I have started watching a SitCom – Dharma and Greg. In one episode Dharma (a strangely spiritual women), does Random Act of Kindness. She gets into trouble as a Policeman fines her. Well, I shall write on the serial sometime later. I thought to take up this point of “Random Act of Kindness” in this blog. I have written on Can money buy Happiness? earlier, however here is another take. Though, upto an extent yes Money can buy you happiness, yet beyond that threshold “value of money” does not add any “value” to one’s happiness – point of diminishing returns.
I received this video from my brother on WhatsApp. I am sharing this video here, do watch, if you like do share as well. After watching this video you may say why do such thing? People will be “tempted to find such person” on daily basis! Just watch the video and feel free to share it, like it and write your opinion on the comments box below.
If you want to check this video in Youtube
It is my birthday today – 26th Sept. So instead of waiting till weekend (starting tomorrow), I thought that let me share this blog on my Birthday. Will you share some Random Act of Kindness with anyone? May be today? Not necessarily me [jokes apart]. Anyone who is in need.
It was winter of 2012, Sujoy was getting married. I traveled to Pune to attend his wedding function. There I met one of my very old College mate – Anurag Tambe.
Anurag is smart guy, thoughtful and practical. We discussed many things, including my favorite topic – purpose of what we do? This topic eventually boils down to spirituality. Anurag told me about Steve Jobs and what his experience was about India and spirituality. His visit to India made him go back to the US and keep doing his work as good as he could. [Anurag’s reference to the book on Steve Jobs]
A cobbler met a Rabbi and said. “Tell me what to do about my morning prayer. My customers are poor men who have only one pair of shoes. I pick up their shoes late in the evening and work on them most of the night; at dawn there is still work to be done if the men are to have their shoes ready before they go to work. Now my question is: What should I do about my morning prayer?”
“What have you been doing till now?” the Rabbi asked.
“Sometimes I rush through the prayer quickly and get back to my work—but then I feet bad about it At other times I let the hour of prayer go by Then too I feel a sense of loss and every now and then, as f raise my hammer from the shoes, I can almost hear my heart sigh. “What an unlucky man I am that I am not able to make my morning prayer.”
Said the Rabbi. “If I were God I would value that more than the prayer.”
Steve Jobs, I think, did what the Rabbi suggests in the story.
The Buddha shared his knowledge for free, you know these universities charge so much for the degrees!
One argument could be – 1. That time was different. 2. The Buddha asked for bigger fee – leave all material possession, family, even ‘self’. What fee are you talking about? But yes, what the Buddha taught was priceless and of course for free.
The second is – Well you have a MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) – Coursera, EdX etc. These MOOC are based on a freemium Business Model.
“Freemium” is a coined word; it is made using two words – free and premium. A business model which is based on this term “freemium” offers products/services free as well as paid. What is so great about it? Well, in this business approach few basic functionality of product/service are free and advanced features are premium. An example is LinkedIn. This business model is possible in cases where marginal cost of distribution and production are low – most commonly internet and software businesses. Advantage? It can offer huge scale for premium access. How? Once responded to free and limited period premium content business can expect to convert higher % of free users to premium users. LinkedIn has been doing this successfully.
I liked this idea. It relates to offering your services – though limited – to everyone. Here everyone means – meaningful target audience which needs it. The business offering such service is not creating a complete monopoly – by asking users to first PAY and then USE. It gels with the concept of Business and the Buddha as well.
Well, a word of caution – fremium can be wicked as well – when pricing is done to squeeze “consumer surplus”#. That is where it may not be what “Business to the Buddha” would apply. At the end of the day – there is no limit to squeezing the consumer, isnt it?
An interesting business concept I have seen in Singapore [searched on net they are in India too!]. There is a restaurant near China Town MRT station – Annalaxmi. There you can have lunch and pay as much as you want, Sing $ 0 or even 100. There is no cashier. The amount such collected goes in running this not for profit restaurant and rest is utilized in organizing cultural activities.
Whatever said, freemium seems to (should) be the way to go!
Consumer surplus – it is a term used in microeconomics in demand and supply analysis. Though the author is not a PhD in economics, still in his simple words – consumer surplus is what a few consumer “can” pay to avail the service but would not pay as company selling the offer keeps the price lower so that the company can reach scale.
I wrote once on Ganesha festival (read here – Death is inevitable) of Maharashtra, similarly there is a Goddess Kali festival in West Bangal. What lesson I learnt from these festivals are death is coming, best use of your life is whatever best you can do NOW!
The festival celebrated in its current form bothers a lot of people, I am one of them. I am not against festivity, I am against politicizing the festivals and making them vulgar to some extent. I saw people drinking in these places (in general drinking in temples etc is not considered good in Indian culture), playing strange songs instead of aartis etc. I was planning to write on the same, however I received a Whatsapp message from my friend Bhushan Chavan, so here is the message audio. This message fully syncs with my thoughts. I am trying to translate this Marathi message in English.
Ganesha to his disciple – “You came! come first sit here peacefully. Take a normal breath in.
Dont just start asking for your wishes by giving me Prasad of banana & modak. To be more precise dont ask/wish for anything this year. Dont even ask [not sure if thats what it means] for what happened to the wishlist you left here last year. Because as many wishes I fulfill your list keeps on increasing!
Now, I dont want a bigger tummy than this [reference modak, sweets making Ganesha more fat]. Instead of wishing something, please do the otherwise, please fulfill few of my wishes. Check if you can do that.
This year, do not think bad for anyone else. Dont ask for donation money [Marathi “Vargani” is Hindi “Chanda” is English “donation”. I am learning Marathi 😀 🙂 ;)] in my name.
Dont spend sleepless nights, even if you don’t sleep – don’t drink, if drunk do not …. [could not make out this word]. I do not want 300 gram Gold necklace. If you can, please reduce volume of the speakers. I cannot stand the songs with vulgar lyrics, even I cant stand the vulgar dance of yours. It is impossible for me to stand your 10 day showoff in the name of a festival.
I am folding my hands and requesting please wake up, be cultured, leave this faking and selfishness.
Some times be honest and do this – be inebriated in humanity, philanthropy. Put in your 100% in your activities, keep away from the self proclaimed godmen. Instead of living on their foundations, live on your own confidence. Instead of losing your self confidence, live the God within you. Instead of winning world by terror, win it by love. Instead of flattering/serving rich people, try to help the poor/needy. Instead of becoming wealthy by materialistic things, become rich within [I wonder if Hindi/Marathi word “man” has equivalent English word].
Now see how much you can accept, do not go empty handed [not sure of this part though].
I bless you that instead of asking every time; you try and give more often and experience the contentment in that act of giving.