what TRAI and government missed in internet governance

First, While the document talks about OTTs and TSP, the document is not clear if TSP includes all wired broadband service providers. In the chapter 2 it does introduces wired connection as way of connecting to the internet but subsequent reference to TSP points toward the wireless and call providing telecoms. If those references of TSP included the wired broadband service providers then the limitation of bandwidth doesn’t make sense. Also, language of the article appears to be slightly in favor of TSPs rather than the public, which is not desirable.

Second, The document also tries to fix this with a simple solution with imposing limitations instead of digging the root of this issue of bandwidth use. Why user hogs the bandwidth, download copyright content? Do they have other cost effective option? The answer is no. the softwares are too expensive for general user and not easily accessible. The Indian universities don’t have ties with software firms so as to provide the essential softwares to students at lower costs. There is no gateway for students to purchase these software since many Indian lacks access to credit cards. As a result they resort to pirated content which then threaten their security. But government is silent about that serious breach of security.

The end users download movies and songs because they are available on demand. The DVDs are like junk, why would a user carry such bulk with him all the times when memory media are available at such cheap costs? The industry needs to innovate for this and come up with better ways in reaching the end users. Netflix was such innovation, which enabled user to see movies on demand.

Apart from this, there is again issue of accessibility. Many towns and even district places still lack multiplex and good cinema halls to enjoy the movies. The movie industry is no at all concern in broadening its reach in that sense and is more interested in metros. If a user don’t have access to these movies offline, then he chooses it online. India don’t have any Netflix like facility, so download it a cheap and easy way out. The same goes for songs, but only with recent OTT apps people are choosing their ways of listening the songs. Isn’t that good for copyright material?

Third, as India is a soft country, the laws are never strictly or not at all implemented. There is no deterrence for it. Neither any attempts are made to make the illegal copyright material legal. (Microsoft is going to offer upgrade to windows 10 legally even if underlying os is illegal, ofcouse the user will be asked to pay for windows 10 but that will be at lower cost. They did same with windows 8 at launch; an Applaudable move.) With no incentive to use copyright material, the user chose easy way out – pirated contents.

Fourth, The OTTs are also causing innovation of loneliness, distance from real people and pushing the youth into virtual identities. There are no measures from govt. to sensitize the youth on this issue. India faces serious shortage of psychiatrists to help the students. Nor govt have chain of volunteers who have access into collages to communicate with students.

This issue of OTT was raised when the big money making TSP saw a huge market in the form of users. And it’s understandable that TRAI picked this issues in that context but government has bigger roles to play towards citizen. Sadly it is not doing enough on the tough fronts of ethics integrity and morality.

Fifth, and government cannot miss out the imbalances that will set as domino effect as the corner stone of Internet i.e. net neutrality is removed.

Eg. if it charges skype like ARCEP of france, and asks that the operator must meet certain obligations as they are in the business of providing electronic communications. Which will lead to charging the skype. Skype will charge the users, users will ask for QoS since they are paying for the service, the TSP on other hand won’t be able to maintain the QoS (as they are failing to do even today due to infrastructure constrains) this will lead to even more clashes. Also, if skype or hangouts like apps are charged, they are sponsored by internet giants like google and Microsoft, which can afford to subsidies their apps. Thus new entry into the internet telephony will be challenging. It will create imbalance on the web for innovations.

Inshort, this way is going to open more conflicts leading to disturbance in internet ecosystem. It is responsibility of the government to ensure certain standards of life. The UN has already accepted internet as fundamental right for general public. Thus, its necessary for the government to secure this right in greater public interest.

TRAI On Regulatory Framework for OTT services: the jargon.

on 27th March, 2015 telecom regulatory authority of India came up with a document to collect suggestions and opinion from general public on  Regulatory Framework for Over-the-top (OTT) services. The OTTs are nothing but the apps that we use on daily basis.(link for the document)

The telecom operators i.e. the agents from whom we get out internet are looking to charge these apps as they are using the infrastructure but are not paying. Just like Google is making a lot of money via online advertisement but it is not paying anything to the internet provider who provided them the medium. (the analogy given by Telecom service providers is – In normal life a person may use a government constructed road and pay tax to the government so that they can build more such roads.) but Internet is not like that, since the user who access such OTTs or website, already pays to the internet service provider a subscription fees! yet the operators are turning every stone to make sure they find some way to find a new revenue stream from this mushrooming online apps. and that greedy approach is threatening something very precious related with the internet – the Net Neutrality.

What is net neutrality? (source)
Net neutrality is a principle that says Internet service providers should treat all traffic on their networks equally. That means companies like Comcast Corp or Bharti Airtel in Indian context should not block or slow down access to any website or content on the Web – for instance, to benefit their own services over those of competitors.

TRAI itself acknowledges this in its document.

“Net neutrality (NN) is generally construed to mean that TSPs must treat all internet traffic on an equal basis, no matter its type or origin of content or means used to transmit packets. All points in a network should be able to connect to all other points in the network and service providers should be able to deliver traffic from one point to another seamlessly, without any differentiation on speed, access or price. The principle simply means that all internet traffic should be treated equally.”

why its so important? net neutrality makes sure that internet remains a inclusive and equality based platform. people get to express themselves in most democratic manner. without this neutrality, the Internet service provider can reduce, or even prevent a user from accessing certain content (audio, video) on the internet. Further, it can also lead to breaking the Internet into many streams of Internet, i.e. diving the subscribers base so that few web sites, apps and content will be available at better speed to few people giving them an advantage. In short, with net neutrality gone, it will be a chaos on the web with monopoly and oligarchy of the internet services. The users have much to lose and so the new start ups, which are anyways threatened by giants like Google and facebook.

where it began?

the document says, The move to Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology’s all-IP architecture will further facilitate this delinking of delivery of services from the underlying network. thus the ISP are losing control over the OTTs as in how they using the bandwidth. (isnt that a proof that the entire net architectures are structured with net neutrality as a corner stone!)

there is much to the debate. but my intention is this post is to present what govt. of India is saying in this regard. the Jargon they have introduced to deal with this issue and how it is important for general public to understand it. The terminologies are in order as they have appeared in the document.

Telecom service providers (TSP)

(TSP also acts as an Internet

Service Provider (ISP) providing last mile connectivity and bandwidth)

They are the operators offering fixed and mobile telephony. They are basically our wireless internet service providers.

BSNL, Bhartil Airtel, Tikona etc. they are all Telecom service providers in India.

over-the-top (OTT) OTT refers to applications and services which are accessible over the internet. The OTTs use operators’ networks infrastructure offering internet access services to reach to the end user.

This includes all popular apps like Skype, Viber, WhatsApp, Chat On, Snapchat, Instagram etc.

The document then catagorises these OTTs as 3 types,

1.   Messaging and voice services (skype etc.)

2.   Application eco-systems (twitter etc.)

3.   Video audio content (youtube etc.)

Value Added Service (VAS) The traditional insanely costly ways to share media like

MMS. In short value added services are all other services offered by Telecom service providers (TSP) apart from call and SMS and user has to pay for it separately as its value addition to basic calling and SMS.

Zero-rating service (like airtel one) A silent killer for net neutrality.

zero-rating strategy is one where operators offer unlimited access to certain online services – typically social media sites,

music streaming or online television.

but For how long? No one is clear about it. With how many operators? and To how many OTTs? these questions are unanswered.

So if airtel and flipkart strikes a deal, then flipkart will pay to airtel and airtel will give priority to flipkart, resulting in better service and access to flipkart to airtel customers. (this is one scenario, there can be many such malpractices or cartel)

This will be detrimental to new startups and competition. It will lead to filtering of content as per convenience to the TSP and OTT! User will be manipulated.

Fair Usage policy

 

means reviewing the data usage of each subscriber and limiting the plan speed of specific customers who are using excessive network bandwidth.

So if you are using youtube more, then eventually your speed for internet will slow down as there will demand by other for bandwidth.

data caps

 

Bandwidth caps/data caps require monitoring traffic volume and throttling data or charging for extra volume for a customer once a pre-defined data cap is reached.

Like BSNL home 800 plan offers first 6GB at 1Mbps speed after which speed reduces to 512Kbps.

In Toll boothing

 

different services offered to the users are priced differently.

Means if you are using youtube, there will be separate charge. differential pricing for VoIP calls and normal internet usage by Airtel in India is one such example of toll boothing. (this is a clear violation of net neutrality)

accumulation of Universal Service

Obligation Fund (USOF)

Basically, BSNL is thus duty bound to provide service in rural India, it’s not doing any favor!

to provide universal access to telecom services, i.e., focus on providing telecom services to rural and remote areas at affordable and reasonable prices.

And honestly, BSNL has wasted that fund.

besides today we have innovative solutions like facebooks internet.org microsoft white wifi and google lagoon fo internet access.

This fund should have been used better. Rather government should be open now considering advancement of technology.

VoIP voice over internet protocol VoIP is a protocol based on Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) that allows calls on Internet. Its basic framework for all internet telephony and used in skype and viber like OTTs. SIP and VoIP have their own security management procedure which does allow the government of TSP to intercept or tap communication.
Big Data analytics

 

Big data is a broad term for data sets so large or complex that traditional data processing applications are inadequate. Aim is to find out patterns in users behavior and choices. Thus it is used to extract information so It can be used for carrying out marketing activities.
Application Service

Providers (ASPs)

The applications driving the internet. All browsers and now OTTs.
Content and Application Providers (CAPs)

 

Content and service providers (CASP)

Same as ASPs but they are mostly new startups but in the document CAPs is used to generalize OTT and ASP.

As mentioned above, the CASP means all that is consuming the bandwidth of TSP. this term is used where large bandwidth use is referred to.

Communications Service Providers (CSPs)

 

All regulatory/ licensing requirements including lawful interception and

security of the network will be ensured if OTT players are classified as CSP.

These are the services that enable voice and video calling.

Application Service

Providers (ASPs).

(don’t confuse with earlier ASP, here ASP is in context of CSP. The TRAI is looking to distinguish the OTTs based on use.)

which either add value to the basic telecom services or can be provided as standalone application services through the telecom network. Apps like twitter and times of India app.
toll-booth system

a proposed data management technique –

whereby different services are priced differently depending on agreements.
‘Zero-rating’

another proposed data management technique.

where they can provide preferential access to certain defined sites.

Eg. Airtel zero, facebooks internet.org

Bulk User of Telecom Services (BuTS) In this option the TSPs can treat an OTT as a bulk user of their telecom services based on amount of bandwidth it will use.

basically with BuTS the OTTs will pay the network provider to use its infrastructure and the user will also pay for the internet service. eventually the OTT may charge the user and user will end up paying both OTT and TSP!

Our Culture, Us and mutual evolution – Part 2

back to Now  –

let’s relate Part 1 with our ancestors, our grandparents generation and then our parents’ generation and then us, since we are talking of culture and it is all about cumulative effect.

Our grandparents belonged to an era when resources where ‘scarcity’ and ‘collectivism’ values where stronger if not strongest. it was an orthodox culture with little air of change. ‘castism’ i.e. social distances were much visible in terms of social hierarchy so they were very cautious of that aspect. For them stability was crucial and so was social acceptability and since towns were small and mobility was limited, people knew each other. So  he old norms were followed without scrutiny, an era of intellectual materialism. ofcourse there were attempts to purify those norms social reformers like Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Jyotiba Fule were some of the activists.

Simultaneously as per the patriarchal cultural norms girls where liability and boys were an asset. The women had an influence of existing norms. There was no internet or telephone – the spread of ideas was extremely limited, education was limited and so the new perspectives. The girls were married at an early age- mostly child marriage. And then there was this big size family of at-least 8! but they did it because there was uncertainty of life and no planning, as it was not ‘problem’ for them then, survival was only intention given the large child and maternal mortality rate prevalent then. (need of stability) As it was an emerging family it had huge constraint of resources, too many mouths to feed. The parents were busy in the basic activities of gathering food and providing shelter.

The children (our parents) where observing this and learned this as their culture. (the habits coming from sharing and scarcity are even visible sometimes). The children(i.e. our parents) were good at sharing of resources living within what was available. There was creativity but its focus and much emphasis was on survival of the stability. For them courage was to stand tall in the existing society and achieve their acceptability. There was no scope to challenge the believe system.

there was another peculiar event that was taking place i.e. for these emerging families the model of best family was that of ‘Bramhins’ which was the highest family in social hierarchy. but they had their secret norms inside family and what was visible for outsides was just pick of iceberg. this tendency of following and trying to be like upper caste is known as “sanskitization”, which is even prevalent now. This ‘superficial’ following on their norms muddled the cultural norms of overall society, prevalence of more intellectual materialism.

Then came our parents’ generation. (Post teenage) Castism was considerably reduced at least in practice but there was fear. They were just empowered to establish their identity as they were educated. however, there was still that fear of social acceptability, lack of creativity, lack of critical thinking and tendency to accepting things as they as since ‘it’s just the way to do the stuff!’.

There was flow of ideas from books, but there was no support for the challenger – the fight was still on for survival. The women where first seen as liability on father and then on elder brother – continuation of old trend. Also, the culture said respect the elders so there was this feeling of great gratitude! And love for each other.

the women were thankful to their brother and they were married to random person chosen by their brother or father, they had to accept it coz that was the norm and social acceptability,

(do listen to this song later: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOZBB53lGTk)

and that’s how even our mother’s got married.

Again rating the parameters, i.e. stability, freedom, acceptability, etc.  there was certainty about life- each had a good job. Flow of information was still limited, but there was some scientific approach. The social norms where relaxed and culture was put open for introspection. But the structure of society was still patriarchal and male had all rights to take decisions, no democracy in family (even today it is presidential democracy with veto power at father). The female had accepted this norm for the stability of family and never thought of this as problem. Thus there was no thinking about other situation than what was going on.

They (mothers) had accepted the double work of job n looking after family as part of their life for the sake of stability, they lacked any time to think and reflect about their situation it was a strict tough routine for them. Out of box thinking rarely spur in such context.

even in some families the husband was beating or abusing their wife but the women didn’t knew other way because sadly even husband beating was a norm! not a problem for society, A part of deal called marriage. (disturbing it is but its ‘prescribed’ in the books of religious!!!)

the female were alert but helpless as they lacked any social structure support as the structure itself were male dominated, both physically and ideologically. They couldn’t challenge those norms as they feared that doing so might escalate the matter and the life of divorcee was not worth living! they even lacked financial autonomy. By then, meaning of courage was not in fighting but in surviving, survival mode made them defensive and reactive but to change they needed to be assertive and proactive, they didn’t understand that because their own interest was not their priority, as it was bombarded to them – marriage and family i.e. their 2nd life! they didn’t thought about what other aspect of life meant and how to get there.

Besides they choose to be defensive because of us, their children, to give us better future stability was necessary. they made us their source of inspiration. The women tried to find their peace of mind in their children, they invested all their emotions in their child, in this the ‘hurt mothers’ became over protective for the child… forgetting that anything in excess is bad even if it’s good.

Our generation was free from the scourge of castism, it was open for ideas, because our parents had created a better world for us to explore. we were set free to mingle with cross society, exploring various sub-cultural norms. There was scientific education and internet at our teenage to shape our ideas. Our family size was limited so there was abundance of resources and we had plenty of time to explore. And there was one big source of ideas the Television; we were so engrossed in it all. our parents where happy because they felt grateful that they could give their child so much that they didn’t had in first place.

We didn’t bothered about it, neither we bothered to help our mother when we were kid, we took it for granted as there was no uncertainty. We also accepted a norm to get out of room when any fight between any elder members was going on… never thought why to do so. (That’s how norms work) besides your opinion never mattered as you were child. (Color of hair not merit of idea that mattered)

even the mothers didn’t told us their story because by now they had developed new habits of accommodation.

Compared to our generation, we never feel need of accommodation, our knowledge was greatly shared between friends so the problems, resources and ideas. Then there was torrent of ideas as internet and mobile arrived, our world turned into a global village. We came in contact with the western values based on Individualism – freedom, liberality, rationality. And a funny thing happened.

Because of collectivism we had a strong family base a strong social support system that we took for granted. Then came this individualism mostly from movies and Internet. we thought this is a good way because it was ‘new’ and following our curiosity we accepted these views with their explanation. Meanwhile, ironically, the educated western societies adopted the collectivism values to build a strong social structure and stable family. they took the values keeping aside identities. they tried to made best from both societies.

This confluence of culture is intense right now. the mistake we are doing is we are not emphasizing or exploring our own good cultural values we are blindly declaring many of our good habits and accepting the western values (without evaluation) just by looking at western lifestyle. we are not learning.

Today things have changed drastically. The government is standing for rights of women. Human rights movement is vigilant. There are NGOs and civil societies ready to help and people know the effects of wrong doing. society has accepted need of change so there is deterrence. this has wiped away the superficial norms but the sticky norms, one which deals with self image still persists. one of them is status. is in our society nothing matters more than status. That is true in our family too. such sticky norms take the most time to change so we must wait, there is no point in fighting against it.

The women in our family are not proactive they are not assertive yet and the fathers cannot give up their domination psyche overnight it’s another sticky norm. both men and women have reached statuesque agreement and stability. And after we, their children becoming independent they don’t find point in defining new stability, they are okay with it, but that hurts us.

this is my observation and understanding of situation.

conclusion:

i don’t think its worth now changing the oldies unless its harming our present and future and they are open to such change. we should not try to model their world in our ideals. as individual they have right to live their life as they want so we must accept it and monitor it proactively, but if we think something is wrong we should express our opinion rationally, proactively, in clear language without being emotional.

fighting with cultural norm is challenging, if you want to do it – get out of all cultural structure, but if you want to live within them, accept them and induce small small changes- tipping point is triggered with such small changes and right opportunity. wait for it.

there is an old Chinese saying, “wisdom can be acquired in 3 ways, first by  experience which is the bitterest. Second by imitation which is the easiest. Third is by reflection which is the noblest.” We try to learn things by first 2 ways but hardly use the third because the art of reflection asks for giving up all help thoughts, belief and judgment. It asks us to evaluate them impersonally.

anyways, lets enjoy what we have today. The past must not haunt present if present is hurting be assertive, if culture is not allowing you to do so, if it’s a sticky norm, you must accommodate and adapt accordingly, fighting will only hurt you. besides the problem in fighting with stupid is they ultimately drag you to their level, so it’s better to evade that situation creatively. Know their norms and be proactive, once you win heart, you can softly expand your views and win back your freedom.

finally, its a know fact that perfection does not exist and with that we must accept our culture with all its faults n extremes. its our so we must fix it. the purification process is going on and we should look at it cautiously.

Our Culture, Us and mutual evolution – part 1

The documentary ‘India’s daughter‘ created much uproar in social media particularly on subject that it was an attempt to defame India. This was not the first time that such claim was made. previously i had a discussion on facebook when Aasaram bapu were arrested on rape charges. in both cases and many more cases the issue raised was – how west is trying to defame Indian culture. whether or not such events were an attack on Indian culture, one must accept that such events sure call for introspection, and there is nothing ever wrong in introspection and own improvement. this is my attempt to introspect few aspects of such traditions, cultural norms and our evolution. How we got here from a glorious civilization to today into a globalized world.

Every story builds upon a context – a prologue. without understanding that background, that chronology of events it’s impossible to feel that story. without feeling the story we cannot entirely relate such story. Such context is crucial Especially when we talk about something profound and old as culture. Our culture represents accumulated wisdom of our ancestors and we need to understand events that lead to formation of those traditions and norms. without understanding and feeling the context of that time, when our ancestors adopted certain norms i.e. their context, we cannot understand if those norms are relevant today. we can follow them, but just as a burden from past which is certainly not fruitful to us.

The necessity for our time is to find and understand that ‘relevance’ aspect to our current life so as to focus our energy and find meaning in our life. However, as Culture is deeply related with pride, many oppose change to old traditions or even such discussion. my request is to read this article with an open mind, i am sure that you wont feel offended but at the end you will find some more meaning in creating new ones with own understanding and efforts.

The understanding of culture mainly comes from our society, our parents and our upbringing. since we learn and experience them in our daily life since our childhood we never question them and accept them as they are, which is infarct needed for any child. However with intellectual growth one needs to question and understand the roots of those norms so as to have relevance of those norms to own life. Much can be said about such traditions and norms, but here i want to point out few such aspects beginning with ‘the distances’ and its impact on our lives.

The collective culture of East Asia and Indian subcontinent is based on high power distance (HPD) while the western individualist culture is based on low power distance (LPD). In HPD we respect authority we don’t talk directly, we don’t confront elders, and we don’t challenge the norm. In HPD we don’t behave assertively and accommodate our opinion as per groups’ opinion – we care for stability and acceptability. We don’t even agree to disagree; we keep those things in mind. As personal liberty is limited it hurts creativity and new ideas, but that maintains stability and continuity.

On the other hand, the LPD is about personal liberty, here age doesn’t matter ideas and views matters more. People don’t fear authority they respect authority because they understand need of hierarchy. They openly disagree with their bosses and elder if they are wrong but they discuss their opinion assertively. In case of conflict they even ‘agree to disagree’ and leave the discussion. It supports creativity but the newness threatens stability.

Following these norms, the Indian society has developed these distances in its social relations – the hierarchies in society and thus caste system, patriarchy – status of wife vis-a-vis her husband, student teacher relation father son relation etc. these 2 features dominates many of the social norms. the distances and such norms have created a stable and in a way rigid society which is not really open to change or reluctant in accepting different cultural norms. (ofcourse, today in globalized world things are changing rapidly)

how does it impact our life today – The peculiar thing happening with our generation is our societies are changing faster than ever, thanks to science and technology. The changes are faster than progress of culture as it has been. We are shifting our habits towards more leisure without realizing it.

The ancient Indian collectivist culture is seriously clashing with the western culture based on individualism. The individualism brings with it qualities like rationality, scientific approach, liberty and with that it gives freedom to question the believe system. While our culture emphasizes on family over individual, our values are more irrational, based on norms, restricted freedom (with restrictions one is limited to explore and that gives security to established system)

the clashes begin when We try to accommodate the change in our habits at the speed of ideas as they are germinate in our mind. we see movies and we try to bring that lifestyle, internet is bringing diverse cultures even closer. The young generation has harnessed this adaptability. and this young dynamic generation has adapted this because they were exposed to this ‘change’ culture since their childhood. As a human being we like to explore new things and thus the young ones are good with this new ideas, but also more impatient. this new generation is more flexible than their parents but also less willing to work harder and persist. They get easily bored and change their moods rapidly.

This is much unlike with respect to our parents’ generation which is a status-qua generation, which loves stability, order and have patience to see things getting settle. Their habit for status qua comes from their upbringing – as when they were child they lived a life of scarcity and had to share what limited resources they had with their siblings which one can see by counting their aunts and uncles! such is not case with current young generation, where they belong to a culture of abundance. they get what they want well before even they desire it! so basically, out parents generation knew about their equilibrium, but what about current generation? what they know about where they are going? and why we care for that equilibrium?

culture evolving from need of stability –

Culture itself is a way to find stability in life. The cultural norms brings predictability and familiarity in life. this likeness for predictability comes from evolution. As law of nature every specie loves equilibrium or stability. We seek stability and loves to stay their till the situation becomes extreme. we do this to avoid uncertainty as stability brings familiarity which intern brings certainty and makes us secure which is must for survival, and survival is all that matters in nature. Thus based on this stability and basic understanding about its grammar we were able to use and develop our intelligence.

We end up becoming intelligent species since we were able to overcome the basic duties of gathering food and shelter, we also learned to use tools to get things going. Eventually we got time to explore the world, we started using our brains, that’s how it grew and we end up being human beings of today (the organs used more often tends to develop more or ‘evolve’). Of course while exploring one needs safety of other needs which was accomplished with above mentioned stability (i.e. food and shelter). That means stability and free time to explore is fundamental for thinking differently and grows. But no matter how much we grow we need social support to be happy; Love them, hate them but we can’t live without them!

Human being like most other animal is a social animal and loves to be in company of other people. Even the introverts need people to share their feelings. So to live with harmony and bring certainty in life (as mentioned earlier) few elders came up with spontaneous rules for society. Later those rules became laws and subsequently established norms. To remain in that society it became then ritual to accept those norms which later became identity of certain society – a learned behavior of certain society i.e. culture.

sadly, over a time people forgot why these laws where created to mitigate which uncertainty, and they kept following the norm as culture even when the uncertainty was gone! But since creativity was limited, people knew no other better way to replace existing one and besides it was ancient wisdom and we must respect our elders, who is going to challenge their authority? A dissident was threatened with ostracizing from society. It was against basics of stability instinct so they kept following it even when it was hurting. Such continuity was also in interest of then powerful few in the society who used those norms as a means of dominance.

when norms became problem –

It’s also worth noticing that a problem never appears as package of problem. It first exists as phenomenon, it keeps on happening until one fine day when we notice that phenomenon is hurting us and that there can be/ should be other way out. we then consult others (we need social support) and then with collective experience declare certain phenomenon as problem and look for solution. but still for some people it may not be problem because they don’t experience as we do or they fail to feel what or how we feel about a phenomenon. it’s all about perception and open mind.

As a human being we are supposed to be learned animal, it adds to our intelligence and growth. But history has shown this that many of us exhibits stubbornly unlearning traits. Another crucial surprising trait we show is, we are more ignorant towards the most fundamental things of life and we resist that fundamental thing. (ignoring mother’s advice and realizing its significance later!)

just like We often complain of weak memory but the fact about memory is neurons that fire together wire together – repetition and relating with previous experiences is the key here but we resist repetition and keep crying. Exercise is must for healthy life – we resist it. Infact we don’t even realize the sensation of breathing! The reason we do so is first, affinity for stability (if it’s not broken, it’s no problem) accept the things as they are. That is how we tend to accept the culture without doubting it – as if it’s in our genes.

But creativity is also hidden in these fundamental things we just need to find it.

Quite a lot evolutionary context! it was needed and it will all make sense in 2nd part here.

when thinking gets scary : Flipping our fears

Thinking never happens accidentally, it happens because you have vision, you have commitment and because you have some dream! May be a vague dream but you have one. Thinking – Sometimes chaos and sometimes peace but mostly a surge of emotions. when emotions are strong then it is a storm – hard to control or confine and focus your mind to make any choice; such storm blurs the distinction between real and imaginary. that sort of thinking makes you upset and closes all doors of hope. But reality remains that with just a little awareness and a flip, one can turn off the power source of such storm, which is also never easy. it gives appearance of a strong castle, hard to break in! but in reality mostly it is just a castle of card, waiting for a soothing blow of mindful wind. (which too often comes from some external source – may be a friend or a book or nature!)

but the question remains – How to control this storm? Or should we atall control it and wait for the external element? but that just doesnt make sense – waiting like that. because If we let it flow then sure it will engulf us, as it questions everything we believed in so far. So Should we be mere spectators and let it destroy what we believed so far? is there any way to use that energy of storm for our good-being? making that destructive destruction into a creative destruction!

Thinking is a creative process. Creation, when is for our good, when is about our strength makes us happy. But when its about our weakness our fears it becomes a creative force for our fears… thus making us weak and depended. How to seperate that good n evil creation and chose? There is a native american tale of two wolves which goes like,

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.

He said, “My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all. “One is Evil – It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.
“The other is Good – It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf wins?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed”.
Thus its upto us what we create, whom we feed.

But the question remains, if the evil wolf is feeding on our thinking, how to stop it? Mostly them the good wolf is invisible! But its not. Things are little mystical and counter intuitive here. There are no two wolves but one; Its just our perspective. Imagine The evil wolf and make it upside down, and its the good wolf! All time there but you were not aware of it. Good and evil – we make these distinction for our comfort but in real there is just a wolf. Our perception makes it good or evil.
When you are sad look within and you will realise it is the same thing for which you were happy and when you are happy look within to see that you were sad earlier for the same thing. Our Mind is cunning, it likes to dwell in past and future but dont like to settle in present. But Its there to keep us alive and it tries to find meaning… all the times. Thinking is just its way of expression – a manifestation that the mind is alive! Thus for mind thinking is a process a routine and we need to look upto it like that such that we must not react but let the storm settle and learn to dance in the storm rather than sitting ashore and wait for storm to recede.
Since the thinking is an manifestation of mind’s existence, it becomes manifestation of your extension too. Because we relate ourselves with our mind – what we thing we become. Its our ego, alter ego – its us! when reality remains that we need to be the master of our mind, we are the creator of our thought – our thoughts are product of our thinking ability. this ability is us not its products i.e. various thoughts and idea. but then we perceive and understand and know the ideas only not the master i.e. our ability. so when those ideas go haywire, fear sets in as we doubt those ideas thinking that those ideas are ourselves, i.e. we are weak… exactly when the evil wolf starts feeding inside.
Then We try hard to stop it from feeding on the thinking process, and we put fence and try hard to fend off the evil wolf… and we start this by rejection! rather than accepting and evaluating what is going on our knee jerk reaction is to close all the door of suggestion! and then we forget n ignore the fact that with that evil wolf we also close doors n nutrition to the good wolf. We forget this fact they are the same side of a coin, instead of flipping the coin we throw the coin and as a result we get a vacuum inside us. This vacuum makes our mind more insecure and that insecurity sets in more wolves – just evil ones! which now not only fed on our thinking but also on what we are, it bites n tore our dreams, faith and hope. when the reality remains that every event in life almost has two sides. we mostly chose one and act on one but we never see both sides without relating them to ourselves, being neutral, not being an idea but being a wise judge! thus, What starts with that fencing for being protective for ourselves, ends up destroying what we intended to protect… that’s the thing about fear. A vice that we must never trust.
Thinking becomes destructive when we let fear settle in our heart and mind.  The dark does not destroy the light; it defines it. It’s our fear of the dark that casts our joy into the shadows. Purpose of fear is to make us aware and thats it. Once becoming aware of fear we need to focus on our imagination and thinking to know the facts and analyse the situation. Indeed the storm of thoughts will set in mind and some of them will also try or pretend to protect you. But you must realize that those protective thoughts  cripples you, being vulnerable makes you feel weak but indeed if you face this vulnerability with courage you will see a better side of yours – your own spiritual growth.

At the end our truth is, as ‘brene brow’n defines it in her book ‘gifts of imperfection’,
We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection.
Love is not something we give or get; it is something that we nurture and grow, a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them – we can only love others as much as we love ourselves.

Its love, for ourselves and for other that truly gives us strength. Its hard to love some one strange but indeed its our truth, love makes us strong.
So next time in ocean of life when the storm of thinking sets in and the tides of fear grow high and wind of uncertainty tries to topple your ship, just remember of the love that you have in your heart, love for yourself and for others – focus there. Let the strorm does it dance and eventually yoh will learn to just witness it without any reaction and then you will laugh how futile is its struggle, when all its attempt will fail to topple and unsettle u and when you will emerge out of thag strorm even more mindful and strong, you will discover your true strength – true you that you may have never seen… the good wolf! That feeling of victory and bliss is what puts a full stop to your thinking.