Tamils - a Trans State Nation..

"To us all towns are one, all men our kin.
Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill
Man's pains and pains' relief are from within.
Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."
Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

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Whatever may be said, who ever may say it - to
determine the truth of it, is wisdom - Thirukural

Reflections 1998 : Chinthanaigal

Reflection by Jayalakshmi Satyendra

Saturday 26 December 1998

" If I were asked to name the most important date in the history and prehistory of the human race, I would answer without hesitation 6 August 1945. The reason is simple. From the dawn of consciousness until 6 August 1945, man had to live with the prospect of his death as an individual; since the day when the first atomic bomb outshone the sun over Hiroshima, mankind as a whole has had to live with the prospect of its extinction as a species. We have been taught to accept the transitoriness of personal existence, while taking the potential immortality of the human race for granted. This belief has ceased to be valid. We have to revise our axioms..."

(Arthur Koestler in Janus: A Summing Up, published by Hutchinson of London, 1978)

Saturday, 19 December 1998

thoNdu seiyum adimai... a poem in Tamil by Subramaniya Bharathy

- from a poem by Subramaniya Bharathy

"It is probably true quite generally that in the history of human thinking the most fruitful developments frequently take place at those points where two different lines of thought meet. These lines may have their roots in quite different parts of human culture, in different times or different cultural environments or different religious traditions: hence if they actually meet, that is, if they are at least so much related to each other that a real interaction can take place, then one may hope that new and interesting developments may follow."

(Werner Heisenberg (discoverer of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle in Quantum Physics) quoted in Tao of Physics by Fritjof Capra, 1975)

Saturday, 12 December 1998

" No man is an island; he is a 'holon'. Like Janus, the two-faced Roman god, holons have a dual tendency to behave as quasi independent wholes, asserting their individualities, but at the same time as integrated parts of larger wholes in the multi- levelled hierarchies of existence. Thus a man is both a unique individual but also part of a social group, which itself is a part of a larger group, and so on....Order and stability can prevail only when the two tendencies are in equilibrium. If one of them dominates the other, this delicate balance is disturbed.... in the light of the new cosmology, the strictly deterministic, mechanistic world-view of the last century, which still dominates many fields of contemporary science, has become a Victorian anachronism. The nineteenth-century clockwork model of the universe is in shambles, and since matter itself has been de-materialised by the physicist, materialism can no longer claim to be a scientific philosophy..."

(from Janus, A Summing Up by Arthur Koestler, published by Hutchinson of London, 1978)

Saturday, 5 December 1998

"The principle of ‘next time’ is one of the most practical, liberating concepts that can help you change your orientation to influencing other people. If you focus on the past, all you can do is feel bad. What already happened cannot be changed. But a different future can be created. Next time I can be wiser. Next time I can try harder. Next time, if I see things differently, I can respond differently. There is hope in ‘next time’. The positive approach to discipline focuses 20 percent on what went wrong, and 80 percent on what could be different next time."  (Blaine Lee, Author of ‘The Power Principle)

"Maturity begins to grow when you can sense your concern for others outweighing your concern for yourself." (John Macnoughton)

Saturday, 28 November 1998

"I believe that leadership is not a position. It’s a combination of something you are (your character) and something you do (your skills and competence). In addition, I believe the best model for leadership is that of a servant leader, who leads by serving the needs of people. A servant leader doesn’t do others job for them, but rather enables others to learn and make progress toward mutual goals. When a leader creates an environment for personal growth, people rise to their potential and beyond." (Ken Melrose Chairman and CEO of The Toro Company   a Fortune 500 Company)

"People who soar are those who refuse to sit back, sigh and wish things would change. They neither complain of their lot nor passively dream of some distant ship coming in. Rather, they visualise in their minds that they are not quitters; they will not allow life's circumstances to push them down and hold them under." (Charles Swindoll)

Saturday, 21 November 1998

".... the old rules of traditional, hierarchical, high-external-control, top-down management .... aren’t working any longer. They are being replaced by a new form of control that the chaos theory people call the ‘strange-attractor’ - a sense of vision that people are drawn to, and united in, that enables them to be driven by inner motivation toward achieving a common purpose. This has changed the role of manager from one who has driven results and motivation from the outside into one who is a servant-leader - one who seeks to drawout, inspire and develop the best and the highest within people from the inside out. The leader does this by engaging the entire team or organisation in a process that creates a shared vision that inspires each to stretch and reach deeper within themselves and to use their unique talents in whatever way is necessary to independently and interdependently achieve that shared vision...."  (Stephen R Covey, author of the best selling Seven Habits of Effective People, published by Simon & Schuster, 1990)

"Vision without action is a day dream; Action without vision is a nightmare."  (Japanese Proverb)

Saturday, 14 November 1998

"A correct opinion is of no use to the world if it is held with such moderation that its holder never does anything about it. The perfectly clear headed man may be like Paul Valery's Monsieur Teste, who could see no sufficient argument against complete inaction. All the same, passionate feelings about opinions (as opposed to facts) do tend to signify irrationality in proportion to their strength. We need to hold opinions with sufficient certainty to act on them; but this is different from passionately defending a belief against all comers..." (Stuart Chase in the Proper Study of Mankind, Harper & Brothers, New York 1956)

Saturday, 7 November 1998

"Can an organisation intentionally shape itself into a movement? One of the first things required in movements is spirit-lifting leadership, leadership that enables, enriches, holds an organisation accountable, and in the end lets go.

Also high on the list of requirements is competence. I would expect a movement to be highly participatory, but I would also expect people there to realise that participation and representation are no substitute for simple competence. When I think of competence, I mean competence in relationships as well as technical competence, for poor relationships sabotage even the most competent persons. Success in our job requires technical competence. Success as human beings requires competence in relationships.

A movement requires a high sense of creativity. In some places of realised potential, creativity becomes a moral issue: it is the means through which we protect the human environment. In others it becomes a process of discovery to bring about necessary change." - Max De Pree

"What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight - it is the size of the fight in the dog." - Dwight D Eisenhower

Saturday 31 October 1998

"When I was a young man, I wanted to change the World. I found it difficult to change the World, so I tried to change my nation. When I found that I couldn't change the nation, I began to focus on my town. I couldn't change the town and as an older man, I tried to change my family. Now as an old man I realise the only thing I can change is myself, and suddenly I realise that if long ago I had changed myself, I could have made an impact on my family. My family and I could have had an impact on our town. Their impact could have changed the nation and I could indeed have changed the World." - (An unknown Monk 1100 AD)

Saturday 17 October 1998

What we can learn from Geese -

Fact No:1 As each bird flaps its wings, it creates an uplift draft for the bird following. By flying in a "V" formation, the whole flock adds a greater flying range than if one bird flew alone.

Lesson No:1: People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and more easily because they are travelling on the strength of one another.

Fact No.2: Whenever a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to fly alone and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front.

Lesson No.2: If we have as much sense as geese, we will stay in formation and be willing to accept help when we need it and give help when it is needed.

Fact No.3: When the lead goose gets tired, it rotates back into the formation, and another goose flies in the point position.

Lesson No.3: Geese instinctively share the task of leadership and do not resent the leader

Fact No.4: The geese in formation honk from behind to encourage those up in front to keep up their speed.

Lesson No.4: We need to make sure our honking from behind is encouraging and not something else.

Fact No.5: When a goose gets sick, is wounded or shot down, two geese drop out of formation and follow it down to earth to help and protect it. They stay with their disabled companion until it is able to fly again or dies. They then launch out on their own or with another formation or catch up with the flock.

Lesson No.5: If we have as much sense as geese, we, too, will stand by one another in difficult times and help the one who has dropped out to regain his place in the formation.

- Contributed by a Tamil visitor to the website from Washington, U.S.A.

1 October 1998

" Vision has become one of the most overused - and least understood - words in the language.The word vision conjures up all kinds of images. We think of outstanding achievement. We think of deeply held values that bond people in a society together.We think of audacious, exhilarating goals that galvanise people. We think of something eternal - the underlying reasons for an organisation's existence. We think of something that reaches inside us and pulls out our best efforts.We think of the dreams of what we want to be. And therein lies a problem.All of us know vision is important, but what exactly is it?"

"A well-conceived vision consists of two major components - core ideology and an envisioned future. A good vision builds on the interplay between these complimentary yin-and-yang forces: it defines 'what we stand for and why we exist' that does not change (the core ideology) and sets forth 'what we aspire to become, to achieve, to create' that will require significant change and progress to attain (the envisioned future)

To pursue the vision means to create organisational and strategic alignment to preserve the core ideology and stimulate progress toward the envisioned future. Alignment brings the vision to life, translating it from good intentions to concrete reality...

....Instead of being oppressed by the 'Tyranny of the OR', highly visionary companies (and organisations)  liberate themselves with the 'Genius of the AND' - the ability to embrace both extremes of a number of dimensions at the same time. Instead of choosing between A OR B, they figure out a way to have both A AND B.

We are not talking about balance here. 'Balance' implies going to midpoint, fifty-fifty, half and half. A visionary company doesn't seek balance between short term and long term, for example. It seeks to do very well in the short term and very well in the long term. A visionary company doesn't balance between idealism and profitability; it seeks to be highly idealistic and highly profitable. A visionary company doesn't simply balance between preserving a tightly held core ideology and stimulating vigorous change and movement; it does both to an extreme. In short, a highly visionary company doesn't want to blend yin and yang into a grey indistinguishable circle that is neither highly yin nor highly yang; it aims to be distinctly yin and distinctly yang - both at the same time, all the time.

Irrational ? Perhaps. Rare? Yes. Difficult? Absolutely. But as F.Scott Fitzgerald points out ' The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.' This is exactly what the visionary companies are able to do." ( Built to Last : Successful Habits of Visionary Companies  by James C. Collins, Jerry I. Porras)

1 September 1998

" Trust grows when people see leaders translate their personal integrity into organisational fidelity. At the heart of fidelity lies truth telling and promise keeping. In organisations truth is not, as some like to think, power. Truth sets us free. Truth gathers no adjectives. We know that truth's nakedness leads us either toward trust or away from it. Truth is the gift of liberty and clears the ground for trust. Without truth, trust becomes overshadowed and stunted by the undergrowth of partial lies and outright falsehoods.

The moral purpose of our organisations and of our personal commitments is the soil in which trust can take roots and grow... Our character and experience and beliefs allow trust to mature. Like values, moral purpose needs to be an open book in organisations seeking their potential. It needs to expressed and debated and repeated." (Max De Pree in Leading Without Power : Finding Hope in Serving Community - where he concludes that the most successful organisations of the information age will operate not as a controlled collection of human resources but as dynamic communities of free people)

1 August 1998

வெறும் சொற்கள்
இவைக்கு இத்தனை வலிமையா?

கொந்தளிக்கும் உணர்ச்சிகள்
கொதிக்கின்ற குருதி

வெறும் சொற்கள்
இவைக்கு இத்தனை வலிமையா?

பத்திரிக்கை விற்க வேண்டும
(மக்கள்) பரபரப்பாய்ப் படிக்க வேண்டும்
பொறுமை இழக்க வேண்டும
பொங்கி எழ வேண்டும
போர்க்கோலம் பூள வேண்டும

கடுஞ்சொல் வீச வேண்டும்
கல்லை எறிய வேண்டும
கொடிதான் பிடிக்க வேண்டும
கொந்தளித்து எழ வேண்டும

வெறும் சொற்கள்
இவைக்கு இத்தனை வலிமையா?

கருத்துச் சந்தையிலே
கற்பை விற்பவர்கள்
கொள்கைக் குழப்பத்திலே
கொள்ளிமீன் பிடிப்பார்கள

கருத்தை வடிகட்டு
கசட்டைத் தூற எறி
கண்ணியம் இழக்காதே
கயவனாய் மாறாதே

வெறும் சொற்கள்
இவைக்கு இத்தனை வலிமையா?
- (மணி மு. மணிவண்ணன்
·ப்ரிமான்ட், கலி·போர்னியா, அ.கூ.நா.

Mani M. Manivannan- California, USA)


1 July 1998

"Every dispute has a history; we have been sending messages to them and they have been sending messages to us, even if only by silence or by a professed refusal to negotiate. Positions have been staked out. Proposals have been made and rejected. One thing we know for sure: if the conflict is continuing, whatever we have been saying and doing so far has not worked. It has not produced the result we want, or we would have turned our attention to other matters by now..." 

- (Beyond Machiavelli - Roger Fisher, Elizabeth Kopelman & Andrea Kupfer Schnieder, Harvard University Press, 1994)

1 June 1998

krishnan.gif (16328 bytes)
- (A Reflection from Krishnan, Singapore)

10 May 1998 - Launch Date of tamilnation Website

"Don't aim at success - the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one's personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by product of one's surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long run - in the long run, I say! - success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think of it."

- (Victor E. Frankl, internationally renowned psychiatrist who endured years of unspeakable horror in Nazi death camps, writing  in 'Man's Search for Ultimate Meaning', a book which has been described by Gordon W.Allport, formerly a professor of psychology at Harvard University as 'an introduction to the most significant psychological movement of our day'. At the core of Dr.Frankl's theory is the belief that man's primary motivational force is his search for meaning.

From a review of the book from a reader from Washington, DC , March 16, 1998  - Applying Meaning to Life -

"When my little brother died of AIDS at the age of 29, one of the nurses at the hospice recommended this book. I had not heard of it and when she tried to explain it to me, it didn't sound like it was for me. Fortunately, I picked up a copy anyway. I read it and I'm glad I did. I never felt so alive as I did just after my little brother died. I never appreciated the gulf between the living and the dead until I was helping the hospice staff prepare my brother's body for the undertaker's arrival. And without reading Man's Search for Meaning, I could have missed one way to understand the purpose of that gulf; the reasons why some die and others live. Frankl's story of his Holocaust experience is reason enough for reading the book and if he stopped there, this book would still be worth reading. It is Frankl's creation of logotherapy, the task of applying meaning to life, that makes the author so important. You cannot read this book without changing some aspect of yourself, probably for the better. It is an adventure, much needed and perhaps too short, for anyone facing their own or someone else's death. In the time since my brother's death and my first reading of this book, I have been diagnosed with a complicated, chronic illness which has caused me to make considerable changes to the way I live my life. Viktor Frankl's book continues to help in the transition I'm undertaking. My search for meaning continues, even as the expression of that meaning must necessarily change.")


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