Beggar's Decision

By Dr. Sunil Ji Garg • November 30, 2014

The story simply begins like this. One day I and my uncle, who visited me from Mumbai,

were out on a morning walk. It was about 8.00 A.M. in the morning. Yes, from morning

walk's angle it was rather late. But it was the right time for beggars on the street to start

their day of struggle. So it was quite normal when a beggar come near us and asked for

some money. My uncle, who is a retired soft-hearted person, inserted his hand into the

pocket of his kurta and found a five rupee coin. He thought it should be enough for the

beggar to eat at least a samosa ('samosa', the famous Indian snack found in almost every

nook and corner of India. It has also earned the honour of being one of the top ten

popular dishes of the world.). So, coming to the point, my uncle very kindly handed this

coin to the beggar and asked him with little authority in his voice tone – "Go and enjoy a

samosa this morning". Then came the surprise for me. Instead of the beggar saying some

usual notes of thanks, he said "You may keep the coin with you, or I shall decide myself

what I should eat, or I should use this for eating or for something else". My uncle swiftly

said – "Ok! Do whatever you like".

This simple episode vibrated lots of chords in my mind. Look, even the beggar wants to

take his own decisions. He doesn't want to be guided by your decision. You may think

that you are providing funds to him, but sorry! You are just giving it to him because you

feel you have and he doesn't. Mere reason that you donated the money is not enough for

you to start guiding him on how he should use it. There is a famous saying in Hindi that

says "Neki kar, dariya me daal", which means forget your acts of benevolence, by

throwing them into the river.

Today the biggest challenge any leader faces is to allow his teammates to take decisions.

Allowing other people to take decisions is required in all walks of life. May be in a

family, in the corporate world, in the political sphere and everywhere. Leaders or persons

at the helm of affairs are required to provide a decision-taking-framework only. After that

the decisions should be taken by individuals only. An effective collective decision would

come out only when decision taking skills are inculcated in each member of any team.

Remember, a decision comes after problem analysis. Each individual will have his own

perception of the problem. Therefore, an individual's problem analysis pattern will

ultimately add to the quality of the decision taken. Not all decisions are required to be

consensus based, but the feeling that I have a power to decide in itself is a bigger power.

My vote was counted; this itself gives me sufficient satisfaction even if the final decision

was not as per my wish. The power of decision making itself, prompts me to acquire

more knowledge, because I care for my own decision and I always want that the final

team decision should align with my wish.

Do You know, what the beggar did of that five rupee coin? He counted all coins in his

kitty, it must have been sufficient for him to buy a medium size white bread. I saw him

buying that from a nearby store. He surely took a better decision as he could now feed his


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