No beating about the bush, please


Nothing less than water can quench your thirst when your throat is parched. You request the nearest man, with a water bottle in hand, and he gives you a long lecture on the region facing severe water scarcity. All you need this moment is a sip of water and not a dose of wisdom!
I don’t turn to people for solutions often. Not that everyone around me is incompetent. However, they tend to offer philosophy while we seek solutions. I have experienced it a couple of times. The other day, a sudden development on a professional front shook me a little. A few of my plans went topsy-turvy. Time had come for me to make a concrete decision and as the things stood, any move I would have made could have backfired.  Naturally, I asked some people what should be the right choice and interesting answers came my way. Some opined that one must surrender before circumstances; others told me believe that everything that happens is for the best. A so-called learned chap gave this mantra: ‘Hope for the best and prepare for the worst!’
I almost lost my cool when a friend started, “You only would say a person must believe in oneself. I would always say there are things beyond one control…” Listening to the gyan she was giving, I screamed, “Who told you I have lost belief in myself? Why are you behaving as if everything is shattered? …”
Getting such answers, I had to bank on no one but myself. I was wondering why everyone was behaving as if heavens had fallen. I had asked a simple question, what should I choose A or B? I did not see any point in their going off the target. Caught in a Catch-22 situation, a person needs tangible solutions and not sermons. Well, sermonising could be inherent in human nature and more so in Indians.
What’s surprising is every next person in this country has something to preach. Just catch an auto or a cab and the chap would not spare without receiving a ‘word of wisdom’. Maids too would keep telling you how much they believe in honesty. All you expect from them is to do the job well and leave at the earliest possible. It appears as if everyone is looking for every possible chance to advise. And many do it beating about the bush.
They may know the theory but when it comes to putting it into practice, they are found wanting. I happened to attend a workshop for parents in a school. Some mothers were constantly wagging their tongue on parenting. One honest mother stood up and admitted how her teenaged son was getting out of control. Obviously, she got worked up as the discussion was moving nowhere. For her, counselling on handling her son was the need of the hour but these women were speaking about everything under the sun except that! To bring some sanity, I stepped in and asked how many of them ate with their television sets on and 99 per cent said they did. What’s the point talking about ideal parenting when we can’t apply it?
It reminds me of an aged doctor who was keener on lecturing on ideal lifestyle than subscribing medicines! When a person suffers a heart attack, he may undergo the knife. No point telling him what he should have done to avoid it. When we approach a doctor, we need cure and not high-sounding phrases.
Rare are the people who understand the need of the moment and act accordingly. No wonder we have aplenty of those offering us the world’s wisdom when not needed. You cannot stop people from preaching but it’s up to you whether to turn to others or act yourself. At the same time, we decide the worth of our word talking right things at right times.
-KanChan

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