Are you a good human being?

Am I really good? Have you ever asked this question to yourself? Basically, a good human being is one who wouldn’t harm others and if possible, would go out of the way to help someone.

Is that good enough? Or, does one need to apply more stringent, rigid standards? In a book called “The Difficulty of Being Good” – By Gurcharan Das. He has examined the Mahabharata through an analysis of the one predominant characteristics – good or bad – of each of the epic’s characters. What is heartening is that all good characters in the epic seem confused too, at some point or other.

Yudhishthira is convinced he cannot declare war against his elders and brothers, but still does so; Arjuna is dead against killing his grandfather, his teacher and an unarmed Karna, and yet does it; Bhishma is goodness personified, but he doesn’t try to stop his grandchildren from attempting to disrobe the hapless Draupadi in court. He also leads the armies of one set of grandchildren against another!

Who can deny Lord Krishna’s goodness? and yet, at times we question the advice he gave Arjuna that let to the killing of his grandfather Bhishma, his teacher Drona and his brother Karna! Goodness, it seems, is confusing.

The goody-goody characters on television confound the confusion. They are so good, so pure, so butter wouldn’t melt in their mouth that they are not just unbelievable, but actually irritating! They suffer vicissitudes and insults with never a word against those who persecute them. Their ‘nobility’ makes you squirm in your seat.

Now, why should goodness irritate? But truth is that too big a shot of goodness does arouse discomfort! All of us know at least one friend, aunt, cousin, or even our parent or sibling who irriate with their saccharine goodness or obsession of self-sacrifice! They are so good that they seem Divine! Such people are an anachronism in today’s world! They set such high standards that they make us feel inadequate.

Mahabharata too has its moments of irritating goodness. Yudhisthira is calm and unmoved during the period of exile as Draupadi’s temper blazes. “Why be good?” she asks and “Why doesn’t your anger blaze?” His goodness at that point is irritating to his beloved wife and brothers, as enumerated by Gurcharan Das.

The Mahabharata reminds us once again about the difficulty of being good.

Is it important to have some bit of vice because the bad instinct is inborn, a part of us? And goodness is the struggle against that instinct; we all achieve varying degrees of success and so are good in different ways. That’s human. And so Krishna is good, so are Yudhishthira and Arjuna. Their struggle against evil, their moments of weakness and their repentance make them so.

So then, are we saying that actually, it is the evil within us that makes us good? Just as without darkness, who would appreciate light? How can you be good if you have no shade of bad within you?

Points that will help you in your interview

Here are the 10 things that will help you in an interview:

1. Show up for the interview. Arrive on time or even a little early for your interview. If you are late, the message is that you are not interested.

2. Inform the relevant person that you have arrived. Don’t hide in some corner trying to blend with the wallpaper.

3. Introduce yourself with a bright smile. Don’t behave as though you are doing the employer a favour by attending the interview.[You may be nervous, but try and be cheerful]

4. Keep a copy of your resume ready. If you are confident, say that you intentionally did not print your resume on paper because you want to be carbon friendly. Provide them with a link to your online professional profile.

5. If you are a fresher, have some favourite (Academic) subjects which you are comfortable with. Since you are fresh out of college, you obviously don’t have any work experience. So the only thing that you can be questioned on is what was taught to you in school/college. Better that they question you in the areas of your strength than on other subjects. So state clearly the 2 or 3 subjects that were/are your favourite areas so that the interviewer asks questions around these topics.

6. Also if you are a fresher, know your subject in these areas. If, after several years of education, you cannot answer basic questions in your favourite areas, nobody will believe that you can be taught anything, ever.

7. If you know, answer. If you don’t know but think you can guess, say so and then try your answer. If you haven’t a clue, make that clear too.

8. Be aware of the latest happenings in your industry. If you are from the tech industry, for example, know about blogs, twitter, techcrunch, social networking, SAAS, AJAX, or whatever else is the latest craze.

9. Highlight your other active interests and hobbies. Show that you are having/pursuing an interesting life. Browsing and watching TV are not hobbies.

10. Keep your phone on silent during the interview. Don’t answer calls. People answer their phone in the middle of an interview and say (to their current boss, presumably) that they are having lunch with a friend. No one will recruit a liar.

11. Bonus: Stick to the truth, always. This is non-negotiable.