“This is the best lesson the game of Football teaches us” Lulu said. “They pass the ball to their team player even when they are so near the opponent’s goal post. Your interests are subordinate to….”
“The other player scores a goal and goes around celebrating. He takes the credit.” I interrupted Lulu. “Andre Schurrle passed the ball to Mario Goetze but he will not be remembered. Mario Goetze has etched his name on history.”
“You are so influenced by your corporate world experiences where it is all about dog eats dog.” Lulu gave me a condescending look. “Why are you laughing?” Lulu asked.
“Ha ha! You know what, Lulu? A typical and common situation. One executive asks if the other would share his presentation. The other executive tries to find ways to avoid, he is never so willing!”
“Quite common, right? I have seen it happen so many times. I wonder why people are afraid of sharing. Giving does not come easily to you human beings.” Lulu crawled to take a position directly facing me.
“You make it sound as if parrots are more evolved than human beings. But it is true – giving does not come easily to people.”
“You are afraid of giving your books.”
“I am afraid of giving my books to anybody. People do not return them.”
“You did not mean it perhaps, but the word reminds me – you expect ‘returns’ when you give anything. It may be presentation, or any small help which may help that other person. You expect him to reciprocate on demand.”
“You are speaking so harshly today. There is some truth in what you say, but look at the flip side. This is a mad world of competition. Why should anyone share information or presentation or anything for that matter if it means giving the other man an advantage?”
“Have you heard of Sardar Vallabh-bhai Patel?”
“Oh come on, who in this world has not heard it, Modi has made sure that everybody knows about him.”
“He was to go to England. He had secured admission to study law there. He would have become a barrister. When the letter arrived from England addressed to Mr V Patel, another V Patel went to study law in England, not Vallabh-bhai but Vitthalbhai, the former’s elder brother. Sardar had made a supreme sacrifice. Vitthalbhai went on to become a Barrister and one of the most eminent lawyers in the pre-independence era.”
“Wow! Fine in the family – such sacrifice. In the corporate world it is cut throat competition, it is hara-kiri.”
“That is because you want to prove your worth by putting others down. When you organize your company in strategic business units, this gets accentuated. The biggest SBU hoards all resources.”
“I think there is something about making concessions, sharing, giving. Perhaps there is something feminine about it, that men dislike.”
“You are right. Nurturing does not come easily to all. It is so opposed to being macho. And when political leaders seemingly make concessions it is with ulterior motive of retaining the ‘remote control’ in their hands. That is not the real giving.”
“I think giving is all about making the other person successful.”
“You captured the essence.”
“It is all about leaving a legacy.”
“But do these givers become successful?” I said.
“Well research tells that givers are at the bottom of the success ladder.”
“I knew this, I knew this; who is at the top?”
“Givers! They are at both the ends!!”
“Don’t tell me. Hmmm…. I think you are right. Yes, yes, you are right! Among successful industrialists I respect the Tatas the most because they have given so much to the Society. And Dr Baba Amte, Dr Abhay and Rani Bang. Many names come to my mind. Yes, Anna Hazare. Even my teacher.”
“And they are all successful people. They have left legacy. So people like Andre Schurrle who passed the ball to Goetze at the mouth of the goal have a future.” Lulu continued to nibble at guava. “Share this guava with me” he said.