Dr. Ali Khwaja
When a person undergoes a major trauma, there is a tendency to think that he is the only individual who is suffering, while everyone else is very happy. One looks around and sees people apparently enjoying, succeeding and getting the best of everything. Watching others superficially increases one’s sense of isolation and despondency. Slowly a sense of “Why me?” starts building up, and a person may go into isolation, disconnect from others, at times take up a victim-role and even suffer from depression. Pent-up anger against the world for targeting him or her leads to more loneliness, and the suffering may continue for a very long time.
One of the proven ways to overcome and heal the trauma is to connect to others who have had similar experiences. When we meet others who are either suffering, or have overcome their pain and moved on, we realize that we are not alone, and we also become aware that we need to be proactive and work towards the healing, not be stuck in the past.
Self-help groups go a long way in promoting this concept. Behind closed doors, where everyone is sailing in the same boat, a lot of sharing takes place at a deep level, and individuals learn from each other’s experiences and methodologies. There is also a sense of belonging which takes away the loneliness and isolation. In Western countries self-help groups exist and thrive on all aspects of human issues. There is a need to do the same in India too.
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Aab has watched gossip flourishing and proliferating over the centuries. But with the coming of social media, gossip no longer requires going and meeting someone in quiet corners or making individual secret phone calls. Hence he watches with amusement people sitting back with their ‘smart’-phones happily lapping up everything that keeps getting forwarded to them.
Earlier people used to give up their decision making powers to the government, gurus, family elders or wise and experienced people. Now they are giving up to unknown and untested sources of people with vested interest. And politicians, ‘influencers’, religious fanatics are all taking advantage.
Aab is not educated (and he is thankful for it), but he has learnt enough to know that every human being has a brain with thinking power. Not only that, there are logical and intuitive parts of the brain balancing each other which can be used to think holistically. He knows the joys and fulfillment of having independent thinking, of believing only what is reliable, and forming one’s own opinions, even if no one else agrees. Some people do nod their heads when he conveys this – but they promptly go back to the temptations of social media gossip. Aab just smiles.
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