Monday, September 09, 2013

Even one person matters: Ambassadorship

I have always maintained that even one person matters in the scheme of things. Every person who goes to another country - whether as a tourist for a few days, a businessman for a few weeks or a worker for a longer period, becomes an ambassador for his/her own country. Let me explain this. 

Imagine that you are in India, and happen to be an Indian citizen. One fine day, you meet a tourist from, say, Yugoslavia. You and he meet each other frequently, perhaps at work, or because he takes up a paying guest accommodation with you in your house. The way you behave with him, and the way he behaves with you not only make you (and him) assess you as an individual, but also, you represent your country and he, his. During the frequent interactions the two of you have with each other, you form a mental image of the country he comes from, and size up the people of his land, just as he makes a similar assessment of Indians, and of India.

Thus, when you are an expatriate, and you are working with people from various other nationalities, it behoves you to act and do things in a way that enhances your image in the eyes of all these other people. Indirectly, this is how they will see ALL the people from India, because you represent the other 1.2 billion people of your country in their eyes. If you are kind, soft-spoken, helpful, humble and generous, then the image they carry with you for a long, long time will be a good one for you as well as for the people of India. 

And this is where I come in. It is all very well to say that one must ALWAYS be kind, soft-spoken, humble and generous; the crux of the matter, though, is that what you do when you are among people of OTHER nationalities matters EVEN MORE. Even if you are prejudiced against the nation or nations they represent, you MUST  behave cordially, nay, more than just cordially - in fact, in the most friendly manner - with them so that they form a positive image about you. 

My interactions with all the people I am in touch with has been, even if it seems as though I am blowing my own trumpet, a matter of pride for me. I have bent over backwards to accommodate the requests of my co-workers, whether they are doctors, nurses, helpers, or peons, whether they are Egyptians, Filipinos, Indians, Pakistanis, Sri-Lankans, Saudis or Sudanis, whether they are young, or old, man or woman, easy-to-get-along with or not, and basically good or bad at the core. My friendly and helpful manner and attitude has found me friends in the most difficult situations. For this, I am grateful to Allah, as is natural. 

That's it for now. If you are reading this, and if you are an expatriate working in another country - other than your own, you will probably find this post interesting. If so, please do leave behind your comments. 


No comments: