Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Rat Race and Rat Trap


Last year while I was in Ireland for a second time, negotiating for a career change, the atmosphere reminded me of New Zealand. The scenery and people with kind of laid back attitude. I always love New Zealand (well, America too but that's a different story...)

I was supposed to join a multi-national organisation and travel up to 90% of my calendar year in Europe, Africa and South America. Job descriptions were fantastic if I were 20 years younger without family to take care of. But then again, that particular position required at least 15 years experience.

I made my mind up with the running thoughts of leaving family in Ireland while me globe-trotting all year running. There would be no life except airports, hotels and clients' offices. Thank you and returned to Dubai.

There is always a dream to drop everything and move somewhere else, a far away and strange place to have a totally different life from the current desert living. I received New Zealand PR invitation three years ago and may take that route again if the current situation becoming worse.....or maybe this time that northern part of America and spend my time writing books...
This below article written by Mishal Kanoo, one of the richest young men in Arab world and he makes sense.




The rat trap

From a young age we are taught that we should work. We work hard at school to get the best grades to go to university. We work harder at university to get a good job. And we work yet harder at the job to get that promotion. Finally, we work harder still to keep on getting promotions until we retire.

In the meantime, we fail to love our parents for taking care of us. We miss out on being children with time to laugh and play because we so want to be an adult.

We learn to hone our competitive edge to the degree that we forget our humanity sometimes. And as we grow older, we forget what it means to genuinely love unconditionally and the meaning of forgiveness.

Instead, we learn that everything is an obstacle that we must overcome or we will never reach the next stage. Look at the way electronic games are set up. It is a learned behavior. The child learns to fight and push forward but is never taught to share and include.

As a famous person once said, "you are either with me or with the enemy." This doctrine is not far from the hearts of many people. Perhaps they might not agree with the statement when it comes to politics, but I assure you, look around, and you will see it in abundance in everyday life.

We then bemoan about not having enough time to do all the things we wish we could do. We are more than ready to sacrifice our humanity for money because that is what many of us were taught to focus on. Some of us will work ten, twelve and sometimes fourteen hours a day, not because we need to, but because we have trained ourselves that this is the right way to show that we are dedicated to our work.

Of course there are people who genuinely work because there is no alternative for them to survive. But most of us look at work as a competition that we have to win.

That is the fruition of the learned behavior that we took from our childhood in school. We are graded in school, not to see what subjects we excel at, and thus should focus on - we are graded to see which of us has the ability to learn the system the fastest and thus ensure a better chance of survival in the work environment.

We are even often told that some things naturally present in one person's personality can be taught to others, rather than to celebrate our diversity. The new buzz word in business circles and at universities is ‘entrepreneurship'.

Some people actually believe they can teach this as a skill. What can be taught is the thought process and how to hone the skills by someone who has it in him or her, and gets paid to teach it. What cannot be taught is how to be an entrepreneur. So we learn yet another idea that will encourage us to compete even more for money, and that will ultimately result in us failing to focus on, or care about, humanity.

It is said that money is the root of all evil. I would contend that it is not money but the spirit of greed that money invokes that is the root of evil. Because if we allow acquiring things to be our goal in life, we lose vision of what is truly more important - ourselves.