I am right now in an unenviable position of being a mentor and guide to a young lady who is going through a very rough time with her marriage in particular and life in general. It is all the more unenviable when you consider that I did not go looking for this experience but, was more or less shanghaied into it by circumstances.
The only reason that I can think of for having been chosen for this situation is my age and so called wisdom.
Be that as it may, I am stuck with it and I do my best to be of help. Time and again, I have expressed my helplessness in advising specific courses of action because I have never met the husband. The lady simply says that she just wants to use me as a sounding board to think aloud. What she does not realise is that it is sapping my energy levels by rants that meander all over the place but covering the same ground over and over again and again.
Last night before we ended our session, other than one face to face, all over the telephone, she wistfully said “How I wish that we could go back to how things were!” She did not wait for my response and disconnected.
My initial response was to convey to her my best wishes that they do by a text message but before I did that, it occurred to me that it would be wrong for me to send that message as I strongly believe that how things were before was what has brought the situation to what it is now! And I said to myself, phew, what an insight!
We often wish that going back to how things were would somehow make us happier. Will it? With my insight, I went over some of the situations that I wish were like the old days and came to the conclusion that had they not taken place, I wouldn’t be where I am now! And that is by and large, a very happy place but, those moments of nostalgia when one wishes that one could go back to where one was before are always when one is not in a happy frame of mind. And, one has come to that stage because of what happened in the past!
Just think about it, analyse your own experiences and see if it really would make things better than what they are right now? How can they, when exactly what happened then is what has made you come to this stage of unhappiness!
My friend Arun sent me this visual on WhatsApp.
The following exchange then took place.
Me: I have survived 75 years!
Arun : GREAT 👍👍👍
Me: It is some months away! Thanks any way! I have survived without brains!
Arun : 😃😃
I understand the misunderstanding. This exchange took place at 7.15 am this morning. Arun must have had a great time last night.
I took an online quiz and the result was this. Please click on the image for a larger resolution if needed.
On reading this, my dear daughter in love promptly said that it is indeed very true as, she has grounded me so that I don’t get into mischief!
Recently, I became a pen pal of a gentleman, let us call him EM, in Europe through synchronicity. We have been exchanging mails and getting to know each other and once we found out that we can use the WhatsApp application to share messages, have started to use that too.
We have quite a lot in common and are enjoying the new friendship though it is extremely unlikely that we will ever get to meet each other personally.
Last week, EM sent me a photograph of he with his wife taken recently and observed “Don’t you think that we look a little alike?”
I responded with the observation that over long years of married life, couples tend to look like each other and sent him a link explaining this phenomenon.
Earlier this morning, I received another photograph from him, this time alone, a selfie taken before a full length mirror. Below that photograph, he wrote “When I said that I think we look a little alike, I was referring to you and me! What do you think?”
I responded with: “Oops! Yes, indeed we do!”
In 1975 I was in a South Indian location as Regional Manager and I had to host a student from a College of Commerce located near by researching Management practices. The student conducted a couple of weeks of intense interviews with my team and I had many sessions explaining concepts not understood by him during the course of his interviews.
This student in due course submitted his report to his Professor with a copy to me. In that report he gave me credit for good guidance and this seemed to have influenced the faculty of that College of Commerce who sent a request to our Personnel Department that I become visiting faculty for a few sessions in their College. I did primraily as a PR exercise and thus started my experiences with class rooms from the lectern side.
In my first lecture cum interactive session, I explained some Management Principles and how they worked in practice in real life situations. The interactive session stretched well beyond the stipulated time and many questions were raised by enthusiastic students who challenged me to come up with satisfactory answers. I think that I did to their complete satisfaction.
I awaited their invitation for the next session which did not come for over a month. Those were pre cellphone days and so I could not simply call and find out what was happening. On a visit to the town I dropped in at the College and met with the faculty member who was co-ordinating the whole thing and was not very satisfied with his answers. Luckily I was able to locate the stuent at the College and he gave me the inside story. The faculty had decided not to call me any more as the thrust of my lecture and the subsequent interactive session clearly indicated that the students better be prepared to face the reality that what they learn in theory in school is not what they will encounter in practice. The faculty perhaps felt that this was demoralising or may have even felt threatened!
Fast forward to the late nineties in Pune where again I was invited by two business schools due to the intervention of students who had met me for similar sessions and exactly the same phenomenon of the faculty deciding not to call me again happened.
That is my story of my personal experience with Theory And Practice, in practice!
I can honestly say that I learnt much more about Management in practice than I did in the Business School. Many of the techniques that I learnt in school remained unused for most of my working life. As I had mentioned elsewhere in other blog posts, all that the Business School going did for me was to get me a good job through campus recruitment. It was hands on work experience that enabled me to succeed and progress in a career in Management.
I picked this week’s topic and so Shackman will choose next week’s. Please check Shackman’s take on this week’s topic.