Friday, 25 May 2012

Open society and religion

Religion has always been a threat to open society because in an open society people have to think beyond their religion. Many times people living in an open society will have to break their religious rules, they will have to keep aside their religious beliefs and think beyond their religion. Liberal and open minded people are able to do it but orthodox and religious fanatic people do not accept this and they start threatening or start using violent means and they make it a case of hurting their religious sentiments. All this creates a hole in an open society and it all depends on the government how it handles such a situation, if the government is liberal and strong then it would never bow down to such hyper sensitive religious fanatic people. If the government bows down to such people then it will further strengthen these people and they will do it again and again. Liberal and open minded people would be afraid to raise their voice and express their views and religious fanaticism and intolerance will increase. An example of such an incident took place in India when Salman Rushdie released a book named 'the satanic verses'. Muslim were angered by this and they started putting pressure on the government to ban the book. Fatwas was announced against Salman Rushdie. The government in India was not strong enough. These is a religious vote bank politics in India. The government wanted to keep the Muslims happy and keep the Muslim vote bank intact. The book was banned and Salman Rushdie had to fled to England where he is living today.
 Almost all Islamic countries are not open societies. If anyone in those countries say anything which is against their religion then either he will be punished under blasphemy law (if that country has blasphemy law) or he would be attacked, killed or threatened by religious extremists and that person would either have to leave that country or live in fear. An example of such and incident was when a 19 year old Muslim girl was stoned to death after taking part in beauty contest in Ukraine.
 Another Example:
 There is blasphemy law in Pakistan which prohibits blasphemy against Islam. Anyone knowingly or unknowingly doing or saying anything which is against Islam would be prosecuted. The punishment ranges from a fine to death.
In November 2010, Asia Bibi was sentenced to death by hanging on a charge of blasphemy.
Pakistani Punjab Governor Salman Taseer opposed blasphemy law he supported Asia Bibi. He was against blasphemy law which the Muslims didn't like. In 2011 Salman Taseer was shot dead by his security guard named Mumtaz Qadri  for supporting Asia Bibi and opposing blasphemy law. But what's worse was that Mumtaz Qadri the murderer was supported by the Muslim people. Thousands of people gathered and showered flowers at him. People applauded killing of Salman Taseer which was a case of sick religious fanaticism and murder of open society.

Open Society and conflict in views

An open society is one in with people are free to discuss anything, put their views forward whether anyone likes it or not. People have freedom of speech, freedom of writing, freedom for artists to carry out their work etc. Because of this freedom there will be conflicts in views among the people. If a person says something or expresses his views then there will be people who will oppose him and there will be people who will support him.
It is impossible to create an open society where there will be no conflict in views because its the basic human nature every person thinks differently and everyone has their own views and opinions.
An open society can only function well if there is no partiality and everyone is equal, everyone is allowed to express their views even if that person is wrong.

If an individual or group of people do not like others point of view and rather than discussing if they start to threaten or start using violent means then that would be a danger to open society and such people will have to be strictly dealt with.

For example: If an artist makes a painting and certain religious community does not like that painting and if they start using violent means then such people would have to be sued.
The artist has the freedom of carrying out his work and the people have the right to oppose and they can have a healthy discussion rather than using violent means.

 A perfect open society is very difficult to achieve. It depends on the people and how strong the government is. For example: A writer releases a book and if certain section of the society or community don't like that book then they have the freedom to criticize. Now if that section of the society or community start using violent means and start to put pressure on the government to ban the book and if the government bows down to such people then it will be the murder of open society.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Everyone has the right to think

Many people get concerned about what others might think when they will do a particular thing. People with low self esteem or people who think about themselves in a negative way always interpret or give more emphasis to what others think about them rather than what they think about themselves that's why people with low self esteem avoid facing other people.
The bottom line is that you cannot control the way others think. Even if you say something which is correct there will be people who will agree with you and there will be people who will oppose you. Everyone is born with the right to think, they can think what ever they want so why do you get concerned about something over which you do not have any control. You cannot control the way others think. You will never really be able to know what others think and what they might have hidden inside their minds. The only thing that you can control is the way you think. Like others you also have the right to think. You can think of anything but you need to think positive because if you will think positive then it doesn't matter what others think. People think about you the way you think about yourself so you only need to change your thinking. They have the right to think they can go ahead and think of anything. 
If you think what you are doing is right then go ahead and do it without worrying what others might think.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

People Look at you the way you look at yourself

I will just tell you a small story which I made myself and it will be enough for you to understand the meaning of the statement "people look at you the way you look at yourself" or "people think about you the way you think about yourself".

Tom a college student wakes up in the morning to get ready for college. Tom had a hair cut the previous day which he didn't like and when he steps in front of the mirror and looks at his face he gets concerned. He creates a self image in his mind that he is looking bad and his hair cut was a blunder. He enters his college campus. Tom had to walk up to his class room, he was feeling very uncomfortable. A thought was creeping up into his mind that other students must be looking and making fun of him. Now Tom sees a group of students smiling and he starts to think that they are laughing at him but actually those students were just talking with each other and smiling. Tom reaches his classroom and sits down. The negative self image which he had created was coming back in his mind again and again he was feeling as if the whole class is watching him but in reality they all were busy with their own work. So students were looking at Tom the way Tom was thinking about himself.

Some people have self esteem problem they think about themselves negatively, they avoid facing people and try to remain alone and because they think about themselves negatively so they interpret that when they will come in front of others then those people will think about them the same way as they think about themselves. So such people are shy to talk to people and are not able put forward their views. They create their comfort zone, the comfort zone can be a room where they can sit in front of a computer to avoid facing people, comfort zone can be showing others that you are busy with your mobile phone to avoid facing people.
So what you think about your self is more important. Always be positive.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

How to boost your self esteem

Examine the circumstances that make you feel low and try to understand the reasons for them.
For example : you may feel low in school in front of your class mates the reason could be that you think you are not good looking, you feel shy to put forward your views etc. The reason could be anything but you have to think about solutions to the problem. Ignoring the problem is not going to help you.

You should accept yourself the way you are. Every person is different and no one is perfect in this world.
One mistake people do is try compare their negative points with others positive points. For example: Tom is not good looking and a thought keeps on creeping into his mind that 'why do I look like this and all my friends are good looking why am I not like them'. You should compare your positive points with others positive points and see who is better. This will be a fair comparison.

Always remember people look at you the way you look at yourself.

You should recognize you strengths and feel proud. Regularly do things that you are good at . If you are good at painting then come up with something creative. It will boost your confidence.

Always set goals for yourself and try to achieve them. Do not commit to something that you know you cannot achieve. Success is the best esteem booster

When something goes wrong instead of thinking what went wrong try to think about what went right. Take out the positives.

Taking calculated risk can be a win-win situation as it boosts your self esteem.

Sit back, reflect and analyze your acts. Think of your life as a Hollywood  movie and you are watching that movie, you will get a good idea where you are going wrong and where you have to improve.

Don't hesitate to visit a counsellor to help you boost your self esteem.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Importance of Self Esteem

Self esteem is what you think about yourself. How much do you value yourself. We all have a self image in our minds. This self image can be negative or positive.

People with high self esteem are more likely to be successful in life. Good self esteem leads to positive attitude.
If you have a positive self esteem then you will believe in yourself and you will be confident.
You will not follow the crowd or in other words you will not copy others, you will not see what others are doing instead you will make your own way and others will follow you.
High self esteem can act as a cushion against feeling of rejection, disappointments and failures. It will help you face challenges in life you will not run away from difficult situations.
A person with high self esteem will be able to look people in the eye and he will get a positive response from others in return.
People with high self esteem are less likely to engage in self destructive behaviour like alcohol, drug abuse, crime and violence.
Negative self esteem can lead to feeling of helplessness, powerlessness, feeling of cut off from the society. Such people are more likely to suffer from depression. People with low self esteem run away from challenges, they don't take up initiatives and try anything new. Such people are more concerned what others think about them.

Test your self esteem

Self esteem is what you think about yourself. How much do you value yourself. We all have a self image in our minds. This self image can be negative or positive.

Examples:
Tom thinks he is not good looking even though his friends think he is good looking but Tom has a negative self image which leads to low self esteem.

Mark thinks other students are better in studies than him. Mark does not believe in himself . His self esteem is negative.

John is not good looking but he has accepted himself the way he is. He never thinks why is he not good looking, he is happy the way he is. He believes in himself and is confident. John has a high self esteem and he is more likely to be successful in life.

Having a positive self esteem is important in life.

Here is a small tool which I have made it will help you  to test your self esteem.
Download and run the tool. It will ask you 10 questions based on your answers it will evaluate your score.
If you score 8 to 10 points then it means you have a high self esteem.
5 to 7 points would mean moderate self esteem.
and below 5 points would mean low self esteem.

Download from here:

Keep the spark shining

Keeping the spark shining.
So where do these spark stark ?
I think everyone is born with them..
For example when you see small kids they seem to be full of spark even the simplest of things make them thrilled and happy.
When you see students you still see some spark but when you see older people the spark is difficult to find.
So as we grow older the spark tends to fade which may be a result of additional responsibilities, family pressure, personal problems etc.
People whose spark fades too much seem to be dull, dejected, aimless and bitter.
No doubt difficult times will come in everyone's life. There will be disappointments or even failures but the trick is to face these challenges and not let the spark fade.
Lets take the example of Lance Armstrong. When he was suffering form cancer surely it would have been the worst moment of his life but still his spark didn't fade he had the belief that he would be fine and would make a comeback. No one believed that it would be possible for him to return to cycling but eventually he proved everyone wrong. It was the spark which helped him to defeat cancer and make a comeback.
Now there are a lot of rich businessmen, sport stars in this world and they have so much money that they can sit at home and live like kings without working hard  but still what makes them come to work every day and work hard ? It is the spark. Their spark never fades away they love their work.
So keeping the spark shining is the way to live your life.

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