Monday, April 11, 2011

The Information Tsunami Part 2 - Between Kings & Eunachs

WE ARE ALL KINGS? The Information Tsunami is threatening to turn everyone with a computer, blackberry or iPad into Kings. In the ancient times before the electric socket, the only person in the kingdom receiving information about everything that happens in the land is the King. It is his privilege to listen to the good news brought to him by his advisors and courtiers, and it is his burden to listen to all the bad news communicated into the royal ear. Having heard all these, he had to come up with a plan to remedy whatever problems that may be faced by his subjects. It’s not easy but it’s his job. Born unto the throne.

THE INFORMATION TSUNAMI. With the information superhighway now coming into your bedroom and pocket, we too are priviliged like kings to receive information which probably has no direct bearing whatsoever to our daily lives. And we get them from the entire world. So we commiserate with parents of the Chilean miners when they were stuck under ground, we watched as cars, buildings and boats get swept inland in Japan, and we shake our heads in disgusts at mindless acts of savagery against women and children all over the globe.

FLOOD OF BAD NEWS. Oh yes, there are a few ‘happy’ endings out there, but it is the unfortunate habit of the mass media to highlight what titillates, disgusts or horrifies us. I guess the mantra for the news network is ‘If they want happy endings they can watch the Disney Channel’. This invasion of bad news comes in daily, and just as we are moping up the debris of the Tsunami from our mind, another earthquake, another volcanic explosion, or another serial murder occurs somewhere and is tweeted into our iPhone…

ACTUALLY, WE ARE ALL LIKE EUNACHS. Yes, this is true. Because Kings actually have the power to do something about the problems they hear. We don’t. Not really. We are just like eunachs of the Forbidden City – ergo, we have the responsibility but not the power. Yes, I am sure we can donate some money to the Tsunami Fund, and undoubtedly we can pack up our things and head of to Acheh / Japan / Ivory Coast to do some good, but how many of us can actually do it?
So we become distracted by tragedies on the other side of the planet, while next door, the little old lady living on her own is miserable. We complain about government brutality in other countries, but we stand by and ignore the brutality of our own governments. If we become this way, acting like kings, who has the time now for servanthood? The Prophet Muhammad prophesied this…

194. The Brethren

When buildings stand tall as mountains,

Where stand all my brethren? When all men are kings,

Who will be servants?

ALL TRUE KINGS ARE TRUSTEES. There are many, many good ways we can harness the Information Tsunami. Of this I am sure. Like all asset, we simply have to put it to good use, that’s all - Because not all Kings were corrupt, degenerate and brutal, in truth, all true Kings are trustees…

5. Put to Use

Property is to be put to use,

Not left to your ego

To gloat over. Fear not poverty,

For it is mine to dispense

To whomever I please.,

And will you be

One of those displeased

With what I have given? You are but trustees,

But you act like kings. Nay, worse than kings.

For all true Kings are trustees. .

May you be a fine trustee, sunshine. And may we learn the true art of servanthood and trusteeship from the best of servants and trustees – to learn how to make the change first and last only to ourselves, for the benefit of our family, friends and neighbourhood.

Pax Taufiqa.

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