Doom And Gloom.

My fellow 2 on 1 Friday blogger Shackman has suggested that we revisit this topic after a little over six years! It was nice going back to see the original post that I had written just as it was to read Shackman’s. We had taken completely different approaches to the topic then but, this time around, I suspect that we would be writing about our respective current political scenarios.

My take is very simple. “The 2019 Indian general election is scheduled to be held in 7 phases from 11 April 2019 to 19 May 2019 to constitute the 17th Lok Sabha. The counting of votes will be conducted on 23 May 2019 and on the same day the results will be declared. Wikipedia”

This time around, the battle lines are not yet clearly drawn but, indications are that there will most likely be three cornered fights in most states between the current coalition party in power, the Indian National Congress which has recently showed success in three state elections and local configurations of Regional Parties.

The common factor in all the three contenders’s manifesto is the doom and gloom that they forecast if the other contenders come to power. The ruling dispensation however has shown a more positive approach by highlighting their achievements and plans for the future in a slightly more positive note.

I am personally rooting for the current dispensation and am reasonably sure that it will form the next government again. As many of my friends suggest, when discussing politics, I have skin in the game as I have bet that my forecast comes true with some of my pension money! I am likely to bet some more closer to the elections when the odds improve or deteriorate as the case may be.  I am also prepared to lose some friends of a different ideology but, am sure to gain a new acceptable government.

Another area where both Shackman and I are likely to converge when writing about the topic is to bring music in to the post and my choice is an old favourite by The Rolling Stones. Just look at the band and you can guess my age too!

And before you turn on the music, please do remember to visit Shackman’s blog to see what he has to say about the topic.  Thank you.

Doom and Gloom
The Rolling Stones

I had a dream last night
That I was piloting a plane
And all the passengers were drunk and insane
I crash landed in a Louisiana swamp
Shot up a horde of zombies
But I come out on top
What’s it all about?
Guess it just reflects my mood
Sitting in the dirt
Feeling kind of hurt
When all I hear is doom and gloom
And all is darkness in my room
Through the light your face I see
Baby take a chance
Baby won’t you dance with me
Lost all that treasure in an overseas war
It just goes to show you, don’t get what you paid for
Battle to the rich and you worry about the poor
Put my feet up on the couch
And lock all the doors
Hear a funky noise
That’s the tightening of the screws
I’m feeling kind of hurt
Sitting in the dirt
All I hear is doom and gloom
But when those drums go boom boom boom
And through the night your face I see
Baby take a chance
Baby won’t you dance with me
Yeah
Baby won’t you dance with me
Ah yeah
Fracking deep for oil
But there’s nothing in the sump
There’s kids all picking
Ar the garbage dumb
I’m running out of water
So I better prime the pump
I’m trying to stay sober
But I end up drunk
We’ll be eating dirt
Living on the side of the road
There’s some food for thought
Kinda makes your head explode
Feeling kind of hurt
Yeah
But all I hear is doom and gloom
And all is darkness in my room
Through the night your face I see
Baby come on
Baby won’t you dance with me
Yeah
Yeah
Baby won’t you dance with me
I’m feeling kind of hurt
Baby won’t you dance with me
Yeah
Come on
Baby won’t you dance with me
I’m sitting in the dirt
Baby won’t you dance with me!

Songwriters: Keith Richards / Mick Jagger
Doom and Gloom lyrics © BMG Rights Management

Neither Seek Nor Avoid, Take What Comes.

The title is a quote from the collected works of Swami Vivekananda. My choice for the topic for this week’s 2 on 1 post came about inspired by the following comment by my fellow 2 on 1 blogger Shackman on my last week’s 2 on 1 post. “Mostly though I simply accept what has been my life essentially as my destiny – which frankly surprised me.” He zapped me further when I suggested this title with – “The Swami speaks again! Sounds good!”

Here is the Swami’s take on the topic.

In 2007, Nassim Nicholas Taleb published a book called The Black Swan. In it, he argues that human history is best understood in terms of its most consequential events. The thing about these events is that, once they’ve already happened, we always think we understand the causes of why they occurred. But the truth is, that they’re fundamentally unpredictable. We only have the illusion of understanding them. The implication, and the meat of Taleb’s book, is about how you have to expect the unexpected.

So, how does one go about expect the unexpected and also accept that there is every likelihood of the unlikely happening?

The answer lies in two parts.  The first is in The Serenity Prayer. For the uninitiated, it is as follows:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.

Even if one is an atheist or an agnostic, instead of “God”, one can say “May I have” as a means of auto suggestion and the advice given in the topic becomes a child’s play.

The second part is in the Zen observation’

“Sitting quietly, doing nothing, Spring comes, and the grass grows, by itself.”

~ Matsuo Bashō

Both parts suggest developing a state of equanimity. Difficult to put into practice but,  not impossible.  Just about every spiritual discipline suggests that one tries to reach this stage of being, so that one can live a peaceful and stress free life.

To know others is wisdom;
To know yourself is enlightenment
To master others requires force;
To master yourself requires true strength.”

~ Lao Tzu. Tao Te Ching. Ch 33.

Please do go over to Shackman’s blog to see what he has to say on the same topic.

Commitment. 2 on 1 #3

“By all means, marry. If you get a good wife, you’ll become happy; if you get a bad one, you’ll become a philosopher.”
~ Socrates

When my late wife and I decided to get married to each other, her friends and family thought that I was nuts to marry her.  My friends and family on the other hand, thought that she was nuts to marry me. We went ahead nevertheless,  and both of us were quite happy but eventually became philosophers anyway.

That was the single biggest commitment that I ever made in my life.

“The opposite of opportunism in human relations is loyalty; a noble sentiment – but one that needs to be invested in the right places, that is, in human relations and moral commitments.”
~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb.

The two other commitments that followed much later, to become a vegetarian in 1998 and to become a teetotaller in 1999 were of less significance but commitments nevertheless made to my late mother and to my God Daughter In Love respectively. Both also helped in my passage to becoming a philosopher!

Before some of you ask me, let me clarify. I am not a philosopher in the classic sense but am one in the sense that I am learning to be one.

“Freedom is not the absence of commitments, but the ability to choose – and commit myself to – what is best for me.”

~ Paulo Coelho,The Zahir

I flatter myself that I am free.

I picked this week’s topic and so Shackman will choose next week’s. Be sure to check Shackman’s take on this week’s topic.

But.

garfield

“The first one who uses ‘but’ has lost the argument”
~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Now there is a great thought. A complete Black Swan as it were! Till I came across that statement from that maverick, it had not occurred to me at all.

Had it to you?

And Nandu, no, it is not a typo!

I hope that you enjoyed reading my take on this subject which was chosen by Maxie for the weekly Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where five of us write on the same topic. The four other bloggers who write regularly are, in alphabetical order,  AshokgaelikaaMaxi, and Shackman. Do drop in on their blogs and see what their take is on this week’s topic. Since some of them may post late, do give some allowance for that too!