The spate of high profile suicides in the recent past, especially that of an iconic leader from the coffee business has caused a tsunami of concern and an avalanche of questions. Are these rare occurrences, or is there a new trend that we have to come to terms with? Is stress the new killer as predicted by the psychologists? Are we all heading into a new reality that could become a sinister epidemic? Does this only affect farmers and business doyens…or can it even attack the common man or the entrepreneur?
I used to be a builder two decades ago. I have first-hand knowledge of how stress works when the chips are down. I also experienced threats and pressure from lenders and even banks who sent out thugs and hoodlums to put pressure on me to get their money back. Did they need to do that? No. They always had access to the legal system. But they want things to work quicker than that. So they resort to illegal means and dadagiri. Hoodlums are engaged and paid a percentage of the amount recovered. They work through the application of pressure tactics that we see in mafia movies.
So does such pressure really get the job done? Unfortunately yes. These groups threaten to go to any extent to get money out of the borrower who actually becomes a victim the lender becomes the predator. They even threaten the family. They also promise to humiliate and damage the borrower’s reputation. Money becomes the single focal point. For the person facing the pressure, there seems to be no place to run, nor any place to hide.
Let’s look at this from the borrower’s mind. There is already guilt and a feeling of despondency that things didn’t work out. Then there is pressure to cough up money that is not available. No one wants to help at this time. Fear mounts inside. This even affects the family and makes one reject social connect so as to avoid meeting people who invariably will not do anything to help.
But everyone wants to know details purely out of curiousity or sometimes to derive some perverse
pleasure from noting someone else’s misery. I appeal to people who know someone who is going through such a trying situation, to either look at possibilities to help them, or point them in a direction where they can get some help. The way to handle this wild beast is the same way to sort problems that seem daunting. Never run, or do something that others have to bear the brunt for. Take responsibility. Reach out for help. There is always a solution.
Ian Faria is a former builder and now is a leadership trainer, having worked with CXO level employees at several companies in India