I like to write about the power of goodness as often as I can because I am often confronted by people who believe themselves to be powerless in the face of the many evils throttling our present society. They do not believe that their own actions, feeble as they may be, can influence society in any way. But to them I say, who else is there? If we can do the right thing in our own lives, who knows how we might inspire and transform the world? Almost all great movements and reformations were led by one man. Gandhiji was just one man. So was Buddha. Or Jesus Christ. Look at the enduring influence that these three souls have been able to command, not just in their lifetime, but up to the present moment.
Even if we cannot influence anybody else, and even if we live and die without making the slightest impact on the collective consciousness, is one life of unbroken virtue a small thing? What joy we will earn if we live with a perfectly peaceful conscience. What blessings we will reap from the Universe, even if they were unwanted and unsought, simply because we will have lived in unfaltering allegiance to the laws of life.
So here is an example of this.
I hold my workshops usually at Hotel Suba International. I love holding my workshops there for many reasons. It is a comfortable place. The a/c and carpeted environment ensure good acoustics that enables me to be heard even without a mike. The food is abundant and delicious. I am extremely well looked after. The staff will go out of their way to accommodate me and resolve my issues. In short, I feel at home at Suba.
Last Sunday, after my workshop, I was telling Usef Patel the banquets manager, how wonderful it was that they seemed to be doing well. Usef said in response, “It is because we don’t cheat anyone, madam.” He illustrated his assertion with an example. Apparently that very Sunday two of his biggest training rooms (which can be opened up into one large room) had been given to a group of 65 people. Unfortunately, the organizer called him to say that the facilitator of the session had missed his flight from Malaysia to Mumbai, and therefore they had to call off the workshop. Apprehensively, he asked Usef if they would have to pay him any cancellation charges. Usef told him that since he himself must have undergone a financial loss, it would not be fair to charge him anything. The client gratefully signed off.
The Universe was obviously listening. Because, behold, one group of 25 people almost overnight swelled to 85 people and the two large training rooms could be put to use! Usef’s compassion actually boosted the company’s profits. It is no wonder that the staff at Suba give a happy vibe. All of them seem to get along with each other, and all of them are exceptionally service-oriented. Since I have gluten and lactose intolerance, breakfast is usually a tricky meal, especially as I cannot even have fermented foods like idli or dhokla. In fact, the only safe breakfast is poha. Accordingly, I usually request them to keep a plate of poha for me. Usef tells me that if even the most junior staff were to inadvertently read my name on their roster of facilitators for the day, he would quickly ask, “Suma ma’am ka poha bana hain?” How touching is that!
I asked Usef if he was the source of the service-orientedness, or was the owner of the place responsible? Usef said it was the owner. That makes sense. The culture of the organization is set by the top. And it percolates down to create a wholesome, happy work environment.
And a healthy bottom line too. I don’t know if the owner is an MBA or if Usef is one. My hunch is that neither of them are. But between them, they have discovered the secrets of success. God bless them and may they continue to grow abundantly and benevolently.
Suma Varughese has had a long and illustrious career as a writer/editor/journalist for 40 years. She was the editor-in-chief of Life Positive, India’s premier body-mind-spirit magazine, for over 12 years, prior to which she was the editor of Society magazine for five years and has also been a senior editor with Gentleman magazine. Suma is a popular guest speaker at many conferences and seminars and has been intimately connected with the rise of the spiritual movement in India.