//#MoAddaMoGuru (my conversation || my guru)

#MoAddaMoGuru (my conversation || my guru)

Who would have thought that a naïve, humble girl from an indigenous community could become the lead HR of Caritas, India? “Oops! Let’s chuck these clichéd beginnings.”

“I have always dreamed of pursuing management studies and have worked hard in realising it. In my efforts, I sought the right institution, appropriate guidance and transforming opportunities. It all happened simultaneously at an institution called Human Life Centre (HLC), Bhubaneswar. Jesuits — giants of the faith— have influenced me but none like Fr. E.H. McGrath SJ.

I took a personality development course with him. Man! It changed my life. He was a teacher par excellence. Though the classes were intriguing, our conversations after the classes profoundly impacted me. The themes ranged from his life, walks, ministry, aspirations, concern for my health, management principles, theories, case studies, and silly things like food and weather. But, in retrospect, these conversations gave me the purpose and motivation to achieve my dream. At HLC, I found my ‘adda’ and my ‘guru.’

Fr. E.H.McGrath, SJ

In addition, his thought experiments and role-plays during the classes were so interesting. One role-play exercise was to express anger at the workplace. It was my turn to play it out. It did not make sense to me then. But today, working in the corporate sector, I realise its importance in a culture emphasising diplomacy, tact and grooming HRs to be smart with their emotions. He was firm but gentle when he corrected someone. He emphasised the importance of nurturing relationships around us.”

If there is one thing you want to tell the Jesuits, what would it be? “Have conversations with the young beyond the classroom walls, and please do it with a smile ha ha ha.”

Like Seema Shalini Lugun, hundreds of young people are being transformed into responsible human beings. Thanks to the meaningful conversations they have with the Jesuits. They have found their addas and gurus in our educational, social and spiritual institutions. The success of Jesus’ ministry came from his penchant for conversations at dinner tables, near wells, in the temple, on the mountain tops, valleys and on the roads. If we are to move forward in accompanying the youth, we must also step out of our well-furnished offices and smart classrooms. In addition to our formal spaces—offices and classrooms—the dusty roads, the bustling cafeterias, the vast playgrounds, the stone/wooden benches in our campuses, and our prayer rooms need to become the addas where conversations are ignited, gurus are tested, and the future of humanity is nurtured. Let us not just insist on ‘spiritual conversations’ but also everyday conversations with each other, especially with the youth in our institutions.

Ms Seema Shalini Lugun, a Jesuit alumna, is from Rourkela, Orissa and works as the lead HR at Caritas, India. HLC is a Soft-skills Training Institution run by the Jesuits of Jamshedpur province in Bhubaneswar.