JournalismPakistan.com July 26, 2015
Have you ever had this eerie experience? You know this person for years. You may not be friends but he or she has a reputation and that is their calling card. Suddenly, you see them with clay feet or doing something so out of line with that reputation that you just cannot reconcile the two.
Indeed, all of us probably have a dark side whether we are bosses or subordinates, couples or relative and even friends but we habit and layer upon layer of self deception creates that persona. The good. The generous. The kind. The dependable. The honest. The fair-minded. The rocks in our lives.
We all have them in our lives, people we admire because that is the way they have been packaged and the writing on the packaging is what we believe. They are so well sold.
Then, one day, they say or do something so out of kilter that the rock becomes jell-o and the admiration for the cardboard cut-out becomes disbelief. They are caught doing the opposite of what they preach, they disobey the very tents they have pretended to espouse, they make a mockery of the virtues with which they had been gilded and you are left wondering how could this be?
Maybe we are like that to others, too. No one is exempt. You might feel this is the way you are seen by others but there might be a huge gap between that assessment and how people actually see you.
Occasionally, I have this colossal clash between the perception and the conduct. I was in Delhi the other day and was told that this utterly wonderful, erudite person who made any party hum and had the grace and charm that made other men angry in a group, this guy with a great sense of humor and a hundred anecdotes, he was suspected of being in the spurious medicines business.
When I heard this I burst out laughing, the whole idea was ridiculous.
But why? Charm was his cover. What’s so surprising? You and I, we have had it happen to us and done it to others.
Only it requires so much effort and so much brainpower and dexterity to maintain the facade that the majority of us give up or fail. Thank goodness.
(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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