Monday, June 3, 2013


Monday Morning Food for Thought

Definition of the term “do-gooder” – An earnest well-intentioned but naïve person who wants to help people, society, organizations, institutions or who wants to help the world in general.

Dear Reader: Here is a story, a fable, to help you get over the weekend hangover and to tickle your brain as you begin your work on this Monday Morning.

Once, there was a man who had a Horse and a Goat.

One day, the horse fell terribly ill.

The horse collapsed on the ground. He would not get up and he refused to eat or drink anything.

The man called a veterinary doctor.

The vet gave the man some medicine and said: “Well, your horse is seriously infected by a dreadful virus. You give him this medicine for three days. I will come back after three days. If your horse gets better and starts walking around by then, it is well and good. But if your horse shows no improvement is unable to get up we will have no other option but to put him down.”

“You mean, you will have to kill my horse?” the distraught man asked the veterinary doctor.

“Yes,” the vet said, “if the horse does not get better and start walking there will be no point keeping the horse alive to suffer the agony of a slow painful paralytic death.”

Nearby, the goat listened closely to their conversation.

The man and vet gave the horse a dose of the medicine and left.

The goat came close to the horse and said: “Be strong, my friend. Get better soon and start moving. Or else they will to put you to sleep!”

The horse listened to the goat.

The horse tried to move his body, but he did not have the strength get up.

On the second day, the man gave his horse the second dose of medicine and left.

The goat came to the horse and said: “Come on buddy. Please get up and walk. Or else you are going to die! If you keep lying down lifelessly like this they will put you to permanent sleep. Come on my friend, I will help you get up. Let’s go! I will pull - one, two, three – but the small goat was unable to move the huge horse and the horse just would not budge. The horse continued to lie on the floor, as if lifeless.”

On the third day, the owner came and gave his sick horse the third and last dose of the medicine.

This time the vet had also come to see the horse.

The veterinary doctor checked the horse and said: “There is absolutely no improvement in the condition of your horse. If there is no change in his condition and your horse does not get up and start walking by tomorrow, it looks like we will have to put him down.”

There were tears in the owner’s eyes.

He loved his horse very much.

He asked the vet: “Can’t we wait for a few more days?”

“No,” the vet said, “if your horse is unable to get up after three days, even after this medicine, he will never be able to get up and walk again. Slow paralysis will set in and your horse will suffer great agony. It will be best to put him down. Also, keeping your infected horse alive poses one more danger.”

“One more danger?”

“Yes,” the veterinary doctor explained, “the deadly virus may spread and infect your goat. I will come tomorrow with all the necessary preparations to put your horse to sleep. Don’t worry – it will be a painless death.”

After they left, the goat went near the horse.

The goat said to the horse: “Listen, dear friend, for you it is now or never. If you do not get up now they will kill you. Do you want to die? Come on, please get up. Have courage, use all your strength. Come on. Get up. This is your last chance.”

On hearing the goat’s motivating words the horse used all his strength and he tried desperately to get up on his feet.

“Come on. Come on. Get up. That’s it. Slowly. Keep trying. Come on, one, two, three...” the goat kept on cheering the horse. 

Egged on by the goat’s encouraging words the horse put in all his strength.

He struggled with full gusto and kept trying again and again to get up on his feet.

And, hey presto, the horse suddenly got up on his feet.

“Good, very good,” the goat exclaimed, “now try to walk, be steady, make an effort and try to walk.”

With great effort, the horse started walking.

“Fantastic. Now walk faster, try to trot, faster, faster, now run, run, fantastic, now gallop – you have done it, you have done it, you are a true champion,” the goat exclaimed in ecstasy.

Suddenly the owner came there, and he was amazed to see his horse running in the field.

He was so overjoyed that he excitedly called up the veterinary doctor and began shouting:  “A miracle has happened. My horse is running in the field. Your medicine has cured my horse.”

The disbelieving vet rushed to the man’s house and he too was astonished to see the horse running in the fields.

“Indeed it is a miracle,” the vet said, “your horse was so sick and lifeless when I examined him just half an hour back. I never imagined my medicine would work wonders.”

“Well, all that does not matter – maybe it is your medicine or maybe it is a miracle – but the fact is that my horse is cured,” the man said.

“That calls for a celebration,” the vet said.

“Of course,” the man said, “We must have a grand party. Let’s barbecue the goat.”

And so, the goat was killed and landed up on the barbecue.


Think twice before you do good to someone – it may boomerang on you and you may have to pay the price for your goodness.

This “boomerang on the do-gooder” often happens in the workplace.

I remember a case where a “do-gooder” suggested a restructuring of his organisation (for the good of the organization) and landed up ruining his own career prospects.

Also, you must be careful before you favour your pet subordinate and accelerate him up the promotion ladder by bestowing too much “patronage” lest your “protégé” turn the tables on you by becoming a competitor or even superseding you in the hierarchy – I have seen examples of this too.

Remember, do-gooder methods do not always create the positive outcomes intended.

So, the moral of the story is:


Copyright © Vikram Karve 2013
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work. 
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.
Copyright © Vikram Karve 2013. All Rights Reserved

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About Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer and blogger. Educated at IIT Delhi, IIT (BHU) Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures (2008) and is currently working on his novel and a book of vignettes and an anthology of short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories and creative non-fiction articles on a variety of topics including food, travel, philosophy, academics, technology, management, health, pet parenting, teaching stories and self help in magazines and published a large number of professional  and academic research papers in journals and edited in-house journals and magazines for many years, before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for 15 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing and blogging. Vikram Karve lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.

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