Archive for January 2013

Morning Light

The Earth is Art, The Photographer; a Witness!

Morning Light

Morning Light


Posted January 31, 2013 by dranilj1 in Photography

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Secrets Never Told

The Secrets Will Never Be Told

Posted January 31, 2013 by dranilj1 in Photography

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Majestic Mountains

Always believe that there is more to life than what comes through the five senses.

Posted January 31, 2013 by dranilj1 in Photography

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Naming, Blaming, Claiming

When faced with a broad range of justifiable problems, people seek advice for around half of them, and advice from lawyers on around 13% of occasions. Various factors have been found to linked to advice seeking behavior, but it is commonly recognized that problem type ‘swamps’ other factors. A study on an Internet survey of 1,031 respondents, aged between 16 and 66, in which respondents were presented with a range of problem scenarios and asked to place them on a severity scale, characterize them as legal or otherwise and suggest an appropriate source of advice. The study assessed the impact of problem severity and legal characterization on the likelihood of identifying legal advice, advice sector advice or other advice as being appropriate. Even having controlled for problem type, both problem severity and characterization have a highly significant impact on adviser choice. As severity increases, so does the likelihood of suggesting legal advice is appropriate. When problems are characterized as legal, there is a significant increase in the likelihood of suggesting a lawyer across problem types. However, choice of broader advice sector advice is relatively unaffected by characterization. The findings move us beyond problem type being the primary explanation of advice seeking behavior, in addition to in the context of legal service delivery, as well as with reference to Felstiner, Abel & Sarat model of disputing behavior.

In his early work, Bill Felstiner focused on alternative ways to solve conflicts such as avoidance, mediation, litigation etc. Bill Felstiner together with Rick Abel and Austin Sarat, developed the idea of a disputes pyramid and the formula “naming, blaming, claiming,” which refers to different stages of conflict resolution and levels of the pyramid.

Skilled Advice Seeker

Unnecessary bad choice happens to everyone, and they keep happening to some. Why? Parents and teachers teach us to say sorry when causing damage and to offer thanks when admitting help. But nobody trains young people, when they have an important decision to make, to ask themselves if they have the knowledge and experience to handle it, and if not, who does and can lend a hand. For varied reasons of defective decision, emotion, social relations, and even biology, people do not attempt to bring the knowledge and experience of others to bear on their problems and challenges, in the service of better decision making.

One reason for this malfunction is a fear of appearing weak. An additional reason is that schoolwork trains you to do problems on your own without consulting anyone, which is considered deception. Still another modern reason is that people think that checking with books or the web are sufficient, neglecting that often good advice critically depends on one’s circumstances and goals, which vary greatly from one person to the next. Good books and web articles can put across principles and specific examples, but not address the great variety of people’s situations.

The main reason that people do not practically seek advice from others is that they just don’t think of it; it’s not a practiced routine. Even when people do take the idea of seeking out advice, they often don’t do it well; it’s not a practiced skill. For example, they might seek advice from only one person in order to avoid the confusion and stress that result from getting contradictory advice.

To become a skilled advice seeker, and thus make improved decisions, it’s helpful to understand that advice consists of much more than solutions to a problem. Advice can consist of potential solutions – information about a specific opening – but it can also provide pointers to helpful people; someone similar to one who went through what we did, readings, or events. Advice can reveal dimensions of a problem that one has not considered; for example, you are not rushed, so rather than just respond to openings, instead identify where you’d like to work and plan how to get in. Advice enables one to proceed with confidence, consider the available options, and deepens social engagement that can be drawn on in the future for mutual aid.

When we have a complicated problem or issue, let us consider whether seeking advice is worthwhile. Advice seeking is a skill that can be honed by learning its principles and best practices, such as how to identify who’s a good advisor. One’s life challenge is not to traverse it alone, but to artfully bring to bear the world’s knowledge and experience on whatever one is undertaking.

Related Articles

Constructive Living-III: Acting on Reality Now!

Acting on Reality Now

Acting on Reality Now

One definition of enlightenment is “appropriate action.” While enlightenment is not the goal, constructive action is. Learn to pay attention to Reality, accept Reality and cultivate the mind that appreciates Reality and her many gifts. In one sense, all of this is just “mind stuff” and, while useful in providing the setting and context for action, it is not yet “Constructive Living” until it reaches the physical plane through our behavior. Now we are reminded that what really counts is what we do. In the details of our everyday behavior, we practice what it means to live constructively.

The central practice of constructive living is not just paying attention to Reality. This view is incomplete. Can we see that simply sitting around attending to and appreciating Reality can be a static picture? Our thoughts alone have no impact on Reality; it is what we do that matters. Every action has moral implications, as do “things undone.” It is in the brief moment, when we act even anxiously or in hesitation that we truly practice constructive living life’s way.

The Tightwad Gazette publication is full of specific and concrete suggestions for ways that we can use the gifts of life “well,” thoroughly and with appreciation. The author, Amy Dacyczyn, is interested in promoting thrift as a ‘viable lifestyle’ not simply because it saves money, but because it honors life. Using and caring for whatever crosses our path “well” implies action, not merely attitude.

Consider that everything we do has moral implications. Neither our best nor our worst thoughts or feelings impact the world until they are acted upon. But action, even the smallest action, begins our relationship with Reality. We then receive needed information and can thereafter make more informed choices about what to do next. How often we find ourselves worrying rather than acting, when action is what is needed to begin the process. Do more, ruminate less, is a line from Reynolds’ rendering of a St. Augustine poem.

I am not recommending thoughtless action or merely random behavior. Most of the time we know what needs doing, but we are not yet engaged, or we let the many tasks before us create an excuse. Therefore, in a field of things to be done pick any one of them that needs doing and begin it. We all know that when we are engaged in an activity exercising, cleaning, writing it is different from our imaginings. Do life, don’t just contemplate it. Act with attention and appreciation. Do what needs to be done in your life, and do it now.


Constructive Living-II: Giving Back to Reality.

Returning to Reality

Returning to Reality

Reality is gives us faster than we can calculate it, either in quantity or kind. But instead of focusing on this, we don’t know why, usually we find ourselves ruminating over our problems and what troubles us. From the constructive living perspective, this mental habit, albeit natural, is unrealistic. It is an incomplete activity, as well as a waste of time, in many cases. We seem to have lots of mental data about what we lack and the obstacles to our desires. To really see our life, we must make an effort to look at the details of all that surrounds us and all that supports us. We need to develop some skill at discerning the many gifts that life brings to us. We need to really see the water that our thirsty body is swimming in, to paraphrase a title.

A common first constructive living lesson is to say “thank you” ten times a day to someone like a partner, friend or office worker. While it is a simple exercise in theory, the doing of it creates a new way of looking at life. It invites us to cultivate our awareness of the many gifts that we receive and points our attention to the source of the gift. It reminds us that a proper response to a gift or service is appreciation and reciprocation. This perspective smashes the notion of the self-made person, which so many of us work hard to construct and protect. The problem with this idealized view of the self is that it is simply not realistic. No man is an island. Waking up to the truth of ones indebtedness and interconnectedness could be a valuable lesson.

These ideas are not new to constructive living. This awareness could be found in many philosophies and spiritual disciplines. Constructive living’s perspective derives from a Japanese practice called Naikan (“looking inward” or “introspection”). This practise asks the participant to use three powerful questions to correct their view. These questions may be asked concerning individuals- family, friends, mentors, enemies, even strangers. The questions may also be asked with reference to a day or an event in ones life.

These are the questions for reflection:

1. What have I received from??__??

2. What have I given to??__??

3. What troubles and bothers have I caused??__??

You may also use these three questions as a daily inventory. Called “Daily Naikan” practice, these three questions provide a frame for assessing the day. Many constructive living students keep a daily journal, filling in the details of the specific gifts, troubles and efforts to repay others. Answering Naikan’s questions and the simple exercise of saying “thank you” starts a new habit of mind. This perspective is useful in helping a student discover his purpose. Naikan’s ledger reminds us of our debts. The proper response to this awareness is action. A constructive life emerges as one works little by little to return something to Reality.

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