Friday, April 11, 2014

No-Nonsense Chayaisms-Environment...Escapism..Ethics

I wish more and more women would take cognizance of their contribution to polluting the environment. Auntie Litter is inspiring Americans of all ages to use the new 3 R’s: Reuse, Reduce waste, Recycle and to be anti-litter. The creative mind behind Auntie Litter is a Mrs.Pat Mitchell, mother of three children, successful business owner and accomplished teacher. Mothers can educate their children on the 3 R’s if they themselves follow the principles! Greening your surroundings is the basic step in environment protection. It is good to encourage children to plant a sapling in the backyard and see it grow by nurturing it. Educational institutions must make this a part of the curriculum and help children grow to loving the green life around them. Some activists protest against development, in their bid to protect environment. One has to be pragmatic, not emotional about this subject.

Escapism often has a negative connotation, meaning-avoid dealing with reality. One of the reasons why we have so many drug addicts and alcoholics is because they believe they can find peace and solace in the make-believe world of alcohol and drugs. They believe they can drown their problems in a glass of liquor and find solutions in a packet of brown sugar. Where and how can we run away from our problems or stress? The best way to overcome adversity is to face it head on and find a way out. There are two ways to escape from troubles- the unhealthy way by drinking and drugging and the healthy way by exercising, working, gardening and praying ; in other words, we can find a sanctuary in ourselves to work out a solution. As a wise man said, looking at the mundane with fresh eyes of wonder, finding hidden treasure in the rust – that’s what Escapism is about.

3                                     Ethics:

Speaking at SAARC Women Entrepreneur’s meet at Srilanka, their Minister for Industry, made constant reference to the role of women in upholding ethics in business. He felt that women are the pillars of good business practices. Ironically, at a similar meet in Bangalore, hosted by a local women entrepreneur’s network, one of the speakers, a successful business woman, in her presentation, openly suggested keeping aside a budget for ‘bribes’. When I questioned the ethics of this, she justified it with an example that showed it was only a bribe which could get her papers moving by some concerned bureaucrats. If she had not resorted to it, she would have lost a lot of time which is money in business. Other business women in the session supported her stance. So, what is ethics? Does it prescribe a thumb rule for all or is it according to situations? I have failed miserably as a businesswoman as I have too many hang-ups about ethical and moral issues. Even when I had to get my son transferred from a Medical College in a troubled state to Karnataka, I took the difficult path of going by the rule book while many suggested short cuts that went against my principles. He lost an academic year in the bargain but he was equally concerned about doing it the right way. When I was put through difficult times during my tenure as Deputy General Manager in HMT, I preferred to take the ethical route which got me a dismissal from the company as reward. But it also got me a good night’s sleep and the title ‘woman of steel’! So what is this ethics? I think it is a personal mission statement in life that makes you feel good inside when you follow it-whatever the consequences.