Friday, 13 December 2013

A Rationalist...

...who is also a Humanist.

Asia Plateau, Panchgani, the International training and reconciliation center of Initiatives of Change in India offers opportunities of coming across some amazing people at its various programs. This week we had a 5 day training program on Ethics in Governance and we came cross this rationalist person. Here is his inspiring story in his own word:

"Well, I would like to tell something about my family. I Dilip Kalokhe, an Assistant Engineer from MCGM am a common middleclass person. My parents were teacher by profession as such my childhood was with strict discipline. My father was having high moral values and always tried to transform them to new generation. He was rationalist so naturally I became rationalist too. I always believed that charity always begins from home. When I decided to marry 25 years back, I had certain thinking in my mind about my spouse. Prima facie, this was looking unnatural or crazy but I decided to stick to that. These conditions were,
  1. My bride should also be rationalist as there would not be any conflict for our day to day matters.
  2. She should not be fond of gold or golden ornaments as I was against the gold. I felt buying or storing gold is like blocking national wealth.
  3. She should be ready to perform marriage ceremony in very simple way before the registrar of marriage without any religious activities. There were two reasons for that as I was rationalist so didn’t believe ‘7 fere’ and was of the thinking that spending thousands of rupees on ceremony is sheer waste.
To my surprise, I got my dream girl voluntarily accepting all my conditions and we were happily married. My wife always supported me for my social activities like helping needy people, environment related issues, refraining from superstition etc. A noteworthy example I would like to share. When she was carrying first time in 1990, there was a solar eclipse during her pregnancy. Neighboring ladies asked her to avoid to come out from home and not to do any work at home as it was a ritual in Maharashtrian people that if pregnant lady sees eclipse or even does some house work that day, the baby to be borne will be defective or physically handicapped. I never believed such superstitions and wanted to prove that wrong. I took meeting of all ladies and told them that all such superstitions are baseless and I am going to prove them wrong. I asked my wife to see the eclipse and even do all possible work at home. Without any hesitation, she followed me. Our neighbors were very scary and criticized my wife for listening such crazy things. I can proudly say that my wife delivered a son with normal delivery without any problem to new borne. My son is now 23 year old and carrying forward my thinking.
My wife does whatever possible towards the society. Every year she donates a bottle of blood to local blood bank on her birthday. She is always admired for her helpful nature from all whom she knows.

To give something to society even after death, my wife & I have decided to donate our full bodies after our death. The useful organs should be replanted to needy ones and the rest of the body shall be made available for dissection for medical college student. Again as an atheist or rationalist, I don’t believe ‘Mukti’, ‘Heaven’, ‘Rebirth’ etc. so cremation of our dead bodies will just add to loss of another 300kgs of wood."

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Stranger than Fiction story...Truly inspiring.

Vijayam Kartha has sent this story, very very inspiring.

Hope you enjoy reading it, and if you find it inspiring, share it with others by inviting them to this blog.

"We did not want to exploit -- or be exploited. So we just moved out of the city."

Two Thoreaus of Sakwa County

"I don't need designer glasses," Dhirendra smiles, his sharp bright eyes shining through the wide-rimmed black glasses. It seems like he bought the glasses twenty years ago before moving into this village. His long pause following the casual statement makes one think about the superfluous nature of our world compared to his exceptionally simple life. Dressed in a long home-spun cotton shirt and shorts, he comfortably sits on the freshly resurfaced cow-dung floor chopping vegetables, as his wife Smita comes in and out of the kitchen to respond to our questions as she prepares lunch. Just looking at her glowing skin you can tell that the village life has been good for her. The cool breeze easily flows in and out of the many open windows in this simple, two-room house.
"Why are the onions hanging on the ceiling?" I ask. Fifty three year old Dhirendra explains, "Oh, they're from the farm. If you arrange them like that, they can last for a year. Of course, only if they're organic"
Their home looks almost like any other house in a 400-person village in rural India, except for a few specialized tools: like a hand-made oil press and the silver and yellow windmill on the roof which the villagers tell us to look for while giving us directions to their house.

The Inspiration

Looking at both them, it's hard to believe that they were both professors at an Engineering College in Ahmedabad. Or that he has a degree in Engineering and she studied Physics and Space Science in college. The story of why two PhD's dumped a city life for tribal one, traded in their teaching careers for a shovel and a hoe, and opted to live on 12,000 rupees ($300) a year is an inspiring tale that almost leaves you with a "Duh!" feeling.
"In the cities, you have no choice in your lifestyle. Your water is chlorinated, the chemicals you use pollute the environment, and there is rampant greed," Dhirendra warmly explains their motivation to search for a simpler, more natural lifestyle. Both Dhirendra and Smita wanted to live a natural life that was deliberately based on their value system.
With another couple, they started brainstorming. They didn't know anyone who had attempted bold experiments to address these concerns, at the time in 1983. Four pressing issues, they realized, were of great importance to them: 1) Can we live a sustainable and conscious life? 2) Can knowledge, work and devotion to life be combined together as a lifestyle? 3) Can humans coexist peacefully with animals? 4) Can we be the change with our own lives?
After a lot of discussion, they felt that the city life was very artificial. "We did not want to exploit -- or be exploited. In the city you inadvertently take advantage of the environment and end up exploiting one section of the society or another. We wanted to get away from it all," Smita says. They wanted a way out of the cramped flats, polluted air, impure water, stale produce. And most importantly, they wanted a way out of the "more" mindset that creates so much mental instability. "If we want to have a stable mind, we have to be with nature. For example, if we use a fan or an air conditioner, our bodies don't self-correct," Dhirendra says.
One year into their marriage, Sonejis arrived at a simple conclusion: the best lifestyle is one which is in tune with nature.

The Simple Life

Instead of just talking about their values, the Sonejis decided to make the boldest move of their lives. In 1986, a year into their marriage, they bought two and a half acres of land and moved into a small tribal village named Sakwa. Most family and friends thought they were crazy, but for Dhirendra and Smita it was a no-brainer.
From scratch, they built their own house (including a bathroom) and embarked on an entirely different lifestyle. No electricity, no vehicles, no running water. Instead they would work on farms, eat fresh, pesticide-free produce and their own cow's milk, and live with the rhythms of nature. "It's just natural to wake up at 4AM," Dhirendra says in a matter-of-fact way that makes you wonder about late-night TV programming.
For the tribal life, their PhD's weren't all that useful. They struggled initially. For three years, Dhirendra got tutorials from local farmers about managing his crop. Because they didn't have running water, they could only farm in the monsoons and they were only able to fulfill sixty percent of their needs; Dhirendra had to earn some supplemental income by doing several small projects, like installing bio-gas plants in villages and training locals to work in oil mills.
After five years, though, it was a different story altogether. Dhirendra and Smita started thinking up creative, organic solutions for common tribal problems, they dug up a well, they installed a bio-gas plant to utilize cow-dung for basic electricity that would use power tools like a flour mill for the entire village, they experimented with a wind mill and solar cooking. And they came up with tons of farming innovations, from water development to land management to crop rotation, which increased their efficiency with locally available resources.
Today, they produce over 200 kilograms of crop annually: oilseeds, pulses, spice and over 50 varieties of fruits and vegetables, all grown with organic manure. "Each month we have different fruits and vegetables," Dhirendra proudly smiles, as he gives us a tour of their farm. Walking through the two and a half acres, you can spot everything from mangoes, papayas, lemongrass, cucumbers, potatoes, sweet tamarind, eggplant, to vanilla right here in their own backyard.
What about money and other expenses? "Our yearly budget averages to about 12,000 rupees (less than $300)," says Smita, "that comes from selling a sweet-sour cold drink powder made from a plant in our farm, some Ayurvedic medicine, and hand-made organic soap from a Neem plant." That budget is not just for the two of them; it also includes their 19 and 17 year old sons! More than half of their expenses go toward travel and books and the rest are used for clothes, shoes, some food items that they don't grow, like salt or jaggery. To keep all the wheels moving, everyone averages about 4 hours of work daily.
One might expect a lot of excitement around the Soneji's natural, four-hour-a-day work, seven-bucks-a-month lifestyle with fresh food, clean well water, organic shelter, hand-spun clothes and some entertainment like books and travel. But unfortunately, there has been little response from the community. Sonejis do what they can to share the good word -- they issue a regular newsletter with best practices and new lessons learned, they constantly innovate useful solutions like a hand-powered oil press and share it with the villagers, and they speak about their experiences at various conferences in big cities.
At present, though, it seems that the world will take some time to believe that this really is possible. Dhirendra says, "Demographically speaking, one acre of land is every Indian's due. And that's really all that one person needs to survive."

Raising Children

The two Soneji sons were both born after they moved to Sakwa. Vishwain is 17 and Bhargav is 14 today. Arguably, the biggest challenge for the Sonejis came when Vishwain became of elementary school age: do we home school or send him to an institutionalized school?
For six months, they deliberated back and forth. Dhirendra wasn't too keen, "There is a huge difference between information and knowledge. The current school system fills people with information but doesn't necessarily give them knowledge. And they provide no values." Although they didn't want to send their kids to school just for a diploma, they also didn't want to jeopardize the future of their children. Their discussion probed into many other deeper questions like: what exactly is knowledge? What is science? Sonejis do believe in science but in the natural kind, not the technological kind; instead of spending time learning computers, they would rather spend time learning about wind motion and earthquakes. But they acknowledge that everything is a double-edged sword.
In the end, they concluded that knowledge is that which is useful to society and you don't need government's stamp of approval for that knowledge. Vishwain and Bhargav would be home schooled.
On top of home schooling in the basic subjects, they focused the education on practical matters. "Wouldn't you have been able to write an essay without taking your board exams? Couldn't your friend learn to take good pictures without passing high school?" Dhirendra asks rather seriously. School teaches you how to learn, but because of the overly institutionalized approach much of what you learn in school is never applied anywhere in life. For the Soneji sons, their upbringing would include repairing a clock, riding a bicycle, painting the sunrise they wake up to, discussing solar energy, and playing Chess in the afternoon shade. There is no such thing as vacation and everyday is an ongoing education in life's school.
Despite not having a formal education, both of their sons seem to function at a much higher level than their counterparts in the city. Vishwain speaks four languages, can help build a house, and tell you the physics of how a fan works. His parents let him decide what he's interested in learning and then encourage him in that direction. Bhargav, the younger son, gets regular lessons using books and real-life tests from both of his parents. Recently, he took apart a broken bicycle to see how it works and then, of course, fixed the problem.
What about college? "No one asks Birla (a millionaire) for his college degree," Dhirendra laughs, "but we're open to it, if the boys decide to go." It seems like they'll probably end up being entrepreneurs while living on the farm. "It's really their decision," he adds. The kids are free to decide to if they want to go to the neighbors to watch TV, if they want to start using a scooter, if they want to have food products that their parents might not eat, or if they want to enroll in a college. The four of them have a very close relationship and everything is talked about openly on a regular basis.

Service And Spirituality

Interestingly enough, the Sonejis don't believe in doing service. "We help the villagers as much as we can. But we are not into social service. We believe that our own life is of importance and has to be lived without causing harm to anyone else's. If, while living our life, we end up helping others, that's fine. But that's not the main purpose," Smita says.
In fact, they strongly argue that these religious and development organizations who "help" actually create more problems than they solve. By giving hand-outs, they encourage a sort of sedate laziness that hinders any promotion of actual grassroot solutions. Furthermore, they super-impose their "solutions" and their ideas of progress that not only don't jive with the tribals but don't even work in the cities!
Sonejis believe in natural action. No service. No big buildings. Just help those you can touch. From all the leftover bamboos, they created a guesthouse - "Aum Kutir" for the many guests they host routinely. Instead of using pesticides to kill unnecessary bugs, they copied nature and dug up an aqua-pond; every monsoon when the big bugs come out, the frogs also come out and everything self-corrects itself. Their farm doesn't have any scarecrows either. "There's enough for us and the birds to eat." For many, such decisions are a result of their spirituality, but Dhirendra says that it is a natural progression of their lifestyle: "We want to develop truth, non-violence and love within ourselves and stop the violence, anger, and greed. That's our spirituality. That's it."

Last year, when they were out-of-town visiting relatives, heavy rains hit their neighborhood. In the process of getting out of harms way, one of their cows slipped and died from the strain of the rope around her neck. When Dhirendra and Smita saw the horrific site, they wondered about tying up animals. They asked, "Why do we tie up animals? It's not natural." A few months later, when milking another cow, Smita noticed a curious habit she hadn't been conscious of - putting the mother's calf in front of her so she gives milk. Again they asked, "To use up a mother's milk for our benefit is almost like theft. Man is the only animal that does that. Is that really natural?" For them, it wasn't and since that day, more than a year ago, both Dhirendra and Smita have turned vegan.
Henry David Thoreau once said, "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, to discover that I had not lived."
If there is ever a doubt if Thoreaus exist in this day and age, if there is ever a doubt if it is practical to lead a life in alignment with ideals of simplicity, if there is ever a doubt that two PhD's live a natural life on seven dollars a month, go visit the Sonejis in the village of Sakwa. You will believe

Thursday, 28 November 2013

A Pair of Eyes...

..Story of Grace and Gratitude.

In continuation of periodically bringing to you the  stories of real people who make a difference, and inspire, here is one about a young IAS officer from the Odisha cadre.

All of us are often subjected  to innumerable 'eyes watching us'. The eyes of suspicion, the eyes of expectations, the eyes of fear, the eyes of despair, even the eyes of disbelief! But when a pair of eyes look up to you with gratitude, some magic occurs.

Read on the story, in her own words, from Usha Padhee..

Usha Padhee

This story of my life seems like dream but true.

In 1998, I was working as Sub-Collector in Baliguda, Sub-Division of Kandhamal district, Odisha. As a young administrator I used to travel a lot and interact with locals. One day in a village I encountered with a poor old man who was almost blind due to cataract. I explained him about the free facilities extended by the Government for eye operation. He expressed his inability to reach district Head Quarter which was around 80 KM away. Also may be he had no money or relative to accompany. As a routine gesture I informed him that when I go for the meeting at district Head Quarter next week, I can take him along to drop at district hospital for which he agreed. Subsequent week I dropped him at district hospital with an instruction that after operation he should be sent back to the village.
 May be, after three months or so, during one of my grievance-redressal days, my personal secretary informed me about a man standing near my door, refusing to come in for any grievance, but wanting only to see me when I leave my office!
 He stayed on till I was ready to leave my office. I cannot forget, outside my office, the man standing was that old man whom I had taken for cataract operation. A pair of eyes just watched me, as I came out of the office. He raised his both hands, blessing me, and said that when I took him to the hospital he was not able to see me. He had come just to see the person who had helped him, as he could see me now!

At that point of time it was just an insignificant incident, though, I was amazed by the thankfulness of the old man. But I felt the impact of this incident later. Whenever I remember this, invariably I feel so humbled by the gratitude expressed by the old man. It was part of my duty and I received so much of warmth for something I felt was so routine a task. A small act, bringing some happiness to other person, brings so much of satisfaction and sense of fulfilling. I always felt I have received the love in leaps and bounds compared to the action of mine. It reaffirms my belief that all good you do comes back to you exponentially. When I feel any unfairness or selfishness around me, I remember the pair of eyes which give me assurance that these trivial things do not matter when you do something good, as it will bring happiness to someone, somewhere…….

Please leave behind your comments, as you may also like to recommend 'India I Care' movement in your circle of influence by connecting them with such stories.

D I L I P  P A T E L
for IIC Team

Monday, 25 November 2013

IAS and India I Care - Batch 13

When the bureaucrats decide to change....

T H E R E  I S  H O P E.

Hum Honge Kamayaab... We shall succeed.

13th batch of IAS ( Indian Administrative Service) officers, along with select Civil Service Officers from the Prime Minister's office of Uganda just  concluded their training program on Ethics in Governance on 22nd November, 2013 at Asia Plateau, Panchgani, Maharashtra, India, the International center for training and reconciliation of Initiatives of Change.

The 'India I Care' session was received by one and all with a great sense of responsibility, and positive commitments. The Ugandan team even went back with the thoughts of initiating 'Uganda I Care'!!

The decisions the officers took for initiating a change at their personal level for their personal as well as professional life are highly commendable.

Sincere as they are, the decisions are worth emulating by any sensible citizen of the country.

We are reproducing them here with a hope that they will inspire all the followers of this site/blog.

Decisions shared in writing by IAS officers and Uganda’s civil servants
In the concluding session of the 13th program on Ethics for Public Governance
At Asia Plateau, Panchgani on 22nd November, 2013

Initiatives of Change in Professional Life

• Saying sorry to my workmates for the time I have been impatient & when I have not listened to their side of the story
• To solve problems by looking at my own failures first

• Firstly I want to reach that decision that I have to make a change and embrace something that means more to me than sit behind a desk and contribute to what doesn’t fully resonate with my heart
• Perhaps in 1 year I should have made that change. I trust God to lead me there

• I’ll try and talk to my colleagues and subordinates regarding inner change experience • No more anger/anguish
• I’ll reach office on time and come out on time
• I will muster courage to speak out and no more hiding from myself

• Deal with subordinates with love and affection • Don’t lose temper
• Be punctual
• Save electricity and water

• Maintain cleanliness
• Think how unreached can be reached

• Balance work with family
• Start the journey of finding out my purpose in life
• Teach my family to have a quiet time & always pray with them & take them to a Protestant fellowship
• Practice soul nurture
• Do exercises

• Sense of urgency and doing something positive even if it is not expected of my official duty
• Better listener
• Punctuality
• Will make promises after clearly weighing out all factors
• Will develop habit to speak less and only necessary on phone

The Voice of My Heart (for Work Life)
• Be a better listener
• To respect dignity of colleagues in all situations
• Not to be harsh on members of my team and even clients in the system (though I’ll not perpetrate corruption nor tolerate corrupt)
• Try to stop “I, Me and Myself” in giving examples

• Will try to use my authority to bring out a model for environmental-friendly development
• Will employ modern technology to eliminate corruption and also by teaching the importance of values
• Will employ the new technique learnt from here to change the work culture of my department

• I tend to get impatient and often angry with colleagues and subordinates who do not meet my expectations. It scares some away and makes them not get confidence to even put their differing points of view across
• I undertake to encourage colleagues and subordinates to give their points of view and to give each more chances even when my expectations are not met

To treat my staff/subordinates more gently even if they make a mistake

• I will be more patient with my staff in the office
• I will try to understand their family problems affecting their work output

• To be patient and supportive to the offices and staff at workplace
• To show more sincerity towards achieving objectives no matter how much it takes
• To be more open and frank with my superiors

I would like to change my attitude towards the guaranteed things which I assume actually which are not in my home and sphere of work

• Don’t angry on subordinate when they do mistakes without knowing it
• Be punctual for the meetings
• Allow the subordinates new ideas for the welfare of the institution

I would try to be a little softer with my staff & my subordinate. Try to punish them less but try to correct them

• Be a better person to work with
• Try to bring the ethics of moral values in all spheres of activities in my office & among my team
• Spread generosity
• Taking the managers to Mass, thro’ my area of influence

• My work should keep me to fulfil my Purpose
• Acting ethically will give meaning to my job and everyone I serve will trust what I do
• This will be the beginning of change in my life and the life of others who see me/ those I serve/ greater society

• Don’t always grumble about ineffectiveness of others
• Relax, you can’t work for everyone. Do the best you can and be happy
• Raise your voice against wrong
• Forgive those who are rude – as they know not what they are doing

• Silence before meetings in the office
• Use different methods to relay messages to society, like songs, drama, stickers, stories, etc.
• Talk to the youth more intimately

Not waver when I am sure the decision that I made was true and based on principles

• The inner side of me which I had covered would be allowed to surface and would definitely motivate people however crooked to do at least little good things
• One inspirational video before a meeting

• Take care of the environment
• Honesty in doing work re-emphasising the values of my organisation and making sure they are followed

I will try all efforts to convince the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister of Uganda to come for the conference on democracy in January and endeavour to persuade him from being too to his staff but take on team spirit of work for workplace harmony

• Being a better team player
• Coaching and mentoring those below me on subject of purpose driven life and living ethical lives
• Improving the image of the organization through advocacy for ethical governance practices

• Sharing the knowledge and experiences learned from MRA-Iofc training programmes, and encouraging the organisation team members to undertake the same training there

• The society should become more democratic in every sphere of life and work. Everybody should have the right to education and information so as to make a better choice in life and more meaningful purpose in life

• Teach the values I learned during the course to officers / probationers in my training institute
• Be more open to the stakeholders- clients to whom we serve
• More helpful to colleagues, subordinates
                                                      • Motivate fellow officers to attend this course at least once

And here are the decisions for personal life:

Decisions shared in writing by IAS officers and Uganda’s civil servants In the concluding session of the 13th program on Ethics for Public Governance At Asia Plateau, Panchgani on 22nd November, 2013
Initiatives of Change in Personal Life

My first step will be to make peace with my wife whom I have repeatedly wronged without apology
and create time with her and the family despite the busy schedule. I will also teach and encourage her
to jointly take quiet time every morning before going to work.
 I will strive to change from Arrogance to Humility in the rest of my life.
 The voice of my heart
• to respect emotions of others in family and be polite to each of them
• to sacrifice some of my personal pursuits for liked by ‘loved ones’
• not to impose my ideas on others while making a point
• to listen to others more than before
 As widely as possible to use the word sorry in relationships
• Reconcile and reorient my relationship with Daddy
• Learn to be more comfortable in my skin – working on my feelings of inadequacies
• Put myself in the other person’s shoes before I speak something (that is harsh)

• Change my nature- less revengeful – more compassionate
• Be more extrovert- open up to society
• Give more time to family/parents
• Go back to my village at least twice in a year – to do some social work
• Buy only what is needed
• Translate the desire to accumulate to the joy of giving
• Spend 10 minutes to hear the inner voice
• Never lose temper - however difficult the situation may be – it shall pass
• Listening to my Inner Voice
• Living honesty
• Stop the blame game and know that you can also effect change
• Need to forgive many people and let it out completely
• Redefining my purpose in life
• Forgiveness and reconstruction of relations at work that have been broken
• Listening more than talking and practicing the quiet time ideology
• Starting on the journey to be ethical in the transactions I do

• I will no more blame and complain
• I will not gossip and not criticize anybody on his/her back
• I will try to bring in more harmony in personal relationships
• I will save fuel by pooling in vehicles
• I’m going to work on the purpose of my life
• I will not waste time for pleasure/entertainment
• I need to re-discover myself and identify those gaps that make it difficult to be the change I want to see
• This I will do through Quiet Listening and obeying to my Inner Voice
• I have realised that life without a purpose is like a boat without a compass direction, it can end up hitting a rock
• I should be more patient with myself and others. I tend to want too much perfection and rarely stop to listen to the inner voice that will aid me to this perfection or even accept what is not possible
• I undertake to create more time for myself and listen often to the inner voice and to my heart

• To be a better family member and with more smile
• More time to teach my son
• Bring love and care in abundance
• Utilize all free time to pursue the purpose. Explore the unknown interested areas!
• Focus only on core issues
Spend time with family hear the spouse, children and relative voice
Do care of yourself 
Eat on time / do exercise
Attend relatives functions share your presence
Shed my complacency
Be truthful to all
Will not hurt others
From now on I will search for the purpose of my life
To be more understanding and patient with my family
To be supportive to members of my family with Love and Care
Most importantly to share with my family the knowledge enriched from Asia Plateau with a view to achieve positive things in family, society and the country as a whole

Little bit writing about thoughts occurring in my mind
Will develop habit of looking for opportunities to do act of kindness and generosity
• I will try to be more calm in future – putting a control on my mind
• I will try to be more natural in my attitude and behaviour
• I will give more time to my family members
 I’d give more time to myself both for my physical health and nourishing my soul
Be nice to everyone
Care and love for all
Keep environment clean
Save water and electricity
Save food
Think for 10 min in silence early morning
Stop being arrogant to subordinates
Stop being outspoken without intending to hurt any person
I would, even if I don’t agree that another person is right, try and apologize & get over the grudge I
don’t want to carry it forward

Adopt quiet time magic
Be the change I want to see in my society through better character and actions
To care for the environment in a better manner – keep it clean and plant more trees
To listen to my inner voice for at least 15 minutes in the morning (Quiet Time)
The officers at work place should be made to realise to work professionally and discharge their duty
with devotion rather than simply attending the office for a salary. 
They should also be an agent for change in the ‘chalta hai’ office culture
Through listening to my inner voice, I look forward to getting more insights into how to better
take care of my surroundings

A new DAWN at Table Land, Panchgani

So, dive deep into life and grab the above pearls of wisdom, and see where they could be meaningful to your life too.

D I L I P  P A T E L
For IIC Team

Saturday, 26 October 2013

The Story of Solutions

If we are tuned to receiving prescriptions to act, here is the latest offering from Annie Leonard, who shot into fame 5 years ago by giving us the story of stuff.

This video called the story of solutions rightly proposes to change the goal from creating 'more' in life to 'better' in life, and that can change the game!

Enjoy watching it, and see if appropriate life style changes can be made to move towards the solution.

And if you have something to share, please leave behind comments.

IIC Team

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Meghalaya Awakens..

Meghalaya's Chosen Circle Development Coordinators make decisions...

After 4 days of intensive engagement with the IofC team headed by Suresh Khatri at Asia Plateau, Panchgani recently, the highly enthusiastic circle development coordinators go back with renewed vigor to serve their villages with more sincerity. Here is a short film giving glimpses of the program at IofC.

It is time the real India wakes up to its rightful destiny.

for Team IIC

Friday, 27 September 2013

I Am Sorry..

A great tribute to courageous IAS officers...

Must watch..

May we desire, and work towards creating more and more of IAS officers who move from 'I Am Sorry' to 'I Assure Strength/sincerity/safety/systems/sanity/services....'

India I Care.

D I L I P   P A T E L
T E A M   I I C

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

QT 22

On Living and Life...

I came across the following write up on the internet.

Please read and ponder over the question posed at the end.

In 1923, nine of the wealthiest people in the world met at Chicago’s Edgewater Beach Hotel.
Their combined wealth, it is estimated, exceeded the wealth of the government of the United States at that time. These men certainly knew how to make a living and accumulate wealth.
Attending the meeting were the following men:
The president of the largest steel company,
The president of the largest utility company,
The president of the largest gas company,
The president of the New York Stock Exchange,
The president of the Bank of International Settlements,
The greatest wheat speculator,
The greatest bear on Wall Street,
The head of the World’s greatest monopoly,
& a member of President Harding’s cabinet.
That’s a pretty impressive line-up of people by anyone’s yardstick.
Yet, 25 years later, where were those nine industrial giants?
Let’s examine what happened to them 25 years later.
1. The President of the then largest steel company (Bethlehem Steel Corp), Charles M Schwab, lived on borrowed capital for five years before he died bankrupt.
2. The President of the then largest gas company, Howard Hubson, went insane.
3. One of the greatest commodity traders (Wheat Speculator), Arthur Cutten, died insolvent
4. The then President of the New York Stock Exchange, Richard Whitney, was sent to jail.
5. The member of the US President’s Cabinet (the member of President Harding’s cabinet), Albert Fall, was pardoned from jail just to be able to go home and die in peace.
6. The greatest “bear” on Wall Street, Jesse Livermore committed suicide.
7. The President of the then world’s greatest monopoly, Ivar Krueger, committed suicide.
8. The President of the Bank of International Settlement, Leon Fraser, committed suicide.
9. The president of the largest utility company, Samuel Insull, died penniless.
What they forgot was how to “make” life while they got busy making money.
Money in itself is not evil; it provides food for the hungry, medicine for the sick, clothes for the needy; Money is only a medium of exchange.
We need two kinds of education:
a) One that teaches us how to make a living and
b) One that teaches us how to live.
There are many of us who are so engrossed in our professional life that we neglect our family, health and social responsibilities.
If asked why we do this we would reply that “We are doing it for our family”.
Yet, our kids are sleeping when we leave home. They are sleeping when we come back home! Twenty years later, we’ll turn back, and they’ll all be gone, to pursue their own dreams and their own lives.
Without water, a ship cannot move. The ship needs water, but if the water gets into the ship, the ship will face existential problems. What was once a means of living for the ship will now become a means of destruction?
Similarly we live in time where earning is a necessity but let not the earning enter our hearts, for what was once a means of living will surely become a means of destruction for us as well!

So take a moment and ask yourself…
Has the water entered my ship? I surely hope it hasn't yet done so!

And if you will express yourself in comments column, We will appreciate it.

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