The above caption line is prominently displayed on the poster hanging on our toilet door. It was gifted to my son by one of his friends Areeba some time back. The poster carries a well-drawn sketch of western style toilet seat with the above copy. The poster has a distinguished place of honour in my hall of fame, comprising some of my most inspiring experiences.
I have read the above golden words may be a thousand times or more. I don’t seem to get tired of reading it as these words keep inspiring me, guiding me, reminding me, ever and ever again. I cannot really thank enough, the creators of the poster and dear Areeba for adding value to our life.
We remember and remain grateful to people, ideas and incidents all our life, that have been instrumental in any kind of value addition to our life.
I remember one such incident related to the spirit of above caption that had influenced my thinking process and had a long lasting impact on my decision-making abilities.
It happened when our Office was operating from the old building. The office facilities were finding it hard to cope up with the growing number of employees.
The office lunch room was expected to serve about 90 officers , whereas it could hardly accommodate about 32 of them at any given time. The Admin. Department had kept different time segments for various departments so that every one finds a place for lunch. But, more often than not the lunch room would get crowded and one necessarily had to wait for a considerable time before a seat was available.
Although, an order of “first come first serve” was the most obvious and expected one to be observed while waiting on the chairs lying on the sidelines, people were often found jumping the queue with a willful & visible ignorance towards others who have come much before them.
Being a gentleman that I thought I was in my own wisdom and following my own value system, I had decided, that I shall not occupy a seat unless the last person who had entered before me, is seated. As a result, I use to wait for longer duration than many others, passionately engrossed in the process of observing the above phenomenon with a sense of self-satisfaction.
One of those days, while I was yet again waiting on the sidelines, one of my colleagues, Polly, came in and sat next to me. A couple of moments later, he got up, served himself and started with his meals, while still seated on the side chairs.
Another fellow jumped the queue and I shared my concern with Polly, “You see, Mr. XYZ has not bothered to even check, if there is any body else waiting before him. He is well aware that I am waiting for a seat, but he did not care and occupied the seat before I could even think of doing so. Isn’t it quite unbecoming of a gentleman”.
Polly said “Don’t blame him, Nitin. You are waiting here because you have chosen to wait. Look at me, I value my commitments more than a well served five course lunch and so I have served myself without waiting for a proper seat.” Soon Polly was out of lunch room, while I was still waiting for my turn.
His words kept ringing in my ears. A deep sense of realization began to hit me as the words started sinking in. It indeed did not occur to me that I could have had some other choices than merely waiting for the opportunity to land on my lap.
Suddenly, the whole paradigm shifted from what others did or should have done to what did I do or should have done to get what I wanted. And I discovered that there was not much to talk about.
I had not even attempted to explore if there was any other way that could serve my purpose , saved time , while keeping my value system in tact. I was indeed wasting time, waiting for my turn. Following the procedure was more important for me than the purpose. Certainly, my priorities for that hour were not configured well enough.
Honestly, I was banking on others and the system for things to happen rather than being self-reliant. I am indeed grateful to Polly for his reflection , that changed the way I perceived problem situations and life in general.
Yes, friends, there is no gain in blaming others , the situation or the system for your inaction and resultant delays & failures. It is always prudent in such situations to pause for a moment, take a fresh look on your priorities, explore alternate choices and act accordingly.
Would you join me now in appreciating , how well meant and well worded the caption is:
“YOU WILL NEVER GET RICH SITTING AROUND HERE ALL DAY”.
© 2000 www.nascentdewdrops.com
Nitin Kulkarni is the facilitator of “Nascent Dew Drops”, a free weekly e-zine of inspirational and motivational stories based on real life experiences.
His other articles can be viewed at the web site http://www.nascentdewdrops.com through his news letter which can be subscribed just by sending a blank e-mail message to [email protected] .