15

Trust takes years to build, but seconds to Break

When Madhav told those poor and old parents about how her daughter could earn and send them money at the same time too, they readily agreed to let her daughter accompany him to the city. After a long time, her parents were actually feeling better. Madhav was like GOD’s own child. He had been like the idle “Babu” as we say it in the suburbs. He was among the richest in the village and people knew him for some business he had in the city. Anyway, her daughter went to the city with him

Days passed and things were going well. But their daughter wouldn’t call. Parents received the money on the first day of every month. They thought that her daughter was earning well and must have been busy. It was only later that the old parents found out that whom they once regarded as the “messiah” and God’s own son, was actually a snake in the grass. He had pushed their daughter into the marsh of prostitution.

What consequence did it have? It broke the trust of the people in the suburbs, who thought that times had changed! It took years for them to trust the changing environment, change the patriarchal mindset giving preference to a male child, that cities had actually become a place of equal opportunities for girls. Will it change? Well, a trust broken once, takes some time to heel back. It broke the trust of all those parents, who thought their daughters could earn in the cities. It broke the trust in the “cities” too, which people considered as a place where just another “Raju” could become a gentlemen, and just another Preeti could be lady!

Trust is like a paper. Once it is crumbled, it can never be perfect again. It’s like a flame. You need to let it glow with all the “oxygen” of truth in it, or see it vanish with a cup of lies. It holds water in the different dimensions of the living world.

One of the most important attributes of a “better” relationship is trust. Trust is the glue of life. It’s actually the most important ingredient in an effective communication – the manifestation of a healthy relationship is supported on the threads of trust. Relationship here doesn’t mean merely about a girlfriend and a boyfriend or a husband and wife share, it’s about every relationship. A father would always give his son a hefty amount as pocket money, because he knows he swore on him once that he doesn’t smoke –  he trusts him of not swearing a false lie on him. A women out of trust wouldn’t question his counselor husband if he leaves at midnight to counsel his female client. Why? Trust. This letter word may be smaller with those characters, but has a deeper meaning imbibed.

But have you thought how will one father react if he gets to know that the thing for which he trusted you so much, the same thing was being committed by you too much too often? Will you be ever able to ask forgiveness from your wife when she gets to know that you used her trust to be in an extra marital affair with your client? Of course you wouldn’t.

Trust issues can arise in professional life as well. It takes some time till the manager of the company starts to recognize your work, that he starts appreciating your efforts. But this trust may blow off immediately if at any instance you start to bluff and make plagiarized reports. This leads to recognizing another dimension accompanying mistrust. The manager may question all your works hither to. All the hard work till now, vanishes just by that one stray incidence. He questions you for each time you submitted your complete report. What can be worse than this? Chances are low that you may ever be able to build that broken trust again. So, it’s better to be ethical and moral each time you are required to prove yourselves, because a trust broken once takes something hard from you to come out.

Trust need not be a car without fuel, as an empty car can be used to stay but never to move forward. We trust someone because we think that what he does won’t leave us vulnerable, rather, will bring in a betterment of the society as a whole. That our mandate of trust that we bestow on him/her/it would be better if not best. The same thinking is followed while we vote. We accept the manifesto’s promises, get swayed by it and give our consent to a particular party. So basically, the party won the “trust”, the trust which it gains after a hard work of winning the people, taking 5 years minimum as for our country. But the outcome isn’t on the expected lines. We tend to get bored, or rather feel “mis-trusted” by the ruling power, every time. Is is really mistrust? Maybe. But one thing is for sure – once you loose that mandate, it may take years again to win it back – or you may never get it back.

This is how diplomacy goes too. Diplomacy goes on this thin line of trust – although it is always said to “NEVER TRUST A POWER IN DIPLOMACY”. But if this was the case, the world wouldn’t be as free and liberalized as it is now. For example, the recent surge in the “negativity” for our Indian government that is quite evident from the social platforms regarding how the “people-to-people” contact between India Nepal is going clearly goes in line with the quote. India-Nepal signed the Treaty of Friendship in 1950, just after India became a democracy, and since then friendship only knew the “growing side”, but what happened after the accused unofficial blockage made the people there anti-Indian government. Although there are many other unclear pictures involved, the broader picture is – India is being hated to some extent by the people in Nepal. It’s strange how people can forget just a month old help that knocked their door after the earthquake crisis- But a broken trust is a broken trust!

Apparently, trust has a spiritual element too. The trust in GOD. Any form of worship, be it from the deists, pantheists or those of the panentheistic character – everyone believes that GOD is present. Even if a person is an atheist, he indirectly acknowledges the fact that there is a pre-established harmony that is being accompanied by someone other than nature- the testimony being some unanswered questions about nature. These atheists(mostly) always appreciate the good things that happen in their life. But there are always some people who are quite vocal about how GOD broke his trust while the earth shatters, they are low with grades or when financially weak. It’s strange how trust of one moment changes into a mistrust in the other.

Is trust always earned in years? According to the abstract in the beginning, this may not be completely true. There are certain needs where you need to trust someone, only because you are tied by this social string which obligates you to have a better life, and may be the opportunity you are given is the only opportunity to come. What it means is, there are always certain circumstances, like when you have no other option but to trust a man who has an umbrella while you are stuck in a rain, or trust a stranger giving you water when you are very thirsty with no source of water!

What we concluded till now is that trust is actually a very fragile attribute in a relationship, that once it is broken, it takes some more years or even a lifetime to mend. But why to trust someone blindly? Every attribute has certain objections, little criticism and a certain lining which shouldn’t be crossed. We need to make sure we don’t cross this line. We can always trust someone relatively, i.e “more than someone”, but trusting someone blindly, you are ought to get hurt – be it in seconds or after years.

How can we make sure we win back someone’s trust? First thing first- you need to apologize. Show him what he/she means to you. If you are on the other side- forgive him. God regards the forgiver more than the one who commits the sin. You could write him, sing for him, or try to make it up with you expression. Also, this time, you need to be more honest – infact, only honest with you confession. Pray. This is important too.

While being important, trust has its own dangers. Firstly, it is paramount because as it helps us building stronger relationships with people – help us grow in it. But the fact that trust also involves the risk that people we trust may not be worth out trust – that our trust may go in vain only for us to be on the loosing side. But do we actually loose? Not completely. It is better to get your trust broken at an early stage and that you become aware than waiting for the final ounce till the very end only to get hurt like never before. But we need to realize that the reason is because of “US”. We need to understand the types of people we meet, to judge people, analyze people before we gain trust in them. We need not do it in the first instance, and should take years to build it- this time not to loose it in seconds.

 

20

Honesty is the best Policy

Saket is student of 5th standard. He hadn’t prepared for the Mathematics exam, and so was expecting the least from that exam. When the results came and he received his answer sheet, he was literally astonished as he had got one of the highest marks in that particular subject. 89 read the bold numerals on the top right corner of the answer sheet. He was overjoyed, though a little puzzled. On calculating the marks awarded in the individual questions, he realized that his teacher had wrongly given him 89 for what should have been 69.

The next thing what he did is something we would hardly expect from the grown ups nowadays, let alone a kid maybe 10 years old. He went to the teacher and politely asked him to deduct the marks as he had been wrongly awarded.

“Bad for your marks but good for your honesty. But why would you come back to me and get your marks deducted while I would have hardly noticed it?”

“Sir, honestly, this is what I have been taught by my parents. I can work hard and get it by hook, but my parents never taught me to do something by crook.”

What is honesty? Is it the best policy? If yes, why are there so less of people who are honest nowadays? Does it have some escape clause that people don’t stick to being the “honest” types? The following passage will try to look into the various aspects of honesty, and try to find out if honesty is really worth being the best policy.

Many children understand the definition of honesty to be “not to lie”. But a complete definition of honesty also means that an honest person doesn’t do things that are morally wrong. It also may include aspects like being truthful to yourselves, which is the initial part of being the “honest” types. Another way we can understand being honest is being blunt, straightforward and hence giving the right criticism or feed back required. Being an honest person means being honest to your profession, family and relationship – practically every aspect of your life.

Honesty is the best policy as it brings the best from inside of you, shows your respect for truthfulness. Honesty is showing respect for what is the practically the right thing to do. If your father is himself in Police, knows all the laws of Indian Penal Code and knows how domestic violence is a crime.Now you see him beating your mother and don’t complain to the Police about his atrocity and cruelty against the women who bore you keeping you in your womb taking the pain for 9 months, you are not an honest person. You share the same share of dishonesty as your father. Had you been honest to what is morally correct, you would have made a complaint to the Police. Being honest in this case would prevent further atrocities against your mother – showcasing how it is the best policy indeed.

The fable we heard long back of how the Shepard called for his fellow villagers lying about the fox that never attacked is very well known. When the fox really came and attacked him, despite him calling again for the villagers, they never came. They had lost trust on him and had developed this pre conceived notion that he must be lying. Had the shepard been honest, he would be alive even after the fox attacked. He should have considered honesty as the best policy. Be it now or later, a lie is going to get exposed. It’s better to say the truth and win people’s trust, then to lie and loose their trust forever. It takes thousand truths to build trust, just one lie to loose it.

What else? Honesty is being honest to yourself. If you are not being honest to yourselves, you are the biggest loser in the game. You siting in front of the television with book in your hands, showing your parents that you are preparing for the upcoming test while the corner of your eyes is ticking with the scores of the match being played is being dishonest to yourselves. It’s not them whom you are fooling. You are fooling yourself. How can you think to score better this time, when you are not honest to your preparation?

Be it the Jaina, Buddhist or the Vedas, each philosophy talks about a life spent with simplicity. A simple life can be regarded as a life devoid of the non-essentials, be uncomplicated. This simplicity cannot be achieved without honesty. An honest person can live without simplicity, but the opposite of this isn’t always true. Whenever we lie,we have to use several other lies to cover the first one. The memory of the first lie isn’t long lived. As pointed out in the Shepard fable, truth always finds its way. The result? Pain, sorrow, complications. Stress can thus lead to long term psychological and physical problems – even heart strokes.

Being dishonest is creating a virtual world, an alternate reality. The other person thinks it is the truth, which is actually not the case. You have to carry this burden of the lie till the truth gets leaked. A dishonest person thus formulates two different world’s, the true world and the virtual world, the world with an alternate reality. While an honest person has to live in the true world whole of his life, a dishonest person keeps on balancing in between. We see lots of cases about how a marital affair led to murder, conspiracy killings and divorce in most cases. Why to destroy life of not only yours and hers, but also the children! Honesty leads to simplicity, while dishonesty leads to duplicity – the exact opposite.

Our country has acquired the “bureaucratic” type of government from the Britishers. But there is something more we inhibited from them – being corrupt. Now the corrupt officials of the East India Company is well known. But the bureaucratic government that follows till today has had its webs of dishonesty and corrupt officials since independence. The result? We still are one of the most corrupt ridden democracy, with little implementation of schemes and intermediaries eating up what is allotted to the poor. What has been following is a storm of poor, hungry, depressed. Wouldn’t it be so better if the bureaucrats were honest?

When you lie to someone, you are always in a fear of getting caught. But when you are honest with your inputs, however blunt you maybe, the person seeking your advice may feel bad for sometime, but will come up with his best later. It’s better to be straightforward with your constructive criticism and let the seeker improve now, even though he feels bad, then letting him cry because you couldn’t manage to be straightforward and honest when he/she needed you the most. Similarly, it’s better to call your boss and tell him about your fallibility before taking up the project than being dishonest, first by taking up the project even though you cannot complete it, and second by plagiarizing only to get caught later – and suffer from humiliation.

An honest friend will always love the honest you and not the virtual you. When Nehru gave the statement “Hindi-Chini Bhai Bhai”, he wouldn’t have realized that this was the fake side of the now friend, who would initiate the enmity and in a way be the reason for his death. Hadn’t it been better if China had been honest about his intention and been the same from the start? Wouldn’t it be better is it was the “Honesty” policy that was propagated by it and not the “String of Pearls” policy?

What goes around, comes around too. GOD is that infinite soul who decides the fruits (fala) of the deeds(Karma). But in this era, the fala comes to you in the same birth. Suppose you are walking on the road and the person in front drops his wallet while trying to put it in the back pocket. When you pick it up, you see that it has enough amount to buy the long awaited diamond ring you promised your wife. An honest person would keep himself in the owner’s position, realize what is right, run to him and return the wallet. But if you are dishonest and use that money for personal gains, be assured of the coming loss. You may be in the same position as the owner of the wallet sometime ahead, regretting your decision in the past.

But is being honest always the best that can be done? There is something called “misleading truth” too, which can be used to save a friend of yours. Suppose you are gifted a tie from your best friend, which you don’t like. But you don’t want your friend to get hurt. So what can you do when he asks if you liked it? You may just say  “I haven’t got such a gift before”. All it means is, sometimes being misleadingly honest is good to not hurt a friend’s feeling.

What is the reason that people nowadays have lost all character and are hardly honest? Stiff competition. To be the best by hook or by crook. But is it how you should be? When you choose a life of character, you’ll realize that you’ve nothing to hide. You are like a free bird. You have a life less complicated, less stressful and more satiated than your colleague who plagiarized. To be honest from outside, you need to be honest from inside too. Follow you commitments, but if you cannot, simply call and say NO to you boss. It’s easier to say an honest NO than a dishonest YES. Deducting marks may not help Saket today, but his honesty may get him a better position when he goes for an interview. If you don’t love her, tell her than having an extra marital affair. If he isn’t doing good, criticize him now and see him succeed later.

 

13

“Before criticizing a man, walk a mile in his shoes”

When a small town boy leaves his hometown to pursue his higher studies, loads of aspirations go with him. These aspirations are not only his – it has been the dream of his father who took a loan to fund his coaching for the IIT’s preparation, a mother who dreams of his son bringing her a saree after getting placed, a brother who thinks of joining one of the IIT’s soon after he joins, taking the necessary guidance for the preparation. The whole community feels proud of this boy when he makes it to the rank list – thinking that if this boy can do it, their son can too. Everyone except from some stray elements. These are the ones who now realize that this guy doesn’t deserve this seat.

They shout all around the colony how he had cheated in the exam, how he belongs to a particular reserved category and hence got the seat, how he didn’t deserve it because he was a weaker student than their son. Little do they realize that it requires sheer hardwork to crack it through, little do they realize that it costed him those kilos he gained while sitting and preparing on the chair the whole day calculating those sums, little do they realize that he didn’t play holi for preparing for the next test while their son was was roaming around with colors in his palms. Little do they realize that getting that “reserved seat” required hard work too.  They certainly needed to take a walk in his shoes before criticizing him- at least a mile ahead.

So the question arises WHY? Why do we criticize people? Is it a human nature, or a characteristic of a self that is inherited due to our surrounding? Is it really natural to criticize someone? What are the reasons we criticize someone? Shouldn’t we look forth, ahead on time or may back in time to understand the context of his misery, ideology, self belief, that we criticize it too often too soon? Let us look into the different aspects and reasoning behind this nature of ours.

One aspect of criticizing someone is being judgmental. We live in a society that judges the well-off and that judges the poor. The society- to an extent-is always judgmental. Now is it worth judging someone after a short span, maybe a meeting or so? Of course not! During our graduation, we judge the people who come from a small town. We judge him for his shaggy clothes and his “native tone”. The act of criticism being our way of “backbitching” about him, certainly not on his face because we consider him of a different league altogether. But do we realise that maybe he comes from an extremely poor background, that maybe the money we spend for a time of dinner in a fine dine- he spends only that much for the whole month as his pocket money? There must be some reason he doesn’t buy new clothes, that he doesn’t celebrate his birthdays, that he doesn’t eat out except for the college mess. Little do we try to know why he got this “tone” of his- maybe this was the first time he was out of his village.

We live in a patriarchal society. A society which judges a single mother for being single, without his husband, and also being judgmental to her meeting with a male who takes her to dinner on weekends. But do we try to walk a mile in her shoes before criticizing her of not abiding to the “social norms” as they say it. Maybe he lost her husband who was fighting for the country on the border, or maybe his husband was an unsocial sociopath who beat her up and hence she being an independent women decided to part her ways. Maybe she has her aspirations too and hence she doesn’t rely solely on her husband giving her concessions, may be she is meeting that new male because she has realized that he may keep her happier and also look after her child.

A different aspect of criticizing is when our ideologies don’t match. A right winger liberal capitalist type may criticize a left winger socialist who revolts and compels the government for the freebies- the food people are denied of, the education they are deprived of- just because they cannot afford it. It’s easy to say that he doesn’t wish to work and that he is being a “pseudo-socialist”, but may be he has been through all this struggle himself. Maybe he was denied the job he deserved as the industrialists had took away his land promising him the growth. Maybe he had to go through the same plight that the people he is fighting for now are going through.

Different case studies show how the negligence and radicalization of the youth that takes place have been subject to mass inattention and laxity. We judge how terrorist are from a particular religion, but we never see what was the reason he left the country and joined a terrorist organisation, only to get killed sometime after. Same goes for the naxalis.

Another type of criticism is when we criticize someone even though we cannot do the same work we are criticizing him/her for. When Yuvraj Singh couldn’t perform in the WT20 worldcup final against Srilanka back in 2014, people criticized him for not being able to finish the match for the country. They threw stones at his house and criticized him. Most of the people who criticized him are those who mustn’t have even played a match in their locality’s corridor! Did we ever think how the guy, who had won it for the country not once but twice, must have felt after this loss? We cannot judge someone, for something we are not an expertise in. There must be some untold reasons and scenarios that he/she couldn’t perform.

The fourth type of criticism is when we “criticizing without realizing the inclusive role”. For example, we may have heard people criticizing the government being an impotent in bringing in change through Swacch Bharat Abhiyan(SBM). Now, little do we realize that the government has already done his work by spreading awareness about importance of cleanliness, it requires the effort of all the individuals combined to make it a success. Criticism won’t do the work, working against the criticism would!

The fifth type of criticism is giving someone a “destructive” or “demoralizing” criticism. These are those people who know that they cannot perform better than someone and criticize the other only to demoralize them. Leave alone walking in their shoes, they already KNOW that they can win the game only by using the tricks of crook. We must try to ignore such type of people and their criticism. But won’t we get the same kind of people everywhere? We should rather skim through the good points of his criticism, the ones that can make us better and convert his destructive criticism into a “constructive” one.

We create bubbles in which we allow ourselves to settle into a comfort zone. When we are criticized, the illusion of this bubble is burst as we are forced to acknowledge that reality is far different to the world we have been inhabiting. Different people lash out in different ways, but these are varying responses to the same problem.It is only by forcing ourselves out of our comfort zones and accepting our limitations that we can learn to deal with criticism better.

Different people have different perspectives. The idea should be not to criticize someone, but instead walking in each other’s shoes, putting each other in the rival’s place, looking into all the positives and negatives, and coming up with a consensus that may be a win-win situation for all the stakeholders.

What further needs to be done? We should realize that being critical or giving a critical note to someone also wants us to expertise in that subject. Even if we aren’t an expert, the criticism should be a rational one and not because you have been asked for a criticism. We need to make sure we haven’t missed an aspect ourselves before concluding about someone or his/her something. Before we criticize a women who couldn’t abort her girl child, we should realize that she has developed a bond with her, before criticizing the government for being incompetent of implementing SBM, we need to put the wrapper we threw on the road into the dustbin,before judging the cricketer, we need to ask ourselves “Did he really want to loose himself?” , before judging someone of his clothes, we need to realize it wasn’t by “choice” but helping him would be our choice.

26

Fortune favors the bold

It was the finals of an India-Pakistan match for the World T-20. Last over was yet to be bowled. Everyone’s eyes were struck to the new captain of the team- M.S Dhoni, who was leading a relatively young team. The pressure was immense. Even the best cricketing legends would have been in dilemma in a situation like this – give the bowl to Harbhajan Singh, the most experienced bowler in the Indian side- or to some other player. Dhoni- the captain- took a bold decision. He gave the bowl to Joginder Sharma, a new player to the side who had no experience in bowling hither to, and was also not a successful bowler so far in the match. Cricketing experts in the commentary box were surprised by the decision- which was evident from their criticism for the new captain’s decision after the batsmen hit a six of the first ball.

The captain went to Joginder and whispered something in his ears- the next bowl was delivered – a cheeky shot indeed by the batsman going up to the third man inside the circle- the whole crowd was on their feet supporting their respective teams.

“And Sreesanth takes the catch. India have won in style.”

The crowd went mad. The same commentators who were criticizing the captain cool were now appreciating his bold move.

The above abstract was to explain how fortune favors the brave. We saw how a brave decision could make your life change within seconds. So, does fortune favor the bold?Sometimes, taking an out of the box decision is what is required to get noticed, because the thing which follows can change your life and the way people look at you as a leader. The following write up will look how this proverb holds water, and also being critical to it.

“Asli power dil me hoti hai”

                                                  (Braveness lies in the heart)

Fear- as it is, is more of a state of mind. It was the time of April back in 1971. Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister,was furious about the way West Pakistan had spreading and instilling fear in the minds of the East Pakistanis.But that wasn’t the only fear. Indira feared the large scale immigration of the Bangladeshis refugee fleeing to India, which was putting pressure on the Indian resources. In the Cabinet Meeting, she asked Sam Makenshaw- the then Army Chief if we were ready for a war against the Pakistani army. He refused. After Indira dispersed the Cabinet meeting and asked Makenshaw to stay back, he said that war could be won if the things went his way- the way he took decisions. It was certainly a brave decision considering the fact that the month brought in incoming floods from the Himalayan Peninsula and India was still recovering from the injuries of the 62′ war with China. He lead the army, fought the war- and the rest is history. 

Not only was it brave on the part of Sam Makenshaw to lead, it was also a lionhearted decision of Indira to go to Russia and sign a pact of mutual cooperation with Russia, in case of war, going against Nehru’s Non-Alignment concept.Certainly luck was favoring the bold decisions being taken.

Moving on, it was the year 1991 and the country was facing an economic turmoil. We couldn’t afford imports for more than 2 weeks, as our foreign exchange reserve was at an all time low. We could have declared our selves bankrupt- and hence depending on the elites of the world to pity on us. It was then that a leader emerged- P.V Narasimha Rao. He was leading a minority government at the centre, and seeing the economic condition, he decided of a bold, no mass base and a mostly unpopular decision to open the economy and introduce the liberalization, privatization and globalization reforms. Lucked favored him. This bold decision- albeit saw criticism- changed the history of Indian economy. and experts believe that India’s growth now wouldn’t be possible had the decision not been taken then.

The times moved ahead and then came 1998. In the midst of the dark in the deserts of Pokhran, was carried out the Operation Shakti – India’s first nuclear test using indigenous technology. Was this a brave decision? India knew that if such mission was executed, the elites of the world- specially USA would impose sanctions on the country. It was bold also because India had only recently passed the state of economy turmoil. It showed the world that a country which was going through economic pandemonium only 7 years prior- was no more the same. It showed that India had emerged- that it was there to stay. It gave the world a message that India was going to shape a new world order in the near future, that the unipolar world hither to wouldn’t remain unipolar in the coming years. How did the luck favor? The sanctions imposed initially by the USA were lifted in a short span – showed how ineffective the decisions of the world had become on the country. The sanctions according to experts went into a dead dump – the luck had changed for the country.

In the recent times, the decision of the new government to cancel foreign secretariat talks with Pakistan after getting an invitation can be seen as a bold move from the state. It sent shock waves around the sub-continent and also showed the tougher side of the country. It showed good results as the ever “denial” mode of Pakistan changed into “acceptance” mode and they took responsibility of the Pathankot Attacks. Simple bold decision, changed the fortune of this country as now, both countries have vowed to demolish the non-state actors from across the respective borders.

Let’s take a personified example to understand this. Ratan Tata is known as the business tycoon who revived the falling Tata enterprises. But little do people know that before joining the descending family business, he rejected the job offer from IBM, which was certainly bold when the country had little job opportunites and youth was clutched in the jaws of unemployment. He rejected a well paying job to work in the USA, stayed back in India, and served for the indigenous factory in Tata Steel Jamshedpur. Luck favored this decision later as Tata Steel is one of the fortune 500.

But does bold decision always bring in the “luck” factor with them- giving it a success? I’ll explain it through my story. I took the bold decision to take up an IT job ditching my graduation subject which was Mechanical Engineering. Now, initially, it felt like a good decision as I got promoted in merely 6 months of joining. I thought luck was favoring me, until I realized IT wasn’t my cup of tea. 2 years after my graduation, when I looked for a job in my graduation field, I was rejected from most major industrial houses because I had no experience in my field and the experience in IT didn’t count. Initially, what felt like an empowering decision for my career, changed into the worst decision I had taken being bold. Luck wasn’t favoring me now, because of the decision I took then.

Well apparently, some bold decisions are always taken in haste. The solution is to have a long time vision of the outcomes that may follow. The idea is to try to look at every aspect of the decision that is to be taken. Life decisions, professional decisions, decisions to run a country or an institute shouldn’t be taken in haste. It’s not just our life that is involved but various stakeholders who are directly and indirectly affected by our decisions – may be our family, maybe the citizens of a country, may be the employees of your firm. We need to document crucial assumptions and then go bold. Further, luck wouldn’t have favored if no decision was taken in first place. Dhoni wouldn’t have lifted the cup, India wouldn’t have won the 1971 war and it would still be in the clutches of economic unsteadiness. What was common with all those decisions?The idea was to BELIEVE in the decision. If we believe, we are already half way through. The confidence in ourselves is what brings about a confidence in the stakeholders. A worthy man once said :

“If you take a bold decision, it’s more-less likely that you win.

If you don’t take any decision, you’ll definitely not win.”

 

P.S What doesn’t kill you, makes you….Stranger 😛

Thank you.

 

0

Kyoto to Paris – Climate Deals: Is the Future of the World Safe?

Sankit is a 11 year old boy in the 6th standard. While he was at school, his teacher asked him to switch off the lights and fans while he left the class and students went to the playground to play. While the students were happy to get the free period, Sankit was curious to know why everybody at home or at school tells him to switch of the lights and fans while not in the room. He decided to ask the teacher.

“Sankit : Ma’am,why do we have to switch off the lights and fans when not in class?
Teacher : It’s because running them uses coal as fuel. Coal usage can lead to earth’s atmosphere rising by a degree, popularly known as global warming. Have you heard this term?
Sankit : In the news, but never understood what it meant. Can you tell the story behind it?
Of course Sankit, will Love to!”

“In the beginning of the 18th century, Industrial revolution started. Machines were run on coal and used in mass production. The way of living changed, and people started getting money and goods at cheaper prices as a result. Everyone was happy. As people started earning, more of them could now have better medical facilities and by 1800, the world population went up to 1 billion. But after some time, a physicist Thomas Fourier came up with this term called Greenhouse Gas. He said that the temperature of the earth can be augmented as the use of coal increased.This had resulted in the heat in the form of light to penetrate the earth’s atmosphere,as the carbon dioxide hence released due to coal usage was doing something called trapped radiation. Getting late ahead, invention of automobile took place, but it was found that the fuel used was further augmenting this temperature increase of the earth. The population had now grew to 2 billion and the usage of fossil fuels for various purposes increased”.

“Then ma’am, wasn’t any step taken to stop this? I mean you told us in the last class that these fossil fuels were limited, right?”

“Yes my child. Now after the leaders realised that Co2 was indeed resulting in global warming, the first UN environment conference, in Stockholm took place. Climate change hardly registered on the agenda, and it centred mostly on issues such as chemical pollution, atomic bomb testing and whaling. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) was formed as a result. But later, world leaders came together with KYOTO PROTOCOL. The Kyoto Protocol implemented the objective of the UNFCCC to fight global warming by reducing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere to a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. It was based on the Common But differentiated responsibilities(CBDR). Remember the time I said you about Industrial Revolution? The aim of this CBDR was to allow a greater carbon space to the emerging economies who also had to fight poverty by boosting their manufacturing sector, as the developed nations had already used a larger carbon space during Industrial Revolution. This Kyoto Protocol was adopted in Kyoto, Japan, in 1997 and entered into force in 2005.”

“While this came into force, IPCC Report 2001 found “new and stronger evidence” that humanity’s emissions of greenhouse gases are the main cause of the warming seen in the second half of the 20th Century, which later was confirmed to be 90% responsible for the increased emissions. Now do you get it why I told you to switch on those lights and fans?”

Till now we saw how since the 18th century, evidences around the world have been confirming that the world’s temperature is changing. The question arises, why do we even care if the temperature rises? How is it going to affect us? There is a scientific consensus that climate change is occurring, and that human activities are the primary driver.We have heard about the global warming song and dance: rising temperatures, melting ice caps and rising sea levels in the near future. But Earth’s changing climate is already wreaking havoc in some very weird ways. While it’s melting glaciers and creating more intense hurricanes, global warming also seems to be heating up forest fires, which leaves a vulnerable rural and tribal population, who are mostly dependent on forest for their food, fuel, medicine and what not. Rising seas and more extreme weather have the potential to damage irreplaceable sites. Floods attributed to global warming have already damaged a 600-year-old site, Sukhothai, which was once the capital of a Thai kingdom.

cyclone

A primary cause of a warmer planet’s carbon dioxide emissions is having effects that reach into space with a bizarre twist. Air in the atmosphere’s outermost layer is very thin, but air molecules still create drag that slows down satellites, requiring engineers to periodically boost them back into their proper orbits. Researchers have also found that many of the animals have moved to greater elevations, possibly due to changes in their habitat caused by global warming. Not only this, the rise in global temperature and hence the water bodies has seen a decrease in the number of phytoplankton, which has lead to the increase of unwanted populations under these bodies.

Some of the most uncommon and never thought of affects is the untimely sneezes and increased rates of asthma patient. Yes, you got it right, the global warming is to be blamed for this to some extent. As global warming brings an earlier start to spring, the early bird might not just get the worm. It might also get its genes passed on to the next generation. Because plants bloom earlier in the year, animals that wait until their usual time to migrate might miss out on all the food. We certainly don’t want more animals and birds getting extinct do we?

birds.

 

So, what’s actually happening? What are the steps being taken? Recently we saw the conclusion COP21 in Paris, a UNFCCC convention. The countries have come up with this long term goal of to make sure the temperature of the earth stays well below 2 degree centigrades.To achieve that goal, governments all around have pledged to stop the rise in heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions, and also target to limit the carbon emissions so that the period after 2050 may see man made emissions reduced enough to a level that is affordable and absorbable for both the oceans and forests.

Until recently, each country came up with this Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) keeping in mind the common but differentiated responsibility. But the fact that there is no penalty on the countries who miss the target draws suspicion. A legally binding agreement with penalties to the overshoots should be the need of the hour if we truly are determined about the climate change issue.

Furthermore, it is the responsibility of the developed nations to make sure subsequent technology transfer takes place to the developing nations so that they have it with them to make sure the INDC’s are achieved. The agreement also agreed upon the wealthier nations contributing a major amount of the funds and leading the way instead of abiding to the concept of “moving forward along“, as someone needs to lead the way in this struggle against climate change.

However, the question that still remains intact, are these deals really worth it? NGOs all over the world don’t seem happy.They welcome its aim to limit temperature rise to 1.5C if possible, a tightening of the previous 2C threshold for dangerous global warming. It sends a clear message that fossil fuels are on the way out, they say – although more action is needed to make the goal a reality. Environmental migrant are forced to migrate from or flee their home region due to sudden or long-term changes to their local environment, due to problems such as increased desertification, droughts and floods. Talks about them are yet to be incorporated.

 

drought

In a way, the way countries have been moving forward since the Kyoto Protocol to the recent COP21, our future generation seems to be a benefitter. But isn’t it our responsibility as a citizen of the WORLD and not only as a citizen of our respective countries to contribute our bit?

polar bear

The bell has rang, Sankit had now a new thing to flaunt about, he knew what global warming is now. This seed that has been sown now may make him a leader of the world in the coming years, where he and his country would be leading the way towards the fight against this climate change. When he gets home, he asked his mother who was planning to buy an Air Conditioner to check if it had 5 star rating, a mark of a environmentally safe appliance. He vowed to switch off his fans and light when not in use, to use blower when at the traffic light and also not to accelerate while he learns to ride a bike. The question remains, isn’t it supposed to be OUR responsibility as a whole to contribute? Can we vow to plant at least one tree a year? Can we use LED’s instead of bulbs? Can we be another Sankit?