The True Expression of One’s own Rights

In the year 1931, James Truslow Adams used the word “American Dream” in his book “The Epic of America”. The book deals largely with how USA came to be and how the USA’s Founding Fathers set down the principles associated with, what Adams calls, The American Dream.

The idea of the American Dream is rooted in the United States Declaration of Independence which proclaims that “all men are created equal” and that they are “endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights” including “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

The American Dream, Adam argues, is not the chase of money and material. He believed that the American Dream was greater than that. He believed that The Dream was a pursuit of rights and freedom. Of personal growth and development. Where all people may express themselves fully and grow continuously, till only their innate capacity limits them.

Adam further argues that, this is The Dream which pulled many million people into the west. People came from everywhere, from Europe where the lands were ruled by the dominating Monarch and the Aristocrat. From Russia, where Terror still reigned. From the arabian and egyptian plains, where the kings ruled in ultra-conservationist methods, denying to people many basic rights.

Today though, we may say that a vast majority of the world has come to realize the American Dream.

The overall realization of that dream came, when on December 10th, 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the UN General Assembly.

I now point to Article 18 and 19 of the UDHR.

Article 18.

  • Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

Article 19.

  • Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

These two are what I believe to be freedom of the mind. The UN has acknowledged that. The Democracies of the world have acknowledged that. But the problem still lies in people. Within us. Within the brain of the common man.

There are four kinds of people on this basis.

  1. Those who are scared to practice individualism and freethought.
  2. Those who practice individualism and freethought.
  3. Those who hinder the practice of individualism and freethought with concern for what is commonly considered to be ethical, social and conventional reasoning.
  4. Those who hinder the practice of individualism and freethought in order to influence others with their own thoughts and opinion.

Individualism is very, very often connected and/or confused with egoism. Among the differences between the two, the prime differentiating factor lies in the fact that individualism respects oneself and the individualism of others also, while egoism places one’s self-interest at the centre of their morality.

Freethought is the right for everyone to practice their own belief on their basis. The basis for freethought is most usually agreed to be logic and reason derived from one’s own information and knowledge. Tradition, Convention and Social Dogmas are considered to be factors contradictory to Freethought.

I believe otherwise. I believe that Freethinking, by itself, is a means to practice individualism. And Individualism, in its essence, is a practice of independence and self-reliance which asserts that an individual may accord to any means he sees fit to achieve his goal.

And so, if one sees fit to follow convention or to fall prey to the influence of social stigma, he may do so.

Individualism should be practiced by all. It would lead to a happier society. A society where people would respect each other and not fight for the general establishment of what seems to be the truth in their perspective.

A Individualist is one who says:

I will not run anyone’s life nor let anyone run mine.
I will not rule nor be ruled.
I will not be a master nor a slave.
I will not sacrifice myself to anyone nor sacrifice anyone to myself.

“Remember, You are unique. Just like everyone else.”

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Now is Awesome and It shall always be

More than a month ago I posted the first “How to be happy” article. That post focused on discarding unhappiness and then being happy. Today’s post is about becoming happy and getting a little bit of peace in your mind when you have no troubles around.

So, I had a not-so-eventful 5 days by seeing  myself graduate into Grade 12 this week. The weekdays went by, by counting down to the weekend. And my Saturday wasn’t that bad either.

I woke up late this morning at 9:00 AM. And I felt “different”. There were no troubles troubling me. And nothing specifically happy.

I spent the late-morning and the early-afternoon doing some school stuff . And at 3:00, I wanted to sing or dance or just sit under the tree. I wanted to make myself happy from “neutral”

What I did…[And what you can do to make yourself happy]

  1. Listen to the songs which let your body sleep, but still lets some energy flow through you. For me it is 80’s Soft Rock.
  2. Go to a place where your mind can rest in peace or make your living room to your liking. I did the second. I made my house cool. The windows open. The fans switched on. The green plants nearby.
  3. Be ready for anything. Think of the impossible.
  4. Keep smiling. And never get angry. Just enjoy every jiffy of life.
  5. And finally, tell yourself  “Now is Awesome and It shall always be”

That is it. Being happy is mainly a reincarnation of the reassurance of the existence of happiness. You just have to see the bright side of life.

So…Now is Awesome and It shall always be…

4 Ways to Be Happy. (Or to discard Unhappiness)

Happiness is one thing which all of us want. It is that abstract feeling [in its most awesome form]  that makes us feel that Life is “Heaven on Earth”.

I believe that happiness is one nice feeling which surpasses all other positive feelings in frequency of occurrence. This is because after any feeling [positive feeling] you get, like satisfaction of doing something, surprise of getting a gift, pride of having something etc. all lead to happiness.

Happiness is wonderful. It gets your mind rid of all unpleasantness and [sometimes] your body rid of diseases.

For some time now, I have been using an altered version of American Sitcom How I met Your Mother’s character Barney Stinson’s famous dialogue “When I get Sick, I stop being sick and Be Awesome Instead”

And I said “When I get sad, I stop being sad and be happy instead” 🙂 🙂 🙂

What to do to be happy [or to get rid of sadness]

  1. Think Positively
    This is the best and the second most effective method of being Happy.Think positively and optimistically and look at the bright side of life. If the bright side isn’t bright enough then look at the brighter side.

    Think of things which make you glow and shine. Think of what you want life to be and not of what life is not.

  1. Talk, Interact and keep yourself busy.Talking and interacting with people you like to talk to will bring the nicer side of life up.  And if not interact, and then keep yourself busy with one or the other thing.  Doing something will keep your mind away from factors which turn your mind down.

    This combined with the 1st method is a freakishly strong Happy-becoming method.

  1. Reflection and Meditation
    This is the hardest and yet the most effective method to bring happiness to your life.Sit in silence, alone and think. Think to tackle the force which disrupts the flow of happiness. And introspect and learn. When you catch that force, think of how to throw it down and what to do to bring true happiness to your life.

    This is one thing which will give you real happiness. With real hard work comes equally real success.

  2. Let Time play its role.
    If your happiness is being disrupted, then wait. Time can heal any pain. Nothing is permanent.
    This is the slowest and easiest way to lose sadness and [probably] gain Happiness.

So understand the importance of happiness and be happy. [By basking in the sunshine of the following statement]

There are only two sides of life. The Bright Side and the Brighter Side.

-Salmaaan Shah

The Ball which lost a “Bit”

On the previous Friday, I met this wonderful, delightful woman who told me this interesting little tale. It was a little story about a ball which went rolling down the hill and crashed and lost a bit. I thought to share this with all of you, so here goes.

Once upon a time, in some interesting galaxy where balls [spheres] have life and can make friends , lived a little ball named Rolly.
Just like all young balls of his age, Rolly loved to roll down mountains, jump into gardens and chase squirrels and travel across grasslands at high speeds. He did live a very happy life with all his friends. Smally, Chasely, Crazly, Roundly, Speedly and others.

It once happened that Rolly was out adventuring with his friends on the mountains. In the evening, after all his friends went home eastwards, Rolly went rolling down the mountain westwards to his home. Midway through the fast, long roll, the sun blinded upon his eyes glaring him a little bit. He could not see where he was going and he crashed into a big hard rock.

Rolly crashed and broke into two. One big, major portion of himself and another tiny, little piece. This tiny little piece bounced away into the vast jungle far below.

Rolly was all right except that he could not travel with speed because his broken body restricted movement. Rolly decided to search the jungle for his little lost bit. That night after dinner he set out to search for it.

He searched for a few hours and he got nothing except some random “bits” which were not his and did not fit into him. For days and days, Rolly hopefully searched the jungle floor but to no gain. He camped under trees and beside flowers. He took long baths in the streams and he got hope by the sun tingling his shiny skin. He told the flowers, the trees, the streams and everybody he met his problems. They helped him along his way.

He eventually made friends with them and he spoke to them about all tiny things of life. He started to enjoy the wind moving past him, the sun prickling his skin, the sweet speech of flowers and stones and cats and dogs, the movement of water around him when he is in water. He started to enjoy all tiny small things of life.

2 weeks later, he found his bit. He fixed it in on him. It fit perfectly. He was happy and satisfied. He again rolled fast and became himself.

But as he was rolling back home, Rolly thought to himself “It is weird how these little things of life and nature made my 3 weeks happy in the jungle”. He then realized that while moving fast, he had not paid attention to all these little things of life.

Thinking thus, he broke the little bit off himself and moved off again enjoying all the little things of life. He went on to discover happiness and to become Rolly, Happiness on Balls

Thus ends the tale of the Little Ball who lost a little Bit.

What I want all of us to learn from this is that, we in our lives might not be perfect and most probably are not perfect. But we too like Rolly the ball, should let go off the “lost bit” and play our role on earth enjoying all the little things in life. We eventually will become perfect, perhaps not in the way others wanted us to be, but Perfect in the way which happiness brought to us.

So folks….Enjoy all little things in life.

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