I can no longer pretend to remain unaffected by those heart-wrenching pictures from Kabul and other parts of Afghanistan. I tried hard to avoid writing about the fear that looms large after the Taliban seize. I thought of several other topics for our weekly round-up. I even wrote a piece, only to delete it later. 

You can’t ignore pain. Accept it and find a way to live with it. 

After looking at the visuals disconsolately for several longer-than-usual minutes, I decided to not yield to gloom. I resolved to draw some unconventional lessons. You might call it my coping mechanism. And here’s one: this is the result of ill-intentioned people meddling in other people’s business. Political games are unfolding in the land of the Kabuliwallah, of course. The power trip is at the heart of it all. Sometimes, the most inefficient try to claim power through meddling. Think Taliban? Once the unsuitable get the power, they leave things in ruins. Think America?

The Ant is busy working, along comes Miss Grasshopper. The story plays out its different versions in our offices, homes, neighbourhoods, and countries. If only we invested our time more constructively in improving our game rather than poking our nose in other people’s business, the world would be such a beautifully efficient place. 

This might not sound like a mainstream interpretation of the Afghanistan crisis, but that’s the beauty of living in a free country — you are free to draw your own lessons. Grateful for the freedom to feel the air on the face, let the wind toss the hair, and move around without a male companion. That’s an obvious lesson — nothing to be taken for granted.

Let me know what your unconventional learnings are? Let’s get busy creatively, lest we should become busybodies.  

To fire your imagination, I have this terrific weekly round-up of os.me reads offering unconventional turns to the mundane. 

Here are our weekly picks to fire your imagination tell a friend

Transformative Ideas

Digital Random Act of Kindness IdeasThe pandemic is no excuse to delay that kind act. In the digital age, Ria R suggests ways to stay busy purposefully.

Fat Rodeo: Many would say John Clark was fat-shamed by a busybody. Instead of asking, ‘Why me’, he asked, ‘What is God teaching me right now?’ A spiritual way to accept prying, perhaps. What do you think?  

Kabir Kehte Hain: Nalin offers the great Kabir’s couplet with his own interpretation. Just because the container differs, let’s not be partial to water — my reading. What’s yours? 

To Be Truly Independent: Not every sinking boat is yours to save, says Peace Kindness. Fix the hole in your boat first, I say. More suggestions on improving your own project – marriage, partnership, self. 

Embrace Your Uniqueness: Reason 101 to not impose your ideas, way of life, or anything at all on others — everyone is unique. Make space for different, get over your narrow outlook. Chitvan Khosla points out that the world would be a darker place without your unique light. 

Her Compassion: This is the only time you are allowed to meddle in other people’s lives — when you are certain you are saving them. SL Pant lived through a natural disaster to tell this tale full of warmth. 

Against All Odds: A big shout-out to Hetal Sonpal, who is a published author now. He wrote Against All Odds, a book that captures his father’s teachings. See, amazing things happen when you engage in creative pursuits.

Booked This Week

This week, we don’t just have a book recommendation, we have an author recommendation. Give it up for Vibha Batra, an author of 18 books. Her latest, Pinkoo Shergill — Pastry Chef, talks about smashing gender stereotypes. It’s perfect for kids between 8 to 12 years old. Truth be told, I enjoyed it immensely. I am sure you will, too. Buy a copy now! And, a big thanks for writing I Love Me… Do I for us, a personal tale of growing from body-shamed to self-love. Did you read it yet?

Wisdom From Swamiji

The Art of Criticism: If you must really give your critique, make sure you have the expertise for it. Swamiji suggests an effective, positive and practical way of providing constructive feedback.

Three Principles of Confrontation: Confrontation is not about putting the other person down or throwing them off balance. The best spiritual leader from India offers the secret.

Learn the art of criticism and other useful skills. Browse our weekly picks tell a friend

Watch This Now!

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Quote of the Week

To ensure you don’t have to micromanage, hire experts. Once you have hired experts, listen to Steve Jobs: “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.”

I hope you enjoyed the reads. Have a great week ahead, folks. The winners of the #OSME Challenge will be announced on the 25th.

On a parting note, there is no denying the fact that the turmoil in Afghanistan is tragic. Here’s sending prayers to those stuck in and struck by it. Are there any lessons and learnings you drew from the upheaval?

Until next…

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