We live in an era of “quick fixes” for everything in life. We want “ready made food” in the kitchen to brokers to do all our jobs at half the time to finishing an educational course by hook or by crook. We are impatient for results and are least bothered about the process. On a lighter vein, at least God has ensured that we have to wait for 9 months to have a child. If we could influence that, we would have tried 2 minute babies like noodles ! Children look for instant gratification in everything they do and that is understandable. However, as adults instead of learning the good things from children, we carry it in on in our life and want instant results for all our actions.
Why are we in a hurry today ? Is it because of the competitive landscape around us ? Is it because of the limited resources available to us in the world. ? I am not very sure. But, let us get to the root cause of the issue. We all go through the same education system, live in the same society and have the same opportuities and resources. We want to take more than we give back to society.
If we look at the competitive landscape around us, we find that this is injected in our blood right from childhood. As children grow up in a community, parents induce competitive behaviour in us. We have to be better than our neighbours in everything we do. We spend more time in tuition classes than even in the school classrooms. We have to learn sports, music, art and other hobbies irrespective of our own intersts. All this is encouraged by our own family and friends. Then, how can we blame the society around us.
If we move to the work place, we compete with everyone around us and want to establsih our superiority by every possible action at our command. Our performance management systems are based on differentiation and relative assessment of performance. We blame the bell curve for our irresponsible behaviour. Are we justified in our actions. I am happy that many organisations today are giving equal weightage to “What” & “How”of performance. We not only are rewarded for the results per se but how we accomplished those results.
In many cultures, your value is measured by the size of your car and house and not by the size of your heart. Material wealth is valued much more than mental, physical or emotional wealth. It is this orientation in society that may have led us to this state of affairs. We are keen to plunder the wealth of the society and nature around us but least bothered about how we can give back. We are not much concerned about our future generations. While technology has helped us lead better lives, we have not used technology to better human kind.
Whom should we blame for this state of affairs ? We have to blame ourselves. We need to reset our buttons. It is time for Control + Alt + Del in our life. We need to re discover our priorities. We have to instil excellence in our children as a value but not at the cost of other children. We have to give back more to society than we take. We have to make individuals care and share in organisations to create collective happiness.
Let us restart today.
S Ramesh Shankar