Thursday, November 13, 2008

Life’s BIG expectations

Sometimes happiness eludes us all for our own reasons, when we impose some other ‘better’ or ‘bigger’ expectations upon own self.
Rathod had just joined as a crew member on a merchant ship. Like with most other people, he did not know much about what all tasks would entail his duties on ship. Suddenly on first day he is asked to clean up all the officers’ toilets. He was aghast! He didn’t know that’s what an SUH (steward utility hand)was suppose to be doing. He plainly refused.
In merchant shipping, refusing a lawful command of ship master while the ship is at sea is a punishable offense. He was brought to the master for the refusal to perform his duties. Master enquired the reasons. Rathod plainly replied that ‘Rathods’ don’t clean toilets.
Other SUHs were happily doing their job and enjoying life on ship, moving from one country to another, one continent to another. Many of them rose further to higher ranks of pantry man, and even the Chief Stewards.

Case 2:
M came from a well-connected household of UP where people look upto the civil servants. M himself is from a silver-spoon school where most pupil reach away to high profile institutes like the IITs. M himself nutured one such ambition in personal life - to be an engineer. He dislikes merchant navy all for not providing him the “intellectual” atmosphere he is accustomed to. He likes debates and arguments; Merchant Navy (traditionally) requires obedience of command.
He joins in as deck officer and is in the line to become a Captain of a ship, which Rathod would have died to become. But, to everyone’s bewilderment, M is never happy with his job and rank!? Why?
Life’s big expectations have caused sadness to them. They are themselves the root of unhappiness to their own selves.
Other ship captains, who are happy with the job, have learnt even more in their work experiences and have reached higher tables in their professional life as well. And a more knowledgeable M , all because he cringes, gets stuck to his own sorrowing tales of making it big! That’s is how happiness brings more happiness. And sorrow begets sorrow.
What causes this big expectations to a person?? The peer hopes and expectations have actually descended upon these eternal mourners. In Rathod’s case the sheer demands of being a ‘Rathod’ and in M’s case the vicinity of those big people.
There is nothing wrong in dreaming big, but bigness should not result into demeaning other equally great things. Eventually nothing is born big or small, but it is the happiness and deeds of the predecessors which lies in the foundations of those “big” expectation jobs.
Everything job is big if the doers is happy with it.
Merchant Navy, at the same time, is in big need to elevate its declining image. Notions like “Cheap money”, “wife at every port”, “menial job”, “haughty people” loom large in the sections of society.
Intelligence needs to be identified when appearing in various characters, and given recognitions.

Well-read, sublime people, have a character of their own. Their management style is different. They are not that hard-taskmaster kind in which the merchant navy is replete.
The analytical minds are hot debating kind. They lead to lessee-faire style in work environment.
Autocratic people are discretion-exercising, in a relapsing propensity.
To build a public image, merchant navy will need to adapt to the lessee-fair culture as well.