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Finding Who's At Fault Is Never Easy, Give It A Go!
A witty case study with several point of views, that will leave you baffled, right up until the end. Want to solve it? Try it out!
This one’s about the dilemmas of perspective.
A Story For You
“Much in life is simply a matter of perspective. It’s not inherently good or bad, a success or failure; it’s how we choose to look at things that makes the difference.” - James David Graham Niven
David Niven was a British soldier, novelist, memoirist, and an Academy Award winner who starred in movies like Casino Royale, The Pink Panther and Around The World In 80 Days. He left behind a legacy, likely to go unnoticed by future generations but what people will reminisce about, will be this quote. Google ‘perspective quotes’ and it’s right up there.
However, like innumerable other quotes, this one’s easier said than done, especially in situations needing immediate implementation (we all have perspective when we’re at our best; however, it’s never the case when life’s toying with our goals, ambitions, and relationships).
Getting perspective is as difficult as pinpointing who’s right and who is not in the story coming up.
André is an investment banker who climbed the corporate ladder fearlessly, establishing himself as an integral part of a very tightly-knit team in the shortest of periods. An MBA from an Ivy League university doesn’t encompass the grind he’s gone through, to study on scholarship and attain the best of what education had to offer. He’s renowned in his circle as a self-made man. There was a time when André had to work long hours at a café to avoid homelessness in a ruthlessly capitalistic country. He’s struggled and faced every obstacle to reach where he is.
One day, however, André’s intuition, experience, and tenacity doesn’t help him when an investment he made, crashed and burned, causing millions of dollars in losses to his company. André, with loans aplenty, is let go. With a bespoke blazer hung lazily on his shoulder, he walks out of his office, left all alone to fend for himself.
Aimlessly walking about the city, he enters a café for one final caffeine round before returning home.
Raphael, a 21-year-old part-time barista, works at the café that André just stepped in. Raphael is carefree but hardworking. Life’s dealt him a good hand and he’s, what we all can consider, lucky. Gifted with intelligence, he’s studying biotechnology at a prestigious university. He almost always finds himself in the right place at the right time and has never slogged a day because his gift and talents did it all for him. His job at the café only came about because he was let go by a private biotech firm that went bankrupt. He falsified the results that could potentially cure a very serious disease, because of the pressure that was put on him by the management. That was the first time he was under pressure and he imploded. The company went belly up overnight. But he was young, and with his resumé and intellect, any firm would be lucky to have him.
André ordered an espresso, a bitter drink for a bitter day, and a bottle of water. He precariously placed his jacket on one of the chairs and stared into the abyss, wondering what his next step would be. He took a sip, and placed the bottle half-heartedly on the edge of the table, not realising when it tipped over, spilling almost all of it on the floor.
Raphael, who watched the coffee brew, had immediately plugged his earphones in after he took André’s order, despite his manager forbidding it. He placed the coffee on the tray and galloped out of the counter. Head held high, marching towards his customer, he slipped and splashed the coffee on André and his jacket. That was the final straw for André.
It’s not easy, is it? If perspective is all about how you look at things, how exactly do you judge this one? André’s having a terrible day and his future is bleak but he’s the one who spilled the water. Raphael disobeyed his manager and foolishly ignored the spillage. So, who’s right and who is wrong?
For some of us, it’s as confusing as situations get, but for others, it’s extremely clear. That again depends on your nature, experience, situation, mood, and much more. Let’s try adding a few more details to try and make it more black and white.
The company André had invested in, was the private biotech firm where Raphael had falsified the results, resulting in its downfall. Raphael was the reason behind André’s firing. Raphael was the reason André was at the café instead of at work. And now Raphael is the reason there’s coffee on André’s clothes.
It’s getting clearer, isn’t it? The truth of life, however, is that it takes time for all the facts to surface. So, let’s add in the last bits of the story to see if you can conclude.
André’s close friend was the owner of the biotech firm. Despite the policies of his own company, André colluded with his friend in hopes of a better return when the firm went public. Yes, the friend had lied to André about the potential breakthrough but André was involved in the deal unethically. The investment pressured the management who, in turn, pressured the staff. Raphael couldn’t handle the pressure and eventually choked.
The cat has been let out of the bag in its entirety. What are your thoughts? There’s always one who is more at fault than the other. Is it André or Raphael?
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A Story From Someone Else
What better than a Zen Parable?
Once upon the time there was an old farmer who had worked his crops for many years. One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit. “Such bad luck,” they said sympathetically.
“Perhaps,” the farmer replied.
The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild horses. “What great luck!” the neighbors exclaimed.
“Perhaps,” replied the old man.
The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. The neighbors again came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune.
“Perhaps,” answered the farmer.
The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the son’s leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out.
“Perhaps,” said the farmer…
A Story From You
We always want to hear from you. But since there’s already a question asked above, we’d love for you to comment who do you think is more at fault. It’s going to be fun!
Until next time,