Friday, 30 October 2009

Inspiration - Intention and Action

Last November, one grey day in Suburban London, I was walking towards a railway station. The day was cold, road was pitch black due to heavy mist that night, and my neighbours' cars were covered with white frost. It was breezy and cold enough to lose interest to go out. I saw one of my neighbour hurrying back home with his hands deep inside his long woolen jacket. As he saw me going out, he said, his intention was to get to the post office to send a gift to his sister but the cold is unbearable and he is back with the job unfinished. He asked me to do the same. I admitI would have done so had it not been for a simple reason. I was heading for my exam and would not want to miss it, just because it was cold.

As I proceeded and sat on the train, I started to ponder on a serious question - how many people in the world carry positive intentions to do something but end up abandoning mid way? How many start with a serious will to accomplish what they started but their situation or environment weakens them to stop. As I sat thinking about my neighbour's action, all I could think was that his intention did not match his action. Why? Was it the weather? Or his willpower? Without me answering, I will let you answer the question?

Let me ask you another question - I am directing this to staff at almost any organisation (including me). Let me start by creating a setting -
You are seated in a large room with hundred of other staff from the same organisation. This is a normal quarterly updates to talk about what has the business accomplished over the last 3 months and then recognise few who possibly made that happen.

Now tell me, how many times, within your the dark cold recess of your mind, have you really believed that you should be in the list of good guys and be recognised. And it never happens. If you think harder, you will notice, that more you believed your name would make the list, the more the names in the list you have never heard before.

I do not mean to say, we expected anything wrong or anything unexpectable. We wanted to hear that we made a positive contribution and that is what makes us human being. I can confirm and bluntly be sure, that the ultimate pleasure and comfort for any human being (I don't know about animals) is to make a positive contribution (and be recognised!!!). What I cannot be sure is the definition of positive; as it varies. For a businessman, it is making profit by charging as high price as possible but for a Charity, it is making people happy by giving things for free.

Although pleasurable, it takes effort, it takes action to contribute. Have you heard of anybody whose intention has never been to do good for his friends, family, society and the world? Do you not think at times that you would like to donate your old clothes for people in flood-hot towns or you would like to build a nest for an orphan bird, or, write a blog to tell people how bad war is? How many times have we done so? How many times has your positive intention matched your action?

My neighbour wanted to gift his sister - he had a good intention to make a positive contribution. Does that mean he can assume his sister should call him to say thanks for the gift never sent?
On the recognition at office, we had a good intention to get recognised and make positive contribution. Does that mean we can assume we should be recognised for job we do, for which we are hired to do in the first place?

These days, I start with a belief that unless I do something (action), which I had initially intended to, which benefits either me, my family or bunch of strangers, I should assume I have wasted my wisdom and I am not worthy of any recognisition as there was no positive contribution that benefited anybody.

Contribution whether positive or negative is so called because it contributes....there has to be a reciever at the other end, either you or someone else....Intention is just not enough.....

- 30 Oct 2009, Raghab Nepal

No comments: