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Rebel without a cause!

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

favor bank

I am reading 'Zahir' by Paulo Coelho whose 'alchemist' I really liked. Again this book is gripping from the first page itself. Coelho's prose has a smooth fluidic motion which I guess requires lot of effort to achieve. It seems to me from what I have read so far that it has lot of autobiographical element.

Coelho has a deep understanding and wisdom about life that I feel that he is one of those people who if they had been born a 1000 year ago would have become a prophet or a religious leader. I would put Mahatma Gandhi too under that category.

But what I want to write most about in this blog is about the concept of favor bank that coelho mentions. It is a term coined by American writer Tom Wolfe to describe the behaviour of people in real and profesional world who help out each other and maintain records of the favor given and recieved just like they are lending or recieving money. In the words of Coelho, it works like this. When you are young and struggling, some one helps you and gives you favor. It is like depositing favor in your account in the favor bank. When you succeed and you reach some position, he will ask for some favor. And it is time for him to withdraw from your account. You are free to refuse, but the refusal will affect you not only drying up any favor from that person. But the word spreads fast that you are not loyal and you will be refused favor by everyone and you will end up not so successful as you could be.

It is a concept which has made a deep impact on my mind. When I see around myself in everyday life, I guess that is what is going around me. People go about trading around in favor and for the first time, I dont think that it is a wrong thing.

I was always thinking that you should be independent and things like asking favor of somebody is an underhand thing. But I guess that is the way to get successful and that is also the way to behave so as to benefit maximum number of people.

You can not put yourself in ivory tower all the time. Man is a social animal and without the society he will perish.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Do you know how to become a member of a favor bank or to make someone who is asking a favor, understand that by giving him or her a favor he or she was now a member of the favor bank and could make deposit as many as he or she wants and withdraw when he or she wants, and also could refuse to give a favor back.