Just doing a job!!

When I went to drop my younger son at the school this morning, I stopped at the divider and parked my vehicle because it was a no-entry zone ahead.  And then I saw a parent of a student riding his motorcycle in the wrong way and audaciously too.

I told him that it was an ‘one-way’ and that he was not only putting his child in peril but also any student who would be crossing the road and he responded with a terse “two-wheelers are allowed, you know”.  Just at that time, a car came in the wrong way and the driver didn’t even bother to respond to my warning.  All this happened inspite of a police constable stationed at the divider.

I then accosted this cop who said he was only doing his job which meant that he is expected to be in that position between 8 am and 8:45 am and be physically present.

That’s when it hit me that most of us identify ourselves with the role rather than with the purpose of that role.  In other words, we see ourselves as a doer of some work rather than with the purpose of that work.  The cop in this case,  saw himself as someone who will punch the clock and nothing more.

Given this attitude, there is no pride in our work and therefore work becomes a drag meant to be done for survival.  How can we therefore expect joy and happiness in living?

Let us look at some of the commonplace roles and see how we can make a real difference.

A mother sees herself as a home-maker or a parent rather than as a person creating a worthy citizen.  But if she did so, she would not complain that she is doing a lot of work and that the people around are not appreciating it at all.  Taking the child to the tennis court will no longer be a burden when the child is seen as a potential champion earning name and fame for himself and the country.

If a father sees himself as a guide to the child to achieve his potential, then his activities would be totally different and he will strive to be a role model.  He would think twice before behaving in a hypocritical manner and would certainly abide by the rules and regulations.  He is only doing a job of a father which is to bully the child and establish an authority by virtue of his age and status.

The traffic constable would act in a totally different way if he sees his role as saving people’s lives by regulating traffic.  He would be stern with the violators so that the overall amity is maintained.

The teacher relates to herself as someone who spends the day in the school and not as someone who can inspire the students to give their best.  As a result, every activity like correcting answer books or writing progress reports is a chore to be done because it is called for!!

If our politicians and political leaders relate to themselves as the architects of a prosperous and powerful nation, they would not indulge in activities like vendetta politics, wealth-amassing, inflammatory speeches etc.  They see themselves as those who are in politics to make a quick buck.

If the CEO sees himself as a facilitator in the path of achieving organizational goals, then he would indulge less in office politics and self-promotion and spend more time in empowering his team to achieve greater heights.

A salesperson who sees himself as one who makes a difference in the lives of his customers with his company’s products would be very different than his counterparts who see their life as chasing targets and reaching them by conning prospects.

One can go on and on but the basic principle holds good every time.

Can we pause for a moment and reflect on ‘why we are doing whatever we are doing‘?  It could make a huge difference not only to us but to our environment as well.

Have a great day and keep smiling.



  1. Ramkumar said,

    December 13, 2011 at 4:08 am

    Excellent post, thank you Badri

    • badrirag said,

      December 13, 2011 at 4:20 am


      Thanks for the compliments. What did you see personally in this post for yourself? And what are you taking on?

  2. Sridhar said,

    December 13, 2011 at 5:24 am

    Traffic constables do not have the power to stop and ticket those breaking these rules. They will only stop the poor rickshaws or fruit/vegetable vendor for mamool. Everybody is connected and will eventually either walk out scot free or pay a fine (bribe) to the constable if they are stopped.

    Take a picture of those breaking these rules and hand them over to a senior police official. Include the picture of the constable who wants to look the other way when this happens.

    • badrirag said,

      December 13, 2011 at 2:48 pm

      Sridhar, thanks for responding. They do have the power but seldom exercise it. I wanted to point out the fact that they are apathetic to their task because they seem to relate themselves as someone who is supposed to stand in a place for a certain duration.

      It will be relevant to point out the fact that TN Seshan was the first Chief Election Commissioner in independent India who actually exercised the powers vested in his office by the Constitution and by doing so showed the entire nation what is possible.

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