How I Feel!
As Posted on October 4, 2009.
Just Trying To Explain It – Finally!
God give me the knowledge to know what things I can change and what things I cannot change – and the wisdom to know the difference between the two. God give me also courage – to be able to change the things I can change – Anon.
I do not know about you but lately I have been too much worried and concerned about the number of young people that I know that have died violently mainly due to traffic accidents. It is not only a wastage of National resources and potentials but the scars, pain, hurt, deprivation and feelings of lose that they leave behind especially to their especially parents, family and friends is grave and unbearable.
Yet you still see them on the roads continuing unabated – and the sad tragic irony is that more elder peoples and even the fairer sex have joined in the melee. It does not matter which size or what car one drives – but I notice that it is mainly those in the smaller and in the sports cars that are mainly responsible – though there are those too in the bigger vehicles and the 4WD too.
I then sit with my neighbour and friend BA and we discuss about how many of our friends that we went out together on early retirement to abandon ship that had died so far. I count 15 I tell him, and then we check out the names – and he is right that I had missed two and his numbers are correct. They mainly went the natural or sick way, thank God at least! So we compare notes still further – and I ask him – are you afraid and scared like I am? He looks me straight at the eye and says – we all have to go one day, and I take each day one by one as it comes – and I may be afraid but there is simply nothing you can do about it.
But just try to do all the good you can before your time comes – and try to be friendly and forgive as best as you can to those that had been as adversary and confronting to one in life before – whether by purpose intentionally or by default! We discuss together on the notion that over 35@ of people that take retirement die in the first 10 years from retirement – perhaps due to boredom, despair and disappointments – or simply because of antipathy and frustrations in the new lives they now meet!
Then we recall how we too used to have exchanges in our time together. Strangely and coincidentally, we have also been neighbours in the same Department and Offices for the last 10 years in our career life. I had even taken over his job responsibilities of being in charge of the Company accommodation allocations to staff – mainly expatriates – whilst he was moved to other job aspects. Then he tells me – did they ever tell you why they gave you this added responsibility to your job aspects? I feign innocence – and then he tells me – nothing new, as I have heard it all before!
So I tell him – you know what? Great Madam Apple of my eyes always mocks me with this and other slogans of credit and praises given to me – what has it helped you or assisted you in your career, future potentials and prospects? Nothing except bad things that had brought you down and being looked down by those in decision making – and that you operated outside the system rather than being inside to try to make changes from within as part of the system – rather than from outside with dismal and poor results – albeit being famous, well liked and popular from outside! But by peoples that cannot do anything for you, or you to gain anything from them! You are the loser – not them! – She adds in the salt to the wound! It hurts me more!
Then my friend tells me! This is something I have never told you before – but I will tell you now! You know people really respect, admire and adhere you – even those against and that are adversary to you – because you stood out to speak the truth. You fought for the under dogs and the victims at danger and loss to yourself. You always were ethical, professional, principled and equitable. You treated everyone fairly and ethically, with no bias, discrimination or favour. Whether Omani or Expatriate – and with no colourings, polarizations, creed, race or religion – everyone was treated equally and fairly by you! Is that not something as a credit or achievement?
I then tell him No – according to Madam’s books and estimation. I am seen as sacrificing myself and my family for ‘lost causes and purposes’ – and those that I stood up for, tried to defend or cared for did not bother the least after what they could get as a result from you. You were just judged as someone out on lost cause (the rebel without a cause syndrome!) and out for a convert popularity contest that went off quite badly – and the losers were you – and nobody else.
Only you made your family especially suffer in the process – and even those that you stood up for and fought for saw you in vain and weak and naïve – even bordering stupidity too – and this time it is chilies too added to the wound – not just salt! Even the family think like me – she adds in!
I then try to defend myself. I am a Believer; I try as much as I can to be one. In the books it goes – You have three stages to make changes. The highest level is making the changes if you can do that yourself (have the authority and power to do so). If not then you go down to level two – that is trying to cause change by speaking and acting out against it. But if you cannot do that – then the lowest level is the third one of saying to your heart you are against this – but are afraid and scared to do anything about it – leave it all in your heart and inside you only. Outside you go along – or just doing your job by following orders! Leave the rest to Almighty God only!
There is also this saying – Only dead fish go with the tide. So I say to her – I have never gone down to level three ever before in my life, I ended up best at level two only. Give me my life all over again – and in most likelihood I may repeat myself and do the same things all over again. I want to go and sleep at night with a clear and clean conscience. For sure if I cannot help or assist anyone for any particular reason, I will tell that person transparently clear – and even explain why.
But certainly, I will NEVER go out to purposely hurt, pain and disadvantage someone for gaining any points, advantage or popularity. That I will never do. And if by default, I will come out to apologise – and try to remedy and correct.
Then I remember so many that had advised me – great high profile peoples that I need to use their titles first before I call them by their first names even – M – Do Not Change! You are unique and are different – one of a kind – remain as you are. If in private so many CEOs and – so many Chairman and Directors have told me the same – something must be right here somewhere! Madam must be wrong – and maybe it is all due to this fight where everyone says wrong things to only make a bad situation only worse – you be the judge!
That is me – and I will never change. Especially now at this stage. Take me, as I am – nothing less – and nothing more!
(Or A Cry For Help!)
Pleased to inform you that my second Management Book titled A Cry For Help! is now finalized! Ready for sponsorship too – but on condition of no changes to my book contents!
Decades long time ago, at the times of competition between Video Beta and VHS formats, I had bought my first video machine – and with it my first video (beta) purchase. As a just recently married person you can imagine my happiness of ‘making it’ in the ‘jungle out there’ lives competition. Incidentally my first video I purchased was this one of ex Peter Sellers acting as a ‘wrongly invited’ guest to a party – and the film itself was called The Party.
After demolishing by error a stage set, he was still yet invited to the Film Set Party – where with ‘birdie num num’ he orchestrated other disasters at the party. I know my classmates of Indian ancestry were very angry with me in that distant land when I mimicked Peter Sellers – and the other students thought that I was very funny and should consider being a comedian as a career move!
The part I liked best was when Peter Sellers as the Indian Actor (sorry I forgot the name!) was the hero in defending at the party a lady in distress from the affronts of her Producer boyfriend – and the man turns on Peter Sellers – and says to him – You keep out of this! Who do you think you are? To which not sober Peter Sellers as the Indian retorts – In India we do not think who we are! We know what we are! The man then confronts the woman and says – your career as an Actress is finished – and the poor lady cries – that was a short career indeed – accompanied by the comforting and consoling words to the lady by who else than Peter Sellers!
I have always remembered that statement to this day – whenever in my life someone had confronted me with – Who Do You Think You Are? – Whether from my Boss and Superiors, or others. Or they say – He has chips on his shoulder! The ironical tragic pathetic and sad part of it all was being told this by so-called ‘invited guests’ to my country and to me as a citizen of the land! If one cannot be allowed to make a stand and a point because it is different from yours as in charge – or he is not jumping up at all when you say Jump! – then what is the point in life and its aspirations? We cannot all be Yes-Men or be just like Dummies and Zombies in life per se!
Like I have said so many times before in this same column and in my books too (see http://www.alsuleimany.com I had just stumbled into writing after my consultancy bankruptcy – it was not something that I had actually pinned or planned for myself before as a career or as a future. I had to feed my and my family rumbling stomachs – and God Had given me these talents, skills, innovation etc of writing which had remained much unused – with the exception of the odd notes to my bosses and others complaining of unethical, unprofessional, unfair and unjust treatment not only to myself but to others too. And this AFTER trying to talk, persuade, convince, advise, counsel first – as in the team – and as a Team Player! That is me – that is how I am – take me as I am – or leave me just alone! There is no middle ground here – as far as I can tell!
After publication of my books, and which I had said clearly of my intentions, drive, focuses and ambitions cum aspirations – I have very candidly admitted that I had no intention to harm anyone – BUT to speak about the truths and realities overall with a focus, desire and objective to learn from each other as there is no one who can claim to be perfect and or knows everything. It is to redirect, correct and remedy, if not for now, but for sure for the future generations to come and for our development, progress and well-being. My sincere hopes were for development and improvement in the management spheres especially. I have strived to be as frank, open, forthright, honest, sincere and genuine as I possibly could be.
And is that my crime? Or does everybody want to join the silent majority – pretences and mirages of going quiet, unattached, uninterested and uninvolved – like that cinder fire burning underneath heatedly until it bursts open – and then everyone will ask why the situation was not told or worse still – What happened? I have always said in this column and in my books too – there is nothing so beneath all of us than seeing wrong, unjust, unfair and unethical things being done with and to others!
Or as we see in the televisions and read in the newspapers and the internet – and we put our heads to the ground as if nothing is happening – or we have joined the large majority of not bothering, caring, feeling or involving ourselves in anymore – as being just as selfish, indifferent, dastardly and mean as we can be. It does not bother us – nor our guilt, conscience and us as human beings supposed to be the most intelligent species on the earth!
I had said – As we Arabs, work is worshipped as if it is in praying. Arabs are also brought up to be polite, courteous and decent (at least a majority of us). Abrupt, ugly, bad behaviours and attitudes, rudeness and distort are discouraged. Also it is not easy to say NO in us – as part of the culture, customs, traditions and heritage. So what has gone wrong here – especially in management circles? Why are we then behind the rest of the world, despite all our riches and resources?
The other day I had walked into one of the bookshops and was lucky to see one of the European ladies buying two of my books – so smiling and beaming poor me walked across to her and volunteered to her – would you like me to sign the books? First she could not believe me in my Omani dress – but I have never seen a happier lady before in my life – and it made my day!
This brings me to the point I want to make here, once again. For how long this situation of ‘shoot first ask questions later’ would continue? And this quick perceptions, stereo typing, innuendos, double dealings, double and crude handlings – and everything else that is not right, correct, ethical, principled, just, fair and professional in the interfaces, relationships and inter-relationships?
And how long we as the citizens of the land will continue not valuing or not supporting our own – but just others outside? Or not supporting and assisting each other – and the innovations, entrepreneurships, ingenuity, enterprises, and human resources development – to people especially like us writing and in the language I am good at in English? Till when?
Our neighbours are sending satellites to the moon – whilst we are still doing each other in – and rivalries, jealousies, competitions, undermining, polarization, envies predominate – and fighting over in-fights squabbles and minor minute things, particulars and details.
This element of inward looking of Envy, Jealousy and Haassidyn towards each other has to end now – before it destroys us for good!
Let us not forget this main theme and thing – Those that want to conquer you – They Divide and Rule you!
Allah (God) Protect us all from His Anger, Wrath and Fury – Amin (Amen)
Majid Said Nasser Al Suleimany.
First Written & Posted October 9, 2009!
How Time Flies!