Ego

Disclaimer: This is a personal post, and you may want to skip this if you are here for technical or functional posts.

I was right. I was certain that I was. The other person had made a couple of good points, and was adamant on a couple of them. However, I knew in my heart that I was on the path of the righteous.

There was no way I would step back or give in when I was correct. In fact I deserved an apology and that made me the aggrieved. That gave me more drive to fight back and ask for what is mine.

Like a crusader who has no regrets, I trod on this path. Bludgeoning any and everyone who stood before me. Until, I hit a wall. This wall was another person … just as correct as I was, just as bull headed as I was.

What happens when a force that cannot be stopped hits an object that cannot be moved?

Popular pulp fiction :)

A clash of egos

Now, I am no stranger to being firm and having my way … and I love a good debate. Hence, it was pretty easy to get into this big fight.

At the end, both the sides were injured, feeling dejected and had wasted a good time and resources. That was when it struck me.

A clash of egos is always a pyrrhic victory. You end up resenting. Period.

What’s another alternative?

As ridiculous it may sound, empathy is a great alternative. Put yourself in the shoes of the other and see the world.

If there is a solution, try to come up with one using this perspective. If there truly is no other alternatives and it indeed is a conflict of interests, perhaps it might make sense to keep egos aside and see what can be a win-win engagement.

The Difference in Perspective

I do not consider myself as a blind person.

He said this as a matter of fact.

I have seen the U.S. Open, I have seen the Wimbledon, I like to see movies … I do not know why people think that a blind person will not enjoy all these things.

The operative word is see, he uses it the same way as I do. I am talking about Ashish Goyal, who recently won the National Award for the Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities 2010. He was awarded by the President of India on 3rd December.

Today, Illumine had invited him for a session and all of us got to interact with him. Hearing his story, and how down to earth the guy was touching … heck, if I had graduated from Wharton (with honors) and working in one of the sought after companies, I would’ve preened. Oh, did I forget to mention that he has lost his eyesight due to a degenerative disorder?

Yes, he lost his vision at the age of 22. But Ashish went on ahead to get into NMIMS, get a job with ING Vyasa and then get an admit into Wharton. He incidentally was invited for this session by the same professor who used to hold guest lectures for him as a visiting faculty in NMIMS.

Ashish was even witty enough to share with us some of his funny moments at Wharton. As the session was concluding, some words he said got stuck in my mind –

Sometimes it takes only a small difference from our end to make a big difference for someone.

I do not want to take the credit away from Ashish (I would have shat my pants had I been in his shoes … I almost had lost my eyesight in one eye about three years back and I had been shit scared). What he has done is really commendable. I am sure that the visiting faculty might not even have thought of this when he recommended to Ashish that he give overseas MBA a try, yet that act of providing advice and hope made such a big difference.

How many of us do such small acts of kindness without looking at the outcome?