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I find it amazing how differently people think about Quality. When I was a kid, there was a guy who used to sell dried fruits from a wheeled cart in my neighborhood. On his cart were lots of containers holding different kinds of dried fruit, and he covered these with a plastic sheet. His idea of Quality was to keep the containers covered with the plastic sheet, but he didn’t wash his hands and what’s more, he never wore plastic gloves. He just served us with his bare hands. But believe it or not, he was a famous vendor in our neighborhood. As I remember, the other Qualities he possessed were honesty and patience. Just imagine: it’s 130F outside, the sun is right overhead, and there are lots of kids trying to tease you. But he never yelled. He had tremendous courage to deal with us patiently. Today, with all the luxuries many of us enjoy in life, what we’re lacking is patience. We get worn out so quickly and expect everyone to treat us nicely… How silly of us.

I once attended a 4-day leadership/teamwork seminar back home in Lahore, Pakistan. One of the things I remember our instructor telling us was, “Even a fool has a story to tell you”, but you’ve got to listen to it. Listen because you want to learn something, and in every experience you will. I am going to end my first article with a beautiful quote by Kahlil Gibran. “I have learned silence from the talkative, tolerance from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet strangely, I am ungrateful to those teachers.”

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3 Comments

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  1. Jason Cao
    Hi Saquib,
    Thanks for sharing your story with the community! I really enjoyed it. I agree that assessing quality is extremely subjective.

    Learning to listen and appreciating silence is an important skill to have – and one of my personal learning goals (My A-Ha moment! The importance of self-discovery.). It was 20 years after hearing Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy the Silence” that I finally ‘got’ the meaning of the song.

    I think you’ll agree with me it’s never too late to learn.

    Regards,
    Jason

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  2. Kumud Singh
    Hi,

    One more thing that comes into light with this blog is
    “Definition of quality is dynamic and changes every season”
    Do you think that people would now buy things from the bicycle vendors except for love?

    However a good philosphical blog.

    Regards,
    Kumud

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  3. Tuncay Karaca

    Hi Saquib,

    I really like your story. Silence, listening, learning, asking, learning then talking… The order is important!

    I like Kahlil Gibran’s quote “I have learned silence from the talkative, tolerance from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet strangely, I am ungrateful to those teachers.”

    Thanks,

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