March 28, 2007

Golden rule of Reciprocity

I waited many years in desperation to start my Phd, but now working with my current boss makes me feel that it was a very worthy waiting. We students in our lab never got work pressure from our boss in the lab, but the sciences keeps growing automatically in a very smooth way. Today I got glimpses behind this secret; Chris (my boss) gave me tips to handle my new master’s thesis students. It was really enlightening
  • Each people are very different in perceiving science and their work.
  • Give them enough space and time to make them feel comfortable with their work
  • Never try to force things out of them.
  • Understanding and to have a feel for the work is more important in science.

He conveyed all this to me, not by words but by his actions and these are the things which make him feel so comfortable working with him and exactly these are the things which I was not giving to my student, I was just getting things done from him like a machine.

Epictetus: "What you would avoid suffering yourself, seek not to impose on others." (circa 100 CE)

I copied that quote from a site, which takes about the commonality of 21 different religions in the world. They give this as a golden rule of Reciprocity. Learning such things is very easy, but lucky are the people who get a condition when they can put things into practice, most of the time in practice, we realize that our actions are very far from the book knowledge.


Anonymous said...

Me too being lucky with my wonderful PhD Supervisor (Jon) had a chat with him on the corridor last week.
Jon is a nice person and always good in making the student feel extremely comfortable. But, I being a lazy bum always get distracted with everything other than what I am supposed to do!!!

He was rushing to fill his kettle with water and asked me 'Hey Bala, What happened to the paper you promised to finish writing last Monday!' with his energetic smile.
I hadn't finished writing the article and tactfully (thought so!) told him 'Jon, you know India won against Bermuda with a record 257 runs lead!!'
Jon is a great cricketer too and very fanatic about it. He said 'Yeah' with his full josh rhythemic voice which to me sounds like a Chrod from a piano. He added' had been busy these days, but I know India lost badly against Bangladesh, hahahha' He was happy as England was doing fine that week in World Cup 2007. Being desperate to divert his focus and feeling bit victorious that he had forgot about the paper, I told him 'Jon, we loose matches, but dont loose / kill coaches!'
Jon says' what happened to Bob Woolmer?; catching up aptly with his sharp acumen.
He glimpses at his wrist watch and the busy man starts moving away from my, but without turining his face away from me. Just two steps and came the blow 'Well done Bala, now, what's happening with the paper'

I bursted into laughter and confessed 'hmmm. I have not finished it, but thought that you will forget if I talk cricket'
Magnanimous Jon responds ' That was a good try from your side to change the topic. I respected it, and thats y I wanted you to feel and enjoy success for few seconds. I am in a hurry. tell me quick about the status of the paper.'

Maan liya mera bada sabh ko. He is a great guy and who really cares for my progress and keeps ways to encourage me in every moment. Made me feel blessed for getting such a good teacher.

Another Indian philosophy says ' What your parents sow, you will reap'. I had always seen my dad giving special attention and dedication when he teaches his juniors and I am getting good gurus wherever I go. Thanks dad.

Well, your report on your boss made me feel that I should really tell that my boss is great too;-) and scribbling on others blog spot is something that I always enjoy...

But, the 'Golden rule of Reciprocity' is something thats learnt out of experience. Over the years, I have become so strong in mind that I feel 'Unless you had a bad experience, humans dont appreciate the value of good things'
I am a man far from philosophy.I do simple things and can't really bother about complexities in life. I had understood the importance of most of the things only after I had lost/ missed it, be it someone's company, my favorite food, or a memorable moment. But, it is great that I could nourish a moment that I live with and appreciate that I got a good supervisor in real time....
The essense of the full story here is 'Anni, we read your writings, we think about it, relate it with our life and that gives some enlightment tooo! So, my sweet anni, keep blogging and dont mind if we are not commenting!!!' '

Anonymous said...

Though I told Jon 'We loose matches, but dont kill coaches' I latter changed my statement and told ... As bhai-bhai, we always blame the supervisors/ Boss/ Advisor if we are not able to finish PhD in time! Now he is really worried!