The Silent Lesson


From womb to tomb, we human beings are constantly communicating, but stop for a moment and ask yourself—are you connecting?

Do your words make a positive difference to the people who matter to you?

We get suffocated in this polluted atmosphere of yapping, chatting, gossiping, criticizing, blaming, and rarely uttering a word of genuine appreciation.

From the advent of Adam and Eve, the word "communication" has been used, overused, and abused, but seldom used to express a concise, clear, heartfelt message.

During my journey in teaching communication, the biggest lesson I learned was not by studying a thesis on the techniques of elegant communication, but a deep lesson learned from a silent, kind, and humble act.

It is a message that remains in my mind as fresh as the morning dew drops on a sunflower.

Pressing the rewind button a few years back, I was conducting a workshop on communication at the fabulous Infosys Leadership Campus.

It was tea-time, and the noisy participants were busy walking around.

I was sipping a cup of my tea (even though tea is not my cup of tea). At that moment, someone tripped, spilling the chocolate brown liquid on the beautiful white marble floor.

It was an eyesore. Even worse, the stamping legs made it grimier.

Then my eyes drifted to an elderly gentleman, aged around 70 years old.

He was dressed immaculately in a navy blue suit. He picked up a few tissues, bent down, and wiped the entire floor, leaving it spotless, white, and clean.

He walked away silently, dropping the wet and dirty tissues into the nearby dustbin.

People stopped in their tracks. There was a stunned silence. The impact of that deed was profound, priceless, and powerful.

The Good Samaritan did not utter a single word, but the consequences of his actions communicated a message of humility beyond words, more influential than the contents of many Youtube Channels.

I learned that he was Dr. Ram Jayaraman. He was one of the earliest students from India who was granted the prestigious Fulbright scholarship and retired as an eminent scientist in the US.

That day, at that defining moment, I learned a huge lesson in communication.

The most compassionate and intimate communication happens not when much is said, but when nothing is said. It is the act that counts, not impressively articulated words.

Thank you, @Dr. Ram Jayaraman, for teaching me that compassionate communication starts in the heart and blossoms into a silent and serene act of kindness.

I spoke to this Good Samaritan a few days back, and he told me a story about Mahatma Gandhi, whom he met in 1942 as a six-year-old.

Stay tuned to read that story in my future articles on warmth, wit, and wisdom.

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