My thoughts and experiences about the nuances and hazards of dealing with money

Of all the factors that has divided and fragmented society, money has risen to top that list. Now money is not the same as wealth. It is commonly said that someone is wealthy and prosperous. Wealthy denotes someone who possesses wealth but there is no similar word to someone who possesses money. It is never mentioned as rich and prosperous and there is a reason to it. Wealth adds value to our lives in many different forms and that is how we become prosperous. Money only helps us to buy things and every one of those things are perishable. This is why money does not add value to our lives which in turn never makes our lives prosperous.

Back in 2008 when it was supposedly my “peak age” for marriage, my parents wanted me to buy an apartment in Bangalore where I was working at that time. I was aghast. There was no point in buying an apartment under the assumption that my marriage was going to happen. Then there was the demon of the housing loan to reckon with. I am bemused by how people queue up to take housing loans to buy apartments and houses, especially in burgeoning cities like Bangalore and in exhausted cities like Mumbai. Now let’s say I take up a housing loan for 20 years. I am effectively committing myself to paying back the EMIs every month without a break for 20 years. And how can I be so sure that I am going to be alive and healthy for the next 20 years? The funny part is, people look to reducing the monthly EMI amount by extending loan repayment period. Banks are all the more happy because they know they will end up getting back more money. The sinister thought behind it is, the longer the repayment period, the less likely it is of a proper full repayment which means when borrowers default, banks can easily take over the properties. The ideal way of repayment is to pay almost double of monthly EMIs and close the loan as quickly as possible. The advantage here is, even if we default on payments for a few months, banks will not proceed with any sort of action. But the catch here is, if we try to close off a loan faster, we have to pay some extra money as penalty on foreclosure. This is the best indicator that banks are more interested in what the borrowers have given as security to the bank than the money they have lent.

In cities, parking space for cars are available only in apartment buildings. This means to own a car, we need an apartment that costs may be 5-10 times or even more that of the car. This is how money lures us in into it’s honey trap. The education system trains us to become employees in the corporate world. Then everything that is associated with money takes over our lives. Then social status comes into the picture and social status rises when we start “owning” things. This perception pushes our needs to ridiculously high levels. Own a house, own a car, the list goes on and we embark on our Sindbad journey in the pursuit of more and more money, with little realization that we are being turned into money churning machines. We are simply working hard and enslaving ourselves to the banks to hold on to the things we have bought with money. Add to this the fact that everything we have bought is perishable and may need to be replaced anytime means even more money required.

Money never makes us prosperous because it does not allow us to add value to our lives and without adding value to our own lives, we cannot add value to other’s lives. How Antilla, the mansion of India’s business tycoon Anil Ambani stands out in the extremely crowded and tough living conditions of Mumbai is the shining example. Prosperity reflects on us only when our surroundings are also prosperous. Money keeps us locked to the extent that we actually stop noticing the value of everything else in the world. I was deep in my search for employment in 2013 after completing my MBA when my dad went down with a cardiac arrest. Because he is physically very strong, the experience did not shake him even though he had reached the brink of death. But taking the advice of reducing salt intake too seriously, he literally stopped taking salt. After a few days I noticed strange changes in his mannerism and behavior. On a Sunday evening I insisted and dragged the doctor into the hospital for dad’s check up and that was when we found out that his sodium level was fast declining and he would have had possibly gone into a coma in the next couple of days.

Now what if I had been employed at that time? First of all I would have had been working in a city away from my parents. My mom would have had never noticed the changes I saw in dad. He would have had most likely ended up in coma and I would have had spent almost all the money I was earning on his treatment and my travel. It was a massive learning curve. My keen sense and better understanding of human anatomy made sure I did not have to spend money when I was not earning. If there is a way to earn money there will always be ways to spend the money as well. We can never hold on to money. In a place like India with ever rising inflation and decreasing value of money, the concept of “owning” a house, having a “decent” bank balance and living a “retired” life has taken the biggest hit. We have evolved into a situation similar to that of animals and birds in the wild. They have to seek out their food each and every day regardless of all difficult situations or they will die. If they stop trying they will die. We have also reached that critical state where we have to find ways to earn money till we die. Ironically, as per the Bible, when the “Gods” created us, we were created as beings that were meant to lord over the animals and not live like them.

Now here is what I have learnt through these experiences. First of all, we need to find our balance with nature again. No living being has the ability to destroy nature for it’s own needs except us. We cannot cut the same branch of the tree we are sitting on. The branch will take us on it’s way down. More money is alarmingly proportionate to more destruction of nature now. Bangalore’s geography is dotted with numerous lakes. Almost all the small lakes have been covered up for construction and many of the bigger lakes are being openly used to drain human waste. Then people keep complaining about lack of drinking water. Why? Bangalore has been taken over by the migrant community from all over India who come in search of jobs in the IT industry. Now these people are in Bangalore to make a living and have no time to understand and solve environmental issues of the city. The result is, as per reports, Bangalore is set to become the first unlivable city in India very soon. When we make nature unstable for our needs, nature will take course corrective action to bring back it’s stability and the consequences can be disastrous as we found out with the recent floods in Kerala. More people move into cities like Bangalore every year, creating more need for living spaces and water further depleting the city’s already stretched and dwindling natural resources. We have to stop our war with nature because we can never win it and will only lead to our own destruction.

It is funny how so much is spoken about finding work-life balance without any proper understanding of it. We wake up in the morning at a particular time so that we can finish n number of chores and activities and leave for work at a particular time so that we can reach our work place at a particular time. In the night, we sleep at a particular time so that we can wake up at a particular time next morning. So essentially when we become corporate employees, the corporate takes possession of our lives and time. Our entire 24 hours gets sucked up into our jobs and we get paid only for 8 hours. The balance we need to find is not in work and life but in our need for money. If we learn to find contentment in what we have and look at our needs sensibly, our need for money will decrease considerably. This, in turn, will free our time and energy and help us to focus on creating value in our lives. IT industry in India is notorious for the fact that as employees gain more experience their value decreases. Plenty of IT professionals have become stagnant in their jobs or have lost jobs and are not able to find employment again because they simply do not know anything else to do and did not consider learning and mastering new skills.

It no longer makes sense to “own” anything. This has given rise to business opportunities like renting cars, bikes and even household items. The amount we spend on renting a house or apartment will invariably match up to the amount we spend on maintaining our own. Back in 2008, a colleague in the Netherlands was refusing to own a car because of traffic and parking space issues. Our population has only increased in 10 years. From owning a house the challenge has shifted to living in a decent neighborhood with the availability of drinking water and proximity to essential outlets and services. But paramount now is to not get stuck in a single source of income. Develop skills that would open up potential opportunities for several streams of money. Chasing money should be just like how our body reduces fat when we start working out. Our body instinctively knows how much fat we need based on our daily requirements and burns only what it understands is excess fat. Similarly, if we have a fine understanding of how to simplify our life, we will automatically seek only the money we need to live that life.

I never chase money because money destroys human values and relationships and maroons us in our own little islands. Money clouds our judgement and makes us take wrong decisions. I make sure not to judge anyone in terms of money. It only takes an hour of madness in the stock market for a millionaire to become a pauper. Not having to focus on the money I was earning was what helped me focus on my dad and save him. I seek skill development, self improvement and building good relationships with people. Money, wealth, prosperity, everything will come but there is one question that always keeps bothering me. When all of it comes, will I be ready to use it in the best possible ways? This is what keeps me on my toes and always alert to every potential opportunity. Understanding the nuances of money and it’s potential hazards is the only way to not get enslaved to it.

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Critical thinking – the worst anti-social activity

Couple of days back, I was watching Prakash Raj, a very well known Indian actor on TV expressing his views in a conclave conducted by a news channel. He was taking on every question, openly criticizing the current political scenario in India and putting the blame squarely on the shoulders of the PM and the President of the political party he belongs to. He is someone who is well entrenched and seasoned in his profession, has contacts wherever it matters and has a prosperous life, so he may have sounded arrogant to many. But then he explained why he is taking such a stand. A well known journalist and a good friend of his was murdered in cold blood last year and supporters of the ruling party were exploding crackers and distributing sweets to celebrate her killing which neither the PM nor any other party leader condemned. He just couldn’t take it and is letting out the rage that has been seething inside him.

The scourge of any establishment and what scares establishments the most is critical thinking. In one of my previous jobs a long time back, my team leader used to constantly tell the team that the work we were doing could be done by someone with just high school level knowledge. It used to feel like he was underwhelming us but he was right. We were just following set procedures and we were not required to wrack our brains to solve problems. We were not required to invent anything new. Simply put, no critical thinking was required. If we look at it closely, the entire corporate, political and religious spectrum works on the same principle. In the corporate, it’s just do the work as you are told to do, take your salary and go home. In politics, vote for one of those people who have been put before you and that’s it. In religion, read, listen and follow what’s written in religious texts.

If we look at all the greatest inventors in history, relatively very little is known about them other than about their inventions and their work. This is because the way they think is a complete mismatch to how the society works. Their behavior and lifestyle has never been considered as normal as per society standards and they were always treated as outcasts during their lifetimes. This is because critical thinking has always been the biggest enemy to the norms of society. Gautam Buddha had to renounce his kingdom and regal life because he understood that only critical thinking can make this world better. But he had to live his life outside the walls of the society. Jesus Christ tried to be a critical thinker within the society and we all know what his fate became. This is how society has always treated critical thinkers. Either keep them out and limit their sphere of influence and if that doesn’t work, eliminate them.

Religious and political establishments have realized long back that critical thinkers are their mortal enemies. When do people start doing critical thinking? When they are content with their profession, earn enough to live a prosperous life and most importantly have access to information and they fully know and understand what is going on around them and in the world. Deny all of these to people and they will struggle to manage their lives and take care of their families which will give them little time to seek out and understand what is happening in the world. First the concept of wealth was introduced, then financial institutions came along and introduced the concept of money. The Renaissance gave rise to industries and jobs and money got linked to jobs as salaries. Thus began our continuous struggle to eke out a living and seek out the elusive prosperity that always seem to be out of our reach. The establishments are also fearful of education which is why rural people in countries like India continue to have less access to schools and colleges and very little practical know how and true knowledge of the world is included in the education curriculum.

The establishments have also ensured that people who can do critical thinking are subjugated to them thereby effectively neutralizing them. A simple example of this is wealthy and distinguished people of the society flocking the establishments of God men. Once they are all brought together under one umbrella, none would dare to go against the establishment. This is also how we find plenty of well educated people being part of and supporting political parties. All of this would explain why the political establishment in India is riled and up in arms against Arvind Kejriwal and his party. He is well educated, had a prominent government job and has a pedigree in social service. That is why when he launched a political party, the entire system went into shock. When the system tried to take him down, he found a way to win elections and become a Chief Minister. What he talks about and the work he has been doing has been clearly highlighting and differentiating what elected representatives have been doing for the people for so long and what elected representatives should be doing. Solving existing problems in society is another huge setback for the establishments. If there are no problems, what is there for the leaders to highlight and talk about? They have no vision for the society and people, they are only concerned about taking care of the needs of the establishments. This problem exists in the corporate world as well.

In his bid to create new and innovative ways of governance, Arvind Kejriwal has been forced to go against the establishments and that is why all of them have ganged up against him. He has made himself a threat to their survival and existence. Similar is the case with Prakash Raj. These people have risen above all influences of the establishments and cannot be subjugated. They cannot be allowed to flourish within the realm of the society. In a Malayalam movie called Red Wine, there is a character who was a students leader in college and fights against the corporate trying to usurp tribal land. The head of the company says he belongs to the firebrand category who will not sway under any influences and can never be subjugated so he has to be eliminated.

Critical thinkers continue to be the bane of the establishments. LinkedIn has introduced a concept called Influencers. These are mostly leaders from the corporate world. Hundreds and even thousands of people follow them. People have to understand that everyone is capable of having their own views and opinions from their experiences in life and do not necessarily have to follow anyone. Until this enlightenment happens, we will all be under the slavery of the establishments and will continue living the miserable lives we have become accustomed to.

 

 

Nature’s insights for the millennium life

There is a very good reason why we are causing mayhem in the world. We no longer feel the need to fit into the realm of nature. Two things are happening as we continue to evolve away from nature. We are no longer understanding and learning from nature and we are losing our survival instincts. The problem with this is, we are still part of nature’s ecosystem and though we have built our own Matrix, our roots are still buried in nature. What we are not realizing is that if interpreted correctly, there are reasons and solutions in nature for everything we experience in our modern urban lives.

Consider this. Traditional martial art forms such as Kung-Fu evolved from the observation of movements of animals such as snakes, monkeys, tigers and cranes. But as our society evolved past the Renaissance we stopped observing and learning from nature. Aren’t we bored and tired of our monotonous 5 day weeks in the corporate world? Then head out to a lake or a water body where there are Cormorants, Darters or Terns and observe them fishing. 50-75% of the times they dive into the water, they come up with nothing. When they do catch a fish, half the time the fish slips out and escapes. How many times do they need to keep repeating the dives to find enough food to satiate their hunger each and every day? There are no weekends in nature. What if they thought this is boring and monotonous? What if they said we had enough and we are not doing this anymore? They would perish in hunger, as simple as that. And people complain about not getting jobs and talk about retirement. There is no complaining and retirement in nature. Just one rule exists out there: Try till you die and die when you quit.

There is something very fascinating in nature we don’t reflect upon. Why is it so difficult to spot animals in the wild? It is because of the prey-predator relationship. A successful catch of a prey depends on who sees or senses who first. What we see as beauty in nature is actually camouflage, to hide or distract, be it from the prey or the predators. Everything in nature is trying to hide itself from one another all the time. Lions are colour blind to the stripes of zebras so when zebras run together, lions do not get any visual sense of what is happening before them. But they still hunt down zebras. How? Because they have heightened levels of their other senses. What does this come down to? Nature always pushes the boundaries of every being in her ecosystem. Nothing comes easy. Every being has to be at the top of it’s game all the time to stay alive and procreate for it’s species to survive. The primordial force of nature keeps pushing the limits of everything within it and this is what propels evolution; every animal tries to evolve continuously to be a dominant species in nature.

How does all of this translate into our lives? For wildlife photographers they have to stay ahead of all these hide and seek games in nature to get great pictures. There are 3 aspects to getting great wildlife photographs: spotting the subject, anticipation and hand-eye coordination. Take this to Agile methodology, the management practice that has taken over almost all industries. Whenever I hear or think about Agile, what comes first to my mind is the image of a tiger. Agile methodology is not just about doing things faster. Why is Agile predominantly a product based methodology? Because it is essentially about spotting those little opportunities in the market, anticipating which way market conditions could swing, what customers might need and getting the products out into the market accordingly. This is exactly how tigers or any predators hunt in the wild. Be it in nature’s jungle or concrete jungle, success has the same underlying roots. The change management principle of focusing on small wins, consolidating them and targeting bigger goals is a lesson that comes right from nature.

What has changed about us is that we evolved into beings of a complex cooperative society and what has got affected the most because of this transformation is our surviving skills. A support system gets built around every individual from where we get help whenever we are in need. The size of the support system depends on our needs and what we can give to the society. Social media networks are all examples of such systems. This highly interconnected way of living reduces our need for surviving skills and this I believe has been the biggest liability of becoming intelligent beings. Our needs have grown exponentially which in turn has raised the bar of our desires. With our waning surviving skills, when life becomes difficult, we become frustrated and start feeling helpless, turn to Gods and eventually to superstition. No other being in nature believes in getting help from a higher power to succeed. Every animal believes in it’s own skills and abilities to survive. This is why in highly competitive market conditions, mere skills and abilities do not take us far; it is our contacts in the favours based society that help us to get ahead.

But there is an anomaly here. Less surviving skills should ideally make us less competitive but the reverse is happening. Urban life has become a mighty arena for wealth based competition. We are vying to buy bigger and more expensive houses, cars, gadgets and an infinite number of assortments. This is an endless pit and once we fall into it, we spend our entire lives chasing more wealth to keep buying newer and supposedly better things. Think iPhone and all it’s die hard fans who literally live in queues for days outside Apple’s stores to buy new versions. Our status quo in society built around wealth mandates that we keep chasing wealth all the time. Business is thriving with marketing strategies fine tuned to exploit this wealth based competition to the hilt. But wealth is a commodity and acquiring wealth is not a skill; it is all about exploiting the needs of our fellow beings. A great example is the real estate industry. Buy land for lower cost and sell for higher price based on demand. All business models are built around understanding and exploiting people’s needs, going to the extent of creating new needs if they do not exist, something which Apple epitomizes. Is there anything in our society that keeps egging us on to become better human beings? Nothing. This means we are not evolving and we have stagnated. Technology has only made us dependent on it and has not helped us become better beings.

Nature develops 3 critical aspects in every being for survival: Patience, Perseverance and Resilience.  Nature teaches us to keep scouting for every opportunity, keep doing the same things relentlessly till we succeed and to keep moving ahead in the face of every adversity. Nature teaches us to appreciate every moment of our lives. We take time for granted, ours as well as that of everyone else’s. In nature, a lapse in moment is what stands between life and death. Nature sharpens our skills and abilities continuously and keeps us ready to face the next challenges. We need all of these, even to live in the bubble we have created for ourselves. But we have made ourselves lethargic enough to choose the easy way out every time. No schools or universities can teach us nature’s lessons. In the extremely competitive world we live in, we need our fundamentals firmly in place. Only the eternal Mother can make us evolve into better beings.

 

Is this the rise of Hindu fascism?

There is a super hit Bollywood movie that was released a few years back in which the entire story of the movie is shown as being narrated by one of the protagonists. He is born into a Muslim family and moments after his birth, he is shown lying in the cradle and wailing while his father and relatives are all around him. At that moment, his father decides that he is going to be an engineer when he grows up. From the moment I was born, I started belonging to a certain religion, caste and sub caste. I am supposed to go to temples, marry a Hindu woman and there is an endless list of things that associates me to the religion and it is this association that connects me to the society. Seems I was safer in my mother’s womb. How I wish all of us are able to communicate with one another from the time we are in our respective mother’s wombs.

The society we live in is fraught with divisions and divided mindsets. Divisions based on religions, caste, color, we just keep inventing new ways to create new divides. Money or wealth has been a major dividing factor for thousands of years but we have managed to create innovative divides with that as well. If it was the affluent, upper middle class, middle class, lower middle class and below poverty line in the 20th century, the divide is becoming broader as haves and have-nots in the 21st century. The problem is actually not with the divides or boundaries but the conflicts they are triggering. Be it with religion, caste, color or money, one-upmanship creeps in everywhere. We are craving for domination, even among our own kind. The biggest business tycoon in India built the biggest house in the country right in the middle of one of the poorest slums in the most thriving city. Is this because being the most intelligent beings on the planet, our domination over other species is complete but our need to dominate isn’t subsiding? Is this why it is mentioned that the Gods forbade knowledge and intelligence to be passed on to us?

These divides are at work, at every moment of our lives. When those 7 Hindu pilgrims were killed on their way to a renowned Himalayan temple, fingers quickly turned to Muslims. Why? Is it because it happened in a region where Muslim population is in dominance? There is a separatist movement going on in the region and the attack on pilgrims has been attributed as an act of terror by the separatists. It is universally accepted that anyone who indulges in acts of terror does not have any association with any religion because all religions forbid violence and taking lives of fellow beings. All Muslims visit Mecca so they understand the importance of visiting a holy shrine, regardless of religion. I do not and will never believe that a true Muslim would have ordered an attack on the pilgrims. Every act of terrorism has political and/or religious reasons behind them. People’s lives are sacrificed and gets termed as collateral damage to further the wicked and vicious agenda. Terrorism is subjugation and domination through violence and it cannot survive without motive and adequate support.

There is something unique about India that everyone needs to remember at all times. When Christianity and Islam spread to other parts of the world, they were adopted by either nomads with no religion or by nature worshipers. But when these religions came to India, they were adopted by Hindus who were already part of a religious and social structure. Hindus chose to break away from both to welcome and adopt new ideas. Every culture in the world has been welcomed with open arms in India. They have all integrated into Indian society and this has given rise to India’s spectacular religious tolerance and diversity. So when certain Hindus start hate mongering and spewing venom against other religions in the name of protecting Hinduism, let them remember that there are no aliens in India. In the tree of religious tolerance and diversity, all of us have roots in nature worship, the trunk is made of Hinduism and branches are of different religions.

If what is happening now is the rise of Hindu fascism in the name of creating a Hindu exclusive country (Hindu Rashtra) , it is never going to succeed. During the partition of India in 1947, even when a separate country was carved out for Muslims, not all Muslims in India migrated to Pakistan. Many chose to stay back and they were protected from being massacred or forcefully migrated by none other than Hindus. Social media is rife with attempts to divide people in the name of language and geography. Every state in India has it’s own language, culture, food, clothes and even in the way how people look. We all exist together as a country by choice, not by force. There is simply no point in trying to divide the people into north and south Indians. Hindi is the most popular language of the country rather than being the national language and people learn to speak Hindi by choice and circumstances not by coercion. No attempts to change the food habits of people by force is going to succeed. There is a reason why Indians do not rise up in protest together. Through thousands of years, we have endured so much violence, we decided to adapt to changes and become tolerant rather than become resistant. But we did stand up together, when the head of colonialism turned ugly. The intolerance towards divides in the society is growing and if pushed to the tipping point, it won’t be long before the next struggle for freedom begins.

The heroes amongst us

The other day, I was watching a movie in which the male and female protagonists meet, fall in love, get killed and are born again. The male protagonist is born as an immigrant worker, as a thug and then as a gaming software professional. It was a crazy movie with over the top emotional scenes and I watched it only for a while, but it set my mind into thinking about one thing. Our never ending search for out of ordinary personalities and our need to glorify them. 

Humanity’s history is littered with whom we call as heroes, people who have braved the odds and succeeded in their quests. If people of ancient times became heroes by slaying demons and dragons, unearthing wealth and by putting their lives on the line in gladiator arenas, today’s heroes are sport stars, rock stars and movie celebrities whom we drool over. But the thread that connects all of these people have remained intact through the ages. Our need to idolise and glorify some amongst us has remained undimmed with time. But the people we make our heroes are quite controversial.

 People who have fought and defeated evil, vanquished villians and chased away the bad guys. The movies we make are a simple reflection of this. But the fact is, we have also idolised those people who raped and slaughtered millions of fellow beings. We speak of Alexander and Genghis Khan with admiration. We even admire Achilles who as the legend says owed his alliegance to no one and fought wars at his own wish. Now we make movies out of their stories and glorify them even further. We book the tickets in advance to watch these movies and the producers of the movies make millions and even billions of dollars. Fast and Furious movie franchise is a great example. Even though we all know most parts of the movies in the franchise are made through advanced computer graphics, we still throng to watch them to see Vin Diesel and Paul Walker defy all impossible odds including gravity itself to pull through unimaginable stunts. 300 is another movie that comes to mind. Blood and gore all the way, but Leonidas and Xerxes are admired as powerful kings even now. When Greece won the Euro 2004 Soccer championship, their style of playing was compared to the tactics of Greek and Spartan armies during their heydays.

So what are we talking about here? Do we admire and glorify people who challenge the existing norms of society? Does that mean we throw our weight behind the underdogs? No. We have always sided with the ones who have had more power and more power has always come with more influence and control over people. We have owed our alliegance to the ones whom we have empowered and we have let them rule our minds and bodies. I have never been able to wrap my brain around the fact that black skinned people in Africa allowed white skinned people to control their minds so much as to enslave them. But what disturbs me more than anything else is that we admire and look up to people who have amassed wealth. Bill Gates might be a well known philanthropist but what is the first thing we remember and talk about him? Microsoft and Windows. What does that translate into? Revenue. Ditto with Steve Jobs. Apple and it’s unbelievable horde of profit. Warren Buffet is admired as the best investor and what does that translate into? Money. In an ever expanding capitalist ecomony around the world, money is fragmented in such a way that some have most and the rest have few or nothing. The objective is to maintain the world this way so that everything can be bought with money, even the choice of the people to elect the representatives to govern them.
This leads to one simple question. Who are our real heroes? The ones who show us how to make money? The ones who have money and shows us how to live their snazzy lifestyle? Well, these are the two categories of people who are always in the limelight now. What about someone like Narayanan Krishnan who is devoting his life to care for every destitute he comes across? I have never come across anyone who learnt to cut hair for the sole purpose of cutting hair of street dwellers he cares for. What about Johan Eliasch, the Swedish millionaire who bought 400,000 acres of Amazon forest land just for preserving the forest? We make heroes and Gods out of everyone we could find, including politicians and film stars. Why have we left people like these out? The only logical reason I could find is, these people are spending money and have no lust for power which completely contradicts the expected behavior of the ones we idolise. 
I have wondered for long why Indians have so many Gods. When I understood about Lord Rama, Krishna and many more, I saw the connection. They embodied strong personal characteristics like patience, perseverance, focus, conviction, self belief and most importantly, the courage to stand up to what was right, not only to them, but for the greater good of beings around them. This is why they came amongst us, to teach us these virtues and these virtues are what we need to seek when we pray to them. All true leaders only expect us to learn their virtues and rise to a higher consciousness where we can coexist with our fellow beings and with Mother Nature. None of them have wanted us to glorify them. Jesus did not create Christianity and Buddha did not create Buddhism. They saw that all of us are heroes in our own ways and all they tried to do was to make us enlightened with this knowledge and show us how to reach there. But unfortunately, we are stuck too deep in the world of wealth and the seven sins to see their true message. When all of us find the heroes within ourselves will be the time all sufferings will end on our planet.