Yet another cold morning with a slight drizzle and heavy clouds gathering around, hinting of an upcoming downpour. There was a general sense of urgency in every stride on the road trying to scurry along to reach the destinations (it was office time anyway!). Still a couple of streets away from office, and not carrying an umbrella, the environment was not very encouraging, and I tried to accelerate my pace as well.
In order to get to office even by a few minutes early, I decided to take a short cut that goes from the front of a small factory. As I took the turn to the street where this factory was situated, I could see dense white fumes engulfing the front side of the factory and completely blocking out the road. And the fumes were coming out in quick bursts as if (something was seriously wrong!) they were not going to stop anytime soon (sign of an ongoing situation!).
If I was in a hurry earlier, this didn’t help in anyway and only gave a boost to hurry along even faster. While doing so, I also considered quickly making a call to the emergency services and bring help. But hang on a bit! There were others moving along without the least concern on their face, although it didn’t slow their pace (but of course all of us were in a hurry anyway). This definitely didn’t feel right. I could not be the only person on the road concerned about the situation, “oh! where is this emotionless world headed, with no empathy to the surroundings”. With these thoughts of (anxious) concern, I marched on and went closer to the gate to check if I could find a soul within the factory premises and see if I should really press the panic button (and oh by the way the fumes didn’t suffocate and didn’t discourage me from going forward!).
As I inched closer, the board hanging on the gate caught my attention (as shown in the picture below).
Phew! What a relief it was and what intense moments before the fact hidden behind the mist came to the fore. I was really glad that nothing was wrong and I did a little bit to get closer to the situation to figure out, instead of hitting the panic button.
My mind instantly threw out a silliness alert – “your clouded eminence! the mist is not around, but within thy head aided by a heavy dose of prejudice”. But “hey!”, I retaliated, “it was thick, it was misty, it was dense and it was fuming, all signs of a hazard eh?…”. Nope, “…apparently not!”
It does help to carry these “not hazardous, all ok, don’t worry!” signs in our day to day communication too and state an insight/context before someone hits the panic button based on a cold not-so-obvious fact (if you are in anyway connected to it!). And, especially in direct communication (face to face or on a phone call), a reassuring body language and confident articulation helps to clear some of this dense mist out! And then there are those who carry dense mists along all the time anyway and it will make ones job that much more difficult to clear it out. Even here, early signs (being proactive) help.
In any case it helps to be on the look out for mist-approaching (within ones head or from outside for good or bad reasons) and start clearing it away 🙂