We can’t imagine what technology can do!
Who would have imagined half a decade ago that I could be in touch with my school classmates after a span of three decades! The technology has made communication so easy that we can discuss things in real time irrespective of where you are located.
This ease of communication with each other has reduced the level of sensitivity in us…….. In the sense we forget that the so called friend at the other end may not be really free to respond to the instant messages or cheap internet calls that we may make sometimes across the globe. The vice a versa is also true. But this happens by virtue of the fact that most of us are professionals having families; it is obvious we all have certain responsibilities to discharge, hence sometimes cannot respond to friends who try to get in touch with us by a click of a mouse irrespective of the distance and time zone separating us.
However being mature individuals we take it in our stride whenever we receive an “IM” that “busy in a meeting” or “call you later” such messages are invariably followed by smiley which depicts the kind of feeling they want to convey. All this is perfectly all right and justified where none of the parties are hurt because of the refusal of the other friend to respond!!
Now you may be wondering in the given circumstances, why am I discussing this topic which is common knowledge to all? Actually I am comparing two situations! One is what I discussed above and the other is what I am now going to discuss.
Last night I was talking to a school friend for a long time on the way back from work; while my driver kept listening to my lingo which was so unofficial and slang. Not in a position to ask me who I was talking to! He kept driving while I noticed his half smile in the rear view mirror which also enabled him to see me as I continued to chat away with an enthusiasm, which can be seen only in a child. After having discussed many things and getting many updates on several mutual friends, I happened to ask him about a classmate who was rather close to him in school. I knew for one thing that this classmate of ours may have avoided me in school because unlike him I was not very studious and sincere. I know that this mutual friend of ours has achieved a lot professionally and is now considered a top notch doctor in a foreign country.
As soon as I brought up this topic I noticed a long pause at the other end of the line. I knew something was amiss, I could feel his reluctance to speak any further on this topic. But the depth of my friendship forced me to take liberty to probe further …… more than anything it was because I was genuinely concerned. As he opened up and disclosed that during the doctor friend’s last visit to India; he had gone to meet him. He met a rather cold person who was very much unlike the classmate with whom he had spent his childhood in school. The doctor also avoided giving his contact details when asked for! He now realised that he was interacting with a highly qualified doctor rather than a child hood school mate.
With dejection and hurt in his heart he returned back with a realisation that probably it was the professional difference and the level of achievements which had become a barrier in between two friends who had started their lives together from the kinder garden stage. I did not probe him any further sensing that it was painful for my friend. We continued our long conversation on the phone on various topics and catching up with so many things for old time’s sake. We concluded our phone call after assuring each other that we will be in touch with each other more regularly.
After disconnecting the call I kept thinking on the conversation I had with my childhood friend. I kept thinking…… I started seriously wondering ….. how seriously must a man take his profession….. his achievements which are mile stones as one progresses in a career in a respective field. Does it really change us as a person. Is it that the person who has achieved much is devoid of human suffering….. has he reached a higher plane as a living being …… how different has he become as a human being. If you think deeply nothing really changes, then why do we give all this so much importance? …. All these things cannot stop ageing….. insecurities…. and ultimately death. But what matters most is people may admire you for your professional achievements. But if you fail as a human being all your expertise as a professional has got no value! On a closing note I remember what a famous author has recently said “ On your death bed nobody will remember the power point presentation you gave in your board room, what they will remember is the type of person you have been as a human being”. I think this will summarise it all.