Now, before you start making any judgment about what this article perhaps may suggest or not and what my take on the issue of “ism’s” is- well none of this really matters- what is important and what this article deals with are the observed facts – The things as we see and what is the best we can do with what we experience either by accepting, rejecting or remaining indifferent to all those “ism’s” around us! So let’s roll by starting to understand what and who these “ism’s” are!
No matter where you work or who works for you (if you have your own business), which nation you come from, what society you live in- “ism” is a phenomenon which is perhaps as old as human civilization itself! “Ism’s” stands for – groupism, nepotism, favoritism so on and so forth and also makes it presence felt through despise, neglect, indifference and behavioral non-acknowledgement! Like everything else with humanity- by itself – none of the attributes are harmful to cause any serious damage- When these are applied and work in a directed manner, setting off a cascade of imbalances -which more often than not end up harming more people than it is meant to help the few that adhere to the set of the operating “ism” that all hell breaks loose!
Consider this case, say you are a powerful politician with an immense sway and acceptance among the citizenry that worships you like a demi-God. After serving long, your time has come to hang up your boots and offer that position to someone else who can further your legacy- you have a set of loyal workers who have been with you through the years and you have your own kid- that has been showing promise- not necessarily the best of the best among your party (group) what choice do you make? Go by merit strictly- shunning away your own blood- to have a face off at the family dinner table every evening? or stand solidly behind- project your heir to the chair and ask your group members to swear allegiance to the new upcoming order and awarding them with what they want and what you can for this kind act! Well, depending on which part of the globe you are- irrespective of the decision you take- whether you go ahead with your party nominated leaders or place your heir to the chair- you will always be accused of practicing nepotism! This is is the fact of being nepotistic and furthering nepotism- but the counter-point is equally important! Park your thoughts on this politician’s case and we will revisit this towards the end!
I am sure you would have paid a visit to the doctor- at least for some reason- if not for yourself- for someone that you know- possibly for someone you care- What did you do-when you had to make that life changing decision of entrusting your life or the life of someone you value in the hands of a doctor for a major surgery? Did you go by the medical school grades of the doctor? His legacy? His family name and history?What was it? Chances are- if you come from a place like India- where the concept of “Family Doctor’s” is still alive you have generations of families aligned to generations of healers/doctors all for a good reason- that ability to heal and cure runs in their lineage! Well- you may call this unscientific bullshit- perhaps it is- but it works! The chances are that when you want to trust a doctor with your open heart on the operating table- you will find it more comforting to know that the doctor comes from a family of surgeons rather than having a dude who walked out of a medical school last summer with a gold medal! So at times- nepotism is the only pivot of hope, likewise you have lawyers/advocates. Surely- the Jr. Doctor- may not be as sharp as the Sr. Doc in the family line- well that applies to you as well! isn’t it! Intellectual degeneration is the hallmark of humanity and the ability to even retain the same level of intellect as the previous generation is a “wow” moment in today’s era!
Now let’s examine what plays out in the professional settings! Consider this, you have through sheer hard work set up a multi billion dollar empire or perhaps even a million dollar business- it’s time for you to retire- what are the chances that you want to promote that Executive over your own kids and place them on the Directorship of the firm thereby giving them almost the ownership of the firm- Simply because they excelled at their work? not to forget the fact that for all that they have contributed to the firm, they have been rewarded all along with perks and salary for the same all the way? or Do you place your kid on the board and ensure that the “A” team sticks together and follows the rule book by listening to the chair- no matter who is on it! In yet another setting it could be all about that odd film or that web series you want to make with millions at stake and investors gunning for your blood- should it fail, you are toast- what do you do? Go with the safe cast and crew to ensure the project is completed in time and there is a greater awareness and chances of recovering the investments or go ahead by experimenting with new faces and unknown technical teams- just to follow your passion of doing something unique and fresh? Well if that scores a goal- you will remain to tell the story- else you will be in all probability evaluating your options of survival! So does this mean that “ism’s” are here to stay and there is no way around that? Well the answer is Yes and No- Yes- “ism’s will stay as long as humanity walks on this planet and No you don’t have to suffer on account of “ism’s if you don’t want the profits that come with it!- How is that done- well read on!
The safest way and perhaps the only way to tackle and deal with the “ism’s” is to be fiercely self-aware and know more about yourself than you know about the world around you! You see the power to destroy/create or get broken or build comes from within- within each of us- unless you don’t individually allow or empower another person to impact/ effect your thinking and who you are- You are safe and can deal with “ism’s” either by embracing them- be a part of the gang-play your role for a while as long as you are comfortable and gracefully exit when the time comes- like most of them do- without bring bridges and maintaining social relevance! The other way is to Accept “ism’s” is – See them as they are and don’t get entrapped or allured by their power and temptation and continue with your track and approach – Knowing well that your trim levels will arrive much faster and quicker and that you will be eventually ejected from the system earlier than other’s irrespective of what your potential is and whether you are valuable or useless to the people and the set up that you are aligned with! This second approach provides the bedrock to create a formidable seed to downplay “ism’s” and that approach is of “Authoring your own story”. As an option perhaps, not many will be able to exercise this, unless they are ably supported by family and people who matter and care for who “You” are and this scarcity makes this tribe even more ingenious! This is the place that breeds innovators, world-class artists, experts in various fields- from culinary to medicine, from engineering to design! Once you arrive in this space of being able to create and craft your present for a future of your choice- You become indifferent to all the prevailing “ism’s” around you and ironically enough as you taste success- these very “ism’s” will come searching for you to again allure you to their clan so that they can keep harvesting on the exploits of the genius thinking that you offer to the world- by claiming that you belong to their “ism”! So you see finally even success crafted and created by your own merit will draw you back to something that you were escaping- The only difference being that this time- You control the pack and You get to decide when Enough is Enough and no matter what you say or do- Your Indifference – becomes your greatest asset- since you have already learnt the act and craft to create and survive without any “ism” around you!
Being a coach, we learn dealing through our experience with people- The only singular truth that remains is – the fact that- Each individual’s truth is a their own reality to which they will always remain glued- the depth and spread of that truth either makes them all encompassing or self-limiting! There is nothing right or wrong about “ism’s” how we deal with it and what approach we take to deal with it- either makes “ism” work for us and help us or makes it works against us to harm us! The human mind, being what it is- through your life time- at one point the “ism” will your vital need – pivoting on your existence and yet at another time as your purpose is served, you will despise and reject that very “ism” as it never existed! Nothing right and nothing wrong about it! The only important thing being- don’t plan your life aligned to “ism’s- that is a fatal fallacy and can wreak havoc with even the most intelligent minds! As long as you stay focused within and know who “You” are and learn to manage that bit- all else can be dealt with later!
I will leave you with these thoughts for now, to perhaps re-evaluate your priorities and see whether you are entrapped/ fostering or staying indifferent to the “ism’s” around your fragile life!
Ciao for now, will be back soon with another article! keep those mails coming in and do let me know what next you would like to read about!