“Auto”matic change and beyond – Trust. Educate. Apply. Manage.
August 17, 2008 § 3 Comments
A nice workout, followed by a dinner that I got all dressed up pretty for, yummy food and interesting conversations, the romance, the happy waiter’s face after he saw the tip… and then… the auto-rickshaw ride back home. Now that ride has made me stay up tonight. Ah, haggling with auto drivers at the end of a wonderful date is such a killjoy.
But that is not what this is about. This is about that auto driver with whom my sympathies lie. Because he chooses where he can be. Because he chooses not to rise.
After a board room level discussion and negotiation on the tariff that he would charge, we settled to give him his second bid. He cited the reason for the extra tariff as the changed traffic regulations where he had to take a longer route. But once we got into the auto, he takes a swift U-turn where none is allowed and dashes into a lane which according to him “makes things easier”. Then why bargain so much if you are going to break rules anyway? Or more specifically, why break those rules? When my date and I asked him about it, he just snapped back with a look that read “whatever dude, shutthehellup!”
My dearest date lost his patience but I continued to appeal to the driver’s good senses, but in vain. He kept justifying his action, if that was even remotely possible. And to test my patience, he kept blessing the road with his mouthful of saliva+paan. Now for those of you who know me, you would also know that the next thing I generally do is give the driver a piece of my mind about the spitting. But instead, I decided to give the talk just before I pay him the money.
After the silent auto ride, just as I got out of the auto, the driver started to crib about how we brought him too far and that he should’ve charged more. That’s when it struck me. Crib, crib, crib was all he could do. The date was now mighty bugged and decided to drag me out of the scenario before I get snubbed by the driver for my advice. This was reasonable then because it was past 10 PM and the driver could have reacted negatively. But the fact still remained that I did not tell the driver what I wanted to.
As I think about it now, it could be true that the driver would have disregarded my every word, if I had spoken. But why do I still feel guilty? Because I credit myself with more patience than that. Because I know that I disregarded my passion towards the benefits of social interactions by not speaking. Because by not speaking, I did not give the driver anything useful to think about on his way back home. Because this is how every other driver gets away. And because I did something everybody does.
Why does one break rules? Is it the fault of the rule maker or the rule breaker? These are scenarios that have seen a lot of discussion. What can one do at a grassroot level to fundamentally alter the civic sense of an individual, a community, a town, a city, a state, a nation? Every educated person can be a knowledge pool to one who is not. I believe I am educated and sensible enough to do this. Here, I am referring to education of the mind and not the brain. I have friends with degrees who still litter roads and break road signals.
So for an educated person in that sense, it just takes the willingness to share what you know and your passion towards the cause. I talk to almost every uneducated person I know and try to make a difference in their outlook and approach towards all of this. Do you? You should. Because that leads to social interactions that would further the progress of any community. Trust me, it works better in real life than on paper or a web-page like this.
Trust your beliefs more than anyone can.
Educate people around you who could use that knowledge.
Apply your thoughts and beliefs.
Manage all these interactions effectively and in a structured way if possible.
I am really open to receiving questions on how and how not to do this.
And oh, the date is a really nice boy. Nice enough to keep for a lifetime.