Should opportunity make us joyful, happy and over exploiting or make us wise, responsible, meaningful and cautious? It is like the difference between ‘privilege’ and ‘freedom’. The ackee plant of Jamaica conveys an important ‘management’ message to the corporate world with reference to the definition of privilege and freedom (opportunity). Indeed the message is spiritual and evokes the sense of self restrain and responsibility as well.
The fruit of the plant is known to cause the Jamaican vomiting sickness that can lead to coma and sometime even death. Interestingly this fruit is the national fruit of Jamaica and is cultivated widely for its edible value. The unripe fruits contain the poison – hypoglycin. To eat the delicious fruit, one has to wait until the fruit pulp turn red and open naturally. One should never eat the fruit when it is unripe.
Despite such strong limitation and danger of the unripe fruit containing the poison, still the ripened fruit enjoys great repute in the state of Jamaica. The national dish of the country is prepared with ‘ackee fruit and codfish’ which is considered to be the most delicious dish of the state especially by even those who visit Jamaica.
The management message is that do not go sightless when you see such delicious fruit but be wise and patient. Opportunity is not meant for exploitation and no opportunity should be treated as ‘freedom’. The ripened fruit is very tasty and delicious and if one wants to eat such delicious fruit means, must wait until the fruit ripen, becomes red in colour and opens naturally. Otherwise (if you are impatient) get ready to develop Jamaican vomiting sickness, go to coma state or die.
Most of the corporate people always think that the fallacies, perks and facilities etc., given to them are part of their right and freedom and they deserve also.
The creation of the unique ackee fruits by nature might have a strong purpose to serve. Only to make people conscious and responsible, the nature would have created ackee fruits. One cannot rush at the fruit when they see it, nor can denounce it because it is poisonous. Even though it is poisonous when it is unripe, but is very delicious and healthy when it ripens.
Opportunities are like ackee fruits. One must use to carefully only then one would find success otherwise, the same wonderful opportunity might turn to become a death trap like the unripe ackee fruit. Be wise and responsible in your approach and never be a lavish or a prodigal person.
Dr S Ranganathan, ClinRise Derma Pvt., Lt.d., Chennai
Desire, Dream and Destination – Social Entrepreneur Forum