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As kids, we have all heard the story of the Monkey and the Crocodile from the Panchatantra. A monkey lives on a rose-apple tree on the banks of a river. He befriends a crocodile, with whom he shares rose-apples from his tree, every day. One day, the crocodile carries some rose-apples back for his wife. The wife eats the rose-apples and thinks to herself that if the monkey lived on a diet of these rose-apples, his flesh must be very sweet. So she pretends to be ill, and tells her husband that she can get better only by eating a monkey’s heart.
The crocodile is aghast, but decides to bring the monkey to his wife. The monkey rides on the crocodile’s back. As they reach the middle of the river, the crocodile tells the monkey the truth. When he hears this, the clever monkey tells the crocodile that he would gladly give up his heart, but has left it behind on the tree. The silly crocodile takes the monkey back to the tree, and the monkey climbs up the tree to safety.
The Panchatantra were meant to teach valuable life lessons to children through stories and verses. Although this story is meant for kids, it provides some valuable lessons that can be applied to the workplace as well. Listing some of these:
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Choose your friends wisely – This applies to personal as well as professional life. People who are loyal to themselves, who are not influenced by other people’s thoughts, make for honest friends. Being surrounded by such people will be good for you both inside and outside of the work-place.
Keep your wits about you – Tricky presentations, tough meetings, difficult interviews – keeping your wits about you at all times will help think clearly, and sail through all these. For an organization, there is no person more valuable than one who can react promptly and accurately at the trickiest of times.
Know your rose-apple tree – The rose-apple tree signifies your strength. Knowing your strengths, both personal and professional, will help you contribute constructively, making you sought after and earning you respect. Spend some time introspecting and find out what are your key skills. They will be your refuge at all times.
Be careful while sharing information – There is a thin line of difference between knowledge and information. While sharing knowledge is good, you have to be very careful about what information you share. The information may be used against you, or against someone else (which is actually worse!)
There are bigger fools than you in this world – Do not be hesitant in speaking up, or presenting your thoughts to others. A lot of people, women especially, are afraid to speak up in front of others, even when they have something valid to say, just because they are afraid they may make a fool of themselves. Question things you don’t agree to and express your views without apprehension.
This is a personal interpretation of the story. Your thoughts on the same are welcome.
Founder @Tell-A-Tale - I gobble stories and spit out new ones everyday; travel addict,
Loved the way you presented these common workplace best practices woven into the age old Panchtantra story.
Nice analogy…truly the panchtantra stories can be applied in situations we face in life.
This is one of the examples..looking forward to more
Thanks Shonali. Will be coming up with more soon.
Nice interpretation if the story. Love to see some more such posts from you.
*of the story
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