Showing posts with label Respect. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Respect. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Nothing else matters...

Over the past several weeks, I've seen how people treat you when you get ahead in life.
Failures, that's fine. They will console and comfort you. But it is when you get ahead of them in life that you begin to see the knives coming at you. Some of them even believe you've betrayed them! What you get is a lot of cold shoulders and malicious back-room gossip. All this just because you got a promotion.
We, Indians are not known to be sore losers. I mean, take for instance the way we react when our (mediocre) cricket team loses. While we are swift to kick their collective asses when they win, we love to rub it in when the team wins too.
As a nation, we love to think that we strive for excellence and pride ourselves on being hard working people. But are we really?
While we are taught to aim for everything good in life, very few know how to get there or to be patient while we get there.

Having worked for almost 8 years now, when I achieved my first career milestone earlier this month, I first thanked Jesus. It wasn't a moment too soon or too late. It was perfect! For all the interviews that I failed, and for all the life lessons I've learned over the past couple of years, I knew there was a purpose behind all the pain. While I've seen 'staunch' Christians flocking to God only when they are in pain and in times of good fortune, I've rarely seen any of them surrendering themselves when they hit rock bottom and remaining with Him when they rise. Most people assume a promotion, a good job, a child after a long wait and such milestones are because of their merit. Because they deserved it. Because they worked for it.
I think otherwise. While it is true that Jesus abhors a lazy person, He has also said, I'll never leave you nor forsake you. Not of my merit but of His grace.

What a wonderful promise!
Maybe, we forget to remember this promise.
Or maybe, we use this promise as a crutch rather than a ladder.
Many fair-weather Christians that I know of think they are automatically blessed by virtue of their faith.
If having a stethoscope makes you a doctor, going to a church and swearing by His name makes you christian. But definitely not citizens of His Kingdom.

Myth: When you grow up, people will respect and honor you.
Fact: You get what you give.

Over the past couple of years, I've learned the importance of interceding for the many who are lost.
If you are filled with hatred, remorse and you are unwilling to wait on the Lord, you aren't going to get much further from where you started. It's a vicious cycle. 
Truth is you only reap what you sow.
Too many people, especially Christians think they are blessed if they get a plum promotion or if they get a good job/wife/car/lottery.
But I've learned that none of this really matters at the end of the day. When your time to go comes, it really does not matter if you are a CEO or a lowly student. It does not matter how many Bentley you've owned or the debts that you had. Are you ready to meet your Creator without any of the urges of the world?
Learn to be patient with those who test you. Even on those who cut in front of you in a queue or skip lanes on the road.
Give thanks for the many blessings and life lessons you've learned. Yes, even the bitter ones. Pray for those who've hurt you, and ask for their forgiveness. You will need forgiveness too.

Pray. Praise the Lord. Even with you hit rock bottom.
Love. Even your enemies.
Forgive. Even when they have done the gravest sin against you. Trust me. You will feel a whole lot better when you let go of all that hatred.
While I still consider myself a toddler when it comes to Christianity, I know that with Jesus 
by my side, I'd need nothing else.

Read this note on the internet:
I have a relationship with Jesus.......Not a Religion.
I have a relationship with Jesus.......Not a Ritual.
I have a relationship with my Sisters and Brothers.......Not a Race.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Of lesser gods..

He is like any of us.

Like you and I, he has a family, who cares for him, loves him and looks up to him. Respects him for the job that he does.
He faces the same struggles that you and I face in today's economy. Yet, I've never seen him upset or heard him complain. Lives far away from his family who yearns to see him once every 6 months.

Raju works hard for his meager salary of Rs 3000 (about $67). Meets all his food and shelter expenses and is still able to send Rs 2000 ($45) back home to his family. Enough to meet all the expenses and more.

But he is not any of us. He is one among the army of housekeeping personnel who silently yet unfailingly strive to make your life at work so much more comfortable.

Cleaning, mopping, dusting, serving they make sure your workstation is clean and spotless even before you wake up. Working insane hours of the night, I've seen them tirelessly toil almost like robots coming out of the woodwork to clean and pick up trash and exit the floor just as silently as they come.

Yet we snarl at them if they forget to clean the stinky toilets or have forgotten to pick that piece of trash that we left.

As a nation, most of us are highly impatient towards people that are perceived disadvantaged. Perhaps, because we've lived charmed lives.
While some of the more privileged among us aspire to buy the latest car or that opulent apartment, many like Raju are happy if they are able to meet all their expenses this month and have a few hundred rupees for next month's mela.

While many of us have a lot of 'job security' (or the misplaced feeling of one) and the certain assurance that we'll get our pay like clockwork, folks like Raju have a silent yet looming threat of unemployment hanging over their heads. Maybe they'll get their pay. Maybe they'll not.

Most of us would have never had (and probably will never have) to struggle for our food. But for the millions of people like Raju, they are just one paycheck away from starvation.

As a person, who did struggle for a square meal myself, I've never forgotten my roots or my milestones. Recalling those days, I'd ration a single banana to last me for 2 days, taking a bite and then carefully wrapping the skin around so that it remains fresh until dinner, I've used community toilets and worse.

I've come a long way since, but I still remember those days like it was last week.
When I see a person struggling, I see myself in them. I talk to them, as I would've wanted someone to talk to me when I was struggling. I encourage them and show them how I've grown. Amidst challenges.

I've seen people who've started out at the lowest rank, climb up the ladder only to make the lives of those below him/her much harder. The story of the Indian Crabs come to my mind.
If talking down to waiters is considered rude, how can we condone our general attitude of disregard to those to make sure our toilets are clean, tables spic and span and dustbins cleared?

Butchering a more popular adage, the lives of our housekeeping army make me believe 'With much money, comes much misery'.
They don't need your money or your leftover food. They don't need your sympathy.

But, its time we said 'Thank you, Sir/Madam' to the next housekeeping staff you meet. Let them know that you appreciate the work they do, that they are not invisible any more.

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