Presence of Mind!


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One day, a man walked into the produce section of his local supermarket and asked to buy half a head of lettuce. The boy working in that department told him that they only sold whole heads of lettuce. The man was insistent that the boy asks his manager about the matter.

Walking into the back room, the boy said to his manager, “Some jerk but there wants to buy only half a head of lettuce. " As he finished his sentence, he turned to find the man standing right behind him, so he added, “and this gentleman wants to buy the other half. "

Though I read it in “jokes" category in the net, I was thinking about the boy's extraordinary presence of mind to save himself in that situation or he would have lost his job.

What exactly do we mean when we say that one should have a presence of mind?

When we meet up with a crisis or an emergency how many of us act fast enough to save ourselves from it? There may be a number of people at that time but only one in the group may act fast to take immediate action. One should possess a calm state of mind to think clearly and effectively during these emergency situations.

Presence of mind is required not only in emergencies, but also to prove our intelligence or mastery over others. In India, many years ago, The court jesters of Emperor Krishnadevaraya and Akbar — namely Tenali Raman and Birbal — were known for their presence of mind . One day when Akbar, in the assembly, asked all of them, “Which flower is the best flower of all?" no one could answer. Finally Birbal's turn came. Birbal said, “That flower is the best of all flowers, from which the whole world's clothing is made. "

With prevailing conditions in the present situations, even in academics, with mere intelligence one will not be able to tackle a problem and succeed. Presence of mind and acting according to the surroundings is the need of the hour.

This is more so in the virtual world where we are more vulnerable . Due to constant interactions with others mindlessness exists and there is persuasive pressure to which we succumb.

Even a creative marketer these days needs presence of mind at the utmost. It is said that when Ester Lauder, the cosmetics queen, failed to convince the stubborn manager of ‘Galleries Lafayette’ to stock her perfume. She got a brilliant idea. She ‘accidentally’ spilled her perfume on the floor. The appealing scent aroused the interest of the people around and drew appreciations and positive comments from them. The manager had no choice except to place an order of that perfume to Lauder!

With timely and positive use of intelligence along with presence of mind one can reach the goal easily! . . . Is intelligence alone enough to handle a tricky situation? Do all of us use the presence of mind?

Hpriya Sivan


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