis.

A baby is born, absolute chaos all around the labor room and gradually things start settling down and ultimately calm and tranquility prevails. The mother and the baby are in deep slumber and all of a sudden the baby starts crying, its her meal time, as soon as she is fed again its calm all around. After a while, baby is in deep shit, mother gets her cleaned and she is fast asleep again.

Kid is crying before going to school, not willing to face the new phase of life, after a lot of hue and cry manages to reach the school and makes friends and everything is settled for good.

After his schooling is over, he is now ready for the college, and this is the time when he pretends to be ‘happy go lucky’ but his mind is in emotional chaos as he is bewildered to find his identity.

As soon as s/he is done with his/her graduation things appear to settle but the search for a job to satiate his/her survival instinct sets him/her into chaos.

When the job hunt is over, it is now time for him/her to socialize and look for life partner, during which time s/he goes through the trauma of love/breakup relationship. As soon as the wedlock is completed, the life cycle of yet another baby sets in and the life goes on under order and chaos.

The other day, I was busy renovating my office and it was chaos all around, I kept surmising why our life is not simple, why do we have to suffer all the time through chaotic situations. In order to bring order in my office  renovation job, I had to pay a hefty sum of money to the mason, painter, carpenter, AC mechanic and cleaner.

I was having a hard time paying for the dues due to all that work, but while making payments, I thought, if my life would have been in order i.e., if my office didn’t need any renovation, then these guys might not have made the money, I paid them for their work.

Municipal committee people came in my area for lifting all the garbage dumped on the sidewalk, while they were picking it up, I kept thinking that the garbage so collected would be dumped on landfill sites, to make that site smooth and worthy of bringing into use for construction or for growing crops, if filled with organic material. Had there been no such garbage around the sites could not have been filled and people engaged in lifting that garbage would have been left unemployed.

Day before yesterday (August 23, 2016, Karachi), two private news channels were ransacked by hoodlums and all the networks were showing people burning tires to register their protest for gaining some political mileage, it was chaos all around, then police/rangers intervened and everything settled down.

While teaching Business Communication and Ethics, I was surfing the net and came across this pic and at that time I was unable to understand how is it related to Business Communication and Ethics. After pondering over it deeply, I came to an amazing conclusion, which I am sharing here for your reading pleasure.

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The very next semester, I went to my first lecture. The students were new to me and so was I, to them. I stayed silent in front of the class for a while. It was a very difficult experiment for me as well, as you cannot remain silent in front of an audience for an extended period of time.

I broke the ice after a while and asked students what was happening in their minds, and they said, it was chaotic. Isn’t it amazing that silence is supposed to be ‘order’ instead it was chaotic. So I came to this conclusion, that you can communicate by remaining silent or the other way round. The real communication is possible when it is a dialogue and not debate, i.e. somewhere in between order and chaos.

Up until now I seldom took notice of this order and chaos, but since I started looking at things differently, I am now getting more and more convinced that everything happens for a reason and chaos is equally required to maintain order and balance in our lives.

Finally to remind you all, ‘The real life is somewhere between order and chaos’.

Image result for order and chaos in life

Sajjad Hussain

Philosophy, Self development, Symbolism, Wisdom

Counterclockwise


This is the final blog in the series on counterclockwise.

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Picture Courtesy

While watching Oceans 11, I conceptualize this blog which is in continuation of my previous 6 blogs on counterclockwise movement, (namely Ticking Clock, Reverse Thinking, Discuss Throw, Scroll the Wheel, Listen the Silence, and Odd Man Out) and this one is the last in series.

In movies, when the bank robberies are committed, usually the palpitation of our heart beat surpasses the Ticking Clock, and when the bank vault is opened by moving the wheel in anticlockwise direction, we are mesmerized by the glitter of the gold inside the vault and wish, if we can have all the treasure inside the vault.

I also have a bank in my mind, the ‘information bank’ wherein a huge treasure of information is hidden. The beauty of this treasure is that I don’t have to worry about it being robbed, as it is invisible to the naked eyes.

The treasure inside the bank vault is reduced whenever we take it out and use it, whereas the beauty of the treasure inside my mind is that it increases as I use it. The more I use, the more I increase the net worth of the treasure inside.

The similarity between the bank vault (which can only be opened when its wheel is turned in counterclockwise direction and my mind vault is that it can only be opened when it is subjected to Reverse Thinking.

For reverse thinking, I have made use of the quote by anonymous, ‘If you continue to think like you’ve always thought, you’ll continue to get what you’ve always got’. For more on this thought read this blog by Michael Michalko.

If you try to draw a spiral using the center as the starting point, you will have to move the pen/pencil in anticlockwise direction, I call it ‘Inside Out’. But if the same spiral is supposed to be drawn the other way round, i.e. ‘Outside In’, then you will have to move the pen/pencil in clockwise direction.

While teaching in the class, instead of explaining everything upfront, I make a story line or a kind of drama to inculcate in them curiosity to know what would be next, so as to develop their thinking capability and finally culminate to the point where I want them to be, which I call ‘Outside In’.

I ask my students in the exam to write their answers such that, the main point of the question is answered first, and then elaborate further, to express their learning and then come up with their creativity through reverse thinking (counterclockwise) to generate new ideas to let me know their learning for grading purposes.

Since I started thinking the other way round, I have developed  in myself a habit to make analogies to understand the complicated intricacies of life to open up new vistas which has been the source of inspiration for me to come up with this blog site Life as EYE see. And in order to inculcate the same spirit among my students, I ask them to follow the unusual path by going against the normal learning in my lectures, and put that learning using creativity of their mind in simplified form in the exam for me to grade them.

I leave here to let my audience, think and try to find out things around, which when moved in the counterclockwise direction will open up insurmountable wealth of information scattered across the globe, to increase their own potential to ‘think out of the box’ to explore the hidden meanings of life for their own good and for the people around, to make this world a place worth living.

Life is beautiful and the beauty lies in the eyes of beholder.

Sajjad Hussain

Symbolism

360 Degrees


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In one of my lectures on ‘Managerial & Industrial Psychology’, I was asked a question by one of the participants, “what is the difference between ‘Vision and Imagination’?”

I am now documenting my answer to his question for the benefit of my readers. The picture above is my brain child, it clicked my mind when the question was raised.

Everything is data for a kid until the age of 5 or 6 years. When s/he starts schooling s\he is disseminated with information until 12th grade, which develops in him/her and understanding of manipulating that information and converting it into knowledge.

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From the picture above it is obvious that the information so disseminated helps in developing an understanding of the relations existing among various data. When s/he starts understanding patterns over time, s/he starts making sense out of the non-sense. Once s/he gets into his/her practical life, this knowledge remains the guiding principle for him/her to leading his/her life. At a very later stage in his/her life, one gets to the point, when s/he starts reflecting to understand the purpose of life, understands the underlying principles and comes up with his/her own principles out of that reflection, to understand the true meaning of life. That is the point when one starts getting close to wisdom.

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The journey to understand life begins with imagination, which is the driving force to understand data, information, knowledge, and wisdom, that’s why half of the circle is imagination.

Everyone has his/her vision, that vision would be small if s/he is limiting himself or herself only to data , it grows with information, knowledge and wisdom. The real vision is completed when the circle of life is completed after the completion of 360 degrees through imagination, that’s why Einstein said “Imagination is more important then knowledge, for knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world”.

Why is it that the life is always explained in a circle, may be because all the universal bodies are circular in shape and our life is also explained in 3 dimensions X, Y and, Z which is encircled and bounded by Time as the fourth dimension.

For details on data, information, knowledge, and wisdom read thesis by Russell Ackoff here

Sajjad Hussain

Eduaction, Humanity, Leadership, Symbolism, Wisdom

Villain Heroes


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Courtesy

Kids are a wonderful gift of God, but are we taking enough care to look after the ‘gift’ the way we are expected to? The featured pic, if taken on the face value, would make you laugh, I also laughed in the first place, but then I asked myself, is it something to laugh at or ponder as to why the naked kid is hanging with the hand pump, who made him do this in the first place? Who is to be held responsible for the plight of this poor kid?

Over my life time, I have never seen a movie, wherein a villain is portrayed as hero, except for few exceptions, where hero is a villain (but in those movies also he is actually doing good things (utilitarian ethics), so a hero is one who does the right thing always) as he is shown doing good things or rising against the rulers for the rights of the poor people around him.

The chequered history of Pakistan is either marred by the autocratic dictatorial regime or semi dictatorial civilian governments over the last 60 plus years during which time, both the dictators and civilians have proclaimed that they are fighting for the rights of the down trodden, but unfortunately the reality is contrary to their claim.

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A primary school in Sadiqabad, Punjab, Pakistan

(Temperature in summers soars up to 50 degrees, and the place is usually without electricity during these times and basic facilities are not existing since ages)

This is what they (Villain Heroes) have done so far, and continue to do, to the future generation of Pakistan over the years, yet they continue to be labelled as leaders in their own right.

The economic situation of the country has gone from bad to worse, security of the state, as well as, its citizens is at its lowest ebb, and Pakistan is internationally declared a failed state as its economy is in dire straits, and high security state due to terrorist activities being the norm, and the Western countries have to issue travel advisory to their citizens, travelling to Pakistan .

The rampant corruption in the corridors of power has shattered the confidence of foreign investors, which has ultimately led the ruling elite to stretch the begging bowl to the World Bank and IMF to avoid default on balance of payment position and to be called banana republic.

The very fabric of the society at large has been deteriorated to such an extent that the divide between haves and havenots is increasing at an alarming rate, thus creating chaos and unrest in the society.

Even the basic health and education is not extended to the lower and lower middle class and civic amenities are slowly being reduced to rubble, masses are kept ignorant of their legitimate rights through illiteracy, which is making the so called ruling elite a messiah for all their (peoples) shortcomings and that is one of the reasons why, we see a huge crowd gathering at the reception of some ‘mega project’ inauguration and the ‘Villains’ of the society (the ruling elite) rise to the podium as ‘Heroes’.

Keeping in view the dismal political situation of Pakistan, especially in the wake of 9/11, I came up with this quote of mine:

“In sham democracies, Villains are Heroes”  

Sajjad Hussain