Boo to recession

Jubialiation in R-time Generosity brings about dollops of security for the fortunate few

Jubialiation in R-time Generosity brings about dollops of security for the fortunate few   | Photo Credit: Photo: Shaju John

Recession is just a bogey for a fortunate few and generosity of spirit is the prevailing sentiment for them, writes KOMAL VIJAY SINGH

It’s a recession when your neighbour loses his job; it’s a depression when you lose yours. Thus spake US President Harry S. Truman half a century back.

The all-enveloping R-word is a part of discussions between colleagues at the workplace as also between spouses at home. In the midst of the panic and depression, there are a few bravehearts merrily cocking a snook at recession by benevolently indulging in small and sweet gestures.

A different bash

When marketing head honcho Ajay Singh had to celebrate his daughter’s birthday, there was no gathering of children for a bash. He quietly splurged on a 32” LCD TV to replace the one in his daughter’s bedroom and bought another one for a children’s orphanage. On his daughter’s big day, the family trooped into the orphanage with balloons, goodies and the TV.

“I feel fortunate when I get calls from former colleagues asking for a job opening. With no clouds of uncertainty on my horizon, I feel I can afford to be a little open-handed. It gives me a high and it’s my way of thanking God for what I have,” he reveals candidly.

Hearing horror stories, housewife Vandana Chopra has taken to putting aside money every month in a recession fund even as she has given a raise to her live-in maid and exhorted her to follow suit in setting up a savings fund.

“I have really started seeing those less fortunate than me out on the streets and at traffic intersections, the parking guys and the shop hands,” says K. Eeshwar. He unfailingly tips the valet parking staff and waiters at restaurants, at times doubling the tip amount, just because he feels fortunate.

This new-found altruism for many is certainly a byproduct of the horror stories spawned by recession. So, we can thank recession for increased compassion. Jai Ho!

In good cheer

When swapping stories about which employer has done away with stationery and even toilet paper in the bathrooms for their employees as cost-cutting measures is de riguer, hearing about generous gestures from employers brings a lot of good cheer. *A South Korean electronics company announced its annual bonus for employees in January, more than the overall percentage last year.

*A Japanese electronics giant lowered the target achievement bar to 80 per cent to take in more employees in the incentive ambit for disbursing a hefty amount.

*A leading IT services co., known for engaging in philanthropic activities, is allowing employees to go on a one-year sabbatical with 50 per cent pay and work for an NGO on a salary while their job is waiting for them.

Psychiatrists’ take

Giving a psychiatric spiel, Dr. Ashok Alimchandani of Apollo Hospitals says human moods are cyclical, as well as responsive to events. The more fortunate ones may start exhibiting compassionate behaviour. Crisis does bring out altruistic feelings in some humans. Thanksgiving can expiate guilt and depression.

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