Friday, February 28, 2014

Of Routine Matters and the Gift of Life

He was but an ordinary guy doing an ordinary job in an ordinary company. In the course of his job ‘Joe,’ let us call him that, had many requests and applications coming to him, and in some he had to weigh in with his views. All good. Many were about loans to be sanctioned and some were about making some exceptions. All very routine. He did what he could in his ordinary way to address each of these, on merit.

One day an ex-employee ‘Yo’ called him. Said it was the eighth birthday day of his daughter and asked him to be there for it was an important event. He found some excuse to extricate himself from such ordinary events. Yo was persistent, came home to meet him and told him a few things about his life over the past 4 years since he had left the city. He reminisced about many things including a loan. Said that he had applied for a medical loan for his daughter who was in critical condition at the hospital. And that the application had come up to Joe for approval. It was an amount that was twice the eligibility of Yo. Something that has never been approved of ever.

And yet, Joe had cleared it. With a small postscript ‘as a special case,’ just in case this came up for questioning by the auditors. He asked Joe if he remembered this case. Joe was quick to respond with a ‘no, don’t remember.’

Yo then told him that he owed his daughter’s life to Joe’s timely action. He was running from pillar to post and he had approached Joe with the request and was pleasantly surprised that the loan amount was approved. Joe mumbled something and the meeting was over. But not for Joe!

He sat back and thought about the number of cases he had handled in all his routineness. A small act of approval of a loan, with a small application of mind, had saved a life! It was not an ordinary job after all! An act of great kindness is one where the giver does not know it and the receiver does. If this is what a routine job could do, look what he could have done with application of mind, he thought.

Joe was lost in his world of ordinariness of what he should carry as a gift for the daughter, as she has already has had a gift of life.