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Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Social Cohesion

“What is the most important thing in life? If we ask someone living on the edge of starvation, the answer is food. If we ask someone dying of cold, the answer is warmth. If we put the same question to someone who feels lonely and isolated, the answer will probably be the company of other people’, writes Jostein Gaarder, the author of the international best-seller, Sophie's World.
The people of Nepal at this time needs the strong support and company of the world after they were struck by an earthquake on April 26, 2015. Measuring a magnitude of 7.9 on the Richter scale, reports say that it has claimed more than 2,500 lives and left over 5,000 casualties (figure estimated as of today). The earthquake which is not an anticipated “great Himalayan earthquake” as claimed by Roger Bilham, a geologist who studies seismicity in the Himalayan area, has also tremored Bhutan and India. Thankfully, it has not claimed any lives in our country, but reported damages in some parts of India. 
Picture courtesy: Click LINK
It is truly inspiring that a Bhutanese team of 52 (37 medical team assisted by 15 De-suups [Guardian of Peace]) led by the Prime Minister are flying to Kathmandu, Nepal, on the command of His Majesty the King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, to join the world in rescue and relief operations. Bhutan will also donate a sum of Nu. 62 M (USD 1M) by the Prime Minister and the rescue team on behalf of the King and the Bhutanese people. The ‘People’s King’, who is always compassionate and altruistic to his subjects and to the world in general, has as usual exercised the genuine indigenous attributes of a true ‘Dharma (Buddhist) Kings’ by helping with what a small nation like Bhutan can offer. 
From the flashback of September 21, 2009 earthquake which measured up to 6.1 on the Richter scale, and destroyed many houses and artifacts  in the eastern regions of Bhutan, I know what fear and phobia caused due to earthquake insinuates. We experienced a terrible aftershocks of minimum 10 times a day for almost a week. Fearing the abrupt aftereffects, we have even forgone to celebrate the ‘Blessed Rainy Day’, the traditionally auspicious day of cleansing our bad deeds by natural water resources that fell on the 23rd of September annually.
Experts advise us not to panic and remain calm during such hours of natural catastrophes, but it does not work in reality. Even that systematically practiced ‘Duck, Cover and Hold’ skills during the mock drills in the schools just become a forgotten story. Needless to say, the so-called safe evacuation routes and safety zones never comes into our mind but rather ends up running into more danger spaces when engulfed with a fear. This is natural because everyone simply fears of losing our life. We don’t want to die without a reason of our own.
And one of the most unfortunate things that usually takes place is the interruption of telecommunication linkages and getting the network congested. But these days we are grateful to the advancement in technology that we can trace our families, friends and relatives living in any part of the world that has good mobile connectivity. Thanks to the Facebook for creating a “Safety Check” and the Google for the “Person Finder”. Such applications are extremely laudable particularly during the times of such emergencies. 
I hope that those missing members are traced out very soon. I deeply share the grieve of those bereaved families who have lost their beloveds in this unfortunate tragedy. May God bless them for the quick recovery and recuperation of their health.
“Hands that help are holier than the lips that pray” – Sai Baba

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Hippocrates or Hypocrites, is still our CHOICE

Revered as the father of western medicine, Hippocrates was one of the most ancient Greek physicians. The history has it that he was notably the pioneer behind the most successful medical saga.
His famous therapeutic vow, commonly referred as the Hippocratic Oath is widely practiced even today across the globe. The oath is an agreement taken by the novice physicians and health professionals’ swearing-in to practice medicine with honesty and integrity. Precisely, his oath resembles like a medical constitution where people corroborate to be a better human in saving the other’s life. So, if the world has millions of better medical professionals, I feel a bigger share of credit owes to Hippocrates. Due to his ingenious therapeutic pledge, all the medical professionals are mandated to swear in to work with a better heart. Thus, it is for this reason that I often tag the name of this medical genius as a synonym to noble, superior, moral and honorable. 
Courtesy: Click LINK
Hypocrites, as many of us know, sometimes to a non-native English people like me, ends up considering it as a homophone of Hippocrates. But as one dichotomize and inspect cautiously, they share a lopsided heterogeneity. The difference is a measure of the space between the sky and the earth.  
The world is rapidly undergoing a series of artificial mutation and the very essence of human values are inescapably getting corroded. People talk about a bunch of admirable philosophies and principles, but walks otherwise. The very same people are capable of dressing-up themselves as an honest and morally upright, to the degree that can mesmerize the human attention while in reality they fall out of that self-created zone of a ‘principled human’. They want the world to see the trace and hear the whisper of any minute charity and philanthropic works using social media as an advertising agent, but ignores to the roar of human pandemonium created due to their imitated behaviors. Such manners largely contribute to make the world more vulnerable and eligible to be the brothels of hypocrites. And when this breed is unstoppable, the history will write and remember it as another kind of genetic mutation.
But at an individual level, to lead in the way of either Hippocrates or Hypocrites is still our CHOICE.
“Hypocrites get offended by the truth”- Jess C. Scott

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Positive Parenting Month

The Ministry of Education in Bhutan designated April as ‘Positive Parenting Month’ in 2009.
As a School Parenting Education Awareness (SPEA) focal person then, I took a lead role in sharing on positive child rearing and parenting styles to the parents of my students. Although there are myriads of parenting styles, either commonly practiced or inherited from our parents, psychologists have revealed a plethora of literature on which and what kind of parenting styles impact best to the lives of our children.
The groundbreaking dimensions catalogued by the psychologist Dianna Baumrind, in the early 1960s still remain as the bedrock of bibliography for parenting styles, even after these 45 years. She was credited for classifying 4 significant dimensions of parenting:
1.   Disciplinary strategies
2.   Warmth and nurturance
3.   Communication styles
4.   Expectations of maturity and control.
Almost 2 decades later, based on these dimensions, it was Maccoby and Martin, who added another feather of parenting styles. Hence, the 4 kinds of parenting styles that have evolved today are:
1.   Authoritarian
2.   Permissive.
3.   Authoritative
4.   Uninvolved.  
Source: Click LINK
 1.     Authoritarian Parents
Authoritarian parents design strict rules for their children to follow and keep the things in order. A very high standard of conduct is always set and failing to meet such bar by their children is never easily acceptable. Punishment is often viewed as a solution to achieve their mark. The parenting climate is harsh and rigid since the parents are highly ‘obedience and status oriented’.   
Such parenting is often based on the motto, “Do what I say”, since the parents assumes the role of the ultimate boss. The children have a very limited choice and options. Authoritarian parents command the children to do work without explaining them why they need to do it.
Because children are groomed under tensed emotional climate, they are said to be low self-esteem resentful, frustrated, and pressurized, fear and socially withdrawn.  
2.     Permissive Parents
Permissive parents are practically the opposite of authoritarian parents. Children have the control of everything. Parents are said to make rules, but they are inconsistently enforced even if it means failure of their children. Hence, in such parenting climate, children are free to take up as many choices as available (with little parental guidance), even if they are incapable of being a good decision makers. If the children fail to reach their expectations, such parents nurture and forgive instead of being punitive.
Under such parenting styles, the children are said to be self-centered and demanding, lack of self-discipline, aggressive and have inclination to clash with their authority.  
3.     Authoritative Parents
Authoritative parents are also called as democratic parents. They maintain firm expectations, limits and standards of child’s behavior but at the same time, make them responsible based on their capacity and let them learn the consequences of their own behavior by providing clear explanations. The children of such parents are given adequate autonomy by considering their views and opinions. Good activities and behaviors are always reinforced. It is often considered as more balanced parenting style since any kind of limits and standards are established jointly by parents and children.
The children of such parents are positive to relationship and society, emotionally stable and perform better in their lives.
4.     Uninvolved Parents
As it is clear from the term itself, such parents are always disengaged from the child’s behavior. It is also called as disengaged parenting. The parents show extremely low responsiveness and limited sense of nurture. Such parents are either routinely busy or self-involved due to which they care less of the child by showing a very less demand.
Children from such parents are said to be lonely, emotionally and socially withdrawn, develop less sense of importance to parents and their life, vulnerable to juvenile delinquencies, addiction and crimes. They will have low self-esteem, stressful life, and poor performance and often demonstrate defiance to their immediate authority.
It is worth figuring out one’s own parenting style. There is nothing called ‘late’ in changing it. But to change it, we need to school our attitude first and develop a high sense of bond with our own child, which many, are fully aware. I am on a journey to learn it very soon.    
 “Parenting is the easiest thing in the world to have an opinion about, but the hardest thing in the world to do” – Matt Walsh


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