I thought I will share with all of you a lesson that I learnt some years back. I was looking after the human resources function of our Company’s factory. I had a nice glass cabin to myself from where I could see those who came to visit me. Luckily, people from outside could not see what I was upto, and that saved my job.
I remember vividly it was the twenty third of April and I was ensconced in my cabin with a fellow manager of mine discussing certain issues. Both of us could see a certain workman called Kumar approaching my cabin. Kumar had somehow or the other been besieged with several problems in his personal life. On some occasion it was his wife who was sick, sometimes his parents or his children, but problems predominated his otherwise cheerful disposition.
My fellow manager told me "Iyer, can you see Kumar coming? I am sure he is coming to request for a loan for his endless problems". In the next two minutes, Kumar knocked at my cabin door and said " Good morning, Sir". By way of a reaction, I asked Kumar " Some more problems, some more loans?’" Kumar looked at me and said "Sir, I remembered that today is your marriage anniversary and I wanted to congratulate you and wish you many more years of wedded bliss". He offered me a flower and a lemon which in South India are regarded auspicious, and hugged me before he left. My eyes were full with tears and I thanked him profusely. I felt like a full bloomed idiot and also felt extremely embarrassed. Even my fellow manager had not extended me wishes that day, but Kumar had remembered an important day in my life.
The lesson Kumar taught me that day was to view each situation anew and never to operate from my mindset. My own mindset and my mental blocks came my way and evoked a bad reaction from me when he entered my cabin. Kumar could have reacted and behaved very differently and walked away thinking what a nincompoop I was. He chose to act differently and accomplished the mission that he came for.
Thanks Kumar for this important lesson. I no more make gross generalisations. In more than one way, you changed my way of thinking and my reactions to life in various situations.
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