The man who knows only his version of the ‘truth’

April 15, 2018

Last week i had a frank meeting with a landowner whose plantation was not doing too well. The objective of the meet was for me to conduct a lightning assessment of his plantation management team.

After two days and a bit of being a fly on the wall. I told the board of directors that even if they engaged me as a consultant, it is very unlikely that i would be able to alter the inevitable outcome of the plantations impending doom.

When the patriach asked me whether my disinterest had anything to do with my fees…I said no. When he asked why i felt their plantation was doomed and that nothing could be done to reverse the rot…i made a rather strange request to walk around the grounds with the patriach. Since everyone knows me to be slightly autistic in the plantation world. They obliged me. When i was alone with the old man and he asked why my ten year prognosis of their family business was so dismal….I told him frankly, the problem is you…you only want to hear your version of the truth that has nothing whatsoever to do with the truth…and because of this corrosive culture everyone who works for you is a replica of how you choose to see the world and everything in it.

The old man clenched his fist….hissed…how dare you! I leaned forward and whispered, my words are painful, but always remember i speak only the truth.

When i drove off i could hear the faint cursing of the old man…soon the jungle swallowed it in one gulp.

——————————————————————————-

‘I think to make the most out of life. Its very important to elect to remain soft, flexible and open….the problem is, its easier said than done. During my replanting in the middle of last year. I was in a heated debate with a couple of planters on how to resolve an issue. Suddenly the surveyors girl who is responsible for making sure everyone has the right blue prints said something…naturally most of the other planters ignored her. For one she is not even in the quorum. As for another she doesnt have the prestige and experience of many of these planters and this is an important point. Because plantations is a very male and macho driven business process. Alot of weightage is given to field experience. So much so, its rare for younger people to ever challenge an experienced planter….its just not done.

But on that occasion I insisted that the rest bear what this young lady had to share. And at the end of it what she recommended was actually put into action….so there you have it. Its something that today I look at with a mix of curiousity and fascination. Because firstly, its unlikely to ever come from me and secondly it works.

I guess what I am trying to say is one has to be incredibly careful not to inadvertently shut out the field of possibilities just because we dont like to hear what others may have to say. Or how they may view their objects of interest to form an opinion….if that is really the case, then we are to blame and not others!

Infact if we should where possible cultivate the counter response of giving respect to what they may have to share and bear out patiently what they have to share. Maybe…just maybe if we do just that, we might be able to see the world slightly differently from the way we have always seen it and that is not such a bad thing…not at all.

After all there are so many truths and they all belong to all of us and not just one man.’

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