Jul 18, 2008

Mktg - Obstinacy can be tenacity

A G Krishnamurthy

What I've Liked The virtues of obstinacy Well, this is one quality that most parents must be familiar with — a trait that is inexplicably more visible among the kids of today, than it was maybe a generation ago. Here comes one TVC by Dainik Bhaskar that offers hope to parents who despair every time their child digs his or her feet in, refusing to be the sweet loving angel whom they were familiar with, perhaps just a couple of years ago! Someone once said that you need to have the unreasonable obstinacy of a child in order to succeed in almost any sphere of life. So even though an unyielding nature can be quite frustrating to a parent, the good news is that it would probably be that one trait that helps the child succeed as a grown-up. And of course, this trait when channelised for a positive, social cause… can move mountains and as the Father of our Nation has demonstrated, has the capability to even free a nation from decades of oppression — the Power of One as it is quite often described as. An unusual yet commendable stand for a newspaper to take and beautifully articulated as well, striking a chord especially in this day and age, where values and morals seem to have the pliability of plastic. But yet, there are a few amongst us, who as the ad clearly showcases do stand firm for the causes they believe in — and manage to change their circumstances. So the next time your child is stubborn, gently remind him as the ad advises, to hold on till later when he can unleash it to change his world What I've Learned Is silence always golden… or is it sometimes just ‘yellow'? We've all been indoctrinated into believing that holding your tongue, especially when provoked, is the wisest move of all. To rub the point in even further, there is also a saying that ‘Even a fool when silent, appears wise'. In most parts of our country we seem to take this piece of ancestral caution to extreme lengths and refuse to speak out even when someone steps on our toes. I remember lamenting about this in one of my previous columns and here I am about to do it again — simply because I witness this tendency for most people to silently accept injustice without a murmur time and time again! Educated, well-spoken, articulate, financially well-off people continue to stand on the sidelines and be taken advantage of. Now this is where my mind refuses to wrap itself around the incongruity of the situation. The big question here is "Why?"! I was in a security check line last week when, as is always the habit, an airline staff member rushed in with an extremely delayed passenger and whisked him ahead of all of us who had arrived well in time for our flights! It was as if we were being punished for arriving on time while the late comer received VIP treatment. When I complained to the authorities, a murmur of support rippled through the queue — which is when it struck me: why on earth were they accepting this unfairness without any complaint? Were they lazy, scared or indifferent — the answer eludes me. If enough number of people protested every time an "official" queue-cutting attempt was made, the practice will stop. In countries abroad, if you arrive late, you still stand in the queue like everyone else – it would be disastrous to even dream of cutting past the others — I can't imagine anyone standing around like sheep. The explanation is very simple — people will continue stepping on your toes as long as you don't protest. So let's leave the silence-is-golden approach for worthier causes and not be so yellow when it comes to standing up for ourselves.

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