31 March 2014

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FORGIVENESS IS A POSITIVE AGEING STRATEGY

There are two dimensions of forgiveness :

1.Giving forgiveness and
2. Seeking forgiveness.

The question is what is forgiveness ? and what is its place in different religions ?

Forgiveness is associated with spiritual and emotional healing. It is essential to spirituality and prerequisite to salvation. Importance of forgiveness has been emphasized  in all the world religions. In other words it is an essential aspect of all the world religions.

“ Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other. ( Ephesians 4:2) is an essential aspect of Christianity.

Islam also teaches that God is Al-Ghaffur "The All-Forgiving", and is the original source of all forgiveness. Forgiveness can come either directly from Allah, or from one's fellow man who received the wrong. In the case of divine forgiveness, the asking for divine forgiveness via repentance is important. In the case of human forgiveness, it is important to both forgive, and to be forgiven. Forgiveness often requires the repentance of those being forgiven depending on the type of wrong committed by the wrong doer.

According to Hinduism individual is responsible for one’s own life and the pain in others. Performing Prayaschit for one’s wrongdoing and asking for forgiveness is very much a part of the practice of Hinduism. Forgiveness is one of the characteristics of one born for a divine state ((Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 16, verse 3).

In Jainism, forgiveness is one of the main virtues that need to be cultivated by the Jains.  Kṣamāpanā or supreme forgiveness forms part of one of the ten characteristics of dharma. In their daily prayers and samayika, Jains recite Iryavahi sutra seeking forgiveness from all creatures while involved in routine activities.

In Buddhism, forgiveness is seen as a practice to prevent harmful thoughts from causing havoc on one’s mental well-being.[18] Buddhism recognizes that feelings of hatred and ill-will leave a lasting effect on our mind karma. Instead, Buddhism encourages the cultivation of thoughts that leave a wholesome effect. "In contemplating the law of karma, we realize that it is not a matter of seeking revenge but of practicing mettā and forgiveness, for the victimizer is, truly, the most unfortunate of all”.

Practice forgiveness

Mere reading about forgiveness one cannot change oneself. You will have to practice accordingly. When you are forgiving someone for his/her wrong doing then you are empathizing or identifying yourself with the person.

A kind hearted person can only forgive others. Kindness, compassion, mercy, sympathy all are the expression of forgiveness.

Forgiveness works as glue that binds people together and exonerates
 Personal differences. Whenever you want to repair your broken relationships with your relatives, family members, friends and colleagues, who have offended you at some point of time, employ the strategy of forgiveness.

It helps in seeking of happiness

If you want to be happy practice forgiveness. Both seeking and giving of forgiveness will make you happy. It is essential for the person who wants to live in harmony.

In the present socio-economic situation everybody is running after money, engaged in competitiveness and selfish interests.  In competitive situation person is busy in winning over others or his group. Competition causes the do and dies feeling or attitude- or winner or loser mind set.
This is the main reason of mental disturbance, depression and unhappiness.

24 October 2012

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POSITIVE AGEING : FIND MEANING IN OLD AGE.. contd

Affirmative mind set is essential for positive agers. Elderly who mature as they age develop qualities like insight, astuteness, common sense, shrewdness, wisdom and sagacity. Ageing does not necessarily ensure maturity. People who made the most contributions in their own development and the development of others have acquired capacities through maturation. Maturation in old age involves applying existing qualities and skills to address challenges or age related declines.Such elderly persons become better over time at addressing the issues of life. By way of learning new things or adapting to functional losses they refine themselves.

To meet the age related declines it is suggested that elderly should develop following characteristics :
  1. Mobilize all possible resources
  2. Make affirmative life choices
  3. Cultivate flexibility
  4. Focus on positives

25 September 2012

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POSITIVE AGEING : FIND MEANING IN OLD AGE

Generally elderly people raise a question-“how long will I live” ? The right question which one should raise is – “ if I am going to live such a long time, how can I be happy in the process “?

The common worries of elderly are- “I am losing my health”, “ I am losing the ability to take care of myself”. In late life person’s health declines, he loses youthful looks, feels functional loss and becomes physically vulnerable. There arises a gap between what he aspires to do and what he is able to do.

There are specific consequences of age related declines ,such as, memory impairment ( it can create a fear of loss of meaning as you get older), physical disability etc. Age related decline is different from decline due to disease. Age related decline occurs gradually in stages such as, dy-function, disability, dependency and death. The pathway through these four stages of ageing is unavoidable. The decline will affect you and influence your life satisfaction and well-being. This process of decline is termed as frailty which is not connected to illness and disease. Being frail means you are declining, it does not mean that you are weak or unhealthy.

When you are old society expects you to act according to your age. They have negative attitude about old age and aged. The negative attitude towards elderly ( ageism) will affect elderly what he does and how he feels about his ageing experiences.

03 September 2012

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SELF-CENTEREDNESS: BARRIER TO POSITIVE AGEING

Self-centeredness or self-absorption in old age is a complex phenomenon. It is a maladaptive quality related to coping and subjective well being in the last phase of life. The person having self-absorption style of life fails to develop other focused qualities, (which are the signs of wisdom) in old age. Such persons have difficult time in experiencing positive ageing.

Self-centeredness has many forms. Self-absorbed person focuses on him or herself and give priority to the meeting of personal needs, desires, appetites and preferences. They do not give importance to the needs of others (even to their family members or care givers). Self-focus may be of two forms-(a) I am special and (b) something is wrong with me. These two forms interact with the ageing process. The elderly thinks-“I am special because I am old” and should be cared first. When he says that “something is wrong with me”, he is of the view that due to my vulnerability to disease and disability I should be given priority.

30 August 2012

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WORRY: BARRIER TO POSITIVE AGEING`

Worry is a mental pre-occupation. It is always not bad. Sometimes it works as a motivation or may help in making a potentially reasonable strategy to deal with stressful life situation. In other words, it helps an individual in the preparation for dealing with a future challenge or a threat. In this sense worry can be adaptive. It is true that an elderly may have real life event about which to worry. For example, the cause of worry may be one’s poor health, worry about the sickness of family member or death of a close relative, financial insecurity, changes in one’s own functional independence and dying. When an elderly adopts some strategy to overcome that situation then his worry is adaptive.

On the other hand, worry may consume your time and energy if it goes on excessively on the issues or things that are not worth worrying about. Such a situation is a negative psychological barrier effecting positive ageing. Excess worry over trivial issues will have depressive effects on your mental and physical health.

Person who has developed worrying life style become over sensitive about smallest things. The person may develop physical illness or physical aches and pains which may result in narrowing focus on life challenges even when it is not possible to do much about them.

What can you do ?