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!
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!
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!
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!
By Majid Al Suleimany