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My Notes 19-12-2015

The outlines given here are only suggestive in nature. There are many ways of writing a good essay.

Section A

1. Analysis: Lending hands means helping. Dole means – simply giving money.

ð helping the person to earn for himself, rather than giving money

ð “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."

ð Training is important. Empower the other.

ð Discourage dependence, encourage self-growth.

ð If he is helpless, what might be problem? How he might overcome? What did he need to do? What prevents him for growing? Analysis of the problem important.

ð Read about women SHGs? How with little outside help, they became entrepreneurs.

ð Mohammad Yunus gave loans to beggars and helped them to leaving begging career. Of course he took time.

[I am choosing Yunus work because I am familiar. You choose something you are familiar with.]

ð Doles kill self-respect. Don’t kill.

ð Give him self-respect? How? Create conditions by which he can earn.

ð May mean more active help, not less.

2. Analysis: ‘slow and steady wins the race’ was old proverb. ‘Slow and steady’ now substituted with ‘quick but steady’. Is it a better proverb?

ð Story of tortoise and hare: hare was too confident, arrogant, though it could run fast, it slept and lost the race. Tortoise could not run fast, it is its nature, but sure of its mission, direction, kept going and going. And going. So it won.

ð ‘Slow AND steady’ really means ‘steady though slow’.

ð Means ‘steady despite slow’

ð ‘Clear, confident though by nature not more capable’

ð Victory of clarity over any innate, biological advantage

ð Think of a new story: hare 1 and hare 2 were competing. One hare was arrogant of victory and so it slept. Another hare ran without sleeping and won the race. Is it a better story than the original? Surely not.

ð Now leave the proverbs.

ð Nothing of importance is achieved overnight. Only through effort. Over a long time. Many failures in the meantime. Through ridicule. But sense of purpose gives direction to life’s journey.

ð Have clarity of purpose. Don’t seek instant results.

ð Is this a wrong attitude? Should we not be quick as we are steady?

ð Not really. As you are steady, as you are focussed, as you are not distracted, as you are not tempted, your journey will have its own natural speed.

ð It might be ‘quick’, without you realizing it!

3. Analysis: if leader has false values, then the institution he is leading will have them. If he has good values, higher standards, so will the institution be.

ð A lot true. People within institution emulate him. He rewards and punishes certain people for certain things. So people will have his values, so institution will have his character.

ð For example, Homi Bhabha and TIFR. The standards of excellence, spirit of inquiry, dedication to work, cooperative spirit, freedom from bureaucratic methods… Without Bhabha, TIFR could not be what it was.

ð But leaders are not permanent. Institutions are. People come and go. So how can institutions be great even when they are not led by great people?

ð Set of procedures. Clarity of values. Of goals. Of means. What it can do to pursue to reach its goals. What it should never. A code to govern. This the founders should set.

ð Great leaders think of what happens to institutions after they are gone.

ð Institution is great when it retains its greatness even when it is being led by lesser mortals.

4. Analysis: [This is a quote by C. S. Lewis, a British novelist. But one need not know this to write a good essay.] What does clever devil mean? Means evil done more cunningly. Education without values can make man more cunning, more destructive.

ð Education now mostly on teaching skills for livelihood or ability to master some information.

ð Exams measure the skills or the mastery over information.

ð Purpose of all this to have more money or power

ð Nothing on oneself, or insight into one’s own sources of happiness

ð Nor on how one should relate to others

ð People go in different ways, get into conflict, use power/money to settle conflict

ð Different education possible that gives clarity of purpose/ends, takes skills/ information as the means

ð That education accepts life as the book. Conflict as a lesson. All with the end of happiness – of oneself and of people around.

ð This will change man’s orientation to social/political problems. Through understanding. Through higher principles. Rather than through power.

ð With such education, given this science & technology, far better societies can be created.

Note: I am happy to say our Ethics & Essay course enables the students to write all these questions, not just one of the questions. We covered

· What is education

· On leaders

· Purpose/direction of life

· Yunus/ SHGs

We did so through covering various thinkers on Ethics!



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