Thursday, April 17, 2008

Rudeness- the weak man's imitation of strength

I spoke to a male colleague in the office, aged around 37-38. I was trying to make some polite conversation. This guy replies very sarcastically. I tried speaking about a more neutral topic like, “How was the travel from the new airport?” Even this innocuous question elicited a sarcastic reply. The tone in his conversation was very condescending throughout.
I wondered what made him talk like that. Has power come too soon to him? Had he come from a very insecure/ impoverished background? Is that why he wasn’t able to handle power?
This illness pervades the entire corporate world. Rightly said, “It’s not adversity that’s the true test of a person. Give him power and see.” Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely! I have interacted with very senior people in my organization and seen them being so down-to- earth, so kind and hard working. It is this quality that has endeared them to others and therefore they are where they are today. This sadly doesn’t percolate down and the ones in the middle try to implement an authoritarian leadership. These people are probably proud of the little war of words…these small victories but forgetting that they are actually losing out on the bigger battle of life. I would personally consider myself victorious in life when people swarm to my funeral. How does anything else matter?
I had a small spat with the person who is the parking-in-charge at the railway station from where I board the train. He was being careless about his duties and I chided him for not doing it well. But my words haunted me throughout the day and I made my truce on my return home. He has now become very friendly with me, takes extra care of my vehicle and charges me only the minimum parking charges however long I choose to keep my vehicle.
What admonishment and punishment cannot accomplish, empathy, a little smile and kindness can surely do it. And for all those in power, if we could combine that power with kindness, what a lethal weapon we have!