Editorial Comment- January 2008


January marks the beginning of another year, new resolutions, new classrooms, new schools, or choices about further education and careers and about re writing exams in which some were unsuccessful. It is a month that not only heralds celebrations but also many constraints of admissions disappointments and re trials.  Hard work and changing mindsets towards education is the key to success.  In an article entitled "You Can Grow Your Brain." It was said that, “They were taught that the brain is like a muscle that gets stronger with use and that learning prompts neurons in the brain to grow new connections. From such instruction, many students began to see themselves as agents of their own brain development. Students who had been disruptive or bored sat still and took note. One particularly unruly boy looked up during the discussion and said, "You mean I don't have to be dumb?"

Leading psychologists have found that, “Mind-set can affect the quality and longevity of personal relationships as well, through people's willingness-or unwillingness-to deal with difficulties.  Those with a fixed mind-set are less likely than those with a growth mind-set to broach problems in their relationships and to try to solve them, according to a 2006 study I conducted with psychologist Lara Kammrath of Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario. After all, if you think that human personality traits are more or less fixed, relationship repair seems largely futile.  Individuals who believe people can change and grow, however, are more confident that confronting concerns in their relationships will lead to resolutions.

In this issue we have an important article based on a study on how one can achieve success in learning in relationships and in work and how one can actually gain from failure. It is an important research which reveals important aspects of the functioning of the brain and how one can actually make a difference with changes in mindset and self perception. We strongly recommend it to parents, educators and learners.  
January is also a time when we reflect on our performance and plan for the future. We once again invite you the reader to inform us of your views about our newspaper; about what you would like to see in the future in our paper, about how you see the world around you, and whether some of our interpretations are making an impact on how you see the world. 

This month there are also important dates. January 8th marks the important day in the calendar of the African National Congress and the issuance of a statement that would determine the direction of the way our country will be governed. On the 26th January India will celebrate its 59th year of Republic status. On the 30 January we observe the 60th anniversary of Gandhiji’s assassination. Once again we reflect on the issues of violence. 

The International Centre of Nonviolence was launched last year and takes off this year. Hopefully the impact of the discussions, the knowledge and the programmes that will generate from this initiative will help our society develop into a proudly non-violent society – a society that is not only at peace with itself but is also able to take forth some of the important philosophies and concepts for the future of human existence. Indeed an important aspect is the fact that the United Nations has recognised the importance of non-violence by declaring 2nd of October as the International Day of Nonviolence. 

Yet we see the continuation of wars and deadly violence in many parts of the world.  How can we change this reliance on violence as a means to solve conflict?  How can we make an impact on society so that people can begin to look at more sustainable and humane ways of overcoming differences? These are some of the issues that we need to address with much more vigour. 

Sadly too the year has begun with tragic losses of our stalwarts of the struggle for freedom in South Africa. We have profiles of some of the leading figures. We pray that we be given the strength to accept these losses and that their influence remain as beacons of hope and inspiration to us.