Not even the dust of the bomb blast last week was settled in, the mass media aimed their canons at police and started firing like hell. No one necessarily had any idea about how this could have been stopped. But everyone was sure that this should have been stopped.
I originally signed in to this as well. But then I thought something different. I googled Mumbai police. I found phone number of a local police station and called.
When man on the other side picked up, I introduced myself and said “I just wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you. I understand that you are doing hard work and I appreciate it.”
At first the man could not believe it. He thought it was a joke. But after a while he was convinced and he said “You have no idea how much your call means to me.”
We all talk about corruption all the time. Yes there is corruption and there are negligent people. But according to psychologists, only 1 to 2% people in this world are psychopaths. They don’t have conscience. Rest all, 98% are mostly like us and feel conscience. They may do choices we don’t like and may come up with justifications. But to a large extent, they are victims of the system just like we are.
There failures have no excuse, but there is a slight problem. Success of police department never make stories. We never hear about the robberies that didn’t happen or bomb blast plots that never succeeded. How many of you know that in March 2011, Mumbai police averted a terrorist attack? Team India won cricket world cup. But how many people appreciated police for making this event go smooth? When things go right, we don’t bother to call and congratulate. But when things go wrong, we are out for blood.
It makes me think of a Harvard study in psychology. They found that in changing long term behavior of a person, appreciation is far more effective than criticism. So whether you want to really recognize achievements of Indian cops or whether you want them to improve, best thing you could do is to call and appreciate for things they are doing right.
Yes, they may take bribes in traffic. But they take risks too. They leave their family behind to face angry mobs. They catch criminals only to see them walk away because common citizen will not testify.
This is time. This is time for us to show confidence and boost morale of our cops. If you boost their morale, they are much more likely to do good jobs. So do google search and find addresses of local police stations. Send them a greeting card or call them. And once you do so, post it in the comments section here.
In this time of grief, we must not forget all those who contributed to the times of our happiness.