Plato on People and Politics

“One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.” Plato

Plato is so pertinent in the above observation. The elections are round the corner all over India. A new leadership and a new government is in the offing. The people of the country must participate in large numbers to choose best of the leaders. Please always remember that there are only two choices: One is to lead, and the other is to get led. And the only answer is “Better Management” and “Better Leadership”. And all this is possible by choosing good leaders. 

What do you want? Do you want an inferior to lead you? If you go by the statistics and information available with the Election Commission, about 30% of the elected representative to the parliament and the assemblies have criminal records. Some have even heinous criminal charges. And the above trend is increasing and not decreasing. And if the same trend continues, a day is not far when we all are governed and led by criminals. Can we really hope this to happen? What kind of ecosystem we are creating for the present youngsters and for the new ones to come in the future?

Please also note that excercising one’s vote is not only a right but also a great responsibility. If the people are not wise in choosing their representatives, then only inferior ones will rule and govern the people and the country. All power is of the people. All power is for the people. And all power is by the people. The highest power lies with the people. And the responsibility of the government is just to serve the people. It is, therefore, rightly said that the Constitution is OF the people, BY the people, and FOR the people. This is the true power of the democracy.

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Enlightenment and Corporate Excellence

You can neither take nor give enlightenment. You can only receive it. It is a gift from the divine. It is a “Prasada”. It is what you receive as a consequence. It is like a by-product. And it is not a goal.

You can’t desire enlightenment. You need to be deserving to receive it as a gift. There is a saying that says that God does not give you success but God estimates your success. If I am worthy I will receive it in no time. And if I am not worthy and don’t deserve it now then I will have to wait patiently. The word patient is very beautiful. It means a sick person. The sick person goes to a doctor for a cure. And the doctor tells the sick person to have patience. Because the cure will take some time. But the sickness is so much that the patient loses all patience. And there is no shortcut. The patient has to wait. There is no other way.

The same is the story with enlightenment. You have to wait endlessly. And in a ripe moment it happens. And it happens. It surely happens. How does it matter even if it didn’t happen? Who cares? What matters is that you loved the path. What matters is that the journey was joyful. What matters is that you loved the whole process.

The end of the process results into enlightenment. Just take the example of 24 carat gold. Look into the whole process of moving from the raw gold to 24 carat gold. From raw gold to 24 carat gold the whole process is intrinsically connected. It is one process. At the end of the process the raw gold transforms into a 24 carat gold.

What happens in the whole process? The raw gold is passed through the acid test and the fire test. And as the raw gold moves up the stream, in the whole process the impurities present in the raw gold are burnt and dissolved, and at the end of the process as a resultant is the 24 carat gold. The whole process is one. It is interconnected. The raw gold culminates into a 24 carat gold as a consequence. The whole process is a process of quality improvement. The 24 carat gold moves to a highest quality.

It is similar to the quality processes followed by the corporations in quality improvement. They follow many types of quality processes like ISO and Six Sigma. And at the end of the process are the world class quality products. The whole quality process creates a value.

The case of the Mumbai Dabbawalas has become world famous. This case is being referred by world famous universities to their students in their curriculum. The people of Mumbai Dabbawalas are very simple and down-to-earth human beings. They don’t have any ego. They don’t have any attitude. They are not professional people. They are not engineers. They are not MBAs. And probably this is the reason why they are able to create excellence. They are working above six sigma.

On the other hand take the example of many business organizations. They are rich and they have lot of money. They have technology. They have qualified people like engineers, doctors, MBAs, etc. They have pumped millions of dollars in their processes. And still they are not able to work above six sigma. What is the matter? The matter is lack of simplicity and ordinariness. A professional person thinks that he is extraordinary. An expert thinks that he is extraordinary. And this attitude becomes a barrier to quality. A quality product, a quality process, and a quality person are not three different compartments. All these three are part of a one big process. They are interconnected. They are not separate. They can not work in silos. You can not improve one without improving the other. This is where quality suffers. This is where quality becomes unsustainable. And this is the reason why the products and markets eventually die.

The goal of any organization is to create excellence. And this excellence can be achieved only through quality people. Happy people give highest productivity and greatest performance. And happy people create quality products and quality processes. All quality is a by-product of happiness. And all happiness is a by-product of Right Mindfulness.

Right Mindfulness is a quality standard for improving the quality of the individuals. We have various quality standards for improving the quality of the processes and products. But we do not have any standard for improving the quality of the individuals. The right mindfulness meditation improves the “Emotional Quotient” and the “Happiness Quotient” of the individuals. Right mindfulness is not being full of mind. Right mindfulness is just being in the moment and understanding the reality as it is. The art of right mindfulness helps in finding out and removing the root causes. The art of right mindfulness is a boon for creativity and innovation. Right mindfulness helps in creating excellence in everything that you do.

And eventually as the individual moves up the stream in his own inner being through right mindfulness, enlightenment happens to him as a consequence. It is a by-product and comes as a gift of the divine. And the by-product of enlightenment is a person of highest “Happiness Quotient”. And this person is always in a state of a Sachitananda. And this person has an excellence to lead the organization with love and compassion. Love and Leadership can go together. Creativity and Compassion can go together. Intelligence and Innovation can go together. Meditation and Management can go together. There is no conflict. And this person always follows the principles of Enlightened Leadership.