morale

DOES ACTION FOLLOW INSPIRATION?

 

Here is a cliched fact. We are the sum of all the experiences that we encounter as we live. These skills may be good or bad. In either way, we feel inspired to do something new or change the way we carry out our tasks. Whatever the reason, most of the time we are inspired. The surge of adrenaline pushes us to become ambitious, and we begin to imagine taking action to turn those immature ideas into reality. Alas, the effects are ephemeral.

Imagine that we recently finished watching a documentary about the life of Elon Musk. It strongly depicted his visionary in turning an impossible idea into reality. The struggles and sacrifices and the criticisms he had to overcome to become the most influential figure. The story about how he founded PayPal and sold it to concentrate on SpaceX and building fuel efficient electric Tesla cars.

If we know more about Musk than I have mentioned here, then we might have already been inspired to do something new. The jumbled impossible ideas in our head will start to make sense as the neurons connect and provide meaning to our thoughts. So far so good. An hour later, we are still as determined as we were when we finished watching that documentary. Ok. Turn the clock 12 hours forward, and I bet that we are spending our time talking about the hundred reasons why Messi retired from the international stage. The inspiration is no longer there.

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Nature sure inspires us but for how long can we keep under its influence?

Sometimes, all these thoughts do not make any sense. The brain is fooling us. It wants us not to indulge in tedious tasks. For the brain, less means more rest. We slowly lose productivity in our daily tasks.

Or imagine watching our favorite TV series or movies. I bet that most of the time, we come out inspired at the end of the show. Then, we are energetic for the time being and after few hours, we are back to watching something to get inspired once more. The cycle repeats.

In my case, I am writing this post after more than three-month hiatus. Between this post and the last post, I have been inspired to write at least more than thousand times. I never made it to writing one, though. The thoughts about spending an hour in front of the laptop and writing a blog post so that it can influence those who read could never outsmart the idea of watching cool YouTube videos for that hour. I lost the reason for my writing. I decided that it required a lot of efforts and a lot of edits before it gets published. There was no profit in writing a blog post, or at least that was what I thought. That was it. Excuses piled up and before I realized that it was making me less productive, it was already too late.

But why so much hesitation? Why can’t we push ourselves beyond our limits and not slack in any possible ways? Why do we need to wait to get inspired until we watch the next exciting show? The reason is that we don’t get any incentive even if we had completed that task. To illustrate, let’s say that we want to create a new social media app that can challenge the likes of Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram. We begin to work on it. Midway, we convince ourselves that there is no reason in continuing our work because our efforts do not get appreciated. We are not getting any chocolate. We are 100% sure that our idea will not persuade any investor. We are 200% sure about wasting our time, and that is when we quit on our idea even though we had watched a movie 12 hours earlier where the protagonist never gives up and shines on the big stage.

Why can’t we continue our inspiration in building something until we reached the end product? Or are we just lazy and living in a different reality where putting in efforts is not the best way to enjoy our free time? Or did someone inspire us to do so?

EPITOME OF GROWING UP

“परिपक्व हुनु भनेको यथार्थको महसुस हुनु हो।

जिन्दगीको सुत्र फेला परेपनि आफुसंग त्यसको लगाम नभएको स्विकार्न सक्नु हो।

आफुले बुझे भन्ठानेका कुराहरु अझै बुझिसकिएको छैन रहेछ भनेर थाहा पाउनु हो।

आफुले सत्य ठानेको कुरा भन्दा अरुको सत्य रहेछ भनेर देख्न सक्नु हो।

प्रत्येक जटिल प्रश्नको सहज उत्तर हुदैन।

त्यसैले समयलाई स्विकार्न सक्नु हो सायद परिपक्क हुनु।”

– प्रधानमन्त्री आशा, “सिंहदरबार” टेलेसिरिअलको भाग सातबाट

“Growing up is the realization of reality.

It is to know the rule of life and yet, accept the lack of control over it.

It is to discover that there is much more to things that we feel we’ve understood.

It is to see that there are alternate truths to the things we feel are true.

Growing up is accepting that you don’t always have an answer.”

-PrimeMinister Aasha, From episode 7 of Nepali mini series “Singha Durbar”

 

The above monologue encapsulates the epitome of what it means to growing up. At the end of that episode, the lead protagonist realizes that growing up is accepting what happens in our realities and letting ourselves open to new interpretations that either others come up with or which we improvise over the course of our lives.

Many a times we do not question the truths that we had established from our experiences. For us, our truths are the only ones out there. We do not conform to new outlooks that others have formed. We reject the idea that there are new interpretations to what we perceive from our lives. If we hold these thoughts, we are not making any progress in our lives. We will not have developed mentally or socially. We will have failed to growing up.

Humans need to evolve. Their evolution is the collection of individual evolution. When individuals accept whatever is happening in their realities, then they are growing up. These individuals do not waste their time in questioning the realities they live in and blaming these realities for not being in sync with their realities. They have concluded that their only option is to move forward. They know that they can improvise their future in order to make the future realities as close to their realities as possible. Even if they fail, they move on and try again to realize the impossible. I am implying that they do not worry if the realities they live in go against their expectations. They would be foolish if they did that. If they are doing what I just discussed, then they are growing up.

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The moment we realize that there are different interpretations to this picture is the moment we will come to the possibility that we are indeed growing up.

For example, it is interesting to read what other bloggers write in their blogs. Unconsciously, we may even feel that writing a post for a blog requires less effort. After all, most bloggers use informal tones in their writing. By experience, we may also have stored in our conscience that informal writing is effortless. Well, when we do begin to write, the very reality we just established breaks. We slowly unravel the truth that informal writing requires the same dedication as a formal writing. We understand that informal writing needs the same words as a formal one. Both use diction in a similar way, and only their styles are different. In this case, by involving in a new experience, we infer that there are alternate truths differing from our own. By accepting this reality, we have grown up mentally.

Now, all of my above explanations assume that we will get answers when we question our realities. Well, it may not always be the case. Not everything we come into contact with is fathomable. There are many things about which we do not even have the slightest idea. The only thing we can do is to accept that these things have a reason to exist and that we have yet to find answers to them. For example, theists believe that gods created the universe; however, cosmologists argue that it is impossible for gods to create a universe because there was no time variable possible until the universe actually formed. In other words, since time did not start until the universe existed, how is it possible for gods to exist in a reality where time does not exist? Well, as someone new to this question, we can take whichever side we want because there is no definite answers to the arguments.

In the above case, we failed to get an answer. The bright side is that we will continue to search for answers to the unanswered questions. We accepted that not all questions have answers and that is the key to growing up. In a nutshell, accepting that we have no control over our realities and being able to open our minds to innumerable explanations of our own realities are the key traits to assessing our development. So, have you grown up?

(Quote credits: Search for Common Ground Nepal’s SinghaDurbar Episode 7)

WHEN NEPALESE VOTE FOR A NEPALI FOR AN INTERNATIONAL AWARD

Two days ago, CNN named Maggie Doyne as the CNN Hero of the Year. She was the third winner affiliated to Nepal, after Anuradha Koirala and Pushpa Basnet, in the last eight years who was awarded for making huge impacts in the lives of Nepali. As a Nepali myself, it surely made me proud. Honestly, sometimes I think that whenever there is someone who is nominated for an international award, Nepali community will do whatever it can to make sure he/she gets the award. It is no coincidence that the pattern has repeated in the last couple of years.

In October, when Maggie Doyne was listed in the top ten, Nepalese knew that she was the founder and CEO of BlinkNow, a nonprofit organization that is helping over 400 children from poor communities to educate and prepare them up to post-graduate level with the establishment of Kopila Valley Children’s Home and School. Then, it was time for Nepalese to spread the word like a wildfire in the internet. Many urged to vote for Maggie and then thousands joined in. Their dedication finally paid off two days ago.

Nepalese feel a great sense of responsibility to show their gratefulness for someone who is involved in benevolent work and who gets recognized by the international community. It is something we closely connect to with the person. Even if they are foreigners, their contributions to the Nepali community stands out. We automatically categorize them as Nepali. They become our family and their happiness is our happiness. So, we become desperate to vote them. Most of the time, we will have become victorious.

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Next time you see a Nepali nominated for an international award, there is high chance he/she will eventually win it.

 

Sometimes, I feel strange that a country with a small population has a bigger influence in an international award. Sometimes, I wonder why countries with wide internet access and with large population do not commit enough to win their countrymen. Perhaps I think that maybe they do not have to, as they continuously win other prestigious prizes. But for Nepal, just to see someone who represents/kind-of-represents the country is a great achievement. We have very little that we can symbolize ourselves proudly in the international arena besides being home to Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) and Lord Gautam Buddha to name a few. It is why Nepalese do not want to leave these chances that will help in cementing their country’s name in the world.

It was no wonder that Sano Babu Sunuwar and Lakpa Tsheri Sherpa from Nepal were named as People’s Choice for Adventurers of the Year 2012 organized by National Geographic Society. They had amassed the majority of the 72000 votes. Even in this case, Nepalese made sure that they took the title. In another instance, in 2007, Nepalese collected enough money to go to India and vote for Prashant Tamang, an Indian from a Nepali-speaking community in Darjeeling. They made sure that he won the title of Indian Idol. And, they were successful.  

The vast circulation of voting guidelines over the internet followed by a sense of responsibility from Nepali is more than enough to make sure that a Nepali or someone affiliated to Nepal shines throughout the world. The probability for this is so high that the next time you see a Nepali or someone who has contributed greatly to it nominated for an award, you will notice that he/she will have eventually won it. Just watch to deduce if I was wrong or not.

 

WHY DHOTI IS NO LONGER IN MY DICTIONARY

There was a time when I was taught to call my south Nepalese compatriot with bhaiya or with a derogatory remark, dhotis. Whenever I saw someone relatively black and closely resembling from an Indian descent (as was the stereotype in the Pahadis), my brain automatically used bhaiyas and dhotis to address them. I never realized the negative influence that my Pahadi stereotype had on my life.

My perspective drastically changed when I joined Budhanilkantha school that brought a diverse group of students from all the 75 districts of Nepal every year. Never before had I been exposed to such a diverse culture for I was reared in an area dominated by Gurungs, Brahmins and Chhetris. I had only read about the diverse ethnicity and culture that Nepal boasted of from my social studies book, but I had not experienced it directly Now, I had the chance to refine my stereotyped views in this Mini-Nepal.

I had a daily interaction with almost 60-70 different ethic groups. That was a lot to take in. Why did I need to look them in terms of which areas they come from? Why did it matter to categorize them as Southerners, Northerners, Westerners,  HimaliPahadi, Madhesi,  and Sherpali? Why did my brain have to process their Nepali accents and come up with different permutations to determine their place of origin? Why did I never think that a common term would free me from all these subclasses? That is when I discovered that all these terms were just a bunch of electrons circling a nucleus, Nepali. Yes, it was that easy. These affiliations were nothing but sub groups of being a Nepali.

I rejoiced at the beauty of my interpretation. It was simple yet enormously powerful. I no longer had to gaze at my friends and unconsciously  invite my brain to categorize them before I communicated. I started to call my brothers dais and stopped using dhotis. Calling someone from southern origins dhotis was a shame to the diverse education  I was exposed to and a sign that echoed my narrow-mindedness. I analyzed the society I was brought up in and noticed that it had not embraced a cosmopolitan view of the world. I was surprised that it could still focus its energy on such trivial things instead of diverting its attention to much more important matters.

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There are more than 40 different ethnic groups but unless I told you, you didn’t know about it. All you saw was a group of students who smiled and laughed together.That is what it all matters.

People have come up with various reasons over what has been happening in Nepal right now. However, what I would like to emphasize is the subtle cause of these problems. Interestingly, the reasons trace back to our narrow mindset when our society taught us to follow the stereotypes. What we did was oppress the feelings of our southern brothers. We never treated them as Nepali. The cumulative effects are being felt right now. Even today, the Pahadis view Himalis as Nepali and their definition even extends to the Nepali-speaking people of Darjeeling, India, but they categorize Madhesis as an extension of Indian diaspora. Does language play an important role to defining who we are? If so, then why don’t we provide citizenship to an American who speaks fluent Nepali instead of making him wait to fulfil the conditions stated in the constitution? Most of us disagree with what I just said. Why? Because it’s nonsense? If we follow the stereotypical view, does not it make sense to legally grant the American a Nepali status?

The above scenario is where our ideology fails and gets highly criticized. Our moral stances have placed a greater emphasis on the dialect that one can converse in than the decades of life spent in the territory. It discriminates a native who narrowly fails the criteria to become a citizen just because he does not speak proper Nepali. It is outrageous to categorize that way. But, like I said earlier, the stereotypes of the pahadi CDOs (people who look after the administration of the district) drive their unconscious brain to not provide a citizenship to a Madhesi who has lived in Nepal for more than thirty/forty years. He is driven by the fear that someday, Madhesis would meekly accept to India’s sovereignty and it would lead to the division of Nepal.

This narrow perspective is what needs to be changed. Unless we care to teach our kids to call and treat their southern friends as Nepali, no amendment in the constitution will ever make a difference. I am not limiting to the kids only. I am focusing on them because their innocent minds are fooled by what we direct them to believe in. The vicious cycle has to end right now and what greater way than to show our solidarity to our southern Nepalese in the current humanitarian crisis. Moreover, every one of us must refine our thoughts and call everyone Nepali. Treat everyone Nepali. Make sure that everyone is treated Nepali. Slap someone who does not treat the southerners Nepali. Leave a discussion that treats Nepali as Indians. Only then, Nepal will steer towards an era of development and peace. Only then will all the blood-sheds that occurred in Nepal prove worthy.

It is with these very reasons that I no longer care if I am a Brahmin or a Pokhreli and I no longer call my people Dhotis or Madhesis. Why? Because we are, above all our classifications, NEPALI!

 

 

USURPED BY LEGACY

Nothing has fascinated me more than the desire to leave a legacy in every work that I do. That is why I long to master perfection by carving my abilities to their full potential.
Whenever we study a successful figure, we do not revel at the developments he did but are inspired at the way he let the world dance along to his beats. It is not the money he earns or his products that so much impacts the way we perceive the world but due to the very way that he led us believe that such a thing was even possible in the first place. And that is what I have been closely scrutinizing whenever I hear about people, famous or not, shaping the world in surprising ways. The very attitude to leave a legacy in every work they do, however small it may be, grabs my attention and pushes me to unchartered territories.
I am not certain of my career fifteen years from now but I have pledged to leave a legacy for others to follow from whatever work I find appealing. Because small or not, my work may inspire a small group and as inspiration is exponentially powerful, it slowly dissipates the legacy that I have created.

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I have no intention of blabbering whatever comes into my mind but when I self-analyze my surroundings, I feel that most of us live our lives for granted. At the same time, talk about legacy may seem too ambitious but I can’t deny the fact that creating a legacy in itself is very inspiring and pushes you to achieve more. In other words, it lets you to be in charge and compels others to learn from your lives. After all, we all learn something from whomever we meet in our lives.
Legacy is all about polishing what you do and spread the good in a contagious way. Thomas Alva Edison’s legacy was to try on and on no matter the amount of failures that we experience. Steve Jobs taught us to think ‘out of the box’ and strive towards excelling at creativity. Many other people that I have come across have taught me something significant. I learn from them and grow. Or when I see people involved in their quotidian acts, I revere the legacy, charming or not, that they are creating for the passersby.
I feel that I am blinded by leaving a legacy for others to follow. I have no control over the future but I can begin to realize my faith. After all, when I die, I want to be remembered for the legacy that I left behind and not for the countless other stories surrounding my life. Because legacy is what immortalizes me whatever the backgrounds I present to the world. My name will be forgotten but I wish to live on through my legacies.