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Once upon a time in India, there was a farmer – Ram. In those days there were no facilities of having water in nearby areas. So, Ram used to go long distance to bring water for farming. He used to tie one pail (Ghada in Hindi) each on two corners of a stick and used to take it on his shoulders to the nearest water body. He used to fill these pails and bring them back to his farm.

FarmerOne of the two pails was broken and Ram was poor so he wouldn’t afford to buy new one. He used to fill both the pails but by the time he is back, the broken pail used to get empty. It kept on happening for long time. The other pail used to feel proud of himself.

These were old times, when non-living things too used to have sentiments – now even humans seem to have lost the emotions. Much to his chagrin, the broken pail used to feel because it is broken, Ram’s efforts get wasted.

Once, out of compassion, the broke pail told to Ram – yes those were the days when people could hear murmur of non-living things too. Alas we dont listen to ourselves and fellow human beings – “I feel bad for you that I am broken and your hard-work goes in vain when by the time you reach home, I am empty. I am sorry for that.

Ram too felt bad for the pail, however he said to the pail – today When we come back with water, look around en-route, there are a lot of flowers dont worry about water.

The pail followed, there were a lot of different colored flowers with many different fragrances. it was happy seeing the flowers allover the route. When the famer reached his farm the broken pail was empty. Pail again felt sorry for loss incurred by Ram because of him. He again asked for apologies to him.

Ram laughed this time around, he said to the pail. You know what? Those flowers exist because of you, I know you are broken, and water spill out of you all over the route. Knowing this I had put seeds of the flowers in the route. These flowers have made the road beautiful. People pluck the flowers to confer it to gods during prayers. You are broken but see, this helped a lot of people.

In my innovation consulting engagements, we used to talk about – utilization of available resources. This was a good example of utilization of resource. Can you learn from Ram how to utilize the shortcoming of his resource to his benefit, or society’s benefit?

Is it the case of strategic decisions – get rid of loss making or less profitable business and utilize the resources on other higher RoI projects? Does our Farmer in this case looks like Mr Ratan Tata?

No, no, I have my opinions on the corporate (mis)governance, recent development in Tata group and Mr Dholakia of Shri Ram Krishna Exports. I hope to write on these some other time.

Source of this Jataka Tale – http://www.hindisoch.com/jataka-tales-in-hindi/  (translated with freedom by KRD Pravin)

Image source – http://mindry.in/blog/2011/05/29/civil-society-asks-government-to-acquire-highways-and-make-them-arable-lands/