Revolution’s spirit is in hard work [Archives:2002/39/Viewpoint]

September 23 2002

This week, we are celebrating the 40th anniversary since the blessed 26 September 1962 revolution. However, as we are celebrating this fabulous occasion, we seem to be missing one of the major themes of any revolution, including our own revolution. That point is resembled in hard work.
We need to realize that revolutions resemble dedication, insistence, sacrifice, and hard work. Unfortunately, it is undeniable that hard work has become a scarce phenomenon those days, especially in government enterprises.
You can see government employees working less than one third of their working hours. You would see them either drinking tea, leaving for breakfast, chatting with their fellow staffers, leaving for lunch, coming back for a few minutes and finally leaving to buy a bundle of qat leaves and go home to chew it for the rest of the evening unless he has another job to do.
There is no doubt that hard work brings success no matter how we look at it. It is a straightforward correct formula: work harder, achieve more.
One of our dear American friends wrote to me the other day saying, “You keep on blaming America for your backwardness, poverty, illiteracy, and other negative conditions you are living in. Have you ever calculated the amount of time you work, your level of production, the percentage of income that comes from your own countries and not from donors, and your contribution to the rest of the world?”
This statement clearly has some positive aspect in it. It shows that we need to start reforming our countries before blaming others. But at the same time, we should also realize that it is we who will benefit if we work harder and more efficiently.
It is about time to revive the spirit of the revolution in dedicating more time for work and for contribution to the society. We need to become a productive nation that lives from its own earnings and depends less on donors.
The 26 September revolution was just the beginning of what is supposed to be an era of hard work and production. Today, we are in dire need to catch up with the rest of the world. We need to learn from other successful countries who built their own prosperity from a culture of hard work and appreciation. We need to wake up from the trance we are in and start finding ways to recover and go back to the right track.
Hard work alone however, is not enough. Working hard should be associated with having a vision and plan. Just as this is the era of hard work and dedication, it is also the era or organization, planning, and vision. It is not wise to work chaotically at a time the world is working in a planned and well-organized manner.
I sometimes receive emails and letters of people asking, “Why do Yemenis tend to waste an awful lot of time debating in qat sessions without doing other useful things?” Well, I could have found excuses and justifications, but all I could give as an answer to such a question would be “I know that is wrong, and we are raising awareness of the importance of efficient time utilization.”
We must realize that countries did not progress and individuals did not excel because they were lying on their beds or chewing qat all day long, but because they worked hard and set up their agenda well. I know many foreigners who had absolutely nothing before they came to the country, but once they arrived, they worked hard persistently, set up a strategy and complete plan, and eventually succeed in gaining a fortune from hard work and dedication. Those men were able to surpass their Yemeni counterparts, who continued to chew qat carelessly.
In a time we are celebrating 40 years of achievements following the revolution, we must seize the opportunity to realize that we still have a long way ahead of us and unless we start a phase of hard work and devotion towards achieving a greater place for us among world nations, we will find ourselves further away from the revolution’s goals and principles.