Quick look at a few books
March 7, 2013
Contents of Book Peek dated March 7, 2013
‘Discover the Gift: It’s why we’re here’ by Demian Lichtenstein and Shajen Joy Aziz - Landmark ‘Cell Phone Nation’ by Robin Jeffrey and Assa Doron ‘The Insider’s View: Memoirs of a public servant’ by Javid Chowdhury ‘Ash in the Belly: India’s unfinished battle against hunger’ by Harsh Mander ‘Superteams: The secrets of stellar performance from seven legendary teams’ by Khoi Tu ‘The Great Degeneration: How institutions decay and economies die’ by Niall Ferguson
‘A Brief Hour of Beauty’ by Ammu Nair - Landmark ‘What If They Knew? Secrets of an impressive woman’ by Lisa L. Payne ‘Fix Your Problems: The Tenali Raman Way’ by Vishal Goyal ‘Damn Good Advice (for people with talent)’ by George Lois ‘9 Things Successful People Do Differently’ by Heidi Grant Halvorson ‘Bookie Gambler Fixer Spy: A journey to the heart of cricket’s underworld’ by Ed Hawkins
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March 7, 2013
Receptivity is the first step that Demian Lichtenstein and Shajen Joy Aziz discuss in ‘Discover the Gift: It’s why we’re here’ (Landmark). It is about being open to all possibilities and allowing yourself to grow in the direction of those possibilities, they explain. “Being receptive acknowledges that the universe is always trying to teach us things and guide us. Receptivity begins with learning how to listen to your own soul, your own inner source, and allowing these insights to enter into your heart and mind.” By holding a receptive state of awareness, you harmonise with the vibration of that which is trying to emerge, and you allow miracles to happen, the authors guide. Adding that miracles are happening around us all the time, the authors fret that we do not always notice them because we are not always open to them, and because we are too caught up in the drama of our life situation. Opening yourself to the possibility of something powerful within you can be a simple step, the authors opine. “‘Can be’ are the key words here, they note. “A lot of times we can change our lives simply by becoming aware of what we’re thinking about, then thinking about
March 7, 2013
something else. But it’s not always that easy. Perhaps you have suffered so much in your life that you doubt whether you were even meant to exist.” Step two is ‘intention,’ the act of setting a new purpose for your life, a new goal, inspired by receptivity, an act of declaration, an act of decision, an act of will, the authors observe. “Intention means setting yourself free of limiting patterns, habits, and beliefs so that you can create a life-affirming system of thinking and living in alignment with your new purpose.” Next comes ‘activation,’ where you build on your receptivity and intention by actively engaging in the work of personal growth and development. The private side of activation is ‘inner-action,’ meaning going inside, spending time with your source, and listening. And ‘inter-action’ is the public side of activation, meaning engaging, interacting and participating with yourself and others and allowing your potential to unfold; by doing so, you are supporting your thoughts, dreams, and emotions through your actions and your language, the authors instruct. The final step, the eighth, is ‘love,’ the ultimate gift. Love gives us the power to forgive even that which we perceive as unforgivable, the authors declare. “It grants the ability to be grateful for our very existence.” A guide for inner journey.
March 7, 2013
‘How long can the middle classes be expected to subsidise the poor?’ Citing this poser of a TV anchor, Harsh Mander writes in ‘Ash in the Belly: India’s unfinished battle against hunger’ that the manner in which the current debate about subsidies – sometimes described as ‘handouts’ or even ‘freebies’ – is being framed in Indian middle-class discourse is deeply problematic. The underlying premise in such debate, as he explains, is that populist politics seeks to buy votes from large masses of poor people, by distributing to them food, cash and other unearned benefits, through unfairly taxing the hard-working tax-paying middle classes. But public expenditures on food, nutrition, health care and education are investments in India’s richest economic resource, its women and men, Mander argues. He underlines that while India has the demographic advantage of being home to the largest population of young people in the working age groups, almost every second child in India is malnourished, with body and brain not developing to full potential. “Therefore, investments in food, clean water, sanitation, health care and education resulting in a healthier, more educated, better nourished workforce, would surely engine
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faster (and more equitable) economic growth. Keynes has also demonstrated how public expenditure contributes to economic stability in market economies.” A comprehensive food-security bill can be one decision with power to change the course of history, the author foresees. Such a bill, which creates detailed obligations for governments to secure food and nutrition for people who live most with want and deprivation, can alter the destinies of the most wretched of our earth, for people who have for centuries been condemned to live with the hopeless suffering of hunger, he reasons. “Without such obligatory State action, their lives would remain frozen in time as the rest of us race ahead.” The paramount argument for a comprehensive right to food law is not economic or political, but ethical, observes Mander. He cites Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor and Nobel laureate, thus: “The opposite of love is not hate. It is indifference.” The food law, reminds Mander, can breach our collective indifference, the great gaping hole in our collective souls, which we must mend. “Can we agree that whatever this costs, we will pay? If accomplishing this requires the need to tax you and me more, so be it.” A fervent call for action.
March 7, 2013
Published by: Shrinikethan, Chennai http://bit.ly/ShriMap Edited by: D. Murali http://bit.ly/dMurali http://bit.ly/TopTalk March 7, 2013 March 7, 2013 7 Book Peek