Through the Mind’s EyeAncestors’ sayings & successors’ beings [Archives:2007/1039/Community]

April 5 2007

Maged Thabet Al-Kholidy
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“The ancestors left nothing”, this is what old people always reaffirm. As a matter of fact, what the ancestors did was comments on things and situations which have been gradually transferred from one generation to another in the form of philosophical sayings, or proverbs.

It has become common to refer to a proverb in any situation that suits its implications. I have heard the proverb “if the father is singing the family members do nothing more than dancing”. But, I have never uttered it in any real situation, not because I do like not so, but, to be frank, for being unknowing its deep philosophical implications.

A day, in fact two hours, in an institutional office, (I do not say governmental office), taught me both the practical and theoretical implications of the proverb. Reading the previous sentence, you, dear readers, may remember the proverb that “a word to the wise is enough”, but keep it as a secret.

Actually, for the first time, I realize the relation between such institutional offices and such sayings and proverbs. It is my fault, I confess, because I did not try to have any similar transactions ever before otherwise I would have learnt a number of, if not all, similar adages.

I also remembered what we studied in the university that “psychology has a relation with all sciences of human beings”. The well-looking, costly-furnitured office did really make me feel comfortable, unwilling to leave it. This is the real contribution of psychology”, I said, thinking that the office is furnitured according to a psychologist’s consultation with a purpose to calm down “all those” who spend days “waiting” for a signature, “at most”.

Most offices are occupied with nothing more than desks, and computers. That reminds me of another modern saying that “technology left nothing”, thinking that such offices no longer work with human resources. The chairs and tables in the offices, nevertheless, indicated that there must be employees to do the work if there was “any”. So it is not “technology that has left nothing”. And, I suggest, there must be a new saying (if not already there) that “human beings left everything” which can be referred to in any similar situations.

Actually, many dictums came to my mind, when I was walking around other offices. Some of the employees were reading newspapers, while others were talking in the telephones, and others did not come at all. Looking at those who are reading newspapers and magazines, I decided to construct a new saying that “If one is reading a newspaper, the others must be talking in the telephone”. It expressed that situation, and can be referred to accordingly. But I forgot the case of those who did not show up. So the proverb would be missing something and it better to be changed, I said.

The other suggested saying was that “when some employees do not come to work, the others must read newspapers and talk in the telephone”. This is better and more comprehensive, I thought, with a hope to be a common adage for generations to come.

Surprisingly, someone came. I thought he was a guest, or like my case, seeking a signature. But only newspapers were in one hand, and a “modern model mobile” in the other. Following him, I got into that office, where he spread the newspapers and started reading fast “as if only looking at the photos”. I was eagerly waiting for his “golden pen” to sign that transaction. “Come tomorrow” was uttered from his “golden mouth”.

The situation provoked me to construct another saying for all the situations I experienced in that institution. “A new saying would be of no use”, I said, since the ancestors, who “left nothing”, left a most suitable proverb that “if the father is singing, the family members do nothing more than dancing”.

Writing this is not meant for entertaining readers since I am sure that they might have enough experience in this field (institutional offices). The only thing meant for the readers is the proverb itself, which, I hope, would remind them of their ancestors and of me too. The main aim is; however, to remind those who occupy higher positions like managers or chairmen, with a hope that they “may”, “only may”, think of their duties and responsibilities through the mind’s eye.

Majed Thabet Al-kholidy is a 26 year old writer from Taiz, currently doing his M.A. at English Dep, Taiz Uni. An ex-editor of English Journal of the University.