Professionals

September 30, 2010

We talk of unprofessional organizations, unprofessional behavior. What behaviors are called ‘unprofessional’? As I tried to understand this I realized I needed to define what ‘professional’ means. Professional would mean what is based on the profession.

PROFESSION

1: the act of taking the vows of a religious community

2: an act of openly declaring or publicly claiming a belief, faith, or opinion : PROTESTATION

3: an avowed religious faith

4a : a calling requiring specialized knowledge and often long and intensive academic preparation b : a principal calling, vocation, or employment c : the whole body of persons engaged in a calling

Interestingly, Profession spans across religion and business. What is common between how it applies to either? Openly declaring a belief, faith or opinion, and then staying true to their word seems to be what professionalism is about.

The distinguishing attribute of professionals is their zeal, their commitment, their efforts to keep their word. Why does it seem that professional fields have more written information than unprofessional domains? Maybe this is so because only when we are committed to what we say do we have the conviction to put it down in writing, knowing we will be true to what has been written. Oral transmission of information is typically ‘unprofessional’, leaving the communicators with a much larger (believed) leeway to deviate from what they said.

An interesting fact to observe is how much significance and commitment is shown by some peoples to their word, to even the spoken words that they speak or hear. It is almost a cult of professionals, a culture of commitment to their word that we see in the West, vis-à-vis the East of the world. While the written word is important especially for transmission across distances asynchronously, the spoken word has equal significance and permanence.

In cultures that do not respect the spoken word, we also find the written word treated with less respect. So maybe professionalism is to do with our commitment to the word per se, which is clearly demonstrative of the ownership and responsibility we take for the integrity (or lack of) of what we say and do.

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Obsession with Truth

March 8, 2006

Truth is known to be a definite set of beliefs. How obsessed are we with the truth? With OUR truths. This holds the key to a lot of happiness. Happiness itself has been beautifully explained as the difference between what one is and what one has. What we think we are, and what we think we have… are truths for us, and just as likely to lead to unhappiness as to happiness.

This obsession leads to always speaking what we think is the truth, is right, is the fact, or the reason. And then sticking to it, holding on to it. Even if someone has a different truth to talk about, it becomes a lie for us.

We possibly need to be flexible in what we think of as the truth. Be open to improvement. Know that the truth is CONTINUITY, continuity in the betterment of what we know and understand, and what we apply it for. Increasing the number of patterns we see, by showing ourselves more truths than the one we know or believe in, seems to be naturally implied.

All the time that we hold on to our ‘truth’, we also rationalize ourselves to be thoroughly justified, well within our rights so to say, and we become conscientious about our stance, automatically placing everyone and everything else in the wrong, possibly wrongfully.

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June 27, 2010

Fact and Truth are not the same. Fact is what happens, while truth is the reason behind it. So while it could be a fact that the person gives a lot of money to other people, but it might not be true that he is generous. The truth lies in the reason we understand. If several people share the same understanding it just becomes uncontested truth.

Sometimes telling a lie is better than speaking the truth. For instance, in the movie “Schindler’s List” the young boy lies when he points to the body of a dead person as being responsible for the murder. Everyone alive is saved.

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Teaming Up with Time

June 25, 2010

We are ultimately alone with Time in our lives. If we realize there are only two entities in our lives, Time and Me, we can start viewing Time as our collaborator, our partner in life. What is it that I can do so that Time can help me achieve what I want?

If we know our responsibility vis-à-vis Time, then Time and Us can achieve what we want. How is Time going to help me?

There are some things that only Time can do, and some that only we can do. Take a plant for example. We can sow the seed, which Time cannot, and Time can grow the plan, which we cannot. The same way we can create the cause for a smile, but it is time that makes the smile happen. We just create the cause, for Time to take over and do the rest. Without our creating the cause, Time can’t do much, and we actually can’t do anything except create the cause.

To get to know time, think of it from different perspectives – a minute, an hour, a day, week, or month, or a lifetime. Think of those 5-6 phases or stages that time goes through in each duration. Also, which stages do things go through in their phases over time.

Knowing time, and its nature, is imperative to be able to collaborate with it, to empower it to make the most happen as it flows on uninterrupted, and unstoppable. It is imperative to know when to be patient and let time do its work, and when to be impatient and do what time can then take forward. There are some things Time can do and some things it can’t. We must know which things will need us to do them, and when we have to do them, so the rest Time can do. We must be sensitive to the causes we can create which Time can work on after that.

“We must learn to be still in the midst of activity and to be vibrantly alive in repose.” – Indira Gandhi

Time punctuates events, thoughts, everything. Time also gives each thought, each event its own space, its own identity. In many ways, time is like water. It flows, for one. Also, it takes on the color of what happens in it. So there are happy times, and sad times. In many other ways time is not like water. It flows on through thick and thin for example, unlike water. And we feel sometimes it doesn’t pass, and at others it passes too soon…

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Time is what makes the future into the past.

It is what we do and spend in the present that is time. The future and the past are figments of the imagination.

Time punctuates life. Sometimes with a comma, sometimes with a semicolon, or a full stop… and sometimes with ellipsis… the hope that it goes on.

Time is our understanding of change. In that sense, it is the Truth. Whether it is a Fact or not is yet to be discovered, but like the difficulty of not being able to realize what we go through while going through it, it is also difficult to understand time while we go through it.

–O–

Time is what makes the future into the past.

 It is what we do and spend in the present that is time.  The future and the past are figments of the imagination.

 Time punctuates life.  Sometimes with a comma, sometimes with a semicolon, or a full stop… and sometimes with ellipsis… the hope that it goes on.

 Time is our understanding of change.  In that sense, it is the Truth.  Whether it is a Fact or not is yet to be discovered, but like the difficulty of not being able to realize what we go through while going through it, it is also difficult to understand time while we go through it.

 — O —