Why in India – Neighbours pride & Owners envy

Story Highlights

  • Pride has enormous power to greatly improve — or irrevocably harm. We all want to be happy and we all too often think that comes from getting things, not who we are and how we behave. That could be the reason – need becomes greed and we are constantly ending up with “give me more” and never satisfied or happy with what we have got/achieved.

By | Ramesh Ranjan | Editor & Founder,

Many years back, there used to be a Onida TV Advertisement which caught the imagination of all and became very popular –

“Neighbours envy, Owners Pride”.

Turn the clock back a couple of decades later and the tag line has changed to

“Neighbours pride & Owners envy”

Let’s start as a Country itself, most of the people that we talk to speak less about our Country and speak eloquently about other countries. They keep cribbing about bad infrastructure, politicians, taxes, safety, job opportunities, ethics in society, pollution and the list goes on. However when we talk to foreigners they do not see India in such a poor light. They value our rich legacy, our culture, our value system, diversity, peaceful co-existence despite large scale differences (on just about everything), our vibrant talent, job opportunities etc. More and more foreigners / expats are open to explore job opportunities in India.

I live in Bangalore. Most Bangalorian’s scoff at the city with its poor infrastructure, but talk to anyone outside of Bangalore and everyone wants to live & work in Bangalore.

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Our Prime Minister Narendra Modi is widely regarded as one of the most Popular Global Leaders and commands huge respect and attention in all countries that he has visited. He has changed the face of India, globally and we are no more looked down upon or bullied. He is a great orator, a leader who comes from a humble background, grown thru the ranks and remains undefeated in Elections for over 20 years now. However many Indians don’t pride in our Prime Minister. There are many who belittle his achievements and refuse to give him his due credit.

It’s the same story in the Corporate world. During my 3 decades of work experience in some of the best companies, employees are never satisfied with their employer & the organisation that they are working for. They speak ill of their company, their bosses and never pride in working for their organisations, while there are thousands of people outside the organisation wanting to join them. This is true even in globally reputed firms

At Colleges its even highlighted. I have been associated with atleast 4 leading Business Schools in Bangalore for over 4 years now. In all these campuses, most of the Students are unhappy with their Colleges. They never take pride of studying in them. They always compare other colleges/universities and complain about their own colleges. Believe me, I have had IIM students too cribbing about their Colleges.

The story extends to the society as well. I have seen that people living in high end society / community / flats – the residents keep cribbing about the facilities, the elected office bearers of the association, the builder, general upkeep and maintenance etc. where as every one of the visitor the community is in awe and dreams of owning a home in this place.

We all clamour for work-life balance. So, one would have hoped that the scene at home would be different. Sadly it’s the same at home too. The spouse is a highly successful professional / leader and held in high esteem in the society. They are the sought after Leaders by both aspiring professionals and other colleagues. They are the pride of their Organisation, their bosses, their colleagues and the professional world at large. Their advice is highly valued. But back at home, they are looked down upon, their advice is not heeded and they are not the heroes or the pride of the family.

Why is it so? Is it only a phenomena in India or is it a general phenomena worldwide. During my 30 years of Corporate experience and having been exposed to global corporations for over 20 years in other countries and even managed workforce from other countries, I tend to believe its more of a phenomenon in India than in other countries.

Image by nile from Pixabay

Is it a case of seeing half glass empty rather than half glass full. Is it because of our “scarcity mentality”, that we are never satisfied with what we have and always clamour for “give me more”. Or is it a case of our low self esteem.

Our Hindu philosophy talks about contentment but only remains in scriptures. For many of us aspirations turns into greed and that is where the discontentment starts. We are never happy with what we have but always want to compare with others and end up being discontented.

Pride is an universal ‘essential emotions.’

Without some amount of pride there’s a void in our lives. Pride can give you the motivation and grit to become the best version of yourself. It makes you kinder and more compassionate. People who possess this kind of pride are happy, healthy, popular, and prestigious. In the right doses and the right contexts, it has been proven to boost creativity, motivate altruism, and confer power and prestige on those who display it.

Pride has enormous power to greatly improve — or irrevocably harm. We all want to be happy and we all too often think that comes from getting things, not who we are and how we behave. That could be the reason – need becomes greed and we are constantly ending up with “give me more” and never satisfied or happy with what we have got/achieved.

 And not only does pride in yourself make you more successful — research also shows it makes you happier. This is perhaps one of the reasons that Indians are not generally happy. hNo wonder

India has been ranked 133rd in a global list of the happiest countries, according to a UN-based report.

Pride can trump pleasure as a motivating force, stating that many notable achievements and inventions throughout history can be traced back to it. It’s virtue to be nurtured.

Do we remain apologetic or remain a pessimist, only time will tell whether our future generations will Pride in themselves or not…..

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Ramesh Ranjan

A Business Consultant, Executive Coach, Visiting Professor, Content Manager & Editor. Ex IIM NASSCOM LRC, ex VP NHRD Bangalore Chapter, ex VP-HR@Schneider Electric, Head HR@ APC, Caltex,Co Systems, Natural Remedies.

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