Sep 30, 2011

Sunshine behind the clouds without a Silver lining

A friend once said - "India needs people like us - those that have seen the other side of the world". At that time, I brushed off the remark as a cliched saying to entice me to come back to India. Within a couple of months after my return, I realised the value of those words. At work, I had to go through the usual "new employee training programs". And sitting there, listening to all those 20 somethings speak about what they want to do with their life and the sometimes misguided, sometimes intelligent plans for their future, it was exciting.

India has a huge potential. I am not the first to say it nor am I the last. What I now realise is, returning back can help you see the potential a lot more clearly. You can see the gaps at the individual and organizational level. And the most exciting and challenging part is, you can help fill that gap! Imagine that! There is nothing like being able to shape something to take it to a better standard.

Putting that into action requires finesse though. Most people discard us as prodigal sons and daughters who think we have come back from heaven and therefore consider ourselves a cut above the rest. And when that preconceived notion exists, it is hard to make headway even though your intentions and vision are right. I was warned to not act as if I dropped from heaven and everything here is sub-standard and needs to be improved (courtesy - that same friend).

So we are back to the basics. First, 'Change' requires you to understand and appreciate why things are the way they are. Always. Whether in India or abroad. And that understanding helps you bring about change with a lot more empathy. But foremost, your vision has to be selfless. You are not trying to bring about a change for yourself. But for a larger good. This is true again whether India or abroad or in any work that we do for that matter. That gives you the everlasting satisfaction and enthusiasm to keep it going.

Clouds will pass - you dont have to search for the silver lining in them! There is sunshine beneath - give it time. (does that rhyme?!)

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