It’s only a pimple . . !


AS a teenager, I quite often faced pimples, and sometimes a single pimple sprouting out of my face could wreck my confidence, my evening and even make me lose a date! I remember an ad that used to come out, “If pimples are your problem, use Clearasil!” Tons of the product must have been used by us in those days, and yet forests of pimples sprouted! Pimples were a problem and still are.

In my book Dare, under the chapter, ‘Dare to Move On’ I’ve mentioned how I’d sat on the board of a religious magazine. How one day, the board made up of supposedly spiritual leaders were angry with me: I’d asked for an emergency meeting since I’d discovered the treasurer, a priest was signing blank checks, which he left at the office for the staff to use at their discretion, and horror of horrors, the second signatory also had signed on many of the same blank cheques! As hon. secretary I realized I had to bring all these discrepancies to the notice of the board.

A chartered accountant who had no right to attend the meeting was called to attend the meeting at the invitation of the frightened chairman. “Bob!” said the bald, bearded CA with a crafty smile, “This problem is only a pimple!”

I heard later the magazine and trust were closed down under the chairmanship of the very man who had signed the blank cheques. I felt sad when I heard the news but realized how often we ignore pimples and face a forest fire later! So many pimples: Children who cheat at games, later swindle a bank and land in jail! Girls or boys who take no responsibility in their childhood homes later become irresponsible husbands, wives and parents!

Priests who fail to look after small parishes, become bishops and are found wanting! You cannot ignore the pimple. It shows bigger rot underneath. And I cringe as I hear the bald CA’s voice, one whose voice is heard at the Charity Commissioner’s office saying “It’s only a pimple!” “Sir, when we hide those pimples, sweep them under the carpet, camouflage them under heavy makeup and cover, they flourish and grow monstrous, ugly, loathsome and evil!”

If you are looking at what you think is a small pimple in your organization, trust, family or company, don’t ignore it. With water, soap and plenty of courage start cleaning and scrubbing, so same pimple won’t grow to a monstrous size it can’t be dealt with. That same priest who signed blank cheques now does the same thing as he sits in another city and dictates letters on the phone to staff in Mumbai who just type onto blank sheets!

Ooops – not so blank, it’s got his signature at the bottom, along with other blank sheets having the same. The pimple continues to manifest itself as a gigantic fraud waits to happen! If pimples are your problem, deal with them now..!


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