In Search of a Better World

In Search of a Better World
Soul Searcher

Monday, March 23, 2009

This time your hurting won't heal

Hello everyone!
A small story that tells you what happens when you hurt someone else.
All of us do it knowingly or unknowingly.
Let us stop hurting others.

Here is your monday morning story for the week.

When I confronted my friend after she hurt a colleague, she cried and immediately wanted to apologize. That was a good thing, but I wanted her to know an apology can't always make things better.

I told her the parable of Will, a 9-year-old whose father abandoned his mom two years earlier. Will was angry, and he often lashed out at others with hurtful words. He once told his mom, "I see why Dad left you!"

Unable to cope with his cruel outbursts, she sent him to his grandparents for the summer. His grandfather's strategy to help Will learn self-control was to make him go into the garage and pound a two-inch-long nail into a four-by-four board every time he said a mean thing.

For a small boy, this was a major task, and he couldn't return until the nail was all the way in. After about ten trips to the garage, Will began to be more cautious about his words. Eventually, he even apologized for all the bad things he'd said.

That's when his grandmother stepped in. She told him to bring in the board filled with nails and instructed him to pull them all out. This was even harder than pounding them in, but after a huge struggle, he did it.

His grandmother hugged him and said, "I appreciate your apology, and of course I forgive you because I love you, but I want you to know an apology is like pulling out one of these nails. Look at the board. The holes are still there. The board will never be the same. Your dad put a hole in you, Will, but please don't put holes in other people. You're better than that."

Story credited to Michael Josephson

Friday, March 20, 2009

Provoking rudeness and discourtesy

I had to make a quick trip abroad last week and travelled Air India on one of their long range flights. I have travelled with them before and was quite apprehensive about the service and courtesy of the crew. My expectations were rock bottom and as usual they did not disappoint.
However, this time around I understood why their service and attitudes are below par. It has a lot to do with the passengers they manage and the stress they undergo each time they fly.

I was seated near the front row where there is a provision for a bassinet (baby cot) for infants. This needs to be booked earlier and the passenger has to buy an infant ticket for the kid. There were 4 baby cots and 8 infants in our wing. No sooner had we settled than a free for all broke out between the haves and the have-nots even though the have-nots had not bought infant tickets or booked the bassinet. Some of them offered to “pay more” and the arguments delayed take off by about 20 minutes. The best was the parents of a 3 year old wanted to know why larger cots could not be provided for bigger kids!

When the dust had settled we were onto the safety demonstration. I recall at least three groups of persons screaming in the middle that they wanted to change seats to be with their friends and relatives.

Once the plane took off, the cabin crew was being summoned every 10 seconds on some pretext or another. If that was not enough we had a drunk in the rear of the aircraft who chose an opportune moment to regurgitate a sample of what he had consumed over his neighbours. Fortunately for me I was seated far enough to be away from the mess and near enough for a ring side view!! (The same guy was hollering about 5 hours later on why he could not be served his daily dose.

The effect of this definitely told on the crew. A few classics from the air hostesses…
One of them was having difficulty in shutting the overhead bins and I offered to help. While thanking me she had to add “The limit for cabin baggage is 7 kgs and see how much these guys (a euphemism for the word actually used) stuff in their bags. What do they think; we are weight lifters or what?”

Another classic was when a first time traveler seated on the row behind me asked help to unfasten the seat belt. The response was “You are worse than children; why did you not pay attention during the safety demonstration?”

Another time, on another flight I would have been far more critical of the crew but this time I thought that by all counts we passengers got what we deserved.

Just think about it , if this is what the Air India cabin crew goes through every day, little wonder that they are hassled jumpy and rude most of the time. When you want to take you must be willing to give. Bad behaviour and failure to respect others only provokes rudeness

Monday, March 9, 2009

BACK in MUMBAI- Reality Check

Back in Mumbai after a long gap and if things work out the way I have planned. Hopefully I should be here for 3 -4 months and this will give me time for a lot of long pending catch up work…

Within days of returning, I was treated to a really harsh dose of “Reality Check”. I was driving listening to ‘JAI HO” with the RJ on going about AR Rahman and how much Slum Dog was doing to focus on the lives of the less fortunate in Dharavi.

Just the I stopped at a busy traffic signal where two beggar women with a child were squabbling over a child. Soon a man joined the fracas and before you could say “Slum Dog Millionaire” they were beating each other and even started throwing stones..

Normal eh!

What shocked me even more was my own reaction. I ensured that I moved my car out of the way of the stones being hurled and saw in my rear view mirror that the good Mumbai cop had stepped in to separate and mollify the combatants. Seeing that peace was about to prevail I just drove on about my normal business.

I guess it is the callousness of guys like me which aggravates the situation. Suggestions from any of my fellow bloggers on a more humane reaction to the situation would be welcome