Tag: character

Principle vs Interest

We talk on principle, but we act on interest.  Walter Savage Landor

If we look at the background of all the major scams almost all of them have two features ; they all have a financial interest at the heart of it and scams are perpetrated  by and large by the people who are supposed to be custodians and who are to take a principled stand on tricky matters. Currently India is gripped with the IPL related skelton’s that are tumbling out of the BCCI cupboard and the dirt is sticking to so called well known politicians, business czars and pseudo cricket lovers of many garbs. Each of them have a fig leaf cover behind which they try to hide and the common line is we are principled and have no interest in anything that is being charged to us.

This is an age old problem that finds its roots from the time of  the creation of the world. Adam blamed Eve for tempting him to eat the apple; Peter swore to defend Jesus at all times only to deny him three times  for fear of retribution by the Jews and so the saga continues. In the Mahabharata too we have the classic case of Dronacharya asking Ekalavya to cut of his thumb as Gurudakshina only so as to ensure that Arjun remains the best archer. The principle of asking for Gurudakshina was misused in order to act on the selfish interest of promoting ones ward. Since all the examples given refer to well known characters, we might perhaps conclude that most of these happenings only involve the powerful and the mighty and we ordinary mortals are immune to such uncouth behavior.  The reality though is far from true.

We all believe in telling the truth but won’t hesitate to rationalize a lie told by us. We will swear never to bribe but when it comes to getting our work done without much effort, we will take the easy way out and again rationalize it. When we turn a blind eye to an injustice being perpetrated right before our eyes we say it is none of our business. We are quick to point fingers at a strict teacher but never easily ready to reprimand our own wards for misbehavior or insubordination. If each of us examines our conscience we would suddenly make the shocking discovery that we are as hypocritical as the people whom we are ready to lynch for misdemeanor.

Then we are faced with the dilemma of how to stick to our principles and yet protect our interest.  This is to be decided purely on a case to case basis and the rule of thumb will be to ensure that your interest are not driven by greed, hate, sloth and the other vices that we are prey to. No sooner our interests are genuine (this is subjective again) then our principles automatically get aligned to it. No doubt there will be very many inconveniences and tricky situations that we will have to face but then when it is principle on which one operates the resultant trials and tribulations are part and parcel of the commitment to the principle.

Remember: “To see what is right, and not do it, is want of courage, or of principle”  Confucius

Try this:

  1. Write down at least 3 guiding principles for yourself. Do you think you can operate based on these principles without compromising?
  2. You are appearing for an exam and you have studied very well. Unfortunately a vital question that carries the maximum marks stumps you completely. You notice that the person in front of you seems to know the answer very well and you can easily copy from that person with a little effort. You are also afraid that if you don’t score well in this question you might be in real danger of losing out precious marks that could mar your career prospects. When faced with this dilemma how would reason out your further course of action?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

Role Model

Example is the school of mankind, and they will learn at no other. Burke

It is said that imitation is the best form of flattery. How many of us would wish it weren’t so true, because if others were to imitate us too often, we would be more embarrassed than proud. If you don’t believe me, here is a quick check. Ask your spouse/ children/ colleague/ superior / subordinate / friend to list out 5 things in you they wish you changed. More often than not, the list would exceed 5 easily. Guess that is a good reality check to realize that while most times we are at our best behavior, quite often we set poor examples for others to follow.

The poor examples we set may relate to a poor personal character or a bad habit. It could also be because of a lack of self discipline or a dubious moral value structure or simply a bad disposition. What ever the cause or reason, if what we do pricks our consciences though we may rationalize it to one an all, you can be sure it is not worth emulating. Telling white lies, a couple of pegs when one is recommended, gorging on food when you have to diet, using abusive language because it is not really meant but just an expression of myself, being stingy  are unfortunate examples of bad habits masquerading as necessary evils. Boorish behavior, cheating, telling blatant lies, physical abuse, having a violent temper are worse behavior on a rising scale of the poor role models.

On the other hand, many of us choose role models who have excelled in something maybe sports, academics, entrepreneurship, acting, technology etc. When we adopt role models, it is imperative to go beyond their success and actually see the effort and sacrifice put in by them to attain the accolades. It is important to realize that the end product is actually the outcome of tremendous hard work, self belief and sacrifice. Are we prepared to follow them up the same path they have and feel the pain they felt?

Remember : Lives of great men all remind us we can make our lives sublime; and, departing, leave behind us, footprints on the sands of time.- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Try these:

  • Who is your role model? Ask you self why you have chosen that person as your role model. Do you know a lot about your role models upbringing, background and efforts? Are there some blemishes in the role model that you would not want to imitate in your life?
  • Can you list out the faults in yourself that you need to correct or work on? Ask a close friend or your spouse to evaluate you and see if there are many areas of improvement in you, that they point out to. Outline your plan of action to tackle these areas of improvement and ensure you put a start date and a time frame to see the results.
  • Make an attempt to take on a new task or challenging assignment voluntarily. It could be something related to your profession like learning a new professional course or it could be a social oriented activity but something you have never attempted before. What is the new learning you got by playing a different role?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our weekly inspirational and motivational blog www.poweract.blogspot.com