Happiness is your Birthright
Speaker: Dr. GC Kavitha, Dhasu Womaniya 2020
Facilitator: Mandira Popat, Digital Entrepreneur
Compiled by: Kritik Mathur
Date: 30th April 2020
Why happiness is our birthright of importance in current times? Each one of us is in some degree or some percentage of stress and anxiety. The most predominant reason for this would be because we all are in uncertainty where the gap between what is known to what has to be known is much higher because human beings are so much attracted to negative emotions and have problems with negative biases as well. This is probably the right time where we consciously remind ourselves that we are the most beautiful creatures on this earth and we deserve to be happy.
On asking what exactly positive emotions and negative emotions are and how to deal with them, Dr. Kavitha replied by saying that if we really have to look back on why the human mind develops the negativity biases, we will see that during the course of survival, every human being has to sustain the survival extinct and then evolve. There used to be many problems. An animal would attack a person or they could be eating something poisonous. So in the process of evolution, a human mind has become so much used to first understanding the negative emotions, and then the negative emotions. According to the speaker, negative emotions scream. They are very loud. The positive emotions are very subtle. Looking at a 10% problem and magnifying it into a 90% or 100% problem is one of the negative emotions. The human mind because of instinct has developed a negative bias. Anxiety coupled with uncertainty leads to panic. It has really given rise to a panic situation. This panic talks so much of negativity. So this is exactly what positive and negative emotions are.
When interrogated about whether she thinks human can have control on the negative emotions when they are a part of the evolutionary process and survival instinct and how can thee effectively control them, she replied by saying that positive emotions don’t harm much but negative emotions do. They do harm the relations, they do harm the confidence of other people. But if the anger is shown on the right person, at the right time, at the right degree of prepositions, and in the right way then it is not that bad. Negative emotions are beautiful, they are as good as positive emotions are. If we don’t have control over negative emotions, if we don’t have the alteration, they are not really good.
Another question that came up was related to NGOs, the harsh realities they witness and how do they cope up with these situations. Dr. Kavitha shared a quote by Dalai Lama that “If you want yourself to be happy, develop compassion. If you want others to be happy, develop compassion.” So, finally, it is you or others. You need to put up compassion. So there are many ICAN conversations going on and so many people are participating. She gave insights into the whole process of ICAN. There is a help giver, a help seeker, and a warrior. The giver is happy because under this there is an emotional process that is of helping someone and doing something of help to that person. It is not quantified, one cannot quantify that emotion. Giver’s biggest happiness at this point in time is the NGOs. Seeker directly is seeking because he is under a lot of negative thoughts, a lot of survival issues, and a lot of other things. But the seeker is happy not because you are giving him the food grain. The seeker is happy because at the time of survival, what he wanted to be was more than the food. What he wanted to be was that there was somebody to support him when he desperately needed that support. Warrior is the one without whom the whole process of emotional satisfaction may not happen. She thinks that if people can add the positivity factor in the process, the whole equation would become so beautiful. All of us can start by preparing a positivity journal where we can write our positive and negative aspects.
Ms. Mandira then asked Dr. Kavitha about how can happiness element be added to our curriculum. She answered it by saying that what teachers can do is, as soon as a student goes into the class, there could be an icebreaker session so that the child writes all the good things which he feels about himself because what is happening right now is most of the children do not know what they are good at. By this, they can develop a positive mindset in the child by making him feel good. Moreover, she emphasized the importance of doing exercises, yoga or meditation, and developing mindfulness. Now, what is mindfulness? Mindfulness is living in the present. One cannot live in the present thinking of the future.
It was a great opportunity to have Dr. Kavitha with us who took her valuable time to give precious insights upon happiness and life and the fact that her title of Happiness Woman is a no-brainer.