Showing posts with label knowledge. Show all posts
Showing posts with label knowledge. Show all posts



There are so many stalwarts in the history of the world.  One such giant is Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers of United States .  In many ways,  he is the First American.  

His magnum opus is  'Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin'  is  available as a free download  at  .   The book is famous for his 13 virtues which every individual should nurture/ follow.

Franklin is a multi-facet personality.  He is an  author, printer, politician, political theorist, scientist, inventor, civic activist, statesman and diplomat.

His innings as 'writer' are inscribed with golden letters in the annals of American History.    He gained his prominence with his  magazine called 'Poor Richard's Almanack' which  was very popular in those times.  The annual versions of that publication were made from 1733 to 1758 and they turned out as 'best sellers'.

The following are my choicest quotes from the Almanack.

- Hunger never saw bad bread.

-Great talkers, little doers.

-If you ride a horse, sit close and tight;  If you ride a man, sit easy and light.

-Better slip with foot than tongue.

-A good lawyer is a bad neighbor.

- Sell not virtue to purchase wealth, nor liberty to purchase power.

-Wish not so much to live long as to live well.

-Search others for their virtues, thyself for thy vices.

-If you keep your secret from an enemy, tell it not to a friend.

-He that sows thorns, should not go barefoot.

-Experience keeps a dear school, yet fools will learn in no other.

- He is a Fool that can not conceal his wisdom.

-Great spenders are bad lenders.

-It is an easiest thing in the world for a Man to deceive himself.

-A good Example is the best sermon.

- The wise man draws more advantage from his enemies than the fool from his friends.

-Clean ;your Fingers before you point at any spots.

- We may give Advice but we can not give 'Conduct'.

- To serve the public faithfully and at the same time please it entirely is impracticable.

-A brother may not be a friend, but a friend  will always be a brother.

-The busy man has no idle visitors.

-For want for a nail the shoe is lost;
 For want of a shoe, the horse is lost;
 For want of a horse the Rider is lost !

 Benjamin Franklin is like Mahatma Gandhi to Americans.    His autobiography is an inspiring piece of prose and one should not miss to read it in his/her life time !



Language is the dress of thought

                               -  Samuel Johnson


One umbrella rule that dictates effective writing is ' to connect with the reader'.   How best you could tell your  story  that determines your success.  Not necessarily that everybody reaches to celebrity writer status.  But to share with the world  is the dire need of everybody.  Whether you identify that 'urge' or not  is  a different matter.  


Writing is always a lonely man's battle with his own thoughts.  Technology has given this boon called 'Blog' which has tremendously contributed in fine-tuning the thoughts/ ideas and non-professionals  have become top line content generators on the Web today.

No doubt that this platform is the best training ground to groom as a writer.   There are instances where the bloggers turn into celebrity writers.  One such prolific blogger who shot into fame with her  #1 New York Times Bestseller 'The Happiness Project'  is American writer Gretchen Rubin,  in 2009.


Writing involves insanely great patience.  Only people with high learning curve succeed in improving  their craft.  There are so many great writers of  Indian origin.    One such fabulous writer  of my choice  whose reputation would never die down is Khushwant Singh.   He is a minefield of tips for new writers.  


Though, I heard about him much before,  I have not  read any of his books as  majority of folks  dismissed  him as 'old dirty man' who talks more about sex'.  It may be partly true, but no doubt that he is a brilliant story-teller.  He has an envious  collection of  both fiction & non-fiction in his kitty.  In 2013, I read his marvelous book  'Khushwantnama'


The book has dedicated chapters for 'new writers'. He says that  no school or class can teach you how to become a writer.  He says that there has to be something in you, a compelling urge.   He advises that  you have to be totally honest and not afraid to speak out.   He further says that you have to have the ability to work hard and the stamina for a long haul. 


He asks the aspirants to practice as much as they  can.   Keeping diary, writing letters, emails - even that is a good exercise.  He says that reading will make you capable of distinguishing between bad and good writing.    He cautions of  using difficult words.    One should never be pompous or pretentious, he says.


Writing is an evolving process.     Only practice that  improves the craft  and helps for a wider reach ! 



Until now, I only heard the word 'party animal' which means a person who enjoys going to parties and  drinks a lot of alcohol and behaves in a  loud and wild way.

But you need to have Urban Dictionary to know the meaning of some of the latest words that are  added by some crazy souls.  These words symbolize the latest trends on the  behavioral  front in the societies.

Google is one such company  where you need to have separate dictionary to know the meaning of their vocabulary.  The book 'How Google Works - by Eric Schmidt & Jonathan Rosenberg' which is an interesting read  has a ' Glossary'  where some words invigorated  my  mind  which are  given below:

Learning animals :  People who have the smarts to handle massive change and the character to love it:  They so enjoy learning that they aren't afraid of asking dumb questions or getting wrong answers.

Smart creative : A person who combines deep technical knowledge of his or her trade with intelligence, business savvy, and a host of creative qualities.

Google is a trendsetter in so many ways.  It  is equally unique in coining new words to drive their employees creative.  That’s why, the company within a short span made  huge progress and  is a global technology leader.



One of the two great American sages who literally changed the trajectory of  my  life is,  Ralph Waldo Emerson (  1803-1882).

He is an essayist, lecturer, and poet who spearheaded the Transcendentalist movement in  the mid-19th century. Being a champion of individualism,  Emerson inspired countless  people through his writings and  public lectures.

The other luminary is  Henry David Thoreau when he met Emerson, he was asked  'Do you keep a journal ?   In fact,  that question went on to be a lifelong inspiration for Thoreau who churned out masterly works like 'Walden' etc.

My favourite quotes of Emerson:

- Win as if you were used to it, lose as if you enjoyed it for a change.

 - Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.

 - What lies behind you and what lies in front of you pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.

 - What is a weed ? A plant whose virtues have never been discovered.

 - Though we travel the world over  to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.

 - Nature and books belong to the eyes that see them.

 I am terribly inspired by reading some inspiring works of Emerson. The depth of his thought stirs you into contemplation.   His literature is freely available on internet at



Science is touching new frontiers,  especially the Neuroscience.

I came across  an article giving vivid account of  how the  brain  responds to decisions.  It is a new discipline called ''Neuroeconomics'' which explains human decision making - the ability to process multiple alternatives and how to follow a course of action.

Scientists  predict that if you tend to splurge, it means you are right-brain oriented.  Right brain thinkers, they say, hate to plan and succumb to impulse much more.

When you see a new dress,  lovely shoe/ jewellery  you get excited thereby light up a ''pleasure centre'' of your brain called ''Nucleus Accumbens '' which  secretes neuro-chemical called dopamine.

In fact, we are shrouded with so many mysteries on human brain.   After  successful completion of  ''Human Genome Project'',  America now  started another equally marvelous project called  BRAIN (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Technologies Initiative.  The European Union also established ''Human Brain Project which is a 10 year scientific research project to better understand the brain and how it functions.

The objective of US's Brain Research Project is better reflected in  these words of the then US President Barack Obama "There is this enormous mystery waiting to be unlocked.  And the brain initiative will change that by giving scientists the tools they need to get a dynamic picture of the brain in action and better understand how we think and how we learn and how we remember.  And that knowledge could be- will be - transformative''.

Human brain is the most complex organ in the universe.  With 86 billion neurons along with other cells, it  make more than 100 trillion connections.

Scientists  are  trying to map the circuits of the brain, measure the fluctuating patterns of electrical and chemical activity and understand how their interplay creates unique cognitive and behavioral capabilities.

Scientists say that 60 years of studying one neuron at a time has taught a lot about individual neurons, but that is not sufficient.

Most of us assume that the physical location of the  brain is head.  But the fact is  that your head is only the ''command centre'' where as each cell has its own brain.

The scientists are struggling  with what the phenomena called ''Hard Problem'' -  when a person sees a red rose and if his brain is put under fMRI,  nothing of such sort like  rose is seen in his brain.  Further, they also fail to decipher how  the brain creates subjective experience called 'qualia''.  


Let these haunting questions invigorate our scientific community to  dig deeper into the mysteries of Universe !        



Words form the thread on which we string our experience.


                                              - Aldous Huxley


In our present day education system, little stress is laid on honing language skills. As English is the link language in higher education in a country like India which is a mosaic of diverse cultures, we must strive hard to    build up vocabulary as a never-ending process beyond academic life. 


Nobody can master the vocabulary overnight. Like Rome was not built in a day, building up vocabulary is an arduous process and there is no short cut for it.


Some people may take a lame excuse that in routine life we need not use more high standard words and that’s why there is no need to refer dictionary. Their contention is that mediocrity meets the job. For those lethargic souls, this is not the place to go further. But the credence of vocabulary is realized by people who are avid readers. To write, you need to be armed with befitting words to express different hues of emotions for different occasions. 


English is the world’s most liberal language and it adds any local words to its cobweb to become holistic. Personality development guru Tony Robbins says that ‘with words, we can make our noblest intentions felt and our deepest desires known.’ Those who are sleepy to get on without expanding their vocabulary must read these inspiring lines of Robbins “People with an impoverished vocabulary live an impoverished emotional life; people with rich vocabularies have a multi-hued palette of colours with which they  paint their experience, not only for others, but for themselves as well’.


English contains more than a million words. As per estimate by Global Language Monitor on January 1, 2020, the number of words in the English language is : 1,057,379.6.  Currently there is a new word created every 98 minutes or about 14.7 words per day. Experts say that the average person’s working vocabulary consists of only between 2000 and 10000 words.


We must cultivate the habit of referring dictionary daily like brushing teeth. It should be one of the non-negotiable activities of the day. Once this habit sinks into your system, it will enrich your speaking and writing abilities.


In computers, tablet computers and smartphones, dictionary apps are replacing the physical voluminous dictionaries. Though this digital substitute is doing wonders, the flavour of finding a new word in physical dictionary is enticing for which we must have a reliable dictionary. Finding difficult words and getting their meanings known should be a daily ritual. The best way to remember the meaning for new word is to add some emotional string to that word so that it would embed in permanent memory.   Keeping a notepad exclusively for this purpose would keep not only a record for the new words we gather but facilitate to come back and forth to use those learned words in our daily usage.   Rich vocabulary is like party wear  which is a visual feast to the onlooker!


One of the secrets to influence others is through word-power and once you succeed in this art, the world would lay a red carpet  for you !



The man who will use his skill and constructive imagination to see how much he can give for a dollar, instead of how little  he can give for a dollar, is bound to succeed.

                                                                    – Henry Ford

There is a Chinese proverb that if you can't smile, don't open a shop !

The whole secret of business centers on this precept, but few take this lesson seriously.

Honestly, if this gesture is brought in, it would  have a profound impact on the businesses we do. So the eternal mantra for businessman is to treat customers with warmth. Those who earn this quality would see a sea of difference.

Richard Branson, the English business tycoon with more than 400 companies under Virgin Group defines business as something involving, fun, and it has to exercise your creative instincts. Thomas Watson, the former CEO and chairman of IBM adds that you should have your heart in your business and your business in your heart.

A man in any venture succeeds  if he has an alertness of a soldier, hard work of a player, concentration of a scientist, enthusiasm of a student, , presence of mind of an actor and optimism of a trekker.

The relationship he is trying to forge with customers should be a lasting one with quality as a buzzword. If he builds trust with customers based on honesty and mutual benefit, the demand for his product remains perennial.

Why some people may not succeed in business is due to the fact that they think in a monotonous way and expect miracles to do their business.

Creativity on daily basis should be the hallmark of any business.

The most successful business people refine their business strategies constantly and sometimes wisdom comes from unexpected quarters. India's auto-mobile giant Anand Mahindra makes spider as his guru because it starts spreading its web from the point it feels convenient. So the Sutra is : instead of waiting at which point you have to start, better to start immediately than wailing for an opportune moment.

Narayana Murthy of  Infosys says that innovation should be prime driving force for any business. He advises business people to innovate on daily basis. He adds that creativity coupled with team work will pay high dividends in business. Mumbai's Dabba wala epitomize the highest ethical standards in business. Countless management graduates of international repute  interact with them regularly to know their  networking skills especially their abilities to precisely  deliver hot food to office goers  in bustling Mumbai City.

History is replete with countless examples of so many successful business people who built their empires with quality and innovation as prime fuel. So before you venture into any business,  don't forget these immortal words of America's iconic steel magnate Charles M. Schwab : The man who does not work for the love of work,  but only for money is not likely to neither make money nor find much fun in life.



In the river of mind, thoughts are like never-ending ripples. In fact, they are the seeds  of our actions. That's why it is quite essential to segregate the productive ones from the  bucket list.

The Search giant Google’s Marketing czar Gopi Kallayil’s (Indian origin) foremost strategy to mange his life is: Focus on Essential.

To focus on essentials, you  have to strike a balance between left and right brain activities. The how of it is best described by German philosopher Goethe who suggests that ‘one should, each day, try to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and if it is possible, speak a few reasonable words. If you allow the creative activities to play their part, you know the priorities of life in a much better way which would help to bring out the best in you.

In fact the Creator is not biased and each one of us are endowed with some unique qualities which the other person has not. Therefore we should not allow our talents die inside of us. Norman Cousins says that the tragedy of life is not death but what we let die inside of us while we still live. So it is time to prevail on the wisdom, instead of drifting away with impulse which only causes  much more distraction and agony.

Gopi’s another strategy is ‘Do one thing at a time’. This is undisputedly the subtle lesson  you must learn. In the hustle and bustle of daily life, you are inclined to do more than one activity simultaneously at any given time feeling pride that you are managing time efficiently. But you don’t know how it is taking its toll. The curse of continuous partial attention  affects the quality of your life. If you set your foot on too many activities at the same time, you end up nowhere. In fact, our brains are not equipped for multi-tasking at conscious level. Alexander Graham Bell rightly says that concentrate all your thoughts upon the work on hand. He further says that sun’s rays don’t burn until brought to a focus.

In order to take the things closer to your heart, inner integrity is utmost important which one personality development guru advises us to operate ‘Daily Personal Integrity Account’ to gauge whether or not it follows the whip. Instead of plug and play syndrome, your actions should be based on your own experience learnt from life.

Gopi’s last strategy is : Friend yourself. He says that it matters little how many friends you have on  the social networking sites. He further says that it also matters little how greatly you are networked in life. Unless you are a good friend of your own self, nothing worthwhile could be achieved.  You must make your mind to recognize the fact that the daily chunks of solitude bring a new level of wisdom in life. It is the only way to friend with yourself. In those solitary times, you get an opportunity to reflect upon a day’s activities so as to prepare yourself for other day's work with more precision, vigour and alacrity. This is the cream of wisdom which you could neglect at  your  own peril.



Vivekananda is synonymous with rousing enthusiasm and youthful energy. Though the soil of Bengal has given birth to so many spiritual luminaries  like Ramakrishna, Lahiri Mahasaya, Paramahamsa Yogananda, Rabindranath Tagore, Aurobindo Ghosh, no other had huge public outreach like Swami Vivekananda. This darling child of Mother India propagated the message of Indian Spirituality beyond national boundaries.


Whoever remembers Vivekananda,  they are engraved with his famous Chicago Speech given at Parliament of Religions on 11th September, 1893. It had an electrifying effect on American minds of that time and literally created waves in their society.


Narendranath Datta (Vivekananda's family name) was born on Monday January 12, 1863 to Bhuvaneswari Devi and Viswanath Datta in Kolkata.  He soon showed a precocious mind and developed a keen memory. Vivekananda in his later years once said to an audience that " I am indebted to my mother for whatever knowledge I have acquired.'   At the age of fifteen he experienced his first spiritual ecstasy.


Naren had first heard about Sri Ramakrishna from a relative, Ramachandra Datta who was one of the foremost householder disciples of the Master.   Having understood his spiritual bent of mind, he was advised to visit Ramakrishna at Dakshineswar.  The young Naren met Ramakrishna for the first time in November 1881 in the house of the Master's devotee Surendranath Mitra.  He was invited there to entertain the visitors with his melodious music. Having been impressed, Ramakrishna asked Narendranath to visit him at Dakshinewar. During the meeting when he  posed Ramakrishna a question "Sir, have you seen God ? the master replied without a moment's hesitation " Yes, I have seen God.’’ He further said him that ‘’ I had seen God like I saw you.’’ Naren was astounded with the master’s reply.  Ramakrishna in fact waited the eager arrival of Vivekananda to whom he transferred his spiritual energy thereby, he became a World Teacher with his first visit to America and later to Europe and other countries.


Ramakrishna knew the energies of Vivekananda. The master in his own words said that “among lotuses, Narendra is a thousand-petaled one”. Naren assumed the name of Vivekananda at the time of his departure for America in 1893.


Vivekananda's famous Chicago speech at Parliament of World's Religions on 11th Sept., 1893 with his starting salutation "Brothers & Sisters of America" enthralled the seven thousand packed audience. His extempore talk captivated the audience and sprouted the seeds of spirituality on American minds.


The influence of Swamiji on stalwarts like Mahatma Gandhi and Subhash Chandra Bose not only enriched their personal lives but contributed immensely in liberating India from British clutches. What we need to learn from Swamiji's life is his inquisitive mind. 


Reading his literature stirs the blood with mystical energy. The core philosophy of Vivekananda centers on divinity within us. While defining education, he says that it is the manifestation of perfection already in man.


Vivekananda in his brief sojourn of 39 years on this planet has literally brought a spiritual revolution. He is the first Indian who propagated the Message of India on Western soil. Swamiji's words are like live ammunition which triggers us into deep thought process, sharpening our intellect and bring utmost humility. Swamiji is a hardcore pragmatist. What he taught, he lived through. He exemplified the life of Advaita philosophy.


He is a living embodiment of what an ordinary man could achieve even without sufficient ways and means but only an iron will to spread the message of his Master. In a tribute of his immense contribution, Govt. of India declared 12th January as  'National Youth Day'.


As long as Indian philosophy lives through this civilization, Vivekananda remains the torch-bearer of Wisdom at the world stage.



Though I am an avid reader  and having a blog for  years but  I never  posted even a single  article until March 2011 when a friend of mine persuaded me to do so.   He said that  I should write something regularly so that my creative ideas will find a natural expression and those writings may inspire and benefit at least some people. In my friend's words I should contribute something to society about my ideas/insights/ experiences on life.

After being inspired with his words,  I started writing  articles in  my blog  which  graduated me finally to write for leading newspapers.   

Writing is a tough hobby which needs tremendous mental energies to sustain it . It is in fact a kind of evolving into a higher self.    When I analyzed the lives of highly successful people, I found that Travelling, Reading and Writing ruled their lives. When asked about his life's ambitions after retirement from public life, Shri P. Chidambaram, a prominent Indian politician and ex-cabinet minister  once said that he wants to take a serious pursuit of his three hobbies i.e. Reading, Writing and Travel .

It is true that when your basic  needs are catered, this trio should rule the life.



Book Exhibitions are always an important itinerary of my life. These are the annual rituals in most of the major cities in India.

Over the years, some great books have changed the trajectory of my life.  It is immaterial whether you purchase a book or not, but a visit to a Book Exhibition will definitely give a gusto to the soul.

When I visit Book Fairs, I feel  that I am in a pilgrimage.  My relationship with books is eternal. They are my friends, companions, philosophers and mentors. In short my craving for a good book is self-driven !!


The strongest man in 
the world is the man who
stands alone

                         - Thomas H. Huxley

Muscle power alone can't denote potency.  Right proportion of mind power with it takes you to the winning path.

 Being strong and sturdy means having self-conviction, perseverance, inexhaustible desire to overcome all the obstacles.

The real test is when you get a series of failures but still keeps your head high with one more attempt.  In this process, some times, you are forced to be alone and  failures cloud your  enthusiasm.  Then turn your mind, remind yourself with these  immortal words of Late Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam :

F.A.I.L means : First Attempt In Learning
E.N.D. means  : Effort Never Dies
N.O means      :  Next Opportunity.

The world would always respect those who are real-life heroes instead of reel-life heroes. Mahatma Gandhi personifies this   quality.  This fragile and wiry man shook the British Empire with his one point agenda of  ousting British Raj from India through non-violent path.

So be the strongest, physically, mentally, morally and ethically !


In India, English still rules as the most vibrant and viable communication vehicle. There is no dispute in saying that the English is still the mainstay language for our educational and communication needs.

The language has a special charm in Southern and North-Eastern parts of India. Though, I was grown up with my mother tongue Telugu as a medium of instruction up to class 10, my father injected an irresistible charm in me to hone my English speaking and writing skills at the age of 6 or 7. Though English was not taught properly in my school days, it was my dad who had ignited an unflagging spirit and taught me to hone my language skills. Till I entered into my first year of graduation, I was not good enough at writing or speaking in English. Though I had taken English medium in my Intermediate (11th & 12th class) those two years had not helped much to hone my language skills. My father being a qualified stenographer but chose a different profession, used to cherish the career of stenographer which prompted me to learn stenography. So it was in 1988, I started my arduous journey of learning stenography and simultaneously started reading English newspaper - The Hindu daily. As suggested by my father, I used to underline the difficult words in the editorial page and refer dictionary to improve my word power on daily basis. My father used to suggest me to write a passage on any topic on my own to improve my craft. When I followed his word, the desire to excel in English reached to an unfathomable level and I dreamt of writing articles to newspapers/ magazines as a freelancer. An attempt was made by that time to write a letter to the editor of one prominent English newspaper regarding my opinion on certain political issue of that time. When I sent that letter, it was amazing that my piece of comments were published and my joy found no bounds.

The passing of stenography in the second year of my graduation was very much a smooth sail as I put my body and soul on it. By the time I entered into third year of B.Com, one day I was asked by my mother to bring sugar from a nearby provision store. Instead of purchasing sugar, my attention dragged to a nearby second-hand book/old newspaper vendor who stacked and kept a bundle of old English books. When I went near and saw, I was perplexed to see the priceless collection of Vivekananda literature, all published by Ramakrishna Mission. There was hardly any choice and I made up my mind to take the old books with my sugar money. Perhaps, I could not take home sugar, but the sweetness of those books is still lingering in my mind.

When the books were brought home, a recurring dream of Swami Vivekananda for some days put me in quandary to choose between my academic subjects and Vivekananda literature. I could not know what exactly happened to me. A sway of spirituality overpowered me and I find a new delight in Indian philosophy with particular reference to Vivekananda literature. It further drove me to find some other books of Vivekananda in the local Triveni Publishers where I got Vivekandan's famous Chicago lecture book. That electrifying lecture tremendously increased my courage levels. Mine, otherwise a shy guy who always feared to speak in English started talking in English as my friends of that time told me that I used to take long lectures on spirituality. Those books which I purchased occupied a proud place as a first collection in my personal library, started way back in 1989. I had been very kind that my parents did not yell at me for diverting the sugar money for books. Instead, they encouraged me to nurture my reading habit. Afterwards, my father used to give some money on the first of every month and I used to purchase a book or two, thereby I slowly built my treasure trove. Though I almost neglected my studies in preference to Vivekananda literature, I had not felt hard to cope up with exam pressure ,and in fact I excelled in my third year B.Com exams with more than 80 %.

After a little over 2 years struggle in private jobs, Heaven smiled upon me as I was selected as stenographer in a govt. organization. Though it seemed some sort of divine intervention of getting a government job so early at 22, I forecast that I must have to sail in troubled waters ahead. Like I predicted, a major accident dislocated my father's thigh joint and that incident crippled not only our financial well-being but had also taken away my sheen for competing Civil Services Exam. Though, the dream of Civil Services could not materialize, the charm for English did not diminish. I slowly improved my word power by reading newspapers and other english magazines.

There were so many mental challenges, mind wars and personal struggles which made my journey so daunting. In my late 40s I realized that blogging is a better way to express myself that would chisel my craft to perfection. To make the story short, I built my own website with a custom domain called ‘Knoweb’

‘Knoweb’ is an acronym for Knowledge Web . It is driven by a single point agenda of empowering the people with right kind of information. It is a pure Knowledge Mission!


No one gossips about other people’s secret virtues.
                            - Bertrand Russell

A large chunk of leisure time is spent unproductively by majority of us in gossip. If two people meet, they talk less of themselves and more of the world.

If you involve more in gossip, you will be in utter  chaos. Indulging in such unproductive and futile talk not only seep your energies but also negativity corrodes your system. Instead, you could use those energies for self-reflection so that you can tread a path of

Socrates gives a Triple Filter Test to overcome this problem:

One day an acquaintance met Socrates and said, “Do you know what I just heard about your friend?"

Hold a minute, Socrates replied. “Before telling me anything, I’d like you to pass a little test. It is called the Triple Filter Test.

Triple filter?

That is right, “Socrates continued. "Before you talk to me about my friend, it might be good idea to take a moment and filter what you are going to say. That’s why I call it the triple filter test. "

The first filter is TRUTH. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?

"No," the man said, “actually I just heard about it and ...."

All right, “said Socrates.” So you don't really know if it is true or not. Now let's try the second filter, the filter of GOODNESS. Is what you are about to tell me about my friend something good?

"No, on the contrary...”

"So, Socrates continued,” you want to tell me something bad about him, but you are not certain it's true. You may still pass the test though, because there’s one filter left: the filter of USEFULNESS.

Is what you want to tell me about my friend going to be useful to me? "

"No, not really. "

"Well, concluded Socrates, “if what you want to tell me is neither true nor good nor even useful, why tell it to me at all?

If everybody prevails on the wisdom of Socrates, we could channelize such unproductive energies for more
creative pursuits.



I was pretty amazed one night when I read that former Chief Election Commissioner of India T.N. Seshan had an elephant's memory and he could quote verbatim long passages, be it from scriptures, prose or poetry.  This former Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer from South India was labelled as the  hardest nut to crack in the political circles of his times.

When I see my reading commitments with books piled up on my table, I wish that all information in those books should go into my brain instantly like Director S. Shankar's Tamil science fiction  movie Enthiran in which the hero Dr. Vaseegaran  creates a sophisticated android   that  astonishes the audience with jaw-dropping tricks like reading bulky books/magazines in a blip of second with it's X-Ray eyes.

I wonder whether that  is within human possibility or not.  I can't summarily dismiss that act as shown in that movie.  But there is enough evidence to prove the power of human brain through powerful personalities like Swami Vivekananda who is blessed with such photographic memory.

If we go into the mechanics of memory, it is said that our memory works basically on one cardinal principle : Interest is the mother of attention and attention is the mother of  memory.  If a thing ignites you enough and when you feel the need to memorize, you could do it effortlessly.

When it comes to Elephant's Memory,  I read that Former President of India Pranab Mukherjee is gifted with a phenomenal memory power.  Even in his ripe age, he used to  read a lot and write  journal/diary.     Why it is called elephant's memory because the elephant never forget.   It doesn’t have appreciable eyesight, but it never forgets a face.  The elephants in the group check one another out with their trunks.  Another interesting fact is that  elephants also recall routes to alternate food and water sources when their usual areas dry up. 

The elephant's memory is not an illusion and one could  cultivate it through self effort.