Welcome to October 2022 edition of the Xth volume of Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs.
The theme for the Xth volume of our Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs is inspired from the editorial of the January 2022 special Issue of Prabuddha Bharata (The Awakened India) – Living a Meaningful Life in a Digital World.
For our present episode, we take up the article, Collapsing Separateness by Gitanjali Murari.
Here is an excerpt from the article:
The development of science over last couple of centuries have dramatically broadened the playfield of the human being, serving to emphasize the universality of human life experience in every region of the earth.
Swami Vivekanand explains the miracle of scientific innovation in this illuminative statement: ‘The greatest force is derived from the power of thought. The finer the element, the more powerful it is. The silent power of thought influences people even at distance because the mind is one as well as many. The universe is a cobweb; minds are spiders.’ This has become the reality in the digital age, in the form Internet. People from all parts of the world meet virtually in a matter of seconds in a way that all barriers to knowledge have collapsed.
According to theory of butterfly effect, the flap of butterfly’s wings can create a hurricane halfway across the world. The modern internet travels much faster than that, not just over the physical distance, but over the mental distance too. As a result, the distance between minds have collapsed. More than a hundred years ago, in his lecture on ‘Vedanta and Its Application to Indian Life’, Swami Vivekanand had prophesied: ‘Even in politics and sociology, problems that were only national twenty years ago can no more be solved on national grounds only. They are assuming huge proportions, gigantic shapes. They can only be solved at the broader light of international grounds.’ How true this holds even today!
The Internet is continually expanding to accommodate variety. It seems to mimic nature which celebrates variety. This principle applies to humans as well. Not only we look different, but each has unique fingerprints, unique personalities, likes and dislikes, behaviour pattern, our own Gods. In his letter to Justice Subramanya Iyer, dated 3 January, 1895, Swami Vivekanand writes, ‘Jati means creation. I am one, I become many. Unity is before creation, diversity is creation. Now if this diversity is stops, creation is destroyed. So long as species is vigorous and active, it must throw out verities. When it ceases or is stopped from breeding varieties, it dies.’
In the pre-digital era, while the man was thrilled to discover cultures beyond his ken, he also used his power to subjugate indigenous tribes., he either excised or ‘civilized’ them for the sake of maintaining the social status quo. The degree of separation experienced by different societies then, literally and figuratively, spanned oceans. In the same letter to Justice Iyer, referred to earlier, Swami Vivekanand goes on to add, ‘The present caste system is not the real Jati, but a hindrance to its progress. It really has prevented free action of Jati, i.e., caste or variation.’
In the digital age, our interconnectedness – constant sharing of thoughts and ideas – is helping many to find their voice. What was tolerable or acceptable a decade ago is now under minute scrutiny.
The ever-changing nature of human values is reflected in scientific developments. As our need for greater satisfaction evolves, so does technology. Like Maslow, whose hierarchy of needs leads to self-actualization at the very top of the pyramid, Julian Huxley, a biologist and philosopher, believed that man journeys through levels of temporary satisfaction, transcending them one by one to ultimately reach a state of complete and eternal fulfilment. Swami Ranganathananda described this journey as adventure with many heights to conquer’, calling all the people ‘a great line of pilgrims. …. You give up something because you have got something better, something higher, something more valuable. And the highest value is spiritual realization.’.
As humanity continues to chase fulfilment, technologies of future will even be more sophisticated. The gap between inequalities may diminish, but new forms of injustices may also arise. Since we will be more intricately meshed together, the repercussions of these injustices will be swifter and harsher.
To attain equality and freedom, i.e., absolute well-being, is our birth right. Swami Vivekanand emphatically states that this can be acquired only through the knowledge of the Self. All other attempts to achieve absolute welfare, though well intentioned, will be short-lived.
Our struggles for a life full of purpose and consequent everlasting happiness hinges on refining our experiences by sacrificing sole self-interest and moving closer to the source of our absolute well-being.
If there is at all a possibility of a permanent end to our problems, then it lies in being as expansive and as inclusive as the Internet that we have created in being curious about our internal nature and understanding our external nature and allowing the ‘splendour’ within to collapse separateness forever.
Man’s Search of Meaning – Victor E. Frankl – While Freud speaks of a “will to pleasure” and Adler speaks of a “will to power,” Frankl focuses on a “will to meaning”, as the primary motivational force in man.
4 Keys to your life’s meaning – Dr. Viktor Frankl
We will now turn to our regular section -.
We now watch ASQ TV episode on –
- Data Storage And Analysis – With big data comes great responsibility. Quality professionals have the knowledge and the and skills to help manage the challenges.
We have taken up one article from Jim L. Smith’s Jim’s Gems:
- Organizations Need Committed People to Succeed – To be blunt, if anyone finds they cannot recommit rapidly when the organization must make changes, they should probably go somewhere else where the culture fits their approach. … This is not the same as asking that you be blindly loyal to the organization. That would likely strike you as rather hypocritical anyhow. Some leaders, however, seem to recognize the importance of two-way loyalty. … It is not surprising that employees who trust and respect the organizational leadership often feel more empowered and motivated to do their best – they become a highly committed workforce…. Organizations with a highly committed workforce generally outperform their competitors. However, the worker must get something in return, with both tangible and intangible benefits. … Commitment is a gift you should give yourself, your family, your friends, and your organization. It can become contagious! Being committed will make your life, and those who surround your life, much more rewarding.
‘From the Editor’ (of Quality Magazine) – by Darryl Sealand, we have –
- Prepare for the Worst, Hope for the Best – a mantra, made popular by poet and activist Maya Angelou and sales wizard and speaker Zig Ziglar – In its most elaborate form, it is part of exposure therapy, a cognitive behavior therapy. … In essence saying, even if the worst happens, we will know how to deal with it. … Exposure therapy takes it a step further and, in a very controlled way, turns the activity which one fears doing of into a reality. As we experience doing that over and over again and realizing it does not result in our death, our discomfort with that activity begins to subside. …Individuals, businesses, and governments do roughly the same thing. Have you ever tested an unfamiliar chair by pressing on it to get a sense if it can hold your weight or pulled on a door after you’ve locked it to make sure it is secure? … Possibly nowhere else is this preparedness more evident than in manufacturing, particularly in quality… …. Quality processes not only increase our confidence in the products produced, but also in the health of the organization producing them. .. One of the processes helping us tackle these risks is Lean manufacturing. … So, check out Genevieve Diesing’s article, “Why Lean Principles Stand the Test of Time” …….
I look forward to your views / comments / inputs to further enrich the theme of Living a Meaningful Life in a Digital World.
Note: The images or video clips depicted here above are through courtesy of respective websites who have the copyrights for the respective images /videos.
 Chaos: The science of butterfly effect