Money and Materialism! Reply

For Wednesday – April 3rd 2013

Between Us Only!

Money and Materialism!

Continuing from my last article With A Heart of Stone! I came to this world empty handed – and I now go to my grave empty handed – King Alexander The Great Last three wishes!

I forgot to add this stipulation. In this complex and difficult times facing all of us, it is best to avoid creating new enemies and adversaries – even if they are artificial and farfetched – since one needs all the friends and support one can get – instead of doing the opposite in your evil desire to ‘fix him’ revenges and bravados! Forget even about doing good things – and people doing bad things to you instead in reciprocity and gratitude! Truthfully, some people and things will just not change – whatever else that may go around them – even if the ground below them will collapse – and throw them far down to the cliffs and rocks far below them!

Money 2

One would also be excused to think that after decades of marriage and getting children and grandchildren together – this early stage in youth and in marriages – of always being individualistic, subjective and inward looking – with a craze for consumerism, materialism and money would eventually disappear. But disappear it does not! I do not remember now who said it but the saying goes that once you cross 30 years old – it is like a cast that has hardened to such an extent – that what is left is to just accept it only!

I have written before in this same column about Ubuntu Philosophy – which you can Google Search or find the article here in my website. In the East African lingo – they say Uutu – which is similar to Ubuntu of South Africa. It just means that ‘humanity is better than things (materials; items)’

In one of the places I had worked – there was this incident of ‘supposed to be happily married young couple – both highly educated and professionals – and with children too – that took each other to Court – because of issues of a grand villa they were building together. One wanted the villa to be rented out so they could pay back the mortgage – whilst the other wanted to stay in this large villa – when the family was just too small for the big villa (of small heart!) – just to impress friends! One would have imagined that this fundamental decision was made before building jointly – unless one crossed the other later on!

Toddler with shopping bags.

I know personally many of the ladies that had never in their lives bought any mobile phone or car – but wait for the husband to buy a new one – before the confiscation, monopolization and take over proceeds! And to add insult over injury – they are proud of their actions – and boast it all around to their friends. Yet still in many cases than one – if the husband has run in short – and needs help and or assistance to pay the car monthly installments – she is most reluctant to do so! I have seen so many cases of supposed to be well off and rich people that are miserly and dastardly to the core – and just unashamed and uncaring – that it jolts the mind and the imagination to the core – and its very foundations!

One time – long time ago – I was collecting some funds for building a Masjid in the island we grew up in that distant land. So this supposed to be rich and well off prosperous famous person called me. I have very good news for you – he beamed to me on the phone – come to my office – and see the surprise! So I excitedly and hurriedly went – and as soon as I was out from his office – I opened the envelope expecting to see thousands of Rials in cheque form. There was only one small denomination note inside – and I just could not believe it! When I told people about it – they laughed and sneered at me – lucky for you – normally he does not pay that much for anybody else!

Money 1

All Images For Demonstration Purposes Only!

In one of the places that I worked – keep guessing! – I normally used to bring my sandwich and some fruits for lunch – and did not go out for lunch with the boys. So this person comes to me with good and sound advice – why don’t you stretch your legs and go out – instead of staying in the office all day? Come – I invite you out for lunch. If he said it to me only in English – I would have said maybe he does not know the meaning of the word ‘invite’ – but he repeated it to me in Arabic!

There were others in the group lunch. When the bill came – the ‘Inviter’ said to me – your share is OMR 3.2. Aghast I looked into my wallet and was short. So I turned to the other more friendly guy – whom I even hardly knew even – and asked him if he could help me out – and that I forgot the balance in my Office. It was a Big Joke in the Office for quite some time!

People always say – Do not upset two kinds of people in the Offices – the HR and the Finance guys! This person had a HR issue sometime later – what goes around; comes around! Trust M to ‘throw the book back at him’ – for embarrassing me like this in front of the others! Usually I do not break any rules – but may tempt to bend the rules sometimes! There was simply no bending this time!

I think personally many of the issues are possibly family, hereditary and in upbringing – though a person true nature, character, personality – and approaches of life – are in grown too – because even in the same family – you can find people are different from one to the other! If you ask me if I want to be rich but be miserly – I would beg you to leave me as I am – and that is the greatest and favour that you will be doing to me. Keep your riches and gifts – but just do not forget what Alexander The Great had said!

Take Care!

By Majid Al Suleimany