A Common View Made Rare by the Pandemic

This was such a common view, having been on a flight at least twice a month, over the past 15 year until the pandemic arrived. I was on a flight only once in the last 6 months and that too a special flight that repatriated standard Sri Lankan’s home. I feel relived that I don’t have to pack my bags every fortnight and this is likely to continue for many more months. Stumbling upon this picture that I had taken on one of my flights, evoked mixed feelings. I am not sure if I am actually relieved or if I am going to miss my travel. Well I suppose this is food for thought dished out by the pandemic.

Interfaith harmony – Childlike Joy

The Cardinal of the Catholic Church of Sri Lanka and a Senior Buddhist monk during a moment that capture interfaith harmony and childlike joy. The picture speaks for itself. Let’s hope and pray that this type of authentic harmony and joy spreads far and wide to heal this world.

Natures Wrath – When Will We Wake Up?

mahogany landslide may 2017
 Landslide of a Mahogany Plantation

It’s May 2017. I got a call from the account manager from the company that manages my Mahogany plantation in the Ratnapura district of Sri Lanka. I have some bad news to share with you. What is it? I ask. One of your Mahogany plantations in Munihinkanda has got affected by the recent landslides. We have not been able to access the plantation yet as the authorities have restricted access to the plantations until they are able to confirm that it is secure. What is the extent of the damage? I ask. About ten acres of the plantation has slid down to the river below and we feel it includes one of your plots too.

As I digested this news my mind went to the time that a rubber plantation of a larger extent belonging to my father was destroyed due to a cyclone about 40 years ago. I remembered my involvement in the process of transporting the fallen trees to help my father recover at least a part of the losses. My mind wonders to the hundreds of lives lost due to this storm and thousands who have lost their livelihood as a result. I have watched with dismay so many natural disasters such as hurricanes, tsunami’s, floods, landslides, forest fires and now a pandemic.

The question is, when will we humans learn to stop destroying nature? How many more disasters are needed before we stop damaging Mother Nature so that we can live in harmony with nature.

Joyous Humility

Mental Toughness for the Sri Lankan Cricket Team

This is a moment of Joy and Humility. The humility of being trusted to spend 3-days with the Sri Lankan Cricket Team in 2003 in helping them in developing mental strength. The joy of learning from this amazing team while been entrusted to share some essential mental techniques with them. The joy of liberating and galvanising the energy, passion and confidence of this team that makes a cricket loving nation of 20 million proud.

New Year during the Pandemic – A Reflection

NewYear 2020
Image Credits: Tripadvisor.com

Wish you all a happy new year, Subho nababarsho [Bengali], Sawatdii pimaï [Thai], Hnit thit ku mingalar pa [Burmese], Naya Barsa Ko Hardik Shuvakamana [Nepali], Nav varsh ki subhkamna [Hindi], Iniya puthandu nal Vazhthukkal [Tamil], Suba nava vasarak wewa [Sinhalese]

This is an amazing time every year for many countries in South Asia and Southeast Asia when most of us celebrate the traditional New Year. The New Year is celebrated between 13 to the 15 of April in India, Nepal, Myanmar [Burma], Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

However, this New Year is perhaps the most significant in our life time as we celebrate it during the pandemic which most of us are experiencing for the first time. Let’s explore the significance of the New Year this year from that context.

Continue reading “New Year during the Pandemic – A Reflection”

Living our Dream Purposefully – Purpose of Living – Part 30

NAFLIA 2019 Presentation (Click here to Download Powerpoint)

NAFLIA 2019 Presentation (Click here to download PDF)

Click on the above link for the presentation related to the keynote speech to be given by me at NAFLIA 2019. Conference participants are invited to download the presentation and use it to follow the keynote speech. 

This blog is written in service of life-Insurance Advisors in Sri Lanka, specifically the members attending NAFLIA 2019, the National Forum for Life Insurance Advisors scheduled for the 2ndof September. My attempt is to articulate the key messages of the keynote speech that will be delivered by me.  

As I was reflecting on the topic for the annual conference, ‘Assuring Tomorrow Dream Today’. The questions that come up are, what is the action we need to take today to assure our dream of tomorrow? How do we know the action we choose to take today will assure our dream tomorrow? I realised this is a very complex question and that there is no standard answer to this as the action to be taken depends of the world each person lives in. What I mean by the ‘world’ is the immediate world of each person starting with him/herself, family, friends, organisations they belong to, organisations and people they interact with etc. The answer is personal.

Continue reading “Living our Dream Purposefully – Purpose of Living – Part 30”

The Purpose of the Mens Cricket World Cup – Purpose of Living – Part 28

CWC-2019-Captains
Image Credits: http://www.cricketworldcup.com

Over a billion people have been engaged with the ongoing Men’s Cricket World Cup over the last month. It all started with everyone hoping the cricket teams of their respective countries will become the world champions. The fact remains that only one team will be the eventual world champions. This blog is not about trying to predict the eventual champs, it is to discuss the impact of such sports extravaganza has on the lives of people.

The International Cricket Council organizes the Men’s Cricket World Cup as well as other global competitions related to Cricket to propagate cricket as well as raise funds. I am not sure which comes first. Is it to raise funds to propagate cricket or propagate cricket to raises funds. Well it doesn’t matter, perhaps both ends feed each other. There could be other reasons, for example to raise the standards of the sport and of those who are involved in it such as the players, coaching staff, umpires, referees, cricket boards and administrators. These aims could have a higher purpose that impacts the lives of people and I would like to address such issues in this blog post. 

My blog post of the last two months addressed the impact of violence, religion and politics on the lives of people in the aftermath of the Easter Sunday bomb attacks in Sri Lanka, one of the former world champions who are now at the bottom of the table, struggling for form. Yet the entire nation was hoping that they will become the champs again. Teams from other countries besieged by violence such as Pakistan and Afghanistan are also in contention. The founders of cricket, England, is amid perhaps their worst political crisis related to Brexit. They entered the tourney as one of the favourites. Countries such as South Africa, Bangladesh and the West Indies are besieged with their own political and economic crises.  Continue reading “The Purpose of the Mens Cricket World Cup – Purpose of Living – Part 28”

Impact of religion and politics on personal purpose? – Purpose of Living – Part 27

Impact of religion and politics of people 2

My blog post of last month addressed the notion of purpose of violence in the aftermath of the Easter Sunday bomb attacks in Sri Lanka. We saw the involvement of religion and politics in the aftermath of the incident, over the past month. The intention of this blog post is to help us to understand how religion and politics positively and negatively impacted the lives of people.

Since I am not an intelligence, theological or political science expert to make judgements about what happened, and who was responsible for what happened, I request you not to take the assumptions I make in this post as truth. I am far away from the inner circles to know the truth and I am basing this blog post on what I have heard from trusted personalities such as the Cardinal of Sri Lanka, the Commander of the Army, and a retired intelligence experts known to me personally.

Continue reading “Impact of religion and politics on personal purpose? – Purpose of Living – Part 27”

Attacking the Innocent – What is the Purpose? – Purpose of Living – Part 26

easter attacks - condole april 19
Image Credits: fairmail.info

It was Easter Sunday (21 April 2019). I was in my flat in Dhaka, attending to some important business matters when I got a message that a bomb had gone off at St Anthony’s Church in Kochchikade, Colombo. Having not heard of bombings and terrorist violence for the past ten years, since the end of the civil war in Sri Lanka, I hoped it was a hand grenade thrown by a business rival involved in unscrupulous business, with no injuries; these were the rare occurrences we heard of over the past ten years. Then the news started pouring in with photos and videos of simultaneous bomb attacks in two other churches and luxury hotels as well. My immediate concern was for my family who would have been at an Easter Mass at the same time. After calling and ensuring they were safe, my thoughts went out to the victims. I started hearing news of people known to me or families of people known to me having lost their lives or being injured, among the 253 souls that departed and 500 plus injured. I had visited St Anthony’s Church many times and I could picture the carnage as if I was there. It is considered a miraculous church and people from all religions visit to reflect on their challenges and ask help from St Anthony to resolve them.

Continue reading “Attacking the Innocent – What is the Purpose? – Purpose of Living – Part 26”

Purpose of Living – Part 8: The Ecological View Point

mahogany landslide may 2017
Natures Wrath: Landslide of a Mahogany Plantation

We explored the notion of purpose from the viewpoints of Abrahamic Religions, Eastern Philosophies, Early Sciences, Modern Sciences, Philosophy and Psychology in the last few blog posts in this series. Let’s now have a look at this notion from some of the Ecological viewpoints.

It’s May 2017. I got a call from the account manager from the company that manages my Mahogany plantation in the Ratnapura district of Sri Lanka. I have some bad news to share with you. What is it? I ask. One of your Mahogany plantations in Munihinkanda has got affected by the recent landslides. We have not been able to access the plantation yet as the authorities have restricted access to the plantations until they are able to confirm that it is secure. What is the extent of the damage? I ask. About ten acres of the plantation has slid down to the river below and we feel it includes one of your plots too. Interestingly I was calm as I heard this news, although the financial loss was going to be quite severe. As I digested this news my mind went to the time that a rubber plantation of a larger extent belonging to my father was destroyed due to a cyclone about 40 years ago. I remembered my involvement in the process of transporting the fallen trees to help my father recover at least a part of the losses. My mind wonders to the hundreds of lives lost due to this storm and thousands who have lost their livelihood as a result. Perhaps the reason for me to be emotionally unmoved by my financial loss could be because these are more severe than the personal financial loss I have incurred. I have watched with dismay so many natural disasters such as hurricanes, tsunami’s, floods, landslides, forest fires etc. happening in various parts of the world. It seems like it is getting more and more intense.

Continue reading “Purpose of Living – Part 8: The Ecological View Point”