ATTITUDE BEGETS ATTITUDE








Every day, as I step out of my house, I try to remind myself that the world outside is an amazing place to be… and, people out there are trustworthy. Now, I have to do this, because, just as I step out of my house, millions of my fellow beings, too, do. Imagine, if the thought process of the vast majority is this: “The world outside is a dangerous place to be… and people out there are not trustworthy!”

Life would have been a disaster! But, the fact that Life hasn’t been a disaster yet – and it is not going to be – is enough to reinforce in us the truth that, in Life, the good incredibly outweighs the bad!

They say, our attitude begets attitude. How true!

This morning, as I was coming out of our Society gate, I met Mr. Rao, a senior member of our society and a dear friend of mine. “Good morning sir… How are you? All is fine?” I said with exuberance. 

“Oh yes, yes… All is fine,” Mr. Rao replied, “My grandchildren will be coming today.”

There was a special glow on Mr. Rao’s face when he said that… His daughter, Pallavi, who lives in America, had delivered twins two years ago. There were major complications at the time of the delivery, and Pallavi and the babies miraculously survived. Mr. Rao’s wife, who is a doctor spent months with her daughter despite her own fragile health. But, Mr. Rao hadn’t seen his two little angels except via Skype, and, understandably, his heart was filled with joy, today… It was glowing!

“Wow sir!” I stopped to give a few moments to Mr. Rao, “It must be a great moment for you!”

“Yes, it is,” Mr. Rao said, almost choked.

Whose joy is it? Mr. Rao’s or mine?

I need to tell you this, even if you do not believe in it: It’s still noon… and, my day, so far, has gone off very well today… In my class, I was extremely polite and positive with my students… I could make it out when they left the class. At my bank, the staff was exceptionally courteous, today. Even the Kelawala, Peruwala and the Nimbuwala, from whom I bought bananas, guavas and lemons respectively, on my way back from the bank… yes, believe me, they were all ‘fair and generous’ in their dealings… Because, I gladly bought from them without cribbing over the price they had quoted. In fact, for a change, I did not ask them “Bhaiyya, kela kaisa diya?” or “Peru kaisa diya?” Or, picking up the lemons from his tokri, “Chaar le lun?” when he said, “Dus ka teen.”

I received, today, more than what I had expected… Because, I hadn’t approached them with the mindset: “Before they squeeze me, let me squeeze them!”

If we expect to see thieves and cheaters in the world outside, we will certainly see them… Teachers, doctors, bankers, vendors, accountants, lawyers, politicians, ministers, priests, gurus, police, society committee, social workers, school-bus cleaners, maid servants, bosses, staff, colleagues, auto and taxi drivers, co-passengers, nighbours, in-laws, spouses, children – yes, all of them will be as trustworthy or as untrustworthy as we expect them to be… The ‘trust deficit outside’, invariably, is the reflection of ‘trust deficit inside’!

The attitude, therefore, does beget attitude!


GERALD D’CUNHA


Pic.: Azriel D'Souza

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