Guwahati- Prof. (Dr.) S.P.Singh, Vice Chancellor, Royal Global University stressed the need to hold a webinar during the RGU Webinar Speaker Series on ‘The best way to live life is with an attitude of gratitude’ on 26 May 2020 from 3 -4 PM as India is raging against COVID-19, Amphan Cyclone, Assam floods, Vaizag Gas Leak, Uttarakhand forest fire, Rajasthan locust attack and Assam earthquake in a span of just three months.
Joining him on this illuminating subject were Prof.A.K.Buragohain, Chairperson-Academic, Prof. (Dr.) Anuradha Devi, Dean, RSAPS, Ar. Anita P. Yammiyavar, Dean, RSA, RSFT & RSFA, Dr. Soumitra Sen, Dean i/c, RSHM & RSTTM, Dr. Gitumoni Konwar, Dean, Principal, RSN & RSMAS, and Ms. Angira Mimani, Registrar, RGU, which was moderated by Mr. Ayushman Devraj, Asst. Professor, RSL. It was attended by more than 400+ Academicians, faculty, students and staff from different universities and schools across India.
Prof. Singh went down memory lane and exchanged how during his formative years, his father would ensure core Indian human values which were instilled in his kinfolk for life. Today, as a Vice Chancellor for 5000+ students and father to his children, he deemed it fit to have a webinar on ‘attitude of gratitude’, wherein he opened the forum for discussion on lost human values, psychological well-being and ways forward in life post COVID-19.
He stressed how Behavioural Science is a strong subject in character building and instilling an attitude of gratitude for posterity. As educationists, it becomes every teacher’s duty to charter a student’s life towards its right course. It is as a teacher, he vehemently gives his discourses in classes on Geology, Architecture, Management, Geography and Behavioural Science. A child holds a blank slate and what as parents/teachers write, becomes his destiny.
It is imperative that parents teach children the history of India, thank the farmers for the food we eat and inculcate in them the sense to respect all. Prof.Buragohain deliberating on his many years of service to education pondered on gratitude, a strong positive emotion which is an active area of study in positive psychology. Philosophers since time immemorial has propounded that gratitude played a pivotal role in civilization building. Religions have always warranted the belief down the ages of good and bad karma.
Though every human being has innate values, it takes a pandemic to change and challenge every life and instill a sense of gratitude. Ms.Mimani, experienced and smarting from disparities meted out to the less privileged ones, is glad that these COVID Times is making each individual introspect on materialistic gains and delve inwards to re-evaluate one’s attitude towards life.
A belief was created that Human Beings could ‘achieve it all’ but the pandemic punctured that myth. While the ‘haves’ eat in luxury, the ‘have nots’ are still struggling to get home, home to family and eat a meal. Water in these torched times have also proven that it is not to be wasted. Food is to be valued and perspectives are to be set right on how best resources are utilized. Gratefulness in all things big or small is to be stressed upon and thank the provider for it.
Prof.Devi, a mathematician and of scientific bent of mind, quoted a research study of 15 years which proved that being grateful has a positive impact on the health and mind, reduces high pressure, cholesterol, improves sleeping and depression is kept in bay. The day we start conversing in ‘we’ instead of ‘I’ is the day of reckoning for gratitude.
Ar. Yammiyavar, a staunch supporter of preserving nature while constructing buildings, stated how Uttarakhand was a blaring example of Man going against Nature Cutting trees or blocking water bodies and the resultant is for all to see. She advocated gratitude to be shown to Mother Nature else we will perish. Prof.Sen enlightened the viewers that Life does not provide guarantees and warrantees but endless possibilities to thank the frontline warriors fighting a miniscule virus.
The new connotation of SMS is – sanitize, mask and social distancing. Prof.Konwar, being a member of the medical fraternity, spoke on past pandemics like the Spanish flue, black fever, the great famine, teaching valuable lessons of kindness and gratitude to humankind. This pandemic has taught us to retrospect on our lives and inculcate good habits through yoga, healthy lifestyle and thereby creating ‘Happy Hormones’ in the body.
The Speakers fielded questions on COVID-19 and its applicability on attitude of gratitude, migrant workers, Psychological aspects, job scenarios and frontline workers. The ‘take home’ for all was a simple dictum, ‘Charity begins at Home’.