Do we take people for granted ? I assume we do. It starts from the family and then extends to society and organisations too. Let us start from the family. Do we take our parents for granted ? Yes we do. We almost assume that they are duty bound to take care of us and our needs for the rest of our lives. We are not much bothered about them but if they do not support us when we need them we feel betrayed.
The story is not very different with our spouses. Whether we both are working spouses or not, it is a fact that we take each other for granted. Let us assume that our spouse is not working in an organisation but a home maker. We almost imagine that they do not have much work and no tensions at home. If we get what we want at home on time, we assume that it is their responsibility and hence take it for granted.
On the contrary, let us assume that both spouses are working. Even in this situation, we do not balance home and office work. We tend to take for granted that our wives will take care of our home as we are busy at work. We do not even realise that our wives also have work pressures and balancing home and work is not easy. Hence, taking your wife for granted is more true than not.
Now, let us move to the organisational sphere. Do we take our team members, colleagues and bosses for granted ? Yes, it is true that many of us are so self centred that we look at the world only from own prisms. We are not much concerned as to how it impacts our team or even our peers. We take them for granted. Sometimes, we also take our bosses for granted and assume that they will cover up for us in any crisis.
Why is it that we take everyone in life for granted ? I assume it is a psychological phenomenon. Human beings tend to believe that the whole world exists to support them. We assume our family members, colleagues at work and members of the community are duty bound to help us to be successful in life. When this belief becomes one sided, that is where we start taking people for granted.
The moment we start believing that we have to give before we take help from others, this problem will perish. We have to learn to respect everyone and not take anyone for granted in life. There is nobody in life, who is obligated to you. We are born alone and will die alone. But, we need the support of everyone in life to be successful. Help is always mutual and respect is earned rather than given. Hence, taking people for granted could lead to more distress than happiness.
We should neither take people or things for granted. It is like taking a turn while driving your car by looking only at one of your side view mirrors as shown in the photo above. This is like the driver taking his skills for granted.
Let us learn to respect people from today.
S Ramesh Shankar