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List of 10 things that Kindergarten lessons taught us to deal with life in a better manner!

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Representational Image (Parent's Day at a school) Wikimedia

Delhi, Dec 31, 2016: Robert Fulghum wrote a book titled, “All I really need to know….I learned in kindergarten” and he couldn’t have been more precise. As we move ahead with our lives everyday, in everything we do, the decisions we take , the words we preach, are the trees that have grown from the meek saplings of kindergarten teachings. What are the kindergarten teachings which have shaped our lives? Here are 10 lessons which we learnt in the kindergarten and are going to be there for us for the rest of our lives:

  1. Don’t be scared to be different

This goes back to when our kindergarten teacher saw our crooked, crazy drawings which were not similar to the normative drawings of landscapes and she appreciated our efforts and encouraged us to be bold and creative. Kindergarten taught us to be different and not be scared of it. And, hasn’t this lesson been useful to us at every step in our lives?

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  1. S for Sharing

The first thing we were taught when we owned a new shiny set of crayons or a tasty food item is that we should share it with our peers. Kindergarten has always kept sharing as the main lesson in its books. And this childhood lesson has definitely helped us in our lives.

  1. Neat and clean will mend anyone’s spleen

Kindergarten was the first entity in our lives which taught us to be neat and clean in our appearances and in our thoughts as well. We felt proud when we got the most neat and clean student badges. We learnt that we should keep our appearance and our lifestyle neat and clean, not to please anyone but to feel healthy and confident. This is definitely a lesson which is important for the rest of our lives because being neat and clean, will mend anyone’s spleen!

  1. Discipline is the D-rule

Kindergarten taught us that discipline is important. Our first teachers in our lives taught us that discipline does not just mean to keep quiet in the class. They also taught us the hundred other meanings of discipline which has shaped our lives for better. Hence, discipline is the D-rule!

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  1. Etiquette is everything

Kindergarten taught us that thank you, sorry, excuse me etc are magic words. We were taught that we should greet our teachers and mentors, that we should never be rude to anyone, that we should be kind to everyone and these etiquette have made us the person that we are today. They taught us that having etiquette would make us and not having etiquette would break us as a human.

  1. Punctuality will make you perfect

If you are late, the school gates would close. If you don’t finish your writing in time, you won’t be allowed to play. Kindergarten taught us that no matter what we do, we have to be punctual or else nothing we do would matter. Punctuality will make you perfect, kindergarten preached.

  1. If you are responsible, you are rad!

Kindergarten was the first step to the long ladder of responsibility that one has to climb for the rest of one’s life. On the first step, we are taught that we have to responsibly finish our homework or that we have to responsibly keep our things in our bags. Such little things escalated to bigger things in our lives and our kindergarten lesson helped us take up challenges further in our lives.

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  1. Being friendly is fun

Kindergarten is where we learnt that being friendly is fun. Being friendly will make us appeasing and shape our nature positively. A basic lesson which has stayed with us throughout our lives and has helped us to mould ourselves in a better way.

  1. Balancing things is the golden key

Now this might sound a bit beyond the realms of kindergarten teachings but it cannot be denied that kindergarten did teach us the art of balancing. From participating in playing and other activities to completing the handwriting courses and then also managing to learn the basics of calculation, kindergarten did not make us choose one single thing. It taught us to balance many things and that has been the ‘ABC’ of our lives further too.

  1. Listening is a precious lesson

Kindergarten lessons taught us to learn to listen when someone is speaking. Whomever it is who is speaking, listen to that person. Because, when you listen, you learn how to speak so as to make others listen to you. This comes to our use today but the roots of this lesson go back to our kindergarten teachings when our teachers said, “Pay attention and listen!”

– by Shambhavi Sinha of NewsGram. Twitter:  @shambhavispeaks

 

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From Me to Myself : How Working On These 7 Concepts Can Build Self-Esteem

Successful people radiate self-esteem. But what to do to build confidence in your own self? Read on to know how the author worked on her own beliefs to establish faith in herself

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An increasing number of people believe they are 'not good enough' and fail to realize their true potential because of low self-esteem. Pixabay

– by Soha Kala 

August 21, 2017 : When I was growing up, my parents always told me that I am the ‘smartest kid’ they had ever met. My friends thought I had an appealing face and for my grandparents and their friends, I had the prettiest heart.

I was curious and had questions about the world I was growing in. I had ideas that could have solved problems I encountered in my life. I could hold interesting conversations, and charm people with my compassion.

But I did not live up to my potential. There was always something holding me back.

For the longest period that I can remember, I did not believe that I could do most of the things I wanted to do.

I wanted to learn the ballet but I felt I would not be able to perform with my extra kilos and would be reduced to a laughing stock.

I wanted to be a writer but I felt my expression was too weak and my thoughts far too amateur to share with another person.

I wanted to be in a relationship but I felt I was not good enough to have somebody interested in me.

At one point or the other, we all question ourselves, which is usually followed by self-doubt.

Am I doing enough?

Am I making enough money?

Am I successful?

Am I good looking?

A major part of my job today is spent fiddling with an application called Google Adwords. So, this morning, as I sat with my mind clouded with questions and a new story to write, I decided to begin with a search in the application. I quickly punched in the words self esteem and happy.

I discovered that about 1-10 million people search for the word ‘happy’ every month whereas just over 100K search for the word self-esteem in a month

(Alternatively, I also searched for ‘Beatles band’ and found only over 1,000 people search for them every month)

Everybody has a loving family, a few friends who care, somebody to talk to; we all have classes to attend, and work to do in our respective lives; TV shows to watch and places to go to. Why then are 10 million people still searching for ‘happiness’ on the internet?

The problem in not with us, but inside us. It lies in our belief in our own self.

Low self esteem restricts you from recognizing your potential and living your life to the fullest. Irrespective of how hard you work or how far you push yourself, your efforts fail to be fruitful.

As a teenager, I used to think I was not pretty enough. Not thin enough. Not smart enough. Not fair enough. I used to believe that I was just that; NOT ENOUGH.

Self esteem
An increasing number of people suffer from a feeling of worthlessness. We need to understand that this is not normal. Pixabay

All of this because I struggled to accept myself; I failed to forgive myself whenever I did something wrong, not realizing how hard I was being on myself. I worked harder and harder but was always one-mistake away from success – the fault was never in my efforts, but in my attitude. Changing my attitude about life and about me played a key role in developing my confidence that was no longer dependent on any worldly sign of success.

In the process of owning up to be the person that I am today, I discovered 7 concepts that I was struggling with. Over the years, I tried to re-examine and re-discover my own self-limiting beliefs and alter the way I interpreted these concepts. Working upon them helped me instill faith in my own self and boost my confidence,

1. MISTAKES

Do you ever get distracted while doing some work by that little voice inside your head telling you you are not good enough? Do you fear beginning something new because you are uncertain of yourself? Do you choose to give up on some activities because you fear you might not do them correctly?

Because I have done that, too.

I have been so unsure of myself in the past, wanting to be so much but terrified to start because I feared making mistakes. It was because of this fear that instead of talking to people and working on myself, I chose to shut myself down completely. I was so afraid of being rejected that I decided to reject opportunities and people first.  That is how I let go of tremendous opportunities to learn new things and meet unique people.

I have now grown to believe that man makes mistakes, and those mistakes in turn make man.

It is a continuous cycle. One can only learn when he knows what he is doing wrong. You can either choose to traumatize yourself over failure, or allow yourself to make mistakes and instead of looking at them as disappointments, embrace them as opportunities to grow.

2. PRETENSION

As a kid, I remember falling off a bicycle because I told me friends that I knew how to ride a bike when I obviously didn’t. I was an anxious kid who worried that people would judge me if I told them that I didn’t know something.

You can only fool some people some time, not all people all the time. Above that, you cannot fool yourself. When people find out that you had been pretending all along, that can possibly shatter your confidence and relationships like nothing else.

In order to have a healthier self-esteem, you must first accept that nobody knows everything, and not everybody is good at everything. You might be a good writer, but that doesn’t mean you will necessarily be a good orator. Stop being pretentious in an attempt to please others.

It may be one of the hardest things to do; you may feel exposed and vulnerable to let go of your inhibitions and show your authentic self to the world, you may even feel feeble for some time, but it will be your first step on the path to resumption and growth.

3. BELIEF

As a teenager, I lived in a perpetual state of fear and self-doubt; I doubted myself to the extent that I was always doing things that others wanted me to do, rather than taking decisions for my own self.

It has been rightly said that you live the life you create. Hence, you must also believe in your capacity to make changes.  Believing in your competence does not happen overnight, and it does not happen naturally. A good start would be to list down your strengths and weaknesses and then work on them.

self esteem and self belief
You are responsible for your happiness and success. In fact, you create it if you believe in yourself. Pixabay

If someone criticizes you, see it as a chance for you to improve. If someone does better than you, take it as an opportunity to learn from their action. Do not let these experiences shake your trust in your own self.

4. RESPONSIBILITY

Take 100% responsibility for your actions. Do not let things happen to you, instead make things happen for you.

You are bound to make mistakes and let people down; do not fear that. Quit making excuses when that happens, and accept failures as an outcome of your own actions. Do not indulge in self-loathing and be open to accept responsibility when you are at fault. I have grown to maintain a ‘I am sorry, how can I fix this?’ attitude and that has been incredibly beneficial to my confidence.

It might seem hard initially, but confidence stems from an understanding that YOU are doing the right thing.

5. WORRY

One mantra that I believe in with all my heart is – Either do something. Or completely quit thinking about it. Stop second-guessing and devoting extended amount of time to the ‘what-ifs’.

ALSO READ Why Worry? These Techniques will Teach How to be Happy!

If you want to paint, pick up a paper, some brushes, and a color palette and draw what your heart desires. If you want to learn a sport or a dance form, enroll yourself in a class and enjoy every session you attend. Don’t worry if it will turn out good. Don’t worry whether you have any previous knowledge about your new interest. Don’t worry about what people will think. Don’t worry if you will be better than your friends or your colleagues. Just immerse yourself in the moment, and move on.

Worrying about what others think of you or seeking confirmations for your actions will only keep you from doing something good for yourself.

Your self-esteem is a measure of what YOU think about yourself and how worthy YOU think you are. Do not look for external affirmations. Set expectations for yourself, fulfill them for YOURself, and be somebody you can be proud of.

6. COMPARISON

I realized that I doubt myself the most when I compare my life with what other people are doing.

Believing yourself and building self esteem
If we continue to compare our life with others, it will only fetch us discontentment. One must make comparisons with self, it brings improvement. Pixabay

In order to have a healthier self-esteem, you have to understand what works for you and what makes you feel good even if it is different from what someone else desires. No two things can be similar, and that goes for life, as well.

7. KINDNESS

I realized that I was continuously (and blindly) chasing targets- I wanted to score better than my friends in the exams, have a better job than they do, find a bigger house than theirs, have a smarter partner. In an attempt to come first in this rat-race, I forget how hard I was being on myself.

Practicing self-compassion is not as difficult as you may perceive. I can break it down to a two-way process,

  1. Care about yourself and be kind instead of being cruelly self-critical
  2. Do not exaggerate or ignore problems or your mistakes, and look at them with a clear mind.

An important step to develop confidence in yourself is to be kinder to your own self. Remind yourself that you’re doing your best, and even when that may not seem enough, tell yourself that you are willing to learn. Surround yourself with compassionate voices, and your own voice should be in that list – make sure that instead of being extremely critical and judgmental of your actions, you are highly receptive and appreciative of your efforts.

I know today that I am not perfect, and I do not even have to try to be that. Perfection to me is a myth. I am far from perfect but I am happy. You can be too.
Be human, and that should be enough.
And above all, hold on to the thought that you are capable.


 

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Can Flourishing Islamic State (ISIS) be Stopped in Afghanistan?

The truth about IS and Afghanistan is definitely no picnic

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Taliban fighters react to a speech by their senior leader in the Shindand district of Herat province, Afghanistan, May 27, 2016.
Taliban fighters react to a speech by their senior leader in the Shindand district of Herat province, Afghanistan, May 27, 2016. The rise of IS in Afghanistan has become such a priority that U.S. and Afghan forces sometimes support the Taliban while battling IS, VOA
  • Depending on the location, the proliferation of IS has drawn varied resistance from the Afghan military, U.S. air support and ground troops, local militias, Taliban forces and other militant groups
  • Afghan army planes on Wednesday night accidentally air dropped vital supplies of food and water to IS militants in the Darzab district of northern Jouzjan province instead of to their own besieged troops
  • In the Tora Bora area, where IS has made a strong stand in recent days, local villagers and militias joined with Taliban to rout IS

June 25, 2017: The Islamic State group is rapidly expanding in parts of Afghanistan, advancing militarily into areas where it once had a weak presence and strengthening its forces in core regions, according to Afghan and U.S. officials.

Depending on the location, the proliferation of IS has drawn varied resistance from the Afghan military, U.S. air support and ground troops, local militias, Taliban forces and other militant groups.

Attacking IS has become such a priority in the country, that disparate forces sometimes join together in the ad-hoc fight, with Afghan and U.S. forces finding themselves inadvertently supporting the enemy Taliban in battling IS.

Confusion leads to mistakes

All too often, officials say, mistakes are made due to confusion on the ground.

Afghan army planes on Wednesday night accidentally air dropped vital supplies of food and water to IS militants in the Darzab district of northern Jouzjan province instead of to their own besieged troops, provincial police chief, Rahmatullah Turkistani told VOA. The supplies were meant to help Afghan forces that are countering twin attacks by IS and Taliban militants but were used instead by IS.

“It’s not getting better in Afghanistan in terms of IS,” U.S. Chief Pentagon Spokeswoman Dana White told VOA this week. “We have a problem, and we have to defeat them and we have to be focused on that problem.”

Reinforcements for the IS cause reportedly are streaming into isolated areas of the country from far and wide. There are reports of fighters from varied nationalities joining the ranks, including militants from Pakistan, India, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Russia and Central Asian neighbors.

Confusing scenarios

Still, the Islamic State-Khorasan (ISK) as IS is known in Afghanistan remains a fragmented group composed of differing regional forces with different agendas in different parts of the country.

“IS-K is still conducting low-level recruiting and distribution of propaganda in various provinces across Afghanistan, but it does not have the ability or authority to conduct multiple operations across the country,” a recent Pentagon report said. But where it operates, IS is inflicting chaos and casualties and causing confusing scenarios for disparate opponents.

In the Tora Bora area, where IS has made a strong stand in recent days, local villagers and militias joined with Taliban to rout IS. IS regained ground after a few days, leading to U.S. military air attacks on IS positions in conjunction with Afghan intelligence instructions and army operations.

IS fighters reportedly have fled from mountain caves of Tora Bora, where al-Qaida’s leader Osama bin Laden hid from U.S. attack in 2001.

Families displaced

IS fighters were also reportedly advancing in neighboring Khogyani district, displacing hundreds of families, according to district officials. It is one of several areas in Nangarhar province, near the Pakistani border, where IS has been active for over two years.

Fierce clashes in the Chaparhar district of Nangarhar last month left 21 Taliban fighters and seven IS militants dead, according to a provincial spokesman. At least three civilians who were caught in the crossfire were killed and five others wounded.

“IS has overpowered Taliban in some parts of Nangarhar because the Taliban dispatched its elite commando force called Sara Qeta (Red Brigade) to other parts of the country, including some northern provinces to contain the growing influence of IS there,” Wahid Muzhda, a Taliban expert in Kabul, told VOA.

ALSO READ: Flashback to Terror: 1993 Mumbai Blasts Judgement to Hail on June 27 After 24 Years

Recruiting unemployed youths

IS has also expanded in neighboring Kunar province, where, according to provincial police chief, it has a presence in at least eight districts and runs a training base, where foreign members of IS, train new recruits.

Hundreds of miles from Nangarhar, IS is attempting to establish a persistent presence in several northern provinces where it has found a fertile ground for attracting militants and recruiting unemployed youths, mostly between the age of 13 and 20.

IS has been able to draw its members from the Pakistani Taliban fighters, former Afghan Taliban, and other militants who “believe that associating with or pledging allegiance” to IS will further their interests, according to the Pentagon report.

Hundreds of militants have joined IS ranks in northern Jouzjan and Sar-e-Pul province where local militant commanders lead IS-affiliate groups in several districts.

Darzab district

Qari Hekmat, an ethnic Uzbek and former Taliban militant who joined IS a year ago, claims to have up to 500 members, including around 50 Uzbek nationals who are affiliated with the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) — previously associated with al-Qaida and Taliban in Afghanistan.

IS and Taliban are reportedly fighting over the control of Darzab district in Jouzjan which they stormed this week from two different directions and besieged scores of government forces. The Taliban has reportedly captured the center of the district while IS militants control the city outskirts.

Afghanistan faces a continuing threat from as many as 20 insurgent and terrorist networks present or operating in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region, including IS, the Pentagon said.

“In areas where the government has limited influence and control, IS attempts to emerge and expand there,” Ateequllah Amarkhail, an analysts and former Army general in Kabul told VOA.

Hit-and-hide strategy

IS has also claimed responsibility for several recent attacks in urban areas, however, with a hit-and-hide strategy that is proving effective. And it is engaging too in more skirmishes with U.S. forces that initially were sent to the country to help Afghan forces halt the spread of Taliban.

Three American service members based in eastern Afghanistan were killed in April during operations targeting IS militants, according to the Pentagon.

“ISIS-K remains a threat to Afghan and regional security, a threat to U.S. and coalition forces, and it retains the ability to conduct high-profile attacks in urban centers,” the Pentagon said. (VOA)

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India’s Textile and Fashion Heritage now part of Google project

Google's project 'We Wear Culture' is collaborating with 183 renowned cultural institutions from all around the world including India and its objective is to let people explore history of clothes dating as early as 3,000 years ago

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Google's new art project 'We wear Culture' digitizes fashion, Wikimedia
  • Google’s project ‘We Wear Culture’ is collaborating with 183 renowned cultural institutions from all around the world including India
  • It intends to trace the story and importance of Indian textiles from ancient sculptures
  • Its objective is to let people explore history of clothes dating as early as 3,000 years ago

June 15, 2017: To a certain extent, a culture is defined by what is worn by its people. In a country as diverse as India, vast and varied spectrum of cultures and clothes is one of the specialties. Google’s latest virtual exhibition project now provides us the opportunity to explore and know more about it.

Google’s project ‘We Wear Culture’ is collaborating with 183 renowned cultural institutions from all around the world including India and its objective is to let people explore history of clothes dating as early as 3,000 years ago, from the ancient Silk Road to the unmatched elegance of the Indian Saree,  from the courtly fashion of Versailles, to the Victorian ballgowns with intricate thread work.

According to Amit Sood, director of Google Arts and Culture,”We invite everyone to browse the exhibition on their phones or laptops and learn about the stories behind what you wear. You might be surprised to find out that your Saree, jeans or the black dress in your wardrobe have a centuries-old story. What you wear is true culture and more often than not a piece of art.”

Culture is defined by what is worn by its people. Click To Tweet

The company also mentioned that noteworthy collections from Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS) and varied weaves from across India, from Gharchola to Patola to Temple to Ikat sarees will be included in the online project, as it intends to trace the story and importance of Indian textiles from ancient sculptures.

ALSO READ: New Google Project Digitizes World’s Top Fashion Archives.

According to PTI reports, the world fashion exhibit also includes designs from north-eastern India including the weaves of tribes such as the Nagas, Meitis. it will showcase the traditional attire from Meghalaya called ‘Dhara’ or ‘Nara’ worn by the Khasi women as well.

As a part of the exhibit, Sewa Hansiba Museum has brought the unique colorful and rich embroidery arts, applique and mirror work from different communities such as the Ahir, Rabari, Chaudhury Patel and many others from the western part of India online.

The exhibition conducted by Salar Jung Museum brings to light the Sherwani and its journey of becoming the royal fashion statement of the Nizams from 19th century Hyderabad. Fashion and textiles enthusiasts can revisit Colonial Indian attires with Dr Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum. Over 400 online exhibitions and stories sharing a total of 50,000 photos, videos and other documents on world fashion are open to exploration as well.

The ‘We wear Culture’ initiative highlights significant events in the growth of the world fashion industry; the icons, the movements, the game changers and the trendsetters like Alexander McQueen, Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Gianni Versace, Audrey Hepburn and many more.

– prepared by Durba Mandal of NewsGram. Twitter: @dubumerang