Saturday, March 29, 2008

Thinking and processing your thoughts

Kalpanakaranna, http://www.kalpanakaranna.blogspot.comn/ is a new blog I created on 20th March titled Serendipity to publish my thoughts on a whole series of topics that I am interested about and therefore needs airing but which do not fall comfortably into my two existing blogs related to farming and village life that are covered in the other two namely: that is titled Dream into Reality, being my new vocation, and the other that is titled Perceptions and is sub-categorized as musings of a renaissance farmer.

All the blogs comprise less than 5% of what I write. I expect to improve on the content in future writings. There is no point just thinking unless I can share those thoughts with others. The Internet gives me the widest coverage.

‘Think’ or ‘kalpanakaranna’ is a topic I always refer to, as we in Sri Lanka are taught to take, to follow and lead, but not think. Everyone wants to be the boss, or leader. Even Sri Lankans overseas are no better, the classic example being the number of Sri Lanka Associations in the United Kingdom. At the last count there were over 50. Everyone wants to be the President. Even the small Sri Lankan community in Las Vegas has at least two associations each claiming to be the original.

On the subject of take, we always want to take, not give. We always want to take something from the government. We are unhappy, if we are not a recipient of some largesse. We don’t appear to have the capacity to think that what we take, is ours anyway, and by us taking it someone else is denied. Even the very rich will only invest if they have a tax break, actually a tax-free status. The latter takes in a mega way. No one wants to give. The free health and education are all examples of this taking philosophy and we are up in arms if these entitlements are meddled with, or reduced.

We follow like lambs and believe what we hear, most notably from the politicians. We are fed a load of half-truths and untruths and we are happy to believe and vote for the person with the greatest untruth as that sounds the most convincing. People say anything to get elected, but we don’t like those who tell us about harsh realities, so only we are to blame for believing lies, as we do not stop to think through logically whether it is actually do able. We have a terrible tendency to follow those who appear wealthy so that some of that wealth may rub off on us. Even at election time we like the leaders to appear prosperous, driving about in convoys of expensive cars. If the person is in a modest but practical vehicle we somehow don’t even give that person the light of day. We assume that person’s ability to give is limited.

We are also passive aggressive, not able to articulate our feelings for fear of being belittled or trapped. So for example, if we want to leave a job, we don’t even say we are leaving, we just don’t turn up for work. They may have a valid reason, but it is not articulated even to see if the threat to leave can be leveraged, to fulfill a need. Pay is expected as an entitlement and if they are unhappy it is not communicated. They plan the moment to leave at their convenience.

Many of the problems of the day and bad decisions have resulted in us not thinking the outcome of our actions before we engage in them. We rely on astrology or some superstition, rather than common sense in some of these actions. For example, if the astrological signs are good for the President in war, then even if the rains have come making warfare difficult, they take the risk as they have the stars on their side, but they could be sending hundreds of young soldiers to their deaths. The soldiers’ stars in that logic presumably are bad, but they cannot refuse to fight.

If they simply think, by looking at the historical context of being led by the stars, they would realize that the stars are no more accurate than tossing a coin. This example illustrates our slavish behavior, which we need to grow out of so we can think logically to evaluate the rationale of a decision.

Think, no matter what one thinks about. Otherwise one will not have a purpose in one’s life and therefore lack goals, happiness and fulfillment. It does not take money or possessions to feel fulfilled. Each individual is unique and is satisfied with different things. However knowing what makes you satisfied is as a result of some thought and is not automatic. When I ask people how they are they say they are well. When I ask them if they are satisfied and what makes them content, then they say, they have not thought about that. So saying you are well is just a meaningless statement, said to be just polite!

A philosopher will argue that it is better for people not to think as the mere process of thinking will make a sane person very unhappy, so it is better for him not to think. An unfulfilled person may choose escapism as a form of defense mechanism, and may not wish to dwell on think about it.

Not trying to be harsh about it, we may as well be animals in that case, and that is how we human beings appear to behave. In the eastern cultures many accept their status as being part of their karma and do nothing to change it. They are fated accept, who or what they are, whatever the situation. It is in keeping with the fact that it is taboo ‘to think’ that anything could be done.

I say “Kalpanakaranna yako oya karapu waradda” and you cut me off, not wanting to hear any more. (please think about the mistake you made)

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