Friday, 14 March 2014

Vol 16: Un-positive stories of inspiration

Hello again, my friend.
This is the most unusual Positivity Weekly till date. This volume covers stories that, at first and second glance, seem absolutely un-positive. It’s in the re-reading and re-analyzing that we see the spark of inspiration within. Take for instance the gruesome world of child trafficking. Can a few stories of liberation alter our mindset? Well, decide for yourself. Also, how can a father’s protest of the R-word (read: RETARDED) lead to anything positive? That’s for you to read and discover. My personal favourite is the one about the schizophrenic woman. Her story is likely rattle you.
Why this change in tone? Well, just to remind ourselves that life offers more than marshmallows and cotton candy. Our newsletter usually deals with smooth joy and evident beauty.
But in this issue, we will learn to see the innate beauty in cacti.

News from the public domain

Triumphing against sex trafficking
7 stories collected over 2 decades. Trust the New York Times to carry such a feature. Read it here.
Do you often “tard”?
If you have watched the superbly imagined sitcom named Scrubs, you will need no introduction to John C McGinley.  For those unaware of Scrubs, John is a veteran actor. He did a role in Wall Street and continues to act till date. And he is as famous for his fabulous acting as for the fact that his son has Down’s Syndrome. So he wrote this article, all by himself, describing the agony of the word “retarded”. The article is rather abstract in patches, but the message and its importance comes through. Please spend a few minutes to read through it. People with special needs are all around you. And sometimes, they appear so normal, it’s scary.
Reading this article might help you help such people.
Most astounding fact of the universe
What are the quintessential ingredients of Life itself? That’s a question of connectivity. Of relevance. Of wanting to belong to the biggest picture in the universe. Well, good news. You do belong. That’s the message of this video.
The first kiss
Let me lighten the mood just a bit with a story about the first kiss.
The first attempt at intimacy between a romantic couple is the first kiss. The first kiss doesn’t tell you where the relationship is going, but it might indicate where the relationship is stationed in the present moment.
So what happens when total strangers are asked to kiss… for the camera? I would like to describe this video as Sweet Amazing Coalescence!
Nuremberg prosecutor offers a humane solution 
This man is the only surviving prosecutor of the Nuremberg trials. He has looked Nazis in the eye and demanded justice from them and the courtroom. He sounds a tad pessimistic about the present, but is quite upbeat about the future. This story belongs here just like the ones above.
That fetid air
Elyn Saks is a person suffering from schizophrenia who has somehow overcome the gravitational pull of her mental illness.
The rainbow of mental illnesses is seldom explored by mainstream society. Fortunate millions go through Life without having to investigate the challenging colours therein. I, for one, have had to deal with it in many ways. My father has Alzheimer’s, I have covered stories on mental health as a journalist, I’ve started counselling children with special needs and I am acutely aware of my own run-of-the-mill neuroses. Not to mention the fact that certain relationships have made me wonder how people can even believe in the existence of normalcy!
It is due to this acceptance of alternate realities that I find intense beauty in this superb TED talk. In it, Saks makes a passionate plea to not use force as a mode of treatment. Yet, she thinks that her devils are so powerful that her angels might have already fled.
Do you see struggle or liberation in this video? You see what you want to, I guess.
P.S: Watch out for the insanely humorous moment at the beginning of the twelfth minute.

In conclusion

Did this volume disappoint you? Or were you alright with the offbeat approach? I’d love to know your views. Do write in, as usual, to

To read the previous volume of Positivity Weekly, please click here.

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