Some inspiring parables

Parable Number 01:

A crow was sitting on a tree, doing nothing all day.

A small rabbit saw the crow, and asked him, “Can I also sit like you and do nothing all day?

The crow answered: “Sure, why not?”

So, the rabbit sat on the ground below the crow, and rested.

All of a sudden, a fox appeared, jumped on the rabbit and ate it.

Lesson: To be sitting and doing nothing, you must be sitting very, very high up.

Parable Number 02:

A turkey was chatting with a bull.

“I would love to be able to get to the top of that tree,” sighed the turkey, “but I haven’t got the energy.”

“Well, why don’t you nibble on some of my droppings?” replied the bull, “They’re packed with nutrients.”

The turkey pecked at a lump of dung and found that it actually gave him enough strength to reach the first branch of the tree.

The next day, after eating some more dung, he reached the second branch.

Finally after a fourth night, there he was proudly perched at the top of the tree.

Soon, he was spotted there by a farmer, who promptly shot the turkey out of the tree.

Lesson: Bullshit might get you to the top, but it won’t keep you there.

Parable Number 03:

A little bird was flying south for the winter.

It was so cold, the bird froze and fell to the ground in a large field.

While it was lying there, a cow came by and dropped some dung on it.

As the frozen bird lay there in the pile of cow dung, it began to realize how warm it was.

The dung was actually thawing him out!

He lay there all warm and happy, and soon began to sing for joy.

A passing cat heard the bird singing and came to the sound.

The cat discovered the bird under the pile of cow dung, and promptly dug him out and ate him!

Lesson: Not everyone who drops shit on you is your enemy. Not everyone who gets you out of shit is your friend. And when you’re in deep shit, keep your mouth shut!

Parable Number 04:

The boy rode on the donkey and the old man walked.

As they went along, they passed some people who remarked, “it is a shame the old man is walking and the boy is riding.”

The man and boy thought – maybe the critics were right, so they changed positions.

Later, they passed some other people who remarked, “What a shame, he makes that little boy walk.”

They decided they both would walk!

Soon they passed some more people who thought they were stupid to walk when they had a decent donkey to ride.

So, they both then rode the donkey!

Now, they passed some people that shamed them by saying “how awful to put such a load on a poor donkey.”

The boy and man said they were probably right so they decided to carry the donkey.

As they crossed a bridge, they lost their grip on the animal and he fell into the river and drowned.

Lesson: If you try to please everyone, you will eventually lose your ass.

Parable Number 05:

One morning an elderly man was walking on a nearly deserted beach.

He came upon a boy surrounded by thousands and thousands of starfish.

As eagerly as he could, the youngster was picking them up and throwing them back into the ocean.

Puzzled, the older man looked at the young boy and asked, “Little boy, what are you doing?”

The youth responded without looking up, “I’m trying to save these starfish, sir.”

The old man chuckled aloud, and queried, “Son, there are thousands of starfish and only one of you. What difference can you make?”

Holding a starfish in his hand, the boy turned to the man and, gently tossing the starfish into the water, said, “It will make a difference to that one!”

Lesson: Help is in doing, not in saying!

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Who Moved My English … !

Gnomedex Day 1

These days when I forget checking if the child has done his homework, my wife does not scream at me. She gives me ‘feedback’.

I am told that in most organisations, these ‘feedback’ sessions are particularly elaborate and gladiatorial. Teams are taken ‘off site’, and outing to a charming and unsuspecting place like Goa, holed up in a five star hotel throughout the stay, and encouraged to give trenchant ‘feedback’ about one another. Success stories, the scene Soon turns into a bloody rink of jibes, jealousy and finally unrestrained cat fights and humiliation, with the human resources flunkeys cheering from the sides. That’s ‘feedback’ for you.

As India becomes the post global India Inc., the English it speaks is suddenly becoming unrecognisable. Thousands of people, especially the poor losers who know the languages otherwise, but are not part of the boardroom and hence the great success story, are alienated from it.

You no longer speak to explain. You speak to hide, baffle, impress, belong, and most often, bore. This is a vocabulary hurriedly curried up for Powerpoint presentations and meetings, and broad rooms and over ‘power’ lunches chiefly by the engines of the industry – the MBAs a.k.a. widely known and respected as Mediocre But Arrogant.

Words of change, clear, simple words have suddenly become untouchable. You will no longer start something, you ‘activate’. You don’t like each other, you ‘connect’. You cannot activate me: you are either ‘in sync’, or to borrow a Bush-ism, ‘with me’.

People no longer reply or respond. They ‘revert’. At a lesser level of literacy, one ‘reverts back’. Just as one has ‘future plans’, thankfully, and not plans for the past or this moment. Change is no longer profound enough. Thinks must undergo a ‘paradigm shift’.

And smart people don’t think, they ‘ideate’. Nor do they write letters. They send ‘communication’. Getting a new customer is ‘acquisition’, and working with somebody is ‘partnering’.

Satisfying me is not enough, you want my ‘mind space’. Merely being creative is passé, since there is a shatteing-ly cliché for it: you must let the ‘creative juices flow’.

There is a corporate term for spaced out thinking as well, and I love this one- ‘blue sky thinking’ – something you claim to do when you do not have even a straw of concrete thought about anything. Common acronyms but perhaps the most pillaged is ‘impact’. In every sentence uttered at a meeting, the noun is dragged like a reluctant house to water, to its awkward and grotesque verb form, ‘impacted’.

Some acronyms make their way from teen text messages straight into corporate vocabulary, and are subsequently made even more puerile. Take FYI (for your information), for instance. The wildly popular acronym has found its siblings in important business talk- FYIP (a ‘please’ added politely when writing to a senior), FYIA (‘for your information and action’, to bully juniors) and FYIANA (‘necessary action’, making you wonder how much unnecessary action is otherwise encouraged).

And after much good work, you were no longer become a name, you become a ‘brand’, and your goodwill is ‘equity’, even if you have never invested in stocks.

To fully explore the contours of this new species of words is beyond the scope of this piece. But it will be interesting to see how long the English language can take this brisk repositioning in the rear.

Amen!

[Disclaimer: This is not my article .. the author is not known .. I am just sharing it with you.]