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Good is better than great

2016-08-21         SHUKLAB

I know that the huge fan following of Jim Collins would be most annoyed to hear that I think that good is definitely not the enemy of great, in fact I believe that good is even better than great. I think it becomes a big problem when we pursue greatness and forget to be just plain good. Of course all individuals and conglomerations must have the “culture of discipline” but how “the wrong people are asked to get off the bus” has great ramification on the culture and spirit of several people that make up an organization. I am a little concerned that all individuals and companies are being encouraged to be focussed on being great and pay less attention on being good. I ask, what is the problem of being just good? If all individuals and organizations concentrated on being just intrinsically good then there would be less of cut throat competition to be better than the rest, in order to be great. I had volunteered with Mother Teresa for seven years. I was very young then but even so I could feel her simple goodness with no ambition whatsoever to be great. She would say ” Everyone does not have to do great things but they should do small things with great love” I shall always remember that, because every single great man I have had the good fortune to meet, never strived to be great but tried to be just good and spread that goodness around. When I attended His Holiness Dalai Lama’s 79th birthday at Bylakupe Monastery he talked about how it is important to think about others with compassion instead of trying to be better than them. He is someone who was forced to flee his own country and compelled to be a refugee by the Chinese ever since and yet he does not desire to be greater than them. It is the desire to be better than others, instead of being the best that one can be, that creates so much strife in the world. On the other hand I believe if everyone strives to be great it will only lead to mediocrity because the ecosystem gets forced to accommodate everyone’s aspiration of greatness and achieves nothing in the bargain. We need to have a good country and not a great country. We need citizens of a country who are generally good (honest, compassionate and caring) instead of being great ( highly accomplished, competitive and a winner). If you think about it ,would not that lead to less conflict and less wars? It would then not be required to strategic but simple, not diplomatic but transparent and not powerful but happy. I think this world needs more good and happy people and not necessarily great people, great companies or even a great country.

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