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How Do You See the World?

Deepa Krishnan

Author: Deepa Krishnan

Date: Sun, 2016-09-04 18:56

Recently, I delivered the first lecture to the new batch of PGDM students. I spoke about a 14-year old girl; a student of Std 10, who is very interested in science and loves doing experiments and learning. She comes from a family that cannot afford to send her for a science camp, or to learn robotics for fun, or do any of the things that affluent kids can do.
 
In stark contrast are my friends' kids, whose parents drag them to various science events and competitions, even completing half the entries themselves.
 
The unfairness of life strikes me at every turn.
 
Today I read this, from a facebook page that gives me daily "Subhashitam"; this one is from the Yoga Vasishta:
 

 अन्तस्तृष्णोपतप्तानां दावादाहमयं जगत्
 भवत्यखिलजन्तूनां यदन्तस्तद्बहिःस्थितम्

 

(-योग वासिष्टं: 5.56.34)

 

 

Translation: For those whose insides are burning with greed, the whole world is like a wild fire. For all beings what is inside is reflected in the outside also.

What does it mean? It means our world view is defined by who we are. We see the external world according to the state of our internal world. I see the world through a "fairness lens" and so I am always struck by any unfairness or injustice that I spot. I know the same is true for many of you, too.
 
I explained to the batch that at Abhyudaya, we work to narrow the gap between haves and have-nots. We come every day, dreaming and hoping, because we want to remove some of the unfairness in the world.
 
What is the lens with which you see the world? We must all ask ourselves that.
 
Yesterday, I also spoke about Sudiksha, a company which has opened high quality pre-schools for children at only Rs 400 per month. Sudiksha was originally designed for slum residents in Hyderabad and has now spread to multiple centres. The "teachers" are actually woman entrepreneurs; they are local women (usually educated housewives) who have taken up the business as franchisees. A nice step in reducing the unfairness in the world.
 
 

 

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If some lives form a perfect circle, others take shape in ways we cannot predict or always understand. They have their own meanings. I believe that God has given the best shape to our life and shown us what is precious. He whispers into our hearts and introduces us to our parents, friends & relatives, soul-mate, we hear His voice say ‘That’s him’. When we keep swirling into nothing, He steers us towards our true North Pole, a place we call Home. He gives us the strength to hold on to ‘WE’. He teaches us to love unconditionally. But in return we react on the differences rather than responding to the differences and hence the anger/hatred gets into this vicious cylce of Karma. We do not appreciate nor do we accept the differences. Not all of us are similar, we all are unique, hence one needs to really understand and appreciate these differences in human beings. Our life together is a timeless treasure hence Stay Positive and Stay Happy!

It is absolutely true that not only we see the world through our own lens but through a “magnified lens” framed by our mind. I think the topic is very important and no government can fill the gap between the haves and have-nots unless the society shoulders it with its extended hands. It is heartening to see lot of such efforts emerging from various corners as a ray of hope. I think in today’s world, well known institutions and corporates have a larger role to play in building up the society through younger generation.

I like the movie ‘Sister Act’. A big part of the appeal of the movie is the music. Sister Mary Clarence’s (a lounge singer disguised as a nun) recipe for the choir is to spice it up with by setting the hymns to pop-music tunes. It makes the choir more accessible to the community, expands the congregation, and fills up the pews. During Ganpati festival in Pune, it’s not uncommon to find traditional aartis set to the tunes of latest songs from the hindi movies. I used to detest hearing these. I thought it was juvenile and unsavory practice, and was very likely offensive to religious people. I came across a striking review for ‘Sister Act’ from a person who was evidently more than just a little displeased with the movie. The main point of contention was the blasphemous use of pop-music in a place of worship. Reading the review gave me pause – what I saw as fun movie with catchy tunes was seen as coarse and impolite by this person. This moment offered an amazing opportunity of self-examination. It made me see that I was being unfairly critical about the music choices of people celebrating their religious freedom at the Ganpati pandals in Pune. They were not setting traditional aartis to new tunes; they were creating new traditions. The practice wasn’t juvenile, it was frank and uninhibited. That moment really brought home the importance empathy – seeing the world though other people’s eyes. Much like how you, Prof. Krishnan, see the world through the lens of fairness, I see the world through the lens of empathy. I think it makes me a more open and accepting person. I also think it helps me as a management student – so much of marketing is about developing a deep understanding of the customer needs. I also think it’s important to examine if our lenses deepen or distort our view of the world. Fairness and empathy may be desirable, but prejudice and dogmatism are certainly not.

Thank you mam for highlighting the sorry state of today’s world where we live in. Every day as we walk towards living our dream and work to achieve it, the myriad of obstacles life throws at us id unimaginable. But still we carry ourselves up and move. Every person has his or hers demons playing inside her head but it is his or her option to listen to it or to do what is right given the circumstances. Life is a path where only the fittest will survive. Hence, it is our duty to ensure we are fit enough to run the race. In this race some will win while some will fall out and that is the least fairness one can expect. You spoke about the fairness lens, but I want to emphasize on the perspective. Every individual’s life is shaped by his or her surrounding and experiences. The term fairness is pretty relative and is subject to an individual’s prerogative. The only common thread that binds each of us here is empathy for each other. If we inculcate this habit and make it the mantra of our lives, the perspective will widen and the talk of fairness and unfairness will eventually vanish. The company Sudiksha is a glowing example of the empathy streak which has motivated it to come up with a solution for the underprivileged. The world would definitely be a better place if we are optimistic and empathize with each other.

Thank you mam for highlighting the sorry state of today’s world where we live in. Every day as we walk towards living our dream and work to achieve it, the myriad of obstacles life throws at us id unimaginable. But still we carry ourselves up and move. Every person has his or hers demons playing inside her head but it is his or her option to listen to it or to do what is right given the circumstances. Life is a path where only the fittest will survive. Hence, it is our duty to ensure we are fit enough to run the race. In this race some will win while some will fall out and that is the least fairness one can expect. You spoke about the fairness lens, but I want to emphasize on the perspective. Every individual’s life is shaped by his or her surrounding and experiences. The term fairness is pretty relative and is subject to an individual’s prerogative. The only common thread that binds each of us here is empathy for each other. If we inculcate this habit and make it the mantra of our lives, the perspective will widen and the talk of fairness and unfairness will eventually vanish. The company Sudiksha is a glowing example of the empathy streak which has motivated it to come up with a solution for the underprivileged. The world would definitely be a better place if we are optimistic and empathize with each other.

The question of the blog heading is a powerful one. Prof Deepa has thrown a simple yet thought provoking question to all. The question silently carries a message that our approach to anything would be different if we see the world differently. The shlok from Yoga Vashisth mentioned in the blog is extremely fundamental to the nature of human being. However we remain ignorant about this aspect of life and remain busy in our activities. It is said “We see the external world according to the state of our internal world”. Hence, it becomes important for us to look at the world through an unbiased compassionate lens. Prof has mentioned about “fairness lens” and this is what keeps her motivating to work relentlessly as part of Abhyudaya. The organization Sudeksha has also been doing a tremendous job by providing education to slum children. The educated house wives are the teachers who have perhaps changed their lens from a smaller one to bigger one and taken one step ahead to bring more value to the society around them. As human being if we keep our lens clear and fitted with compassion, it would help us to contribute our part to make this world a better and more beautiful place.

This blog truly captivates my thoughts and reminds me a very similar situation which I experienced and from which I derived a very similar perspective – however the context was slightly different. The story, as it goes- Being a nature photographer, when I began toying with my DSLR – I was unaware that the lens that the camera has is interchangeable. Change the lens; you see a new perspective unfolds – How amazing is it! Look at the same scene through two different lenses and you see two different aspects of it. Use a “Wide angle” lens and it compresses everything and lets you capture every tiny nuance before you. Use a “Super Zoom” lens and it brings out the focal aspect of your photographic universe. Now! Which lens would you choose? Answer is never black and white. It depends on “How do you see the World?” – And how do I really see the world? Every time I asked myself this question, I found my betraying self, giving me a different answer – and there lies the truth of life. Everything changes when we change our Focus. An important object becomes insignificant to us when our focus shifts. A small insignificant flower may capture our mind and blur a spectacular scene in background. So, the answer remained uncertain while the question remained tall – How do you see the world?

Most people see the world as a threatening place, and, because they do, the world turns out, indeed, to be a threatening place” – Paulo Coelho. More often than never, we prefer having a point of view which best suits our interpretation of a situation than the one which is more appropriate and this is where, I believe, the world starts to hurt. It is how you feel within that reflects how you look at things outside and most problems in the worlds arise because we’re so stringent in our outlook and refuse to be flexible. Since I was a kid, I was told to look at situations, people and things from an all-around perspective and then choose the lens that best suits the scenario. It’ll be naïve to say that one lens suits all situations. To change your lens of looking at the world according to the situation is of critical importance. It reflects your openness to let everything in and to give your two bits in the most uninhibited and fluid manner. An individual can have different points of view in different situations. There was a point in time, when I was low – never wanting to talk with or be around people. I used to feel lonely even though there were a 100 helping hands to pull me out of my darkness. I was looking at the world in despair and despair stared back at me. If only at that moment, I could have changed my perspective. Now, When I teach kids and laugh with the oldies at the old age home, I look at life through the kindness and empathy lens. I believe if you give love, you will receive love. I try to follow what has been taught to me time and again – Have courage and be kind and I try to reflect the same in my thoughts and actions too. This article sums up the essence of the human mind and how we react in a short and crisp manner while challenging you in a subtle manner to be accessible and flexible while looking at situations. Thank you Deepa Krishnan ma’am for this read.

I was lucky enough to be a part of an audience addressed by the author on this year’s Womans day celebration and even more delighted to see her flatten the world and simply distinguished its two sides like a coin. On side are the affluent, controlling rich or we may refer to as ‘Heads’ and on the other side are the impoverished, underprivileged poo or we may refer to as ‘Tails’. A world so flattened that it is as easy to distinguish the haves from have nots by just flipping a coin. Unfortunately, one side of the coin is the heavier side while the other is heavy just by the money they hold in their banks. But then this is how it was and history is a proof to this. Humans were never taught this quality yet cultures across the world which grew in isolation had the rich and the poor in silo societies for ages. It is the human nature of greed that differentiates this quality and creates the haves and the have nots in the long run. Even Sanskrit speaks about this and the language is quite old. But then there are people like Deepa Krishnan who make a difference with what they do and inspire others to look at plausible outcomes in life. I would love to imbibe these qualities in life someday only to inspire others to contribute to the society. Saying so, I choose to switch on my Air Conditioning in the room and sit in the comfort of this cozy environment commenting on this blog while someone in this Maximum city is earning his bread in a hot summer night.

Thank You Mam for bringing up this topic for discussion. I always wonder on how people behave / think when they do something which is violent or inhuman. Whenever I watch news about farmers strike, channels showing crime scenes or see a fight on the street, it makes me sick for a reason that there is no justification for such act. With this when I read your blog, the lines from the 'Yoga Vasistha' hold good. It’s all about removing unfairness in this World. It’s the thoughts that are nurtured inside, which reflect as actions. When a Psychiatrist studies one’s behavior, has always given importance to the patients past life, upbringing, influencers which has made him a person who he is today. Changing a person from inside is a challenge, but it’s the only way to bring change from his current state to an improved state. Else it will be superficial / temporary. When we talk of our country, we think of corruption, crime, injustice, unfairness which is very much true, and we are also a part of this system, contributing in some or the other way towards promoting these unfair acts. The explanation here is we think the entire world is corrupt, so we are. We will not survive if we are honest and try to be fair in this World. Think of the World wars. Hitler from inside, hated a particular community and he acted with this as the basis leading to one of the worst human loss in the history of mankind. Now to just see how good thoughts can bring positivity to this World, think of Mother Teresa, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and many more personalities who have brought in such drastic change, influencing millions of lives across countries. But the external effect was of love, togetherness, nonviolence, care and much more. So it’s time to change our thoughts as well. See the World around us as beautiful, fair and kind and start reflecting these thoughts in practice. Though changing internally is not as easy as changing lens of a DSLR, someday you will be able to make it and view the beautiful world around you. Eventually a person next to you can feel the difference.

At different stages of life, we experience different emotions but one emotion which everyone displays from young age is comparing with others. When our brother or sister gets a bigger chocolate or new dress we all felt our parents were being unfair to us. This feeling evaporates as we grow up and gain worldly knowledge. Does this unfairness in the world start and ends at personal relationships? Does every instance where an individual felt unfair, does rest of the world feel same way? On few of the instances yes but not all. Why this difference? Every individual has an influence of his family, teachers, friends on framing his opinion. This opinion is guided by the value system an individual has developed over a period. For example, in India reservations in education and jobs is debated a lot and there are many who feel these reservations are unfair. But there are equal number of people who feel that for many decades few people have been suppressed without access to education and better means of living so reservations are fair. Similarly, when a legislative member is passing by all the traffic on the road is held up to the member pass. People feel it is unfair to hold the traffic but from legislative member perspective his time is valuable so every second counts. So, as we grow the feeling of unfairness extends from being internal to external. What does this mean? We can connect to instances which we are not part of but still experience a feeling of unfairness. Can we do anything about this unfairness in the world? Yes, we all can. Whenever we feel we have time /money/means to alleviate this unfairness we need to do our part. For instance, when can we celebrate our birthdays in an orphanage or home of aged, can we fund a child’s education or distribute the excess food of our parties for hungry people. If we can internalize this external approach, then everyone of us will think about the world around us and will do our bit to make it fair for all.

As rightly quoted by Mary Engelbreit that “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.” In our society individuals experience various problems such as poverty, unemployment, education, alcohol or commit crime. Whenever we hear or see these things in our daily life, it is easy to jump on the conclusion that these are not our problems, why we should poke our noses in their concern or government is there to look after this. But we never thought solving things on our own as we consider that these problems are beyond ours level to solve. One must never forget one’s attitude towards the problem itself drives to curb the problem. For instance, the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan that was started by PM Modi have made huge positive implications on Indian economy. The credit for success behind this program totally went to the change in mentality of people towards cleanliness. They understood that even devoting some hours of the year to the cause of cleanliness can serve the purpose. I have seen change in mentality of peoples as people were carrying their own garbage while travelling along with them and dumping it at waste collection points. In some ways having positive mindset towards any problem is like solving the problem itself. One can’t create a positive change from a negative mindset. One need to change his/her mindset if he/she is going out to contribute in any change. We need to rationale sometimes we have to realize that an unfair situation is not a big deal and sometimes we have to feel strong that we need to fight for the issue. We cannot change the mishaps that have happened across the globe but we can help the causes that seeks to prevent futures problems. We can’t guarantee any specific result for our action, but we can increase the odds of creating a difference.

We live in a world where each one of us has a different way to describe the world which he sees, it may sound funny but it actually makes sense. It is because each of us is bound to have a perspective depending on how he is taught to see the world. Ma'am, you concluded the article with a very striking question, "What is the lens with which you see the world?" The lens here is actually not worn by the individual himself, but it is developed over a very long period of time, due to the continuous notions induced into his mind. These notions lead to a lens through which the individual views the world and interprets it. As you have given an example of a 14-year old girl; who is very interested in science but she can't attend a science camp because she comes from an economically backward family and a kid of same age who is unwilling to go to learn science at camp. Both of them have a very contrasting background, on one hand, there is a girl coming from a poorer family who has seen their parents struggle and is very eager to learn and improve, on the other hand, there is girl who is not interested in science as she doesn't have any motive or zeal to do so. We can't conclude that the girl in the second case is wrong just because she is not willing to attend the camp, the camp is not a necessity for her as her preferences are different but if the same camp would be offered to the girl in the first case, she would be thankful and would utilize the camp to the maximum. Here we see that one person's excess is other person's necessity. This is the curious case this world has witnessed. As we see the stats for the last decade, the gap between the wealthy and the poor has grown, creating a further divide in the society and now has reached a very alarming level. The main concern here is to make aware the rich and the corporates of the alarming level of divide and strive to narrow the gap. I really appreciate the work Abhyudaya does for creating social awareness among the young B-school students who are going to be leaders of tomorrow and are going to lead organizations. The change in mindset or "lens" through which we see actually makes a lot of difference to the world around us.

There was a great saying by a French writer Simone de Beauvoir that "One's life has value so long as one attributes value to the life of others, by means of love, friendship, indignation, and compassion". We are living in such unfair world that on papers we may be having highest GDP or we could be the fastest developing nation, but in reality, it is only the rich who are getting richer and the poor who is getting poorer. I was not present at the ceremony since I am a GMP student, but on reading those few lines about the 14-year-old girl's interest one can easily relate this to their personal experiences. I had a childhood friend who was amazing at his painting skills, but his parents were extremely poor that after his school he had to help his father in his work, so during his free time, he use to come to my house to pursue his passion. We were learning together but I was no match for him, and whenever he finished his painting, I used to wonder at such young age how could one draw such amazing paintings. But eventually he had to leave out his passion to earn money, he left his schooling and his painting passion after 10th and joined as a worker at some garage shop, my family helped him in many ways but we couldn't convince him to not to leave his school. Today when I read this blog, I really felt happy that there are few companies such as Sudhiksha, or NGO's such as Abhudaya who are really working towards helping these unfortunate kids. I hope that day is not far where there will be no more unfairness left at least for the children.

Ma’am, I thank you for bringing such a topic which quite relevant in today’s world. Your article led me to introspect that whether the world changes with the lens we use to see it. I found it is true and I have thought of many examples which support it. It happened before my first Abhhyudaya visit, the name of my mentee is Sabira Khan (not real name) and just by knowing her name I had made a perception that her parents would be very conservative regarding a boy mentoring or teaching their daughter. I also made a perception that her parents would be conservative and they will not be very supportive in her studies but after my first visit, all my perceptions shattered as it was quite contrary to what I thought. I found that her family welcomed me and they also support her in her studies. In fact, apart from school, she has painting and judo classes. Her father is serious about her studies. He told me that he is residing in Mumbai only because of Sabira's studies otherwise they would have shifted to Gaya, their ancestral place in Bihar where they have a house and farmlands. I was viewing the world through a lens of 'Stereotype' and that is why I made the perception. After visiting Sabira’s home, I also feel unfairness in the society. And no government or NGO or private organisation can fill the gap between haves and have-not. But there have been people who despite facing unfairness during their lives, stood up for what they thought and made a difference like Dr. B. R. Ambedkar and Oprah Winfrey. They helped to make communities and the world a better place by standing up for fairness. I know that it is too early say anything about the leadership qualities of Saira but she is fighting the unfairness every day. I have seen the enthusiasm and hard work that she put in her studies. And I am happy that she is not alone in her fight, ‘Abhyudaya’ is helping her in her fight against unfairness. I really appreciate what Abhyudaya is doing for children like Sabira and how it is including young B-school students in it. By doing so it is also helping the students to change the lens with which they see the world which in turn will inculcate a sense of empathy in them and help them in becoming better managers.

Rightly said ma’am that “We see the external world according to the state of our internal world”. Our demeanor is a reflection of the state of our internal world which has a huge effect on how we perceive the world. Being born in a well to do family, we fail to understand the struggles of the less privileged members of our society. Things that we take for granted including 3 meals of the day, is a luxury for few sections of our society. So to be able to have an unbiased view of the world, we need to fit a fairness lens to our sight so that we can clearly see the difference between haves and haves-not in the society. I had come across and was moved by the stories like of this 14 year old girl before joining SPJIMR. But all that concern was like a flame of fire that burns with passion but tends to fade with time. It was either momentarily or more of superficial and I didn’t do much about it. Often what I could see was the gap between haves of the top section of the pyramid and the haves-not in my life. But now I am able to see this gap across the entire pyramid more clearly and closely through Abhyudaya program. Back then I was a mere audience but now through Sitara visits and mentoring program I have become a part of these stories. I feel that’s how the real concern and urge to change things arises. Being a part of Abhyudaya ADMAP committee has provided me a higher level of insights about this strata of society. Also the committee’s mission of going above and beyond Sitaras development to the upliftment of their entire family has heightened my sense of responsibility towards the society. I now feel more of a human to be able to imbibe SPJIMR ethos of becoming socially sensitive individual. Keeping the fairness lens clean at all times is a continuous process but the base for the same has been built well. We just have to keep looking and act on all the opportunities that come our way to contribute in lessening the gap. It can be a tangible contribution or an intangible one like giving hope and courage to people, empowering them, treating all with respect and showing compassion. It is like understanding that in an unsafe locality, just your own house cannot be safe. The entire locality has to be safe including the slum areas as well that lie in that region. Once we realize this, we can see through the haves and have-nots of the society clearly and do something to reduce this gap. Thank you Deepa ma’am for motivating us by your efforts to make a difference in the lives of so many.

First of all, I would like to congratulate you ma’am for your astounding work at Abhyudaya and thank you for the giving us the opportunity to give back to the society through this noble initiative. You have aptly pointed out, through this blog, the very nature of human behaviour. Human perceptions of the world are shaped overtime and these perceptions drive his behaviour and attitude towards the world throughout the course of his life. When a child is born, he has a pure soul. He doesn't have an astuteness of how the world would be in the next future of his life. Gradually, he gains the idea of this world from his birth givers (mostly). Till he gets his own set of thoughts, he sees the world by the virtue of what he has gained from his elders.  Once, he comes out of the nutshell of his homeliness there he encounters the real world! And, that's where he scores the level of thinking about the whole world. So basically, it's an amalgamation of the acquired and adapted virtues of a man's life which gives him a chance of what he wants to become, what he wants to perceive and gain. Then develops an 'inner me' inside him which gets reflected out for his entire lifetime. A person full of greed will concentrate only on his gain and seldom will he look at others. A cruel person can only seek to see doom in this world. Only a kind-hearted and altruist can look beyond himself and help the needy and unfortunate segments of the society. It is important to see the unfairness that prevails amongst us and help the downtrodden grow and get what they deserve. It is imperative that they get a fair chance to experience the life which most of take for granted. It is therefore critical for parents to mentor kids in the initial phases itself to develop these qualities in them. These are the qualities that help balance the evil with the good and in-turn help society survive.

Thank you, mam, for bringing up this topic. All of us are so busy in our lives that we fail to realize the unfairness of this world. We are so stuck up solving our own problems, chasing our own dreams and making our own lives better that we become blind to all the underprivileged people struggling to fight the never ending battle of life. It’s really important for all of us to realize that what we are is not just a product of our hard work but also the contribution society which has contributed as much as us. I remember my childhood days when my parents used to force me to go to music classes and now after all these years, I see so many children with amazing talent not being able to fulfill their dreams just because they are born in poor families. It gives me immense displeasure to see this sad state of affairs. Where we have every possible resource to do whatever we want to, these children are unwillingly killing their ambitions and dreams just because they aren’t lucky enough and they need to support their family. However, this drives me to give back to society and try to make a little difference by making an impact on the lives of a few people. Deepa mam, through this piece, has beautifully described ‘fairness lens’ and this has invoked a thought in my mind about how do people see the world. I believe everybody’s perspective is shaped by his/her experiences, situations and surroundings and nobody has a right to judge that. But what binds us is the empathy that we have for each other. If we all imbibe this feeling among ourselves, we as a society would be able to fulfill many children’s dreams and improve many people’s lives. Personally speaking, helping the poor is one of the best feelings in the world and one gets immense satisfaction when one is able to bring even a small pinch of happiness in their lives. Having said all this, it’s good to see that our society as a whole is becoming more aware of the gap between the rich and the poor. It has started taking initiatives in this direction. In the recent times, I have heard lots of stories about corporate professionals leaving their jobs and starting social work of their own. It feels good and secure to see such initiatives been taken all around. Hundreds of NGOs have started up addressing each and every issue faced by the lower section of the society and I believe that this interaction between the two sections of the society will produce fruitful results.

Ma’am, first and foremost I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude for having given all of us an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of people who are less privileged. I completely agree to your viewpoint that life can be extremely unfair at times. However, it is not only the financial aspect which makes life unfair for certain people but also factors such as politics which plays a vital role in how decisions are being made nowadays. Politics has seeped into every field in the country be it education, sports, profession, etc. I am able to personally relate to these issues because although I hail from a family that is financially stable, I have faced many a rejection because of the lack of influence that could be wielded in my favour. I have been a budding cricketer right from childhood hoping like millions to make it to the Indian cricket team one day. Regular practice aside, I had been performing extremely well in the city level circuit on a consistent basis which was enough for me to earn a trial with the city-1 team. Playing and performing for the city team would have acted as a perfect springboard for me in my attempt to make it to the districts team and higher. The trails were my first tryst with unfair politics. I was rejected in favour of lesser skilled players who had not performed as good as I had. The rejection was difficult to take and it also effectively ended my pursuit to become a professional cricketer. I can imagine the existence of countless such stories. The Abhyudaya program at SPJIMR is undoubtedly a pioneer in helping reduce the gap between the haves and have-nots in terms of finance and knowledge, but it remains to be seen if the issue of unfair politics can be resolved. This pressing issue has been affecting our country for a long time now. India despite being the second most populated country in world, returns almost empty handed from the Olympics every time. The CEO’s of most of the American firms are Indians. Thousands of Indians prefer to work or study abroad. The root cause for the aforementioned facts is unfair politics. If we eradicate this political aspect from our society and dig deep within our resources, it is a certainty that we would be able to find potential noble laureates and Olympic medal winners. Battling this issue is unfortunately still a realm of fantasy which we see only in movies. But I envision an active campaign which discourages the presence of unfair politics. I suggest Abhyudaya’s active involvement in the issue because even though the ‘gap’ might be reduced successfully, I fear that the Sitaras might fall prey to unfair politics because of their failure to compete with people who are influentially backed. Life can be unfair in more than one way!

Why is that something looks the same to all of us but we see it differently? This article, Ma’am, has definitely made me ask myself certain questions. The 14-year-old girl’s example is a clear indication of how we never crave something we know we can attain. Yes, I agree it is absolutely unfair but is there really anyone to blame? What might be just a coloured flag for someone, might be an enemy’s flag for another. When I think about how I perceive things, I wonder it would different from anybody else’s perception. Maybe I have different beliefs or maybe it’s just a reflection of my own fears or thoughts. I could not agree with you more when you say that our view of the world is simply defined by who we are. I am my biggest critic and now, when I think about it, in reality, I always tend to find the worst in people. This is not because I am incapable of identifying the good, it is because I feel if I can accept the bad in a person, I can easily empathize with him. It’s also interesting to discover how different people and their ideologies can be. But then, if that is the case, and my view of the world is defined only by who I am, I wonder if I can break free and maybe change my perception about certain things if not the whole world. Being a realist, I feel unfairness is natural and inevitable. Life is unfair and we can blame luck, fate or an individual’s effort for it. However, I am intrigued by how you look at the world through a “fairness lens” and how you are struck by any unfairness or injustice that you spot. When you talk about how we can narrow the gap, the secret behind it, I feel, is empathy. If we are capable of understanding how people around us feel and are motivated enough to help them, I believe we can actually narrow the gap. But how do we go about this? Do we take from the ones who have and give to the ones who don’t? Well, that would itself be unfair to take a piece from someone who has earned it or has been lucky enough to receive it and give it to another who hasn’t. Instead, teaching a skill, motivating to act and providing an opportunity will do a better job in removing some of the unfairness from this world. Relating this to the article, this is exactly what Sudiksha is doing. Sudiksha does not just give to remove the unfairness, it provides the local women housewives an opportunity to earn their living and in turn reduce the gap between the haves and have nots.

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