Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Auld Lang Syne



Even if we haven't had a clue what it means, Auld Lang Syne evokes an undeniable sentimentality, a disorienting nostalgia, an instantaneous affection for the people around you at that exact moment; loved ones and strangers alike.

These are monumental moments in our lives that we all share. These are common threads that can be so painful to go through, or incredibly wonderful experiences we never forget.

As I get older, it is more and more apparent that despite the significant differences in the cultures of our ever-shrinking world, we have much more in common than we acknowledge. We celebrate the same life achievements with joy. We all mourn the passing of loved ones with tears of sorrow.

I have never been a big "New Year's Resolution" guy, but I am definitely a nostalgic man. It's not that I don't like looking ahead; I do. However, I also enjoy taking the time on New Year's to look back on the year that passed.

Personally, 2013 was a big year as for me as I got married to the love of my life. There have been so many memorable moments -- too many to list here -- so all I will say is I hope that 2014 is filled with more of them.


As we sing along Auld Lang Syne while we celebrated each other's achievements, big and small. So, as we look back on 2013, and look ahead to a New Year filled with unknown possibilities, I will make one resolution just for you.

My resolution is to do the best job I can of sharing the many worthwhile stories that come to my attention. That's one resolution I am confident I can keep, and one that my loyal readers definitely deserve. Happy New Year!

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

The Three Ghosts of Christmas


In Charles Dickens’ famous novel, A Christmas Carol, Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by the spirits of Christmas past, present, and future on Christmas Eve. Each spirit leads Scrooge to view one of three different times in his life in order to teach him a lesson. The spirits are determined to convince Scrooge realize that he is not the man he should be and being more compassionate and less miserly.

The first spirit shows him that he used to be a much happier person.  This shows him that it is possible for him to be that way again.  This spirit also shows him how important it is to be kind because of the impact that has on others. 

The second spirit shows him that he is now something of a tyrant and that his behaviour makes problems for other people.  It also shows him that people can be happy without having as much money as Scrooge wants to have.

The third spirit shows him what will happen if he doesn't change his ways.  It shows him that his current behaviour makes it so that no one loves him or even cares about him. Between them, the three teach Scrooge that it is important to act more kindly and humanely towards other people. 

After his ordeal with the three Ghosts, Scrooge vows to make the changes necessary in order to alter his destiny. He exclaims, “I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me.” The memories of the past along with the fear of coming judgment give him a more healthy perspective of the present day in which he is living and motivate him to invest in the lives of others.
- See more at: http://www.enotes.com/homework-help/what-lesson-did-scrooge-learn-from-each-spirit-126137#sthash.T9748MJm.dpufThe story obviously has a strong moral message that has resonated with many time and time again. I think it teaches more than one lesson; morals such as not valuing things more than people, that work shouldn’t be your life, being grateful for what you have and learning from past mistakes. Perhaps the lesson I take the most strongly from the book though it is that you “reap what you sow’” in life.

One of the most compelling scenes in the story is when Scrooge is first visited by the ghost Marley; he sees that he is doomed to perpetually walk the earth bound by heavy chains that are linked to what he valued most, the gold he coveted in life. When I think of this book that is the image that always comes to mind. Our actions have a consequence not only to ourselves but those around us: if you value only things that are all you will ever have.

I think it’s easy enough at this time of year to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the Holiday. It always amazes me each year when I go out shopping how people zip around the parking lot, cutting one another off and pushing their way through quest at the checkout counter of shopping malls with little consideration for those around them. The lesson Marley is trying to teach Scrooge is that you aren’t what you have, you are what you give to others. Indeed in life we ‘reap what we sow’, as Scrooge learns charity and kindness is not a concern just of one day of the year but a daily consideration.

Happy Holidays everyone!
Ebenezer Scrooge learned the same lesson from the three spirits.  From all of them, he learned that he needed to turn his life around and be a happier, more caring person than he was at the beginning of the story.  Each spirit taught him a different part of that lesson.
The first spirit shows him that he (Scrooge) used to be a much happier person.  This shows him that it is possible for him to be that way again.  This spirit also shows him how important it is to be kind because of the impacts that has on others.
The second spirit shows him that he is now something of a tyrant and that his behavior makes problems for other people.  It also shows him that people can be happy without having as much money as Scrooge wants to have.
The third spirit shows him what will happen if he doesn't change his ways.  It shows him that his current behavior makes it so that no one loves him or even cares about him.
Between them, the three teach Scrooge that it is important to act more kindly and humanely towards other people (and even towards himself).
- See more at: http://www.enotes.com/homework-help/what-lesson-did-scrooge-learn-from-each-spirit-126137#sthash.XClTRQ9r.dpufIn Charles Dickens’ famous novel, A Christmas Carol, Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by three ghosts who help him realize that he is not the man he should be.  When he is invited to view his own gravestone by the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come, Scrooge implores: “Men’s courses will foreshadow certain ends, to which, if persevered in, they must lead. But if the courses be departed from, the ends will change.  Say it is thus with what you show me.” What do you think Scrooge meant when he said this
Ebenezer Scrooge learned the same lesson from the three spirits.  From all of them, he learned that he needed to turn his life around and be a happier, more caring person than he was at the beginning of the story.  Each spirit taught him a different part of that lesson.
The first spirit shows him that he (Scrooge) used to be a much happier person.  This shows him that it is possible for him to be that way again.  This spirit also shows him how important it is to be kind because of the impacts that has on others.
The second spirit shows him that he is now something of a tyrant and that his behavior makes problems for other people.  It also shows him that people can be happy without having as much money as Scrooge wants to have.
The third spirit shows him what will happen if he doesn't change his ways.  It shows him that his current behavior makes it so that no one loves him or even cares about him.
Between them, the three teach Scrooge that it is important to act more kindly and humanely towards other people (and even towards himself).
- See more at: http://www.enotes.com/homework-help/what-lesson-did-scrooge-learn-from-each-spirit-126137#sthash.XClTRQ9r.dpuf
Ebenezer Scrooge learned the same lesson from the three spirits.  From all of them, he learned that he needed to turn his life around and be a happier, more caring person than he was at the beginning of the story.  Each spirit taught him a different part of that lesson.
The first spirit shows him that he (Scrooge) used to be a much happier person.  This shows him that it is possible for him to be that way again.  This spirit also shows him how important it is to be kind because of the impacts that has on others.
The second spirit shows him that he is now something of a tyrant and that his behavior makes problems for other people.  It also shows him that people can be happy without having as much money as Scrooge wants to have.
The third spirit shows him what will happen if he doesn't change his ways.  It shows him that his current behavior makes it so that no one loves him or even cares about him.
Between them, the three teach Scrooge that it is important to act more kindly and humanely towards other people (and even towards himself).
- See more at: http://www.enotes.com/homework-help/what-lesson-did-scrooge-learn-from-each-spirit-126137#sthash.XClTRQ9r.dpuf
Ebenezer Scrooge learned the same lesson from the three spirits.  From all of them, he learned that he needed to turn his life around and be a happier, more caring person than he was at the beginning of the story.  Each spirit taught him a different part of that lesson.
The first spirit shows him that he (Scrooge) used to be a much happier person.  This shows him that it is possible for him to be that way again.  This spirit also shows him how important it is to be kind because of the impacts that has on others.
The second spirit shows him that he is now something of a tyrant and that his behavior makes problems for other people.  It also shows him that people can be happy without having as much money as Scrooge wants to have.
The third spirit shows him what will happen if he doesn't change his ways.  It shows him that his current behavior makes it so that no one loves him or even cares about him.
Between them, the three teach Scrooge that it is important to act more kindly and humanely towards other people (and even towards himself).
- See more at: http://www.enotes.com/homework-help/what-lesson-did-scrooge-learn-from-each-spirit-126137#sthash.XClTRQ9r.dpuf
Ebenezer Scrooge learned the same lesson from the three spirits.  From all of them, he learned that he needed to turn his life around and be a happier, more caring person than he was at the beginning of the story.  Each spirit taught him a different part of that lesson.
The first spirit shows him that he (Scrooge) used to be a much happier person.  This shows him that it is possible for him to be that way again.  This spirit also shows him how important it is to be kind because of the impacts that has on others.
The second spirit shows him that he is now something of a tyrant and that his behavior makes problems for other people.  It also shows him that people can be happy without having as much money as Scrooge wants to have.
The third spirit shows him what will happen if he doesn't change his ways.  It shows him that his current behavior makes it so that no one loves him or even cares about him.
Between them, the three teach Scrooge that it is important to act more kindly and humanely towards other people (and even towards himself).
- See more at: http://www.enotes.com/homework-help/what-lesson-did-scrooge-learn-from-each-spirit-126137#sthash.XClTRQ9r.dpuf

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Stand and Deliver





Did you know that some tuition centres are already seeing a drop in the numbers of students enrolling for tuition classes?

The reason is parents and students are preparing for the time when both the PMR and UPSR will be abolished. The PMR will end in 2014. Not clear when the UPSR will be abolished but many parents are feeling less "urgency" over their kids’ education.

I am in complete agreement that we should reform our education system to prevent it from “producing robots”. However, we need to first understand the cause of failure in our education system which isn't a result of having examinations per se.

As we all know, UPSR is a public exam that has to be taken for all the standard 6 students, before they proceed from primary school to the secondary school. While PMR is a public exam for a form 3 student, for them to be divided to enter the difference streams, such as science stream, art stream and etc.

The proposal to scrap examinations is not the miracle cure to producing analytical students, and may actual Firstly, without first changing our teaching systems to encourage creativity, critical thinking and innovation, removing examinations will make little or no difference to the quality of education for our students. For example, if the quality and ability of the teachers remain unchanged, then quality of output will make little difference. Instead, because of the lack of a standardised assessment system, the outcome might actually deteriorate due to the lack of objective measures.

Then, regarding to the teachers, when public exams are abolished, teachers will not be as creative as what the minister expected. When there is no public exam pressure, most teachers will take teaching likely. Syllabus need not be completed and students will take lessons likely. Weaker students will just ignore lessons in classes. Truancy will increase. Currently, teachers teaching exam classes face the pressure to produce good results. They have to conduct extra classes if they cannot finish the syllabus. With no public exam, teachers will not be bothered if they cannot complete the syllabus. Since exams are conducted internally, they just set questions on topics that they had covered.

Secondly, the problem of studying for examinations and producing students who focus on memorising and regurgitating answers is in the nature of questions itself. Very simply, if the examination questions today are orientated towards memorised answers, then understandably, the students will be focused on memorising answers. However, if the questions are oriented towards challenging students thinking skills, then certainly, the students will have little choice but to be more analytical.

Subjective questions which demands critical thinking and analysis by the students will require equally trained teachers who understands the value of such analysis, with emphasis not just on whether the student got the facts right, but whether the student demonstrated their ability to think.

The UPSR, PMR, SPM and STPM are indeed major challenges. And it is an effective measure of everything - a national level yardstick by which we can measure how much our kids are learning, if the teachers are doing their job, if the school system is functioning well plus more.

Now all these are being removed - except for the SPM. I think this is not good for our next generation.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Prisonner 46664:- Long walk for Freedom


                                                                                      

I have been thinking about legacy since hearing of Nelson Mandela’s passing. As the radio and television have shared people’s stories and thoughts on this great man, this thought struck me.

Even in his parting, Nelson Mandela has given us a gift. The opportunity to look beyond today and towards the lessons learned from his life that may help all of us tomorrow. That legacy is rich and potentially rewarding if we are willing to embrace it.

Nelson Mandela was a patriot, pragmatist, and the rare leader who realized that what matters most are first principles rather than tactics. For Mandela that meant staying true to his vision of a democratic and free society built on equality, freedom, and human dignity while remaining flexible on the means of achieving that vision. It allowed him to initially take a “by any means” necessary revolutionary approach and then to evolve into a leader who embraced peace and reconciliation.


President Mandela’s evolution reminds us of our complexity as humans and our ability to grow and as well to achieve greatness. Is Mandela a one of a kind leader or are we able to learn from and build on his legacy? Can I, as well as our national leaders, affirm the first principles of our founders while remaining flexible on the tactics for achieving our national ideals? Can we play to the base, but rise above it when the national interest demands as much?


I am hopeful that we will embrace Nelson Mandela and his legacy beyond the current news cycle. In so doing perhaps we will be inspired to take on some of the biggest challenges facing our nation with an emphasis on principles rather than partisanship.

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Dead Poet Sociaty


In the movie Dead Poets Society, Robin Williams plays a private school English teacher who attempts to encourage his students to think for themselves. He encourages them with quotes like, "Carpe Diem- seize the day", "the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse- what verse will you contribute?"

Philosophy opens our minds, pushes us to reason, question things, which thus prepares the perfect grounds for critical thinking. While some human capital is best placed in the industry to produce tangible economic outcomes, there must be space for those who are best to appreciate great works of past thinkers that built human civilizations, to research, explore and retrieve solutions to some of the most pertinent problems that plague society currently. 

Engaging a Malaysia that thinks, we cannot run away from attacking the problem at its core, and that is education. In the past, education has focused too much on producing doctors and engineers, that the quality and development of the linguistic and literary sciences has been pushed back too. Even with commerce, natural and physical sciences, the critical thinking element is overshadowed by the pressing need to digest knowledge and facts.

Even at its most basic level, philosophy is one of the best ways to get students of knowledge to reason, because it is the foundation for every subject which will lead to the understanding of philosophy of religion, philosophy of mathematics, philosophy of sciences, philosophy of social sciences, philosophy of economics, thoughts and the list goes on. Whatever his or her field of discipline is, credit hours on philosophy will provide basic tools to keep them grounded to the purpose of studying, and the purpose of the particular field they are studying.

The Dead Poets’ Society preaches was simple: in the world of economics, math, law, and medicine, there still exists the need for the human spirit to be fulfilled by something other than money, acclaim, and job satisfaction.

Note:- I totally agreed with Anas Alam Faizli regarding teaching of philosophy at school. 

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Education For Employment




Around the world, governments and businesses face a conundrum: high levels of youth unemployment and a shortage of job seekers with critical skills. How can a country successfully move its young people from education to employment? What are the challenges? Which interventions work? How can these be scaled up? These are the crucial questions.


In 2010, it was reported that 30,000 graduates could not find employment six months after graduation. Malaysia’s world class education system appears to have produced unemployable graduates.

Graduates emerging from the Malaysian education system fail to meet the expectations of prospective employers due to a lack of critical thinking skills and poor communication. This has resulted in employers having to provide additional training to fit them into their respective job scopes.

The reason for the lack of confidence evident in young graduates is that educational institutions are not placing enough focus on equipping undergraduates with skills that will enable them to think out of the box and adapt to the demands of the working world.There should be a sound foundation in critical thinking to be incorporated into the education system to prepare future generations for the employment market.

To address the graduate unemployment crisis will require action by the goverment and graduate themselves. However, in existing education and employment systems there is little incentive for employers and universities to reach into each other wand engage in the type of collaboration needed to help graduate succeed.
  
We cannot run away from attacking the problem at its core, and that is education. In the past, education has focused too much on producing graduate, that the quantity over see the quality. Relentless economic pursuits have backfired. The lack of critical thinking is arguably why we lack innovation, and thus limited economic abilities
 
Trans-formative solutions must involve government, educators, and employers working together to solve the skill gap at a sector level. Government must play an important role as a convener and initiator of these sector-wide collaborations.

We need an education system that is inclusive, does not neglect academically-struggling yet vocationally-advantaged pupils, matches industry requirements, yet streams students into disciplines where they will excel most.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

The Emperor’s New Clothes


It seems our society now is now operate under the Emperor’s New Clothes syndrome. This is a children’s story but it sums up a deep problem in societies, known in sociology as pluralistic ignorance. The people in the fairytale all see that the Emperor has got nothing on. But because of their fear to be considered stupid or being punish, they don’t speak up.

Most people have a desire to be liked, to be part of the in-crowd. Despite some employee's opinion to the contrary, supervisors are people too. Most people were raised to "be nice" even at the risk of honesty. Most have never developed the ability to present negative feedback in any other terms then in an attack mode. When delivered negatively, this feedback has the subtly of a falling anvil, usually causing the message to be garbled by resentments and anger thus failing in it's basic efforts to be informative.

So, too, do we seem to have developed in society a pattern where those who see and speak the truth are ridiculed and encouraged or forced to keep quiet. We are taught that if you question the rules you will be outcast as a troublemaker. We are living within dysfunctional systems that we have been told to accept as normal.

We can stay in denial or we can all do something to help put our society back on track so that we can redeem ourselves from this ridiculous state of affairs. It only takes a child who sees through the lies, reveal the truth of a naked king and knock sense into that vain royal head.

Omar Ibn al-Khattab, Prophet Mohamed’s companion and a Muslim caliph, used to say, “God bless the one who gifts to me my defects.” When a scholar was once asked why he abandoned people, he said, “And what would I do with people who hide my defects!”

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Little Pinocchio in ourselves

I have to make a confession: I am not always completely honest with the people I am talking to. And not only with random people I meet at a birthday party: also with my very own friends. But let’s be truly honest, that’s not really shocking, is it? Not because I am such a jerk, but because no-one is always completely honest with his friends, right? A more interesting question would be: should you always be honest with your friends? Being honest might hurt your friend’s feelings, so maybe you should rather lie and keep you and your friend happy, than telling the “painful” truth, right? Or would that prevent you in some way from bonding – with your friend – on a “deeper” level? A “friend” level? Or maybe the entire dichotomy – between kindness on the one hand and honesty one the other – is just completely wrong: who says that honesty and kindness cannot go hand in hand? After all, isn’t being honest always a kind gesture, even though the content of this gesture might not always appear to be flattering? Let’s take a look at that.
I am sure you know the dilemma: should you tell your friend the not so positive truth or should you rather lie in order not to cause a stir? Maybe – while in your moment of doubt – the following questions cross your mind, “What is the value of friendship without honesty? Isn’t that where friends are for, to be honest with each other, no matter what? No matter how hard the message might be, someone should tell you the truth, right? And this someone should be your friend, right?” But after having thought through the consequences of being honest, you might start coming up with different – more negative – scenarios, “I don’t want to lose my friend by being rude to him. Maybe he’ll think that I am not respecting him. Maybe he’ll avoid me in the future. Maybe I will lose him as a friend”.
We human beings are afraid to be honest. We are afraid that people – including our friends – might not want to hear us say negative things about them, even though these negative things might be said with the best of intentions. Friendships are valuable to us; so valuable, that we don’t want to risk losing them. But, what if you had to choose between (1) your friends being always honest with you (but not necessarily positive) or (2) your friends always being positive (but not necessarily honest with you)? And, more importantly, what category of friends would you consider to be “better” friends? Not the first category, right? Not those superficial and cowardly creatures, right? No. A true friend should be willing to tell you the truth, no matter what. That is what true friendship consists of.
However, that means that you should be willing to accept the comments of your friend. That you should be grateful for him having the courage to tell you what he thinks. You’d have to show him that he is a true friend to you and that he’s valued for being honest with you. Don’t criticize your friend’s comments. See them as a sign of true friendship. And, on the other side, interpret flattery for what it really is: a mask to hide feelings of insecurity and neediness.
I believe that you should always be able to tell your friends the truth. And if it turns out that they cannot handle the truth, then you probably weren’t true friends in the first place, right? On the other hand, we all want to be happy and sometimes hearing the truth might make us sad. After all, how happy would we be if everyone around us, including our friends, would constantly share their negative – but true – conceptions of us? Nonetheless, we must grow up and dare to face the storm of well-intended criticism. Because you’ll never improve if you don’t know what you’re doing wrong.
But what do you think?
- See more at: http://theyoungsocrates.com/2013/01/15/honesty-and-friends-a-good-combination/#sthash.1ny1gTWJ.dpuf

I have to make a confession: I am not always completely honest with the people I am talking to. And not only with random people I meet at a birthday party: also with my very own friends. But let’s be truly honest, that’s not really shocking, is it? Not because I am such a jerk, but because no-one is always completely honest with his friends, right? A more interesting question would be: should you always be honest with your friends? Being honest might hurt your friend’s feelings, so maybe you should rather lie and keep you and your friend happy, than telling the “painful” truth, right? Or would that prevent you in some way from bonding – with your friend – on a “deeper” level? A “friend” level? Or maybe the entire dichotomy – between kindness on the one hand and honesty one the other – is just completely wrong: who says that honesty and kindness cannot go hand in hand? After all, isn’t being honest always a kind gesture, even though the content of this gesture might not always appear to be flattering? Let’s take a look at that.
I am sure you know the dilemma: should you tell your friend the not so positive truth or should you rather lie in order not to cause a stir? Maybe – while in your moment of doubt – the following questions cross your mind, “What is the value of friendship without honesty? Isn’t that where friends are for, to be honest with each other, no matter what? No matter how hard the message might be, someone should tell you the truth, right? And this someone should be your friend, right?” But after having thought through the consequences of being honest, you might start coming up with different – more negative – scenarios, “I don’t want to lose my friend by being rude to him. Maybe he’ll think that I am not respecting him. Maybe he’ll avoid me in the future. Maybe I will lose him as a friend”.
We human beings are afraid to be honest. We are afraid that people – including our friends – might not want to hear us say negative things about them, even though these negative things might be said with the best of intentions. Friendships are valuable to us; so valuable, that we don’t want to risk losing them. But, what if you had to choose between (1) your friends being always honest with you (but not necessarily positive) or (2) your friends always being positive (but not necessarily honest with you)? And, more importantly, what category of friends would you consider to be “better” friends? Not the first category, right? Not those superficial and cowardly creatures, right? No. A true friend should be willing to tell you the truth, no matter what. That is what true friendship consists of.
However, that means that you should be willing to accept the comments of your friend. That you should be grateful for him having the courage to tell you what he thinks. You’d have to show him that he is a true friend to you and that he’s valued for being honest with you. Don’t criticize your friend’s comments. See them as a sign of true friendship. And, on the other side, interpret flattery for what it really is: a mask to hide feelings of insecurity and neediness.
I believe that you should always be able to tell your friends the truth. And if it turns out that they cannot handle the truth, then you probably weren’t true friends in the first place, right? On the other hand, we all want to be happy and sometimes hearing the truth might make us sad. After all, how happy would we be if everyone around us, including our friends, would constantly share their negative – but true – conceptions of us? Nonetheless, we must grow up and dare to face the storm of well-intended criticism. Because you’ll never improve if you don’t know what you’re doing wrong.
But what do you think?
- See more at: http://theyoungsocrates.com/2013/01/15/honesty-and-friends-a-good-combination/#sthash.1ny1gTWJ.dpuf
I have to make a confession: I am not always completely honest with the people I am talking to. And not only with random people I meet at a birthday party: also with my very own friends. But let’s be truly honest, that’s not really shocking, is it? Not because I am such a jerk, but because no-one is always completely honest with his friends, right? A more interesting question would be: should you always be honest with your friends? Being honest might hurt your friend’s feelings, so maybe you should rather lie and keep you and your friend happy, than telling the “painful” truth, right? Or would that prevent you in some way from bonding – with your friend – on a “deeper” level? A “friend” level? Or maybe the entire dichotomy – between kindness on the one hand and honesty one the other – is just completely wrong: who says that honesty and kindness cannot go hand in hand? After all, isn’t being honest always a kind gesture, even though the content of this gesture might not always appear to be flattering? Let’s take a look at that.
I am sure you know the dilemma: should you tell your friend the not so positive truth or should you rather lie in order not to cause a stir? Maybe – while in your moment of doubt – the following questions cross your mind, “What is the value of friendship without honesty? Isn’t that where friends are for, to be honest with each other, no matter what? No matter how hard the message might be, someone should tell you the truth, right? And this someone should be your friend, right?” But after having thought through the consequences of being honest, you might start coming up with different – more negative – scenarios, “I don’t want to lose my friend by being rude to him. Maybe he’ll think that I am not respecting him. Maybe he’ll avoid me in the future. Maybe I will lose him as a friend”.
We human beings are afraid to be honest. We are afraid that people – including our friends – might not want to hear us say negative things about them, even though these negative things might be said with the best of intentions. Friendships are valuable to us; so valuable, that we don’t want to risk losing them. But, what if you had to choose between (1) your friends being always honest with you (but not necessarily positive) or (2) your friends always being positive (but not necessarily honest with you)? And, more importantly, what category of friends would you consider to be “better” friends? Not the first category, right? Not those superficial and cowardly creatures, right? No. A true friend should be willing to tell you the truth, no matter what. That is what true friendship consists of.
However, that means that you should be willing to accept the comments of your friend. That you should be grateful for him having the courage to tell you what he thinks. You’d have to show him that he is a true friend to you and that he’s valued for being honest with you. Don’t criticize your friend’s comments. See them as a sign of true friendship. And, on the other side, interpret flattery for what it really is: a mask to hide feelings of insecurity and neediness.
I believe that you should always be able to tell your friends the truth. And if it turns out that they cannot handle the truth, then you probably weren’t true friends in the first place, right? On the other hand, we all want to be happy and sometimes hearing the truth might make us sad. After all, how happy would we be if everyone around us, including our friends, would constantly share their negative – but true – conceptions of us? Nonetheless, we must grow up and dare to face the storm of well-intended criticism. Because you’ll never improve if you don’t know what you’re doing wrong.
But what do you think?
- See more at: http://theyoungsocrates.com/2013/01/15/honesty-and-friends-a-good-combination/#sthash.1ny1gTWJ.dpuf
I have to make a confession: I am not always completely honest with the people I am talking to. And not only with random people I meet at a birthday party: also with my very own friends. But let’s be truly honest, that’s not really shocking, is it? Not because I am such a jerk, but because no-one is always completely honest with his friends, right? A more interesting question would be: should you always be honest with your friends? Being honest might hurt your friend’s feelings, so maybe you should rather lie and keep you and your friend happy, than telling the “painful” truth, right? Or would that prevent you in some way from bonding – with your friend – on a “deeper” level? A “friend” level? Or maybe the entire dichotomy – between kindness on the one hand and honesty one the other – is just completely wrong: who says that honesty and kindness cannot go hand in hand? After all, isn’t being honest always a kind gesture, even though the content of this gesture might not always appear to be flattering? Let’s take a look at that.
I am sure you know the dilemma: should you tell your friend the not so positive truth or should you rather lie in order not to cause a stir? Maybe – while in your moment of doubt – the following questions cross your mind, “What is the value of friendship without honesty? Isn’t that where friends are for, to be honest with each other, no matter what? No matter how hard the message might be, someone should tell you the truth, right? And this someone should be your friend, right?” But after having thought through the consequences of being honest, you might start coming up with different – more negative – scenarios, “I don’t want to lose my friend by being rude to him. Maybe he’ll think that I am not respecting him. Maybe he’ll avoid me in the future. Maybe I will lose him as a friend”.
We human beings are afraid to be honest. We are afraid that people – including our friends – might not want to hear us say negative things about them, even though these negative things might be said with the best of intentions. Friendships are valuable to us; so valuable, that we don’t want to risk losing them. But, what if you had to choose between (1) your friends being always honest with you (but not necessarily positive) or (2) your friends always being positive (but not necessarily honest with you)? And, more importantly, what category of friends would you consider to be “better” friends? Not the first category, right? Not those superficial and cowardly creatures, right? No. A true friend should be willing to tell you the truth, no matter what. That is what true friendship consists of.
However, that means that you should be willing to accept the comments of your friend. That you should be grateful for him having the courage to tell you what he thinks. You’d have to show him that he is a true friend to you and that he’s valued for being honest with you. Don’t criticize your friend’s comments. See them as a sign of true friendship. And, on the other side, interpret flattery for what it really is: a mask to hide feelings of insecurity and neediness.
I believe that you should always be able to tell your friends the truth. And if it turns out that they cannot handle the truth, then you probably weren’t true friends in the first place, right? On the other hand, we all want to be happy and sometimes hearing the truth might make us sad. After all, how happy would we be if everyone around us, including our friends, would constantly share their negative – but true – conceptions of us? Nonetheless, we must grow up and dare to face the storm of well-intended criticism. Because you’ll never improve if you don’t know what you’re doing wrong.
But what do you think?
- See more at: http://theyoungsocrates.com/2013/01/15/honesty-and-friends-a-good-combination/#sthash.1ny1gTWJ.dpufI have to make a confession: I am not always completely honest with the people I am talking to. And not only with random people I meet socially: also with my very own friends.

I have to make a confession: I am not always completely honest with the people. Over and over again, we see honesty used only as a last resort, when all the lies run out.

As children, we might have had a strong sense of justice, of instinctively knowing when something is unfair.But when we become adults, that instinct is put aside because it’s not a ticket to advancement. Besides if everyone else is doing it, why be the exception?

To be the exception requires the strength of moral character that is able to withstand the pressures that come from others, whether family, colleagues or bosses.

"Office politics" is a very dirty term in corporate world. This is the sad reality, and it exists in proportions across offices. After all a dysfunctional office makes for unhappy employees, high attrition and low productivity. Even then, sometimes we get pulled into without our knowledge and at other times we create a scenario to save our misdoings. 

No matter how well-grounded, polite and friendly we are, playing politics is unavoidable and an essential part of our office survival toolkit. Even if we hate the very nature of the term ‘office politics’, simply don’t want to get involved and believe we are just there to keep our head down and deliver – unfortunately, we just can’t avoid it, we need to get involved at some level.

Sometimes, people tend to lie or giving excuses when they are caught. Or they try and drag other people to clear their wrong. And we stood being silent  at all because whatever we say can definitely be used against us if the person you're talking to is one of those ladder climbers who will distort everything to make themselves look better.

It requires the courage to take whatever blow back that might come from standing one’s ground, some of which undoubtedly will have implications to more than one’s self.

But for those with such courage, the greatest reward is the ability to sleep at night, knowing their conscience is clear. Today I find myself wishing I know people of such moral fortitude because they do seem thin on the ground.

Being honest may not always be the easiest or most convenient course, but it is the course of integrity. Regardless of the prevalence of dishonesty, we all have the freedom to choose to live by a higher standard.