Archive for August 2008
The other day, I was sitting in the computer lab during a practicals session..The professor was teaching us a software, and we were exploring the software on our terminals. A doubt crept up my mind and I tried to think of a solution. But i had to give up after some time. I raised my hand for assistance.
The professor briskly walked from the other end of the lab to the place where I was sitting. He pulled up an unoccupied chair lying nearby and sat next to me. I had a feeling that he knew everything about the software. With great hopes that my doubts will be cleared, I started explaining him my problem. He listened intently. After I finished, I asked him what should be done.
He came closer to the computer, leaned forward, took possession of the mouse. The pointer went straight to the HELP menu on top. He clicked it and said that all doubts will have answers here. He further added that F1 might be an easier option. Saying this, he walked away, leaving me blank. Only then did I realize that F1 can be a better guide than the professor…
Once upon a time a tortoise and a hare had an argument about who was faster. They decided to settle the argument with a race. They agreed on a route and started off the race. The hare shot ahead and ran briskly for some time. Then seeing that he was far ahead of the tortoise, he thought he’d sit under a tree for some time and relax before continuing the race. He sat under the tree and soon fell asleep. The tortoise plodding on overtook him and soon finished the race, emerging as the undisputed champ. The hare woke up and realized that he’d lost the race. The moral- “Slow and steady wins the race”. This is the version of the story that we’ve all grown up with.
THE STORY DOESN’T END HERE,
There are few more interesting things…..it continues as follows…… The hare was disappointed at losing the race and he did some soul-searching. He realized that he’d lost the race only because he had been overconfident, careless and lax. If he had not taken things for granted, there’s no way the tortoise could have beaten him. So he challenged the tortoise to another race. The tortoise agreed. This time, the hare went all out and ran without stopping from start to finish. He won by several miles. The moral – “Fast and consistent will always beat the slow and steady. It’s good to be slow and steady; but it’s better to be fast and reliable.”
THE STORY DOESN’T END HERE
The tortoise did some thinking this time, and realized that there’s no way it can beat the hare in a race the way it was currently formatted. It thought for a while, and then challenged the hare to another race, but on a slightly different route. The hare agreed. They started off. In keeping with his self-made commitment to be consistently fast, the hare took off and ran at top speed until he came to a broad river. The finishing line was a couple of kilometres on the other side of the river. The hare sat there wondering what to do. In the meantime the tortoise trundled along, got into the river, swam to the opposite bank, continued walking and finished the race. The moral – “First identify your core competency and then change the playing field to suit your core competency.”
THE STORY STILL HASN’T ENDED.
The hare and the tortoise, by this time, had become pretty good friends and they did some thinking together. Both realized that the last race could have been run much better. So they decided to do the last race again, but to run as a team this time. They started off, and this time the hare carried the tortoise till the riverbank. There, the tortoise took over and swam across with the hare on his back. On the opposite bank, the hare again carried the tortoise and they reached the finishing line together. They both felt a greater sense of satisfaction than they’d felt earlier. The moral – “It’s good to be individually brilliant and to have strong core competencies; but unless you’re able to work in a team and harness each others core competencies, you’ll always perform below par because there will always be situations at which you’ll do poorly and someone else does well. Teamwork is mainly about situational leadership, letting the person with the relevant core competency for a situation take leadership. Note that neither the hare nor the tortoise gave up after failures. The hare decided to work harder and put in more effort after his failure. The tortoise changed his strategy because he was already working as hard as he could.” In life, when faced with failure, sometimes it is appropriate to work harder and put in more effort. Sometimes it is appropriate to change strategy and try something different. And sometimes it is appropriate to do both. The hare and the tortoise also learnt another vital lesson. When we stop competing against a rival and instead start competing against the situation, we perform far better.
To sum up, the story of the hare and tortoise has much to say: Chief among them are that fast and consistent will always beat slow and steady; work to your competencies; pooling resources and working as a team will always beat individual performers; never give up when faced with failure, and finally, compete against the situation – not against a rival.
Have you ever noticed how water flows ? What would happen if there is a huge stone blocking its path ? Never would it try to go through the rock. It rather would flow gently along its sides, doing no harm to the rock. This character of water must teach us something.
Bombard against anything, but not against a stone wall. It is you who would get hurt, and not the wall. Patience is a virtue. Controlling ones emotions is another. Giving vent to anger then and there will do no good. It will harm you and the people around you.
There are people in this society who would love to help you. There are people out there who might cause harm, intentionally or otherwise. There is no use in being infuriated by the actions of such people. Maybe they had a genuine reason for their actions. Or it is possible that their actions were unavoidable. Or they might not be fortunate enough to love and be loved.
There is corruption everywhere. Many minds are corrupted. Many hands are corrupted. Every time we find something wrong happening, we get furious. Our conscience forces us to attack, to fight. But sometimes, we must think whether it is worth attacking, worth showing force. The world is never going to change if it is anger that is rooted in the minds of the reformers.
The best way to attack is to do good, to spread love. To make people realize their mistakes by themselves, To make people feel ashamed by their own acts. We must help them to change their path. This is the Gandhian way of life. No one would get hurt, No one would feel bad. Everything would end on a happy note.
Angry words and angry deeds would bring us more enemies than friends. It would make us distance away from the good things in this world. It would snatch happiness away from us. It is never wrong to get angry. But one should know to control anger. Don’t let anger storm out of you every time. Don’t let it do any harm.
When there is something good that you have lost, don’t get angry. Be patient. There is something better coming towards you. Keep smiling. Spread happiness. Be like water, flow along the sides of the rock, In due course of time, the rock would get eroded by the flow of water and the path would be clear.