Musings for a responsible society




Amidst the dark and grey shades increasingly engulfing, invading and piercing deeper and deeper, let me try to enjoy the little smiles, genuine greens, and the gentle breeze. Oh! Creator! If you don't exist, my life...in vain!
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20181229

The Argumentative Human and the Peace of Mind



Image: Papermasters.com 

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I prefer early morning Eucharist on Sundays. There is less traffic and need not struggle for a parking space. There is no overwhelming acoustics and intimidating high pitched hymns by an enthusiastic choir which make even the celebrant a minor participant (like how the videographers take the control of the couple at the wedding). Those who come for early morning mass are the early risers and that definitely do not include young couples with babies who get restless after a few minutes of initial excitement seeing the lights, swinging of the thurible and the emerging smell of the incense. So, there is less distraction!  Another attraction for those flocking early morning is the sermons that are short (whereas the homilies in the day masses may have disproportionate socio-economic-political-financial ingredients).

I do get a chance to do the ‘Reading’ occasionally as there won’t be too many alter boys competing for it early in the morning. Today, I got the opportunity to read to the congregation and the content was apt as the new year, just a day ahead. St Paul wrote: “In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use. Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work. Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.  Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels.  And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.”

Yes! Our discussions in the name of politics, religion etc. sometimes go overboard both in social media and during face-to-face chats. We enter into foolish arguments. We also enter into arguments with fools! Both can only lead to avoidable strife. Scriptures of all religions advocate peace and harmony. But, people become communal, ethnocentric and intolerant in the name of God and God-men.  Can 2019 be free of (or have less of) unworthy and unproductive arguments? May be that would be good for our peace, happiness and mental health!

“Your opponent's wrong doesn't automatically make you right. Most fights aren't about who's right; they are contention over degrees of wrongness.”
― Richelle E. Goodrich, ‘Making Wishes’  (Quote from Goodreads)

 © Sibichen K Mathew  (Views are personal)

20181228

To feast or To fast?

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Johnny! Johnny!
Yes, Papa?
Eating sugar?
No Papa,
Telling lies?
No Papa,
Open your mouth,
Ha! Ha! Ha!
(Image: TripAdvisor)

Both humans and animals, eat to live and live to eat. But the privileged women and men carry a large amount of guilt for eating the stuff they liked the most. There is always a dilemma what to eat. (See my earlier article, “Tell me what to eat?” and click the links given there to know the dangers attributed to every kind of food!).

Following article is not about feasting, but about fasting!

Fasting was integral to many religious denominations. Most religions prescribe fasting as an important form of worship. Jains fast many days and sometimes months. Most Muslims fast  during the days in the month of Ramadan. Fasting on specific days in a week is very common among many Hindus. Several Christians observe lent before Easter and Christmas, which is not fasting as such, but avoiding non vegetarian diet. But they do fast on specific days. 

Mr Prashant Jain, a middle aged young professional told me that he does not eat any food after sun set. He also fast for many days continuously without even drinking water. Indian Prime Minister Narendra  Modi fasts continuously for 9 days during the festival of Navratri. There are many who fast occasionally especially after heavy indulgences during festivals.

Dr Jason Fung (the author of the book ‘The Obesity Code’) in his recent book “The Diabetes Code” talks about the health benefits of intermittent fasting. He suggests three things to prevent or reverse diabetes: 1) Get rid of sugar, 2) Burn-off the sugar in the body through exercise, and 3) Intermittent fasting. First two are well known strategies and third one worth exploring and experimenting.

According to him, as long as feeding is balanced with fasting, no overall fat is gained. He promises that, with intensive dietary management program, which includes at least three times of 24 hours each of fasting in a week, the diabetes status can be reversed. However, he cautions the patients to consult their doctor before entering into a fasting regime. He says that hundreds of patients could reverse their diabetic status to normal levels after they started intermittent fasting. Fasting works because it augments the metabolism. During fasting, when the food intake is stopped, the body opens up its internal storage and gets sufficient supply from its stored fat. Dr Jason Fung suggests low carb high fat diet on other days.

The moral of the story is that fasting can work wonders in life. I have not been a sincere practitioner of the above diet style, though I am fully convinced of its efficacy because whenever I tried this, I could see the difference. I continue to try intermittent fasting once in a while.  Researches show that intermittent fasting even for a shorter duration has several health benefits such as weight loss, lowering the BP and reducing the blood sugar levels.

One easiest way is to skip breakfast (though it is said that one should eat break fast like a king!), have early lunch and early dinner so that one can fast for about 16 hours. If one prefers intermittent fasting of about 24 hours, then ideal thing would be to fast from 6 pm to next day 6 pm. This can be tried once a week and then increase it to twice or thrice depending upon how you enjoy it based on your own analysis of benefits to you.

All the best, if you are trying this after the weekend binge!

© Sibichen K Mathew    Views are personal.

Following are some of my other posts related to this topic.

If you want to know whether 10000 steps possible on a day, read this: 10000 Steps: Is it possible?

To read an interview with someone who says ‘How to lose weight by eating food’, Click here: Eat well to lose weight: Tips from an enlightened foodie

To hear from a Heart Specialist on how to save your heart, read this: Save your heart: Answers for the Frequently Asked Questions

Read my dilemma here: Tell me, what should I eat?

Connect with me in Facebook (Sibichen K Mathew) or email (sibi5555 {gmail}). Comments welcome. To see all my posts: Click here. To access my website: www.sibichen.in

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