Friday, August 27, 2010

Swamishri & Youths: A Colored Perspective

We all know the timeless question that surfaces on password reminder questions, icebreaker activities, and when we are choosing a car,

"What's your favorite color?"

Red, green, blue, fuchsia - we all have our preferences... and so does the rest of the rest of the world. It turns out that just as different cultures have different belief systems and practices, they too have differing views on color.

Designer David McCandless hints at this idea with his infographic, "Colours in Culture" (right). Using this handy tool, we can decode many things...

Take, for instance, this styling salesman sailing down the street in his streamlined scooter.

So while we Americans may see this black suit a symbol of authority & style, the Japanese perceive it as bad luck. The South Americans would rather recommend red, a symbol of success.

That's also why the Native Americans and Chinese would prefer this scooter as a symbol of their success. Not to fret this time though as the Japanese are in agreement with us - red is all about excitement.

With red and any other color for that matter, they are universal; be it लाल or rojo or red, it's still the color and its emotional reaction to it that motivates this bull to action.

Similarly, our emotions - anger, sadness, joy - are universal. It's no wonder that the people who understand this tenet are remembered by history as the ones who connected the dots.

Did Martin Luther King, Jr. get it? Just ask the 250,000 people who came out to hear him speak in the summer of 1963 - something we all know as the "I Have a Dream" speech.

However, there's more to this picture than meets the eye - what is it about these individuals that separates them from the rest? Do they have access to an infographic, "Emotions in Everyone"? 

Nope, but they possess something much more valuable - empathy. Dr. King understood the plight of his people and inspired them to act. For us, at our age, our beloved guru, Pramukh Swami Maharaj, understands our problems and our dilemmas and inspires us to act. 

Skeptical? Take a look at the prasangs provided in the presentation. Eternal Virtues also serves as an additional resource as the instances where Swamishri's empathy manifests amidst problem after problem prove infinite.

In short, Swamishri's ability to make emotional connections makes him an instant celebrity. Impressive yet is that he connects to children without candy and to us without creating platinum CDs.

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