Unmoored

SOS

Eyes sunken in, hair matted with salt, skin taut against our bones–Ella and I must have looked a sight. It seemed like ages ago that we were lounging on the beach, painting our nails and comparing summer reading lists.

I had put Life of Pi on mine but, given the present circumstances, I figured I could probably cross that one off.

Inspired by Sonya’s #3LineTales at Only100Words. Interested in writing your own three lines? Here’s the original prompt. Happy three-lining!

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The Psychologist

Week 137

Lend me your stories in all their threads–
tangled yarn, sun, prayers, shadows undone
–and I’ll stitch you a dream. Don’t worry; it’s harmless. It’s fun.

Inspired by Sonya’s #3LineTales at Only100WordsInterested in writing your own three lines? Here’s the original promptHappy three-lining!

Yes, You Can End a Sentence with a Preposition

Part memoir, part linguistic escapade, Kory Stamper’s Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries (2017) is a must-read for anyone who is interested in exploring the stories behind the quirks of the English language.

A lexicographer at Merriam-Webster, Stamper takes readers behind-the-scenes of the editorial process and the history of the dictionary industry. Her style is particularly engaging because she dives deep into the intricacies of the English language, yet expertly keeps her writing light and relatable.

Word by Word

Throughout each chapter, Stamper’s sprachgefühl, or “feeling for language,” is our trusty companion, bounding along with us as she debates the merits of words ranging from “its” to “irregardless.”

She affectionately refers to her sprachgefühl as a both a playful imp and a slippery eel–an inner voice that nudges her in different directions yet remains somewhat out of reach.

Still, she trusts it. It’s the reason she decided to work at Merriam-Webster, and it’s what compels her to always be on the lookout for new words or, more often, new usage patterns of old words. Think “Google” shifting from being a noun to being both a noun and a verb. Or how “like” (which used to mean “body”) gave rise to “likely” and “likewise” and is now a marker of hesitation or, like, a common filler word.

Word by Word is unlike any other book I’ve read on language. It gives readers a behind-the-scenes look at how simple words, like “surfboard” can take an entire working day to define and even simpler words (like “take” or “to”) can take weeks to define.

Merriam-Webster

Editors at Merriam-Webster don’t have office phones. (Too noisy.) So they communicate through email and handwritten notes.

 Throughout the book, Stamper also sprinkles witty includes anecdotes about her life as a Merriam-Webster employee. She jokes without restraint about the bland coffee, disorganized filing system, and the contrast between the bubbly sales department and the severely introverted lexicographers.

What I found most fascinating about Word by Word was Stamper’s discussion of how lexicographers at Merriam-Webster scavenge for usage patterns. Tracking word usage–or “reading and marking”–involves underlining words and the context that surrounds them so that you can determine how the words are used and what they mean.

This involves not only pouring over periodicals like Car and Driver, TIme, and Christianity Today, but also snagging language from all corners of life–including cereal boxes, road signs, shampoo bottles, and concert programs–to read and mark for word usage.

Sometimes the lexicographers at Merriam-Webster simply mark words that strike them as relevant; other times, they are tasked with marking every third or fifth word to ensure that no words are glazed over.

“We think of English as a fortress to be defended, but a better analogy is to think of English as a child. We love and nurture it into being, and once it gains gross motor skills, it starts going exactly where we don’t want it to go….We can tell it to clean itself up and act more like Latin; we can throw tantrums and start learning French instead. But we will never really be the boss of it. And that’s why it flourishes.”

–Kory Stamper, Word by Word

This process illustrates that English, like any language, is always in flux. And, often times, the grammatical rules we enforce are arbitrary. They have no foundation in logic but, Stamper writes, were simply “of-the-moment preferences of people who have had the opportunity to get their opinions published and whose opinions end up being reinforced and repeated down the ages as Truth.”

Ever been told that you can’t end a sentence with a preposition? That rule was arbitrarily established by England’s first Poet Laureate, John Dryden.

John Dryden

John Dryden. Seems kind of pompous, doesn’t he?

Dryden worshipped Latin grammar. He would often write a sentence in English, rewrite it in Latin, and then rewrite it again in English. The result was an English sentence that had Latin grammar. And, in Latin, prepositions cannot be placed at the end of a sentence.

The rule has been reinforced over centuries and now, to some, is Unbreakable Law. But as Stamper points out, using the terminal preposition is perfectly acceptable in English and was being used by writers more than five hundred years before Dryden was even born.

The perfect blend of linguistics, history, and wry humor, Stamper’s Word by Word is guaranteed to have you questioning and analyzing their own use of language. And, if you have sprachgefühl, you may just find yourself taking a second look at that cereal box, scribbling down a conversation you overheard on the bus, or maybe even inventing a few words of your own.

Applying for the Fulbright ETA

Hello friends!

Once again, application season is upon us. I’ve been getting some emails about the Fulbright ETA application process, so I thought I’d dedicate a post to answering some of the most frequently asked questions.

The answers to the following questions are based on conversations I had with people from India’s Fulbright committee, fellowship/scholarship advisors, and ETAs from my cohort.

But first, a word about Fulbright.

From my experience, Fulbright Scholars are incredibly normal people. The ETA program has a way of making itself sound very prestigious when, in reality, it’s really just a group of people interested in learning about the world and wondering if they can teach English in another country.

It’s likely that the program is more within your reach than you think it is. Of course, some countries are more competitive than others. So make sure you have genuine reasons for applying to a particular country and that you can eloquently (and succinctly) describe them in your application.

Many random factors outside your control determine your acceptance. For example, If a school is looking for a creative writing teacher and you’re the only applicant with a background in creative writing, it’s likely that you will be accepted.

I was initially waitlisted. Several people declined the grant, and, because I was relatively high on the waitlist, I was accepted.

All in all, it’s important to remember that winning the grant (or not winning it) doesn’t validate or invalidate your accomplishments and potential to succeed.

What does the Fulbright committee look for in an ETA? How can I prepare a strong application?
A strong application really hits all the Fulbright buzz words–mainly things along the lines of “being a cultural ambassador,” “building bridges between communities,” and “cultural exchange.”

You don’t necessarily need to have all of those specific phrases in your application, but your essays should focus on why those themes are important to you and how they relate to your life.

Writing about why you’re drawn to a country and how the experience fits into your career plan is also important. (No worries if you don’t have a career plan. I didn’t have one when I applied, so I just made something up.)

The idea is to write a few sentences showing the committee that you intend for this experience to be part of a larger, overarching goal. They won’t chase you down if you don’t follow through with it.

What else can I do to increase my chances of being accepted?
Write concisely and avoid cliches. Also, don’t be afraid of rewriting your essays and double-triple checking every sentence. I did major rewrites of my drafts several times. Also, it always helps to have someone from your university’s writing center review your essays.

The application asks me to write about an extracurricular activity that I’m going to lead outside school. What should I write about?
Anything. Literally anything. It doesn’t have to be super creative, fancy, or unique–just something that aligns with your interests and the needs/culture of the community you’re going to serve. The committee doesn’t expect you to follow-up with the activity you propose.

I didn’t major in English. Can I still be an ETA?
Yes! There were many people in my cohort who had backgrounds in science, engineering, and the social sciences. Only a handful of us had majored in English/Communications.

I don’t want to be a teacher or work in education. Can I still be an ETA?
Yes! The committee is not solely interested in accepting people who want to pursue careers in education. Being an ETA gives you skills and experiences that can be useful in virtually any career. Only a few people from my cohort of 24 were interested in education.

Does the committee discriminate against applicants of Indian origin?
No. Your ethnicity is not a factor in your application. The committee members I spoke to said they don’t have a preference for Indians/non-Indians.

What they don’t like is if you are of Indian origin and it seems like:
a) You’re applying to go to India to see your family, or;
b) You want to “reconnect with your roots”

In my application, I explicitly stated that I’ve been to India several times before and that I’d like to use this fellowship as an opportunity to explore a different part of India.

Do you have suggestions for other, similar fellowships I can apply for?
If you want to volunteer in India, I suggest applying for the American India Foundation William J. Clinton Fellowship. The application is typically available in October. You can read more about the experience on the AIF Clinton blog.

This FAQ post is an attempt to answer some of the most commonly asked questions about the Fulbright-Nehru ETA program. The above answers do not necessarily apply to all countries.

If you have additional questions, email me at sushmita.gelda@gmail.com.

You can also view the answers to these questions my visiting my FAQ page.

 

Between the Colors

The following guest post was written by Mahathi Gottumukkala. Mahathi is a confused, floundering “recent” graduate of the University of Buffalo (it’s been two years since she graduated with an Economics major and English minor). She likes to tell herself she’s just still exploring and adventurous. She loves to read and write and blogs very intermittently at Thoughts and Whimsies.

When I read Nanu’s post on reverse culture shock, it all came rushing back. The strange disorientation. The weightless feeling, as if in a dream. The familiar faces and places that seemed suddenly alien.

As I stepped off the plane in India, a fresh college graduate, I tried to understand that this was really it. That I was home for good.

I wouldn’t be returning to college and currently had no plans to return to the US. There would be no frantic rush to enroll in classes or get my I-20 signed. The future was upon me.

In the sparsely populated city of Buffalo, it was easy to romanticize the “colorful chaos” of India. It had never occurred to me that I wouldn’t fit right back in at home, that it would be difficult to find people I could relate to.

Reality was…a bit different from what I remembered.

It had been nearly two years since I’d come home. As I stepped onto the cold marble floors of my apartment, I began to feel anxious. I’d forgotten how high up I lived. I felt as if I were floating in space. But it was only the seventh floor, and I’d lived in apartments all my life.

I only vaguely registered the warm, joyful poster my mother had made to welcome me home.

Daytime came and I found myself picking out faults at home that I’d never registered before.

Communities were disjointed and insular—separated by class yet often living only a compound wall or window apart from each other.

You could live life in a bubble of privilege and travel in a fancy car while streets upon streets of poor people stared at you. After a while, the humanity and life around you subsides to white noise.

The dusty hot glass and concrete–relieved only by a few struggling, straggling trees–mocked my isolation and my urban servitude. I missed the open spaces, lakes and lawns of Buffalo like crazy.

There were other things. The concepts of privacy and personal space were non-existent.

The jostling queues and the way the person in front of you lets the swinging door hit you on the face. The complete lack of shame in pointed, intrusive inquiries and unsolicited opinions from someone you haven’t spoken with in years.

How did your parents afford to send you to the US? Wouldn’t it be better if they had sent you for your Master’s degree? Do you really think the Return on Investment is worth it?

 These are all questions I’ve received.  

And everyone stares.

This is a country of starers. I never noticed before because I’m usually absent-minded and pre-occupied, but people look at you as if you’re the next installment of Game of Thrones.

They tell you, point-blank, that you’re dark or fat or prone to acne. In fact, the first thing they do when they see you is comment on your physical appearance—whether you’ve lost or gained weight, become fairer or darker, etc., etc.

And, suddenly, you become hyper-aware that every aspect of your person is being judged. You begin to fear that, if you don’t answer their intrusive questions, you might be thought stuck-up.

I felt torn and guilty. I was dismayed by how much I missed the US, especially since I’d always been clear about coming back to India. But the reality of India—a landscape peopled with contradictions and challenges—was difficult to comprehend.

The process of readjustment was gradual and my understanding of the nuances and contours evolved throughout.

There are—of course—good things about India. The flip side of the loss of space is the warmth and a sense of community. You can feel it everywhere you go. People are hospitable and—while they sometimes cross boundaries—they are also quick to make you feel at home.

In the US, there’s something like a cult of individuality. People are too polite. They guard space and privacy so fiercely that it’s difficult to form the same informal and relaxed friendships that I have in India.

I love Indian classical music and dance and our beautiful, majestic history. And the country’s endless contrasts and ceaseless complexity pull me in, compelling me to understand and find answers.

After all, nowhere else could ever really be home.

Interested in guest blogging for Aksharbet?  Visit our Write for Us page and send your submissions to sushmita.gelda@gmail.com.

Reverse Culture Shock

When I lived in Kolkata, I’d close my eyes and picture home. I’d try to remember how the streets looked, how the air tasted, how people dressed—everything. Not because I missed being home but because I feared that, if I didn’t remember how it felt, I’d be hit by reverse culture shock.

Reverse culture shock is exactly what it sounds like. It happens to people when they live abroad for an extended period of time. Upon returning home, they find the culture of their home country disorienting and confusing.

SUNY Fredonia’s website has a helpful graphic describing the process of re-adjusting to life at home:

Reverse Culture Shock - Diagram 2

Though my mental exercise helped me lessen the blow of culture shock, some things still surprised me:

Everyone is so polite
At the airport, I wait for a car to pass by before crossing the street and suddenly—wait, what’s happening?—it pauses at the edge of the crosswalk (on a completely empty road) and waits for me instead. This would never happen in Kolkata.

Hearing people use polite phrases—Please, Thank You, You’re Welcome—was also a bit surprising at first. Americans use these phrases way, way more often than Indians do.

The sky is very blue
I forgot that blue and green existed on a spectrum. When you live in a small town by the Hudson River, you feel like you could count you could spend your entire life counting shades of blue and green and, still, you would never manage to count them all. No dust, no pollution—I forgot what it was like to live in such a beautiful place. And it’s painful to see how people around me take it for granted.

Clermont State Park

Clermont State Park is walking distance from my home.

 

It’s really quiet
Going from living in Kolkata (Population: 4.6 million) to Tivoli (Population: 1,100) felt extreme. The second day I came home, my parents went to work and my sister went to school. The silence was unbearable. Except for the occasional bird call, there wasn’t a sound to be heard for miles on end. I know it sounds melodramatic, but it’s true—that kind of silence can feel suffocating if you’re not used to it.

I had gotten accustomed to the doorbell ringing several times a day and the cacophony of daily life. Even on the days I didn’t go to school or work, I had at least a dozen social interactions.

The bhaiya who cleans our building, the daytime and nighttime guards, the istri wala (person who irons clothes), the neighbors, the storekeepers, the autorickshaw drivers—I interacted with these people on a daily basis. And anywhere I went, I was surrounded by hundreds of people. Now, I can look down the middle of a road—pretty much any road—and not see anyone or anything for miles on end.

Despite these challenges, I’d say I’m pretty lucky. I’ve been back and forth between India and the United States several times, so adjusting to life back home was not too difficult. I got over the worst of it in two days.

And the mental picture I go to now is, of course, my home in India. Our apartment, the streets surrounding it, the route to school and my NGO—these are things I try to remember the most. I hope that when I go back (which I know I will) things won’t feel too unfamiliar.

Have you experienced reverse culture shock before? What did it feel like? How did you cope with it? Comment below—I would love to hear about your experience.

Interested in applying for the Fulbright ETA? Check out my FAQ page.

3 Writing Tips

I enjoy writing, and I strive to get better at it each day. Through practice, accident, and experimentation, I’ve invented some of my own techniques for becoming a better writer.

These are all general strategies that can be applied to many different writing situations and can be used by anyone.

Follow the shadow
Think of a text as having two parts: a surface and a shadow. The surface is the part you read; the shadow is a series of questions that support it. Behind every sentence is a question, and answering that question is the key to writing the next sentence.

Here’s the strategy:

Step 1: Write a sentence
Step 2: Think of the questions that the sentence provokes
Step 3: Write a sentence answering one of those questions.
Step 4: Repeat Steps 2 & 3

Following this technique ensures airtight prose. It creates a sense of logic and, ultimately, a sense of cohesion and flow.

Example:

Think of a text as having two parts: a surface and a shadow.
How would you describe the two parts of a text?

The surface is the part you read; the shadow is a series of questions that support it.
Why is seeing the second part (the shadow) so important?

Seeing the shadow is important because behind every sentence is a question,
and answering that question is the key to writing the next sentence.
Can you show me how to use the shadow to improve my writing?

Here’s the strategy:
Can you show me how to use the shadow to improve my writing?

It’s useful for writing non-fiction, especially when you’ve written a few sentences and are unsure of how to continue. It’s also useful for editing. If a sentence sounds abrupt or out of place, you can rewrite it so that it answers a question asked by the previous one.

Next time you read a well-written piece of nonfiction, try writing a little bit of its shadow. You’ll be surprised at how logically each question follows the next.

Play 10 Observations
This game is a great mental exercise. I invented it about a year ago, and I usually play it when I’m bored. (During lectures and conferences, in waiting rooms, on public transport, etc.)

How to play:

1. Identify: Using your five senses, identify ten things that are present in your immediate surroundings. (Ex: A brown table, the sound of the ceiling fan, the smell of perfume)

2. Add context: Challenge yourself to write a description of each observation that includes a “poetic twist” and goes one or two steps beyond what you immediately see.

If you see a cobweb, you could write something as simple as:
A lone cobweb hung in the corner of the room

Or something more extensive like:
Over the years, cobwebs gathered in Lola’s gaze. Her dreams dimmed and her eyes–though they tried–no longer had the courage to hold the iight they once used to. When I met her at our usual meeting spot, she greeted me with a tired smile…

…and you can continue the story for as long as you want. I usually write a phrase or, at most, a couple sentences for each observation.

You can also make many variations of this game.

One that I recently made is called “Three Ways of Doing X” This game challenges you to write three different ways of doing a simple action, such as holding a pencil, taking a sip of tea, or entering a room.

Example: Holding a pencil

1. He held the pencil delicately, almost as if he were completing the last strokes of an elaborate painting.
2. He gripped the pencil as if it were the last one on Earth. This led him to develop several calluses on his fingers, which his mother never ceased to point out.
3. He held the pencil in awe. He had never seen anything like it before. 

My sentences are pretty simple. For a better example, check out Lisa Gagnon’s post “On Scribbles and Snow.” In this post, you can read several short yet striking descriptions of snow. These descriptions were written by Lisa and her students.

If you play these types of games often enough, you’ll automatically start thinking of interesting ways of describing the world around you.

Save your scraps
While I write and revise, I dump any deleted/unused ideas and paragraphs into a “Scrap” section at the end of my draft or in a separate document.

Here’s an excerpt from this post’s scrap section:

Reading Vikram Seth’s A Suitable Boy inspired me to try this strategy. No matter how many smiles are exchanged over the course of his 1500+ pag page novel, none are exactly alike.

Timing yourself, reading a lot.

Keeping the unused information is important. People who edit your work can look in the scrap section to see if any ideas you deleted are worth including in the draft.

Paragraphs that were irrelevant to your current piece might also end up being useful in future pieces.

Do you agree or disagree with any of this advice? What are your favorite pieces of writing advice? Comment below–I’d love to discuss more!

Intermission

Indian cineplexes know that we have busy lives. That’s why they include a 20-25 minute intermission during all Bollywood movies.

Aside from stocking up on snacks and taking a bathroom break, there are many productive ways to make the most of this break:

Watch the ads
Watching the intermission ads is the best way to bask in the glory of your upper-class status. Aside from ads about Manyavar and Healthy Instant Noodles, INOX theaters will show slides that duly remind you that 86 percent of moviegoers have debit cards and a little less than 50 percent own cars. Wow! What a privilege to be in such an audience.

Take a power nap
Bollywood movies have complicated storylines–you’ll need the extra sleep to help you stay focused for the remainder of the movie.

Watch TV
Nothing more productive than kicking back and watching an episode of your favorite T.V. show. The Office, Friends, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and Scrubs are all great options. The episodes of these shows are conveniently 20-25 minutes long.

Learn Calculus
Teach yourself how to define derivatives as limits with this Khan Academy video. Don’t worry–it’s only a little over 15 minutes long, so you’ll still have 5 minutes remaining to review what you learned before the movie starts again.

Practice the Indian national anthem
All moviegoers in India are required to stand for the Indian national anthem before the start of any movie. Singing Jana Gana Mana at the movies is the glue that binds the nation together. Without it, the country would be in complete disarray. If you sing with enough gusto…who knows? Maybe this could be your big musical debut.

Exercise
Did you consume too many carbs during the first half of the movie? No worries. Intermission is the perfect time to do a 20-minute Zumba workout.

Run some errands
Use your spare time to get your eyebrows done, drop off your watch for repairing, or pick up a few items from the clearance sale downstairs.

Can you think of any other activities or tasks that can be done in 25 minutes or less? Comment below! You’ll help billions of moviegoers have a more productive experience.

Ma’am, I Have an Information!

I can’t believe my time as a Fulbright ETA is almost over. The past two months of school have been a hodgepodge of different activities.

In early February, students from Class 5 onward started preparing for/taking final exams. So I scrapped my old timetable and switched to teaching Class 2B and Class 3 a couple times a week.

My first day of teaching Class 3 felt like a disaster. It started off on a chaotic note when a student turned on the ceiling fans and the small, square pieces of paper I had cut out for an activity (along with a handful of worksheets) blew everywhere.

Before I knew it, ten students were scrambling to help pick them up. Naturally, the rest of them decided this was the perfect opportunity to talk and scream.

Their regular class teacher soon noticed the chaos and told them to stand up for the remainder of the class. (Luckily, there were only 10-15 minutes left in the period.)

Luckily, I had much better control over the class on Day 2. When the students started to get out of hand, I used the “If you can hear me, clap once. If you can hear me, clap twice.” trick, and it worked like a charm. They immediately quieted down and listened to my instructions.

But the beginning of class was always noisy. Almost every class period started like this:

Ma’am can I pass out the papers?  Can I pass out half the papers?  Can I rub the board?  Can I help you with something?

(A group of five or so students clustering around me and begging me to assign tasks to them.)

And involved conversations that went like this:

“Ma’am, he’s sitting in my chair.”
“It doesn’t matter. Just sit in a different seat.”
“But Ma’am, he’s sitting in my chair.”
“I don’t care.”
“But Ma’am he’s sitting in my chair.”
“I DON’T CARE. JUST SIT HERE.”

And interruptions like these:

“Ma’am, I just wanted to show you a new book that I got.”
“My finger is paining. Can I go to Manju Didi?” (The nurse)
“Ma’am, I have an information!”
“Ma’am, I have a confusion!!!!”

(I felt lucky if I could say two sentences in a row without being interrupted.)

Despite its craziness, teaching the junior school was a nice break from teaching literature. I did lessons on articles and adverbs with Class 3 and lessons on adjectives and synonyms with Class 2.

My favorite way to review grammar was by having a class competition. From experience, I knew that competition was the best (and often the only) way to get students focused and engaged.

Though they differed in content, my review games followed the same basic structure: I had students pass around a ball and answer a question or make a statement. I also timed how quickly the class completed the task and challenged them to do it in less time during the second and third rounds.

Here are some of the games we played:

The Opposite Game: I say an adjective. Students say the antonym of the adjective.
This cake is…: Students complete the sentence using one of the 15 synonyms they learned for good/great (Ex: Amazing, spectacular, outstanding, etc.)
PB&J Adjectives: Students say one sentence describing either peanut butter, jelly, or bread. (I taught them how to make PBJ sandwiches the day before we played.)

It’s truly amazing how much you can do with just a small polyester ball.

Baseball

This ball has probably passed through the hands of at least a 100 students at Akshar.

During my free time, I also helped Dhruv and Aditya (two of the Further Education students) write short books:

Autobiographies

Aditya also wrote a book on Soumitra Chatterjee, a famous Bengali actor:

Soumitra Chatterjee

(Note: I designed these books on Canva. The software is free. It’s easy to use and is great for designing books, flyers, social media posts, etc.)

Doing these projects was fun because Aditya and Dhruv are motivated students. It also gave me an opportunity to teach Aditya the elements of the writing process (brainstorming, outlining, writing a rough draft, editing, etc.) and some basic skills (such as saving files on a flash drive and scanning photos.)

Dhruv and I also had a chance to interview a manager at Oxford Bookstore, which is one of the oldest bookstores in Kolkata. She offered to help us organize a book launch party.

We just finished the books today so (fingers crossed) hopefully we are able to organize the party within the next couple of weeks!

Oxford Bookstore

Interview at Oxford Bookstore

#WhatsApp #Worship

One in three smartphone users in India run out of space on their phones daily. The answer? Two words. “Good Morning!”
–Newley Purnell, The Wall Street Journal

The Book of WhatsApp is an ever-growing holy text. Each day, new squares of wisdom fall from the cyber heavens to enlighten smartphones across the world.

Those who follow the teachings of the Book begin each day with the morning call to prayer:

Good Morning Squares
If you are blessed, you may be lucky enough to be graced by the presence of an angel:

Angels

Listening to these prayers resonate throughout your chat groups–is there any sweeter sound? I think not. However, one must always remember that the religion of WhatsApp_Ism is not merely about taking–it’s about giving. As the Book states: “He who wishes a Good Morning upon others welcomes a Good Morning unto himself” (4:26 PM).

So next time you hear the prayer, sing one in return. And sing “Good Morning” to all. True followers of WhatsApp_Ism tap the “Forward” button selflessly, sending Good Morning prayers to friends, colleagues, and strangers alike.

According to Verse 11 of the Book, “He who forwards messages without thinking is the most generous of us all” (11:59 AM). Following this advice is essential to promoting the well-being of society. The squares on happiness, work ethic, and relationships are especially important to spread. They contain profound wisdom and a degree of erudition that is often difficult to come by these days.

Advice

Advice

The squares have an impact that lasts for days, sometimes weeks. It’s often only in the middle of the night–after hours of thought and meditation–that I am able to fully grasp the meaning embedded in each one.

Certain messages are meant for specific people. These can be saved in Google Prayer Box 1.2, a digital storage space reserved for the followers of WhatsApp_Ism. You can then extract them and send them to friends/relatives when appropriate.

People-Specific

Others are meant to correct overconfidence. This concept is captured in one of the most poetic verses of the Book: “If thou wakest in joy and peace, I urge thee to reawaken in the tender light of my passive-aggressive tiles. Thou shall learn humility by remembering thy weaknesses and sloth” (8:33 PM).

Passive-Aggressive

Morning prayers aside, you’ll also find that The Book of WhatsApp is a source of scientific wisdom:

Science

And that it promotes racial equality:

Racial Equality

WhatsApp_Ism is a crowdsourced religion and is growing as we speak. We welcome people from all faiths to join. And don’t worry–messages are secured with end-to-end encryption, so no one can interfere with your connection to the holy spirit.

I hope this post has filled your heart with joy and blessings. You are a beautiful person.
Good morning.