Sunday, September 22, 2013

Is Being Good....Good Enough!!!!

There was a HR Summit I attended just last Friday. During one of the panel discussions the speaker mentioned about a book called  “Difficulty of being good” by Gurcharan Das.  Of Course! I have ordered for one and waiting to get into my hands.    
But keeping that apart I was contemplating on the title while driving back - DIFFICULTY OF BEING GOOD
As a child I was taught to be good. My parents always emphasized on being disciplined, accomplish, being nice to others, responsible, listening to elders and all that you can name as merits of being ranked as good kid. I always thought that was the world out there which expects you to be ‘good & nice’. Good and nice as per the external world, its demands and expectations.

I grew up with all that noble thoughts of ‘Being Good’.  I did all that which makes people around me feel proud of me. 
Today, when I sit back and ponder on difficulties I have faced of being good – layer by layer I could excavate the life’s hardships of striving to hold that fame. When I reflect on that today, all I feel is probably my parents should have taught me thin line difference between ‘being good’ and ‘tolerating’.
Difficulty of being good is that, people expect you to be constant and consistent with the label all the time. Yet! It was your own setting of that expectation that you will strive to keep up your set identity and always want to be branded and named under being called good.
I was never taught to ‘Say No’. I was never told the definition of ‘what exactly is tolerating’ and how to overcome that. There by, there would have been many occasions of being controlled indirectly, being told what to do, being advised under various markers, painting nice pictures of what is right.
By compelling myself to be good, I have borne dis-respect & loss, I have experienced where people have taken me for granted, I have faced hardships, suffered pain and hurt. When I self-introspect today, I confidently say, ‘Being good’ is nice. But, being good to oneself is fair.
Compromise is courteous, but compromise to what degree!
Forcing one-self for a cause is kind enough, but forcing to what level!
Driving things is wonderful, but ‘Is driving wearing a mask of pushing’!
Self-Imposition with principles is appealing, but is principles in disguise of limitations!
Being remarkable is brilliant, but in the play, are our actions impression-building and striving to keep up the same.
Accomplishments are inspiring, but life does not end if we fail in one of the phase.
Being a role-model is amazing, but counterfeiting grey matters does not help remain in that stature

BE GOOD TO ONESELF is equally important along with being good to others. 
I feel - at the end of the episode of life, we are required to answer for our own conscience. When we look back at the life’s pathway, all it matters is the quality of happiness you felt within
You tend to spread happiness to the outer world only when you are happy within. You cannot spread happiness when you are feeling miserable within.
You cannot display enthusiasm when you are feeling apathetic internally
You cannot be motivating when you are hopeless.

There are certainly difficulties of being good, probably we are at peace when we segregate it when being good to self and others, then we draw a line between acceptance and tolerance.

This reminds me of few lines of paradoxical commandments – A pragmatic irony of life.
If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable. Be honest and frank anyway.
The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds. Think big anyway.
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.  Build anyway.
We are here to hear others and listen to ourselves. Seek suggestions and take decisions. This reminds me a popular Bruce Lee’s quote - I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.”
Probably, living life to our own expectations leads to harmony and that harmony should be congruent with our thoughts, words and deeds. Is Being good….. good enough!!!!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others!

From last 48 hours I have been HEARING music continuously. Sounds crazy!!!
Is Music heard or listened!!!  Obviously, it’s listened and enjoyed. But, let me reiterate I am hearing it just like any other noise around.
 That’s where I draw my inference that we are at the nth level of sensitivity. We call ourselves as sensitive to others. Being considerate, thoughtful, sympathetic is all what we were taught since childhood. But, I question myself – Do we really realize its significance and adapt one!!
What made me to write all this?
Since last two days, there is a Ganesha idol and its festival being arranged adjacent to my place. Since its beginning until now, the music is on starting from 6am to 10pm. CONTINUOSLY!!!! I don’t know how many decibels is the sound, but it is heard all through the area. It wakes me up in the morning and never lets me concentrate on anything entire day.
Just give a thought for a minute – How many old people are around who need rest and silence! Children have their mid-term exams at this time of the year and they are required to study.
Celebrating festival isn’t pompous. No god seeks flaunting music all the time. It makes me think that, if at all Ganesha is required to listen to this entire day, how he would feel??? Or is it for people to listen to bhajans all the time as a feel good factor. The reality is we can’t concentrate entire day and be in the same mode. This is the time where MUSIC turns to NOISE. All that they play becomes an attention seeker and nothing more. Think about it!!
To add to this – the entire road is lit with colorful lights and I saw that the power line was drawn from a local electrical pole. Who should be held responsible for this?

This is not yet it! To have this grand swindle in the name of festival and celebration, local shopkeepers are forced to pay money for this whole spectacle. And we PRAY GOD to make us good and the way we celebrate the entire event is by creating problems to all around, by illegal practices. We aren’t even sensitive in hospital zones as well. It’s the same set of scenes that reappears there.
This is just not it!!

The same history repeats for any local hero’s birthday, any temple anniversary, Diwali festive time and its crackers and so on. The 
crackers are lit until midnight. Even pets fear to get out of their abode during these times because of the noise.


Why aren’t we sensitive that we all co-exist and the practices we adapt does create trouble & nuisance to others. Is it not a simple common sense! Cant any celebration happen without noise.!!!
Why do we need an overstated showy things attached to celebration! Cant celebration be confined to specific time when in public. Can’t there be a law on respecting people, and their privacy.
When I contemplate on these lines – series of absurd behavior we display flashes my mind. Our manners in bus-stops when bus arrives, when in traffic congestion, on roads while driving – In how many occasions we are so insensitive to others. Unconcerned and indifferent while using public property. Spitting, littering, breaking rules are all ‘cool factors’ for us. Else, an intelligent ignorance cog saying ‘A single hand can’t move a mountain’ and add to the same hitch leading to having no difference from others and you. 
When do we learn being sensitive to the things around and also others. The entire elementary education revolves around morality, ethics and value education and keeps teaching that ‘Be considerate’ to others. Cruel reality is that- what we preach and teach is not what we practice.

What does it take to be considerate!
What does it take to be more refined!
What does it take to be matured and adoptable!

Probably the day we can crack this secret, is the day mankind takes an indomitable immense leap.



Saturday, March 30, 2013

People need people!

 It is a bright star lit sky,
Its souvenir to people for me, different in many ways
We all glisten the world however small we are
It says you are all similar, But you aren’t same
Yet, we are unique by ourselves

Every life, has a hand of existence
Existence embedded with emotions
Emotions, perceptions, acumen & nous
Changing our approach, stance or outlook
Forming, amending, toning and harmonizing
We grow, we define, we express and we confine
Crafting ourselves to be an exception

PEOPLE - all excite me in every mode and deed
Reading them is stimulating
Being with them is edifying
Moving with them is illuminating
Of all, the truth is – People need people.
To live with, to argue and to forgive
To laugh, to share and to be quiet
Agree to disagree, and to simply feel somewhere we belong
People need people that's a fact,
And that's that, and that's it.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

What does it take to STAND FOR RIGHT!

One of my friend called me this morning as I was driving to office. He seemed to be bit upset and narrated an incident that happened in his organisation.
There is this technical manager who is extremely rude and arrogant and it seems that the entire organisation experiences it. He insults people and it’s been a real nuisance. There have been escalations from employees, candidates who attend interview  with this man, few peers and from all possible angles. This morning too there has been another escalation and management is tight-lipped and are in mute condition. There have been many cases to support this typical behaviour but no action really surfaces out.
As we spoke, we also discussed on many facets of it
Why do some people behave rude?
What makes an individual arrogant? What pushes him to be insolent?

The probable answers we came out was-Ego, Over-confidence about oneself, feel so in-secured within and it makes them feel good to treat others like trash. They might have a problem with themselves or suffering from some disorder. For some it’s situational, but if it is a persistent habit, then there is something coarse underlying at a depth. The list grows with no end when we want to reason it out.

On the contrary, there is this set of people who digest and absorb this annoying and irksome behavior. In this typical case, management of the organisation isn’t taking any steps is one part of it. But there is also a good set of numbers who don’t raise voice against this infuriating behavior of the person. For instance, this HR Manager of this organisation seems to have no words. There are people who complain that management does nothing about it. And it seems that she also just follows the same line and keep mum about it. Rationally speaking, majority of us just follow the same lines…speak behind, give reasons not to take a bold step, no stand for what’s right, instead keep quiet. The complaint dies one day and we stay amidst of dead things. Yet another day another incident follows and we recall the past and still continue to complain that management does nothing about it.  Aren't we assuming!! Why don’t we think we are accountable too.  What stops us from approaching as a group to resolve age old grumbles? Why don’t we take responsibility to get things answered?  Have we put our efforts before we declare it! Have we attempted to voice over the opinion or we prefer to sit and complain about it until the problem knocks our door and hurts us as an individual. 

Well, I was thinking as I drove to office and key aspects that struck my mind was – majority of us lack to carry an independent opinion and to stand for what we think is right. Probably, we need to have a strong personality to have an outlook of what is right and stand for it. Insecurity lies at every point of life at different thresholds, but the question is-do we control it, or does it control us.  This certainly does not mean that we should be eccentric in nature. All I am trying to say is “Let us be right”, and proliferate to people around to stand for what is right. Any decision we take should not be person oriented, situation oriented, individual emotion oriented, but should have an analytical reason and for what is right and veritable.

As I entered into my office, I have a table calendar with a quotation for each day. I came in and as a usual habit, I turned to today’s date and there was a subtle smile over my lips because the quote read – “All glory comes from daring to begin, so give it a start and prove yourself.”

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Journey to Freedom!

Life throws lot of situations where we can learn from. Everyday can be a learning, every situation can be a learning – I felt amused when I first read this. But when I deliberately dug situations I encountered, it was true. I get to learn a lot from people, circumstances and environment I am in.
I bumped into an old acquaintance just yesterday, but it was a pretty unusual behavior. Well, few questions that left me contemplate was – Why do we expect a particular pattern of behavior from people? To some extent it’s natural, but we seldom forget that it’s a sort of a hidden and a subtle compulsive behavior within us that we expect customary and habitual behavior from everyone. We get hurt if it’s not reciprocated. We struggle to accept it and neither can we ignore it so easily.

This is more so when we fall in love. Suddenly one person becomes pivotal for our peace and happiness. We long to be loved by him or her and long to please them, manipulate ourselves to secure that relationship in some lasting manner. Whatever they do, affects us. The entire experience surrounds them-be it joy, excitement, grief, anger or annoyance.
In ‘Power of now’ Eckhart Tolle narrates an interesting irony of experiencing pain in relationships. How can it be love?? I feel he is right. What we experience is not love, but our own ego needs, desires and aspirations from a relationship. But, we dare not to confront these emotions which constitutes a path of forming their own right. To an extent, these feelings play a vital role in so called freedom and self composure.   

What is freedom and where is it? – When someone’s glance or word can create convulsions of delight and distress within us. We become so disturbed with disapprovals, refutes, ignorance or withdrawals. None of us are free because we are constantly strapped, pushed and pulled in relationships. They determine our moods, our behaviour, our aims and actions. It completely controls ones composure. When all these are controlling factors, how are we free?  How can we spin away from this cycle of attraction to some and cycle of resistance to others? How do we retain our balance in all situations? How can we be our own personality all the time? –These are the interrogations constantly seekers address and without this ability we are all just conditional conductors. We stretch only to be within transactions because our action and behavioral controls are outside us and not within.
As I dig deep into it I can only envisage to assert the general conclusion that – we can control actions and reactions from our end, but cannot assure from other end. We have no say on other’s words, actions or thoughts.  People at office dominate, there is favoritism. The driver in front of you is driving deadly slow.  People are just not sensible etc etc etc. But, what can we do. They are the way they are. We can yell, scream, howl or cry. We can complain, criticize and condemn.  By all this we stress ourselves or choose to walk out. Choose to let go.

Just one aspect – which we need to identify is that the other person also carries perfect right to be himself or herself just as what we think we have. We think we have right to be what we are. We think we have freedom to be what we are. We accept ourselves to be what we are. We assume we are perfect for all that we do. Why don’t we reflect the same on the other end, but cling to the fact that they don’t change themselves to suit our expectations. The plain truth is that the world is not designed to be what our desires are. The moment we give that independence to the other person to be what they are – we are no more in that conditional and compulsive expectation circle. So, now what do we do with our reactions, feelings and emotional mess of ours!! – We take responsibility of them because it is our problem. We are accountable to process it within ourselves instead of spurting it on people and situations around.  When we truly do this – we travel very deep within ourselves and we lovingly receive all our feelings, be it – anguish, arrogance, irritation, desires, wants, wariness.  We are free from external factors because something assimilates to drive within. When we become capable of doing this we free ourselves from the control of others and finally into our own. The beauty is that when we give others their freedom we are actually taking back our own freedom. The attachments we tie to the world and people out there is an untidy entangle of blaming others for our expectations from them and wanting them to act according to our covet.  When we deliberately free ourselves from all this, we separate out from taking responsibility of others business. 

 This is freedom. It is strenuously won. It should be consciously, persistently and deliberately put effort. By doing it, we enjoy being ourselves with our actions, reactions and emotions which is no more dependent on others. By this endurance I think we can reach people with much more joy and friendliness.