Between Us Only!
Elements of Jealousy and Envy!
The basic and fundamental truth is – and whichever faith or religion that you believe in – these two elements of jealousy and envy are shunned at and being highly spoken against.
A long time ago- when we returned to Oman in the 1970s – my late Father took us the boys to visit for the first time our home village. Our Father introduced us to his remaining ‘parents levels’ – though both our grandparents had already died – our paternal grandmother in the same home village – and grandfather both sides in East Africa. My late Father was brought up by a lot of his Aunties – I am sure that the late grandmother would be so happy to have seen her grandchildren making well in life – at least one as an Author and another as a University Professor!
I remember my late Mother asking me to ask the CEO of the Company then where her many children used to work why there was not even one as a Manager or a Director. You can say she was hearing her peers boasting that their offspring were that level in front of her in notes comparisons! But that are Mothers for you
Anyway – as we were being introduced around we met many strange questions that we have never heard before being asked to us at any time before – and never in our lives! You would imagine that we being the same stock, cut and blood these things would not be a ‘culture shock’ type of thing to anyone of us. .
Like someone asking you why at this age and you have not married. But the bigger shocker was ‘how much salary are you receiving’ in your Oil Company then? Call it coming from different upbringings or the environments of birth – or the ‘colonial influences’ – but you simply do not ask such kind of ‘inquisitive penetrating questions’ at anybody – even to a person you know well and a friend either!
Anyway, I do not know what got into our late Father but he answered – on our behalf – quite a high and exaggerated rate. One of the men sat alone in his corner intently looking at us in shock awe and amazement for a considerable very long time. The looks really made us feel ‘uncomfortable and as being penetrated into our mindsets’ – and was very upsetting and annoying to say the least. Late in the evening, he was heard to mutter aloud several times with a great agony and sigh the amount rate of the salary that we were receiving (the imaginary inflated one!) – and this got us really worried with this element of ‘red (hot) eye’ thing – or more commonly known as being jealous and envious of others. We then told our father – if anything will happen to us – you will know why!
By nature, I am not a person that believes in superstitions and such kind of things, because I believe in my God as my Protector always Amin. But I have seen these so-called peoples with ‘red eye’ doing great harm and damage. As an off-shoot of this is – you should not praise or compliment anything without adding the element of ‘God Be Praised’ just to be on the right side!
After my retirement and years later working for another oil company – one day the Director retorted to me in front of my peers, customers and clients – and even subordinates – ‘We are paying you quite well and yet you have not delivered this thing I asked you to do’. The thing was already delivered and was in his Email – but he was waiting for his Secretary (foreigner) to open it for him! In all my life, people can accuse me of anything except Delivery! He went on – With your Pension Salary and what we pay you here and my salary the difference is only OMR 80! So one of the foreign directors teased him – You mean he is being paid more than you? No – he retorted – I am still ahead of him! (sic!).
Like I have said before, people cannot change their character and nature – even if they try hard to do so! Remember the leopards with their dots (spots) and the tigers with their stripes? And the scorpion and the frog story? Have said it many times here. Today I will narrate another story – these about three friends.
An angel meets them and gives each one a wish (a one-wish-angel)! So the first one asks to be in the best of places they wish for with all the other wishes and dressings and decorations with the wish – and they disappear from the scene – leaving alone the last one to make his wish. You guessed it – I am lonely and I want my friends to come back to me and remain as we were before! Why not wish something equally or better still for yourself instead?
Then there is the story of the fisherman with two baskets of crabs sitting by the roadside trying to sell them! One basket is heavily covered with a big stone on top – whilst the other is left wide open for all to see the crabs inside. So this man asks him – Why is this basket not covered? The fisherman replies – I do not have to worry about these crabs – because they are local crabs. If one tries to get out of the basket, the others will pull it in! The other basket of imported ones all the crabs try to pull each other out if they reach the top – that is why it is covered!
By Majid Al Suleimany
Muscat – Sultanate of Oman – September 2nd 2011.