Lifestyle

How to live forever

It’s a peaceful night, with the moon shining brightly to bring light to the night’s darkness, with the echo of crickets in the distance and an occasional hoot of an owl reminding you it’s still the night. You gaze up to the sky admiring the twinkling stars, as all your day’s troubles begin to fade away. You begin to wonder how these stars came to be and why they always twinkle. All these thoughts weigh on you, making you sleepy little by little. You sleep with your thoughts and dreams to wake up into a world that has changed from yesterday, one that is better or worse, till you fall asleep again tonight.

What if you can cherish this peaceful night forever? Does that mean you get to live forever?

Scientific studies on living forever

Many studies are being conducted as of the present, to achieve this long-desired feat of living forever, which humans wished for, since the beginning of their existence. Gerontology, which is the study of the physical, mental and social aspects of aging seeks to find the secrets behind aging. Although the prime objective of gerontology is not to live forever, these studies may help us get one step closer to that goal. Similarly, other research is being conducted on how to replace aging organs of the human body with man-made organs, allowing a person to live longer. This is just one aspect of scientific discoveries.

There are other beliefs among scientists that people would be able to upload their mind to a computer, just like installing a program or an application to a computer, enabling you to live in that computer even if your body ceases to be. Although it seems so far from reality, scientists believe they can get closer to this by the end of this century. So, if you’re lucky enough to live that long, you might end up living forever!

But is this literally a ‘forever’, or is it just a word that we use instead of a ‘very long time’.

Can you actually live forever? 

We live in a world, or rather a universe, where everything is impermanent. The peaceful night you had yesterday can easily fade away with a big storm. The stars that you see today might be destroyed already far away in the sky. The crickets and the owl won’t live forever, nor will you and I, and the sun and moon will cease to exist, in a day which we call the end of the world. 

You may be living a happy life, a healthy life, but humans aren’t able to live forever, not even through medication, science and what-not that we may have in the future. There will be a time in which all beings or all organisms or even all things in the universe will cease to exist. Even the word ‘forever’ will be long-forgotten. 

So living for eternity is not something achievable. 

So if you can’t actually live for eternity, what does it mean to live forever?

If you’re asked a question, how many people do you know by name that lived over two thousand years ago, your answer would be – only a handful. Those people have done great things for the world, discovered something great, or preached to bring about a change in humanity. The names of these individuals do live on for a very long time and might possibly be the closest to ‘forever’. 

So let’s first have a look at who these people are and what they have done.

Religious Leaders

Out of those individuals that you know, the religious leaders are the most well-known. Now there may be a number of factors that may have caused these leaders or their ideologies to be popular such as colonization and missionary movements but their preachings or way of life still live on at the present day. 

Monarchs and Warriors

We’ve read and heard about so many kings, queens, emperors and warriors from way back. The deeds they did, the lands they conquered, the structures they built and the wars they fought still live on and will continue to live on for a great time.

Scientists and Artists 

Many scientists, especially those who were born after the medieval era have done some great discoveries which have helped mankind to get to where they are now. Similarly, artists have played a role in changing people for the greater good. Their names too live on.

So how can your name live forever? Do you have to be a religious leader, an artist, a scientist or a monarch? Not quite.

How can you leave your mark in the world, for your name to live forever?

Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Jr, Mahatma Gandhi. There’s no need for any introductions of these people because they are well-known and they will live on, at least for a really long time. None of these leaders were religious (except for Mother Teresa who was honored by the Catholic church) but they all had something in common, they raised their voice for the sake of humanity or they made an impact in the world by doing good. 

You don’t have to be a Gandhi or a Mandela to leave your name. You can start by changing your life and changing someone else’s life. 

Volunteering

Say you don’t have a steady income that you can afford to share a portion with the needy, volunteering is the way to go. Volunteer to help in your local children’s home, help clean the lakes and beaches, help to feed families that are poor, volunteer to build roads or bridges or you can even volunteer to teach something to children who don’t have access to proper education. This is another step closer to living forever.

Doing Charity

Poverty is one of the biggest problems in the world right now. It is our duty to give back to society or at least the part of the society that needs your help. You don’t have to be rich to do charity. You can always share a portion of your income with the poor. Doing charity alone will not mean your name lives on forever, but it’s one step closer to that. And the person you help will surely remember that for a very long time.

Donate your blood or organs.

There are people who need your blood or your organs to live. Donating blood is easy and we can all do that. The person receiving your blood wouldn’t know that it is your blood, but they will be grateful to you nevertheless. There are also ways to sign-up to donate your organs when you die. Surely the receiver will know they are your organs and they will be grateful, and who knows that person may end up living forever with your organs!

Stand up against injustice

This is something we can all do regardless of whether we are young or old, rich or poor. Standing up against injustice. The injustice may not always take the shape of discrimination or harassment, but there will be minor issues for which you can stand up to. You can raise your voice in those situations to act against injustice. You won’t certainly be world-famous, but you will live on in the minds of people who failed to stand up and in those who you stood up for.

Conclusion

You cannot live for centuries and you cannot certainly live forever (at least not right now). What you can do is to change your life or someone’s life to make the world a better place to live. According to one of my favorite authors, human oblivion is inevitable. 

“There was a time before organisms experienced consciousness, and there will be time after. And if the inevitability of human oblivion worries you, I encourage you to ignore it. God knows that’s what everyone else does.”
― John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

All will be forgotten over time, maybe in a century or a thousand years. But till that day comes, your name can live on. That is what I believe is to ‘live forever’. If you’re someone who didn’t care or who looked the other way, turn your life around, to change the world and live forever.

 

By – Upeka Fernando
Showcasing Team – AIESEC in USJ

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Lifestyle

How to master the art of pitching

If you want to pitch your product or service like a pro, you’ve come to the right place.
You love your business, and what you’re doing, right?
Your eyes glitter with shine when you speak about your business.
You have excellent knowledge and enthusiasm when it comes to your products and services.
But is that enough to sell your products and services?

Sales are an essential component of any company. Regardless of how fabulous your product is, if customers are not purchasing it, it might as well not exist. That’s why delivering an effective and deal closing sales pitch is crucial for any company’s success.

What is a “sales pitch”?

A sales pitch delivers a clear message about your company and the product in a very short time, preferably in less than two minutes. This is also referred to as an elevator pitch because a good sales pitch should last no longer than a short elevator ride, just like the name.

It is a myth that all sales reps are naturally born sellers. So, how do you make a great sales pitch? What should it include and avoid?  Anyone can be a master of pitching if you follow these simple 6 step formula for creating a winning sales pitch.

Let’s get started.

1.Research

To become a part of your customer’s solution, you have to understand their problems first. Research is the best way to do this. Before you sell the product, you need to know who you’ll be talking to. 

  • What do you know about the client company?
  • What is the industry they are working in?
  • Who are the clients they serve?
  • What are the issues that your buyer faces?
  • How can your product help them?  

Your sales pitch should be different and customized according to the company and role you are pitching. Making the perfect pitch requires you to understand the client, so if you’re not looking into them before your first interactions, you’re decreasing your chances of winning the deal.

2.Keep your introduction brief.

Don’t begin the pitch with a long description about yourself, your accomplishments, your company, history, and so on. A quick summary is okay but move quickly to more appealing content. Most companies can smell a pitch coming as soon as you finish saying your name and might reject the pitch you worked hard to create. To grab their attention, start talking about them and leave yourself out of this for a bit. 

Show you’re interested in learning about them. Remember, sales pitches are dialogues, not an automated voice messaging machine. Therefore, make sure you engage your customer in the conversation by asking questions. Show that they are more than just another sale to you.  

3.Be confident.

The thing most beginning salespeople lack is the ability to sell with self-assurance. Include belief in your product and avoid doubt. Use key phrases like “it will “but never say “hope,” “guess,” “I think” when you are speaking. People are people, regardless of your products. Therefore, you have to stand behind every word of your sales pitch for others to feel the belief in the stuff you are trying to sell.  Use lots of expressions and pay attention to body language when talking because it will bring life and positive energy to a conversation. 

4.Highlight Benefits, Not Features.

The potential customer does not pay much attention to your product, only to how it will solve their problems. Basically, a feature is anything about the product that can be described. Features aren’t what customers buy; benefits are. Benefits are personalized perks of using a product. By focusing your sale pitch on the client’s needs and desires, you can successfully capture their attention.

5.Include facts and figures

Benefits are not the only topic you should cover. Try your best to show the evidence you have to prove what you presented as benefits.
There are some powerful ways in which you can get their trust.  

First, use reactions you had from your customers and how they praised you that your product helped them in positive ways in their lives. The statements from a past customer that describes how your product helped them can be used in promoting the product and building trust with future customers. You can use statistics and figures to prove your sales pitch.

Don’t forget to provide your personal guarantee as well. This can be given through a free trial, transportation free, money-back guarantee, or something else that will make them say “yes.”

6.Follow Up

After your initial pitch, sales follow up is a must. Never end your conversation though you didn’t get any favorable reaction. Your continuous follow-up will enhance the interrelationships, and though several times rejections, the customer will agree with your product.

 

That’s it! The next time you are going for a sales pitch, make sure you follow up on these tips outlined above and see your results! 

By – Binara Perera
Showcasing Team – AIESEC in USJ

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Lifestyle

Mental Illnesses; they are real, they are present and we need to talk about them

Just take a split second away from your monotonous routines, and imagine you being a person traumatized by a melancholic past experience, with your mind engulfed with solely darkness and gloom. And in this circumstance you are in grave need of a supporting hand and thus you seek help from the society, which results in you being labelled as an “insane individual who ought to be committed to an asylum”. How would you truly feel?

 

Sadly, this is the culture engraved within the nation, with no awareness widespread on the fact constant repression of the mental wellbeing is a contributing factor to suicide. As per the mental health surveys conducted recently, a substantial proportion of the population suffering from mental deformities have been cornered and left in isolation, after being titled as a lunatic. So the attention raising point is where our community is headed this way. What we require is not a society which compels the mentally ill ones to struggle in silence, but a world which can revive and reinvigorate the minds filled with gloom and sorrow.

person suffering from social norms

 

So, critical changes should be brought upon the attitudes inclusive of the perspectives and perceptions of the youth community who will be the key to a better tomorrow. The sole distinction between physical disorders and mental disorders is the body segments that they affect, but why do the people degrade ones affected by mental illnesses, while treating the physically ill ones in a casual way? Why is there a distinction between mental and physical illnesses? Irrespective of whether it affects the mind, heart or arms, an illness is an illness there shouldn’t be a division between them. Furthermore, the mentally ill ones are the ones who critically needs a bolster to rely on, while treating them with contempt and discrimination would worsen their situation which would lead them to self- harm. A single word you utter matters, as that could shed the darkness away from their restricted world, or put them in dire pain once again. This is a dilemma present in the contemporary society that people should be aware of. The line between physical and mental illnesses should be blurred, and they should be given the opportunity to LIVE life blissfully.

 

Primary and secondary socialization should be focused on educating the youngsters to be a ray of hope, while escalating the positivity in the lives and souls of everyone, instead of being a cause as to why depression is rife in the 21st century. The youth should refrain from using a tunnel vision in viewing other’s lives, and the circumstances that they undergo, thus they should put themselves in the shoes of the other party and feel the raw emotions, which would eventually lead to a better understanding about that person in general. This will ensure that the society learns to sympathize and feel pity towards the ones in need of it. As an unashamed conversation, more sunlight and more candor is what they require and will symbolize hope for them.

 

So, likewise highlighting the urgency and vitality in transforming a world where mental illness is treated as an abnormality, into a world where people can open up, be themselves without having to struggle in silence. Immediate social transformations should be instilled to eliminate the factors restricting and restraining the mental solace and peace of the wider community. Thus more open dialogues should be established to raise awareness on this matter.

By – Hashini Siriwardena
Showcasing Team – AIESEC in USJ

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Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Live a Dream to Get Out of a Nightmare – COVID-19

With the marking of a new decade,2020 brought the world a lot of significant issues that would be remembered as history even few decades later. COVID-19, more commonly known as “Corona” is yet the biggest issue so far. COVID-19 has introduced some new terms to the world such as “Corona”,“Pandemic”, “Quarantine” which have not been familiar to one, unless they are related to the medical field. Having a proper idea such terms related to COVID-19, how to keep yourself from getting the disease and how to avoid spreading of the disease are very important at the moment.

The WHO has declared COVID-19 as a pandemic. Epidemic is rather a familiar term to the public compared to the term pandemic. In simple terms ,an epidemic is defined as “an outbreak of a disease that occurs over a wide geographic area and affects an exceptionally high proportion of the population while the term ​ pandemic ​relates to geographic spread and is used to describe a disease that affects a whole country or the entire world. Usually infectious diseases are the kind of diseases that would develop into a state of an epidemic or an pandemic. Most of the times, the causative agent of an infectious disease is a micro-organism. Even though COVID-19 is more commonly called as the Corona virus, Coronavirus is the family to which the causative virus of COVID-19 belongs to. Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).The name coronavirus is derived from the Latin corona, meaning “crown” or “halo”, which refers to the characteristic appearance reminiscent of a crown or a solar corona around the virions (virus particles) when viewed under two-dimensional ​transmission electron microscopy​, due to the surface covering in club-shaped protein spikes.
COVID-19 is a new disease caused by a strain called SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) that was discovered in 2019 and has not been previously identified in humans. This name was given because the virus is genetically related to the coronavirus responsible for the SARS outbreak of 2003. Corona viruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people. Detailed investigations found that SARS-CoV was transmitted from civet cats to humans and MERS-CoV from dromedary camels to humans. Several known coronaviruses are circulating in animals that have not yet infected humans. The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don’t feel unwell. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. Around 1 out of every 6 people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing. Older people, and those with underlying chronic medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. Also, people who are smoking has high chance of getting the disease and developing severe symptoms than non smokers. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention.

Many countries around the world have seen cases of COVID-19 and several have seen outbreaks. Reducing the chances of being infected and spreading COVID-19 are the best ways to stop or slowdown the outbreaks. First and foremost, avoiding crowded places is the best to avoid catch and spread of the disease. Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands therefore regularly and thoroughly cleaning your hands with an
alcohol-based hand rub or washing them with soap and water is very important. But it is not always possible, hands touch many surfaces, thus can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make one sick so it should be practiced to avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth. When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease. So maintaining at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing is advisable. Need of wearing a mask to avoid the disease has bevome a debatable issue. But according to the WHO, there is need to wear a mask only if you are ill with COVID-19 symptoms (especially coughing) or looking after someone who may have COVID-19. . As there is a world-wide shortage of masks, so WHO urges people to use masks wisely.WHO advises rational use of medical masks to avoid unnecessary wastage of precious resources and mis-use of masks.Covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze proper disposal of the used tissues is another step that can be taken to avoid the spreading of the disease.

But are these things enough to stop the spreading is the bigger question out there. The virus is mainly spreading through person to person-to-person contact but with the increase of the number of patients it can go into a community spread. To avoid that, quarantine of the suspected patients and isolation of confirmed patients are necessary. Isolation and quarantine are public health practices used to stop or limit the spread of disease. Isolation is used to separate ill persons who have a communicable disease like COViD-19 from those who are healthy. Isolation restricts the movement of ill persons to help stop the spread of the disease. Quarantine is used to separate and restrict the movement of well persons who may have been exposed to a communicable disease to see if they become ill. These people may have been exposed to a disease and do not know it, or they may have the disease but do not show symptoms. Quarantine can also help limit the spread of communicable disease. These processes are done in order to control the disease. Many countries are carrying out quarantine programs specially for passengers arriving from highly affected countries and people who have been in close contact with a confirmed patient. It is more of a moral responsibility to support such programs rather than to go against them. As the symptoms of COVID-19 can appear within 2-14 days of exposure, there is a chance of people who are carrying the virus to not to show symptoms or show only very mild symptoms, an infected person could be engaging in daily activities like usual, but while doing that he or she may be spreading the virus to others. If such a person would be present in a mass gathering, there is a huge risk of that person becoming a super spreader. A “super spreader” is someone who infects more people with a disease than the average person does. Patient 31 of South Korea is an example for such a super spreader who ignored her symptoms and went on with normal routine including participating in services at a church which gathers a large number of people.

Some countries might take actions to temporarily ban massive gatherings and even to lock down cities depending on the situation, but as responsible citizens,it is the responsibility of people to avoid all unnecessary outings. If one has to go out, washing or sanitizing the hands and avoid touching the eyes,nose and mouth are the bare minimum one can do to avoid getting sick. If one suspects to be having symptoms, the best thing is to seek medical advice in a proper manner. Most countries facing this epidemic has arranged government medical services specialized to handle COVID-19 patients so even if you have the slightest symptoms, going into self quarantine and seeking medical help from proper authorities is the wisest thing to do. Being vigilant is the next most important factor. Knowing the situation within the country,state,city or town which you know is a must. Be aware of the disease management protocol of your country and what to do if you are sick accordingly.

Some countries might have their own remedies for cold and flu like diseases. Also some food like garlic have become popular as a cure or prevention for COVID-19. Even though there is no enough scientific research done to prove any of them, there can or can not be such preventative actions in them but it is a fact that too much of anything is always adverse. So rather than abusing them, using them in adequate quantities would be effective. Prevention is always better than cure, but in this case, there is no cure. Scientific research is still going on and soon a cure will be developed but till then the only hope is prevention. It is an individual’s responsibility to protect themselves and others from communicable diseases like this. In situations like these, people tend to mentally distressed but it can take a toll on our immunity system where as it is the only thing that we can rely on to avoid the disease and also to cure it if one gets the disease. In such situations it is normal to seek help in religion but some times large no of people are gathered in the name of religion,specially in eastern countries, expecting to get rid of the disease but in turn such incidents contribute to unimaginable no of cases reported. In modern days, anything and everything is at our hands with smart phones and internet, so why not the religion. At the same time, the same technology can become the problem because a perfect 8 hours of sleep is necessary in maintaining the health of immunity system. Eating good food is also said to boost immunity. So literally, a lazy man’s time table is the best at the moment which always has been the dream of a working man. As the world has half way stopped functioning, most of us given paid leave, we should live our dream preferably a little cleaner than usual, in order to not put the ones who are living a nightmare having to work even now ,that too with disease carrying patients in danger.

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Lifestyle

Impacts of Coastal Traffic Wild Animals Habitats

Um-m. So he must. I do deem it now a most meaning thing, that that old Greek, Prometheus, who made men, they say, should have been a blacksmith, and animated them with fire; for what’s made in fire must properly belong to fire; and so hell’s probable. How the soot flies! This must be the remainder the Greek made the Africans of. Carpenter, when he’s through with that buckle, tell him to forge a pair of steel shoulder-blades; there’s a pedlar aboard with a crushing pack.

Now, what’s he speaking about, and who’s he speaking to, I should like to know? Shall I keep standing here? (ASIDE). Tis but indifferent architecture to make a blind dome; here’s one. No, no, no; I must have a lantern.

(more…)
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