Thursday, 9 February 2017


I was contemplating rejection, mainly in a work situation. We write all these manuscripts all the time - by and large we have been lucky, but a good number of them are returned back, rejected. My co-workers and I go through a period of dejection then - if the reject is with good, stated reasons, we can at least sit down and address them - but many a time no details are provided, and we don't even know why it was turned down! In any case, I convince everyone to think positively and move ahead. It's definitely one difficult aspect of my work, but we generally move on ...
(From New Yorker)

I read this nice article about the New Yorker cartoon rejects - check out this awesome blog:
"Rejection as Creative Catalyst: A Lesson in Entrepreneurship from New Yorker Cartoon Editor Bob Mankoff". It has nothing whatsoever to do with my work life, but it was still interesting to read! I stumbled upon it when I was searching for information about Gold Catalysts for my class, of all things! And it reminded me of a recent rejection I had suffered (not that I have found a way to make money off of that! Though the idea of a web portal of rejected manuscripts in Chemical Reaction Engineering would surely be cool! 😛)

As I was discussing something with the child, I remembered, due to the context, the  basketball games I have lost in over the years. It is quite a substantial number! But I had to dig deep in my memory for that - I was trying to convince her of the usual - that failure is sometimes a stepping stone to success - and no one wakes up and starts winning things, games in particular. The importance of effort, and dedication, and a good dose of luck cannot be under-emphasised, I was saying.

I guess I should have added that the memory of happy situations can be more prominent than that of unhappy ones, and while I know that pit of the stomach feeling of disappointment very well, I think I know the thrill, the exhilaration, the joy of a good job done to completion much better. And the happy moments can easily dislodge those unhappy ones in the long run! I don't think she believed me.

My student graduated and the committee was very respectful of him, unlike in previous encounters. We had a great lunch together where a visiting German professor gave the boy a hug. After the number of times we have had rocky meetings and the amount of heart ache I had suffered thinking about his thesis over the past five years, it was such a pleasant experience! I came out of it feeling super strong and ready to deal with stuff, after all, these young folks deal so well and come out happy, why shouldn't I! 

So here I end, on that pleasant note. If I had applied to be a Spice Girl and was rejected on the basis of my height (or unruly hair), I would be one of several, and all of us would go out into the sunset in companionable silence, heads held high and positive thoughts in our hearts! 

No comments: