NewsGram readers have so far acquired knowledge about various cultures, festivals celebrated in different parts of the world, latest happenings in politics etc.
While the above is good to know, I want to pull the strings of the readers’ heart by raking up a very important issue. All around, life is good, highly educated, great disposable income, all amenities at your fingertips, but there is a hollowness…… while living as humans is a necessity, we have forgotten to “be human”. We are becoming a society with bulging pockets and shrinking hearts.
“Treat others as you expect yourself to be treated” which is an oft-repeated proverb is now relegated to the morning messages on WhatsApp. Does it really matter to the people who read it? Do they really change? The root cause for all this is a sense of false authority, a wrong belief that you are above the others, a continuous comparison and “keeping up with the Jones’s” syndrome.
All this gets driven by a very deadly disease : EGO. A sense of satisfaction, contentment, inner peace has all vanished, everyone has become a marauder, an opportunist, climb over others, crush others to achieve one’s objective. EGO can be a far worse killer than all the physical diseases put together. Mind you, all of us suffer from this malaise called EGO. Our culture of touching the elder’s feet or prostrate in front of GOD were all aimed towards crushing the EGO within us, we have to bend in front of elders. That culture is also vanishing now where hugging and “high fives” are taking over….. my ego does not allow me to even to touch another’s feet !
Let me do my best to get the readers to even realise the need to shed one’s ego and build a great place to live in.
There is a story in the Bible. A Priest standing on the sea shore would catch a number of fishes that were brought by the waves to the seashore, he would then throw the fishes back into the sea. This was his daily routine. A passer-by saw this and asked the Priest “Is there any sense in wasting time like this? These fishes will have to die, if not today then tomorrow“. The Priest politely replied “Son, I also know very well about the fate of these fishes, but I have the satisfaction by throwing them back into the sea I helped them to live at least for a day more”.
The humanity, the need to help at all times, the belief that I rose from ashes and will return to ashes, these are the few mantras if repeated regularly, will make us realise the futility of living with an EGO. The three “S” that can break the ego within you always :
Those who live in vanity, die in vain.
Here I wish to narrate a mythological story in short. Many of you might be aware of this story or might not, the reason to narrate is to understand what vanity can do to you and not to raise a debate on the genuineness of the myth.
In Hinduism, “Bhasmasura ” was an asura who was granted the power to burn up and immediately turn into ashes anyone whose head he touched with his hand. He got this boon from Lord Shiva since he was an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva.
When Bhasmasura saw Parvathi, he was enamored with her and wanted to own her. This was possible only when Shiva would be killed, so he chased Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva, in his attempt to save himself, sought the help of Lord Vishnu.
Lord Vishnu took the form of a courtesan called Mohini and appeared before Bhasmasura. Since she was very appealing, Bhasmasura fell in love with her but Mohini had a condition before she became his consort. She wanted Bhasmasura to dance with her and copy every step she did. Both of them danced for days and Bhasmasura, being a learned dancer, could match her step for step. In the heat of the dance Mohini placed her hand on her head and Bhasmasura did the same and was reduced to ashes! Bhasmasura was blinded by his ego and ultimately dug his own grave.
If you see around you, there can be a lot of characters from history to today who have perished due to their bloated ego.
We do not require to pass certain courses or listen to enlightened souls to shed ourselves of our ego. All we need is a self-realisation and self-discipline. I believe I have practiced this and adopted this in my life and I am in a state of bliss and least stress all the time, I want each one of my readers also to experience this state. SHED EGO PLEASE!
– Seetha Ramanathan is a Bengaluru-based writer. Email her at- firstname.lastname@example.org
In a bid to curb fake news during the general elections, WhatsApp and NASSCOM Foundation on Monday came together to impart digital literacy training.
As part of the partnership, WhatsApp and NASSCOM Foundation will train nearly 1,00,000 Indians to spot false information and provide tips and tricks to stay safe on WhatsApp.
The co-created curriculum, which includes real-world anecdote tools that can be used to verify a forwarded message and actions that users can take like reporting problematic content to fact checkers and other law enforcement agencies, will be disseminated in multiple regional languages.
“We are excited to expand our partnerships with civil society to advance crucial digital literacy skills that can help combat misinformation share on WhatsApp,” Abhijit Bose, Head of India, WhatsApp, said in a statement.
“This training educates people throughout India to be mindful of the messages they receive and to verify the facts before forwarding,” he added.
The training will be imparted by volunteers from NASSCOM Foundation who will launch the “each one teach three” campaign that mandates every volunteer to share their learnings with three more persons leading to a network effect.
These volunteers will post their takeaways from the workshops on their social media handles to increase the reach of these safety messages.
The first training will be on March 27 in Delhi and will be followed by more planned interventions like hosting training workshops for representatives from rural and urban areas along with roadshows across numerous colleges.
“The use of technology platforms like WhatsApp are inherently meant to foster social good, harmony, and collaboration, but are sadly being used by a small number of miscreants to entice anger and hatred by spreading false and doctored information,” Ashok Pamidi, CEO, NASSCOM Foundation, said.