My present blog was due sometime back, but had been busy with the Gulffood exhibition, here in Dubai. It was a great time meeting the industry folks, some long lost colleagues and new acquaintances. Your Dr. Watson was involved with the implementation of a couple of stalls. I thank my clients and the team who was with me.
My new blog post is based on two tweets I came across in the last few weeks. One was from the great Javed Aktarji and one from my old colleague and friend Nishank:
I am in khandala. Saw a snake. Didn’t feel like killing it. Snake climbed a tree, attacked a bird’s nest. I should have killed the snake. – (from Javedji)
If you ever did a deal so lopsided in your favour that you know the other party will fail. Will you be able to have a sound sleep – (from Nishank)
They both really are food for thought. Both are contrary and complimentary. Was leaving the snake right? Why should I kill the reptile as he has done no harm to me. But then in hindsight I should have killed it as it gobbled the poor bird.
In the next quote there is another ethical dilemma – how can my conscience forgive me if I know that I am going to knowingly do someone harm for my benefit.
Let’s take the above little ahead with some more thought and examples. In the first case I let go off the snake but I didn’t know what it would do next. So was I wrong in letting it go? I don’t think so. But then it’s a snake it will hurt someone; I should kill it there and then. Now let’s see it from another angle. The snake hasn’t eaten for weeks and it would die if it doesn’t eat the bird. Should I feel better now. Am I justified?
Let’s take the second quote. I work for a firm in which I am involved in making a deal with a supplier. My company would make a hefty profit if we sign a contract with this supplier to supply 10 tons of phosphate per month for next 3 months. We are seated in the conference room and about to sign the papers. At that time I get news alert on my iphone – the prices of phosphate have gone up by an alarming 12% in the international market in the last hour. I am privy to this info and my supplier doesn’t know about it yet. Should I go ahead and sign the deal? Yes, why not its business, right? You make profit and also make less profit. My company will make an even higher profit if we sign it. Maybe I would even get a promo or one of incentive.
But what if I was in the supplier’s position? What if I was a small firm and may go out of business because if the big loss in serving this deal? I couldn’t end up paying my children fees, I couldn’t pay my bills and my household would be affected because of this deal. Hurts, right?
Each of us will have different opinions on the above situations. There is no right or wrong answer. There are justifications for all actions and counter actions. I can only say that one should always try to put himself in the shoes of the other person also. There can be a win-win situation that can be arrived. I need not kill the snake but fed him something. I could have signed the deal in which i would compensate the supplier in case of price increases to him but at the same time my company doesn’t compromise on its profit.
Karma is important, what we do to others can happen to us also. Imagine yourself in the opposite side also.
Please do comment. I would love to hear your thoughts on it.