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Reverse Use of the Skills of the Mythological Swan - Valarppom Thannambikkai 16

Discussion in 'Sundays with Varalotti' started by varalotti, Jun 17, 2007.

  1. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    Butch Jimenetz was addressing the graduating students of an <st1:place><st1:placeName>American</st1:placeName> <st1:placeType>University</st1:placeType></st1:place>. He wrote the following equations on the black board:
    3+4=7
    9+2=11
    8+4=13
    6+6=12

    “What do you think about these equations?” he asked the students who were about to get their diplomas. Several hands shot up. “The third equation is wrong.” They all shouted.

    The speaker nodded in agreement.

    “You are right. That’s a mistake. I concede. Now it’s time to look deep into yourselves. I have written four equations, three of them are right. But the first thing that strikes your eye, the first thought in your mind is about the wrong equation. Right?

    “It occurred to none of you to say that three equations are right. The reason? The force of negative thoughts.”

    We do not of course need this intelligent orator to drive home this basic truth. When we see a man wearing a spotless white dhoti which has a stain-mark, the size of a dot, the first thing that appears to us, is the stain; not the clean area which would be a few thousand times larger in area than the dot.

    I have heard this from many corporate executives. They would have rendered flawless service for 10 years. No one would have appreciated them. And then one fine morning they would commit a small error. The whole company would pounce upon them and would not rest till they are investigated, put in trial, sentenced and if possible hanged.

    We always preach that we will take only the good from others; but what we do is the exact reverse.

    Once I was discussing the works of a lyricist with my friend.

    “He is an arrogant brute. Bloated ego. Idiot.”

    My friend virtually tore him to pieces.

    I asked him whether he had read any of his poems. My friend replied firmly,

    “Look here, I have a policy of not reading anything written by an ego-maniac like that poet.”

    I was not sure who was more arrogant, the poet or my friend.

    The poet was an arrogant ass, no doubt about it. But he had written some wonderful verses. No one can deny that too. Why don’t we simply enjoy his words rather than getting emotional about his personal qualities? If the poet is arrogant, let’s not have him as our friend. Let’s not talk to him. But that does not mean that we should reject his poetry too. That will be the best illustration of throwing out the baby along with the bathwater.

    Remember none of us can change the world. But we can definitely change the way we see the world. We have heard about the mythological swan which can separate milk from water and drink the milk. We seem to have this quality too, but use it in the reverse direction.

    We skilfully separate the good and the bad in others and carefully take in only the bad, leaving out the good.

    If only we can change our attitude and train ourselves to see only the good in others, then no one can stop our progress.
     
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  2. vidhi

    vidhi Senior IL'ite

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    Dear Varalotti sir

    When I read this episode I remembered my teacher. She always used to tell us that there always is a good and bad qualities in a person. However bad a person there will be one good quality in him. She says when we interact with them we should try to see the good quality in themand try to work towards in achieving it. I very often remember her words.

    regards
    vidhi
     
  3. chitrajan

    chitrajan Bronze IL'ite

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    Dear Jr. Sri,

    What a point you have raised!!

    All the time - efforts spent in establishing a bond between two people is lost in a single acrimonious word. Finding fault is the easiest thing done in any part of the world. Very few of us are able to let go of an opportunity to point a finger at others faults, forgetting that three of our own fingers are pointing at us!!!

    Even our parents are not without fault. But we choose to see only the good that they have done to us and ignore the rest. Similarly, if we could apply the same principle to others too, our circle of life would be much better and peaceful.
     
  4. sudhavnarasimhan

    sudhavnarasimhan Silver IL'ite

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    dear Sridhar,
    This weeks article was really an eye opener...though we all know this, but it rings true that everyone pounces on the one negative aspect of anyone first instaed of all the other positive or good aspects of a person!
    Is it do you think , due to the fact that we all aim for perfection, maybe not in oneself , but look for it outside, in everyone else....and thats why it irks us or stands out moreprominently when something or someone has an imperfection!?
    Just a thought which popped up after reading ur article....Why is it always that we stand on judgement, though we personally hate to be judged!?
    Good one, .....already put on my thinking/ analysing cap on!:2thumbsup:
     
  5. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Vidhi,
    Thanks for being the first to respond to this thread. I am happy I reminded you of your teacher. What your teacher said looks very simple to the point of being a truism; but it is extremely difficult to practise it. But once we can do that, we will realise that it is a profound truth.
    regards,
     
  6. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Chitra,

    We are trained to be critical and not creative. That's why we have quite a lot of critics and a few performers. If we visit a great party we are not at ease unless we find out at least one aspect in which the hostess is inferior to us.

    I have this policy. Everyone who comes our way is there to give us some message.
    I had quoted one incident in the article which the Editor removed because either he considered it salacious or there was a space constraint.
    You might heard of a famous pimp, Kannada Prasad, who was arrested a few months ago. I went through all the news concering him. Of course he was running a hi-tech brothel - nothing more nothing less. But there were a couple of management lessons to be learnt from his way of operations. Learning from people like him is like licking the honey that is in the edge of a sharp knife.
    The honey is sweet, no doubt. But the knife might cut your tongue. But it is still worth the risk.
    Thanks Chitra,
    regards
     
  7. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Sudha,

    To judge has now become one of our primordial urges. Judging others is one way of asserting our superiority. Psychologists say that when students join a new college-hostel, they develop a bond for that place when the food serves is awful. Then they can comfortably say something bad about the food and assert their superiority. If everything in the new institution is perfect, psychologists say that the students might even be depressed.

    The problem is that when we have our judgment hat, the creative hat cannot be worn at all.
    Thanks Sudha for the nice comments.
    regards,
     
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  8. Nivedi

    Nivedi New IL'ite

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    Hello Sir,

    This is my first stop at Varalotti's world. And I am bowled by your beautiful writing. I have a lot to catch up on with all your other writings and I am glad I have got a lot of things to read in the days or months to come.

    When we show a glass jar filled with water upto half the mark and ask people to describe the jar, some people will come up with the answer "the jar is half empty". And some will come up with the answer "the jar is half-filled". I fall into the first category many a time....I admit that shamelessly. :icon_frown: To find fault with someone is so easy, but it takes a whole lot of effort to even speak a good word about others.

    When someone passes a negative remark about us, we frown, fret, curse and are mad with rage towards with person. That person may have spoken good things about us too, but we do'nt take that to heart. It is that one bad remark that gets us down to even severing our relationship.

    Best regards,
    Nivedi
     
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  9. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    Hello Niveditha,
    (hope your full name is Nivedita. That's a beautiful name. Nivedham is what we offer to God. When an American woman became Swami Vivekananda's disciple, Swamiji gave her the name Niveditha)
    Thanks a lot for those kind words. I have found that when we put on judgment hat, we can never be creative. That's why no critic has ever given a good performance.
    I realised this when I was deep into auditing. Auditing is a wonderful profession. But over a period of time, finding out faults becomes your second nature. It is rewarding too, no doubt. As a professional skill it is priceless; but as an attitude it simply stinks.
    That's why I switched over to writing as a pastime.
    Let your first "stop" at varalotti become a good start.
    all the best,
    regards,
     
  10. Kamla

    Kamla IL Hall of Fame

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    Another write up from you trying to jolt us out of our slumber...It seems to say..wakey wakey...open your eyes and take a good and clear look:)
    I think you are at your best when writing about life and living. What you say here is so true. We seem to have a penchant to pick on the negative. I have been working on myself to see beyond the faults of my friends....and to a certain degree, I am faring well. But I seem to lose that cool when it comes to my own loved ones...I wonder why?:( Have to work harder I guess:)
    I must say it brings an enormous peace to see the glass half full, that is for sure:)

    L, Kamla
     
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