Sunday, September 28, 2008

Human Nature

Human nature is sure weird. Come to think of it I don't even know if its weird or confusing or straightforward (as human psychologists claim) or whatever...

Case1: My mom, a few years back had a slip disc and that troubles her every now and then. But you should have seen her during my sis's wedding. Everything was perfectly managed and her energy levels were on an all time high. Warnings from any number of family members to take care of herself fell on deaf ears. The very next day after the wedding her pains bounced back ;-). I know that people rise up to the situation and she also had to do it as it was her own daughters wedding and all that.... so are all ailments just in our mind? Can we overcome just anything and everything just by being strong in our mind?

Case2: Unfortunately my mom-in-law met with an accident recently and her left hand little finger had to be amputed. She also has a fracture in her wrist and so has a cast on her left hand. She is able to use only her right hand for now. But this has made her over sensitive. She insists on doing work with her one hand. If somebody offers to help she gets upset. My sister-in-law is home to help her take bath and all... but if she tries to overdo the helping part, she gets back immediately. She not only wants to do her own work, but also wants to do other house hold work. She used to completely manage the kicthen before and so now not being able to do that must have hurt her confidence really bad. Also I noticed one more thing. The moment people become too "sympathetic" she gets defensive. P and me tried to tell this subtely to my sister-in-laws not to greive about the bad thing that has happened in front of my mil. But then can't blame them as well... its their mother and they can't see that she is suffering, tries to help her as much as they can and inturn get scoldings ;-)
Now this is also a case of mind game. Empathysing with her physical pain, I can't help but feel that this "insecurity" and all is just again in her mind.

Case3: P. My most fav character for analysis. Its almost 9 years since I know him, but even now I can't predict how he will react in certain situations. He reacts in totally different ways for the same situation/condition on different days. Like for example, the other day I mentioned I was feeling very tired becasue of all this extra work (office, college, home and ofcourse P), he was very sympathetic... said that this is all temporary and from the next day he even got up with me at 5:30 in the morning to help me in the kitchen. Now thats a starightforward reaction from a caring husband. But then hold on.. thats not the end of the story. On last friday, I had to skip breakfast as I got late for college and had to rush. We were celebrating "Paksha" on that day in our house so when I came back from college in the afternoon there were guests at home, so couldn't have lunch also on time.. finally when I had lunch at 4pm I felt really really tired and had to sleep off for a few minutes to be able to walk again. That evening when I told that it happened this way, he shouted back at me saying he can't help it if I don't have food on time. He is not to be blamed. He cannot spoon feed me all the time and all that..... All I expected from him this time also was the same old reaction you know... just say that "oho... did it happen like that? make sure you get up 20 mins early from next time and eat breakfast..". That's it, nothing more, nothing less. But no, all I get is shoutings...
What should we call this. People behave differently in different situations is completely understandable, but why do people behave so differently for same situations?

P.S: have noticed that I analyse things a bit too much, like the above paragraph. I can't just move on thinking that yes people behave like this and that's the be all and end all. I always end up analysing anything and everything. Any tried and tested way to stop this tendency?

Monday, September 01, 2008

Run Run.. While you can

Last three months have been hectic to say the least. MBA at an “elite” institution has its disadvantages. My house is in a mess. My book (of the novels kind) reading has taken back seat. My hobbies (of what little was left) have no time. I don’t remember the last time I took an oil bath. On the whole, my life is in a mess :-). Last weekend marked the end of first term. One step (out of 10) closer to the black cap….

Mini-shark got married and I could devote only 5 days of my precious time for the wedding preparations which included attending the wedding as well… Couldn’t attend the second reception which happened in Chennai coz I had the term exams on the same day.

Looking back, is this what I asked for? Of course there are advantages. In mini-sharks wedding half the attention was on me… not only for being the bride’s sister but for also doing MBA from so-and-so institution ;-) Apart from this false attention, the learning is good. The way I look at things are different now. I never could understand one single word in my company’s annual report. But now I can decipher almost everything and also give suggestions… if only they asked for it ;-)

Strategy has helped me understand each company’s or its industry’s position. I know which business is attractive and which is risky. Though one might argue a lot of people can do this without a degree, I can substantiate my answers and not just base it on intuition :-)

Economics has taught me why the oil market behaves the way it does. Why the local dentist sometimes makes more money than an established dental clinic.

There is no doubt that it’s good what I am doing, after all its burning a whole in my pocket and it better be worth it!

I can’t help but wonder about the whole process of higher education. No doubt it makes us better intellectuals. Note the word “intellectuals”… that’s it. Not better human beings.

Even at this level,

- People lie about how they fared badly in the exams… but the scores say a different story!

- During class discussions each one is trying to snub the other and make a point himself/herself. It’s as if the world will come to an end if I didn’t make my point.

- People still hide their assignments till the last moment.

*Sigh* and I thought “Vidya dadaaathi vinayam”. Frankly I don’t see any difference in the behavioral part from what I saw in middle school to what I see now.

So these degrees sure help you earn money. You can now easily interact with fellow intellectuals. You can now write papers on global issues and can now advise one or two (those who care to listen) about the +ves and –ves of their decision and blah blah blah.

BUT, do these degrees in any way help you make this world a better place to live in? My over imaginative mind can’t help but think… If 50 years down the line when everyone in this world can afford higher education, will this world become a place where everyone is trying to snub the other, where each day is a competition, each one is trying to outdo the other… it’s a scary thought!

This reminds me… somewhere I read “The unfortunate part about the rat race is that at the end of the race, even the winner is a RAT...” How true!!!