Tuesday, April 15, 2014

No-Nonsense Chayaisms...Freedom...Glass Ceiling...Giving

4                    Freedom:

Freedom is our bright right but it has its boundaries. It means we are free to eat, wear and do what we want as long as it does not come in the way of the freedom of another. It is a choice we make, not realizing that it has its attendant responsibilities. Many women give up their freedom as the trade off is protection. Expressing your free will means taking responsibility for you actions and its consequences. This requires maturity and guts. You cannot have your freedom with someone else paying for it.  Young people are very eloquent about asserting their freedom and expect parents to ‘let them be’. Fine, as long as they are economically independent and do not come back crying to ‘mama/papa’ after their bravado flops. Parents too need to have a cut off limit to the length of the leash. Knowing your boundaries help in making your moves the rights way. For centuries, women were denied education and opportunities to tap their potential. This orientation has been so deep seated that even today, with open access and equal opportunity to stride out, many women tend to be like the elephant which does not move though the chain tied to its leg is easily broken, if it makes up its mind to move. Freedom of choice, exercising it judiciously and taking the consequences in ones stride, is real empowerment. It is really up to an individual to have it or not.  
4                        Glass Ceiling:

Is it a myth or reality? Women, who have scaled great heights in corporate circles, believe that the glass ceiling is a reality as far as their own perceptions are concerned. You can make it through those barriers, imaginary or otherwise, if you have the persistence, the skills and the right attitudes to make a go of any assignment given. But we cannot wish it away. There is a gender bias in assessing women and their performance. Some senior women CEOs in America confirmed this by saying that women are judged by physical appearance rather than ability. The very qualities that are supposed to be strength of a woman- like people skills- are not considered business skills. a lady Lt General of the US army said that she is said to be ‘mothering’ her team when she applies her mentoring skills while her male counterparts are said to be ‘leading’ them! A very disappointed senior professional says that it is not just glass ceiling that keeps women from rising to top positions but a ‘hard, plastic ceiling’! But if more and more women in senior positions start facilitating and mentoring, they can easily swell the numbers of women in the senior management level. Is it Utopia?

4                          Giving:

‘Giving’ is the best way to find happiness. But the questions you need to ask are- what do I give, when do I give and whom do I give to. What would you like to accomplish with your giving? What are your passions, values and goals for your giving? If you have money, you can find satisfaction in donating to causes; if you have a talent, share it with those that need guidance; if you have time to spare, volunteer your service; if you have love-give to those around you. You give when people need what you give. Like the hungry man who wants food and you promise him a feast the next day! He wants it NOW. You give what is useful to the receiver. No point donating your old computer to a school which has no electrical connection! You give to make a person independent – like a skill or a product he can use to earn money. You give because you want to and not to get publicity. The real givers are those that stay behind the limelight. The main reason for giving is to express gratitude; to say “thank you” to God for giving you what you have.