AT THE DAWN OF THE INDIVIDUAL REVOLUTION
Revolution, besides having many meanings also includes a dramatic change in ideas or practice. And that’s exactly what’s happening to a lot many people today. Understanding, albeit delayed, the Indian ‘person’ is beginning to realize that he lives only once and since life is unpredictable and to an extent unreliable why waste this precious existence going through the motions of mundane routinized living. So he literally and figuratively has taken it upon himself to make his life colorful, fulfilling and comprehensive. And what better way, since man spends the better part of his waking day at work, than to make the most of office relationships. The individual is now at the helm; where previously man was driven by social interest, self-interest overrides now.
With this shift in mindset, it is no wonder that life at the office is no more the chore or bore that it earlier was. Where the foremost goal of the then office-goer was to win accolades or score brownie points with the boss, today it’s mostly about connecting, networking, bonding and socializing. So whether its late night parties or reconnaissance trips, outbound training programs or office picnics, the outlook is, bring it on! And self-reproach, which may have clouded many a mind in the past, the idea being we are having ‘too’ much fun and leaving families and/or partners waiting, today translates into ‘we ‘deserve’ it because we earn and sweat for it.’ The Indian mind has altered. Office no more connotes pain, drudgery and politicking. The dictum we are all one big happy family, notwithstanding family back home, is the latest mantra for the new age worker.
The ramifications of this have led to new relations in places of work like the office mate or confidante. Emotional infidelity seems to have gone onto another plane accompanied often by physical infidelity. The colleague is now a ‘soul’ mate, a ‘core’ of an associate, and in a way “understands ‘the psyche’” as some put it. When this ‘connected’ worker returns, his head is still preoccupied with a conversation left midway, a fixation with what his ‘official’ paramour must be up to, and a half-hearted him is in attendance with his lover/spouse/live in partner and/or family. What do you get then? Poor relating at home! But naturally! For if energies are invested so intensely with colleagues, it becomes draining and exhausting to invest equally at home. Imagine the same effort being put in for another eight hours? How weighing and fatiguing! Where in the past superficiality and inane talk encompassed major part of an entire day, today serious, deep and passionate connects have taken over. No, I don’t believe that we have a limited source of energy to invest in relationships but I do believe that if you get fulfillment and nourishment from significant relationships at work, you may just be tardy and slightly weary to make enough of an effort to relate at home. Sure, they can coexist. But one would have to be exceptionally driven, ultra-zestful to maintain that balance. And how many of those do we see around?
Let’s accept the fact that times and relationships have changed. It is up to every individual to know his boundaries and by this I do not mean moral ones. I mean one must understand who he is and what his limitations are. A person would do well to know his emotional capabilities. So if he realizes that it takes a toll on him to be devoted to social relations at work and that they would jeopardize his energies to relate at home, he has to take a call. Of course my assumption here is that he wishes to connect passionately and devotedly to his significant other at home! But then that would be the subject of an entirely new article!