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.

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”

Purpose of Living – Part 7: The Psychological View Point

psychology of purpose
http://www.webpt.com

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

 

Although having been appointed to boards of two of the companies of John Keells Holdings, at the age of 27, after having been appointed Marketing Manager of that company at the age of 24, largely due to the gold medal I won at the final examination of the UK based Chartered Institute of Marketing examination, and many corporate successes, I had a sense of emptiness and meaninglessness in my life during my early thirties. The various solutions applied to deal with this emptiness were related to attempting to think and act positively after having attended the ‘Mastery of Self’ playshop under Omar Khan during that period. I also find many of the participants attending workshops I facilitate grappling with such emptiness.

 

Positive psychology – A science of positive subjective experience, positive individual traits, and positive institutions promises to improve quality of life and prevent the pathologies that arise when life is barren and meaningless – addresses this feeling of emptiness, described with the word ‘barren’.  The exclusive focus on pathology that has dominated so much of our discipline results in a model of the human beings lacking the positive features that makes life worth living. Hope, wisdom, creativity, future mindedness, courage, spirituality, responsibility, and perseverance are ignored or explained as transformations of more authentic negative impulses (Seligman, Csikszentmihalyi, 2014, p.5).

Continue reading “Purpose of Living – Part 7: The Psychological View Point”

Purpose of Living – Part 6: The Philosophical View Point

purpose-of-philosophy
Image Credits: http://www.lifepersona.com

We explored the notion of purpose from the viewpoint from Abrahamic Religions, Eastern Philosophies, early sciences and modern sciences in the last few blog posts in this series. Let’s now have a look at this notion from some of the Philosophical viewpoints.

An early proponent of the concept of purpose was Aristotle. His thinking of purpose tends to summarise the viewpoints of this diverse group of people. He suggests that the most basic meaning of quality of life refers to the ability of humans to formulate and implement purpose. Adoption of a good lifestyle that includes good health, social wellbeing and environmental safety or their promotion is purposeful activity (Jonsen,1976). While concepts of health, social wellbeing and environment is alluded by Aristotle, he does not talk about skills, knowledge and vocation, as echoed in some of the conversations I have had, and from my first-person knowing.

Continue reading “Purpose of Living – Part 6: The Philosophical View Point”

Purpose of Living – Part 5: The View Point from Modern Sciences

purpose - modern science3
Image Credits: http://www.powepresive.com

We explored the notion of purpose from the perspective of Abrahamic Religions, Eastern Philosophies and early sciences in the last few blog posts in this series. Let’s now have a look at this notion from some of the modern scientific viewpoints.

Modern sciences have developed new theories, from the findings of the early sciences, about the evolution of life. An initial review of this literature does not provide specific answers regarding the purpose of life and the purposeful living of beings, specifically human beings. Therefore, this body of knowledge needs to be further analysed for deeper and wider understanding, which could lead to a theory regarding purposefulness (major theme in my doctoral inquiry). The discovery of Nuclein and Double Helix Structure of DNA by Crick, Watson and Wilkins (Olby, 1974) has helped deeper understanding of its role in the makeup of human beings, providing potential to understand the purpose of our lives.

Continue reading “Purpose of Living – Part 5: The View Point from Modern Sciences”

Purpose of Living – Part 4: The View Point from Early Sciences

Purpose - early science
Image Credits: http://taufikthebeta.blogspot.ae/

We explored the notion of purpose from the view point from Abrahamic Religions and Eastern Philosophies in the last blog post. Let’s now have a look at this notion from some of the early scientific viewpoints.

The various early sciences give a scientific basis for understanding life, and consequently the purpose of life and individual purposefulness. While purpose per se is researched in a very limited way according to the literature I have examined, reading in to some of the scientific theory and the life of some of the early scientists shows the scientific basis for the evolution of life. Therefore, reflecting on some of the concepts could help understand the purpose of living beings and the purpose of life as a whole. Theories such as the Theory of Gravity discovered by Isaac Newton, Theory of Evolution discovered by Charles Darwin, early discovery of Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) by Friedrich Miescher and Quantum Theory by Albert Einstein, as well as the circumstances under which such theories evolved would provide a window in to the thinking about ‘purpose’.

Continue reading “Purpose of Living – Part 4: The View Point from Early Sciences”

Purposeful Living – Part 3: The Religious Viewpoint

purpose and religion
Image Credits: Alternate.org

My work over the last 20 years around the notion of purpose has informed me of diverse viewpoints about purpose. These viewpoints are defined by the values and beliefs of different persons I was fortunate enough to interact with. Attempting to articulate at least a glimpse of one’s purpose may require an appreciation of such values and beliefs, so that such a purpose does not conflict with who the person is and his/her viewpoint of the nature of the world. Therefore, I would like to dedicate this blog post to various religious viewpoints regarding purpose of life. The next blog post will be dedicated to the scientific viewpoints regarding purpose of life. Continue reading “Purposeful Living – Part 3: The Religious Viewpoint”

Purposefulness

Have you ever wondered about the purpose of your life? Why on earth are you here? Those of you who may have been to one of our workshops or any other relevant learning experience, may have an idea about the concept of purpose and know at least the beginnings of your purpose. Given below is a poem I wrote as I reflected on where I am with regard to my purpose, together with a group of us who are co-inquiring about our purposefulness.

Purposefulness the poem June 16

I recommend you do some creative journaling about where you are with regard to your purpose using a poem, song, photo, drawing, pottery, mask, handicraft, dance, writing, mind map, formula, graph or any other form you are most passionate about to understand about your current purposefulness. Please share them with us if you wish, we would love to see them and help you make sense of it.

The photo of the tree in the picture that includes the poem above inspired me to write this poem.

How to master yourself and win in your life

When I was first nominated for the ‘Mastery of Self [MS] through Neuron Linguistic Programming [NLP]‘ in 1995 by my employer John Keells Holdings, I never knew what an impact it was going to make in my life. When I first received the notice to attend the workshop I thought it was something to do with computer programming. I was right and wrong. I was right because it was about programming a computer. I was wrong because it was not the desk top or the laptop or the palm top. It was the neck top super computer the most powerful information processing system in the world.

I was fascinated learning about the potential of the brain. I was fascinated learning about the power of the NLP tools to release that potential. I was fascinated by the inspirational impact made on all the participants by the trainer, Omar Khan. It was not a seminar or a workshop but a playshop, an experience where we learn with fun and activity in a child like manner, exploring the wonders of our real potential and talent. Continue reading “How to master yourself and win in your life”