Information Anxiety
"Information Anxiety is now recognized as a psychological disorder ...""said Nury Vittachi, the author of more than twenty highly acclaimed books, and his latest, "The Kamasutra of Business" (John Wiley, 2007). He further states: "....some people are realizing that it is time to put aside the creation of databases and begin thinking about what we already have." Because, as he rightly considers "Today, we may know more facts. But that doesn't mean that we are wiser." Apparently, Vittachi is talking about the excessiveness that comes from the Free Flow of Information, thanks to the Internet and Web. Information Anxiety however, can also affect those who have minimal or no exposure to the Free Flow of Information. For instance, the desert people from hyderabad news channel the Interior Arabia: In the earlier times they were isolated from the majority of humanity. They had a individual world they created. They had no idea at all about the happenings in the world. The latest information could take years to get through to them. So it's not too surprising that they were thirsty for information, or any news. They even addressed each other with the same question: "What's the news?" They suffered from "Information Anxiety". In addition, Anxiety, of any kind of Anxiety, is a sickness. The illness affected the part of their brain, which made them wild, rough and tough. Fine for them, for life , it wasn't an easy one either. Only the rough and tough were able to survive. Their sickness proved to be a blessing in disguise which is to say, for them! It would take them more than two millennia as well as many prophets to warm their hearts. As hearts softened, the greeting too changed. It wasn't "Khair Khabar?" or "What's the news?" or "What's the news?" Shalom and Salaam, "Peace be upon thee!" The rest of Asia was not as likely to suffer from this kind of anxiety. In the end, we being from the islands did not feel the effects of it. We were maritime people. We were merchants. We were able to access more information. It's quite surprising, therefore that we have adopted the greeting of Indonesia, "Apa kabar?" - What's the news? Indeed,"Kabar," the term "Kabar" is from Arabic "Khabar". This was not how we were greeted before our introduction to the Arabic influence. It's not that we didn't take interest in the news - we did. But we did not focus all our energies on gathering information or news. We were more concerned with the kind of knowledge and information that might bring about some transformation - Inner Transformation. We valued reading material that was of some use. When newspapers were introduced initially, we called them Surat Kabar also known as News Letter and later changed the name to Koran also known as Reading Material. In addition, Koran is a very powerful word. It is an Arabic word that means Arabic for Reading. Not any kind of reading, however, Holy Reading - Reading that can make our hearts and minds into a more holy place. This is called the Holy Scripture, in Arabic, is called Qur'an. .Coming back to how we met and greeted one another ..... When we met, we hoped for and prayed for each other's wellbeing. We also have a long history of the concept of "well-being" as the well being of not just our bodies, but our hearts, minds and even our souls. Our belief was in the fullness of the human experience. In the years before the west began to discuss Emotional and Intellectual Quotients we already practiced Sembah Cipta in addition to Sembah Rasa. We were also aware that Spirituality was not measured, so we did not separate it and called it Spiritual Quotient. We instead incorporated Spirituality into all the levels of consciousness that humans have as Persembahan or Loving devotion, offering. We viewed things with affection. We thought and felt compassionately. We worked devotedly. From dawn until dusk we lived cheerfully and then at night, we slept peacefully. Our Life View is simple, yet very simple. We did not speculate and discuss the spiritual dimension - we integrated it into daily practice. As such, we did not suffer from any kind of anxiety. We maintained a lifestyle of prayer. We didn't even separate Religion from Life. God from Life. We didn't need to schedule specific hours for prayer. The whole time, we were praying. Therefore, anxiety was foreign to us. This is the reason we were so simple to adjust to the New Era of Science and Technology. We were happy with the Free Flow of Information. We didn't experience the same problems as those that the Saudis as well as Wahabis throughout the middle of Arabia. In the interior of Arabia, the flow of information is looked at with suspicion. Modernity is being accepted very in a very hesitant way, and this too piece-by-piece, bit-by-bit. Change and Transformation are often rejected as a result of a faith that is progressive and consequently transformative in its nature. They are unaware that such unnatural rejection is causing confusion in their minds. The more exposed they become to the internet and electronic media broadcasts from all around the world, as well as other countries within their own neighborhood - the more confused they become. The clergies who oppose modernity perceive it as an evil force that is in opposition to their customs and beliefs. The regime that can only remain at its helm with backing of the clergy must "officially" stand by such perception. I've been told by at least three trustworthy sources that Saudi women who were traveling out of the country will always show themselves at the time their plane leaves Saudi ground and air. When asked if this was in contradiction to their religious beliefs, their response was "No, not belief. That is part of our customs there. We do not have to carry such customs overseas." Women living in such a society suffer more from Information Anxiety. They are always hungry for news, any kind of news. The disease is more prevalent among those who don't leave the country, or do not leave the Saudi soil. If you've ever gotten to know one of them, you ought to know what I'm talking about. Back home, the condition of their males-folks is little better. That is, Now. Just 50 years back, they were in a similar health. They suffered from information anxiety to the same extent as the women-folks. In exchange for this, every evening they would gather and gossip over the smoke from their shisha.

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