- a kind of virtual social intelligence, a reaching out on Group Dynamics and Human Processes at the Workplace ( http://www.workplacecatalysts.com ) .
- Foster a discretionary Presence in Groups, to enable human capability.
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Monday, December 22, 2014
Love has not tired yet
So much is made of issues such as religion, taxi driving and
civic safety. I am most reminded of male overoptimism as we attempt to make
sense of ‘news’ that we get. Even the barbaric mass murders of school children in
the sub-continent seem only to have sent that momentary chill down our spines.
Leonard Cohen has a song on Faith that has a contemporary prophetic appeal.
“The blood, the soil, the faith
These words you can't forget
Your vow, your holy place
O love, aren't you tired yet?
A cross on every hill
A star, a minaret
So many graves to fill
O love, aren't you tired yet?”
Indeed, presence in a moment of dire stress and bringing the
other person to that wavelength comes from a rare and dynamic awareness. Like
Viktor Frankl did with his prison officers. Human will, inner deep bone gifts
of clarity and our attitude to crises. “Everything can be taken from a man but
one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given
set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way” wrote Frankl in his book
Man’s search for Meaning. I thought I met a few such people over the last few
weeks of December.
A 4 am pick-up to the airport is often a curse for a worn
out taxi-driver. But there he was 10 minutes ahead of schedule. Knowing a name
helps, I thought when he called and spontaneously broke into Malayalam. I asked
him if he had enough rest, and he said, he had just got up from sleep as his
driver had gone on leave. So, what on earth was a pastor doing behind the wheel
I thought as he cruised into a steady gear. “How did you know that?” he asked. “Well,
I was informed by the cab company”. “Oh, no. They registered my name that way?”
A few more turns under street light and he opened up. “I do not like to go
begging for alms for spiritual service. So I set up a few taxi runs, so that we
generate our own money to run medical camps and run a couple of schools in
remote areas. My drivers need rest, and I pitch in like I did today. They know
we’re building a mission”.
On another pick-up and drop in another city, I got a
multi-utility vehicle, (kind of upgrade from a sedan), and the driver was
another enthusiastic livewire. “So where do you stay?” I asked him. “Sir, this
vehicle belongs to the owner, who works for a software company. He wanted a
trusted driver. So, since I am from his village he asked me to take care of the
car. He stays down the coastal road”. “So, where do you stay?” “In this car,”
came a prompter response this time. I knew I was onto something.
up at the Central Station or at the airport wash-rooms”. “So you eat in hotels,
I presume!” I volunteered. “Yes, usually, between rides, whenever I feel hungry”.
“What about your clothes?” I queried, as he sported a chauffeur's look atypical
of his tribe. This question brought a proud response from him. With a modest
swish of his wrist and opening up his fingers from the sturdy steering, he said
“I give my clothes for laundry twice a week”. And his village connect? “Sir, I
go home by bus once a month. My wife and daughter are my life”.
On my last trip home from the airport, the Regional
Transport Office (RTO) halted the cab I was in. When pulled onto the side, the
sentry politely asked me for 5 minutes from my ride to verify papers of the
driver. In 3 minutes the driver was back from the patrol vehicle of the RTO.
When I asked him what it was about, he said, “Sir, this is a registered vehicle,
and there was no problem. But the recent incidents have meant that the
government is keeping closer checks. That is all”.
Just a few examples of how the organised web-enabled taxi industry
in India has many an endearing story behind the wheel.
Indeed, love has not
tired yet. May the year 2015, thrive on it.