shabby blog

Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Corporate World

We live in a world where people, especially young people, supposedly filled with energy and zest for life, cringe when they hear the words "corporate world". True, we live in a fast paced world where the human clockworks facilitating the increasing supply and demand cycle, are more often than not forgotten and left in a perpetual state of greasiness and neglect. We live in world order where those in the top ranks squeeze and milk the lower masses for every drop of sweat and blood to fuel their economy. I agree that the corporate world is demanding and you need to have the hide of a rhino to climb the steps to success and an incisive mind to quell competition. However, where do we draw the line as to what is ethical and what isn't. Nowadays, I see alot of uncategorized "conduct" lumped into the grey area of "accepted practice" which in fact should be labelled as completely unethical. Long, slave like work hours, inhumane working conditions with little or no breaks in between, unreasonable work demands and off-the-charts catty office politics that put a damper on any productivity or positive energy... Welcome to 21st century slavery, except that the chains are invisible to the naked mind. Why do I say "mind" and not "eye"? It's because you need to have a mind to start with, to see that something about our society is not right. A society in which a man or woman wakes up at 5:30 am to rush through crazy traffic jams to a job that enriches another and does little or next to nothing for self fulfillment or enrichment is a society that needs some serious spring cleaning. Alot of my colleagues were resigned to the myth( which seems to have become accepted as a well known fact) that a young grad or a "freshie" in the corporate world would have to endure drudgery for a few years before emerging from the chrysalis of hard work and mind numbing suffering, as a success story. A few tough it out and do emerge winners but what is the price they pay for this personality changing, soul numbing process? Alot of them lose their sense of self and personalities. I wouldn't want to emerge as a success in the corporate world a few years later but be known as a failure in other areas of my life. I wouldn't want to be a cold, heartless money making machine that could not connect with loved ones nor know how to sit back enjoy and relax because the years of mindless slaving away has turned me into a robot. I have seen this happening to others and frankly speaking, something I would not wish on my worst enemy. This slow assassination of the individual in replacement of a highly productive working machine. Don't get me wrong, I am not propagating laziness or half hearted work ethics. I'm just saying the corporate world with it's so called "ethics" is headed towards the wrong direction and if this keeps on going, we will be sure to produce generation after generation of aggressive, materialistic, non thinking zombies that will not hesitate to cut another's throat in order to reach the pinnacle. What then is the solution? I think there needs to be more of a balance between the nurtured corporate instinct of bosses to "milk" their employees bone dry and the employees' duty to produce quality work worthy of their pay whilst maintaining their right to a conducive and healthy working environment, with reasonable work hours and proper pay for overtime and what not. In short, employers need to learn to share their cake and be less greedy because like it or not, the slave like working conditions in the corporate world do not make for a good long term gamble and sooner or later, they will find themselves falling flat on their faces in the mire of greed they could have avoided with temperance and balance.

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Idealists' Curse

I've learnt a lot of things in the past 2 years. Is that people are not what they seem. The closest to you can hurt you badly and that expectation is the root of all heartache. How i wish i could go back in time and undo my wrongs and mistakes. At times I feel annoyed at myself for being so imperfect and insufficient. I think the reason we were created in our weak state is so that we learn to sift through the delusions of strength and grandeur or this dunya and learn to rely on our Creator. The only One who is absolute and free of weaknesses and dependencies. When I realize how weak I am, I come to the conclusion how much in need of God us human beings are. Yet it amazes me to see people who deny God and His existence. I've tried to subconsciously secularize myself and replace Him with many things. Career, lofty notions of success and power and fame and of course relationships. Again and again I discover my own limitations and my own insignificance in His grand scheme of things. It is a miracle I'm still alive and it is by His will. Therefore it must be for a purpose that I am still alive. And that is why I believe. Because I've learnt through experience that you cannot replace the One with worldly whims and fancies of any sort. Sure you can work hard and achieve success but it is only by abiding with His rules of ethics and hardwork that you find success. How fair is He that even those of us who do not believe in him still live, breathe and enjoy success, even more so than the "believers". If I were a creator of anything, I would not be as generous or giving. I would want people to live on My terms. Yet here is a Creator that does not expect anything but the best for us, who wants us to guard our souls against Shaitan's schemes because He loves us and wants us to enter Jannah. Not because he expects any consideration from us-not that we are capable of giving consideration on bilateral terms with Him-but because He wants to purify our souls and ensure that the spark of God's goodness that is inside of us does not get dulled and killed off by the murky and deceitful waters of the dunya. He wants us to realize our true potential of goodness and therefore has put us through many tests. I believe that the more vigorously one is tested, the more it shows that He loves us. I have also learnt that expectation is the root of all heartache. If you truly want to be happy then be happy for your significant other. Do not expect anything in return. Because when you expect you lay out the groundwork for that other person to earn your approval or affection on your terms and not on his or her terms,i.e the way he or she is. And one important message I believe God has been trying to get through to me is that one should never judge another without walking in their shoes for a day. This is directly correlated with how and what you talk about. I've discovered through that wonderful imam Suhaib Webb the clarity and beauty of the triple filter test. Before you judge or talk about someone else or report anything about a person to another ask yourself: 1) Is the thing you are about to repeat to another about that person true? 2) Is the thing you are about to repeat to another about that person something good about that person? 3) Is it useful to you or society. If it doesn't fulfill any of the criteria than obviously it fails the test and therefore one should not repeat it, albeit, what a juicy piece of gossip it may be about a contentious figure. I know this is easier said than done but as long as one tries, He will acknowledge every little effort you make. For example if one is used to gossiping about a particular person one should change the topic if someone else brings it up subtly so as not to fall into the trap of backbiting a person. The bottomline is that when you gossip, you are judging that person by ousting his or her faults. The duty of a good muslim is to hide the flaws of his or her brothers and the only time we should expose them is only to the person we intend to help and no other time. Thereby it follows that when you gossip label someone you put yourself on a higher pedestal as someone who is incapable of mistakes and is perfect. The more you gossip the higher and higher the pedestal becomes until it reaches the heavens and when YOU make a mistake, you become your harshest critic and lead a miserable, dissatisfied life based on all the careless, unfounded judgments you have made about others. And what disgusts me most is people who judge and show disdain for others based on cultural, physical or religious differences. What is with the whole " whitening" campaign going on? It's disgusting. God made all of us beautiful in our own different ways and just because we have been colonized by white people once does not mean that they are gods or are perfect just because they are white. The epitome of this skin colour profiling can be seen in the Rakhine state where the darker muslims are segregated, ostracized and suffer from stereotyping and prejudice and now a stated endorsed genocide merely because of their skin colour. Darker skin has come to be associated with all that is bad, disdainful and lower class whilst anything white has come to be associated with all that is good and so on. It is disgusting when Man starts putting labels on God's creations based on his own limited knowledge and spiritual decadence. It's not just moral depravity that's engulfing the world. It's depravity, decay and degradation in every sphere of life. The material world( unrealistic standards of beauty), food industry( fast foods galore, education( it's spreading ignorance and killing minds fresh for nurturing). The list goes on and on. Sometimes I can't helping feeling like I'm drowning in a cesspool of bullshit. But then again being in a cesspool makes you appreciate the gems of human beings that embody the universal principles everyone seems to have forgotten, even more. I hope that with time I'll have it in my power to change myself and those around me in a world that is kinder, fairer and good. Signing out. Peace Yo. SK

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Burmese Muslim Bloodshed: Another Srebenica?

On the 28th of May an innocent girl was raped and murdered at Kyauk Ni Maw Village in the Rakhine State( West Burma). All hell broke lose after a local news channel reported the rape to have been committed by a rogue " Kalar" ( a derogatory term used for Burmese Muslims). An uneasiness and stirrings of the ugly riots were to come, pervaded through the whole state. Now the Rakhine state has two main religious dichotomies: Rakhine Buddhists and Rakhine Muslims. These two are often at odds with each other. I'm not taking sides just because I'm a Muslim myself but injustice in all forms is universal and I cannot just sit and shut up when something monstrous on that scale is taking place, unchecked. The fuse was struck on the 3rd of June when a 300 strong Rakhine Buddhist mob, stirred to anger and fervent hatred by the local news channel, waylaid a truck carrying 10 muslims( one of them was female) and beat them to a pulp. The female had a bamboo stick shoved up her private part amidst the beating. The humiliation and torture of the 10 clueless victims did not end there. After they were beaten to death, the mob urinated, defecated and vomited on the corpses having gotten themselves into a drunken stupor in the process. Now the civil unrest between these two religious dichotomies have started spreading over the rest of the country. Any form of critical, analytical or reasonable thinking is clouded by years and years of hatred and prejudice against each other until it became a boiling pot of kerosene waiting for a single match to be struck. Getting down to a post mortem of event that triggered this brewing civil unrest, there are a few points to be taken into account: 1) The news channel that instigated the religion oriented hate crime released the identity and photos of the "culprits" before police had even started an investigation with the words " Raped by 3 Kalars". These particulars were then wildly circulated all over the net and through word of mouth. This is in clear contravention of accused's right to a fair trial under Article 10 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Article 10. Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him. The universal golden rule of " Innocent until proven guilty" seemed to have been reversed in this case in direct contravention of: Article 11. (1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence. (2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed. 2) People that were totally unconnected to the suspects were brutally assaulted and murdered. The accusation was meted out to them in a physically fatal way without giving them a right to appear before a judge and defend themselves for a crime they had nothing to do with. Their only fault was that they were "Muslim" or "Kalar" and was in the wrong place at the wrong time. This in direct contravention of the following articles: Article 5 No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Article 2. Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty. Article 7. All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination. I'm not blaming the Burmese Buddhists as a community, way of life or the everyday individual. Neither am I saying that Burmese Muslims are all innocent. That would be an immature way of thinking. Life is not black and white; rather it's a huge canvas of grey. I blame the current unfolding of events on collective ignorance and the opportunists who take advantage of this abysmal IGNORANCE and use it for their own gains. I also blame the state authorities who OMITTED to carry out their duties in a proper way. I'm sad that the poor Buddhist girl had to go before her time. I'm sad that the massacre victims had to go before their time in a brutal way. But I do not hold hate for the people who committed the crimes( both the purported muslim rapist and the 300 strong buddhist mob). I just do not think religion nor race nor gender should be a discrimanatory benchmark by which you decide who should suffer more or who should suffer less. Irrespective of what religion one professes, we all want the same things: love, affection, security, peace. And we all fear losing these same things. At the end of the day we're ALL human beings, irrespective of whatever race or religion one is identified by. A wrong is a wrong, for example- rape, murder and torture- in any world religion and universal code of ethics. Even an atheist would realize that these are fundamental rights one does not breach without harming the soul of humanity. Therefore the bottomline is that, neither religion nor race define an act, whether good or bad. One should look beyond the barriers of religion and race to what connects us, the common thread of what makes us human beings. I really hope these instigators and the instigated have some sense knocked into their thick skulls and the people in power remedy the situation before it's too late. Murder is still murder no matter who does it. I really hope the international community will do something about this situation before another srebenica type massacre happens. Or ethnic cleansing. Just because people feed into that ignorance without getting to the root of the matter in a diplomatic and transparent way.