Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Carefully Careless!!!

At first glance the title of this post sounds oxymoronic, but, after reading this post you might get a little convinced that its not so oxymoronic. Most of us know how it feels to bear the tag of being Careless. Our parents have scolded us for being so, our teachers have been disappointed with us for being so, our friends have consoled us for being so, and sometimes, we've been resentful of ourselves for being so.

The underlying truth is that no one wishes to be careless; no one behaves carelessly on purpose. We all know this! Of late, I have come to understand that most times we are meticulously trying to be so careful that we end up being careless. I'd like to put this statement into perspective with some examples.

1. Being extremely careful in locking the doors and closing the windows of our car and in the act leaving the keys of the car inside.
2. Reading and re-reading the content of an important e-mail before sending and then sending it without attaching the attachments.
3. Revising our answer sheet a dozen times before submitting it and then submitting it without writing the roll number.

Sounds familiar? These were just a few that I could randomly think of. I am sure you can think of more.

In each of these cases, it wasn't that we weren't mindful, it was probably that we were preoccupied with something we thought was more important. The fault may not always be in the amount of "care" we take while doing something but may, in fact, lie in the way we "prioritize" the different micro-actions involved in doing it. I like calling it the Improper Prioritization Syndrome (IPS).

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Looking below the Cover

I was on my way back from office and was waiting at a signal. There were two little boys selling magazines at the crossing. They were going to every car and reading out the long list of magazines they had in an effort to sell a few. None of the people at the signal seemed particularly interested in their magazines.

The two boys came to me and started repeating their long list of magazines. Like all other people at the crossing I too shook my head. They kept standing by my car for a little longer than usual and then slowly moved ahead. Surprisingly, they did not approach the car behind mine and stood at the rear of my car. I heard the younger one tell the older one, "Go ahead! Ask her. She won't say anything." The older one hesitated a little but then came back to me. "Isn't this the Nano, the cheapest car?", he asked. I was quite amazed at the awareness of the boy. I smiled and answered, "Yes, you're right. How did you know?" The boy pointed to the magazines in his hand and said, "I read it in the magazine." He then told me that he went to school in the morning and sold magazines at the signal in the evening.

Somehow I felt very happy that this little boy could read the magazines that he was selling. He had empowered himself to read, study and be aware. Though he did not have much, he was still making full use of the meagre resources that he had.

How many of us would have made a similar choice? Would we have had the inquisitiveness to look below the cover or would we have just blindly sold the magazines and earned a few bucks? Is it about being too busy to learn something new or is it just not feeling the need to learn any more?