The Slovenia Times

Where do I start? What should I say?



It has become our way of dealing with the stresses of modern day life, and once we have bitched it out of our system we kind of feel better - as though the voicing of our opinion has sort of contributed to the gross of making things right - that we now feel counted and ourselves, even if not by the many. And me? - An actor, an economist, a son, a husband and a father, born of an English mother and a Persian [read Parsi] father in India, married to a Slovene could I have something to say or to contribute or to add to whatever is or has been said...maybe, and that too maybe only because I come from a different background, from a different upbringing and therefore might have a different perspective. And does that really count in today's globalized environment? You might say, East is East and West is West and never the twain shall meet, but surely there is some common territory, some basic human elements that connect all humanity into a single knot. We stand today in a ever changing and unsure world - yesterdays solutions, yesterdays logic no longer applies...values and principles of the previous years are things for an academic discussion, for a laugh or something to be mused at. Everyone and everything is expendable no matter what - Loyalty is a bad word. Reaching the top at any cost is the focus of the slowly transforms and makes one into a greedy wolf that knows no limits and who can no longer recognize himself. So we all move about constantly watching our backs, always trying to second-guess the opposition. Nothing is what it seems to be. I remember in India I was once waiting in a government office to meet a high ranking government official. It was taking time to see him, it being the last day before he retired. A sleepy looking peon studied me up and down; after he had sort of summed me up he told me that it would take time before I met his sahib [officer]. His sense of importance at being the one that allowed people to go and meet his sahib or made them wait, punched the air. Finally when I got a chance to go inside his passing remark at the door left me with the wry smile.... "Now his time has also come. When he came in this morning I saluted him and said, Good Morning Sir! - And this evening, when he's going home, as I salute him I think to myself...Good riddance! you.... My father worked in the airlines for many years and I still remember his comment on today's world. He told me that he knew each and every member of the organisation he used to head. He took an interest in not only them but also their families. He knew everyone by his or her first name and was always approachable and understanding. His employees no matter how small in the company felt he was accessible. But today, the man at the top did not know the man who was below him. High handedness and a bloated sense of self-importance are more the key words to survival. That and keeping in the know with those that know. It's cloak and dagger almost all the time - and the dagger is more than bloody with your potential rivals blood. So what might await you after years of hard work, after years of grooming the company into the giant that it is today - a confidence motion against you by the board of directors? A scandal, which will make working any further next to impossible? Or maybe something much worse...there are no limits and the bets are off for those who want to usurp your place. Ruthlessness pervades all. And somehow, we survive, for survival is basic to all humanity. We groan for a few days and then with some unforeseen resilience we pick up our boots and move on. And there we have another key word that makes us so special. Resilience - the ability to bounce back from wherever we are to where we want to be. The past experience gets added to the data bank of survival skills, to be used at the appropriate time and as the situation demands. And what keeps this resilience alive? For the western mind it is a strong sense of individuality and pragmatism. For the eastern mind it is linked with destiny, a deep sense of everything coming from God, and with it a sense of acceptance. But no! Lets focus on what unites us rather then what divides. Resilience. And it's close cousin - something else that makes us so special - Innovation. That's what keeps us alive wherever we may be in the world, whatever we might be doing, however big or small. The ability to change, adapt and accept the new challenges that this rapid changing world is throwing constantly at us. I remember an old joke about Indian crabs - a man once had to carry two baskets of crabs strung on a bamboo pole through a crowded market. He could only keep his eye on the basket in front, the basket behind being out of sight. Not only could the crabs crawl out but they could also be quietly lifted out by many a deft hand. He though hard as to what to do. Finally he put the Indian crabs in the basket at the back and headed out to market. When he reached the shop, the shopkeeper asked him how he was so sure that he had all the crabs in the basket at the back. "Oh! He said with a smile, "Those crabs at the back are Indian crabs. The minute one tries to go out the others pull him back!" May the Spirit of Man live long and prosper.


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