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Exploring Possibilities: Ship Of Responsibility
Once upon a time an old lady in Japan was celebrating her 100th birthday. She was quite healthy and fit too, apart from being happy and cheerful. Someone asked her what is the secret behind her long and happy life. She replied, happiness is the key, and longevity is the outcome.
How many times did we realize that on a particular day when we are very happy the day passes unnoticed, whereas the days when we are sad and gloomy gives us an impression of being too long. When further asked as to how she was able to maintain her happiness, she said that one ship she didn’t allow to sink in her life was the ship of relationship.
Yes, ladies in gentlemen, those human beings who don’t let this ship of relationship drown, create more moments of happiness and bliss in their lives. But this relationship has to be genuine and meaningful. Now let’s understand, as to how we can make it genuine and meaningful.
Once in an elementary mathematics class a teacher asked a question to a boy, if on your birthday your two friends gave you 2 chocolates each, how many chocolates will you have? Boy said five.
The teacher was very surprised and repeated the question, but the answer remained the same. Teacher got angry and a bit frustrated too. Somehow she maintained her composure and she reframed the question and asked again, if your 2 friends give you 2 mangoes each, how many will you have, boy replied four.
Teacher was very satisfied with the answer but asked why your answer is different for chocolates. Boy replied, it’s because I already have one chocolate, but I don’t have any mangoes. Teacher’s anger and frustration did melt away. This is nothing but an example of empathy. It’s a word which is used more in discussions, but less in actions. If we try to understand other than being understood, our ship of relationship will get the required buoyancy.
Another reason or factor that brings distance and bitterness in relationships is an attempt to correct others. Whenever we do that for any one, it creates bitterness in the heart of the other person. This creates a reason for the person to maintain distance from us.
Then should we attempt to give corrective or constructive feedback to anyone, and if yes how? Ladies and gentlemen, whenever you give such a feedback always ask four questions to self…
• Are you the right person, or do you have the authority in terms of position and knowledge?
• Is it the right time/moment to give the feedback?
• Is your motive right? As many times we try to settle the earlier score.
• Is your way the right way?
Once you find a yes as an answer to all the four questions, please proceed, you will get a constructive outcome.
Now the most important and crucial component of relationships, that is love. In today’s world we are extremely fast. Love at first sight and divorce at first fight. Love has got no relevance, if it’s not backed up by action. We might say I love my father, but when father needs to be served, and we are reluctant, it’s not love. Action has to be followed by attitude to serve.
Love has two major components, romance and respect. Romance has a short life, but respect lives longer. When we say respect it means respect for the feelings, emotions and wellbeing of the other person. It actually lays down the foundation of love. This generates the feel of care. For a relationship, it’s not about how you know me. It's more about how much you care for me.
So dear friends, practice empathy, be cognizant in giving corrective feedback and back your love with requisite attitude and action, your ship of relationship will always be buoyant and you will explore the possibility of a long and happy life…
(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.)