Friday, June 3, 2005


I don't know how many of us have pondered over this 8-letter A-word. It is simply the manner in which we feel, think and act. It is the Hero or the Villain determining the state of our society.

Here in Bangalore, one instance I have mostly heard this word being used is among the young crowd: "O! that guy/girl has an attitude." It means nothing but that the person is prejudiced, proud, has an air around him/her and is difficult to deal with.

But we need to understand the A-word beyond that. If you look closely or listen closely, there are countless instances that make you think of Attitude; ours as well as of others.

The most recent occasion when I thought about It was when our city, Bangalore, came to a standstill when clouds opened up just for a few minutes recently. Whereever and whenever a few people got together, the discussion was: why the city (inspite of its worldwide acclaim) is what it is.

The blame was on everyone: from the chief minister to the mayor, the commissioner, the public works depatment, right down to 'we people'. But I thought it was Attitude, which was the villain.

It doesn't matter who we are: rich, middleclass, poor; vegetarian, non-vegetarian; north Indian, south Indian; man, woman, child, one travels in car, one who travels in Municipality bus; a railway ticket booking clerk, software developer, politician, teacher, labourer, fashion model...

Each of them can be good or bad; it's the attitude. In our analysis of situations we tend to use as a denominator things like caste, religion, profession, educational qualification, material possession, spiritual inclinations etc. But, actually those things really don't matter as much as Attitude.

Last month when I was travelling from Chennai to Bangalore by train, there was a ticket examiner. Every time he checked the ticket and returned it to the customer, he said, "Thank you, sir" or "Thank you, madam". He made me feel so good. I looked at his name plate: R. Raghu.
One day I saw on MG Road a guy, walking ahead of me, opening a paper wrapper. Out came a book. But what struck me was, he looked around for a waste paper bin, and on seeing none around, he so effortlessly and naturally put the crumbled wrapper into his pocket. I felt like catching up with him, tapping him gently on his back, and telling him, "Sir, I wish there were more people like you around."

But the fact is that there are indeed many anonymous people like this guy doing quietly the right thing. They straddle all realms of social strata, like I mentioned above. They have the right Attitude.

But they are not as much talked about or written about. Not because their Attitude is not invaluable, but because it is a sine qua non for a healthy society. What is right is no big deal, because that's the way it has to be.

If things aren't going well -- in our house, in our locality, in our city, in our state, in our country, or in this world -- it's because theren't enough people with the right Attitude. Once that is done, efficiency is achieved by way of synergy. Synergy is the simultaneous joint action of different things, which together have a greater effect, than the sum of the individual parts. It's like saying three and two make seven or nine.

We need to be bothered about getting the Right Attitude to various facets of life. Everything else will follow.


  1. You make a good point especially when it comes to ppl with the right attitude not being talked or
    written about. I think its the wrong things that we do which everyone likes talking about more than the right things.

  2. thank you sir, for doing the right thing and for having the moral courage to continue to do so. YOu are so right about the importance of Attitude. It is the one thing in this world which we can control, our attitude.

  3. Right said sir.
    "Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you, but as the attitude you bring to life".

    The other day when waiting for the bus by hosur road, I saw many cars run by with just a driver and the "important" person inside. why can't they share; instead of complaining about the traffic and increase in vehicles.

  4. Verywell said pradeepji,Being good is no big issue,because we ought to be that way.Its always easy to point out,crib and complain,but we tend to to forget our part of the responsibility.If only we all remember it and do our job guess this country sure has much brighterside to see and live in.
    5th June is EnvironmentDay,there was an article in a newspaper abt how we are cutting down the trees everywhere,wish there was a simle msg asking everyne to plant a tree,it would have really helped.Well,i sure planted a new sapling and i know many who did it

  5. You are so right. The word "attitude" has been hijacked to mean something negative, but the positive spirit always triumphs.

  6. know wht pradeep? i guess "attitude" is more abt being "wrong" than being "right". in fact 'right attitude' is an oxymoron.
    ask anyone to name ppl wid an attitude and they will name rockstars high on drugs, infidel filmstars and so on...
    attitude is abt sticking out.goodness is abt blending in.
    So anyone wid an 'attitude' is competin wid others to make his mark, and tht invariably leads to corruption.
    all attitude is bad.

  7. Thanks for the comments.

    What Sumandatta says is the common negative interpretation of the word attitude. But I think we need to understand that a little more.

    Well, as N8 commented, Attitude is something in our control. If each of us can get that right, then the rest is easy.

  8. The right attitude, a good attitude. Much better than simply having attitude. Excellent post Praddep!

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