DID I TELL YOU NOT TO HISS?

A good action is one that might appear to be harsh or cruel, but in fact brings benefit to all involved. ~ Mira Prabhu

mira prabhu

8b0491b2a715579b114da4fdb36d7daaThe great sage Ramakrishna told this old tale to his disciples: an angry snake terrified the village boys so greatly that they dared not venture near his territory. One day a yogi was walking through the village when a boy warned him not to venture near the abode of the vicious serpent. The yogi told the boy not to worry, for he knew a mantra that would calm the serpent. He was speaking the truth: when the snake slithered forward to attack him, the yogi intoned the mantra and the snake became still and peaceful. Then the yogi gave the snake another mantra to chant and told him not to trouble the boys but instead to seek a higher peace. The snake obeyed. But when the village boys discovered the snake was now peaceful, they began to torment him. One bully even picked him up and slammed him repeatedly against…

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Damore vs. Google. The Plot Thickens: By Dr. Harsh K. Luthar

I teach my students that in the U.S., one of the basic tenets of HR is to never retaliate against an employee who has filed a complaint with a federal agency against the employer.

James Damore, the engineer fired by google, is saying that this is exactly what happened in his case and he plans to pursue Google in the California Court.

James Damore was fired for circulating a memo saying that due to biological differences, women are less inclined to tech and leadership roles. Google CEO, Sundar Pichai found that Damore’s comments violated the company’s code of conduct by advancing harmful gender stereotypes at Google. Therefore, Damore was fired.

Damore, however, claims that because he had already filed a complaint against Google for discrimination with the National Labor Relations Board, his firing was in retaliation.

At this point, I am not sure of all the facts. My subjective reading of the situation is that Damore seems to be claiming that some type of reverse discrimination against white males is going on at Google because women and minorities are offered developmental workshops and white males are not.

Is that true? I don’t know.

The plot thickens and I am eager to learn more about exactly what the facts are.

Certainly, this is a very interesting and educational teaching case for HR Professors and Consultants.

Given that I am on a sabbatical in the Fall semester, I will be spending sometime following this case and writing about it.

Stay tuned.

EVERYTHING IS BEAUTIFUL

Happiness is an inside job—and if we truly want a beautiful planet where all beings live in harmony with each other, we must first eradicate all that is violent within our own natures. ~ Mira Prabhu

mira prabhu

b71a7289e9e20118cedd41eba5a47a6fAll through the night it had snowed heavily; when I awoke, in a beautiful Ashram in America with a view of the Blue Ridge Mountains, I looked out to see my world blanketed in pure white. Usually I love the snow, but this time I was furious with myself—for all the mistakes that had led to this point in my tumultuous life.

As many had made it a point to inform me, I’d been blessed with more than most—and yet I’d continued to mess up my life, due to impulsiveness and bad judgment. My most recent crisis was the result of a decision to break away from a man I’d deluded myself into believing would make me a perfect spiritual mate; gradually I came to see him as superficial and ethically unreliable, and had forced myself to cut the cord.

I’d written to my first major spiritual teacher and he’d…

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Are You Ready To Retire? Learn From History: By Dr. Harsh K. Luthar

I recall a discussion with a colleague in late 2007 about retirement. He was preparing to make that transition in a couple of years. Unfortunately, the stock market started to slide when he was about a year away from retirement.

The market crashed on September 29, 2008. The decline continued and, by the end of 2008, Dow was down to 8,776. Naturally this dramatic decline in the market created serious challenges for people who were close to retirement and had most of their pension in stocks.

We have now entered August of 2017. August and September have historically been the worst months for stocks. This year, increasing international tensions and the potential for a serious conflict between U.S. and North Korea will add further uncertainties to the financial markets.

Although no one can predict the future, it is important that businesses educate their employees on the basics of risk management when it comes to their financial portfolios. HR departments can and should play an important role in preparing their employees to weather all types of market conditions. Ultimately, we are all responsible for educating ourselves on how to best navigate through turbulent and challenging times.

 

Working at Google is a Privilege and not a Right: By Dr. Harsh K. Luthar

One of the fundamental points I make to my HR students is this. In the United States, the First Amendment does not apply to the relationship between employees and employers in the private sector.

The first Amendment does protect the public’s right to free speech. Therefore, people in the United States are free to express a diversity of views and opinions on political, economic, social, and other matters.  Every young person joining the workforce should be taught that the freedom to speak one’s mind in the workplace is not unlimited.

Of course, every employer is obligated to comply with Federal, State, and Local laws in the United States. However, within that framework, an employer has the right to enforce standards and rules of conduct it views as consistent with its values and the corporate culture.

A Google employee learned this basic HR lesson the hard way recently when he was fired. This employee had expressed his views that Google’s diversity efforts were destined to fail because these efforts did not take into account the biological differences between men and women. According to this employee, the gender differences made women less suitable for the engineering profession. The memo expressing these opinions was leaked to the press.

The next day, Google fired the employee. The message from the Google CEO is clear. Working at Google is not a right. It is a privilege.

Could this situation have been handled better? Possibly. But how? If a male engineer truly feels that his female colleagues are not as capable, how would that affect the company culture and spirit and the work environment? 

Perhaps the HR experts among the readers can give suggestions for alternative ways to resolve the  tension that could have been adopted by Google management.

Whether one agrees with the firing of the employee at Google or not, from an HR perspective and a legal perspective, Google was perfectly within its rights to do that.

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For details on the story, see the following link from NYT.

The Self Cannot Be Found In Books

“You may go on reading any number of books on Vedanta. They can only tell you ‘Realize the Self’. The Self cannot be found in books. You have to find it for yourself in yourself.” Bhagavan Ramana in Gems ~ Chapter 8.

Sri Ramana here states the truth directly and unmistakably. No matter how many books one reads, one cannot gain Self-Realization.

Reading, thinking, and conceptualizing involve mental activity. Yet, it is this mental activity that distracts us and covers up the pure essence of being.

It is the mind itself that has to subside into the Heart and dissolve in it. Upon the merging of the mind in the Heart, the Self, recognition of our true nature is instantaneous. With the mind absent as the intermediary, the wordless Realization is immediate. One recognizes and says that “It has been Me all along. I am the Self.”

This recognition is beyond thoughts, words, and concepts. We use the words only to indicate that our real Self stands always Self-revealed.

Bhagavan Ramana teaches that once we become conscious of our power of attention to scan its own nature, we should focus on that.

in the classic quote given at the beginning of the article, Bhagavan Ramana emphasizes the role of deliberate and conscious introversion of the mind by shifting our attention from perceptions to the perceiver via self-inquiry.

OM Shanti!

Namaste

Note: The featured picture is from Mirela Skerbic on Facebook

The Nature of Joy

I have left all my practices,

and words of the wise

now sound like noises

in the city at lunch time.

On entering the heart of awareness,

I saw that

joy is simply the glow of contentment

devoid of longing.

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