Look at your self Objectively.

Aaron_Swartz2

Howdy friends!

This post is a general discussion about the human tendencies. A thought that is borrowed from some other article (revelations to follow) after reading which, I was greatly moved.

How much do we like to hear good about anything that surrounds us? How much do we like to hear good about ourselves?

Now if I talk other way round, How much criticism can we face? And how much do we find it interesting to hear that if we failed at something, we were the losers and didn’t plan it well? Not much! I can vouch for that!

220px-Aaron_Swartz_profile

Aaron Swartz  was an American computer programmer, writer,

political organizer andInternet activist.

Born Aaron H. Swartz[1]
November 8, 1986
ChicagoIllinois, U.S.
Died January 11, 2013 (aged 26)
Crown HeightsBrooklyn, New York, U.S.
Cause of death Suicide, by hanging
Occupation Software developer, writer, Internet activist
Website
aaronsw.com

On Friday, January 11, programmer and activist Aaron Swartz committed suicide in New York City. And it was heart rending that this happened again, while history already had many unfaithful incidents in its depth like this one.

I was reading various articles about him for past few days and more sorry to feel that reading after he passed away. I knew ab0ut him long before, never have read much then but, now I even saw his Web blog RAW THOUGHT . I was speechless after reading this post, like someone had shown a mirror in open!

Though at some personal level, I do follow what was written in there by Myself but still it was more alive while reading. This one is part of a ‘Three in a Series’  on his blog . I am republishing this one here

In the 1840s, hospitals were dangerous places. Mothers who went in to give birth often didn’t make it out. For example, at Vienna General Hospital’s First Obstetrical Clinic, as many as 10% of mothers died of puerperal fever after giving birth. But there was some good news: at the Second Clinic, the number was just 4%. Expectant mothers noticed this — some would get down on their knees and beg to be admitted to the Second Clinic. Others, hearing new patients were being admitted to the First Clinic that day, decided they’d rather give birth in the streets.

Ignaz Semmelweis, an assistant at the First Clinic, couldn’t bear it. He began desperately searching for some kind of explanation for the difference. He tested many things without success. Then, in 1847, Semmelweis’s friend Jakob Kolletschka was performing an autopsy when a student accidentally poked him with a scalpel. It was a minor injury, but Kolletschka got terribly sick and ultimately passed away, with symptoms rather like the what the mothers had. Which got Semmelweis wondering: was some “deathly material” on the corpses responsible for the deaths?

To test this, he insisted the doctors begin washing their hands with chlorinated lime (which he found best removed the stink of death) before handling the pregnant women. The results were shocking. In April 1847, the mortality rate was 18.3%. Semmelweis instituted handwashing in mid-May and by June the mortality rate had crashed to 2.2%. The next month it was even less and later that year it reached zero — for the first time ever.

You’d think doctors would be thrilled by this incredible discovery. Instead, Semmelweis was ridiculed and attacked. He was fired from the hospital and forced out of Vienna. “In published medical works my teachings are either ignored or attacked,” he complained. “The medical faculty at Würzburg awarded a prize to a monograph written in 1859 in which my teachings were rejected.” Even in his native Vienna, hundreds of mothers continued to die every year.

Semmelweis turned to alcohol and his behavior became increasingly erratic. In 1865, he was committed to a mental institution. There he was beaten by the guards, placed in a straitjacket, and locked in a dark cell. He died shortly thereafter, at the age of 47, from an infected wound.

Why did doctors so stubbornly reject Ignaz Semmelweis? Well, imagine being told you were responsible for the deaths of thousands of your patients. That you had been killing the people you were supposed to be protecting. That you were so bad at your job that you were actually worse than just giving birth in the street.

We all know people don’t like to hear bad news about themselves. Indeed, we go out of our way to avoid it — and when we do confront it, we try to downplay it or explain it away. Cognitive dissonance psychologists have proven it in dozens of experiments: Force students through an embarrassing initiation to take a class, and they’ll insist the class is much more interesting. Make them do a favor for someone they hate, and they start insisting they actually like them. Have them make a small ethical compromises and they’ll feel comfortable making bigger and bigger ones. Instead of just accepting we made a mistake, and shouldn’t have compromised or done the favor or join the class, we start telling ourselves that compromising isn’t so bad — and when the next compromise comes along, we believe the lies we tell ourselves, and leap at making another mistake. We hate hearing bad news about ourselves so much that we’d ratherchange our behavior than just admit we screwed up.

It doesn’t help much when our friends point out what we did wrong. If we’re so scared of hearing from ourselves that we made a mistake, just imagine how much we hate hearing it from someone else. And our friends know this: the answer to “Does this outfit make me look fat?” is not supposed to be “yes.” We may joke about our friends’ foibles behind their back, but we rarely do so to their face. Even at work, a lot of effort goes into making sure employees are insulated from their superior’s most negative assessments. This is what we’re taught: make five compliments for every criticism, sandwich negative feedback with positive feedback on each side, the most important thing is to keep up someone’s self-esteem.

But, as Semmelweis showed, this is a dangerous habit. Sure, it’s awful to hear you’re killing people—but it’s way worse tokeep on killing people! It may not be fun to get told you’re lazy, but it’s better to hear it now than to find out when you’re fired. If you want to work on getting better, you need to start by knowing where you are.

Semmelweis was defeated about as much as a man can be defeated. But nothing the other doctors could do to him would change the facts. Eventually scientists proved the germ theory of disease and Semmelweis was vindicated. Today, he’s an international hero: universities and hospitals are named after him, his house has been turned into a museum, Austria even put his face on a €50 gold coin. Meanwhile, the doctors who opposed him are now seen as close-minded killers.

Try as you might, you can’t beat reality. Semmelweis was right: those doctors were killing people. Firing him, driving him out of the country, writing long books disproving all his claims — none of it could change that frightening fact. The doctors may have thought they were winning the argument at the time, but they were big losers in the long run. And so were all the families that lost a loved one because they refused to admit their mistake.

But imagine if they had. When you’re being attacked, conceding you screwed up seems like the worst thing you can do. If even you won’t stand up for yourself, how can anyone else believe in you? Admitting your mistakes seems like giving up; it just proves that your opponents were right all along. But is it really so bad?

When Oprah started defending fabulist James Frey, she was savaged by the press. So she invited her critics on the show and apologized, saying “You were right, I was wrong.” It didn’t destroy her reputation; it rescued it. When the space shuttleColumbia exploded, launch manager Wayne Hale took full responsibility: “The bottom line is that I failed to understand what I was being told…I am guilty of allowing Columbia to crash.” He was promoted. When JFK admitted the responsibility for the Bay of Pigs fiasco was “mine, and mine alone,” his poll numbers soared.

Imagine the same thing in your own life. If your boss started taking responsibility for your organization’s problems instead of blaming others, wouldn’t you like him more? If your doctor told you honestly that she had screwed up a procedure, instead of trying to cover up the mistake, wouldn’t you prefer that? If a politician came clean that their policy proposals had failed, wouldn’t you be more likely to trust him?

In moments of great emotional stress, we revert to our worst habits: we dig in and fight harder. The real trick is not to get better at fighting — it’s to get better at stopping ourselves: at taking a deep breath, calming down, and letting our better natures take over from our worst instincts.

Even if seeing ourselves objectively is the best option, all our natural instincts all point the other direction. Not only do we try hard to avoid bad news about ourselves, we tend to exaggerate the good news. Imagine you and Jane are both up for a promotion. You want it bad, so you stay late, you work weekends. Sure, some things still slip through the cracks — but even those mistakes have really good reasons! Jane never does anything like that.

But if she did — would you even know? We see the world from our own perspective. When we have to cancel hanging out with friends to do extra work, we always see that — and feel the sacrifice. But when Jane does it, we see and feel nothing. You only get to see your own perspective. And even our mistakes make sense from our perspective — we see all of the context, everything that led up to it. It all makes sense because we saw it happen. When we screw up, it’s for a reason. When other people screw up, it’s because they’re screwups.

Looking at ourselves objectively isn’t easy. But it’s essential if we ever want to get better. And if we don’t do it, we leave ourselves open to con artists and ethical compromisers who prey on our desire to believe we’re perfect. There’s no one solution, but here are some tricks I use to get a more accurate sense of myself:

  • Embrace your failings. Be willing to believe the worst about yourself. Remember: it’s much better to accept that you’re a selfish, racist moron and try to improve, than to continue sleepwalking through life that way as the only one who doesn’t know it.
  • Studiously avoid euphemism. People try and sugarcoat the tough facts about themselves by putting them in the best light possible. They say “Well, I was going to get to it, but then there was that big news story today” and not “Yeah, I was procrastinating on it and started reading the news instead.” Stating things plainly makes it easier to confront the truth.
  • Reverse your projections. Every time you see yourself complaining about other groups or other people, stop yourself and think: “is it possible, is there any way, that someone out there might be making the same complaints about me?”
  • Look up, not down. It’s always easy to make yourself look good by finding people even worse than you. Yes, we agree, you’re not the worst person in the world. That’s not the question. The question is whether you can get better — and to do that you need to look at the people who are even better than you.
  • Criticize yourself. The main reason people don’t tell you what they really think of you is they’re afraid of your reaction. (If they’re right to be afraid, then you need to start by working on that.) But people will feel more comfortable telling you the truth if you start by criticizing yourself, showing them that it’s OK.
  • Find honest friends. There are some people who are just congenitally honest. For others, it’s possible to build a relationship of honesty over time. Either way, it’s important to find friends who you can trust to tell to tell you the harsh truths about yourself. This is really hard — most people don’t like telling harsh truths. Some people have had success providing an anonymous feedback form for people to submit their candid reactions.
  • Listen to the criticism. Since it’s so rare to find friends who will honestly criticize you, you need to listen extra-carefully when they do. It’s tempting to check what they say against your other friends. For example, if one friend says the short story you wrote isn’t very good, you might show it to some other friends and ask them what they think. Wow, they all think it’s great! Guess that one friend was just an outlier. But the fact is that most of your friends are going to say it’s great because they’re your friend; by just taking their word for it, you end up ignoring the one person who’s actually being honest with you.
  • Take the outside view. As I said before, we’re always locked in our own heads, where everything we do makes sense. So try seeing what you look like from the outside for a bit, assuming you don’t know any of those details. Sure, your big money-making plan sounds like a great idea when you explain it, but if you throw that away, is there any external evidence that it will work?
Look at Yourself Objectively @ Raw Thought by Aaron Swartz

Thanks for reading!

Advertisements

How savage are we still ?

1779723

She was beautiful, cute and lovely daughter of her parents. A student and a good friend. But ruthlessly she was grabbed and left to die by some barbaric,uncivilized, inhumane people. Perhaps she may never have thought of her life ending so tragically and had no idea whatsoever. This is about the Brave Indian girl from New Delhi, who was brutally abused and left to succumb to her injuries.

We have come a far way from our savage styles of living. Food we eat, places we visit, Dresses we wear and all the Luxuries we live in still do not refine the answer to the question that “Have we still came way far from that moron past our ancestors lived while they were mere animals or close to that ?”

While there this group of unruly, selfish and beastly brainless people were out for a hunch on Delhi roads, wasn’t a single bit of humanity existed in their minds?

Well we know that ‘SEX’ obviously is a least talked about topic in our societies but do we also know it yet remains most committed ?

So while these people belonged to the same Society of principles and Morals where did all their conscience faded away right when they even thought of committing such a heinous crime?

What can Possibly be the reasons behind happening of this shameful activity on Live Roads in the National Capital of a Nation so famous for its Culture and Values ??

Is it fractured mentality? No fear of law in people ? or A crippled Judicial System ?

Irony is Media in Our nation is just  Breaking News Frenzy. No serious topics, never finds an end to a question raised by public and so immature, that if one channel was ahead in revealing a scam, other channels won’t bother and continue to stick to other basic happenings. Lack of Unity in Media makes a severe mockery of great events at times. And at some other times those so called hot news  would fade away once some other Big News will be in public. Except a few serious News Channels, rest are more laborious towards fetching a great deal of media and news awards.

Politics is at its worst in this country. Leading parties are worried about staying for an additional 5 year haul while parties in opposition want to make their chances bright. No matter what happens in the country, Media raises the Mic and cameras and Party representatives and speakers make comments. Noticeably as lewd as possible. So, this category of people can be considered responsible and equally unresponsive in a National crisis.

Judicial System is such a failure in our nation. No doubt it deals with large number of cases daily, but there hasn’t been effective measures taken to pace up the solution making process. All plan end up in parliament’s failed bills trash.

And Police, its better if we not speak about them. We know what a failure they are at all levels. For distinct personalities they are mere Bodygaurds  and for normal people they are Police wala Gundas .

Now when we come to our society, rather ‘societies’ would be a much better word to use for a single more Diverse nation like ours, we haven’t progressed way too ahead from ancient preachings . We dwell in a virtual period of social stigmas, moral obligations and orthodox methods. Unfortunately, leaders of many Cast based organisations, some of them are women, emphatically blame females for such happenings.

There is much to talk about all this and much still being talked on those Great Indian News Talk Shows.  It’s rather more polemical for one, to express their views in such regard. There hasn’t ever been a better reason for anything than asking from one’s self, that how much have they been a part of any such crime, even if they just had a bad thought ever in their minds. Answer lies plainly available in one line.

Despite boasting so much about the secularism, Diversity, Culture, Society and Principles of our nation, we now stand like a failed scholar! More we drove ourselves from accepting the Modern day’s flow, more we fell into a ditch so dark and kept broadening the gap between Morality and barbarity.

We have always considered women as a ‘material’ and not a living in our local social constitutions. We have always raised fingers on her. Then whatever she became was a result of a long stretched social coercion. Its is just not about this one girl, this is about thousands who suffer each month..each week…each day and each moment. They just don’t speak!

And when they do, they tremor the civilizations round the globe!

Here comes the New Year.

Image

2013, Most awaited year we can say, after what we call a whole chain of theories and buried historic factual declarations, all of which confirmed that world would end as 2012 ends. Even media and Hollywood were not left behind in preposterous race for Ratings and fame. Well, just like any other myth or a series of events took turn may be, we are all alive and looking forward.

Though celebrations across world were not as they had been in the past, this new year has emerged out of the blue. There were major socio-political situations all over the world, even till the fall 2012. Possibility of this year being a challenging one for everyone are High.

We have been a lot through last year, Good or Bad but mostly unpredictable. there were Global political reforms, technological advancements, Price rise, Sting operations, Defamation in Sports, New choice of Music, Movies based on reality and a lot of personal stuff. But we faced the toughest and enjoyed the most interesting, just like that! So, we made a commitment to accept life the way it comes in face, and made our chances of living longer and prosperous, more ardent.

There will be new changes this year and we all have backed ourselves up for them. Good they will be, we will take them in and multiply manifolds and spread. Bad they will be, we will face them head-on and outshine them with our smiles.

That is what we resolute every year, in the form of a New Year’s Resolution. Be it whatever but it reflects the inspiration to advance further and a zeal of living life whichever way it drags itself.

Thanks for reading

Happy new year to all.