JournalismPakistan.com November 22, 2013
Many times in life we are hit by ingratitude which hurts. The point is that most of us realize that no good deed goes unpunished and no one will forgive us for doing them a big favor. In fact the worst thing you can do is change any life so much for the better that it creates resentment.
But while you don’t want gratitude you don’t want ingratitude. And there is a vital difference.
But, if you are honest with yourself, you will look back and see how often you, yourself, have done the dirty on someone who wished you well.
As we climb higher in our economic trance we become cold and indifferent to those who were part of our relatively unglamorous past. We do not wish to be reminded of those ‘one flat on the fourth floor with no lift’ days and if you were part of it, too bad, we have grown out of you so live with it.
It is pretty much the same yardstick. You have this person on his knees begging for a job, literally in tears and you get it for him and he then a couple of years down the road knifes you in the gut and goes over to the competition. Without telling you.
You have a loyal help for years whose family you have maintained because it was just done, no arguments and then 10 years later he goes home on leave and pffffft, that’s it, gone, not a word.
You loan someone money and he disappears with it or just never returns the sum and you have no proof because it was trust.
It is unbelievable people forget who they were and where they came from and where they are going. Pride, arrogance and the flawed confidence of wealth is no armor against the fates so never let it go to your head. You can enjoy that wealth but do not let it change you. That this is easier said than done.
We might deny it to ourselves and pretend we are not like that can be seen by the mountain of evidence around us. People change, their search for sanctuary in status symbols, their snottiness, their flaunt, that ‘I am a better man than you, Ganga Din body language, the drivel about name dropping, their reworking of the guest list for a party, the right people in their lives, sloughing off the embarrassing old days like snakes their skins.
Never say never, not me, a lot of folks have and then turned out to be carbon copy clichés of this tribe.
And why am I writing this. Well, my email this morning had this parable in it and it is predictable and yet illustrates the point.
There was a blind girl who hated herself because she was blind. She hated everyone, except her loving boyfriend. He was always there for her. She told her boyfriend, "if I could only see the world, I will marry you."
One day, someone donated a pair of eyes to her. When the bandages came off, she was able to see everything, including her boyfriend.
He asked her, "Now that you can see the world, will you marry me?" The girl looked at her boyfriend and saw that he was blind. The sight of his closed eyelids shocked her. She hadn't expected that. The thought of looking at them the rest of her life led her to refuse to marry him.
Her boyfriend left in tears and days later wrote a note to her saying: "Take good care of your eyes, my dear, for before they were yours, they were mine."
This is how the human brain often works when our status changes. Only a very few remember what life was like before, and who was always by their side in the most painful situations.
(The writer is a Senior Editorial Advisor of Khaleej Times and the paper’s former Editor. He has also been the Editor of Gulf News, Gulf Today, Emirates Today and Bahrain Tribune)
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