SOULTales - Character Strengths, Stories & Vocabulary

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Words Matter

How they write...??
Every time I open a blog and read something that touches me I feel Words matter!
Every time I converse with someone and they give me some important verbal feedback I feel Words matter!

Writing is a way of using words.
The way we organise words. The choice of words, the presentation, the thought process, the sum total  and the feeling that we leave behind. Some words leave us smiling and laughing, some words leave us pensive and thought laden.

So also the spoken word affects me as profoundly. Well chosen words that truly reflects the speaker.Conveying your thought effectively is such a skill that few have. At the same time appropriate, apt and timely delivery of words is important. No point flogging the horse after a day or two.

Not every one is comfortable in this speaking or writing zone. Writing down my words comes with ease and clarity.  Like a baby in its blankie, I feel the comfort and joy in putting pen to paper (and nowadays fingers to typo). Whereas when some asks me to speak, I am lost for words, or literally put my foot in the mouth!

Yet I am a story teller. Well the trick is, that person is someone altogether different. She comes on stage and can express herself freely, but ask her alter ego a question and the foot goes back into the mouth!!

Language is my Magic Faraway Tree..every now and then I climb up, to explore the magical lands that it brings into my mundane existence. Spoken and written words fascinate me and I slumber in its caring and comfortable ways.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Stories are Entertainment or Edutainment?

Stories have existed from time immemorial and is traced back to Plato and Aristotle in European culture and to Vishnusharma and Buddhist monks in Indian. ( Mahabharata: a wonderful Story within a Poem...  
I am sure it predates even these names I have taken, as I do it off my hat and not actually give you information based on keen research. The need to mention it here is a desire for educationists to see it as a tool for learning.
My question is when Historically and Culturally we have used stories to enhance learn, why does Contemporary Society shy away from Story telling as a form of Entertainment and not as an important tool for Education.
What are your Views on this?

NCERT to my greatest delight has incorporated wonderful stories into their textbooks...just pick up Primary NCERT Texts and you will understand what I say.
Maths concepts are introduced with Stories...real life people and children talking and sharing their Daily interactions with different mathematical concepts like a girl selling junk (Kabadi wallah) talking about weights and measures and money concept.
Environmental studies has stories of the Bishnoi tribe, about Warli..and much more...

Yet what it lacks is effective teaching.
Great books but inadequate and poor execution at the classroom level, takes away from the tool that has been provided. Unless Teachers are trained to effectively use these tools provided, there is not going to be  a great qualitative change.

That brings me to another point that needs greater thought, may be in the next post. Great Stories exist, but what the Storyteller does with it is of tantamount importance.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Why Celebrate?

What is it about New Year and  a sense of excitement and expectation?
After all (as my husband views it) it is just another day on the calendar. Work, routine, commitments aren't they all the same? So why feel glad for another turn of the day like any other?
Does it work like that for you?
Do you feel that every date or day that we mark significantly on the calendar, be it a festival or an anniversary or a birthday or the first day of another New Year, is actually a physical reminder of the Change that is so much a part of our lives?

The New Year heralds in Change and we need to Acknowledge it: Embrace it, Accept it and learn to Work with it.
Not acknowledging this change makes us stagnant. We need to assess and acknowledge the past and then use that to move forward. Otherwise we will be unable to let go of past practices that have held us back and tied us down. 
As we embrace the new year we plan for what we still have to do. We  sort out what is important and that which can be ignored for now! What seemed important last year may seem totally redundant this year...

Only You can helpYourself! That is the only Reality! That reality is tough to hold onto, tough to follow, but once we find the contentment in that knowledge then answers will flow and decisions become easier to take.

You may say that all this can be done on any day. True, then Mark the day you do it as the first day of the New Year!!

 Do we need these reminders?
Yes we do! 
As we hurry and burry about our daily lives we need such reminders to acknowledge The Human Energy. When we wish someone on their birthday we are sending them positive energy to add to their energy cache. When we get wished, our cup of energy fills up. When we wish couples on their anniversary we are adding to their combined energy cup! 
Every wish is a positive thought, a postive wave of energy that we send to another.
So it is well that you wish well.....

As I write this it is a reminder to myself to remember all those birthdays and anniversaries that I do forget....
..... let me remember to send some positive thoughts to the people I hold dear, even if not on the day that is meant for them....atleast on the day I do remember!!