Channelize Anger in a Positive Way

 

With the clock ticking fast the only way to make a mark in this world is through positive

aggression. The population is increasing by leaps and bounds. Competition is getting tougher

too. The only way to survive in this scenario is to ensure that you focus on your positive energy.

Aggression can make us destructive and even mean. Some of us have worse tempers than

others, but in any case, if anger is not managed properly, it can become a huge problem.

Some of the ways to channelize anger are:

People may go to watch Shows and Rock or other performances to use it as a positive way to

vent out their aggression in a supportive space.

Getting your aggression out physically through running or some other kind of exercise or

workout is very effective.

Music and art are great outlets for expressing and ridding yourself of harbored negative

emotions. Go for it. Meditation and thinking about the consequences of aggression also helps.

It’s important to teach the art of self-control. Children need to be taught not to kick or hit

whenever they feel like it. It is here that child needs parent’s guidance to develop the ability to

keep his feelings under control and think about his/her actions before acting on impulse.

The best way to control anger is to count from 1 to 10.And it actually works.

 

“Never respond to an angry person with a fiery comeback, even if he deserves it….Don’t allow his

anger to become your anger.”

 

Sarita Saklani / Science Educator / Samsara School

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The Failures of ‘Too Big to Fail’

The phrase “Too Big to Fail” first found its way into common financial lingo at the time of the 2008 financial crisis. Initially, the term referred to all those corporations that required the support of the government because their sheer size meant that if they collapsed the impact on the economy would be disastrous. Now, used as a throwaway term to describe any financial institution that imposes its obnoxious presence on the economy, it highlights a systemic flaw in the way we view large banks. Over the years, big banks have leveraged this status in order to get away with some of the most nauseating crimes in white collar history.

 

The British banking behemoth, HSBC (Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation) has become the poster child of white-collar crime after it laundered approximately $900 million for Mexican drug cartels and processed transactions for many countries facing US sanctions including Sudan, Iran and Cuba. The “World’s Local Bank” came to be known as the official banking destination for drug lords and terrorists alike. According to a 2018 Congressional Research Service report, since 2006 about 1,50,000 homicides in Mexico were related to organised crime. Every dollar laundered by HSBC was instrumental in claiming the lives of innocent people in Mexico. In every essence, HSBC was funding murder.

 

HSBC had for long been looking to expand its operations in Mexico and hence they merged with Banco Bital, a bank with considerable Mexican presence especially in drug production areas like Sinaloa. HSBC made a conscious decision to overlook a multitude of suspicious transactions and the dodgy banking culture of Banco Bital. The result was the inflow of thousands of dollars of questionable money into the legal banking system.

 

In 2010, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) of the United States issued a 31-page order mandating several changes in HSBC’s banking procedure. The document painted a condemning image of a bank unable and unwilling to police itself and its clients. In order to save face and prevent intervention from the authorities, HSBC hired a bunch of people whom they called ‘Anti Money Laundering Compliance Officers’. However, these measures were as phoney as the legality of their transactions. In actuality, HSBC hired this herd of employees to basically sit at cubicles and clear the large backlog of alerts that the system would generate each time a rule was broken.

 

Investigations by the US Senate began once authorities got wind of the shameless negligence with which HSBC was conducting business despite prior warnings. Internal documents that emerged during these investigations revealed that several high ranking HSBC executives knew exactly what was going on. If there was a case in which you could indict a bank for money laundering then this was it. However, to the surprise of many, a deal was worked out. Under this settlement, HSBC and HSBC Bank USA were granted a deferred prosecution agreement and were required to pay a fine of $2 billion dollars. Under such deals, the government agrees to defer or forgo prosecution if the organization agrees to change its behaviour. This leads us to ask that if the Sinaloa Cartel had promised to change its behaviour, would the American Government have granted it a deferred prosecution agreement also?

 

On paper, the fine seems a mammoth amount however it accounts for not more than 5 weeks of profit for HSBC, an institution that by its own admission was the preferred banking destination for drug cartels. This supposedly huge fine was a matter of speeding ticket for them. Ultimately, no arrests were made despite decades of dealings with drug lords and terrorists. To add to that in a statement released by HSBC as a part of their deferred prosecution agreement, it admitted to the fact that HSBC group knowingly and willfully engaged in conduct and practices outside the USA which caused HSBC bank and other financial institutions in the United States to process payments in violation of US sanctions. Even the admission of guilt did not prove to be a reason enough for US Justice Department to take an action upon HSBC.

 

The case had adequate charges and commensurate evidences to indict HSBC but with  2008 financial crisis still fresh in the minds of Americans, Justice Department didn’t want to take the risk of potentially causing an economic calamity by indicting a bank that was too big to fail. CBS News called ‘It a case that had everything, everything except an arrest’

 

In the same year as HSBC avoided indictment, over 90,000 individuals were sentenced to imprisonment on account of drug offences in the USA while on the other hand, in 2017 the US Justice Department announced its plans to dismiss all charges against HSBC. In America, the chances of going to jail if you’re caught with an ounce of cocaine are extremely high but apparently if you launder billions of dollars of drug money you’re let off scot-free. HSBC is just one of the many examples that show the damage that can be inflicted by allowing an institution to become so large to the point that prosecuting even the individuals in them is not an option.

 

This pattern, however, had emerged long before HSBC started laundering money. At the cusp of the 2008 Financial Crisis banks offered, as investments, what they called Collateralized Debt Obligations. Banks would bundle debt such as auto loans or mortgages in a security which was essentially a package of pooled assets. Value of these CDOs would be derived from the promised repayment of these loans i.e, debt obligations hence making them collateralized. During the housing boom, CDOs were sold like hotcakes in the financial markets as mortgages were generally exposed to a very low risk of default. These financial tools created an insatiable demand for mortgages. However, the fact of the matter was that there were only so many potential homeowners with good credit. Fueled by greed, banks now started to give out high risk loans to borrowers with bad credit scores, also called subprime lending. Subprime lending was accompanied by the fact that traditional insurance companies also started insuring these securities. This meant that a lot of people were betting money on the ability of risky borrowers to pay back their large loans.  With falling real estate prices, defaulting owners had no incentive to pay off dues for their houses that they could no longer sell. When the inevitable financial crisis happened and people started defaulting on their loans the value of these CDOs dropped drastically. The insurance companies that had insured these derivatives did not have the cash flow to back their commitments. Banks went into a frenzy when they learnt that they would have to absorb the losses. Share prices dropped faster than ever before. Wall Street was left in shambles.

 

Often the financial jargon of the Great Recession distracts us from the primary cause of the economic collapse – greed. The corporate greed of large banks and their executives who had no sense of accountability and chased profits blindly is what led to the loss of 5.5 million American jobs, $3.4 trillion in real estate wealth from July 2008 to March 2009 and $7.4 trillion dollars in stock wealth in the same period. With the exception of the Lehman Brothers, almost all other banks received a hefty bailout package which cost every US household $2050 on average. While we agree that the failure of such large institutions would’ve prolonged the crisis, the fact that only one Wall Street executive was prosecuted is in our opinion, deplorable.

 

In the wake of the Financial Crisis, it seems not a week has gone by without a global bank being fined for unethical behaviour. By the end of 2016, the costs associated with these fine settlements for some sixteen large banks amounted to more than $320 billion. At first glance, one would think that big banks are finally beginning to pay for their crimes. However, these deals are very carefully structured in order to ensure minimum hindrance to the bank’s operations due to their systemic importance. For these banks, no fine is large enough and in essence they have been granted immunity from (and by) the justice system. It is a possibility that if these banks weren’t sheltered by the American government they would’ve been a lot more careful about who they were lending to thereby circumventing the crisis altogether.

 

At present, the RBI has included three Indian banks including SBI, HDFC and scandal-ridden ICICI Bank on its “too big to fail” list. These Systemically Important Banks or SIBs are subject to stricter norms and requirements as mandated by the RBI. Despite ICICI having been given the status of a domestic systemically important bank, the CBI and SEBI had launched enquiries into the involvement of Chanda Kochhar, former Managing Director and CEO of ICICI bank in a nepotism scandal. In June of 2018, Kochhar went on a “planned leave” and further stepped down from her post. This just goes to show that no matter how important a bank might be to a country’s financial system it is never too large to be held accountable. Nevertheless, Kochhar’s exit came at a time when tensions were already building in the Indian banking sector due to a torrent of consecutive banking scams.

 

In the aftermath of the PNB-Nirav Modi scam, the government infused in the bank approximately 20 billion rupees to keep it from failing. PNB might not be on RBI’s “too big to fail” list nevertheless its irresponsible behaviour has been subsidized by the government. By protecting these lenders from market discipline we are incentivising risky and in some cases illegal behaviour. By setting this precedent, the government has made risky behaviour the new rational behaviour and now banks have all the reason to lend recklessly and chase profits blindly. If this pattern persists then these banks will continue to divert money away more deserving industries which in turn will have chronic effects on the economy.

 

Failure is indeed necessary in a free market and financial sector should be no exception to this principle. When an institution fails a more successful firm can purchase the former’s good assets thereby releasing them from the clutches of incompetent management and thereby increasing market efficiency. What we suggest is a two-pronged strategy to re-establish credibility in the financial sector.

 

Let banks fear the possibility of failure and their executives the possibility of jail time. Another alternative to the “too big to fail” doctrine could be to break up large banks into smaller entities as soon as their impact on the national economy reaches gargantuan levels. Apart from these strategies, we also believe that bringing back the provision of a bail-in instead of a bail-out could provide a partial solution, despite it being a controversial idea at the time of its introduction. If depositors believe that their money could be at risk they will choose to lend to those banks that make sustainable decisions. Merely fining banks will only deplete the entity’s capital and reduce its margins temporarily. It will not change the culture of exploitation that rings within an organisation which has become too big to fail and as a result too big to jail.

  Shreya Roy /      Sri Ram College of Commerce                                                                           Manan Surana /   Sri Ram College of Commerce

                                                

                                                      

                                                                             

Problem Solving Skill – a powerful tool for science education

For a decade now, our team of educators have been bracing for the radical shifts in pedagogical methods, assessments and ‘out-of-the-box’ ways to exposure, alongside the routine academics. We all, endeavour to adopt the best classroom techniques when it comes to imparting lessons and buckle up the curriculums. Most of the time, we do attain the aim of passing knowledge to the futurists; but today I am specifically referring to the path makers of nature, universe and technology – our science students.

Having said that, do we really let curiosities, scientific attitudes and thinking skills form the first foundation brick of our children?! Worth a (many) thought(s)…

Making the students go by the ‘problem solving method’ is the best way to develop their scientific attitude. One of such implementations in Samsara’s chemistry lab, dawned onto me that students would grown up to be self-reliant only if we allow them to find solutions of the problems they face and learn to shoulder the responsibility.

We know, but often fail to work the simplest ways to reach our goals of learning. How good it would be if we bring into focus the need of hands-on activities, experimentation and the like. Equipping students with the magnificent tool of ‘Problem Solving’ is THE way to empower them in finding their own way.

Yes!! Let me tell you more about it.
Once, two of my students ran into a blank-wall during a practical exam, with some salt stuck in their funnel. Like a practice they approached me for helping them out; I rather decided to go offbeat, and very diplomatically asked them to sort it out themselves; allowing them to use the available reagents in the lab. I didn’t disappear from the scene totally but kept close watch on them. They both went about using a needle to trying to dissolve the salt with water; while the success was made with their last attempt of trying an acid, making the salt and anxieties melt down simultaneously.

The Big Bang revelation for them took place in a simple school lab; and happiness on their faces stamped their first self-earned win.

When questioned about the whole process their words inferred the properties of salt but to me my students now knew- ‘nothing is impossible and failure is just the first step in the path of success’. It reminds me of the wisest words ever said for any scientific research, “If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?!” by Albert Einstein.

Sweta Singh | Ex-Science Educator | Samsara School

Edited by: Namrata Gupta | Blogger | Samsara School

Go Places With Spirituality

We are bound by our human conditions so much so that we make ourselves believe nothing can be done, even before the good fight starts.

Yes, ‘The Good Fight’ which is not even close to running away from this world or the demons that work in your mind, rather make friends with them; just never get dictated by them.

To fight the bad, we need to know it first. The subtlety can be understood when we prepare to embrace ourselves wholly and spiritually. ‘Sometimes’ would not be apt to say as we are most often in such critical situations that every possible path is diluted as a deadlock, and we keep on looking for more and more options (read external patch up solutions). 

As I said, we are accustomed to silent our inner voice and choices and think-say aloud our dependence on the things and people of this world, which ironically are not capacitated enough instead, bound by the material world conditionings. 

We only have to look inside for everything that we want to know. But there’s a process.

Like all our learnings and knowledge have come through books, educators and our real life experiences, so is the need in life for a mentor, guide, master; the one who can take you higher on a spiritual platform, a raised altitude from material notions and concepts.

BELIEF – in the existence of oneself, one’s soul – is your only Qualification.

I was fortunate enough to get the guidance from my mentor- instating and reinstating my Faith and Hope in life. In this fortunate wheel of life, the vicissitudes that come along are more often than not leave us scarred and in solitude. And the one that gives us the qualm of a lifetime is the fear of losing our loved ones. When this unrecoverable loss hit me; it blew off my world; not at once though, one after the other.

The ordeal began with the tragic demise of my mother, and whilst I trudged through the phase, a few years later, it was my father’s turn to leave behind the family name to his children. Death wanted more and fed on one of my brothers. It didn’t stop here, yet again I was bared with one more human loss, the untimely death of my second brother, which still haunts me a lot. Being the youngest in my family my eyes saw many deathbeds questioning the whole universe round-the-clock – “why did this happen with me??”.

Bringing me to light were the words from my mentor –

“Although to us someone’s death may be difficult to understand and accept, from the deceased standpoint one’s death is part of their eternal life. Ultimately everything comes down to our faith. If we wish to live a life that is free of fear, doubt of anxiety it is essential that we understand two vital aspects of life. (1) The dignity of life (2) The eternity of life.”

So, with this answer I am continuing my journey through faith, practice, study and always remind myself what my Mentor says – Suffer what there is to suffer; enjoy what there is to enjoy. But never be defeated in any situation. Gradually, like the light emerges through darkness, my journey of peace emerged through the land of fear, doubt and anxiety. Of late, I lost one of my uncles (my father’s real brother) but this time I faced the situation more courageously and calmly.

I don’t know if my story can inspire anyone or even if it’s meant to, but if I succeed in changing one life by making it perceive a higher platform that every human being is entitled to, my purpose of life would agree with me. Never let yourself forget that happiness and all the magical secrets lie within us only. All we need is to believe in ourselves and discover them with an optimistic approach which will surely saturate our personality with ray of hope, zeal, courage and motivation to face life at any troublesome circumstance with smile and calmness. I will round off  with- ‘No matter what happens, the important thing is to continue with your faith. If you do so you will definitely become happy, or atleast be satisfied with your decisions. Even if things don’t get solved the way you’d initially hoped or imagined, when you’ll look back after the moment has passed, you will understand on a more profound level how it was meant to be, in your best interest and subtlety in the language of universe’.

Embrace your power to heal, fight the odds and live life !!

Reema Sharma | Educator | Samsara School

Edited by: Namrata Gupta | Blogger | Samsara School

Student-Teacher Relationship

The most important factor governing a student’s learning is dependant on the relationship he shares with his teacher(s).

Gone are the days of “spare the rod and spoil the child“. Today, teachers, better known as ‘facilitators‘, are making students aspire to be better graduates, better working professionals and even better individuals.

A teacher is faced with many daunting tasks. She needs to put herself in the shoes of her students in order to understand them well, and quickly get a feel of their hang-ups. Taking up this profession means taking up responsibility of many young, unexposed children. It requires devoted listening ears and a compassionate heart to her students.

Empathy is an indispensable quality for all teachers to possess. Besides IQ, it is very important for teachers to understand every student’s EQ (Emotional Quotient) as well.

That’s how the beautiful relationship of a mentor and a mentee is nurtured. The ‘growing up‘ phase is one dilemma for the students, when they usually fall back on their peers for advice.

Mistakes committed at this age can at times prove to be scarring. Since a child spends a majority of his time at school, it is more likely that his teachers would be in a better position to influence his decisions, after his friends.

Those blessed with facilitators who can guide them correctly, should consider themselves lucky. According to a survey done in the United States, a teacher-student relationship has been identified as a significant influence on the overall school and behavioural adjustment. Positive teacher-student relationships, defined as “warm, close, communicative” are linked to behavioural competence and better school adjustment. Other researchers found that conflict in teacher-student relationships are related to unfavourable outcomes such as a negative school attitude, school avoidance and hostile aggression among students.

A healthy student-teacher relationship is a vehicle that contributes to optimum student learning; a relationship that becomes a motivator for those involved in the learning experience.

Sunayana Gupta | Sr. Academic Coordinator | Samsara School

Celebrating Women | The Most Creative Creatures of Nature

A full circle of ethics, ocean of patience, sacrifice, forgiveness and mercy; born with the prowess to create, nurture and transform. That’s a #Woman!

People talk about women empowerment, making them stronger.

I say, look deeper they were born strong and already are the most powerful. Undeniably women have always shouldered more responsibilities than men. From being a doting mother, a perfect home-maker, an ambitious corporate achiever to an inspiring symbol of work-home-life balance.

Historically, women in India have been considered an embodiment of Goddess Durga, birth of a girl child is believed to mark the arrival of Lakshmi- The Goddess of wealth and riches. They are the whole-so bearers of life, begetting values, ethics, knowledge, emotions and all that moulds a new born into a human. With the most powerful appearances they make in life and the ferocious roles they take up to voice out the unfair, they can literally send chills run down your spine.

Undebatably, this cant be a fort upheld by someone weak. The only thing that needs a shift is in the mindsets of the Society and the way they perceive strength.

Besides, Indian women also play entrepreneurial roles in cities and contribute significantly to agricultural activities, handicrafts, village art and crafts. SBI Chief Arundhati Bhattacharya, ICICI bank head Chanda Kochhar, Biocon founder Kiran Mazumdar- Shaw and HT Media Chair Shobhana Bhartia are among the world’s 100 most powerful women, according to the Forbes’ annual list , and clearly not even close to the idea of weak or dependent.

There are millions of other women in India and worldwide who are marking their paths with modern ideologies and breaking the cliche rule of ‘women can’t have opinions’.

Contradictorily, discrimination against women is reflected in recurrent incidences of rape, acid attack, dowry & honor killings, forced prostitution, female foeticide etc. Women continue to suffer from kitchen to keyboard. This is a real picture of our so called male dominant society, to put it more aptly worst mentality dominant society.

Gender discrimination  is a parasite that hampers the development of a nation. Living in a nation where women statistically constitute almost half the population, putting them aside with labels of weak and non-equal won’t ever lead to a fully grown, developed or flourishing country. It’s the prevalent ignorant minds of few blinding all, and at times even trying to influence the wiser lot. Like they say ‘A rotten apple will spoil a great many sound ones’.

The oodles of strength a home-maker constitutes in this country is un-defying and unmatchable. So, why shall there even arise a need to prove as a woman, for being a woman. Neither should be the need to prove the superiority of either over the other, as that’s exactly what we are fighting for, equality of men and women. See no one as less or more, only each one equally worthy of respect.

Stop demeaning and judging women based on their basic choice of working out (a job) or working in (homes). Being a home maker or in a cabin at a MNC, is too trivial a criteria to gauge a woman’s strength. They are the thoughts, the ideas, the visions of a woman, the fire in each one that defines her. Not whether she earns & how much, rather how driven is she to give the future a better set of individuals, working towards more peace driven society than wars, making this world more civilized than promoting the ongoing jungle approach.

The fruitive mentality of the society to enjoy women, that all give room to, is what needs to be given up. This is what making us weak, not what nature made while creating women.

Much more needs to be done. The under-representation of women and the attitudinal bias against women is reflected in several areas of employment as well, say in the police, the judiciary and the law, etc. The fixing of this downcast requires focused intervention targeting education, training, child & health care, nutrition, employment, social welfare services, support and legal safeguards are the most vital, calling us all for action.

Start with the ground work, target the roots and work on the first and foremost- AWARENESS. Self-awareness and that of your rights.

Know why you need to respect and love yourself before anyone else. God didn’t make you by fluke. He had his best ideas while creating you, you are flawless and you were meant to be this way. Don’t try to change, embrace yourself fully and then you’d know what it means to be a woman.

Awareness, Not Ignorance Builds Confidence!

Its not a very fortunate situation to stand and ask for your rights. There never should have arise the need of demanding them. But we did, a lot of us did, putting our positions at stake, compromising and accepting the wrongs we opened doors to exploitation. Remember, we get exploited when we let others do it, accepting and not voicing out the wrong make us a part of the injustice done. It’s a chain that needs to be broken. We let it all happen, and now, we have to stop!

Put your educational academic degrees to use, bring your knowledge gained through the years, into picture and have your well-read and traveled experiences and insights open up your minds. It’s contagious, you breed it, you pass on and the chain gets longer, wider, broader and stronger.

Affirmative actions in areas such as education, health and welfare to overcome entrenched discrimination caused by gender bias, denial of opportunities at work and apprehensions about not getting a fair deal, are all the clock is ticking for.

You need to rise, to give a hand to others. You need to know your rights first, to generate awareness in others and train them for economic development. Gender specific policies with emphasis on activities and resources beneficial to women would definitely help in providing greater opportunities and leaving smaller rooms for unfair practices against women.

Don’t focus on bringing about the change in the outside world without cleaning within. Work towards bringing about a radical change at home as well, where it all starts. Teach your sons to respect women, impart lessons of humanity and not encourage suppression and shutting down the voices of women. Devise atmospheres that let equality brand the personalities of all.

You are a woman, Be One! In full spectrum. Stop feeding your minds with anything or anyone that makes you feel less. Forgiveness is not the weapon of weak, but accepting unjust is.

Don’t exploit nor be at the reach of someone’s exploitative hands. This world is as much yours as of anyone else’s. Life will come at a halt if your existence is halted. Respect thy self, grow out of what you perceive as flaws as that’s the real you with no error in your human design and keep this world going. We are the life makers, we are The Chosen Ones.

It’s about celebrating womanhood, so salute the epitome of dynamism and the symbol of human strength on this International Women’s Day!!

Smita Singh | Admin | Samsara School

Edited by: Namrata Gupta | Blogger | Samsara School

 

 

 

 

Connecting School life to Real life

Core Skills journey started for most of us in October 2015. The two days session on development of (Critical Thinking) and (Problem Solving) skills through connecting classrooms, had been an exciting roller coaster ride. When I registered for the workshop, I had no idea that some day I would come so far in achieving this objective of imparting these skills to my students.

The training session by the British Council opened our minds to exploring new possibilities and pedagogy for class room teaching. The perception, questioning and group discussions were some of the tools that I used to direct students to the objective of teaching Critical Thinking and Problem Solving.

I decided to take the plunge into this challenge after doing my research. I had discussions with Parents, teachers and learners. We reached a conclusion that once these students pass out of school, they need to be assets to the society. These assets should be able to critically analyse any given issue and reach workable solutions to the unforeseen ones.

I decided to teach (attitude and tolerance) in Value Education class and I integrated it with another lesson in English in which protagonist fails to achieve his goals because of his negative and condescending attitude.

And, lo and behold…my students did me proud when they were not only receptive to questions and participative in group discussions, but also emerged with very viable and practical solutions and suggestions.

What more, they all volunteered to take up leadership roles bringing into play healthy discussions and reaching to decisions on various issues, with their friends, families, neighbours and school mates. The change reciprocated in their turned-up attitude and perception towards other people and experiences, putting them on the broader platform of tolerance and civilization.

I left the class with a smile on my face and hope in my heart. My class 9 rocks!

Capt. Praveen Roy | Principal | Samsara School