Monday, May 3, 2010

Tom and Jerry, the eternal lovers

What makes Tom and Jerry a wholesome entertainer for all family members, young and adult alike? Is it the thrashing that mostly Tom keeps getting at Jerry’s hands? Or is it the victory of the weak (Jerry) over the strong (Tom)? Or is it because the bottom line of most of the tales is that life is a great leveler? Or is it because of the sum of all the above, as a whole package?

I think it is the latter. People like, should I say love, the characters Tom and Jerry as a whole, both together. You just cannot appreciate one without the other. They are a couple made out to be together as eternal lovers - life partners.

Tom rarely attempts to eat Jerry as natural it should be between cats and mice. But did it happen in any episode? Never. Why? You can simply say the story would end if one is killed. But the fact is there is more to it than meets the eye. Read more of this in Wikipedia. In wikipedia you see how they analyzed the relationship that Tom and Jerry share with each other.

But I think, William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, came up with these characters to characterize the lives of life-partners and passed on a message in a camouflage.

There will be a number of squabbles, differences and other petty issues between a wife and her husband. Thats what you get to see between the famous cat and mouse pair. But at the end of the day they always seemingly remain to be living happily ever after. (There are several instances within the cartoons where they display genuine friendship and concern for each other's well-being).

So, ideally, a wife and husband should lead a happy and loving life with each other even if they have differences of opinion.

The cartoon characters would have been long dead if they were sketched in a uni-layered way. It is because that the stories are peppered with a lot of spice without a dull moment that everybody enjoys it. Same is true with life for a couple - it would become monotonous and redundant if there is no spice.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Incentives, incentives and incentives! What are they for?

“If people expect an incentive to complete a task, it means, deep down they are not doing it for the love of the task but for the thought of earning an incentive, which is more lovable than the task.”

Lets sum it up in my own typical way.

Parents to their son: Son, if you get 80% this year in your final exams, we are going to gift you with what you were asking - a cycle.

How often did you hear or see this? This is pretty common. Right? It is just a common thought process - a trend - that an incentive for getting higher marks would encourage children to study better. It seems to be time-tested and a proven technique across the world. The gift keeps changing based on the importance of the test (exam) and life-stage of the kid. But the trend remains the same.

But let us look at this scenario in a different way...

Parents are giving an incentive for something that their son is expected to be doing - taking an exam here. But, mind you, if the child is interested in studies and passionate about it, he’ll be more interested in getting good grades than the cycle. The teachers are giving the incentive that the kid rightly deserves for his academic performance. Then, what is this cycle for and what is this announcement of a gift before the exams actually start? A bribe? Or is this a give-away to your child and yourself that the kid is more interested in owning a cycle than doing well in the exams?

To me, this is an acceptance by the parents that possessing a cycle is more important to the kid than getting good marks. And this interest should influence the kid to study well. But for what? The kid would long forget the actual end of education as this trend continues. Ultimately, what did the parents achieve?

Being mature adults, parents should know what they are achieving by this method. This is a transaction - a business deal. “You get what you want if you give me what I want”. Is this what you want your kid to learn?

Is there a direction or approach that parents can take that will influence kids in enjoying their studies - an approach that will push kids to naturally love their studies and not for some incentive? I think there is. Make kids understand the beauty and the real reason of education. The approach changes from kid to kid.

There are a lot of things but try this for the incentive you want to give: If you really want to gift a cycle for your kid’s good performance, do so, but silently after he did well in the exams. No hint or announcement of the purchase till you actually gift it. Create an environment that will influence the kid in thinking that he/she made their parents happy and in return they are showing their love in the form of a gift. Never promise anything. Be consistent with your approach. Create a benchmark through your deeds that he may get a gift if he raises over a certain standard. This, in all probability encourages the kid to keep up the good work the right way.

Note to parents: Nobody can stop you from buying a cycle or any gift to your kid. But do so, if you are genuinely pleased by your kid’s actions and not for an action you ask him that would please you.

General note: I’ve taken “academic interest” for this article as this is the commonest area where we can see this trend across the world.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The power of creative imagination


"If you want to give a message, it must be a message of 'Love'. It must be a message of 'Truth'.

I want to capture your hearts. Let your hearts clap in unison with what I'm saying, and I think, I shall have finished my work.

A friend asked yesterday, did I believe in one world? How can I possibly do otherwise. Of course I believe in one world."

"How would be the world now, if he could communicate in this way? Telecom Italia. Communication is life."

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Bat up!!!

"Bat Up". This is what we are used to hearing a lot of people saying when batsmen complete milestones like centuries and half centuries in cricket.

It was by chance that I saw today that I have completed 50 blog posts in my blog. And I am happy that I could keep my interest of writing a thing or two when I feel it. I am sure that I'll continue into the future with my writing. Hopefully, with more insightful and thought-provoking topics.

Today, I would like to say "Bat Up" for my own good and motivation.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Ah! My dream company.

Another paradoxical thought that got my juices going is the run by a lot of people for a job in dream companies. Yes, its true that ones saleability and marketability increases including the pay packets with the addition of big dream companies such as Microsoft, Google and so on, in their profiles. But is this the only motive behind joining these companies (I guess not) is what made me think.

Equally interesting is the fact that a lot of people (though from premier institutes, I guess) are seeking opportunities with smaller companies. So, why is this disparity in thought between job seekers? Hmmm... let me take a shot at it in my own typical way.

I know for sure that there are cricket players who prefer to play for smaller teams in terms of strength and talent in league tournaments. The reason for that is the amount of responsibility that they have to assume and deliver. There is a better opportunity for these players to perform and earn a name in the big league. This is an opportunity to carry a weaker team through against tough opponents. Winning performances under these circumstances carry a far greater personal satisfaction than one can imagine. And also, they’ll be exposed to understand the struggles of the lesser mortals, which prepares them to become a better leader. But, if a new player is a part of a solid, fully settled winning team, the chances he may get could be rare and far in between.

Similarly, in big companies, though there will be scope to improve, but overall the internal processes will be already well settled. There is not much that a new employee would be required to deliver that is an inch out of their scope. Yes, you may be thinking that this is how companies and nature of work should be. Fine. But I would beg to differ in the sense of personal growth and satisfaction.

There is something called the bigger picture which is vital in everybody’s both personal and professional growth. Playing an active role in or getting exposed to all functional aspects of a particular project gives a fairer idea on ones contribution in the project. The most important point for me is the identification of the various elements that completes a project from ground up that makes you grow faster to see and understand the bigger picture better. This exposure not only improves planning in the context of the project but also fast forwards ones professional growth as a leader. One would experience a change in perception related to personal things as well with this sort of growth.

One can and would, I believe, get an opportunity for this sort of exposure and understanding in smaller companies. Its the skill to look at the bigger picture that matters most to become a better employee and more importantly a better person and a better leader.