Monday, November 11, 2013

Praise Me

I was probably born with a placard hanging around my neck saying, "Praise Me". Unfortunately, it was probably written in some language that no-one could read - Egyptian hieroglyphics springs to the mind as a possible option - since no-one acted upon that request. Or, maybe, it is that unreasoning idea that someone should be praised only when he/she had done something worthy of praise - and people are so very persnickety about what they considered to be worthy.

The less you get of something, the more you want it. So, you can imagine a teenager lurking around with ears sharpened to hear something that was complimentary of him since those were the days when parents believed, "Give some praise and spoil the child" in addition to the more usual one about sparing the rod. So, there were a lot more rods than praises in my life then.

Ah! Where was I? Eavesdropping to hear words of praise? Well - you know what they say about what eavesdroppers hear about themselves. How true it is of the world at large I have no idea - but, of me , it most certainly was the absolute truth. I came to know I had many more shortcomings than I had imagined to exist in the world but, of praise, I heard not a single word.

It is thus that, even now, I practically go about with a fishing rod to hook some compliments. The more routine angling may yield fish but this fishing for compliments is a totally infructuous exercise.  You invariably end up losing your bait and cannot raise a single compliment in the process.

Over a period, I have found that I am not the only one with "Praise Me" around my neck. Almost all of humanity was probably born with that placard around the neck. It is only that it is neon-lit in cases like mine and it goes all the way to people whose placards are nearly wiped clean - but not quite.

Yudhishtir is reputed to have said that the biggest miracle in the world is the fact that people still do not believe in their own mortality despite seeing people dying all around them. I think he got it wrong. The biggest miracle is the fact that people know how happy praise makes them but, invariably, do not hand out praise even to the people whom they purportedly want to make happy.

Or, maybe, Yudhistir thought of that not as the biggest miracle but as the biggest folly?

64 comments:

  1. I am here to compliment you...without any expectations in return :).....you have an amazing ability of converting evn the most unnoticeable things into a tremendous post...

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    1. Thanks Soham - I believe you about not having any expectations :)

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  2. Dont we all like attention? It is what makes us happy. But then we are so niggardly and dole it out to others in very small portions

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    1. True Ritu - probably because we think it is only we who are in need :)

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  3. Sir ji aap great ho :) with a brilliant writing style that mixes humour, sarcasm, management tenets and Puranic knowledge we look up to you for guidance and inspiration! Hail Suresh sir :)

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    1. Soon you will have me setting up an Ashram and go the way of all gurus Mahesh :)

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  4. You are an abso-total-lutely wonderful writer, a fab-super-lous person and a gem of a blogger.
    PS. I like praise too. In double the dose.

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    1. Ha Alka! Am I glad this time my fishing worked :)

      Psst. AM I GLAD that you did not mistype a "y" at the end of that 'fab-super-lous' :)

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  5. Ahhh...here you go Suresh... I love your blog, your humorous posts, this one too :)

    Now your turn :P

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    1. Hahaha! Naba! Been remiss, hvnt I? :) Caught up in other things - soon :)

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  6. lovely!!! this particular line made me grin ear to ear :)
    ***I was probably born with a placard hanging around my neck saying,"Praise Me". Unfortunately, it was probably written in some language that no-one could read.****
    You are right, guess we all have it hanging around our necks :)

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    1. Hahaha - we do, and every single placard seems to be written in Heiroglyphics :)

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  7. Loved this post for various reasons, chief among them being the fact that your self deprecatory humor has such deep insights. Although we all laugh at your posts, you ensure that we all laugh at our own follies at the same time, given that your posts seem to reflect all our personalities so clearly.

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  8. Yes, give and get but let's not overdo it :)!

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    1. I'd rather peopel overdid it with me than under-doing it :)

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  9. I am sure such a desire for praise is very positive as it shows the confidence in oneself! Rather, the feeling that they deserve praise! Good one Suresh

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    1. A desire for praise may be a sign of self-confidecne Sibi BUT a dependence on praise is not. I hope I have avoided the latter.:) Thanks

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  10. Well, in my opinion- praise is kind of relative too. If you go about praising everyone, people will stop valuing your praise. Otherwise the ones who go around saying "nice one" on all blog posts indiscriminately would be the most popular ones in the world. After all, when you known before hand you are only going to praise the blog post, why expend energy reading it?

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    1. PRAISE is not and never will be relative TF - for Praise only means saying something good that is deserved by the recipient and meant by the giver. The problem IS in the fact that we use the word praise when we mean flattery. And I MOST CERTAINLY was not talking of flattery here.

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  11. So much truth here, as always, Suresh. I wonder why we're so hesitant to praise and compliment another. Having said that, I see too much of flattery rather than genuine praise around these days! Have you noticed too that 'someone' labels a person popular or unpopular and everyone rushes to affirm that pronouncement. I guess, I'm getting cynical in my old age! :P

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    1. Yes Corinne - and I am as cynical as you are too :) And I only meant PRAISE as in when you know there is something good to say and NOT flattery where you decide you need to compliment the other in order to get what you want regardless of the honesty of the compliment.

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  12. You really can't complain any more, can you Suresh, after reading all these comments? I think you have a great sense of humour -- what greater praise can there be? Humour is the only thing that distinguishes us as human beings :-)

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    1. Thanks Mimmy - Yippeee, fishing for compliments worked for once :)

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  13. If s/he praises you, s/he's sweet. If she doesn't, man. what an ego she has!

    I believe, social media has made it worse.

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    1. Much worse Purba. If you do not "Like" a post, you dislike the one who posted :)

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  14. Your incisive post made me sad Suresh. Frankly, this whole Praise business has reduced blogging to a joke.
    If every blogpost by every blogger out there is 'awesome', we have a bigger problem than just bad writing!

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    1. Rickie - First - whatever made you think I was even talking of blogging at all? I meant this for people around you - in the physical world - primarily and people whom you care for.

      Secondly - why is it people confuse praise and flattery? Praise, as I understand it, is only that which is given when the giver thinks that the recipient deserves it. All the rest is mere flattery and NOT praise. And, when I talk of praise here, I do NOT confuse between the two. I mean ONLY praise and not flattery.

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    2. Yeah, I realize you were making general commentary, but I could so quickly relate this to Blogging.
      I think the difference between Flattery and Praise is only semantics. Unless the receiver is able to tell the difference, how does it matter what one calls it.

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    3. The message - if there is one :) - was addressed to the giver :) He should know and, for him, it is not mere semantics. He will know when he wants to compliment genuinely (and does not :) ) and when he intends only to flatter :)

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  15. There is no effect more disproportionate to its cause than the happiness bestowed by a small word of praise!!

    having said that...."praise be to thee, oh thou revered master of sarcasm, wit and humour!! May thy tribe increase...and may thine light shine upon us too..."

    *bows thrice with arms stretched out*

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    1. Hahaha! Now THERE you being witty (sarcastic?) in your turn :)

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  16. Great is the power of appreciation.It enhances the esteem of the recipient and encourages people to accomplish much more than what they would have normally done. Nice post

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    1. Thanks Rajeev - and yet that happiness is given out in a niggardly fashion normally :)

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  17. Sincerest compliments for this true post! Even I wonder, why are people so guarded while serving compliments! Like Mark Twain, "I can live for two months on a good compliment." :)
    Fishing for compliments should help!
    More compliments can make the world a happier place! :)

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    1. It can, of course! And I never lost the hope that fishing for compliments would be a help :)

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  18. Do I not praise you for all your posts here, Suresh? How wrong you have been all over this post! I even read news that they praise you in all those blogger meets.

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    1. They do? And there is news to read about it? Where? Where? *looks around hungriiy* :)

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  19. I find a similar placard hanging around my neck all the time, more so nowadays when am being a homemaker. Back in Bangalore, while I was working, I didn't find it much hard to get noticed for my genuine efforts. Suddenly, it makes me realize how important genuine appreciation is, I wish I had appreciated my parents' efforts more during my growing up years. :)

    You are truly remarkable! :)

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    1. Thanks Pooja! Yes - it is true - the efforts that go the least unappreciated are the ones at home

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  20. You are more than a normal human being.
    Each one of us is hunting for compliments,which includesme.,,,Difference is that some one like you desrves breater than some others.
    Keep fishing..Keep trying

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  21. In my opinion, praise is an inspiration. We all love when we are praised no C S? And I have to say you are a wonderful human being and a fantastic blogger :)

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    1. Of course we do :) Of course I do when I hear things like this :)

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  22. I am one of those who are stingy with praise somewhat,because i think too much praise will turn the other person's head;but i do try to give it where it is deserved---just learning.Because i know that praise is such a potent motivator.In my line of work it IS needed.
    But i have given you ladles full of this stuff Suresh.Once more-you are awesome!

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    1. You have Indu! Problem is I have a HUGE appetite :)

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  23. I love the way you give a profound message in such a witty, humorous manner!
    Whether or not we admit it, we all want to be praised. And, as you rightly said, we "do not hand out praise even to the people whom we purportedly want to make happy."

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    1. Thanks Pro! And I hope we start dishing it out :)

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  24. True Suresh ! The 'placard' for praise is definitely what most people hold up and when it doesn't come, one just pacifies oneself with the thought that world just doesn't understand the depth and intelligence of that person :)
    You sure can weave humor into any situation !!

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    1. Ha Ash! I hv lost a bit of that self-belief after I read your latest post :)

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  25. I have been lucky in getting both the positive and negative praise throughout my life LOL. In return I have been generous in giving it too.. Don't tell me I haven't praised you Suresh ;)

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  26. Unless we are enlightened souls every act of ours would be embedded in an expectation for recognition. But yes we seldom remember that we have the duty of distributing some as well. Well on that note ur posts are simply superb and I really really mean it :)

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  27. An enlightening post on praise. Guess they are primordial instincts, craving for praise and and holding it back.

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    1. Craving for praise is a primordial instinct :) Withholding it is too? :)

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  28. Praising someone is an rare art. Maybe that is why you haven't come across too many people practising it. :)

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    1. Ah! Well! I am not TOO nitpicking about how I am praised :)

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  29. Persnickety. Now that's a good word. Don't mind me, Suresh, I am on a word hunt and I'm gettin' persnickety about it. :D

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    1. Looks like I help in at least this one thing. Someone went gaga over 'scupper' a few days back and now you :)

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  30. so true about 'giving a praise and spoiling the child' syndrome. Every other child in the block was praised but the ones lurking around the house :) So I guess we grew up as a hungry generation! Look around us now. Every tiny detail of the child is on fb for all to 'like'. Wonder which is better!
    Praise be you Suresh for bringing out our secret desire!

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    1. I thought I was the only one with the neon-lit sign :)

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