Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Practice Makes Perfect

This week, we thought we would share the beginning of our thought process as we geared up for the topic of courage in kishori sabha.

We start with simple. Here are some of the initial simple messages that we thought we could convey.
  1. Courage requires us to battle our minds, so we do not give up.
  2. Fear and courage are two sides of the same coin.
  3. Fear is a constraint we place on ourselves; courage is when we remove this constraint.
  4. Satsang gives us the tools to overcome our mind, one of these tools is courage.
  5. Courage is not taking the mental shortcut - shifting from "Courage is hard" to "Courage is habit."
We then started thinking about which message would resonate best with our mandal. In our mandal, we have many younger kishoris so we thought that the fourth one would work best. Honestly, this was a pretty arbitrary choice, since any one of the above would have worked. However, another reason we wanted to lean towards this choice was to focus more on the practical scenarios given in the presentation.

Given our simple message we started to think of what the unexpected could be to shake everyone up. Here are a few ideas we came up with.
  • "Tug of War" - At first, this activity seemed insane, but we have enough room in our sabha room, and it would get everyone up and moving. As an added bonus, this activity can easily be tied into Vachnamrut Sarangpur-1 and the battle that takes place in the mind. We figured that after every story, we would reference this activity to keep it aligned with the idea that there is a tug of war in the mind and that courage lies in the triumph of the "good" side.
  • The following video from a very old Candid Camera show really brings out how hard it is for us to think independently and thus be courageous. It ties in well with the Asch experiment. Again, the key would be to take this example and tie it in with the idea that courage is overcoming the mind's natural tendency to conform and take the shortcut out.
  • We also thought of showing The Girl Effect and then trying to draw this back to the idea that those girls who are in need and thrive must have a great deal of courage, and this courage comes from the mental control.
  • Getting into college takes a great deal of work; however, for one girl, her ticket to college was a goat. This is an unexpected sentence. We thought of telling the story of this girl who went to college and became successful because of the gift of a goat. However, she faced many hardships - leaving her home, studying away from her family, knowing that failure meant letting everyone down. To overcome these obstacles she required courage.
We went with the last story since we could tie it in with our simple message. We have Satsang as our tool, and she had her work ethic. Her shot to change came when a charity gave her family a goat, and our chance to change came when we met the Satpurush.

Let's recap: We have a simple message and an unexpected opening. Now, the final part of the presentation puzzle is stories. It might be confusing though that our unexpected factor - the story of the goat and girl - is a story, but it still works with its infused emotion and credibility (from the citations).

We even made it relevant (concrete) by relating it back to our original simple message, "Satsang gives us the tools to overcome our mind, one of these tools is courage." We just need to do that with a few more stories.
  • The Candid Camera example in the presentation could be made into a very compelling story. Just as courage is not our natural tendency and requires work to make it so, Satsang/niyams are not our natural tendencey and too require work.
  • We liked the Himraj Sheth example and wanted to take it a step further to make it relate back to our audience. Our idea right now is to give the idea of being excommunicated from your society some context (i.e. everyone on Facebook defriends you). It would take a great deal of control over our minds not to feel disheartened or hurt. Satsang thus gives us this tool to remain happy in all situations, the essence of true courage. This understanding is what Himraj Sheth's sons attained.
So those are our preliminary thoughts on how to approach this presentation. Ultimately, we must craft our presentations with our sabha and our audience in mind. What are your thoughts? Let us know.

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