Friday, October 15, 2010

Are you a vegetarian?

This is a question I have been asked most of the time recently. Vegetarianism is catching up these days. A lot of people promote veggie food for various reasons. You would have read articles on carbon foot prints, cholesterol control and weight reduction programs; most of these promote vegetarian food. You may not mind these articles as there is some amount of truth in it. Whether we – the non-vegetarian species of mankind – like it or not, non-veg food has a bad impact on the cholesterol levels though certain types of proteins and HDL can come only from them.

I read somewhere that those who get up early in the morning develop a pride that they are able to get up earlier than other people and they are a bit of arrogant about it. Those who get up early due to their nature are not arrogant and only those who train themselves are. This was a survey result published by one of the reputed universities of the US. If they conduct a similar survey about our vegetarian friends, they would probably come to the same conclusion with a slight variation – almost all of them are same. There is a ray of boasting about the food habit. They fail to understand that it is only a habit and not a virtue. Many of them claim that they do not kill an animal for their taste buds. Yes, they do not kill an animal; but they kill a plant / seed / fruit for their taste buds and there is nothing wrong in it. It is how nature has designed the eco system – one species – be it an animal / plant, it has to depend on other species for food. Though plants produce their own food, they consume the animal bodies buried under them as fertilizer.

When you eat spinach, you have killed a plant; when you eat tomato, you kill more lives as seeds than you would kill when you eat an egg; it is more cruel to eat certain varieties of greens as you would have only plucked the leaves and not killed the plant as such. It is comparable to just cutting a limb of an animal and eating. It is just that you do not hear them screaming. But unfortunately the veggie groups do not understand this and claim that they are more kind than their non-veg counterparts.

Of course non-veg food will affect your blood pressure level and cholesterol level; veg food with a lot of oil/ghee/butter/pannier would do the same thing to you. The spices added to the non-veg dishes affect the mental stability, emotions and your ability to meditate. It is the quality of the spices; it does not matter whether you eat vegetable biriyani or mutton biriyani – it has the same effect on your emotions. So be watchful of what you eat.

Once, someone asked Jesus Christ about food habits. He replied politely that what comes out of the mouth is more important than what goes in to it; and he asked his disciples to be careful about their words more than their food. Who would know about love and kindness more than him!!! He was ready to sacrifice his life for his brotheren!!!

Kannappa nayanar worshipped Shiva with all kinds of raw flush and liquor; but was ready to spare his eyes for curing Shiva’s eyes. Who would know about love and kindness more than him!!!

So friends, before you comment on any one’s food habits, please think for a minute… being kind is different from your food habits…Food habits are only habits and not virtues!!! You are not any greater just because you eat only plants and not animals!!! It is not a sin to eat animals!!!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Lessons Learnt 5 - Never speak of someone who is not present

Gossip makes any brain a dustbin – no matter how great the brain is!!! There are several ways gossip can catch up on – thru news paper, magazines, TV channels, get-togethers (both official and personal), thru phone, chat etc… Whoever you are talking about, it is incorrect and inappropriate to talk about… be it a celebrity or a colleague or a friend or a relative – it is BAD to talk about a person who is not present. Whether the person gets to know what you had said or not, it is bad to talk about another person. When I say gossip is bad almost all of us will agree to it. However, there are several nicer names coined for gossip which makes you feel it is an essential part of life and without it you can’t survive in the personal and professional space of life.
When you are talking about someone to another person, if you are stating all good things about the person, the listener might think that you are promoting or the behavior of the former Or, thinks that you are trying to please him by praising the former who is very close to the listener; either way, the listener feels manipulated.

If you are stating all bad things about someone then also listener feels uncomfortable thinking whom all have you talked about the listener in the same way or you are trying to suppress the victim or the behavior of victim; listener either fears you or thinks that you are trying to control the way he behaves.

Ultimately you are losing the confidence of listener most of the time. Of course there are times people listen to you and come to you when they need the ‘special’ information. They seem to trust you whole heartedly. But that is only outward; they do not trust you deep within. They see you as a manipulator of truth or feelings.

When the victim comes to know about your conversations, he too feels uncomfortable. When he knows that you have talked good about him, the initial reaction is good. However, after a few conversations like this will create doubt in his mind about your motives. If he knows that you have talked bad about him, it is a straight ‘Lose’ situation. It is a ‘Lose / Lose’ situation always.

Of course there are times when you have to give your feedback about someone who is not present in the meeting and it is part of your job to do so. Even when doing it as part of your job, give as much as facts and data rather than giving perceptive / qualitative inputs. Provide good and bad aspects of the person relevant to the point of discussion. If you have seen only one side of the person, state that too. Before you share any information, think if the information is correct, if it is for you to share the information as part of your job description, if it will add value to the receiver & you in long run without damaging the image of any one.

Gossips are like scratching a healing wound. It feels nice when you scratch; but actually you are delaying the healing process by scratching it and you do not even know that your action is a hindrance. It is better to be away from such activities to get long term benefits.

Sometimes gossips are useful to us. Knowing inside information would be helpful in deciding your next course of action. It is easy to get carried away considering the short term benefits. As long as you discuss about the just the subject and not about a person it is acceptable. However it is very difficult to focus on the matter while keeping away from discussing about a person.

It is the hardest lesson to practice I have felt. I am improving slowly; I see the benefits showing up. It is about being trustworthy. What is life, if no one can trust you!!!