The grass is green on every side...

Dr Dhananjay (Jay) Datar

Published: Thu 11 Mar 2021, 10:58 AM

Some people possess the tendency to always whine about everything. Even if they have a good life, they always compare it to everybody else. Once I had an encounter with such a person. I had to warn him to explore the happiness in his own life.

When I was on a visit to my native town in India, I went to see one of my friends. He used to run a small snack shop. I had to wait for some time to meet my friend because the shop was crowded with customers and he was busy serving them. Everyone was enjoying the tasty snacks, which itself was proof of my friend's skill. But while entering the shop, I noticed a strange thing. The garbage bin was overflowing with used paper plates and wads of tissue papers. Some of the garbage was even pouring outside.

I sat beside my friend and appreciated his tasty food and the customers' response to it. But it didn't please him. He had a frown on his face. He began complaining about his customers remarking that they had no discipline at all. He drew my attention to the garbage scattered everywhere and exclaimed, "Look how my customers are turning my shop into a garbage heap! In fact the neighbouring shop is even better than ours and also has a sophisticated clientele. It is a readymade clothes shop. When I watch customers there, they leave the premise carrying attractive parcel bags in hands and with smiling faces. Here in my shop I get embarrassed to see only hungry and careless customers."

I was quite shocked at my friend's negative viewpoint. I replied, "Dear friend! You are making a big mistake. You think the grass is greener on other side, but I believe it is green everywhere. Don't blame your customers. Actually you, as the owner of the shop, are at fault. If the garbage bin is overflowing quickly, it is your duty to empty it on time for serving new customers. It is not that difficult. Assign one of your employees for that work only. To keep the shop clean is your responsibility. Please do not criticise your customers for the same."

When he looked unconvinced, I said, "Hey! Be proud of your business. The customers in the neighbouring shop visit there once in a while but your customers come every day to taste the products. It reflects that your cash flow is better than your neighbour. Success in business is synonymous to the overwhelming response of customers. Why are you spoiling your happiness comparing it to others?" My friend understood his mistake and immediately ordered his employees to clean the shop thoroughly. He has a spacious shop now, which is more crowded than before.

How true this quote by Helen Keller, an American author, is: "Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties. "

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