Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Moving On

After returning back from Michigan, the team receives the customary kudos; the next trip is planned for the week after next and preparation work begins; so it’s back to the grindstone like nothing happened, regardless of the stress experienced during the last deployment so one is glad that he is not involved in the coming trip. It’s like the business leader is making a point, rushing forward to the next stop despite a minor surgery, perhaps expecting a raise; one notice he eagerly awaits a reply on the daily report he makes, but not receiving any feedback except from the other project leader; it’s a minor project after all. Apparently he is rushing the work due to his coming vacation; mission work in one of the Caribbean islands, a strange way to see the world, not by the regular vacation but in the guise of charity work, is this real or is one cynical of the world? One never knows the heart of things (or ‘kokoro’ in Japanese), when some effort has another underlying reality; perhaps it’s noble after all. A good illustration is the book ‘Innocents Abroad’ by Mark Twain, his excellent book about his overseas travels, skewering tourists and natives alike,  one gets a sarcastic and humorous lens in viewing the world.

Before the day ended yesterday, I was called to the office of the resource manager, seems that one may be offered another job with project management responsibilities, apparently in another department, something which I would prefer not to go to despite the interesting challenge. I have had this responsibility before in Asia, and one feels eager to move forward now that the project is ending, but one is also mid-stream in another venture moving forward; one cannot abandon the effort for this new opportunity although one is being encouraged to develop oneself and be all that you can be. One enjoys being in this department; not eager to move forward but one sees the slow decline of opportunities, one is at the low end of the totem pole; meritocracy briefly honored though seniority is treasured; other older folks eager to move forward and not happy to have a recent newcomer, despite 16 years of service in distant lands, step ahead. But it’s all paranoia, one does not know the desires inside people’s heart, is it a move to protect someone, or is there a dire need in other departments?; sadly one is not aware but what’s a fact is that the opportunity does not exists in one’s current department.

Despite the machinations of the world around you, humor helps you enjoy the moment; for instance, Mark Twain is a supreme humorist, his words have a weight of a serious writer, not a trivial featherweight who makes charming or interesting observations. In a way, one is an ‘innocent abroad’ coming from Asia into the so-called ‘new world’, having the wit of Samuel Clemens light your way into the intricacies of man’s foolishness including your own, perhaps that’s his charm, not standing above the rest and criticizing everyone around you but accepting his own folly and prejudice too, like an everyman; hence, bringing a touch of humility to his adventures. He becomes a part of that human drama that forever advances forward in the pageantry of humanity, often stumbling in folly; most have their eyes clouded with illusions of grandeur requiring a humorist like Mark Twain ready to pierce one’s own silliness. To read Mark Twain is to become sensible, to regain ones humility and be able to laugh at one self, to become human and not become one of those people who build sand castles to stand on only to find oneself like an emperor without clothes. Like Warren Buffet who said of seemingly intelligent investors: when the tide recedes, one will see who is naked and lost his bathing suit.

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