Monday, February 15, 2016

A walk to ponder upon..

The other day, a typical weekday, I was walking back home from work. Here in US, pedestrian crossing is regulated and is followed by people too. After getting off a train station or a bus stand, if you observe, you walk alongside so many people some of whom move away from the crowd to walk towards their destination but there are some who tread a common path as you, and in some cases, till the very end of your destination.

I had the same experience recently. I was walking alongside a lot of people till it reached a stage that only one guy was left from the crowd of people. Oblivious to each other, we continued walking on the side of the road. Till we reached a pedestrian signal. The signal was red. I, trying to be a law-abiding citizen, stopped and waited for the signal to turn white (white means you can cross the road and red means to stop). There were no vehicles around but the signal was still red. My "walking partner of the day" decided to take the plunge and walked along without waiting for the signal to turn white. He crossed the road and moved ahead. After he was about 50-100 feet in front, the signal turned white. I started walking. We maintained the distance between us till the next signal where he continued walking and I stopped again. You now get the drift, don't you? He was proverbially miles ahead and I was behind and reached my destination later than that guy.

This got me thinking. I didn't make any mistake. I followed the law of the land. I made the decision that the authorities expect a citizen to make. Still I 'lost' and reached my 'destination' relatively late. As against the guy who was walking alongside me. He, technically, made a mistake by crossing the road when he was not supposed to. He bypassed the law. He made a decision that the authorities don't expect a citizen to make. Still he 'won'. Not that I lost anything in the process, but you tend to compare your situation with your peers and judge whether you are on the right track within the right timeline.

Here's the big picture: I think this is what usually happens for bigger priorities in life too. Take career for example - there are some who still share an honest resume. By honest, I mean truth and nothing but the truth. Now-a-days, resumes are hardly honest. If, metaphorically, your actual job was to add that extra grip to Sachin Tendulkar's Cricket bat, you resume should say, "provided extra support and grip to Sachin Tendulkar's bat". In today's times, it will change to "advised, directly and supported Sachin Tendulkar to achieve 100 centuries". You see how a play upon words changed the entire job profile of an individual? Ironically it may seem, these are the same people who then go on to add extra grip to Virat Kohli's bat and say they are now "Unearthing fresh opportunities to achieve the next 100 centuries".  They move on to bigger things just by over-emphasizing their importance to the larger scheme of things. And the people who mention the truth - they take their time to reach the top of the ladder.

So who is wrong here? I guess no one. One way of looking at it is to say the guy who circumvented the law of the land did this with an appetite of accepting the damage / loss, if anything goes wrong. And this world welcomes people who have a higher risk appetite knowing that those are the people who go the extra mile to achieve success. Another way of looking at this would be to accept that everyone will eventually reach the destination in the end. Some just happen to reach there earlier. Maybe it depends on how we define success  - achieving our goals or achieving our goals within constraints like time / strength or money. Maybe it's all situational.

So, where do you stand on this?


  1. I am the honest kind, probably because my family is, and coincidentally the family I married into. All brutally honest types. I think something that is achieved through honest means lasts longer and gives more peace of mind.

    1. Same here.. So, things take time using this route but will eventually reach :)

  2. Best blog post I have ever read....


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