Wednesday, December 13

Small is Beautiful

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                      To be a student in a small school is definitely many times more desirable than to be one in a big school. The reasons are obvious. In a small school you practicaly know everyone else and more importantly everyone knows you. The teachers are like members of the family. Your welfare and well-being is looked after properly and you feel you belong to the school. consequently, your loyalty is never in question.

                      The situation is not so beautiful in a large school. In the midst of a couple of thousand other students, you become a nobody. If you do want to stand out, then you will have to involve yourself in school politics where everybody steps on one another to gain the favours of the teachers. The teachers too are generally less caring. They do not evenknow your name. What is more they do not even know some of their collegue’s name. I had one enlightening experience one day when I mentioned my class teacher’s name to another teacher and he did not know who i was talking about, I do not blame him-over a hundred teachers spread out over two sessions certainly alenate the teachers from one another.

                     The headmaster always laments about our loyalty in inter-school sports’ and other competitions. It seemsthat we are disloyal and disrespectful. How can one feel loyalty when one does not feel belonging to something? How can one show respect when the headmaster des not acknowledge your presence, even when you greet him?

                     So it is the same with businesses. Small is indeed beautiful. consider a small sundry shop. you can buy things on credit and at a discount if you know the proprietor well enough. on top of that any bad item can be returned and exchanged for something else. You get none of this in a big modern supermarket. It is strictly cash, no discount and definitely no such thing as returning goods. It is your bad luck if you get a defective product. To try to see the manager about it is like trying to go through a brick wall of bureaucracy and indifference. When you have handed over your money to the cashier that is the end of it.

                    On top of all these things, they even install close-circuit cameras all over the place. It makes you feel as through you are a shoplifter. Still they cannot catch the seasoned shoplifters.

                    Whentowns grow larger, the people grow unfriendlier. It is the inescapable price we pay for congregating too many people in one place. Small town folks care about their neighbours. Granted sometimes these simple folks intrude into your life when you do not want them to, but such intrusion is infinitely better than living among people who do not know or care about other people at all, even when they are only separated by just a wall. In big towns, neighbours are looked on with suspicion. You do nont know if one of them is a thug or a crook or a terrorist. Only slowly and rarely do you get to know your neighbour next door, that is, if he wants to know you at all. When you think about it, it is silly, but the fact remains that many next-door neighbours live side by side for years without even exchanging a glance.

                    in general, it is thus easy to see that when organizations becometoo large, they invariably become impersonal. Large organizations require greater control; it would look as though that the people in such an organization spend so much time keeping the organization in running order that they do not have time left over for other things. They become slaves to their organizations. they have forgotten their individuality and uniqueness.

                    Apart from natural giants like mountains and rivers, I would definitely agree with this statement that ‘small is beautiful’. Give me a small school or a small shop anytime. There I have to deal with human machines.


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