Today is day #4 of the 7 day blogging challenge. 🙂 Today’s topic is, “What’s one thing you’re proud of?“.
The first thing that came to my mind was how I took care of two labor union strikes in India so easily, quickly, and peacefully. I did this when I was quite young. I must have been 25 years old. Now I am 48. That was my first job in New Delhi after we moved there. I was the Expansions Manager in a garments export place. It was a labor-intensive place because of all the multitudes of tailors who worked there.
The first place I started for them was a factory near New Delhi. I hired about 800 male tailors to begin with for the new factory. Then I hired a Human Resources manager there. I didn’t visit there very often in the beginning. One morning I went to the new factory, and saw all the tailors — all 800 of them standing outside the gate and yelling angrily. My driver stopped the car and asked me to go back to Delhi, because he understood how ugly that could get.
But if you are young, or if you remember how it was to be young, you will remember, that the young can be very brave….because they can be very foolhardy. 😀 I really had no fear because I did not understand what could go wrong. I thought it was absolutely humiliating for me to turn and go away. So I got out of the car and walked right in the middle of the crowd.
Now what was funny was, I am just 5′ tall. They were large men compared to me. But foolishly brave that I was, I walked right TO the center. They surrounded me. I saw our Human Resources manager standing on top of the roof, trying to keep himself safe.
I had never seen a labor strike before. In fact I didn’t even know what was to be done, so I simply followed my heart’s intelligence, and asked them what the matter was. They told me what they were demanding. But at the same time they looked kind of amused maybe to see a tiny girl (I used to look like a 10th grader when I was 25) standing in the middle of them, unafraid and asking questions. I listened, and whatever I thought was reasonable, and in my power to grant, I did. And for the rest, I just said I will talk to the owner of the company.
Then I asked them to come inside and resume work.
I didn’t know that they could even refuse. And I guess that’s where things went right. I believed 100% they would listen to me.
They went inside and started working like nothing had happened.
The next factory I started for this company was in Nepal. I stayed there for 3 months, overseeing all the work, including construction. Had some misadventures with a few criminals, and a few politicians. But also got a LOT of love from the people.
When I returned to India, I heard later that the 800 people there were instigated by politicians and they started a violent strike, and made the General Manager sign a really strange contract at gunpoint, which basically gave all the power to the local political leader and the workers.
The managers there tried to negotiate with them, but it was unsuccessful.
I couldn’t believe my ears. So I asked the owner of the company to send me back to Nepal. He was afraid for me. Said, “They might break your arms and legs!! They are violent!”. I insisted. I said, ” I feel really connected to them. I have hired them. They know me. I know they are not violent or trouble makers. Let me go”. He did. And they were so happy to see me! I was happy to see them too!
One morning, before they came into the factory, I wrote up a new contract and stuck it up. They started coming in one by one. They saw the contract, and said nothing. They just went back to work peacefully. After an hour or so, 2-3 miscreants started shouting slogans and tried to cause trouble. But surprisingly, no one even looked at them. They showed their SOLID support for me, and kept working silently.
I ignored them too, and sat and looked through the pictures of my beautiful niece who I love a lot. Some of the women stopped working and were curious, and walked up to me and wanted to see pictures too. All this while those 3 women were screaming. 😀 Everyone behaved like they couldn’t see them or hear them.
After a few minutes of shouting even they stopped, and came to me, and asked me, “Madam, can we see the pictures too please?” 😉 😀
So you see, baby pictures proved more powerful than screaming women trying to cause violence.
Both the times, the main factors were:
- That I was unaware of what could go wrong. So I was fearless. I believed that all will be fine. And all was fine. I believed that all of them would listen to me because I cared for them, and they cared for me. And that is exactly what happened. Our beliefs – strong unwavering beliefs create miracles.
- The power of love…the power of heart to heart connection with another human is more powerful than any mind game, any power game, any political game. I loved the workers. I trusted that they would listen to me. They loved me because they knew I really did care. Where they used violence and guns with others, they only showed tenderness, and strong support for me – a tiny girl who had no experience with any of these things. So, trust in LOVE.
Tell me something you are proud of in your life. I’d love to know. 🙂