For many years I was a businessman, and very often had to visit men and women in different leadership positions at their offices. As soon as I was ushered into their offices, the chair on which they sat told me where I stood. The chairs came in all shapes and sizes. Small made men sat in big, huge, opulent chairs and towered over the people who came to visit them. In the same way some sat with ease on chairs that were the same size and height of the visitors.
The height of their chairs told me how the meeting would go: How I would be treated and how I should treat him. The chair told me where I stood.
I remember a meeting with a religious leader who wanted me to write a book on him, offering me a handsome amount to do so. I entered his office and found him towering over a huge table. I sat in front and listened and was astonished to hear a man of God talking with such vanity. Somewhere during our talk, he excused himself to go to the bathroom, and suddenly I found him actually climbing down from a high chair: He was a very short man! All he wanted to do was to look down at the people who came to see him. I did not write his book.
Kings and queens of old, did this. Their thrones and palaces were made to frighten and intimidate their subjects.
But I remember quite often walking into the office of a chairman or director of a leading company and finding him sitting on an ordinary chair with normal height, very often on a sofa and inviting me to sit across. Some did not even need a table between! These are men and women of confidence! They don’t need to be lifted up physically to show their power. Their power is within, and not outside themselves. Some wear simple clothes; they don’t need a double breasted suit to show how big they are. Some of them arrive to work in self-driven cars like JRD Tata used to do.
Something that the virus has done is to show it is not a respecter of chairs. It has laid low everybody, even a chief minister is now affected. And maybe, this is the right time, to ask yourself whether you want to be remembered by the height of your chair, or the hugeness of your character! The right time to build a foundation of values based on truth, not on the legs of your chairs. The right time to start respecting yourself and not needing the false flattery of people to tell you how great or small you are!
Use this time, to change yourself, not the size of your chair..!
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