“Does anyone walk on the buoyancy of air?” The priest asked the congregation, to a feeble reply of “No”. That was some few months ago. ” We all walk ON the ground” he continued. Unfortunate as it may seem, some mortals walk on this earth as if they breath a different mix of air, as if their oxygen is special. They behave as though they were immortal, as if they will live forever. Which is sad. And they are everywhere. Some know that they are not treating their fellow human beings well while others feign ignorance of their evil, and in so doing continue afflicting their evil on others. Usually these are people in power, real or perceived. But why do they exhibit such behavior? I guess the simplest answer is that power corrupts, while absolute power corrupts absolutely. If you combine this with a situation where the person wielding this power is stupid by all terms (education, experience, etc) then the resultant character is a disaster. It would be likened to a monkey holding a loaded gun, hand on the trigger and you trying to negotiate with it not to shoot you – an exercise bound to fail miserably.
These are people who will come to an organization or group with a fixed mindset. They will try as much as possible to be at loggerheads with everyone so that they portray all of you as the bad ones and him/her as the angel to the overall boss or authority. Mostly they will be boot-lickers, with no life to boot (pun intended). And in their small mindsets they would be mad at you for not following in their footsteps. What nonsense?! So they will always be on your neck. You come to the office maybe 5, 3 or 2 minutes late? You have to give a lengthy explanation – with a sit down lecture on how your “lateness” is making the company lose revenue, incur loses, get a negative cash flow, chase away investors and all that crap which makes you feel worthless though you give your total self to the company, sometimes putting in more hours (not minutes) to clear your desk and move processes forward.
But why? Because we think that power will always be with us. While the truth is that power, in the realms of life, is very temporary. Today you are in power, tomorrow the people whom you were exercising power on are the ones in power. As they say, dunia ni duara (the universe is round – what goes round comes round). Be good to people, because you can never determine your or anybody’s future. The good book, the Bible in Proverbs, instructs us that A Good Name is Better than Gold or Silver. Gold and silver here meaning riches, money, wealth etc. But apparently this wisdom has been convoluted. It’s now money and money. How we get it is not the issue, so long as we have the money. With this type of mentality, we are bringing up a generation which will not mind soiling their names as long as money flows into their pocket. We are at the stage where we do not care of those people under us, we do not care about their welfare. We are happy that they are below us, we are happy that they are earning meager salaries while doing the donkey work. We will not hesitate to gloat over what we have “achieved” and get all the awards, negotiate higher salaries for ourselves never to look at the people who really deserved the pat on the back. We then discredit them, get into a control-every-process in the company mode and spend hours and hours in office because we don’t trust anyone else. Then age catches up with us, and within no time we fold our careers (and egos) to retirement. We retire with no friends to call upon, only enemies. Probably with dysfunctional families, probably because we made the office our first priority during our productive years.
What the world is yearning for is leadership. Because managers have distorted the life as we know it today in the pursuit of the almighty dollar. It’s always the bottom line, whether lives are lost or not. My way or the highway, and in most cases my way or no way. This leadership lacuna is in all aspects of life whether in the work space or in church, at home or in school. Being given the mandate to lead others (or manage) should in all honesty be treated as the greatest privilege any person could ever get in this world. We need to maintain, or cultivate, that human to human touch, that we can feel the emotions of the other person and be more empathetic.
In relationships? We want to control the other. We want to be the ones whose needs must be fulfilled first – usually selfish wants. We want to be the ones complaining that the other is not doing this and that. We want to compete instead of loving one another. We want to show our children that the other party is useless. We have this preconceived notion that the other party has to follow certain rules which if followed will be rewarded, else no peace. And amidst all these, life becomes miserable. Love becomes sour. Unfortunately those who suffer most are the innocent children.
But in the backdrop of all these, my friend did give me this advice: “Have zero expectations from people and your life will be amazing”.
And by the way, did you know that the word human is derived from the Latin word humus, which means soil? Why go that extra mile to frustrate other people? Why behave like a god yet we are all mortals? Nothing stays as it is forever, and no situation is permanent. We need to ponder and reflect on this each and every day of our lives.
This article may seem rushed or not flowing. Please excuse the author, he is currently facing some challenges in life.