- OUT OF THE TIME FRAME
There is a time and place for every thing. Do we really understand this saying? A little peep into history and we see instances of how certain decisions taken at a particular time for a particular purpose continued to be practiced long after the moment had passed. Just to impress the point let me relate some well known instances. This story is from England. At the time of Napoleon Bonaparte, the British had posted a round the clock watch on the cliffs of Dover. The order was given and soldiers were regularly on duty. Napoleon came and went down history lane. There were other wars. The First Great war and the Second war too came and passed. The soldiers were still at their watch at the designated point. Until some time very recently in the past this situation was noticed and counter-orders given.
Similarly I remember reading about a story from Russia. The youngest princess of the Tsar saw the first flower bloom on the lawns of her palace. She was so filled with joy that for fear of somebody accidentally crushing the flower, a soldier was put on guard. Long after the flower had perished a soldier continued to guard the spot and did so for many years to come. The story was even forgotten until somebody asked the question as to why a soldier was standing guard in the middle of the lawn.
If we look closely at our lives and the lives of others, we will notice that we often take things to inordinately long lengths. We love to keep arguments alive. Study the chivalrous history of some clans from Scotland and Rajasthan. How often some misunderstanding or slight to the arrogance of some, the whole family fights with another and the feud goes on from generation to generation. Honor killings are not unknown and these start feuds of their own where the eye for an eye campaign goes on and bloody on; with nobody even having any inkling about the first quarrel which often becomes history and the polished version of the story remains as a legend.
Do these events show a progressive and intelligent human mind at work?
Similarly a little study of the different religions will also show that some precepts and advice that was given some centuries back considering the elements at play at the time tend to continue to rule the minds of men who practice that religion. Often so rigidly that fanaticism is born and look at the havoc it has been playing since the beginning of recorded history. Even a superficial study of the rules in question will show that their relevance is now over but because of fear of transgression nobody is prepared to drop them in the collectivity although most would individually agree that they were advocated in another time frame and are not relevant any more.
When we carry a point too far we can only hurt ourselves; especially in anger. Let's now have a look at something very close to our selves. Especially relationships at home and at the work place. One of the simplest occasions that we will see in all our lives is the act of losing our temper and keep on being angry even after the point has been made and rectified. The ego will rarely let go. It will keep on reminding us about the incident and keep our focus on the anger towards the perpetrator alive. We rarely have any will to go against it as after all it makes us feel superior and it does give us a baton to brow-beat. Indignation is good but it is terribly self destructive if allowed to go on and control us. Matured and self-assured people know how to shake it off.
Good managers understand this and practice restrain with a strong will. If not they will destroy their organization. This same will is rarely seen in force in personal relationships. Jumping to conclusions and allowing misunderstandings to not die down is one thing practiced by all of us. Especially in marriages it shows its poisonous side. Until we are ready for a separation we should not use indignation as a tool. Make your point, and if the other party is prepared to rectify the fault which started it all, wisdom advocates that the matter be forgotten forthwith and sweetness brought back into the relationship without a second's delay.
At the managerial level decisions taken in anger, shrouded by self-importance, should be quickly reconsidered and not allowed to fester and if necessary annulled. A good policy would be to even apologies and let bygones be bygones and mean it.
Thanks and Regards
PK (Pradeep Kr Maheshwari)
Designed and maintained by AKR Consultants