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Friday, August 03, 2007

Does Sanjay Dutt deserve the punishment?

Sanjay Dutt's fans say that he does not deserve this punishment because he is a nice human being, that he helps poor, that he is son of a honest politician and so on. They claim that he does not deserve to be punished so harshly.

Sanjay Dutt's critics however argue that mistake must be punished and he infact has gotten away with far less punishment than he deserved. They also warn that one must not confuse between his public image ( engendered by his roles) and his real actions and behaviour.

What is the truth? For you and me, who are far away from the real terrain, we cannot even expect to understand the 'truth'.

We are all governed by 'perceptions'. Perception is a hot-pot of objective information , individual beliefs & biases and the image one carries in the public. Even though such public incidents bring the role of perceptions to the foreground, we are governed by perceptions far more strongly than we would like to believe.

Consider these examples. How do you evaluate your doctor ( or his/her actions) without knowing medicine? Or how do you evaluate your TV mechanic or car mechanic without knowing an iota of electronics or car mechanics? Or how do you evaluate, say a businessman, without understanding anything about business? Or even judging the teacher of your kid without knowing anything about education and its impact on child development? Or deciding which soap to buy without knowing which chemicals are harmful to you?

Perception drives our conclusions and actions far more than truth in real life. But somehow, we ignore this 'truth', hoping that we are the champions of objective truth. I have surprisingly found that perceptions govern even our career outcomes more than our real skills, but we chose to ignore it. During my research on career building, spanning over 10 years, i have met many individuals who have driven their career by 'perceptions' than by their skills. ( Please see my book "The five myths of career building", published by Macmillan)