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Exploring Possibilities: From Me To We...
Alphabetically, if one wants to convert from “Me” to “We”, one only needs to invert the alphabet ‘M’ and it will be done. Another option is to either be born/ spent some time in the city of Nawabs, Lucknow. Here we address ourselves as ‘hum’ not ‘mai’. (hum means ‘we’, and mai means ‘I’ or ‘me’ ).
Perhaps the concept of me to we, is more deep rooted. It perhaps signifies the importance of the Indian principle that ‘whole world is my family’. It reminds me of a story. There was a barber who had a culture of gratitude. He was always thankful for every good thing that happened to him. Unlike us, he used to convert his gratitude into action as well.
Whoever used to be his first customer of the day, he used to give his services to him free of cost, as an act of gratitude to God, for the great start to the day. Gratitude is a great tool of conversion from ‘me’ to ‘we’. Conventional businessmen who believe in the ‘me’ concept might not agree.
For them the concept of ‘bahuni’(a profitable start) is so important. Offering free service to the first customer is a bad start or perhaps even a bad omen for them. If somehow they have to forfeit the money for the first customer of the day, they will be upset for the rest of the day, blaming the universe for their misfortune. Let us go back to the story of our barber.
One day a florist was his first customer. As usual Barber gave him a free haircut and said, since you are the first customer of the day, and I always greet the first customer with gratitude, it's free for you. Surprised, impressed and inspired florist left.
Next day the barber found that his shop was decorated with beautiful flowers and had six bouquets at the doorsteps of his shop, with the short note which mentioned, thank you so much for your kindness, please accept my reciprocation. Law of karma, worked.
After a few days he had a baker as his first customer. He was served free too, and yes the barber had six loaves of bread at his door the next day. Story continued and one can just imagine the benefits he continued to get.
One day a shrewd businessman visited him as the first customer of the day. Served free, and the next day there were ten shrewd businessmen of his community, lined up for the free haircut. Only one got a free haircut, rest did pay. Growth was a part of his life, financial and social both. His circle of influence was on increase.
People with ‘ME’ attitude are called takers, they simply think about themselves, their way of living, how they can make it better for themselves. For them it’s about my life, my way, my success, so on and so forth. But in the post covid era, the world had observed great upsurge in ‘givers’. Because it is said that takers can eat well, but givers can sleep well, takers can have a great time, but givers have a great life time.
This art of giving actually converts us and creates a ‘WE’ attitude in us. Most selfish one letter word is ‘I’. Moment world starts rotating around ‘I’, it leads to the ‘Me’ attitude. Life stops being happy. My God, my religion, my belief, we all know the destruction caused by these ME attitude people all over the world. Ask not what God has done for you, ask for what you have done for God.
As individual many times we have the capacity to do good and bad both, for people approaching us. People with ‘Me’ attitude create an ego sphere around them. This sphere feeds expectations. Moment one expectation is not met, this ‘I’ gets offended, and such people definitely do bad to the person who approached them.
Humans with the ‘we’ attitude immediately look for a way to help and assist, in whatever way he/she can. So if someone approaches you, if you cannot do good at least don’t do anything bad to him/her. When you want respect people might not respect you, but if you give respect, no one can stop you from giving. Same stands for love. Learn to begin your journey from ‘ME’ to ‘WE’…. you will definitely explore more possibilities.
(The author is a Certified Designed Thinking Master practitioner and Clifton Certified Strength Finder Coach, Corporate Trainer and a Leadership coach. He is based in Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh, India.)