The Flip Side of a Coin

Once, a middle-aged jobless man was invited to a networking dinner. He put on his trousers and t-shirt, then opened the closet to discover that he had only three pieces of formal wear left—a shirt, a tie, and a jacket.  “Great”, he said, “I get to use my full wardrobe today”.
So, he put on his shirt, tie, and jacket and had a great evening.

Some days later, he again was invited for a professional party but realized that the color of his worn-out jacket had visibly paled in places. “Hmm, might as well… I felt too hot in the jacket anyway”. So, he put on his shirt and tie and, as always, had a great evening.

A week or so later, he was invited yet again but figured that his old tie could no longer hold a decent knot. “No tie huh…,” he mused, “how cool; now I don’t need to worry about the uneasy pressure on my neckline.” He put on his shirt and went out for a great evening.

On the next occasion, when he peeped into his closet, he discovered that the shirt’s pocket and a few buttons had come off. “How wonderful, now I no longer need to waste time ironing my shirt”, saying this, he walked out in his t-shirt and trousers.

Now isn’t the story a fitting demonstration of positive attitude in a negative environment?

Of course, some readers might now be busy punching holes in the above narration. They will argue, it is the man’s ‘content’ attitude that explains his joblessness! For the go-getters are seldom content, and it’s their ‘aspirations’ that get them all the way to the top.

And that, my friends, is an apt illustration of a negative outlook towards a positive story!

Same story, two outlooks: one positive, one negative.  Reason? “Contentment” & “Aspirations” come across as the opposite sides of the same coin. But then, the question arises:  if the content man in the story narrated above was indeed lacking in aspirations, then why did he routinely attend networking dinners and hunt through his closet for formal wear? Perhaps, this man had figured out one of the bigger secrets of life, and that is…

When both aspiration and contentment are applied within the framework of ground realities, they have an opportunity for peaceful co-existence. And every time that happens, only one side of the coin is left—the positive side!

Adapted, Purpose, Content, Style


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The Flip Side of a Coin - Arun Nathani Blog