Posted in Life

Women and Ethics

Women are usually not considered for bribe.’ During an informal Friday evening dinner, I was introduced to the concept of corporate bribery by a friend who has a wide range of work experience across various fields and industries.

It’s an intriguing subject and one I have never contemplated before. Not just because I was oblivious to the unethical practices in the business world but also because I had never before heard this spin to the story. How or why would gender influence the ethical practices of trade? Well if everything else at workplace is ‘different’ for men and women, then why should this be a surprise?

Curious, I further questioned why. Are women perceived to be more ethical? Or are women perceived difficult to approach for unethical favours?

Are women more ethical?

Ethics and morals are fuzzy subjects. There are some clear definitions of right and wrong; but most others are up for debate. Right and wrong sometimes change as per the context. To add influence of gender complicates the discussion further.

In a business environment, it’s not just about giving and accepting bribes to win new business. The ethical questions emerge at many subtle levels – favouring a specific business partner; sharing of confidential business information; making unacceptable sexual advances; keeping consumer interest as priority etc.

Does the ethical code of conduct change for men and women at every level? Is it an inherent moral compass because of the fundamental gender differences or is it a forced moral responsibility for one gender?

Searching for answers, I found a few articles online on the studies done in the past about ethics and gender.

They might not have concluded with complete certainty but studies have indicated the following behavior patterns.

  • Women are more ethical than men. One article explained the biological differences to clarify this behavior pattern, which I am not quite sure I comprehend completely but it was convincing.
  • Women are subjected to higher ethical standards. Women are expected to do the right thing.
  • Women who violate ethical code are given harsher and more severe punishment.

The perception of women being more ethical is also a form of gender bias. Though it sounds like a positive bias. But it’s important to acknowledge that any form of bias and stereotyping can have far reaching implications.

Let’s spend a moment in spelling out this convoluted reality.

Women are considered less competent than men; paid lesser than men; and not considered for senior management positions. While we deny them their rights, we expect them to do the right thing. We, of course, don’t acknowledge or reward the moral behavior. It’s the basic quality women ‘ought to’ bring with their existence.

This is not an entirely wrong expectation. Ethical code of conduct should be an expectation from every employee or member of the civilized society. But why is it a bigger sin for one gender? And why is it easy for us to forgive one gender?

Is it difficult to approach women for unethical favours?

While it’s been inferred that women are subjected to higher ethical standards, its not the only reason they are not offered bribes as often as men. Could it be just a matter of convenience?

This is where things start to get intriguing. Here’s the gist of an honest but slightly awkward conversation.

  • It’s complicated! When opposite genders are involved, things can assume multiple other connotations. So, men from the vendor companies wouldn’t generally approach women from the client business.
  • Most of these conversations are more effective when initiated over a smoke or a drink. Again, men find it relatively easier to invite other men in informal settings.
  • Girl gangs are not considered to have the same camaraderie as compared to boys and their buddies. Women are expected to not bond with each other. So women from vendor companies are not generally expected to approach women from client businesses. It’s assumed it just wouldn’t work out.
  • Vendors prefer to hire pretty women as account managers to manipulate clients into action. Mostly sexual favours are not expected and sexual advances are not made. But there is an expectation of underlying unsaid sexual tension that could help get more business.

I wonder if the reverse is true. Do vendors hire pretty boys to get more business from women clients? If the client has pretty women as managers, do vendors go out of their way to work with them and bend rules?

While the approach road to women clients seems awkward and complicated, there are few other important elements to be considered in the equation.

  • The gender ratio is still highly skewed in most organizations. Vendors can easily find enough men to influence potential business decisions. Why even bother to initiate a complicated arrangement?
  • The presence of women in higher management and decision-making roles is limited. An important part of the target audience to be manipulated by vendors is anyway men. Years of transactions have resulted in unsaid unwritten rules across industries on creating ethical compromising situations for men.

Given the expectations of higher ethical standards from women and the complicated awkward approach, women are simply kept out of the equation.

Is this a new challenge to balance gender ratio at workplaces?

This throws a new light to a larger debate on gender bias and skewed gender ratio at workplaces.

Hiring more women to balance gender ratio can have far reaching implications than the ones we have debated over the years. There is a wide ecosystem that could get disturbed by the new dynamics.

Based on the perception that women are more ethical, what if we were to infer that hiring more women might be a potential solution to creating more ethical workplaces?

But what if this leads to more dissonance? What if more women are hired and some corrupt vendors start hearing more NOs and start hurting women in other ways to again replace them with more men who would support their cause?

On a positive side, what if women are able to create higher ethical standards in a unit, company or industry, which might result in better products and customer care, which might further result in higher profitability and revenue for the company? Could that potentially change the moral fabric of the society as a whole?

Is the workplace gender ratio debate more complex than we perceived before? Could women be subjected to more mental, emotional or even physical abuse if more women at workplaces pose a threat to the existing comfortable ecosystems?

But what about success?

Given the complexity of the ethical debate and a wide spectrum of opinions, the above questions have no relevance when asked in isolation.

Do we even care about creating more ethical workplaces?

High value system is not associated with success. As a society, we applaud and worship success and specifically a set of commonly accepted parameters of success. Ethical codes of conduct are expected to be violated.

In a highly competitive world, many organizations or individuals might not be willing to place a code of ethics higher on priority versus success. They can coexist but are perceived to be mutually exclusive.

This possibility makes the entire discussion so far futile. And creates another uncomfortable inference. If you could only be seen on one side and that choice has already been made for you, then your fate is sealed.

We are probably setting up women for failure and limited professional growth by pegging them to high morals. Deep down, it’s expected that some corners be cut for success. And women are expected to exhibit high moral values.

I am not implying that women should lower their ethical standards. But we need to dissociate success with compromised ethics; and raise the standards for everyone.

If we peel one more layer of the issue, we might realize that in the larger scheme of things these questions don’t matter. It’s not so much about the ethics. Neither is it primarily about gender equality. It’s about status quo.

We like our comfort space. We don’t want to deal with change.

A concluding note

These are hypothetical questions for a world that might not exist. But these are essential to be contemplated and answered by individuals and groups who have the power to influence the dynamics. With more people entering the organized workforce, organizations cannot deny the responsibility they bear; they have the unique ability to design the shape and structure of a new society.

Our world is more connected and closer than ever before. Technology has already shifted our lives dramatically. Ethical debates now have a wider scope and are more relevant. In the new world order, with the advanced and easy communication, networking and information availability, we have the ability to support each other or hurt each other more than ever before. This choice is to be made by individuals and society together. It’s an important choice to be made now.

 

Posted in Life, Mumbai

Trapped in City Noise

Honking cars. Drilling machines. Knocking of hammers. Train running on tracks. Flight taking off. People screaming. The sounds of a city. Noise. There is a constant screeching in the background. There are no pleasant sounds. There is no music. There is an incessant never-ending assault of loud unpleasant sound bytes. You can only choose to distract yourself with something pleasant. But the ears are forced to take the abuse. The noise never stops.

All Day and all night. Every moment of my city life. I hear noise and painful cries. While my ears are abused, my heart is panicked. I feel helpless and frustrated. A part of me cries continuously asking for a release and screaming for help. I wonder if the noise drowns out my prayers. I wait, search and pray for a moment of peace. At least one moment. I haven’t yet become comfortable with the noise. I have learnt to ignore it while I go about my daily life. The moment I take a break from work, the ever-present noise reveals itself. The noise has become so deeply embedded in the fabric of city that life cannot escape from it anymore.

Sometimes, in search of silence, I even avoid contact with other humans. I don’t even want to hear myself talk. I don’t want to hear pleasant music or a soothing prayer. I don’t want to hear a baby laugh or a bird sing. I crave for silence. I crave for peace. At least one moment. A moment when noise cease to exist. A moment when I can hear my breath and my heart’s beat.

 

Posted in Life

Human Society: Greater than the sum of parts

Society and relationships are important

Initiated in 1938, a Harvard study of Adult Development tracked the lives of 724 men for over 75 years. Robert Waldinger, the current director of the study, summarized the conclusions as follows:

“The clearest message that we get from this 75-year study is this: Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period.”

He explains three big lessons about relationships.

  1. Social connections are really good for us, and that loneliness kills.

  2. It’s not just the number of friends you have, and it’s not whether or not you’re in a committed relationship, but it’s the quality of your close relationships that matters. 

  3. Good relationships don’t just protect our bodies, they protect our brains.


This message has been reiterated enough by various stories and folk tales across media. And yet we continue to ignore it enough that we needed a 75-year long study to bring our attention back to the absolute importance of healthy relationships in our lives. Why do we ignore it? Or do we not believe in it?

One answer we get from Dr. Waldinger in his insightful talk on the study.

Relationships are hard work.”

Perhaps we are not able to make that effort because we don’t see an immediate gratification. Our sense of time and life can be one-dimensional and myopic. There is always something else more important. The struggle to fulfill the basic needs for survival takes up most of our mindspace. We usually don’t realize when those needs turn into greed. There is always a desire for more. We manage to use this justification to step back from hard work required for close relationships.

However, research in the field of neuroscience and social behavior prove otherwise. Social needs are perhaps more important than physical needs unlike what most of us believe.

Latest research in neuroscience throws light on the social part of the human brain. In this talk on the subject, Matthew Lieberman, suggests that the biggest weakness of humans is to ignore the importance of being social.

“Getting social is the secret to making us smarter, happier and more productive.”

He makes some very interesting observations on social part of the brain. Social pain is more than just a metaphor.

The same brain regions that register the distress of physical pain are also more active when they experience social pain like rejection.

The possible evolutionary reason for social pain is to forge a strong connection between infant and caregiver since we are born incapable of taking care of ourselves. We feel real pain when separated. Our ability to think socially allows us to connect with other humans, read their minds and is responsible for large-scale collaboration.

Scientists and scholars have pointed out that large-scale collaboration is the key to our survival. Historian Yuval Noah Harari elaborates on large-scale collaboration in his talk.

The real difference between humans and all other animals is not on the individual level; it’s on the collective level. Humans control the planet because they are the only animals that can cooperate both flexibly and in very large numbers.

And we are able to do so because we have imagination. We can create and believe fictions.

As long as everybody believes in the same fiction, everybody obeys and follows the same rules, the same norms, the same values.

Research points us towards the existence of mirror neurons, which are responsible for the growth of our civilization. It is suggested that mirror neurons are involved in things like imitation and emulation. We are able to imitate complex actions and able to transfer knowledge across community and generations. We learn, share and collaborate. Mirror neurons even enable us to feel the other’s pain.

We are an empathetic civilization.”

Studies across fields interested in investigating human behaviour like psychology, neurology and social science have all pointed out the importance of community and relationships in our lives. The social skills are inherent to our cultural evolution and growth of civilization. Relationships have been proved crucial to our wellbeing and happiness.

But are we living this reality today?

Why is it even a matter of debate today? While we have managed to accept the importance of relationships, do we believe it? Does it reflect in our behavior? At some point, we started giving more importance to self and personal achievement. How and where did we part ways from this reality? What did modern world do to us?

Before we investigate the trend, it’s important to take a step back and enquire how our society or various communities were formed and how they transformed over the years.

In ancient civilization, the hunting and gathering groups formed community based on geographical proximity. Over the years, religion came into existence. People following the same religious beliefs felt belonged to each other. As the civilizations progressed, we created nations. A new form of community was born with the concept of country. The industrial revolution brought in the community based on economic wellbeing and wealth. Now the world is much more connected than ever with faster communication and transportation. The new communities can be based on ideologies or interest; or any common fiction created and believed by a set of people.

But in modern society, are we as strongly connected as earlier?

Sebastian Junger reported from the war zone for many years. In his heart-warming talk, he suggests that our lonely society makes it harder for soldiers to fit back in.

Maybe they had an experience of sort of tribal closeness in their unit when they were overseas. They were eating together, sleeping together, doing tasks and missions together. They were trusting each other with their lives. And then they come home and they have to give all that up and they’re coming back to a society, a modern society, which is hard on people who weren’t even in the military. It’s just hard on everybody.

But our default mode of functioning is still cooperation. In crisis, we always come together.

If you traumatize an entire society, we don’t fall apart and turn on one another. We come together. We unify.”

So are we now a lonely society? 

It’s an extremely difficult question to answer, to research or even to ponder upon. While we believe in a common story of mankind, we layer it with our own personal stories. Our reality is defined by what we see and experience in our immediate environment. Our experience is further colored by our own personality traits. Therefore, we all have different views of our society as a whole.

Keeping aside personal stories for a moment, there are two evident observations reflecting on the macro social trends of the current world.

Personal ambition and sense of achievement: We are now more driven by the new rules of the capitalist economy and individualistic society. There is an increasing need amongst increasing number of people to give importance to self and personal needs. It might have come from growing population rates and skewed population density in some geographical pockets resulting in more fight for limited resources. Could it be possible that personal ambitions have taken us away from community and amplified certain emotional responses like ego, pride, arrogance etc? The irony is that most of us don’t realize or accept that the single most important thing we can do for our wellbeing is to build and maintain healthy relationships.

Rise of digital and social media: The digital age allows us to escape in the virtual world and reduce quality physical time spent with family. Technology, along with its many gifts, makes it easier for us to physically disconnect with family and friends. Digital promotes instant gratification, faster feedback without the benefit of non-verbal cues and overall promotion of a fake social identity that is perennially under scrutiny and subject to negative pressures. Aren’t we more distant in a digital world with access to more information, faster communication and more opportunities to build communities but limited physical connection?

Human species survived because of large-scale social collaboration. We look out for each other. We are designed to feel each other’s pain and love each other. How did we manage to reach here?

Where and why the gap in our reality and behavior?

On an intellectual level, it’s easy to appreciate the trends and the science; it’s much more difficult to live it and step beyond the emotional blocks. Given that we are designed to be social, why should it be a struggle for us at all? In a strange twist of life, what if it’s the society and social norms that somehow keeps us from being social? On a personal emotional level, why are some people more or less social than many others?

I don’t have scientific answers to the questions, but I have a hypothesis based on general observation of the social environment.

What if we learnt social fears while growing up along with all other things needed for survival in today’s society? And what if they inhibit our social expression and ability to connect, belong and stay in a community?

Need for approval or fear of rejection: Could it be a need for constant approval from parents, family, friends, colleagues and peers that makes one self-conscious of one’s behaviour in society?

Fear of being vulnerable: Could it be possible that the fear of being ridiculed or appear weak keeps one away from an attempt to participate in society or a community? Do we want to appear as someone who is considered ‘worthy’ of respect by the community and live with an assumed personality that makes it harder to connect with others?

Social awkwardness: Cultures worldwide and sometimes within the same geographical regions are different and can make one conscious of one’s behavior or opening up to strangers.

Along with society and community, came the social anxiety and the emotional pains. Over the years, human had to learn to deal with love, attachment, heartache and other emotions. As societies evolved, we learnt the concepts of greed, ambition, aspiration, envy, arrogance, pride and ego. We invented the concept of money and currency exchange. We started to accumulate wealth. We started struggling and fighting for limited resources.

We also learnt the way to deal with it. We started searching for happiness. There are various thought streams for the right path. Some roads lead to wealth accumulation, some to social service, some in practice of art, some in religion and some in philosophy. In the modern world, we saw rise of organized religion; various schools of philosophy; and scientific investigation in the attempt to understand happiness.

What if this new organized thought process and investigation is a potential reason resulting in a lonely society?

There is a vast spectrum of teachings spread by thought leaders across the civilized world leaving behind a range of confusing emotions and morals for modern human to make sense of.

Where do we go now? Can we build communities again?

Relationships are important for our wellbeing and our happiness. Social thinking is wired with the key functioning of our brains. However, we are now probably a lonelier society. Uncannily, social anxiety might have been the reason and result of our somewhat fragmented new society.

The real question for us now is how to regain the lost connection. This is a personal enquiry. This needs to be pondered upon by each of us individually. There are two critical aspects to explore here. First, on an individual level, are we ready to accept with absolute certainty that relationships are important for us? And are we ready to do the hard work to get over personal inhibitions or challenges and maintain relationships? Secondly, do we have the willingness and desire to build close-knit communities?

I hope that the answers are yes to the above questions for everyone. If each of us works on building positive and healthy relationships, the world will be more connected and happier.

Posted in Life

How to make the most of your time?

 

After a conversation with a friend about her time management concerns, I felt inspired to think about my time. She has a ton of responsibilities leading to a regular state of unrest and distress. I have a much more relaxed life. But I wonder if I make the most of my time.

I am not sure if I have a good hold of my time; but I am trying to learn. After talking to a few people, I realized that a lot of them have spent time figuring out their time. So I decided to collect a few thoughts from a small group of people I know. Someone work as a freelancer, another one has a 9-5 job; one of them juggles multiple hats, another one relatively free of responsibilities. Some of these tips are simple enough to execute; some sound like a lot of work. Some are specific to a job type; some are generic. Some of them are often talked about and recommended; a few were novel ideas to me.

I hope to pick and choose to make a personal toolkit from the list.

After reading through the list of tips, I realized that all of them are essentially trying to solve a fixed set of problems. So maybe, that’s the essence of time management. Figure out answers to these questions and you have a much better control of your time. The answers could be borrowed or your own unique solutions.


  • “How can I do my work faster?”
    • This is simply about productivity and efficiency; and most talked about
  • “How can I eliminate or reduce time guzzlers?”
    • The perennial question ‘So what do I do now?’
      • If you observe carefully, thinking ‘what to do’ takes up more time than ‘doing’
    • Wasteful activities
      • Those extra minutes spent looking for a charger or papers or that document in the computer or that extra half an hour spent on figuring out what to wear
    • Repetitive unavoidable tasks
      • Buying grocery, paying bills etc
  • “Can I ‘make’ more time for myself?”
    • Time may seem objective; but the experience of time and feelings are subjective

I asked people to share tips and tricks, small or big that worked for them and why it worked for them? Here’s a list of curated replies clubbed in the 5 categories identified above. Some of them solve more than one problem.

time management.png 

Faster Work / Productivity 

  • Productivity tools:
    • Why it works for me? Every now and then I keep changing the tool but I have always had a tool to manage my tasks. I don’t want to waste brainpower in remembering things. I do not do things that are not on my calendar, asana (productivity app) or notepad.
    • This reply to my time management query is further elaborated in this very useful link on productivity. Read this.
  • Efficiency vs multi-tasking: I don’t do two things at the same time.
    • Why it works for me? This simple rule keeps me focused and efficient. I manage to do more and better quality work in less time. I manage multiple things during the same time duration but I don’t do multiple things at the same time. What this means is that I might take up more than one project for this week. But when I sit down to write for one, I don’t spend energy thinking about another one. If while working on A, I get an idea applicable for B, I make a note and visit it afterwards.
  • Avoid unnecessary distractions: Switch off digital and focus.
    • Why it works for me? I check my emails during a specified period of the day. I have turned off mail notifications on phone. Some things are important and urgent. But most things can wait for tomorrow. So whatever personal things I have to do in the night, I am able to finish and my peaceful mornings remain undisturbed. When I do work that needs focus like research on a new topic, reading, writing, I switch off everything else including email. I am not active on Facebook or Twitter during the workday. I open other windows only after I finish a task.

What to do now?

  • Lists: To-do list with priority and deadlines (daily and weekly).
    • Why it works for me? I make this first thing in the morning or right after I reach office. I don’t forget tasks. It helps me plan my day. I manage to get time for what is important because it’s there in the checklist. Over a period of time, I also got a good sense of my productivity and efficiency. Crossed items feel good and allow me to take little do-nothing breaks as gratification. I feel I have more time.
  • Goal setting:
    • Why it works for me? I have a long-term goal list. I revisit this once a month. This helps me plan my work better and prioritize my time.
  • Daily Plan-of-action:
    • Why it works for me? This is a version of lists but it has a different intent. Before I sleep in the night or first thing in the morning, I take a quick stock of things I need to do and how I will start my day. This gives a fresh, committed and motivated start to my day. I don’t feel lost or overwhelmed with work.
  • Time of the day: Dedicate time slots of the day for specific tasks.
    • Why it works for me? Depending on my energy level through the day, I figured out some time slots are more productive for me; some time slots allow me to ideate better; and some allow me to execute mind-numbing but important tasks. I do most of my thinking and writing work early morning. I use late evenings for organizing things and other physical non-digital activities to give rest to my eyes a little before its sleep time. It saves me time on decision-making. It also keeps my efficiency higher which means more work done in less time. If we go by the cycle of nature, morning time is considered most productive. However, in the modern and digital world, we are not aligned to nature anymore. So figure out your own productive time slots.

Wasteful activities

  • Organisation: Own less (remove junk); organize; improve accessibility.
    • I don’t buy a lot of things
      • Why it works for me? It saves wasted time to manage, maintain, search, decide and use. Most things we own are avoidable or redundant. Quality of lifestyle doesn’t go down by owning less if you own only useful things.
    • Organize ‘things’:
      • Why it works for me? I don’t have to spend time searching for anything in my house because most things are organized in a specific place that is spatially visible and accessible to me. I ensure they are returned in the same place end of the day including pens, keys, jewellery. I have a small magnet for safety pins and a separate box for hair accessories.
    • Keep relevant things easily accessible.
      • Why it works for me? I don’t have to spend time searching or moving around unnecessarily if important, urgent things are accessible. Eg, in my room, these things are within a reach of one-arm distance – pen, paper, memo pad, water or relevant wires. Same principle applies to work folders in my computer. I organize and label files for faster accessibility.
  • Leave for office early:
    • Why it works for me? I am able to beat traffic and save my travel time substantially.

Repetitive unavoidable tasks

  • Automate bill payments:
    • Why it works for me? All my bills are on autopay except credit card that I want to check before paying. This saves me a lot of time every month otherwise spent scratching my head over bills. I don’t have to remember bills and I don’t have delayed payment.
  • Shop for Grocery on weekdays
    • Why it works for me? My weekends are free from chores and I can do more things I love. Boring household chores on weekdays seem more bearable and don’t feel like work. On a weekend, it feels like wasted time.
  • Cook and maid:
    • Why it works for me? Hiring a maid and cook gives me a lot more free time, especially the morning 3 hours that I can now spend with myself (even if I am doing nothing). I feel I have time.

Making time for self

  • Breaks: Committed do-nothing mental breaks through the day.
    • Why it works for me? When I spend sometime every day for myself to do things that relaxes me (even if for 15min), I don’t feel overwhelmed with work and I feel like I have time. Sometimes I take this break for lunch or tea and sometimes other personal things (like light reading, walk etc).
  • Respect my time:
    • Why it works for me? This is the most important lesson I have learnt. I have learnt to say no to events and people that have no value add to my life, intellectually or emotionally. I give importance to my time. I make a conscious decision now for every block of my time someone demands for anything, even a movie or dinner.
  • Commit time to what I want:
    • Why it works for me? I saved (or utilized) maximum time by joining music class and yoga class. I was most productive then. Left to myself, I waste time. I somehow managed to wrap up my office at a particular time everyday. Nothing in my life stopped after I joined these classes. I didn’t know I had 2 hours every day of the week to be dedicated to something I love.
  • Prioritization in favour of useful activities:
    • Why it works for me? I stopped my TV connection. I try to read every day instead of watching TV even if it’s for half an hour. Not many things on TV are interesting to me. And I waste time switching channels or watching something with limited interest.

 

Hope you might also find some of these useful.

 

Posted in Life

Sometimes you just need to believe

Last year when I was struggling with my career decision, I ignored advice from a friend who had a similar experience. I told her that she would not be able to understand my situation because I don’t have a support system in place like her. One of the factors is the security one might feel if a  spouse is there to help with financial needs and give moral support. Before making that statement, I did not realise her concerns like the loss of financial independence, struggle to get established in a new field, fear of the unfamiliar, fear of the failure and consistent nagging from family on life choices. I assumed it’s easier for her because her mother and husband stand by her side. I thought sometimes support of the loved ones is enough.

I mentioned something similar to an acquaintance last month who had recently quit her job to become a writer. Her reaction told me I was wrong. She calmly responded, ‘the support is there today, but you don’t know about tomorrow.’ Last week I saw a glimpse of this ‘tomorrow’. After five years of dedicated work in the field of her choice, my friend felt family pressure to reconsider her professional priorities in favour of higher financial rewards. That put a lot of things in perspective for me.

To begin with, no one making a ‘risky’ career choice is immune to challenges and self-doubts. Just like I assumed she will not be able to understand my challenges as a single woman living alone, I was not able to understand her challenges as a married woman with a child. Mind would continue to create an emotional chaos; and everyone would need to make a personal choice – fear or hope. Everyone goes through this phase. And by dismissing their challenges, we are just undermining their achievements.

Secondly, moral and financial support from family is never a guarantee. Just like career decision seems uncertain because we don’t know future rewards, the personal support system is equally uncertain for the exact same reason – ‘one cannot predict future’.

The only thing one can have is belief and trust. It’s trust in one’s relationship and love that allows one to rely on that support. Or it’s belief in one’s abilities that allows one to take a difficult career path.

Trying to predict future can be a waste of time. Sometimes, you just need to believe.