Encouragement Inspiring stories The Red Carpet

Inspiring Stories The Power Of Encouragement

Encouragement Vidya Sury

In my post “Nurtured by encouragement” a couple of weeks ago, I invited you, dear readers, to share an experience where someone’s words changed the course of your life, or where your words made a difference in someone’s actions or life. Today, I am excited to share a real-life experience with you from a fabulous and prolific blogger I met not very long ago.

His name is Proactive Indian. No, I do not know his name. But that’s not the point now. What matters is his writing touches the heart and his blog is very thought-provoking. I am very glad I know him.  He blogs about social ills, mostly focused around India, shares heartwarming stories from his personal experiences and writes posts that make you keep the faith. In his words, “the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. Indeed.

Here is a page from his own experience where his words of encouragement made a difference in someone’s life.

Presenting our guest, Proactive Indian on The Red Carpet.

What goes around, comes around – A story of encouragement

narrated by Proactive Indian

On a Wednesday morning in February a few years back, our Pune Branch Manager telephoned me. “I’m worried about Deepak. He took a week off to go to Mumbai to meet his US-based cousin. He was to return to Pune on Sunday and report for work on Monday. He’s not returned, there is no communication from him, and his mobile phone appears switched off since Monday.”

Deepak Kumar, an engineering graduate in his late twenties, was our Assistant Branch Manager at Pune. Before he was promoted and transferred to Pune last year, he worked in the Head Office. Easily the best-performing Sales Executive in our company, he was popular with all customers, colleagues and seniors. As Head of Marketing, I interacted extensively with him during his tenure at the Head Office and enjoyed an excellent rapport with him.

I discussed the matter with the H. R. Head and offered to telephone Deepak’s parents who lived in Hyderabad. I had met them when Deepak and I had gone there on a business visit two years earlier. The H. R. Head agreed.

Deepak’s father informed me that Deepak was in Hyderabad since Sunday because he was unwell. When I asked for details of Deepak’s illness, he was evasive. I did not push the matter further, but requested him to ask Deepak to telephone me as soon as possible. I assured him that my call was prompted more by my concern for Deepak’s personal well-being, less by work considerations.

That evening, Deepak emailed me. He said:

“Sir,

 

I sincerely apologize for causing so much inconvenience to you and to my other seniors.

 

Please do not worry about my health. I am fine.

 

I have decided to resign from my job because I have realized that I have been drifting aimlessly all these years. I will take my next step after deciding what my goals in life are.

 

Please treat this email as my resignation and relieve me with immediate effect. Please send the settlement papers to my residence in Hyderabad.

 

Sir, I will definitely come to meet you after I am relieved. I do not want to meet you now or even speak with you over phone because I know that you will convince me to change my mind. Please do not get me wrong, Sir. I have the highest respect for you.

 

Best regards,

 

Deepak Kumar”

I discussed the matter with the H. R. Head, who telephoned Deepak’s father and requested him to inform Deepak that the company would be forced to take serious action if Deepak did not report personally to the Pune branch or to the H. R. Head at the Head Office by 9.00 am the following Monday. I sent a short reply to Deepak’s email stating that the H. R. Head would handle this matter from now on.

On Monday morning, Deepak reported to the H. R. Head and handed in his resignation letter. The H. R. Head returned the letter to Deepak and told him that, while he was free to resign, his resignation had to be forwarded to H. R. by the Marketing Head. He spoke with me on the intercom and I said I could meet Deepak immediately.

The moment of truth

Deepak came over and, without a word, handed me his resignation letter. I read it, placed it on my table, and said, “Deepak, I will not try to stop you from resigning. But I must know exactly why you are resigning. I’ll have to explain to the President why our rising star is leaving all of a sudden. So, why are you resigning? I want facts, not philosophy.”

When Deepak started beating around the bush, I asked him a few questions and he answered honestly. He had taken a week off to spend time in Mumbai with his cousin who was visiting India after a gap of 4 years. Deepak and this cousin had been classmates in engineering college. After graduating, Deepak took up a job in India, while his cousin went to the USA, where he completed his post-graduation and got a job. Deepak was struck by the glaring disparity between his cousin’s financial status and his own. By the end of the week, he was convinced that he was drifting aimlessly. He decided to quit his job right away without thinking it through or even deciding what his next step was going to be.

Encouragement believe

I realized there was no point trying to reason with Deepak and just told him that quitting his job would only make matters worse. After confirming that until last week, he had generally been quite happy in his present job, I suggested that he should continue in his job, think over his career options and take the next step only after he had a concrete plan of action.

To further his growth prospects, he could apply for an MBA but he would have to wait until next year to enroll in a good institute. A few months down the line, he would have to appear for the entrance examinations for admission in the next academic year.

If he wanted to switch jobs, his employment prospects would drop sharply if he was unemployed when he applied. Also, if he quit his job, he would have no income.

Deepak sees the light

Fortunately, Deepak saw merit in my analysis of his situation. He decided to continue in his present job.

Two months later, he decided that he would do an MBA. He prepared hard for the entrance examinations, performed well and got admission into a highly acclaimed management institute. Eventually he completed the MBA and joined a consulting company. Today he is happily settled there, enjoys job satisfaction and a good salary.

Deepak was one of the lucky people to have seniors who cared enough about him to take the time and make the effort to support and guide him at a crucial point in his life. But, to be very honest, both the H. R. Head and I went the extra mile only because Deepak was special to us, not because of his excellent sales figures, but because of his attitude and behavior towards his work and to all the people he came in contact with. It is truly said, “What goes around, comes around.”

Thank you, Pro.

Dear Readers, please visit Pro’s blog at Proactive Indian

Read more about him here

He tweets as @IndianProactive

Some of my favorite posts on his blog are:

Handling customer grievances

Tackling workplace / sexual harassment

Not legally obliged, but morally obliged

But feel free to browse around!

Question for you:

Did you enjoy this inspiring story of encouragement?

Do you have an experience to share?

Let me know in the comments

 Encouragement take pride

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67 Comments

  • Reply
    Mary Stephenson
    October 10, 2013 at 4:11 am

    Hi Vidya

    That is a good lesson in taking the time to evaluate your situation and see if there is a better alternative. Throwing away the progress you have made can end up being disastrous. Many times I wanted to quit at a dysfunctional workplace, but also had to weigh in what if I couldn’t replace the income. When a person is young and sees someone else succeeding doesn’t mean that if they do the same it will be successful for them. Many times it is all about timing and planning.
    Your friend Proactive Indian is very wise.

    Mary
    Mary Stephenson recently posted…Things That Go Bump In The Night (or in this case the day also)!My Profile

    • Reply
      Proactive Indian
      October 10, 2013 at 6:16 am

      Mary, you have rightly said that “taking the time to evaluate your situation” is necessary. That’s all that I made Deepak do.
      Proactive Indian recently posted…Private advice: drink until you forget! (33 Fiction)My Profile

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      October 10, 2013 at 10:04 pm

      Great point, Mary. Invariably, the wisdom that what works for someone else may not work for me comes with experience. You see, the grass always greener ahead! 🙂 I’ve been amazingly fortunate to have mentors who lifted me up even though I had some tough times. 🙂 Thank you for your comment! I loved what Pro did!
      Vidya Sury recently posted…How Do You Spell Love?My Profile

  • Reply
    Kathy
    October 10, 2013 at 4:51 am

    I am impressed that they valued his service enough to encourage him to stay. People should matter more than the bottom line and it is refreshing to find in this case that it is the case!
    Kathy recently posted…Wordless Wednesday:Visions of AutumnMy Profile

    • Reply
      Proactive Indian
      October 10, 2013 at 6:20 am

      Kathy, if employers care for their employees, the employees will do whatever it takes to improve the topline and the bottomline. Unfortunately, many employers don’t realise this.
      Proactive Indian recently posted…An efficient watchdog? Or a drowsy watchdog?My Profile

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      October 10, 2013 at 10:39 pm

      Thank you Kathy. When an organization considers its employees as assets, it encourages. In my first job, it was my boss who recommended me to another employer, because he thought it was time for me to grow. Not many bosses do that. 🙂 I am proud to feature Pro here today!
      Vidya Sury recently posted…Inspiring Stories The Power Of EncouragementMy Profile

  • Reply
    Julie Barrett
    October 10, 2013 at 5:26 am

    What a great story! It’s good to know that people care about people, after all.
    Julie Barrett recently posted…A Surprise Psychometry LessonMy Profile

  • Reply
    Bhavya
    October 10, 2013 at 5:57 am

    Vidya, I am so glad that this is the first thing I read in the morning. You just made my day. Thank you Proactive Indian, for sharing this little snippet of your life with us.
    Bhavya recently posted…She Was Like That!My Profile

  • Reply
    Proactive Indian
    October 10, 2013 at 6:25 am

    Good deeds have a positive impact on all people, even on those who were not involved.
    Proactive Indian recently posted…Why we have so many scams! (33 Fiction)My Profile

  • Reply
    preethi prasan
    October 10, 2013 at 10:35 am

    lovely story. I am glad you did what you did. Not many people would take time to explain and help understand, but rather worry about procedure and how to explain the situation to their boss and what they will need to do if he leaves. A few minutes of you time certainly helped someone rethink his entire life!!

    • Reply
      Proactive Indian
      October 10, 2013 at 2:19 pm

      Yes, we do tend to get bogged down by ‘procedure’, don’t we?
      Proactive Indian recently posted…Turn the other cheek? Or offer to slap back?My Profile

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      October 10, 2013 at 10:22 pm

      Preethi, I admire what Pro did, too. Life his interesting. I’ve faced both kinds of bosses. One was completely apathetic while the other was totally encouraging. Thanks to the apathetic guy, I became stronger, and discovered my abilities, but it was not at all easy. For one thing, procedure was an obstacle and 😀 if I had Rs.10 for every insubordination memo I received, I’d be rich. 😀

      Thank you, Preethi, for commenting!
      Vidya Sury recently posted…Inspiring Stories The Power Of EncouragementMy Profile

  • Reply
    devanganaa
    October 10, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    Very nice post and glad to know that there are people who respect the attitude of the employees. Rare are those persons these days. Inspirational post must say.

  • Reply
    Proactive Indian
    October 10, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    What the H.R. Head and I did was simply what all seniors should do under such circumstances.
    Proactive Indian recently posted…Handling customer grievancesMy Profile

  • Reply
    richa singh
    October 10, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    This is truly heartwarming. And a very real life situation which is very regular. I hope that more of such people can warm up to this way of communicating with someone in this dilemma.

    I wish someone spoke to me in todays times like this. My heart flutters to options of quitting a lot these days…
    richa singh recently posted…How I wish I could read your mind right now-Part 9My Profile

    • Reply
      Proactive Indian
      October 10, 2013 at 4:29 pm

      Unfortunately, these days, many people, including senior managers, change jobs very frequently. So there are less chances of genuinely strong relationships being developed.
      Proactive Indian recently posted…Self-help is the only help!My Profile

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      October 10, 2013 at 10:18 pm

      Just don’t do anything hasty, Richa. You’re welcome to chat if you feel like. I am here. 🙂
      Vidya Sury recently posted…It Can Only Get BetterMy Profile

  • Reply
    Roshan R
    October 10, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    This was a wonderful read. I’m happy that by being there at the right moment, one life was saved from what could have been a really bad downhill fall.
    One of our biggest flaws is this.. we compare our position to others and then feel dejected in life.

    • Reply
      Proactive Indian
      October 10, 2013 at 4:31 pm

      You are correct. Comparisons should never be made, but most of us make them a lot.
      Proactive Indian recently posted…Can we overcome? Yes We Can!My Profile

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      October 10, 2013 at 10:14 pm

      Sometimes I think we’re hardwired to compare, Roshan. After all, everyone wants to do better, be better. So aspiring is good. Doing it with a guide to steer one in the right direction is even better 😀 Deepak was fortunate. Thank you for commenting!
      Vidya Sury recently posted…Feeding My SoulMy Profile

  • Reply
    Shilpa Garg
    October 10, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    It is so nice to note that in this ‘I-Me-Myself’ world, there are people who think and care about others and guide them too. And it is true, what goes around, comes around!
    Shilpa Garg recently posted…Spine Poetry – 9My Profile

    • Reply
      Proactive Indian
      October 10, 2013 at 9:38 pm

      If I don’t care about others, I can’t expect anybody to care about me.
      If I care about others, I can expect somebody to care about me.
      Proactive Indian recently posted…Superpower??? (33 Fiction)My Profile

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      October 10, 2013 at 10:12 pm

      There definitely are, Shilpa. Maybe it looks like some people give all the time, but, as my wise Grandma was fond of saying, the more you give, the more you get. Thank you for commenting!
      Vidya Sury recently posted…Taking Personal ResponsibilityMy Profile

  • Reply
    Michelle Liew
    October 10, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    Thought provoking. Clearly illustrates that things come full circle!
    Michelle Liew recently posted…The Climb on Our Land of Empathy and WonderMy Profile

  • Reply
    ruchira
    October 10, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    what an inspiring read this thursday morning. Proactive Indian, I wish you the best and yes, you have made me think twice to pause and reflect on my journey rather than just hop from one bus to another…

    Namaste!
    ruchira recently posted…Wordless Wednesday #8My Profile

    • Reply
      Proactive Indian
      October 10, 2013 at 9:40 pm

      Before hopping from one bus to another, make sure both buses have stopped! 🙂
      Proactive Indian recently posted…What goes around, comes around – A story of encouragementMy Profile

      • Reply
        Vidya Sury
        October 10, 2013 at 10:10 pm

        Very well said, Pro. These days I travel by bus in my area and I am going hoarse insisting that they stop so I can get off. 🙂 But seriously, it breaks my heart to see someone quit their job in their over-confidence to find a better one, little realizing that life doesn’t quite work that way.

        Ruchira. Stop. Look. Think. Proceed. Hugs! Glad you liked this post!
        Vidya Sury recently posted…More Than EnoughMy Profile

  • Reply
    Sugandha
    October 10, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    Amazing! I too hve a boss like that and could so relate to it,
    Sugandha recently posted…UBC Day 10 – Coming back – 9My Profile

  • Reply
    Carolyn Hughes
    October 10, 2013 at 11:25 pm

    I love your heartwarming story Pro. It’s good to read about people who care. “What comes around, goes around,” is one of my favourite quotes as it has so much truth to it!
    Carolyn Hughes recently posted…Who do you think you are?My Profile

  • Reply
    Aditi
    October 11, 2013 at 12:17 am

    Angels in disguise….they really exist!! Very inspiring…guiding someone who is lost for not knowing the better, is a deed not many people do these days!! Thanks Proactive Indian and Vidya for sharing this!
    Aditi recently posted…Every once in a whileMy Profile

  • Reply
    Proactive Indian
    October 11, 2013 at 6:50 am

    Angels, in disguise or otherwise, are not a rarity. They can be found everywhere, but not necessarily in sufficient numbers.
    Proactive Indian recently posted…Why we have so many scams! (33 Fiction)My Profile

  • Reply
    G Angela
    October 11, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    Thanks for sharing this… very few people take the trouble to spend some time and genuinely think of the other person’s progress… very encouraging!!
    G Angela recently posted…A Special Tribute to My Nephew SunnyMy Profile

  • Reply
    J.D. Meier
    October 11, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    It sounds like you saved Deepak a lot of pain.

    I’ve seen way too many people “move away” from something instead of figuring out what to “move towards.”

    They floundered, spiraled down, and eventually realized the grass isn’t always greener, especially when you don’t know where to find the grass, or whether you even want grass.
    J.D. Meier recently posted…How To Change Any Experience to Empower YouMy Profile

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      October 11, 2013 at 5:03 pm

      JD, Deepak was so lucky thanks to Pro. Through my career, I’ve seen fellow salesmen in the market envy us because our bosses would actually chat with us every evening. That’s not the case with most companies that treat sales people well only when they perform well. Consequently, there’s no real relationship and lots of employee turnover. All of us worked hard, (office automation and later, industrial components were back-breaking industries) – the difference was the equation between the “bosses” and staff.

      I am so happy to see you here, JD. You know I admire your posts – especially today’s, touched my heart because I believe our perceptions of any experience controls our actions. I loved the Jukebox metaphor!

      Thank you for your comment. 🙂

    • Reply
      Proactive Indian
      October 14, 2013 at 12:55 pm

      Thanks, JD. Sorry for the late reply. Yes, quite a few people know what they don’t want, but don’t know what they want. Timely handholding by a mentor makes a big difference,
      Proactive Indian recently posted…Justice for Preeti Rathi (acid attack victim)My Profile

  • Reply
    Rekha
    October 11, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    Comparison is the biggest malice in our lives. We compare our lives with others, without analyzing the pluses and minuses in both.

    I am glad you and the HR head took time. Not many managers do that and not necessarily the HR and the management agrees to it. Great read as always!
    Rekha recently posted…Justice for Preeti Rathi (acid attack victim)My Profile

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      October 11, 2013 at 5:10 pm

      True, Rekha. A better opportunity always tends to form a haze around reality. Some people are smart to cut through it and weigh things. Some just act hastily.
      Thank you for commenting. I am very glad Pro is here with us today.

    • Reply
      Proactive Indian
      October 14, 2013 at 2:31 pm

      Thanks, Rekha.
      The grass always appears greener on the other side of the hedge.
      Each person must try to make the best of what (s)he has.
      Proactive Indian recently posted…An efficient watchdog? Or a drowsy watchdog?My Profile

  • Reply
    Corinne Rodrigues
    October 11, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    PI – This story really resonates with me, because I’ve been lucky to have been encouraged by bosses at work. I have been in position to encourage a young woman who was brilliant but so low on confidence, that she fell ill every two weeks. With counselling and lots of hand-holding, she went on to do really well. Encouraging others doesn’t cost much, but makes a world of difference to the person who needs it!
    Corinne Rodrigues recently posted…ReinventionMy Profile

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      October 11, 2013 at 8:08 pm

      Low self-confidence is a killer, Corinne. Like you, I was lucky most of the time. At one time, things were very tough being the only woman on the sales team and being a top performer. The guys didn’t like it one bit and would sabotage my stuff – as we all belonged to the same group and occupied the same premises, even though we worked for different companies in the group. Ugh! I was lucky my boss had faith in me, because it would have been natural for him to swing either way.

      🙂 Thank you for commenting. You’re right – all it takes is a little time, a few encouraging words to make a huge difference.
      Vidya Sury recently posted…If Wishes Were EquineMy Profile

    • Reply
      Proactive Indian
      October 14, 2013 at 2:36 pm

      That’s correct, Corinne. With encouragement, the giver invests very little, but the receiver gets a huge return i.e. very high Return on Investment!
      Proactive Indian recently posted…Vijay Merchant: a great cricketer, a great human being, and a Proactive Indian!My Profile

  • Reply
    richmiraclefiles
    October 11, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    Hi Vidya,
    This is a very telling post indeed.And it speaks for the thousands of working lot across the world who have met with similar circumstances. Yet the outcomes vary form the outright hilarious to the most profoundly moving.
    In this instance the HR head and the Marketing Head had the maturity and the grace to handle the situation with the requisite maturity.And it made a world of difference to the individual concerned.
    Sometimes the smallest acts of consideration and good intent proves to be a turning point for people who need to be bolstered at a critical juncture.
    Thanks
    Mona
    richmiraclefiles recently posted…Supercharge Yourself With Great Feelings QuicklyMy Profile

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      October 11, 2013 at 8:04 pm

      True, Mona – and imagine, all it takes is some compassion and the willingness to guide.I know of people who can, but wont.

      Thank you for commenting!
      Vidya Sury recently posted…If Wishes Were EquineMy Profile

    • Reply
      Proactive Indian
      October 14, 2013 at 2:41 pm

      Every senior must remember that (s)he was a junior some day. Like a smile, encouragement costs almost nothing, but it pays a lot!
      Proactive Indian recently posted…Justice for Preeti Rathi (acid attack victim)My Profile

  • Reply
    richmiraclefiles
    October 11, 2013 at 8:17 pm

    Hi vidya,
    You may not believe this but its an honour for me to be responded to by you so promptly.I did not expect such a swift response.I am a huge fan of yours and couldn’t wait to see what you felt about my comment.
    Pardon me ,but really I admire your diligence in posting almost every day.How do you do that?Where do you manage the time?and the content?
    Seriously I would be happy to have your insight on this,as a token of encouragement,if not anything else!
    thanks
    Mona
    richmiraclefiles recently posted…Supercharge Yourself With Great Feelings QuicklyMy Profile

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      October 11, 2013 at 9:53 pm

      Awww Mona. Here I am, wallowing in a bit of guilt because I haven’t been very prompt in replying to comments recently! Actually I do not post every day – twice, thrice a week max. But I have two other blogs (have listed them in the sidebar) – where I try to post twice a week.

      I find it easy to write because I realized, a few years ago, that everything is blog-able. The child I see every day, the shopkeepers around my place, our watchman, the street vendors, there is a story in everything and every one. And when we tune ourselves, there’s a takeaway every where. For example, today, on my way back home from an errand, I took the bus and saw a woman holding her 2 year old child and both were watching out the window. The child was delighted, she kept gurgling and chattering and clearly, the Mom was happy. The bus conductor was fighting with someone over change for the ticket, someone else was busy on the phone and loud, but nothing bothered the Mom and child…they didn’t allow their happiness to be disturbed. Watching them, calmed me.

      I just write from the heart, Mona. I don’t allow myself to be pressurized to write, and that helps me write often. 😀 I guess it also helps that I invariably write from my own experiences – so the content is easy!

      You are a wonderful writer, Mona. I’d love the honor of featuring you on my blog in a couple of weeks. 🙂

      Hugs!
      Vidya Sury recently posted…Fragrant MemoriesMy Profile

  • Reply
    Elle
    October 12, 2013 at 4:38 am

    Hi Proactive Indian – great story and it totally speaks to me of that old adage as within so without. Deepak drew a wonderful experience and people to him because of the being he is.

    Thanks for sharing Vidya.
    Elle recently posted…23 Incredibly Empowering Quotes For Successful LivingMy Profile

  • Reply
    richmiraclefiles
    October 13, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    Hi vidya,
    Thanks a ton for your encouragement and your offer to feature my writing on your blog.
    I’m actually walking on clouds!Wonder if you know how that feels?
    You helped me by supercharging my cells once more.
    Thanks
    Mona
    richmiraclefiles recently posted…Supercharge Yourself With Great Feelings QuicklyMy Profile

  • Reply
    sridevi
    October 13, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    What an engrossing,inspiring tale. I am glad the young man’s tale had a happy ending . Perhaps things would not have been the same if he had a different set of seniors or bosses . Thank You Proactive Indian and Vidya 🙂
    sridevi recently posted…Conversations in Grey – ConcludedMy Profile

  • Reply
    Vishnu
    October 14, 2013 at 3:51 am

    hi Vidya, enjoyed this story by P.I.He was definitely there and concerned for the employee who wanted to quit and could have helped change his life around with his mentorship and leadership. Also interesting to note how comparing ourselves to others may make us feel worthless sometimes. If we focused on our own journey, success will be waiting or us. It doesn’t matter how far others go and how quickly they get there. Behind every person’s story is their own struggle and challenges. This is a story with a happy ending. Thanks P.I and Vidya for sharing.

  • Reply
    meenamenon
    October 15, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    This is what managers do… thou honestly they are a rare commodity!

  • Reply
    Philip V Ariel
    October 20, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    Hi Vudya,
    I am a bit late here,
    Very interesting post.
    Thanks for the intro about this wonderful personality, Great point brought out in this post.
    I am reminded of a Bible verse in this regard.
    “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.” Matthew 7:12
    “Do to others as you would like them to do to you ” Luke 6:31
    Thanks Vidya and Pro. Indian 🙂
    Keep inform
    Best
    Philip

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