Nov 1, 2013

PHILOSOPHY OF DEPRESSION

The other day I was watching the news by Matt Galloway on National, CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) about the report of the National College Health Assessment Survey where 66% of students of OCAD University (Ontario College of Arts and Design) felt like committing suicide and 15% seriously considered suicide out of depression. This was shocking news for me and my heart went out to all those young students who are going through phases of depression instead of focusing on their career. The news compelled me to think about depression and how I can help those students in overcoming mental trauma instead of ending their precious lives. We all know the causes of depression but we never think what triggers those causes and is it possible to contain them? Can we convert negative thoughts into positives filled with hope and aspirations? There may be medical or hereditary reasons for the onset of depression but can we inspire students suffering from depression due to non-medical reasons? Can we make them understand the philosophy of life and what life is all about and how should they manage it to their advantage? Can we guide them to fight the effects of depression?

There are medical treatments for genetic or mental disorders causing depression but what about people going through the attacks of depression without such valid reasons. Canadian Mental Health Association and similar organizations do identify types of depression, their symptoms and how to manage them medically but very few of them have taken the holistic view in solving the problem.  In order to overcome depression we will have to understand the root causes of the problems and treat them sympathetically, spiritually and holistically. And the root causes starts from a person’s family life, the environment in which they grow and their social lives and commitments at different stages of their lives. The following reasons are a glimpse:

  1. Family Reasons: The environment within a family may be the primary reason of depression. If the relationship between parents are not healthy and there is a pal of gloom at home due to differences between them; or one of the parents is an alcoholic or abusive or the parents or siblings are not supportive or understanding. There may be a dearth of love, care and affection between the members of the family or the family is going through phases of illness, financial turmoil or work related troubles. There may be family history of depression and mental illness. All these reasons cast a shadow on tender minds and they become disturbed emotionally.
  2. Social Reasons:  In a modern society, the social tradition of making a teen independent by withdrawing family support or asking them to move out of the home or parental care is the biggest reason of mental depression in adolescents. It is true that they should decide their course of lives once they become an adult but it is also true that this is the time when they need advice, care and emotional support due to extra-ordinary burdens on them in terms of commitment, study, finance and relationships. In the absence of family support they fall back on their friends who are also immature, lack worldly experience and going through the same phase of life. This results in discomfort, sorrow, loneliness, heartbreak, frustration and depression.
  3. Financial Reasons: The pressure to fund for study in times of uncertainty is another reason for depression. Not every education is promising and neither does it provide surety of a job after the completion of their study. The pressure of money leads to compromises resulting in frustration and depression.
  4. Emotional Reasons:  Human emotion is like a yo-yo which goes up and down with every event especially in adolescents.  A slight change in expectations may result in dissatisfaction and depression. Sometimes the emotional bond between their friends, partners or relatives is so strong that any upheaval in that relationship may push them into depression. Current educational, social or family pressures may result in making them depressed and if immediate care is not given then it may lead to suicide.
  5. Educational Reasons: In young age there is enormous pressure to prove and accomplish in study. Sometimes they are not able to catch up with the work they are supposed to do resulting in failure, helplessness, despair and dissatisfaction which leads to depression.
  6. Medical Reasons: The mental imbalance due to the shock, family history or traumatic experiences is the main reason of depression leading to suicide. Therefore, people falling under this category may have to be treated medically or psychologically. Past regression is another way to treat people’s suffering from this disease. Brian Weiss, MD, an American psychiatrist has made a lot of research in this direction which leaves lasting effects on ones mental health and well being.
To my mind whatever may be the reason, depression can be cured or managed successfully by guiding the sufferer and providing information about the spiritual aspects of our lives. Spiritualism includes answers to simple yet complicated questions like who are we? Why have we come to this earth?  What is our purpose of being? Why do some people suffer from sorrow and pain whereas others enjoy luxury and happiness? Why do some become successful and others not? Why we face hurdles in our lives? What makes two people different emotionally, psychologically and mentally? Besides one’s action and cause and effect theory what are the other forces compel a person to think or act differently? Human anatomy and physiology is the same in everybody. Every organ in the body is the same and we have the same brain made of neurons and axons, yet we think or act differently in spite of the same parenting, education and the environment.  What is the reason for this? How our thought process gets influenced by factors unknown to medical science?

Answers to these questions cannot be found in books. Answers cannot be given by medical science. Health Associations or other related organizations can try to psychologically treat a sufferer but in the absence of providing root causes scientifically and convincingly they cannot cure a person permanently. The answer lies in spiritualism, the kind that is free of religious biasness and overtones. Spiritualism deciphers the life path of every human being and if it could be explained logically and understood scientifically then it has a lasting effect on one’s mind and the person will remain in control even in the worst of situations.

I do not claim to be a spiritual person neither I want to be proclaimed as one. But I have the answers to human woes and I have tried to practice this throughout my life which has given me the strength and direction to sail through the worst phases of my life without being perturbed or depressed. The spiritual side of my personality is reflected through my writings on various topics posted on this blog and if anybody would like my help in understanding and solving their misery, then I will be more than willing to volunteer.

Every person is unique in the world because they are different in background, upbringing, cultural belief, religious belief, mindset, mental level, emotional level, and spiritual levels. Their ability to logically understand a situation is also different. Therefore, a spiritual diagnosis and healing process has to be done by taking these into consideration.

Besides knowing spiritualism, I am also a certified yoga teacher and therapist since 1984 and if a person is willing to understand and accept the truth of life with an open mind combined with some yogic practices, then I can assure that depression, frustration, anger, jealousy and hatred will become things of the past and will never return to the person. A new vision and dimension to look out at life will emerge which will provide peace, calmness, tranquility and courage to face all the eventualities of our lives.

Incidentally today when I was about to post this article I was hearing CBC news where an interview of Rachel Cooper was being aired by Matt Galloway. Rachel narrated the circumstances that compelled her to commit suicide out of depression at one of the hotel in Kitchener-Waterloo area.

Therefore this article is directed to young students and all those who are looking for help and advice. If you are one of the persons going through depression or you know someone who need help then you may comment on this blog or reach me in confidence through my e-mail address: sumansinha59@hotmail.com or tweet me @sumanssinha.

Last but not the least,
If one can make a difference in one person’s life, it is more satisfying than a billion talk or seeking for God.

Suman Saran Sinha

Oct 12, 2013

PHILOSOPHY OF ETIQUETTE

I am appalled when I see people all around the world lacking normal etiquette in dealing with each other at work places, in businesses, personal or social relationships. Etiquettes in life teach people to live in a civilized manner. It is a code of conduct which delineates norms and expectations for social and personal behaviors. It is the foundation of mannerism. It casts an aura of sophistication and represents classiness in people. It is also a standard which demarcates between the educated and unruly people in the world. Etiquettes elevate our being as a civilized race on the planet. Unfortunately on the onset of gaining independence from the colonial rules especially in the third world, people assumed the meaning of independence as freedom from all controls including normal etiquettes which has been the hallmark of the civilization. People may be on a high position or have earned several degrees from prestigious educational institutions or may be successful socially or economically, but in the absence of normal etiquettes, they remain uncivilized.  Etiquettes distinguish an aristocrat from a boorish.

Etiquettes are responsible for making codes of conduct for our normal lives. In turn it establishes rules for orderly behavior in society. Etiquettes are equally necessary in our personal lives and in our family relationships. It teaches us how to be tolerant and behave with sobriety even in a fit of mood swings. It helps us in balancing our responses to people. Normal etiquettes also help in developing relationships with our kith's and kin’s, friends and foes, clients or employers. It creates an atmosphere of elegance and exclusiveness and soothes people’s unfounded trepidation.

Therefore I am forced to analyze why less and less people have normal etiquettes in their personal and social lives? What is making mannerism less important than coarseness? Is our civilization on decline? Is our social and education system focused more on survival than making us cultured? Are we going backward culturally and becoming unsophisticated? Why are people becoming more primitive in their thinking and behavior instead of becoming urbane? Is it because of education, culture or religion?

Generally etiquettes are a part of the diplomatic protocols where dignitaries or diplomats of two sovereign nations try to convey the message of respect, honor and friendliness to each other by behaving in civilized manners. This creates an ambiance of comfort and triggers the scope for dialogues and negotiations. The influence of etiquette and diplomatic protocols is so strong that they keep the room open for discussion between the two worst enemy nations. The end of cold war between the US and the USSR is the best example of this diplomatic code of behavior. The example of diplomatic protocols also points out that this exclusive and extraordinary behavioral skills have been remained confined to a select group of people. Whereas the public at large has not been taught or exposed to basic etiquettes by our modern education system and gradually apoplectic behavior has become the norm of our lives. Some good schools teach mannerism at the initial phases of our lives but they seem to have long forgotten in the hustle bustles of our lives.

Etiquettes have been also defined as ‘unwritten norms of behavior that make interaction pleasant”. Here I disagree with the definition as these norms are part of a civilized society and should have been codified and taught in schools and colleges as mandatory subjects in order to live in a cultured world. If this would have been made possible then the world would have been a beautiful place to live and we all would have accepted each other as part of the civilized world apart from caste, creed, religion and race.

Therefore, I feel that the modern education system in the world is largely responsible for the moral degradation and loss of socially acceptable etiquettes. They are more focused in teaching survival techniques to students and subjects which can help them in making money or becoming socially successful instead of teaching them decency, decorum, politesse, seemliness, protocol and suavity. The entire education system in the world has become money-centric instead of value-centric and in turn our value system has been eroded gradually.

For those who are not aware of etiquettes at all, I will like to describe the types of etiquettes with examples in our civilized lives:

  1. Family Etiquettes: Every social norms and practices start from the family. If a family believes in decency, morality and ethics then our offspring’s become like us and in contrary if we are discourteous, harsh, loudmouth, boastful and deceitful then they become like so. I have seen several families where people are boastful with their education, success, position and background but lack minimum humility, courtesies and etiquettes. As a result there is a discontentment and rift within the family, between parents and children, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters. The family etiquettes demand that we must respect each other, show compassion and be courteous in our approach. Where a family member is younger or older, capable or incapacitated, successful or a failure, fair or dark, tall or dwarf, intelligent or foolish, we must show respect to them as humans instead of giving them humiliation and disrespect.  Family etiquettes teach us how to behave with our parents or children, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters. The etiquettes keep a tap on our anger, ego, frustration and day to day conduct with each other.  In turn the family environment becomes happy, courteous with lots of positivity.
  2. Social Etiquettes: Generally what we are at home, we project to the outside world. But social etiquettes demand a certain code of conduct with people other than our family members. Every culture has some family and social traditions in showing respect to each other. Such as in Japan, people show respect by bowing down halfway from the waist. In the Western world people show respect by shaking hands. In India people show respect by folding both hands in front of their chest. In Islamic countries people show respect by bowing and taking their right hand to forehand and also by addressing them in certain manners. These social courtesies make people comfortable and break the barriers of communications. In another example, it will be a great disrespect and discourteous on our part, if we do not wish somebody to whom we know or have been close, in a social function or gathering. Even if we do not like or stopped liking the person, the social courtesy demands an exchange of good wishes and pleasantries. 
  3. Professional Etiquettes: The professional etiquettes demand a show of respect and civility towards our colleague or clients. These courtesies are the hallmark of a successful profession or an employee at the work place. It provides comforts and compassion towards fellow professionals, clients or colleagues. It also gives the ability to reach to the heart of the other person and creates a comfortable environment. It can be done not only by shaking or folding hands or saying good words but also by our body language and posture. The display of proper etiquettes can have an enormous effect on the outcome of the meetings.
  4. Religious Etiquettes: Religion and religious practices are very personal and its impact on a person’s life depends upon their education, maturity level, spiritual understanding, social and family background and personal belief. Hence no one can claim to be more or less religious and under the influence of ignorance or metal illiteracy, offend other person’s religion or faith.  Hence etiquette demands minimum courtesy in respecting each other’s beliefs.
  5. Diplomatic Etiquettes: or Protocols are rules which describe how an action or behavior between the two governments or their representatives should be performed. Protocols describe proper and generally accepted behavior related to the state and its diplomacy with other countries. It describes the receiving of international guests by their equivalent counterparts, how to greet them at the airport, ceremonies at the airport, how to escort them to the guest house, the dress codes, how to seat them on a dinner table, how to serve them, how to address them, who receives them for meetings, how to conduct meetings, who will escort them after the meeting etc. A slight mistake in diplomatic protocols or etiquettes may overturn the outcome or sour the relationships between the two countries.
Hence proper etiquettes are not only signs of civilization but also make an enormous impact on the social and psychological outcome. Performing proper etiquettes in one’s daily life may also bring peace, harmony and happiness with positive outcome. It may change foes into friends. Even if etiquettes are pretentious, they are far better than hurtful behaviors. The power of etiquettes may also change the perspective towards fellow human being. If this code of conduct is introduced into our education system and enforced to every students all over the world, then after a generation or two a time will come when planet earth will be the most peaceful and beautiful place in the universe to live.

Now being a professional, I will like to raise a question to our professional friends - how has etiquettes helped them in becoming a successful professional? Does it really make a difference in the outcome of their professional efforts?

Your comments and suggestion will certainly enlighten the minds of readers. Hence feel free to present your viewpoints please.

Suman Saran Sinha, CMC
Certified Management Consultant and
a pursuer of logical quest

Jun 14, 2013

PHILOSOPHY OF CORRUPTION

Everybody talks about corruption in our society, especially in politics and governance. We debate and analyze the degree of corruption at different levels of the municipal, provincial and federal government. In third world countries, one has to pay bribe at every stage of life to get things done and it may be for the purpose of obtaining a power connection for the industries or a telephone connection for the home, getting legal protection from the police or obtaining pension upon retirement or any legitimate work which should have been done otherwise in the normal course of working. Public services provided by governments of these developing nations, do not work without greasing the palm of the officials or the politicians. People are not ashamed, even if financial scandals of colossus proportions are exposed one after another. They point fingers towards politicians and government officials and pass all the blame for this acute malady on them.

As a matter of fact, no part of this world is free from this moral putrefaction and loss of national character. But the problem is acute in third world countries including developing nations, where every department of the government, financial institution, educational establishment, health organization, private or public institution is engaged in corrupt practices. Nobody is concerned about the welfare of people and society or suffering humanity. Majority of them are shamelessly engaged in amassing ill-gotten wealth at the cost of the helpless and destitute. The greed for money or power has made them inhuman and no less than a vulture in character. As such, corruption in those countries has become blisters on the faces of nations resulting in chaotic and dysfunctional governance.

We as citizens of the world feel mortified the way society and nations are degrading all across the globe. In the hope of having corruption free governance, people in those countries replace the government but replacements prove to be equally incompetent and corrupt. The multitude of corruption keeps growing like a rolling snow ball and sometimes it appears to have become a way of life. Those who are indulged in corrupt practices also complain about corruption when their interests are not taken care of. It seems that the abyss of greed and moral turpitude is going to engulf the entire society and civilization per say. And the irony is that people shy away in voicing concerns because their concerns are also dictated by their selfish interests and impoverished morality. They keep on whining but do not do anything because corruption in society in fact reflects their own selves and blemished faces in the mirror. Their leaders are corrupt because they are corrupt ethically, morally and spiritually and as such they elect the most corrupt amongst them in a democratic framework.

Rule of Law:
Corruption or corrupt practices thrive in countries where the rule of law is not enforced or in other words public and politicians alike are actively engaged in undermining the enforcement of the rule of law. The rule of law implies that every citizen is subject to the law and there cannot be any exceptions in its essence and enforcement. Even if God is caught in violating the laws of the land, he should be tried and punished like anybody else to establish fear and respect for the rule of law.

Wherever the rule of law works, societies are free of corruption and ordinary people get the same service which is meant for the President or Prime Minister of the country. Everybody respects law and seldom people think of violating them. This gives rise to a civilized society and enforcement of the rule of law, provides people happiness, security and a good quality of life. In contrary, people in third world nations subjugate the law under them by bribing lawmakers and law enforcing agencies and hence make a mockery of the entire legal system.

Therefore questions come up that how and why we become corrupt in managing our society or nation? What are the root causes of corruption? Are we born corrupt or become corrupt in the process of growing? Is it the human nature to become corrupt in a given scenario? Is it the character of an individual or the entire population? Is it due to lack of education and understanding? Can we overcome our corrupt behavior? Is it a national character or one of few individuals? Is there any role of local laws and regulations promoting the growth of corruption?  Is corruption all over the world or in few countries? If a nation and its people are less corrupt then what makes it a better country than other corrupt nations? How can we overcome this cancerous malignancy which is destroying our civil lives?

ROOT CAUSES:
Generally we treat corruption in terms of financial misappropriation, embezzlement or scandal but ignore the key factors which are the building blocks of our morality. And if we lay the foundation of our moral and ethical standards by ignoring the quality of thoughts in our daily lives, then we will never be able to build a strong character for ourselves and the nation as a whole. We forget that financial corruption is one of the causes which is the outcome of the overall corruptions within us and which is spoon fed to us right from the first day we are born.

Charity Begins at Home:
Children are born with all simplicity and purity. Their mind is like a blank slate or white canvas ready to be written or painted with words of wisdom and knowledge. As they grow, we adults as their parents and primary teachers, start programming their innocent minds by providing our biased, cocooned or tainted knowledge. If we are enlightened mentally and spiritually, then we program their mind with words of wisdom and in contrary if we are corrupt mentally then we make them like us. The process of information is also transferred to a child by way of audio-visual presentation given by us in our daily discharge of chores inside the house.

For example- if we are short tempered and use abusive languages with other members of the family; when we talk foul about friends and relatives or back bite them; when we make a negative analysis or manipulate things in our favor; when we insult our elders and misbehave with them; when we smoke or drink or watch adult movies or use prohibitive words; when we are so greedy that for money we are willing to cheat our kin’s; when we differentiate between offspring’s on the basis their gender and give more importance to boys over girl;  when we give more importance to one child over another due to their beauty, position or financial success etc., then a child’s mind starts getting poisoned by listening or watching us and they grow up with a mental framework of accepting the family environment as a normal way of life. Our wrong actions and thinking casts shadow in the overall atmosphere of the family and as such we as parents start the process of corrupting their minds.

Does education makes a difference?
Once we corrupt the family environment then we cannot expect our society to be corruption free. And if the society is corrupt then how can we expect our leaders to be honest and trustworthy. In my experience modern western education has zero roles in making a society corruption free. I have seen several so-called educated people from premier institutions, indulged in bribery and having no control on their selfishness or temperament. I could have provided several examples of politicians and businessmen having graduated from Oxford and Harvard indulged in bribery and corruption of mammoth proportion. As a matter of fact, few people at the helm of banking and finance from these schools having an endless greed for money caused the crash of world market in the year 2008, thereby wiping out life savings of hundreds and thousands of pensioners and middle class people around the world.

Therefore lack of education may contribute in diminishing the level of quality of mind but cannot be the root cause of mental corruption? I have also seen some illiterate people more virtuous than many people having university degrees. The farce of the modern education system is that we seem to be educated and if higher education has enlightened our mind then we should have been in firm control of our emotions, greed and actions. But it is not, and that is why we are incapable of thinking beyond ourselves. This is also the reason that many so-called educated people are suffering from mental strife, tensions in personal relationships, vanity and clash of egos. There is an absolute dearth of understanding, compassion, compromise, sacrifice and adjustment in their personality. In this situation when we are ourselves mentally corrupt on personal level then how can we become a nice human being and make our society corruption free.

In the words of the former President of India Abdul Kalam Azad “If a country is to be corruption free and become a nation of beautiful minds, I strongly feel there are three key societal members who can make a difference. They are father, the mother and the teacher.

Therefore I strongly believe that the processes of corrupting our minds start from home and gradually transcends to our society and the nation at large. In order to hide our mental perversion we point fingers toward politicians and government officials. The degree of corruption in people determines the character of a nation and how farcical and hypocritical we are.

The famous Austrian writer of nineteenth century Karl Kraus said “Corruption is worse than prostitution. The latter might endanger the morals of an individual; the former invariably endangers the morals of the entire country.”
RANKING OF CORRUPT COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD:
On a world level some nations are less and some are more corrupt. The ‘Transparency International’ monitors the level of corruption in every country. As per their 2012 report, Top 10 Less Corrupt Countries from top to bottom (1 to 10) are:
  
1)    Denmark
      2)    New Zealand
      3)    Singapore
      4)    Finland
      5)    Sweden
      6)    Canada
      7)    Netherlands
      8)    Australia
      9)    Switzerland and
     10)  Norway.

And Top 10 Most Corrupt Countries from bottom to up (178 to 168) are:  Somalia, Myanmar, Afghanistan, Iraq, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Sudan, Chad, Burundi and Equatorial Guinea.

In between them, Germany ranks 15, Japan ranks 17, UK ranks 20, USA ranks 22, France Ranks 25, Italy ranks 67 and India ranks 87.

Based on the above ranking, one can presume the percentage of people being corrupt in a country. The percentage of corruption also determines the quality of life in a country. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has analyzed 34 member countries in 11 categories including income, housing, jobs, community, education, environment, civic engagement, health, life satisfaction, safety and work-life balance. As per their survey, 10 countries with the highest quality of life from top to bottom are:
     
1)    Australia
      2)    Sweden
      3)    Canada
      4)    Norway
      5)    Switzerland
      6)    United States
      7)    Denmark
      8)    Netherlands
      9)    Iceland and
    10) United Kingdom. 

Therefore, to sum up, there is no quick fix for removing corruption from our system unless we change ourselves or a revolution of a mammoth scale takes place in which not the leaders but the rule of law is firmly and diligently established.  In the current situation, if a leader with high moral values will try to remove corruption from society then we will not let it happen because we are ourselves corrupt in many ways in our daily chores of personal lives. And if we make a baby step today in this direction by introducing compulsory subjects on moral values and ethical standards for students of grade one to twelve, then it will take at least three generations to change the mentality and the way we think and do certain things. 

Now I will like to raise questions to our professional friends around the world that how do we perceive corruption in the professional world? Does it make an impact in our professional lives?  I solicit your answer for the enlightenment of readers of this blog.

Suman Saran Sinha
A pursuer of logical quest

Feb 9, 2013

PHILOSOPHY OF COMMONNESS


We get exhilarated by meeting extraordinary people or people with qualities not seen commonly otherwise. We also get flabbergasted when we see extraordinary performances by extraordinary people which are also not common. We do not get tired of praising people in our writings or discussions or quotations who have reached the highest pedestal of society due to their intelligence, skills, hard work and ability to take risk. Those people may be top film artists, writers, politicians, sportsperson  businessmen, bureaucrats, scientists or anybody who is recognized by the media or famous otherwise in the world. If we get a chance to be associated with them, then we feel our positions are elevated in society. If any one of them belongs to our community, society or country then it gives us a further sense of pride and personal gratification.

Have we ever thought about what makes them different from the rest of the world? Why are they extraordinary? How have they achieved unusual qualities which have made them different from the rest?

They have become different because they are not common. Their thinking is not common. Their way of life is not common. Their actions are atypical.  Their visions and dreams are uncommon. They are trend setters for the common people. We cherish the idea of becoming like them. We teach our kids to become like them and follow their ideals. Yet we act, behave, think or talk like a common person. Being pointed out as a common person or having our thoughts or actions characterized as common, we feel humiliated or insulted. Therefore, what makes us a common person? What are the characteristics of a common person? What are the attributes of common people? How do we distinguish ourselves from a common person and an uncommon or extraordinary person?

I am forced to write on this topic when I see this duality of characters in people all around me.  Why are people so hypocritical in projecting themselves to the world? In order to understand this double standard, it is pertinent to analyze the background and behavioral psychology of people.

Number of Famous People in the world
Wikipedia has made some interesting calculations about the number of famous people in the world. They have made simple calculations by calculating the fraction of living people having Wikipedia pages. Wikipedia requires a certain threshold of notability for someone to get a Wikipedia page. They have taken that number and divided by the total global population to get the fraction of famous people in the world.

According to Wikipedia “as of January 15, 2013, the number of pages in the category of Living People on Wikipedia is 604,174. The total global population is 7,059,837,187. This means that the fraction of living famous people is 0.000086 which comes to 1 in 10,000.”

It also means that 9,999 people or 99.99 percent of people are common in their thinking, behavior and actions; therefore they cannot be recognized as famous persons. Wikipedia may be wrong in their assessment. Several people having extraordinary qualities may not have been listed in the Wikipedia pages due to one or another reason. Even if we double, triple or quadruple this number, the percentage of the total population having people with a non famous personality, or common way of thinking, or people devoid of extra-ordinary qualities will remain 99.99%.

Personality Types
Therefore, we will have to understand what qualities make a person common or non common or famous.  To start with we will discuss about the personality types which differentiates a common person from non common people.

Carl Gustav Jung, a Swiss psychotherapist developed the concepts of the extroverted and the introverted personality which is the characterization of human consciousness and its general attitude. According to Jung, a person’s ‘psyche’ is represented by their conscious and unconscious parts and they are in a self-balancing state. This means if a person’s conscious side or attitude becomes dominant or extreme, then the unconscious will surface or manifest in some way to rectify the balance. He also asserted that at times in people the unconscious can surface and project to the outside world, particularly other people.  He also characterized its preferences within the two pairs of its mental functions: Sensing- Intuition and Thinking- Feeling. The three parameters introduced by Jung are bipolar dimensions where each pole represents an opposite preference. As per Jung, out of two one of the mental functions is dominant in a person.

Later on, Isabel Briggs Myers, an American author and her mother Katherine Cook Briggs created a personality inventory by adding fourth dichotomy with the opposite poles of Judging and Perceiving which came to be known as Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). As per them, there are 16 different combinations representing 16 different personality types. They are:

1)    ESTJ (Extrovert, Sensing, Thinking and Judging) – The Guardian – Exceptionally capable in organizing and running activities. Good citizens who value security and peaceful living. Practical, traditional and organized. Loyal and hard working. Likely to be athletic. Not interested in theory or abstraction unless they see the practical application. Have clear visions of the way things should be.

2)    ESTP (Extrovert, Sensing, Thinking and Perceiving) – The Doer – Great people skills, friendly, adaptable and action oriented. Focused on immediate results. Living in the here-and-now. They are risk takers who live fast-paced lifestyles. Impatient with long explanations. Extremely loyal to peers but not usually respectful of laws and rules if they get in the way of getting things done.

3)    ESFJ (Extrovert, Sensing, Feeling and Judging) – The Caregiver – Well developed sense of space and function. Warm hearted, popular and conscientious. Tend to put the needs of others over their own needs. Feel strong sense of responsibility and duty. Value traditions and security. Interested in serving others. Need positive reinforcement to feel good about themselves.

4)    ESFP (Extrovert, Sensing, Feeling and Perceiving) – The Performer – Well developed common sense and practical ability. They dislike theory and impersonal analysis. People oriented and fun loving. They make things more fun for others by their enjoyment. Living for the moment and they love new experiences. Interested in serving others and likely to be the center of attraction in social situation.

5)    ISTJ (Introvert, Sensing, Thinking and Judging) – The Duty Fulfiller – They are serious, quiet, interested in security and peaceful living. Extremely thorough, responsible and dependable. Well-developed powers of concentration. They can usually accomplish any task once they have set their mind to it. Usually interested in supporting and promoting traditions and establishments. Well organized and hard working, they work steadily towards identified goals.

6)    ISTP (Introvert, Sensing, Thinking and Perceiving) – The Mechanic- Quiet and reserved, interested in how and why things work. Excellent skills with mechanical things. Risk takers who they live for the moment. Usually interested in and talented at extreme sports. Detached and analytical, they excel at finding solutions to practical problems. Uncomplicated in their desires. Loyal to their peers and to their internal value systems, but not overly concerned with respecting laws and rules if they get in the way of getting something done.

7)    ISFJ (Introvert, Sensing, Feeling and Judging) – The Nurturer – Quiet, kind and conscientious. Can be depended on to follow through. Stable and practical, they value security and traditions and usually puts the needs of other above their own needs. Well developed sense of pace and function and rich inner world of observation about people. Interested in serving others and extremely perceptive of other’s feelings.

8)    ISFP (Introvert, Sensing, Feeling and Perceiving) – The Artist – Quiet, serious, sensitive and kind. Loyal and faithful.  Do not like conflict and not likely to do thing which may generate conflict. Loyal and faithful. Likely to be original and creative and enjoy the present moment. Extremely well developed senses and aesthetic appreciation for beauty. Not interested in leading or controlling others and flexible and open minded.

9)    ENTJ (Extrovert, Intuition, Thinking and Judging) – The Executive – Intelligent and well informed and excel at public speaking. Assertive and outspoken and they are driven to lead.  They value knowledge and competence and usually have little patience with inefficiency or disorganization. Excellent ability to understand difficult organizational problems and create solid solutions.

10) ENTP (Extrovert, Intuition, Thinking and Perceiving) – The Visionary – Excellent ability to understand concept and apply logic to find solutions. Creative, resourceful and intellectually quick. Good at a broad range of things. Enjoy debating issues and may like to lead. They get very excited about new ideas and projects, but may neglect the more routine aspects of life. Generally assertive and outspoken.

11) ENFJ (Extrovert, Intuition, Feeling and Judging) – The Giver – Very effective at managing people issues and leading group discussions. Interested in serving others and probably place then need of others over their own needs. Popular and sensitive with outstanding people skills. Extremely focused with real concern for how others think and feel. Usually dislike being alone. They see everything from human angle and dislike impersonal analysis.

12) ENFP (Extrovert, Intuition, Feeling and Perceiving) – The Inspirer – Enthusiastic, idealistic and creative. Abe to do almost anything that interests them. Open minded and flexible with a broad range of interests and abilities. Great people skills. Need to live in accordance with their inner values. Excited by new ideas but bored with details.

13) INTJ (Introvert, Intuition, Thinking and Judging) – The Scientist – Independent, original, analytical and determined. Long range thinkers and have very high standards for their performance and the performance of others. Natural leader but will follow if they trust existing leaders. Driven to derive meaning from their vision. High value knowledge, competence and structure. Have an exceptional ability to turn theories into solid plans of action.

14) INTP (Introvert, Intuition, Thinking and Perceiving) – The Thinker- Quiet and reserved. Hard to get know well. Individualistic and having no interest in leading or following others. Logical, original, creative thinkers. Can become very excited about theories and ideas. Exceptionally capable and driven to turn theories into clear understandings. Highly value knowledge, competence and logic.

15) INFJ (Introvert, Intuition, Feeling and Judging) – The Protector-Well developed value systems which they strictly adhere to. Quietly forceful, original and sensitive. Well respected for their perseverance in doing the right thing. Likely to be individualistic, rather than leading or following. Extremely intuitive about people and concerned for their feelings.

16) INFP (Introvert, Intuition, Feeling and Perceiving) – The Idealist – Well developed value system, which they strive to live in accordance with. Extremely loyal. Quiet, reflective and idealistic. Interested in serving humanity. Interested in understanding and helping people. Adaptable and laid-back unless a strongly held value is threatened. Usually talented writers. Mentally quick and able to see possibilities.

I think the above psychoanalysis or personality types do not cover all types of people on this planet and is meant for professional people having some extra-ordinary qualities. Because common people's psychology is influenced by all kinds of negative and positive and sometime illogical, irrational and bias thinking due to their religious, social and cultural belief which keeps changing as per their mood and temperament. As such they have no control on their emotions which goes up and down like a Yo-yo  Their thoughts are influenced by negativity or positivity or sometime neutrality. 

Common way of thinking
Therefore, the above logical analysis of Carl Jung and Myers Briggs, have not taken into consideration the influencing factors in the framing of a common person’s psychology. A common person’s way of thinking at large is perceived and influenced by their family, society, culture, economy, religion and educational background and in turn it makes them an extrovert or introvert, judging and perceiving. For example, Carl Jung's and Myers Briggs psychological analysis will become absolutely useless on a caveman because the caveman’s environment is unique.  Likewise every person or groups of people have unique social, cultural religious and family environment in which they have grown and their personality type, judging, thinking and perceiving ability have also become unique and suited to their respective environments. May be the unconscious part of a common man's psyche contains these influencing factors as described by Carl Jung which are parts of their true nature and not visible otherwise.

The perceptions about certain criteria or norms are also based on average percentiles of experience in a particular society or group, influencing a person’s thinking or doing certain things. As a result, peoples thought processes are cocooned in that parameter. They do not want to venture out of their secured and time tested inner environment.

For example, at a common parlance people say -I do not want to take the risk of doing business or changing jobs or trying something different. This change is a perceived threat which they do not wish to take to become uncommon. Either they lack courage or skills to maneuver the intricacies involved in doing something away from their cocooned environment, or they seem to be too engrossed in protecting themselves what they have without any risk. Common thinking is also marred by negative thoughts, which makes them over cautious and deprives them of the resulting fruits as an outcome of risk taken. And those who take these risks become successful and set an example for society.

Common people will always site an example of successful or extra-ordinary people as their role model but they themselves withhold on walking upon their path or try to become like them. Because trying to become extra-ordinary holds a lot of risks and requires extra ordinary capabilities. There may be several examples of successful people; how they started with nothing and became millionaires or billionaires at some stage of life because they have taken risks and were not afraid of trying something new and going out of the set patterns of society.

Colonel Harland David Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken or KFC became successful at the age of 65 after failing 1009 times or being rejected miserably. How many of us can really hold on and continue from where we had started off with?

Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States of America, had to file bankruptcy in 1833 because of back payments and debt and later on he became the President of the most powerful nation on earth.

Henry Ford, founder of FORD motors and the most successful car manufacturing company of today had to file personal bankruptcy twice.  Likewise Walt Disney the cartoon creator and founder of Disney World and Henry John Heinz, manufacturer of Heinz Ketchup and other condiments also had to go through failures and bankruptcy. There are several examples of people who struggled in the beginning and became successful at the end. The latest example includes Steve Jobs of Apple Computers.

In order to become successful or extra-ordinary, one will have to go through the trials and tribulations whereas common people would like to stay miles away from these risks. Their personality is also affected by negative traits which are as follows:

1.    Greed- Ordinary people are too greedy not to move out of their dwellings or try something new for the fear of losing it or craving for more with little or no effort.
2.    Jealousy- They are always jealous of other people who are more successful than them which generates negative energy in their personality.
3.    Ego- Their ego is always at the peak and they become offensive if they are underestimated. This makes them blind to see the reality.
4.    Anger- They lack control of their mental temperaments and become angry with little instigation. This reflects on a person's self controlling ability.
5.    Hatred- Since they differentiate between human beings - castes, color, religion or race, they suffer from the feelings of hatred and disparity. This surrounds a person with negativity.
6.    Clever- They are too clever to risk anything for the fear of losing it.
7.    Critical- They are always critical of an idea or proposal and very good in looking into the negative aspects of everything while ignoring the positive side.
8.    Over Analytical- It is good to be analytical but generally common people are over analytical and in the process they lose momentum.
9.    Show-off- They like to exaggerate more than what they have in reality. This makes a person too small in themselves.
10. Uncompassionate- They lack compassion towards human sufferings. They may talk about it but do little or nothing.
11. Conceited- They are sometime arrogant and look for self praise. This attribute projects negative influence. 
12. Selfish- They think about themselves more than anybody else’s feelings. This suppresses positive side of a person's personality.
13. Religious- They pretends to be religious and believe in ritualism more than humanism. Being over religious proves that they have little or no knowledge of the concept of the God. They are more God fearing than God loving.
14. Uneducated – They may be having several degrees or holding high positions in public places but they are spiritually uneducated and boastful. Education is a state of mind where a person feels enlighten about the intricacies of natural tendencies, human nature and their behaviour, why and how people act or react in a certain way and gets the true knowledge of his or her being in this world. I have already written about the so called uneducated degree holders in my article ‘Philosophy of Education”.

To sum-up, a person can become famous or extra-ordinary only if they are able to control all or some of the attributes of common people as mentioned above. To prove this premise you may start analyzing successful people around you (not corrupt politicians or bureaucrats) and try to see the degree of above traits present in their action, behavior or personality. You will find the amazing difference.   

Therefore, to become uncommon from common, extra-ordinary from ordinary one will have to make efforts with a positive attitude, trust in oneself and believe in God. One should always remember “Success is not final and failure is not fatal.” It is the courage to  try constantly for achieving goal (and the goal may be getting rid of above mentioned negative traits) matters a lot, which will make an uncommon from common, extraordinary from ordinary.

Your comment is very much solicited which may enlighten readers of this blog.

Suman Saran Sinha
A pursuer of logical quest