Attitude of a problem

by Michelle Fortes

A young Lieutenant, fresh from the Military Academy, was posted to a Gorkha regiment unit where Sam Maneckshaw was the Commanding Officer.

The youngster was on his rounds one morning when a rifleman standing not far away missed saluting him. The youngster was enraged and called out to the Gorkha asking why he did not salute an officer. The Gorkha innocently said that he had not seen “Leftent Huzoor”.

The young Lieutenant was not convinced, and decided to punish the soldier by asking him to salute 1000 times. The soldier immediately started saluting.

Maneckshaw, who had witnessed the incident from a distance, and felt the young officer was over-reacting to what was a genuine mistake, walked up to where the pair were standing.

The young Lieutenant saluted smartly and said, “Sir, this soldier had the audacity of not saluting me. So I have decided to punish him with 1000 salutes.”

Maneckshaw replied “Bloody good punishment young man. A soldier must respect his superior officer. But remember, in our unit, respect is a two-way street. So please make sure you return each of his salutes.”

For the next two hours the unit was treated to the scene of a Gorkha soldier saluting, and a young officer returning each of his salutes.

~ Problem itself is often not the problem; in fact, the problem quite often is one’s attitude to the problem !

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