Unconditional Relationships

The student looked perplexed: ‘But how can we build the right relationships with the right people when we ourselves are so filled with the insecurities of needing to have their business?’

‘It is a worthy question,’ replied Yen Tzu. ‘For most merchants suffer from hidden agendas of insecurities, anxieties, desires and hopes. And indeed this is the challenge in building right or any relationship that we are seeking to build: Because such insecurities make us reserved, shy, suspicious and cynical towards others that we meet for the first time. Apart from the hugs we dutifully give relatives in appreciation of their gifts at Festivals, we are basically backward in coming forward in respect of our affections towards others.

‘We reserve our warmth and affection for those who are very close to us, with reserve being the key word, for even then we never consider being too demonstrative. After all, it isn’t the done thing. How is it possible, therefore, to focus on being customer-oriented and develop strategy to build long-term relationships, when we can’t often be spontaneous even with those we love?

‘The fact is that our lives are given true value for what we do for others and our relationships with them. I will illustrate with a story...

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