Heart or Brain?

Many a times, humans take decisions in a way that it becomes difficult for others to fathom. Sometimes the brain is required to take precedence over heart and other times heart is supposed to take precedence over brain. In love, about family and friends, heart should take precedence over brain; emotions do overcome brain in these cases but in other cases it should be the reverse. But this sometimes does not happen.

Recently a term has been coined “Post Truth”

Post-truth relies solely on personal beliefs and ignores any facts that may conflict with those personal beliefs.

Initially, humans lived in small groups, with evolution many things changed. This included communication, travel, language and many other things. When small groups were not connected, most of the decisions taken were based on personal beliefs because knowledge acquired by other groups could hardly be known as inter group communications were either non-existent or were very poor and not wide spread. Human race has evolved over a period especially about communications.

In modern world, the knowledge and information gets spread so fast that we can know many things, if we want to. This gave the opportunity to know how people behave in different ways for same situations. Also many facts and figures became easily available. With this change, migration also increased. Initially people looked at migration as globalization; effect of globalization was assimilation of global population with different skills, to manufacture stuff/provide services from anywhere in the world at the lowest possible cost. Globalization did spread with the advent of knowledge and information and better communication. It had its great effects, initially. Second “industrial revolution” was even faster and more wide spread. This “industrial revolution” was digitalization and computerization of our world. Its effect has been to democratize the global economy to some extent.

But in recent couple of years, a different effect of this revolution was felt by the local population e.g. losing jobs to “outsiders”. Now the thought process has started changing from global to local. This has led to the creation of term “Post Truth”. So called “Global Thinking” people have started thinking “locally” to get their jobs back. The effect is for all of us to see e.g. Trump becoming President, Brexit and so on. Apparently Post Truth is more prevalent in Public Domain but sometimes it’s prevalent in personal domain too! We cannot say that US population is not aware of “could be effects” of  Trump presidency. Britishers are very much aware that coming out of large single market is not good for Britain. But in spite this knowledge, decisions have been most unexpected. 

EVM (Electronic Voting Machines) episode, challenging the Election commission by political parties was a typical Post Truth case. EVM voting sanctity was well proven over a period but Political parties did not look at the facts and just challenged the Authorities. In 1971 India Pakistan war, Pakistan had two very distant fronts to fight on, Mukti Bahini was strongly fighting the guerilla war, Indian Forces were far superior but Pakistanis had a notion that one Pakistani soldier is good enough for 10 Indian soldiers! Rest as you know is history. Alienating Qatar by other Gulf Countries is another Post Truth decision. Qatar is a small nation but is also the richest. All concerned countries on both sides openly support terrorist organizations. So most of these countries have same issues so how alienating Qatar is going to solve that areas problems is difficult to understand.  

Why the Post Truth? Under what circumstances does emotion take over the brain? At what stage “globalization” becomes less important than “localization”? One important aspect that has come forward is that very large part of population gives in to “Post Truth” phenomena. Is it because of fear psychosis? In many cases, the “Post Truth” thinking actually becomes believable. In case of Trump phenomena, it was real justified fear of the so called “White Trash” in America or “Rednecks” and Right supremacists. In case of Brexit it is probably the fear of Muslim refugees landing in Europe. In England already there is a large population of Asians which has come legally and has been causing stress to the white population and “Post Truth” thought process must have been simmering beneath the surface. In both cases the large population has ignored the facts and taken decision solely on personal beliefs; this phenomena is difficult to explain.

In case of personal relationships, life and decision making is too simple and emotional. When Jaya and I decided to get married, we were both students. Both had rudimentary information about each other’s families. Both of us were below 20 years of age, it was simple and “to hell with the consequences” was the attitude. But who any way knew what is marriage? That things turned out to be okay over a period was a different matter. Folks, what do you consider yourselves about things in public domain or even somethings in personal domain which needs brain over heart? Or are you a heart over brain person?

NOW!

Life is full of contradictions. We hear or see different signals, we hear different thought processes and observe different ways of thinking. To succeed in life we need to dream and think about future. It gives us such a pleasure to know that our civilization was quite advanced in the past and we have a beautiful heritage. But there is another thought process which suggests that we should live in “NOW” to be really happy.

I remember the fable of Shaikh Mohamad and his dreams. He is a farmer who has some land and animals. One day his wife set a big earthen pot of Dahi or Yogurt. (As we know that in India we “set” Dahi at home, buying Yogurt from outside was not very common till recent times) Our Shaikh is taking his siesta and he dreams that with the Dahi he has, he will make butter milk and also some butter. If done properly he will grow his business and have many buffaloes and lots of Dahi, butter and butter milk. He will become rich doing these things; after he becomes rich, if he finds his lazy wife not doing work, he will kick her and make her work hard. In his sleep he kicks and hits the earthen pot in which there is Dahi!! With this his dreams are shattered along with the earthen pot! This fable tells us, not only to dream but to work on what you hope to do.

Instead of dreaming of future, had Shaikh produced butter milk and butter, in “NOW” time and had continued to do so, he probably would have achieved his dream. Thinking of olden days and future have their own pluses and minuses. But maybe there are more minuses. Today one can be unhappy because what had happened yesterday or guessing what may happen in future. In life nothing is certain except death. No other things are certain and things can change at the last moment for better or worse. But this does not happen with death. When the time has come it has come. Period!

Today one may be sad because he/she lost a wallet last week. A couple of days back while driving someone came and brushed the car and there was some damage to the car. Of course when such events occur we feel sad, at that instant. But if we keep on thinking of these events all the time, then your “NOW” is spoiled. You are sad because what happened in the past. Could we have prevented these two events from happening? I don’t think so. Can we change them now? No. Then why are we sad today? It is similar about future. Will I marry the most beautiful girl I know, down the lane? Will I become an airline pilot, which is my dream? It is great to dream and try to achieve it. But is there any point in brooding “NOW” for things that are likely or not likely to happen?

A persons feelings “NOW” are many times based on what “was” or what “will be”. A friend had an opportunity to go to Germany but missed it because of the boss! But why is he not happy “NOW” though he is enjoying holiday with his friends in Goa! ( Missed Germany opportunity?) I missed on meeting an old friend as our dates clashed so I am sad. Why? Why not just pick up a phone and chat with him “NOW” and be happy? I am sad as I lost six months in life because I was in bed due to illness. But why am I not happy “NOW” because I survived that major health issue? I have known of many people who don’t get their yearly medical check-up done because some health issue may be detected! Stop worrying about future! But why not get yourself checked “NOW”, be happy if nothing comes up, or take action if something comes up and then be happy!

The human nature of thinking about what happened in the past and what can happen in the future, comes in the way enjoying life. Forget the past and the future, we can enjoy “NOW”.  Past is writing on the stone and we can’t change, future is like writing on the sand on the seashore. The writing goes away with every tide and the slate becomes blank. So is our future, we think and hope that so and so is going to happen- writing on the sand! Next day situation changes, it’s the tide that has come in, so you write again. When we know that this is going to happen then why worry about it!

Over a period, I am coming to a conclusion that all of us must try and start thinking like a child. Become a child is my mantra for happiness.

As William Wordsworth says in his poem Rainbow “A child is the father of the man!”. There are so many things that you can learn from kids. Instead of learning from kids we try and mold the kids to behave like adults! I am currently staying next to my daughter; her daughter is 2 ½. This baby just breezes in our home. Do I see her brooding any time? Does she look bored any time? Does she look worried any time? Never. The reason is very simple. She is happy with what she has, she is simply enjoying the current moment. She is enjoying ““NOW” all the time!  Friends it is with us to be happy by being in “NOW” situation always!

Interpretation of the proverb “A child is the father of the man!” in the Poem Rainbow :

People’s personalities form when they are children; A person will have the same qualities as an adult that he or she had as a child. (From William Wordsworth’s poem, “My Heart Leaps Up.”) In Bill’s case, the child was father of the man; he never lost his childhood delight in observing nature.

The poem Rainbow

My heart leaps up when I behold

A Rainbow in the sky:

So was it when my life began;

So is it now I am a man;

So be it when I shall grow old,

Or let me die!

The Child is father of the man;

And I could wish my days to be

Bound each to each by natural piety.

By- William Wordsworth.