JournalismPakistan.com March 23, 2014
Be good to people when you are on the way up. You never know how many of them you may meet when you are on the way down.
Sage advice but who takes it? When you are on the way up the cataract of conceit blinds us to grace and courtesy. We are so imbued with our own status we actually believe we are superior. We become opinionated, arrogant, we discard our old friends, especially those who knew us when we were one bedroom flat renters, we change our attitudes, cower behind our status symbols, use contempt as battle armor, begin to believe there are lesser mortals about us, we lose our laughter for a sneer, our appetite is jaded by excess, we surround ourselves with sycophants, become uncaring, we hurt where once we could have healed.
Which would be fine. But when we style ourselves as cerebral authorities, as thinkers and philosophers because we have the money, when we know we know and what we know is inarguable, we pass judgments, not assessments, we turn cruel and twist the knife, our criticisms are sharpened by malice, we actually are stupid enough to think the way up is forever.
And then, when the trajectory is completed and the arc turns downwards we are surprised that no one waves as we tumble past. Nor breaks the fall. Nor gives a cushion. And we dare to be surprised.
(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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