Why does “Bad” always win over the “Good”…?

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve:  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/04/the-good-bad-and-reverse-osmosis.html

“BAD” TENDS TO PREVAIL OVER THE “GOOD” 

There is a “Good” Boy – and – there is a “Bad” Boy.

The two boys become friends.

Which is more likely…?

Will the “Bad” Boy become a “Good” Boy…?

Or – will the “Good” Boy become a “Bad” Boy…?

If one goes by most cases one has observed – it is more likely that the “Good” Boy will become a “Bad” Boy – by picking up “bad habits” from the “Bad” Boy.

It is very unlikely that the “Bad” Boy will emulate the “Good” Boy and turn a new leaf.

This happens at the organizational level as well.

Around 20 years ago – “Private Banks” started proliferating in India – earlier there were mostly “Public Sector Banks”.

“Private Banks” introduced new standards of customer service which were impressive.

We thought that “Public Sector Banks” would emulate “Private Banks” and improve their standard of customer service.

But – exactly the opposite happened.

The customer service in “Private Banks” deteriorated to the level of “Public Sector Banks”.

Instead of “Public Sector Banks” emulating “Private Banks” – the opposite happened.

Well – it may not be fair to generalize – and – I have had excellent customer service with one “Public Sector Bank” – but that may be an exception.

However – the excellent customer service that one “Private Bank” provided earlier – has certainly deteriorated.

These thoughts remind me of an article I had written long ago on the concept of “REVERSE OSMOSIS” in Human and Organizational Behaviour – based on my own observations.

Dear Reader: Here is the article – abridged and updated – for you to read and think over…

REVERSE OSMOSIS IN HUMAN BEHAVIOUR

Musings of a Retired Veteran By Vikram Karve

REVERSE OSMOSIS in HUMAN BEHAVIOUR

“BAD” TENDS TO INFLUENCE THE “GOOD”

Each individual has some good points and some bad points.

Yes – every person has some positive attributes and some negative attributes.

When two individuals interact – and they become friends or colleagues – we expect that each one will imbibe the good aspects of the other one.

But on many occasions exactly the opposite happens  and each one picks up the bad habits of the other one.

In most cases – the “bad” tends to influence the “good”.

In fact – “bad” prevails over the “good”

It is very rare that the “good” wins over the “bad”.

This phenomenon of “reverse osmosis” is more predominant in youngsters who are of an impressionable age where peer pressure influences you and dominates your actions.

Let us take a scenario of youngsters who join the Defence Services – Army, Navy or Air Force.

Suppose a young man who is a non-drinker in civilian life joins the Navy.

He has shipmates, friends and course-mates who drink Alcohol.

Tell me – which is more likely:

  1. Will the shipmates who are drinkers pick up the positive virtue of temperance from the non-drinker –and – will they all quit drinking alcohol and become teetotallers…?

or

  1. Will the non-drinker “emulate” his friends and start drinking alcohol…? 

Experience shows that the second option is more likely.

Most of us picked up our smoking and drinking habits emulating our smoker and drinker friends – did we not…?
Yes – if you are a non-smoker – and – you have smoker friends – you are more likely to become a smoker.

It is unlikely that all your smoker friends will emulate you and become non-smokers – will they give up their smoking habit  and become a non-smoker like you.

It is the same with drinking and other addictions too.

Think of your school and college days – and – think about all the habits you picked up in your youth.

It may be due to peer pressure or other reasons – but – we tend to pick up bad habits more easily from those we interact with – instead of imbibing their good points.

It is the same with other bad habits like drinking, gambling and harmful addictions and undesirable activities.

It is more common to see good persons “falling” into bad company and ruining their lives.

On the contrary – it is quite rare to see a “bad” person being reformed by “good” company.

You must have seen many persons falling in bad company.

But have you seen any person rising in good company…?

It is easier to slide down the slippery slope of vices. 

It is difficult to climb up the steep gradient of virtue.

REVERSE OSMOSIS in and out of Uniform

CIVILIANS IN UNIFORM and SOLDIERS IN CIVILIAN DRESS

This phenomenon of “reverse osmosis” happens at the group level and organizational level too.

When two organizations interact we expect that each organization will imbibe the positive aspects of the other’s organizational culture.

However – sometimes exactly the opposite happens.

Let me give you an example from my own experience.

When I was in the Navy – I was once posted to an institution called IAT Pune.

IAT was an inter-service training and research organization.

There were officers of two different cadres posted in IAT:

  1. Uniformed Defence Officers of the Army Navy and Air Force

and

  1. Civilian Research Scientists

It was expected that when these two different types of cadres interacted with each other – each cadre would inculcate the positive aspects of the other.

I thought that the “laid back” scientists would imbibe the good habits of punctuality and discipline from the defence service officers.

I also expected that the “do-as-you-are-told” regimented “soldiers” would cultivate a right-brain “out of the box” thinking approach and imbibe a “scientific temper” from the scientists.

To my amusement – I observed exactly the opposite.

The “Soldiers” were quick to embrace the slack discipline and the laid-back “chalta hai” attitude of the Scientists.

In contrast  the Scientists were quick to adopt the rigid thinking and hierarchical rank-consciousness prevalent among uniformed Military Officers.

In fact – some scientists became so rank conscious and were so sensitive about their “status” – that they were obsessed with things like “inter-se seniority” and “rank equivalence”  of Scientists – especially vis-a-vis military officers and civilian bureaucrats – and – this rank consciousness often resulted in strained relations, ego clashes and turf wars between Uniformed Service Officers and Civilian Scientists.

Despite the fact that they called themselves “Scientists”  these Boffins were extremely hypersensitive about their place in the “pecking order”.

It was amusing to see these “boffins” wasting most of their energy in arguments debating on this contentious issue of “inter-se seniority” vis-a-vis military officers and getting agitated over disputes as to who was senior and who was junior – instead of getting on with their scientific research work.

Research Scientists had imbibed Military Hierarchy Concepts which are totally alien to a “scientific temper”.

Some civilians were afflicted by military “rankomania” to such an extent  that one “senior” scientist even demanded that he be saluted by uniformed troops.

The upshot of all this was that most “research scientists” became more interested in “administering” and “managing” instead of devoting themselves to conducting scientific research.

The end result of this soldier-civilian interaction was that you got exactly the opposite of what you had envisaged.

Thanks to “reverse osmosis” – the mutual interaction between servicemen and scientists ended up producing “civilians in uniform” and “soldiers in civil dress”.

I have seen this phenomenon of “reverse osmosis” happening in other “quasi-military” organisations like DGQA, DRDO, MES, NCC and in Delhi Centric Defence Headquarters and Offices as well – where there are a large number of civilians interacting with uniformed service officers and personnel.

Such are the ironies, paradoxes, incongruities and absurdities of life which you can observe all around you.

This phenomenon of “reverse osmosis” can be seen during “jointmanship” and in many tri-service units and inter-service institutions.

You bring together two different sets of individuals hoping that each will imbibe the good aspects of the other – but exactly the opposite happens.

You want “osmosis” – but – you end up getting “reverse osmosis”.

VIKRAM KARVE

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  1. This story is a fictional spoof, satire, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.
  2. All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve:  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/04/the-good-bad-and-reverse-osmosis.html

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

This Article was written by me Vikram Karve in June 2012 and earlier posted by me Vikram Karve on 15 September 20129/15/2012 12:57:00 PM in this blog at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2012/09/good-habits-and-bad-habits-reverse.html and url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/07/civilians-in-uniform-and-soldiers-in.html and url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/06/humor-in-uniform-civilians-in-uniform.html  and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/06/humor-in-uniform-reverse-osmosis.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/11/reverse-osmosis-in-human-behaviour-bad.html

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