The Magazine Test

11:11 PM Shanky 3 Comments

Everyday in the newspaper, news channels and every medium that you can think of you will see at least one news about an individual cheating or defaulting or doing some act of crime or shame. It depresses me how men can fall so low for something as temporary as money or power. It is not that we have not done any act of crime or shame in our lives ever. We have. At least I am sure I have done it.But as leaders in their own right we expect them to take the wiser choice.Where is ethics? Here is an anecdote from my life which gave me a powerful decision making tool. It was pretty useful especially when in a dilemma :)

I was in 3rd or 4th standard then. I borrowed my neighbor's pencil sharpener and by mistake dropped it to the floor. It cracked and my neighbor had a great chance to make me cry, beg and embarrassed. But, I being the self-esteemed kid (I was!) did not budge to any of his black mails and just said I will pay you for your sharpener tomorrow. After school ends, he reminds me of my 2 rupee debt payable tomorrow and that is when I felt a thousand ton iron pressing on my chest. I did not have the courage to tell my mom that I had broken my neighbor's sharpener. So I go home and behave normal. MY lil brother was playing in the backyard with his buddies. Mom and Dad were in the living room watching TV. I went into the bed room to change from my uniform and that is when it stuck me. I thought taking 2 rupees from my Dad's wallet without them noticing seemed to be the only way out of the problem. I thought, he will not notice a measly 2 rupee missing. So I stole it and kept it in my bag. While taking the money I spill some of them and made some noise. However, nobody came and I was saved for the day.

Next day, I come home after school and my mom was red-faced.I instantly knew that it was the missing 2 rupees. She was very upset and angry over my behavior. Only a glance was exchanged between us then it was a series of blows from my mom. Believe me, she packs quite a punch and stings with her pinches :( During dinner I thought I will be given a sermon. But I was not. I told them my version of the story and why I did it. My dad was upset and all he said was that he believed me so much that he did not check on me even after they heard coins being dropped! I was ashamed! My mom just said one thing, that was a snapshot moment. I named it later as the Magazine test.She said, " Next time you are in such dilemma. Think that you are being watched by reporters and your act will be reported in the cover page of newspapers and magazines all over India! Then decide if you want to do it. By this you will know what you are going to go through after doing it whether you are caught or not." She said this and left.

From that day on, Whenever I was in a dilemma, I have always applied this test. It has been quite good in guiding me so far. I guess this is a great way to decide at such tempting situations.

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  1. firstly, a WOW to what your mother said ! and a very good anectdote that every one can relate to i guess ..
    When it comes to the corporate leaders failing to stand on ethical grounds..i think i will quote what satyam ramalingaraju said during the fiasco.."It was like riding a tiger, not knowing how to get off without being eaten"..
    May be in situations like these, a leader would try out every possible option..even if it means an immoral act for a period of time in the interest of the prospects in long run.
    Disclaimer : i am completely pro-ethics :) but just wanted to list an exception where even leaders stumble to stay ethical as the situation demands so.

  2. @Questions All Around - Welcome to my blog. I am not sure whether Mr. Raju will qualify as a Leader at all anymore! :)

  3. Wow-a very good anecdote indeed. I've often imagined living the life of a public figure in India- must be so hard and pressurizing, considering every action of yours, good or bad,personal or otherwise, gets reported; that too with added masala!


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