Savitri Era of those who adore, Om Sri Aurobindo and The Mother.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Change that is positive, rapid, and infectious

So you will have the same set of people exhibiting one standard of civic behaviour in the streets of Kolkata, and quite the opposite in the Kolkata metro stations. You will find recruits from the same educational institutions happening to join two different organisations, but just five years later their ethical conduct will be as similar as chalk and cheese. Who would assert, for example, that at the level of the individual, the Scandinavian people display a different sense of right and wrong from Indians? Yet, only a die-hard will dispute that Scandinavian society is immeasurably more just than Indian society. These pointers lead to two general conclusions:
a) unit behaviour is not an algebraic sum of the quality of individuals who constitute the unit, and
b) individuals within a unit respond as they perceive the unit. If they perceive the unit to be fair, they will be fair. If they perceive the unit to be unfair, they will be unfair.
In this insight lies embedded our opportunity. Once the tipping point is crossed, small inputs at the level of a unit fetch disproportionate change. Change that is positive, rapid and infectious. The writer, former MD of Idea Cellular, is adviser to corporates and not-for-profit organisations express@expressindia.com

NGO offers forest trip to volunteers, Zahra Gabuji, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, July 20, 2011
The speaker at the workshop, Aviram Rozin, co-founder of Sadhana Forest, built on the outskirts of Auroville, spoke about his experience of turning 70 acres of severely eroded land into a tropical dry evergreen forest. 
"I always wanted to practise sustainable living. But in an urban jungle like Mumbai, I didn't know how," said Ajrawal. "This project will give me a chance to experience a different aspect of life."
Rozin began his non-profit eco venture seven years ago. "Sadhana Forest is a volunteer- based community where people work together and practise simple and ecological living. They can share ideas, plan events, interact with people from neighbouring villages and plant trees," said Rozin. "We want to encourage an eco-friendly lifestyle." The talk included a discussion on how more people need to be part of the ecological movement. 

One theory is that government exists to correct externalities and provide public goods. The other is that government uses the language of helping people to justify giving stuff to the politically powerful out of the pockets of the rest of us.

It might be appropriate to close this investigation with precisely such an example, drawn from the writings of Sri Aurobindo. “But I do not insist on everybody passing through my experience or following the Truth that is its consequence. ...”

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