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Fate of Japan’s imperial dynasty rests on shoulders of 13-year-old

TOKYO (Reuters) – When Japan’s youngest prince, Hisahito, visited Bhutan in August on his first overseas trip just months after his uncle Naruhito became emperor, his trip was regarded as the debut of a future monarch on the world stage. 

Greeting his hosts in traditional “hakama” kimono and trying his hand at archery, the visit was rare public exposure for the boy on whose shoulders the future of the monarchy rests. 

Emperor Naruhito, 59, who became monarch on May 1 following the abdication of his father, Akihito, will proclaim his enthronement in an Oct. 22 ceremony before foreign and domestic dignitaries. 

Japan only allows males to ascend the ancient Chrysanthemum Throne and changes to the succession law are anathema to conservatives backing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. 

Hisahito, 13, the lone royal male in his generation, is second in line to the throne after his father Crown Prince Akishino, 53, the emperor’s younger brother. 

(GRAPHIC – Japan’s royal family, here)

Reuters Graphic

“Under the current rules of succession, Prince Hisahito … will eventually bear the entire burden of perpetuating the imperial family,” the Asahi newspaper said in an editorial this year. 

“The pressure this prince would eventually come under is too formidable to contemplate.” 

Hisahito’s birth in 2006 was seen as a miracle by conservatives eager to preserve the males-only succession.

No imperial males had been born since 1965 and after eight years of marriage, the emperor’s wife, Masako, gave birth to a girl, Princess Aiko, spurring moves to revise the succession law and let women inherit and pass on the throne. 

But Hisahito’s birth put those moves on hold. “Conservatives felt that the will of heaven had been revealed,” said Hidehiko Kasahara, a professor of political science at Keio University. 


Now, some experts and media are wondering whether Hisahito is being properly groomed for the future. 

“It is important to have him realize that he is in a position to inherit the throne when interacting with people, and to keep them in mind, from an early age,” Kasahara said. 

Japan’s post-World War Two constitution gives the emperor no political authority, and designates him the “symbol of the State and of the unity of the people”. 

Hisahito is attending a junior high school affiliated to Ochanomizu University, making him the first imperial family member since the war to study outside the Gakushuin Junior High private school. 

Unlike his grandfather, Akihito, who carved out an active role as a symbol of peace, democracy and reconciliation with victims of Japan’s wartime aggression, Hisahito has no special mentor to help him prepare for his future kingship. 

Akihito was mentored by Shinzo Koizumi, a former president of Keio University, among others, and then became the role model for his son, Naruhito, scholars say. 

“It is necessary to have someone who can determine with him what is appropriate for a 21st century monarch,” said Naotaka Kimizuka, an expert in European monarchies at Kanto Gakuin University. 

“But it is not clear to what extent Crown Prince Akishino or the Imperial Household Agency is seriously considering that.” 

Whether Hisahito bears the full responsibility for continuing the imperial line is as yet unclear. 

When parliament passed a special law allowing Akihito to abdicate in 2017, it adopted a non-binding resolution asking the government to consider how to ensure a stable succession. 

One option is to allow females, including Aiko and Hisahito’s two elder sisters, to retain their imperial family status after marriage and inherit or pass the throne to their children, which surveys show most ordinary Japanese favor. 

Conservatives want to revive junior royal branches stripped of imperial status after the war. 

Abe, though, is unlikely to want any thorny discussions. “They want to put off debate as much as possible,” Kasahara said.

Everything to Know About Temporary Manufacturing Buildings.

With time, the needs of a business’s space and structure change. Some decades ago, people only knew about permanent buildings as the best solution they could have for their businesses. These structures are time-consuming and costly to make. Fast forward to today, and innovative construction firms have come up with better ways of creating temporary structures for different businesses. Although people may think that these buildings can only serve a business for a short period, the truth is that they are sometimes used to offer longer-term solutions.

If you are in the manufacturing business, it is almost impossible to operate for ten years without the need for a temporary structure. They will make it possible to install new machines, expand the stores, and even construct employee housing to use when they have to work overtime. For most businesspeople in manufacturing, this solution is a golden opportunity to save costs and time, which are the most crucial resources you have.

It is now common that manufacturers do not want to permanently commit themselves to a certain location. Thus, the need for temporary structures for manufacturing becomes prevalent. If you are such an entrepreneur, there is a lot you need to know about the use of temporary manufacturing structures. Keep reading to learn more about do’s and don’ts of temperoray buildings.

Where To Use Temporary Buildings

Almost all manufacturing businesses can use temporary buildings either entirely or partly. Those who are about to start their business may consider the possibility of using them. However, some manufacturing firms are in a better position than others.

1. Textile and Tailoring Industry

Whether you want to produce raw textile, weave fabrics, or make clothes, temporary structures will be of great use to you. If you have been in such an industry, you will realize that the buildings are typically big and dome-shaped. They have great ventilation and large windows to allow as much natural light in as possible. Apart from that, there is nothing more. So, what would prevent the use of temporary materials to make such a structure? In fact, the temporary materials used for walling are better in regulating the temperature. They also keep the fabric manufacturing and sewing machines safe from harm.

2. Furniture Making

This is one business that requires an open but shaded space for work to go on well. The main reasons are to allow full ventilation, maximize natural light, and have enough working space. This means that you probably need metal frames, a light roof, and walls that can be rolled up and down to open and close respectively. The majority of current furniture manufacturing business use temporary building solutions. They are useful both in the manufacturing section and for storage areas. Additionally, it will make it easier to expand your business when there is a need for that.

3. Food Processing

Whether you are a farmer or rely on supplied raw food, this is another manufacturing business that may benefit significantly from the use of temporary structure solutions. Food processing is sensitive and requires enough space and high levels of hygiene. The machines also need protection from harsh weather conditions. If you have enough space, building large temporary structures is a good option for you. Also, consider ventilation and natural light. Storage racks are a must to temporarily hold processed food before dispatch is done. You will note that air conditioning in food processing and manufacturing firms are musts. The good thing is that temporary structures can accommodate all of these.

4. Leather Tanning and Shoemaking Firms

These manufacturing firms receive raw leather every day and have to take it through several leather tanning processes before the manufacture of shoes. They are large firms that need new structures in order to expand. You are better off with temporary structure solutions for such a business. Although you may have permanent buildings in some areas, it is possible and less costly to build temporary structures when you are expanding the business.

5. Paper Making

In most cases, paper making businesses are positioned near forests where trees are harvested. If your company owns a tree farm, there is a need to locate the papermaking factory in a strategic position. You probably do not need to make permanent structures for all of the work. Those should only be used for the stores that hold valuable machines. Other structures can remain as temporary. Involve experienced designers and constructors to offer you a mix of both functionality and durability.

6. Computer and Telephone Assembling Firms

Entrepreneurs who are in the technology sector are usually smart people. They already know ways to save money and time. If your computer and telephone assembling company sit on leased land, you only need to come up with temporary buildings. It is the most convenient way should you need to relocate to another location in the future.

When To Use Temporary Buildings

Now that we have seen the common manufacturing businesses that will function well with temporary buildings, it is also important to mention moments when temporary buildings are needed. It does not matter whether you have a company with permanent buildings or not. If you are in any of the following situations, going for these structures may not be optional, but the wisest move to make.

1. After a Natural Disaster

Fire, floods, or earthquakes among other natural disasters may strike unexpectedly. If this happens, your production will be halted, especially if there is a destruction of property. Whether you have been operating in permanent or temporary buildings, the damage may be significant. So, you need to recollect yourself quickly and bring in other structures, repair the machines, or replace them and continue manufacturing. The easiest way is to use temporary structures.

2. Expanding Your Manufacturing Business

If the time come that the factory needs more structures for expansion, temporary buildings are the best. First of all, they will save you money, and secondly, they are fast. If need be, you can lease the adjacent land from the owners and add these structures. Still, for those manufacturing businesses that want more structures in nearby locations, they can use these solutions to do so. Later, all manufacturing businesses can be relocated into one vast plot of land if that is possible.

3. Opening a Branch Company

Manufacturers of one brand may want to open a branch that manufacturers other brands. Whether this happens on site or elsewhere, temporary structures have been proven to provide better solutions. Experts in design and construction recommended these structures since they are low-cost and neat in appearance. It is easy to brand on their walls, which is a way of marketing your brand.

4. Relocating Your Business

There are many reasons that could lead to the relocation of your business. But this does not matter since you already have a solution for the most sensitive part of the manufacturing company: the structures. If the need has occurred unplanned, this solution will save you a lot of money. If the building is designed well, they will last long enough. You probably will not need to change them any time soon. Another thing that makes it better is the ability to save on time. Temporary structures are easy to construct compared to permanent ones.

5. Need a Training Facility

We all know that training is needed in a manufacturing company. Instead of booking the employees in a conference center, you can build your training center using temporary materials. It could be a canvas building with aluminum frames. Such a building can be equipped with modern training equipment like smartboards, projectors, air conditioning, and many others amenities. Manufacturers with many branches can have just one training center in the headquarters to be used by all branches.

Choosing the Best Temporary Building Designer

When your manufacturing company requires a temporary building, you will need to get out and choose the best construction company. Now that people are opting for these solutions, it is easier to get one. Smart Space temporary buildings are the best that you should know. They have adequately skilled experts who can help you decide what you need.

However, not all are great. Some companies are out there just to get your money while providing low-quality structures. When looking for experts in your area, the first thing you will want to consider is their reputation. Of course, people who have already used their services can tell you whether they are worth it or not. It is easy to get this information through the web and social media platforms. Do not be afraid to ask whether they are worth giving business to or not.

Those with a website offer the solutions that they give and why they think they are the best. According to experts, potential customers should look for the materials they propose to use for manufacturing structural needs and then research their durability and functionality. If the materials are not to the manufacturing standards, it is better to look elsewhere. Manufacturing companies need large structures with strong frames that can withstand wind, storms, and rain. The covers, which range from canvas to plastic or wood, should be strong enough to protect the manufacturing machines and employees from harsh weather conditions. Always check for designers who can provide this.

Another thing to check is their delivery time. As we have been mentioning, temporary structures are quick to build, unlike permanent buildings. That is why they provide the best solution during an emergency. If experts promise to deliver the structures after an unreasonably long time, this means that they are not serious about their work. The speed of delivery matters a lot to a manufacturing company that has deadlines to meet. At the same time, look for service providers with good customer focus. This means that they will follow up to know how the structures are serving you and whether there is anything else that they need. The best solution providers usually offer advice on the best ways to add value to their structures like adding air conditioning, insulation layers, and many other things. If you find such a designer, you may want to consider them because they are likely the best.

Lastly, it is crucial to ask for a copy of the license and other compliance documents. Manufacturers must be sure that their service providers for the temporary structures are approved to build. First of all, you need to know the compliance that they need to have in your area before and then ask for copies of these. Having licenses and permits shows that they have what it takes to serve you in the best way possible. If you have to claim compensation or anything in the future, it is easier to follow up with temporary designers and constructors who have the necessary documents.

Benefits of Temporary Buildings

Any manufacturing business will have numerous benefits to enjoy when they consider using temporary structures during expansions, when relocating the factory, or even during a startup. There are numerous publications that have been made regarding the best, and we are going to summarize the most prevalent ones here below.

1. Time-Saving

We have already mentioned this benefit in various points above. Assuming that your manufacturing company needs to create a building within a short time, temporary structures will meet this need perfectly. Companies that have been affected by natural disasters that need to rebuild their companies usually do so within a week or less when they consider using temporary buildings. If you are facing the same challenges, you know what the best solution that will save you time is.

2. Cost-Saving

It is a no-brainer that materials used in temporary structures are cheaper than brick and mortar buildings. Although this is not the main reason why manufacturing companies should go for these structures, it will be a benefit that they will realize. Starters with little capital are the main beneficiaries because they can build with little capital. However, this is subjective to the experts that you use since some of them can overcharge and make the cost unsustainable.

3. Protect Machines From Weather

Weather can be unforgiving to your expensive manufacturing machines. Whether it is the sun, rain, or cold, none of the machines are made for outdoor conditions. Above all, employees will not be productive if they have to get scorched in the sun or work in the rain. And this is when temporary structures come in handy by protecting your assets from the harsh weather conditions at all times. Thus, you need to ensure that you have the best structures that can withstand all of the weather conditions in your manufacturing company.

4. Can Have Multiple Manufacturing Sections

Temporary structures are more flexible. Thus, they are the best for any entrepreneur who wants to have multiple manufacturing locations. This is seen in farms that process their products in different locations around the farm. Thereafter, they can bring the processed products into one central manufacturing unit to do the final processing of the final product. This move increases productivity through competition of units and maximization of each unit.

5. Ease of Expansion

Every entrepreneur has a dream of expanding their manufacturing business at some point. That is why they keep looking for new customers. When the time comes to expand and meet the demands of the increasing number of clients, more structures will be needed. It is easier and better to do so with the use of temporary structures. If space allows, they can be added to the site. Experts in the manufacturing of these structures agree that this is a smart move that every company should consider to save money and time.

How to Order a Temporary Structure?

Some of these structures are bought permanently while others are leased. Although leasing is not popular, structures like tents to create temporary rooms for manufacturing are available. All in all, the process of ordering is simple depending on the company offering these services.

First of all, they will come to assess the available space and the intended use. Some manufacturing companies are sensitive, and their structures can only be made using certain materials. If the process causes the air to be humid, plastic materials are the best, although dehumidifiers and ventilation will be installed. Heavy machines with high noise levels and vibrations will need material that can be insulated to retain the noise inside. Thus, a visit and discussion about the design and materials are crucial.

The next stage is the fabrication or construction of the structures. Some constructors do the work in their workshop, especially if manufacturing is ongoing in the company, and will bring parts on site for assembling.


After all of this work, the manufacturing company will need to pay for the services. Some constructors ask for a down payment before the start of work and others after the structure is fully constructed. It is critical to sign agreements and warranties if there are any. These documents bind you together in case of any problems. As a manufacturing entrepreneur, you now know how to meet your needs with temporary manufacturing buildings.

Five Arts and Craft Businesses that could change your life.

Are you a creative person? Do you enjoy working with your hands? Selling handmade crafts is a great way to earn a living. Here are five craft businesses that have good potential for success.

Image source: Photospin.com

The best way to evaluate craft business potential is to look at start up costs and potential profit.:

  • How much will it cost you to start your business?
  • How much money can you expect to make in your business if you put in a reasonable amount of time?
  • Of course, your third consideration (though not necessarily the least important) are your unique skills and talents. What do you like to do?

You could argue that the best craft business to start is the one that allows you to do what you enjoy doing most. But that’s not necessarily true. What if your hobby doesn’t have a market?

Ideally, you want to start a craft business where the following three values intersect:

  • Activities you enjoy and are skillful at
  • The start up costs are small
  • And there is a large market or demand for the craft

You’re on your own with that first one, but here are five craft businesses with low start up costs and for which there seems to be a large enough market.

It’s not always easy to start a craft business. Some businesses, like craft beers, require licensing and are heavily regulated. The start-up costs are outrageous. On the other hand, there are some craft businesses you can start on a shoestring and which offer a reasonable demand. If you enjoy making these kinds of products, then the market is ripe for your talents.

  1. Jewelry – The cost of starting a jewelry business includes setting up your business, buying materials for making your jewelry, and your initial marketing materials. You can get started with as little as $500. Depending on the quality of your jewelry, you could earn six figures. Of course, that depends on how aggressive you are at marketing and growing the business. Because crafting jewelry is a creative pursuit, there is a lot of freedom to make your brand unique and drive your demand.
  2. Craft Book Publishing – This is the age of self-publishing. It seems like everyone is doing it, but most people involved in independent book publishing are fiction and nonfiction writers. There is always room for a specialty craft book brand. Find your niche and there’s no ceiling to how much you can make as an author and publisher. But what are the start up costs? It depends on who you choose as your printer. With print-on-demand, you can get started for just a few hundred dollars or less.
  3. Fashion/Sewing – There are so many ways to build a craft fashion business. Your best bet is to specialize. Some fashion designers specialize in children’s clothes while others specialize in women’s fashions. Pick your niche and start marketing.

    But it’s not just about the clothes either. Some fashion designers create the patterns. If you can knit, crochet, sew, make quilts, or make like crafts of any kind, then there may be a future for you in this niche.

    You can start a fashion business with the cost of fabric and your business start up, plus what it takes for your initial marketing materials. You can start small with as little as $1,000 out of your pocket. The income potential will depend on your niche, your skills, and your marketing skills, among other things, with the most successful making over $100,000 a year.
  4. Children’s Toys – If you like kids, there are a variety of child-focused businesses you can start. Children’s toys can be made of all types of material, but wood and plastic are popular. If you make the toys yourself, you’ll save a bundle on startup costs, which can range from $4,000 to $10,000. The income potential is upwards of $50,000-$60,000 per year.
  5. 3D Printing – Getting in on the ground floor of anything is the best thing you can do for starting a business. 3D printing is still in its infancy. The cost of a printer ranges from $250 to several thousands of dollars. Of course, you’ll also have to buy materials and patterns, some of which are free. You can easily get started with $1,000 if you have with a small printer. What can you print? Virtually anything. You can print jewelry, toys and games, knick knacks, and just about anything else you can imagine. If you’re good at marketing and choose a craft product that is in high demand, you could be the only person in your local market offering what you have to offer. The income potential would be six figures or more.

As with any business, the income potential is dependent on your ability to craft products that people want and are willing to pay for, plus your ability to market them. While you have the potential to earn a six figure income with most of these businesses, your low end would realistically be in the $10,000 to $20,000 range. That’s not bad if you’re working part time out of your garage. To go full time, make great craft products and aggressively market them to a niche audience that really wants them.

Knock Knock- is happiness home? (Part 1)

Is the glass half empty or half full?’ is a common example showing that sometimes what matters the most is usually how we perceive events and objects instead of what actually happens. If it rains on a holiday, you can either think it is bad because it ruins your day or you can think it is good because you can do something different. This wisdom will make your life much happier and less stressful.

Worrying Never Fixes Anything

Sometimes we just worry too much. In fact, worrying never fixes anything or it may even make things worse.

Imagine you woke up late but you had a flight to catch. What’d be the first thing that popped up in your mind? Feeling a bit nervous and a bit worried is normal but if you keep worrying about it, you can never get anything done. Whenever you feel worried, the first thing to do is to ask yourself if there’s anything you can do about it. Say for that flight, if there’s still some time left before the flight departs, you’d better get going. But if it is impossible to catch it, you’d better come up with a Plan B.

Think about the times you spent on worrying, those are times wasted. There’s so much you could have done instead. Worrying solves nothing but only makes the possible impossible.

Only The End Of The World Is The End Of The World

You should bear in mind that only the end of the world is the end of world. Not because the sun still rises and sets despite things happen, but because what upsets you is not the event but your belief. You think it is the end of the world because everything sucks but in fact you are the only one who holds this view.

If you break up with someone whom you think is the love of your life, you may have the feeling that the world is ending. But listen to what people around you say about this, their words maybe harsh to you but they maybe speaking the truth. They’re looking at the same thing from a different perspective. They may believe that you deserve a better person, or they may think that it is not really that bad. What controls your emotion is the belief you have in your mind.

Pain Is Only Temporary

Everybody has their ups and downs because that is exactly what keeps people alive. Inevitably there are some moments we may feel painful, and there is nothing wrong to feel the pain.

What we need to know is, pain is only temporary and you have a choice. You can either choose to be indulged in the feeling of sorrow or choose to overcome it. Like if you cut your finger, it is painful because it is the natural reaction of our bodies. It is the pain. But suffering is optional, you can end this pain by applying a bandage or going to the doctor. It takes time for wounds to heal but eventually it will. Look back to what you have been through in life, you know the bad days will pass someday. It is just a matter of time.

Happiness may be something that most of the people have been chasing for throughout their lives. It can be simple, depending on how you perceive things. What controls your mind controls your life.

Detecting a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

Work in any competitive field long enough, and you’re bound to run into a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It’s a powerful image. A shepherd watches over his flock to protect them from harm. He’d chase away any predator that tried to make its way into the flock. A clever wolf wearing the skin of a sheep as a disguise can sneak by the vigilant shepherd and get into the herd undetected.

The story isn’t just a colorful description–it’s a warning to all of us to beware the wolf in sheep’s clothing. They may seem innocent, but they have ulterior motives. They’ll use different tactics to camouflage their intentions.

The person who is kind to you, but undercuts you when you aren’t around is a wolf in disguise. A wolf in sheep’s clothing might pick your brain for ideas and then pass them off as their own to get a promotion. They’re always looking out for themselves at the expense of everyone around them.

Wearing a Disguise Has Its Advantages

People don’t go out of their way to manipulate others unless they’re getting something out of it. Hiding their intentions gives wolves the chance to manipulate other people to advance their own agenda. They know that what they’re trying to do wouldn’t be popular, or it might cause struggle if they presented themselves honestly.

They’ll be able to do what they want with less interference if they put on an act. By the time people figure out their true motives, the wolf has what it wants.

Signs That Someone Is a Wolf in Disguise

  1. They live to take power instead of empowering others. A wolf uses people as stepping stones to get the things that they want. They don’t care what happens to anyone else. A wolf at work might make you look bad during a presentation to make themselves look amazing in front of the boss.
  2. Wolves seem sweet on the outside, but they’ll show you their teeth. If wolves revealed their true identity, people wouldn’t associate with them. They develop a friendly or kind persona, but they can’t keep up the act 24/7. Eventually, they’ll reveal their aggressive tendencies. A wealthy person who likes to break the law may make sizable charitable donations to convince people that they are kind and thoughtful. These donations largely keep them out of trouble, but if someone calls them out, they destroy that person’s reputation to stifle the criticism.
  3. They manipulate through emotions to get what they want. Wolves know that they can get ahead by appealing to your emotions. They find out what you want and need, and they give you just enough to keep you quiet and compliant. Imagine that your boss is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and you want to ask for a vacation. She might try to play on your guilt and feelings of insecurity to get you to skip vacation or take fewer days off.
  4. A wolf will charm you first. Wolves are experts at manipulating the people around them. They appear interested in whatever you’re doing, and you’ll get the impression that they care. After they get you where they want you, they do just enough to keep you on the hook. This is the coworker who may start out being your friend, but they end up dumping responsibility onto you. When they see that you are growing frustrated, they’ll surprise you with something to charm you some more. Then, they’ll continue to do whatever they want.
  5. Their stories are full of holes. Calling a wolf out is the surest way to make them squirm. When this person tries to come up with a story, it won’t make much sense because they are improvising. The classic example of this is the significant other that you suspect has cheated on you. When you ask them why they came home so late, they’ll either become upset with you, or they’ll make up a weak explanation.

How to Spot a Wolf

Know What’s Real So You Can Spot the Phony

Do some homework so that you have as much of the story as possible before you work with them. Research how they respond in certain situations, or give them hypothetical problems to see how they respond.

A job applicant might tell you that she’s always positive and thinks of herself as a team-player. That’s what every employer wants to hear. During the interview you ask applicants to work in groups to solve a problem to see how they handle the situation. The applicant “positive team-player” is bossy and negative. You’ve spotted the wolf.

A wolf will tell you something that ultimately benefits them. Gather evidence that proves or disproves their position, and see what happens. Chances are, when you choose the side that supports their agenda, they’ll act like your best friend. If you disagree, they’ll become aggressive.

Spotting a potential wolf–especially if you are one of the sheep–can present you with some challenges. If your gut tells you that a wolf is lurking among all the other sheep, pay attention, and make sure you take the next step.

Ask Questions, the More the Better

There’s nothing wrong with asking questions to uncover the truth. The safety of everyone in your group is at risk. Since wolves often make up stories, you may be able to call them out when their tales lack details.

When they state an opinion, ask “Why do you think that?” or “How do you know it’s like that?” They’ll have trouble coming up with enough information to pull off the lie.

Since wolves are always pretending to be something they aren’t, they don’t usually have a clearly thought-out reason for what they say. In a debate, they won’t understand the root of an issue.

They may also tell you what they think you want to hear, but when pressed for more information, they won’t have anything to add. Their knowledge is superficial. No matter how much you try to encourage discussion, they will not be able to carry on a conversation about the subject.

Wolves Are Everywhere

As much as we want to believe that everyone has the best intentions, it isn’t always the case. Some people only do things to benefit themselves, and they don’t care who they hurt in the process.

Wolves in sheep’s clothing can be found in almost every setting. You can’t get rid of them, but if you can spot them, you can avoid falling into their traps.

Finance officials pledge to combat global economic slowdown

WASHINGTON (AP) — Global finance officials wrapped up their fall meetings on Saturday with a pledge to “employ all appropriate tools” to combat the weakest global growth in a decade, but there was little evidence of progress in easing trade tensions, a major source of the slowdown.

The policy-setting committee for the 189-nation International Monetary Fund said in a closing statement that growth should accelerate next year. Officials acknowledged that a range of factors could undermine that forecast, including continued trade fights and increased geopolitical risks.

“We recognize the need to resolve trade tensions and support the necessary reform of the World Trade Organization,” the statement said. It did not detail ways to accomplish that.

There was also no sign that discussions on the sidelines of the meetings had produced any breakthrough in the trade disputes initiated by President Donald Trump as part of his get-tough approach to stronger enforcement of U.S. trade laws to lower America’s huge trade deficits.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, in remarks to the IMF committee, said the administration’s goal was to prepare “a foundation for future growth through fairer trade deals.”

Mnuchin said negotiations last week between the United States and China, the world’s two biggest economies, had achieved “substantial progress” on phase one of a trade deal to resolve the U.S. claims that China is stealing intellectual property.

While Trump suspended a tariff increase on $250 billion of Chinese products that had been scheduled to take effect this past week, few specifics about that agreement have come out. U.S. officials said negotiations to wrap up those details are underway.

The IMF managing director, Kristalina Georgieva, said the threat from trade wars was a chief point of discussion for finance officials.

She said the IMF has estimated that the tariffs already imposed or threatened could shave 0.8% off global growth by the end of next year. Much of that stems from the fallout on business confidence.

In trade wars, “everybody loses,” she said. “Policymakers ought to take very seriously their obligations to international cooperation in trade.”

The World Bank’s president, David Malpass, said this week’s finance discussions had focused on how to address multiple challenges.

“Growth is slowing, investment is sluggish, manufacturing activity is soft and trade is weakening,” he said. “Climate change and fragility are making poor countries more vulnerable.”

He said the World Bank was committed to helping to address these challenges to provide a better life for the 700 million people in the world living in extreme poverty.

The IMF, in an updated economic outlook, projected the global economy would expand by 3% this year, the weakest in a decade, and said 90 percent of the world was experiencing a downshift in growth. But the IMF forecast growth will accelerate slightly to 3.4% in 2020, still below the 3.6% rate in 2018.

Jubilee USA, a religious organization fighting global poverty, said in a statement that while the IMF outlined a number of serious threats, the recommendations for dealing with them fell short.

“Risky investing, trade tensions and developing countries borrowing too much are serious concerns for financial stability,” said Eric LeCompte, the group’s executive director.

While Trump’s trade policies were a prime topic of discussion at the meetings, finance officials for the most part avoided direct criticism of the American president.

Christine Lagarde, who dealt with the Trump administration during her last three years as head of the IMF, was a bit more direct in an interview to be broadcast Sunday on CBS’s “60 Minutes.”

Asked about Trump’s trade war with China, she said it would give the world’s economy “a big haircut” and should be resolved by having all parties “sit down like big men, many men in those rooms and put everything on the table, and try to deal bit by bit, piece by piece, so that we have certainty.”

On Trump’s frequent Twitter attacks on Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, Lagarde said central bankers need to be independent to do their jobs well.

“Market stability should not be the subject of a tweet here or a tweet there. It requires consideration, thinking, quiet and measured and rational decisions,” she said.

Lagarde is scheduled to take over on Nov. 1 as the head of the European Central Bank, which manages monetary policy for the 19 countries who use the euro currency.

Myanmar’s water world: exploring Inle Lake

In the unique watery world of Inle Lake, Intha fisherman row canoes with one leg, gardens float, and wooden homes perch above the water on rickety stilts. Take some time to explore one of Myanmar’s most iconic destinations with an early-morning cruise, a cycle through the countryside, or sojourns into the surrounding hills and villages.

Take a boat trip

Getting out onto the water is naturally the most popular way to experience Inle Lake. Every morning a flotilla of slender wooden canoes fitted with long-tailed outboard motors surges forth, transporting visitors to various natural, cultural, religious and historic sites. Nyaungshwe, on the northern edge of the lake, is the base for setting out on motorboat trips – every hotel and guesthouse in town can help arrange one, or just wait for a boat captain to approach you in the street.

Bamboo-pole stilt house on the water at Inle Lake
Bamboo-pole stilt house on the water at Inle Lake © Marko Razpotnik Sest / Shutterstock

Trips can be tailored, but tours typically include visits to the famous sights in the northern part of the lake, such as Phaung Daw Oo Paya in Tha Ley, the Nga Hpe Kyaung (Jumping Cat Monastery) in Nga Phe village, and the floating gardens. Make sure to spend time observing the Intha fishermen (most photogenic at dawn) and their unique technique of rowing the boat with one leg while using both hands to fish. Other destinations further afield include villages Thaung Thut, Hmaw Be, and Samkar, and you can also include a visit to Inthein, where crumbing, hilltop pagodas look down on the water.

An Intha fisherman rowing at sunset
An Intha fisherman © R.M. Nunes / Shutterstock

A standard day trip costs K15,000 to K18,000 (US$12 to US$15); or K20,000 with Inthein. The fee covers the entire boat; drivers will carry up to five passengers, who get padded seats and life jackets. Many trips start at dawn, when the light is great for photos. During the day it gets very hot: bring a hat, water and plenty of sunscreen. Sunset trips are also popular, although note it can get chilly on the lake. Most boats provide blankets but you may want a jacket or a wrap.

Weather-beaten stupas at Inthein
Weather-beaten stupas at Inthein © gagarych / Shutterstock

DIY cycling tour

Inle is not only about the water. It’s also possible to explore the perimeter by bicycle and take in some beautiful Burmese countryside. Many sights are clustered around the lake, including hot springs and small villages.

Begin in Nyaungshwe, where bikes can be hired for around K1500 (US$1.50) per day. Peddle west along an unpaved, bumpy road through farmland. Take a left at the T-junction and head south, following the mountains. After about 8km you will reach the Khaung Daing hot springs, where the water is piped into a series of swimming pools. A soak here costs adults US$7, or US$10 for a dip in a private pool.

Cyclist in Nyaungshwe town
Cyclist in Nyaungshwe town © nije salam / Shutterstock

Continue pedalling south until you reach Khaung Daing, an Intha village producing Shan State’s famous tofu. Shan tofu is made with split yellow pea flour, mixed with boiling and then poured into a mould to set. Thin tofu wafers are set out to dry, and you can enjoy a tofu thoke (tofu salad) for a few hundred kyat.

After lunch, hire a boat for K8000 (US$6.50) to ferry you and your bike across the lake. You’ll be deposited on the eastern side, where you can continue cycling north through sugar cane plantations and small villages.

As you near the north side of the lake you will see Red Mountain Estate winery to the east. Head up the hill for a magnificent view of Inle and the vineyards (you can also taste the wine for K3000). Continue around the north side of the lake, and head into Nyaungshwe before sunset as the roads are not lit.

View from Red Mountain Estate Winery
View from Red Mountain Estate winery © Wojtek Chmielewski / Shutterstock

Journey beyond the lake

It’s well worth taking a day or two to travel beyond Inle’s most easily accessible sights, or to visit one of the region’s villages on market day.

Taunggyi, about an hour from Nyaungshwe by pick-up truck, is the administrative capital of Shan State, with a number of historic churches and Burmese-style mosques, and a night market selling cheap-and-cheerful local treats.

Taunggyi is also one of the locations for a rustic market that rotates among about a dozen towns in the Inle Lake region. The market happens every five days (except when there’s a full moon), drawing minorities down from the hills to trade livestock and produce. Other market towns include Maing Thauk, near Nyaungshwe; Thaung Thut, at the southern end of the lake; Pindaya, home of the Shwe Oo Min Natural Cave Pagoda; and Inthein, where the market is popular for its sheer size and photogenic setting. Hotels and guesthouses can advise you where the market will be heading next.

Fruit for sale at the market in Kalaw
Fruit for sale at the market in Kalaw © hecke61 / Shutterstock

Further afield (and also on the market circuit), about three hours by pick-up from the lake, is Kalaw, a former hill station surrounded by Buddhist pagodas, hilltop viewpoints and the peaceful villages of the Palaung, Danu, Pa-O, Taung Yo and Danaw peoples. Set in a gorgeous landscape of forest-capped hills, Kalaw is a top trekking destination, and the starting point for two- to four-day hikes all the way to Inle. Many restaurants in Kalaw serve food with distinctive Nepali and Indian flavours, thanks to the labourers who came to build the railroad during British rule.

Make it happen

Floating gardens on Inle Lake
Floating gardens on Inle Lake © millicookbook / Shutterstock

The jumping-off point for Inle Lake is Nyaungshwe, but the town has no bus terminal or airport. If travelling to Inle Lake by air, you’ll need to fly to Heho, about an hour away by car (taxis charge K25,000 – US$20 – from the airport). If arriving by land, take any bus bound for Taunggyi and hop off in Shwenyaung, the junction leading to Nyaungshwe, from where thoun bein (tuk-tuk) drivers can take you the remaining 10km.

There is a compulsory K12,500 (US$10) fee to enter the Inle Lake area, which you must pay on arrival at the permit booth located by the bridge at the entrance to Nyaungshwe. Tickets are valid for one week, although you’re unlikely to be asked to pay again if you stay longer.

Hardest things to do in our lifetime

One of the hardest things to do in our lifetime, is to accept ourselves completely as we really are. Each new chapter in our life, brings with it a new lesson and a new realisation of our self.   From the moment we are born and place our footsteps on this earth, we know without doubt that we belong to a greater plan, a journey that will take us on every road that is necessary in order for us to reach our soul’s purpose.

We are all conquering adversity and struggling in our own way.

By just getting up each morning and putting one foot in front of the other, we are succeeding.

Never underestimate the power of the small things that make the heart still want to keep beating.

Whatever happens to us it is essential not to give up the hope to live, to love and believingwith wholehearted belief hold on to the faith of a better tomorrow, knowing with certainty that this moment can bring a change so profound, that the next hour, the next day can be transformed from despair to hope.

Every moment is crucial, the decision always rests in our hands how we live, that is our infinite power.

One of the mistakes of modern thinking is that we are led to think that we should be the same as everyone else, but this is where the fundamental flaw is, as we are all individual and unique and all that we need to do is to embrace our beautiful differences.

We do not have to ask permission from anyone to be ourself.

It is when we begin to compare ourselves to others that we begin to suffer as it is an impossible task to be like anyone else.

The journey ahead becomes confusing only when we lose our way through the doubt of others misconceptions about who we should be as opposed to who we are.

Our only concern should be to find our own worth and value in order to benefit our own life on a more deeper and more meaningful level and thus then being able to be of service and value to others, which is part of our true nature, to share this time on earth with all living beings and experience a profound joy of belonging to a greater more spiritual awakening.

We must try to remember that everyone we meet, yearns, longs for, dreams, misses someone, has loved, has lost, has won, and because of this, we all belong to the same circle of life.

Each one of us has an eternal symphony that forever echoes in the great mystery of our existence.

We are all lovers of life, who with our passion and joy of the Divine thread within, intrinsically yearn something greater that transcends heaven and earth.

The phenomenal power of the soul inspires the music of the heart to dance amongst the worlds of the infinite and forever trust in love of the mystical that moves us to a state of being beyond all time and space.

The ever trembling question that makes the heart strings quiver in ecstatic yearning, is how do we reach this state of grace that leads to the awakening of the Divine within us, that beckons our spirit within each breath?

The answer lies in the realisation that although we have all walked among the shadows, our inner light is like a nightingale that sings it’s beautiful song, and guides us to the daybreak of hope that captures the dawn within us setting us free from all the chains of this world and propelling us into the hemispheres of the sublime, where the gentle notes of heavenly rain showers upon us to remind us of our purpose and acceptance of our real being.

Mercedes-Benz app glitch exposed car owners’ information to other users

Mercedes-Benz car owners have said that the app they used to remotely locate, unlock and start their cars was displaying other people’s account and vehicle information.

We spoke to two customers who said the Mercedes-Benz’ connected car app was pulling in information from other accounts and not their own, allowing them to see other car owners’ names, recent activity, phone numbers, and more.

The apparent security lapse happened late-Friday before the app went offline “due to site maintenance” a few hours later.

It’s not uncommon for modern vehicles these days to come with an accompanying phone app. These apps connect to your car and let you remotely locate them, lock or unlock them, and start or stop the engine. But as cars become internet-connected and hooked up to apps, security flaws have allowed researchers to remotely hijack or track vehicles.

One Seattle-based car owner told TechCrunch that their app pulled in information from several other accounts. He said that both he and a friend, who are both Mercedes owners, had the same car belonging to another customer, in their respective apps but every other account detail was different.

benz app 2

Screenshots of the Mercedes-Benz app showing another person’s vehicle, and exposed data belonging to another car owner. (Image: supplied)

The car owners we spoke to said they were able to see the car’s recent activity, including the locations of where it had recently been, but they were unable to track the real-time location using the app’s feature.

When he contacted Mercedes-Benz, a customer service representative told him to “delete the app” until it was fixed, he said.

The other car owner we spoke to said he opened the app and found it also pulled in someone else’s profile.

“I got in contact with the person who owns the car that was showing up,” he told TechCrunch. “I could see the car was in Los Angeles, where he had been, and he was in fact there,” he added.

He said that he wasn’t sure if the app has exposed his private information to another customer.

“Pretty bad fuck up in my opinion,” he said.

The first customer reported that the “lock and unlock” and the engine “start and stop” features did not work on his app, somewhat limiting the impact of the security lapse. The other customer said they did not attempt to test either feature.

It’s not clear how the security lapse happened or how widespread the problem was. A spokesperson for Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz, did not respond to a request for comment on Saturday.

According to Google Play’s rankings, more than 100,000 customers have installed the app.

A similar security lapse hit Credit Karma’s mobile app in August. The credit monitoring company admitted that users were inadvertently shown other users’ account information, including details about credit card accounts and balances. But despite disclosing other people’s information, the company denied a data breach.

Who will own the future of transportation?

With about 278 million cars globally, the stakes are high.

Autonomous vehicles are often painted as a utopian-like technology that will transform parking lots into parks and eliminate traffic fatalities — a number that reached 1.35 million globally in 2018.

Even if, as many predict, autonomous vehicles are deployed en masse, the road to that future promises to be long, chaotic and complex. The emergence of ride-hailing, car-sharing and micromobility hints at some of the speed bumps between today’s modes of transportation and more futuristic means, like AVs and flying cars. Entire industries face disruption in this new mobility world, perhaps none so thoroughly as automotive.

Autonomous-vehicle ubiquity may be decades away, but automakers, startups and tech companies are already clambering to be king of the ‘future of transportation’ hill.

How does a company, city or country “own” this future of transportation? While there’s no clear winner today, companies as well as local and federal governments can take actions and make investments today to make sure they’re not left behind, according to Zoox CEO Aicha Evans and former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, who spoke about the future of cities on stage this month at Disrupt SF. 

Local = opportunity

Evolution in mobility is occurring at a global scale, but transportation is also very local, Evans said. Because every local transit system is tailored to the geography and the needs of its residents, these unique requirements create opportunities at a local level and encourages partnerships between different companies.

This is no longer just a Silicon Valley versus Detroit story; Europe, China, Singapore have all piled in as well. Instead of one mobility company that will rule them all, Evans and Granholm predict more partnerships between companies, governments and even economic and tech strongholds like Silicon Valley.

We’re already seeing examples of this in the world of autonomous vehicles. For instance, Ford invested $1 billion into AV startup Argo AI in 2017. Two years later, VW Group announced a partnership with Ford that covers a number of areas, including autonomy (via a new investment by VW in Argo AI) and collaboration on development of electric vehicles.

BMW and Daimler, which agreed in 2018 to merge their urban mobility services into a single holding company, announced in February plans to unify these services and sink $1.1 billion into the effort. The two companies are also part of a consortium that includes Audi, Intel, Continental and Bosch, that owns mapping and location data service company HERE.

There are numerous other examples of companies collaborating after concluding that going it alone wasn’t as feasible as they once thought.

Tulsi Gabbard Vs Hillary Clinton (Round 1)

U.S. 2020 just got more interesting.

Hillary Clinton just went on David Plouffe’s podcast and accused Tulsi Gabbard — a combat veteran, soldier and Major in the Army National Guard — of being “groomed” to be a “Russian asset”.

When Tulsi Gabbard said on that debate stage Tuesday night “when I look out at our country, I do not see deplorables, I see fellow Americans,” she was talking about this. She was standing up to a corrupt party elite that holds exactly this kind of contempt for We, the People.

Tulsi’s response

The utter disdain for the truth — and refusal to face their own failures and hypocrisy — shown by establishment warmongers and their corporate media lackeys is not only insulting, it’s a threat to our democracy.

From media blackouts, to baseless smears about Tulsi’s religion and progressive record, to outright despicable attacks by the New York Times, CNN, Neera Tanden and now Hillary Clinton on Tulsi’s loyalty to the country she risked her life to serve: Hillary Clinton and her establishment cronies have their knives out for Tulsi, using her as an example in their campaign to intimidate and silence those who dare to stand up for peace.

All Religions are not the same- Hindu Cosmology Is Unique In the Comity of Religions (Part 5)

Read Part 1 here: https://nykdaily.com/2019/10/all-religions-are-not-the-same-hindu-dharma-has-a-scientific-temper-part-1/

Read Part 2 here: https://nykdaily.com/2019/10/all-religions-are-not-the-same-time-concepts-part-2/

Read Part 3 here: https://nykdaily.com/2019/10/all-religions-are-not-the-same-logic-system-in-hinduism-part-3/

Read Part 4 here: https://nykdaily.com/2019/10/all-religions-are-not-the-same-hindu-epistemology-with-pramaṇa-proof-system-is-closest-to-science/


Cosmology is that part of a Religion, or of a Spiritual system like the Eastern Oṃkāra Dharmas, which defines its view of the Universe and the way human beings interact with it. Hindu Cosmology derives its view from its concepts of Kāla, or Time, and the way it rationalizes it through use of Logic. Logic as a function of culture is an important determinant of the way a culture, and a Religion as a product of that culture, uses its collective intellect to rationalise the transcendent and immanent through use of perceptions and reasoning.

Abhijit Chavda, a scientist friend, who has been researching theoretical physics for over 20 years, had this to say on Hindu Cosmology: ‘From my ~20 years of study and research and calculations in theoretical physics and cosmology (based on several factors, primarily the inter-relationship between dark matter and dark energy and how the latter drives the universe’s expansion), I firmly believe that the cyclical model of the universe is the most probable: an expanding singularity (the big bang), an expanding universe (what we currently observe), equilibrium, a contracting universe, and a singularity again. And then, the next cycle. Needless to say, this is what Hindu cosmology talks about. Hindu cosmology is the only system of cosmology whose vast time scales are comparable to those of physical cosmology.’

Dr. CK Raju makes a modification to the singularity-exapnsion-contraction-singularity cycle. He considers the Friedmann cyclical model inappropriate for the Hindu Cosmology. Instead he uses the quasi-cyclical Time, like the lines on a record, so that Time does not flow in a straight line, nor does it loop on itself, but instead tilts — the ‘tilt in the arrow of Time. However, this is too much of Pure Science for a lay reader.

So, the Hindu Cosmology is an eternal cycle/quasi-cycle with a scheme of accountability for all living beings — humans, animals and plants, with a reflection of Universal Consciousness in every being — living and non-living. Divine is immanent in all, and it is possible for the highest in evolution cycle — the human being — to transcend the cycle of karma-saṃskāra and achieve liberation. One of the best concepts is provided in the Saṃkhya system, where the Purusha is the Cosmic Consciousnes — the Chit. Modifications in Chit produce the Individual Consciousness — the Chitta — called Prakriti. Prakriti is transcended by the Chitta with the help of ordinary pramāṇas available to the intellect. Samādhi is the ultimate experience and is also the ultimate pramāṇa at the level of Purusha. Samadhi is the Union of Yōga Sutras, and Ānanda or Chidānanda of Vedānta. Theory of Creationism does not apply at all. Divine and Man are interchangeable at one level. This is applicable across Multiverse, and just not the one Universe that we can perceive through our ordinary senses.

The Vedānta verse of Nirvāna Shatakam by Ādi Shankara is a perfect illustration:

‘mano buddhihankāra chittāni nāham/na cha shrotra jihve na cha ghrāṇa netre//na cha vyoma bhumirnatejonavāyuh/chidānandarupah shivoham shivoham

(I am not the mind, nor the intellect, nor the identity of self, not even the consciousness/I am also not the sense of hearing, nor taste, nor smell, and nor even the sight//I am not the ether, nor the earth, nor fire, and not even the air/I am the form of that Pure Cosmic Consciousness, I am the Shiva, I am the Shiva).

Please note the different use of ‘chitta’ and ‘chit’ — similar to the use of Purusha and Prakriti in Sāṃkhya.

The Cosmos finds a reflection in the human brain. That is why the different cognition points in the brain are revered as devatās.

This view of the Universe and Multiverse is totally different in other Religions, including in Zoroastrianism. In the Abrahamic Religions, the common factor is the concept of Creationism, and an all powerful God/Yahveh/Allah who sits outside the Universe and creates it for the enjoyment of the human beings alone. They have their different reasons for creating this Universe, and they command their followers to regard their version as the only and Exclusive Truth. All of them are based on a revealed Book, which must be followed implicitly, on the pain of punishment. Quite logically, they have to follow the 2-value Logic of true/false variety. Whatever the Book certifies as true is true, and whatever the Book says is false, is false. Time must necessarily flow in a straight line, and lead to the eschatology of another binary called heaven and hell. As for the scheme of Evidence in an epistemological sense, there is no proof required against the Word of the Book. The Word is the only Truth. The Word is the only Proof.

This has resulted in quite absurd scenarios in the past. It also explains the orgies of library burnings witnessed in Alexandria, Takshashilā and Nālandā. Bakhtiar Khilji, on being confronted by the huge wealth of books in Nālandā appears to have remarked, ‘If there is anything useful in this world, it is contained in the Qur’an. If it is not there in the Qur’an, it is not useful. So either way, these books are not required.’ The burning of the library of Alexandria also had similar, if not exactly the same, sentiments behind it. The Church had acquired political power, and established a dogma which was required to consolidate its newly acquired political power with the religious power which it already possessed. The pagan world was an open world with many belief-systems coexisting. The pagans believed in cyclical Time, and migration of the soul. This did not suit the Church, as Christ could not be born again and again across what it termed as ‘Eternal Recurrence’, and be made to suffer the Cross again and again. It would be totally against the character of ‘Son of God’ bestowed upon him by the Church after the First Nicaean Ecumenical Council in 323 CE. Church had to have the power over the humans in order to save them on behalf of Christ. So the concept of eternal heaven and hell in an eternally flowing straight line of superlinear time became necessary. It necessitated burning down of all pagan knowledge, and destruction of all pagan symbols. One would see the same puritanical zeal among the Evangelicals even today.

I remember a very recent example. An Islamic scholar produced evidence from Shari’a that the Peshawar attack on the Army Public School, Peshawar was carried out by India. It was a gathering of well-informed people, who possessed the empirical evidence on the attack. Yet, not one of them could get up and point out the absurdity, as empirical evidence has no value in front of the scriptural evidence in Islam.

The foregoing analysis and cited examples would show that Abrahamic Religions subscribe to a World View, whereas Hinduism espouses a Cosmic View

Hindu Cosmology permits an open architecture of spiritual seeking and spiritual belief, whereas the Abrahamic Religions do not permit any such liberty. From this exclusivism to the exclusivist hate for the non-believer, and violence in the name of blasphemy, apostasy, idolatry, and non-conformity is but a logical flow of the doctrine. Please note that we are discussing only the doctrinal aspects of the religions, and not their behavioural distortions.

Om. Purṇamadah, Purṇamidam, Purṇātpurṇamudachyate/Purṇasya Purṇamādāya, Purṇamevavashishyate. (That is whole. This is whole. The whole comes out of the whole. Still the whole remains) — Ishopanishada.

Can’t employ every citizen in govt sector: Sawant

(PTI) Goa chief minister Pramod Sawant on Saturday said even if God came to rule the state, he will not be able to employ every citizen in the government sector.

Speaking at the inauguration of a state-organized job fair here, Sawant said the government can hire around 5,000 to 6,000 people in the government departments.

“Even if tomorrow God comes and rules the state, he will not be able to give 100 percent government jobs to people,” he added.

“Many come to me asking for a government job. But it is impossible to accommodate each and every citizen in the government sector,” the chief minister said.

Sawant informed that at present there are 55,000 to 60,000 permanent employees working in the government sector, while over 10,000 are contractual or part-time workers.

He said the government has already passed Goa Staff Selection Commission Bill, under which a commission would be set up to recruit people for government departments.

Does your adolescent drink more than you would approve?

(IANSlife) India ranks at 140 out of 150 countries in the world on the happiness index; making it one of the unhappiest countries in the world. This permeates down to adolescents as well and could lead to unhappy choices of alcoholism and binge drinking to cope with the chaos.

Dr. Paras, Founder, Matrix, a life leadership coach and corporate training firm, believes that the solution for this ginormous issue lies in our minds. According to him, the mind is the greatest tool that affects all the facets of a human, be it his relationships, studies, career or self-esteem. Dr. Paras helps you understand the importance of focusing on the pragmatic and constructive elements of life. Quite often, peer pressure drives youngsters to plunge themselves into an endeavor of perfection. However, no one is perfect and you have to help your young adult to see that.

In order to address this question, he states: “Let us first tackle some of the most important questions.”

Q) What is it like being an adolescent? What does an adolescent want? How addictions are confused as mechanisms to escape routes?

Being an adolescent is often the inception of what can be regarded as a recognition crisis. They are on the cusp of being adults and therefore, have an understanding of how to emulate an adult, but their mental development is still taking small steps from being that of a child to a grown person.

Having said that, it does not mean that teenagers are children who are not meant to be taken seriously. On the contrary, they are bright and agile minds who have the potential to bring in new thoughts.

However, many adolescents are quashed under the sense of building an individuality way too fast that coaxes them towards alcoholism. Their need to prove themselves and a misguided sense of emulating what they think is right push them towards taking extreme steps.

The Play of Strokes

As per Dr. Eric Berne, founder of The Transactional Analysis Movement in Psychotherapy, every emotion, encouraging or defeating can be classified into a broad category of ”strokes”. Every human, and not just a teenager, craves for some sort of a stroke or a reaction to feel valued or show their presence.

In the case of teenagers, they are in a psychological and emotional whirlwind in which they resort to activities that earn them attention and validation. These strokes can either be positive or negative, as long as they yield any sort of reaction. Teenagers require heavy attention and if not catered to, they can resort to a plethora of activities leading to addiction….

These activities are divided into withdrawal, rituals, past times, activities, games, and intimacy.

Withdrawal, as the name suggests, resonates with being in a cocoon or a shell that will shield them from the world and disengage them from feeling anything at all. The feeling of detachment, with no one to turn to can lead a teenager into finding solace in the numbness of alcohol.

Lack of intimacy or affection, especially from the parents can also account for the teenagers feeling left out or cast aside. Peer pressure or from someone within the family can ”inspire” them to take up alcohol as a coping mechanism. In fact, they do end up mimicking those around them who themselves choose escapism as a solution for all their problems.

They do not regard mental health as an important parameter for self-development which sends out a clear message to the teenager who himself/herself are battling their psychological upheaval. This is a clear cut case of a bad role model.

Last but not the least, is the inner voice. The inner voice of a teenager, or even an adult for that matter plays a huge role in making a person or breaking him. In teenagers, the voice is often an echo of those around him/her.

If nestled amidst a positive environment, the inner voice is encouraging. However, in contrasting situations, the inner voice is the one that brings the child down and as a result, he/she resorts to alcoholism to quieten down that voice.

Q) How to Combat Emotionally Stimulated Alcoholism?

The good news is that there are ways to turn the tables around on binge alcoholism and addiction in adolescents. It is all about building a better lifestyle and awareness with respect to mental health.

Here are some of the ways which may help:

1) Open culture in schools, colleges, and family

Communication is the key to all distress. An open and healthy interaction in places like home, school/college, and social circle can help a teenager normalise to the fact that it is okay to feel the mental pressure and emotionally distraught and that help is always available when they need it. Alcoholism is not the way to go.

2) Creating a culture that supports mental health

Charity begins at home and so does the acceptance of mental health. Parents, teachers, and other elders of a social group can create a safe space for teenagers to talk to heart”s content and interact with them about anything that is bothering them. It is important that these adults are able to accept it without prejudices and judgments.

3) Parents to stop comparing children on their weaknesses

The culture of encouraging the present qualities must take over the detrimental practice of parents pointing out their children”s weakness in the name of self-development.

4) Parents and teachers creating space for positive psychology

Since parents and teachers directly influence the mindset of the children, it is important for them to set a space that promotes positive psychology and mindfulness.

5) Exercise – Yoga, Meditation and Mindfulness techniques

One can never discount the importance of recreational activities and exercise. It releases endorphins, also known as happy hormones, which prepare the body to take on physical stress, but also shapes the brain into taking any sort of mental pressures. Therefore, instead of going for that bottle, exercising can help boost greater mental health and keep addiction at bay.

6) Psycho-education textbook from class KG till post-graduation

While the Indian education system is exemplary when it comes to creating credible engineers, doctors, and lawyers, what it really needs is to create a student force which is happy and mentally strong. It is, therefore, important to include psycho-education as a subject right from KG to higher education.

7) Elders taking mental support, children can emulate

As discussed, teenagers emulate what they see around them and if they witness an adult take mental health seriously, they too will take that path to self-care and emotional well-being.

Addiction arises from unresolved issues and the unresolved issues emanate from the lack of communication. Integrating communication in daily lives can help keep mental and psychological issues at bay, which will in turn avert the pathway to any sort of addiction.

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