Thursday, May 29, 2008

A Humbling Lesson

I had just spent the better part of an hour with a colleague raving and ranting about the inadequate hike that I had got and the "system" which was supposedly harming my career and how everything was going wrong and blah...blah...blah...

I turned back to my computer and angrily began to shut it down. I had decided to leave early as I felt that the organization that I worked for did not “value” my contribution enough. I heard a soft voice at the entrance to my cubicle ,
“Excuse me, Didi” . I turned around and saw one of our outsourced boys who did the low-end clerical work at the branch standing there. I rolled my eyes in anticipation of being hit by “problem” just as I was leaving.

He stepped in and placed a bag of lychees on my desk and then bent down and touched my feet and said , “ Thank you Didi, I have got a pay hike of 800 rupees a month and it means a lot to me and my family”. I guiltily sputtered some mumbo-jumbo of “ Well done and keep working hard etc, etc” and I felt tears pricking my eyes while I watched the young boy make his way back to his crowded desk.

I rushed to the washroom and I was ashamed of the person that I saw in the mirror looking back at me. A woman who had more than what most people who work so hard all their lives ever have. I thought about the young boy fresh out of college from a lower middle-class family who sat at a cramped desk and worked long hours, who valued the opportunity that life had given him by celebrating an amount as his monthly hike which I spent unthinkingly on trivial things month on month.

Wasn’t it time I stopped taking my privileges as my birthright and demanding more ? Wasn’t it time I was grateful that while people lost their homes and dreams to mortgage crisis, cyclones and earthquakes, I still had one to go back to; I had a job in one of the best companies; I had an independent identity; I had education and I had a family ….wasn’t it time I stopped complaining about things that I take for granted but which for other people remain as unfulfilled or broken dreams.

I stand repentant and humbled, with a promise to make the most of what I have been blessed with.


Aqua said...

awwww. y've made me all teary.

life has a way of handing out lessons in the most unlikely of ways isn't it?

reminds me of this hymn we used to sing back in MH 'count yr blessings'.

TC and hugs dear debz.

Thinking Cramps said...

Goosebumps, and yes, I keep telling myself how very lucky I am by most standards.
I replied to your comment, but am back here to say hi! Hope you're feeling fine. Am not on Facebook. And oh, I told your Pathan-selling-slippers-for-a-high-price story to a Pathan cabbie here! He was most amused!

The Weekend Blogger said...

Aqua- I actually pull out the hymn which I jharoed from school and sing away in my craked voice and it is so comforting.

Annie- That was a good one and the nice part about Dubai Taxis is that most drivers make good conversation unlike here. Actually, whenever I go to a new city, I practically study the taxis and taxi drivers.

dipali said...

Isn't it amazing that the young boy came to you just when you really needed that shift in perspective?
Truly, most of us are so privileged and yet we take so much for granted most of the time.

Mystic Margarita said...

Hi - dropped in here from Dipali's. Am a fellow Calcuttan and going through some of your old posts, coluldn't help agreeing when you said that Kolkata is succumbing to money and muscle power - even though it's been more than two years since I visited last, it was obvious to me even then.

We don't often realize how lucky we are unless fate throws us in contact with those who are worse off than us.

The Weekend Blogger said...

Dipali - You these things happen to me often and I take them for God's messages reminding me to be grateful for what I have. These days all of us seem to want everything and that too very, very quickly and this was one incident which told me to slow down.

Mystic Margarita - Love your name...and you know what your blog's name "another shot at life" also seems a message to me when I am staring at a transfer and a compromise in my career on the face. This blog of mine actually forms a part of my " another shot of life" keep with me as I carry on !

Hriday said...

thank you for the post. It made me too realise how privileged I am and stop whingeing about small things. And indeed! as someone pointed out when we need a change of perspective we normally get the key to it! It is up to us to open the doors of perception!