It’s been quite a while since I last had a confrontation of any sort.And it’s been quite a while since I had the pleasure of noting,how someone can view me as a threat/annoyance/prick.I had that humble privilege last few nights.At Masjid Abdul Razak.But before that,let me share a short preview.
As you might have been aware,I’ve attended a self development/spiritual development program back in May 2008.ESQ or otherwise known as Emotional Spiritual Quotient was touted to be a human resource program that taps on the spiritual aspects in applications.It was definitely an eye opener,as I had once mentioned,that the curious mind of mine picked on from there and I began researching extensively and intensively,on the areas of Islam and practical living.Henceforth,the birth of the programs I’ve conducted in dealing with finances.
Anyway,I met this fine young lady by the name of Haryani.She served as one of the program coordinators then.Over the course of time,after exchanges,I believed she knew that I was a keen participant on self developments.We lost contact for a while till I bumped into her last month.After exchanging our numbers again,I received a call a week after,from Yani,inviting me to be part of a discussion.I gamely agreed.
Apparently,when the discussion ensued,I was made to realize that the ESQ program was no longer being facilitated due to some logistical reasons.(rolls eyeballs).Thus Yani took the initiative to create an entity,centering around the involvement of young adults,with the objective of garnering interest from the society about spiritual development.In other words,to serve as an interest reason for the reintroduction of the ESQ program.
I then suggested to the group that perhaps an entity of some sort be introduced to introduce self development programs to the community at large.This entity should serve to be the front runner for programs aligned with themes such as leadership,finance and entrepreneurship.The dynamic group of 6 gamely agreed on the proposition for the forming of such an entity.The group was diversely consisting of a teacher,a nurse,a preacher,a student,myself,Yani and her sis.During the course of this discussions,I was also made aware of an individual who,in my words,served as a presiding adviser to the group.All but me have known him.Over the duration of days,through several exchanges,I got a dreaded sense of hostile vibes,from this individual on my proposals and recommendations.
Fast forward to the night at the mosque…
I reached exactly at 8.Took a cab there.The meeting was slated to begin sharply.I noted that there was a chap,seated on a chair.He was wearing a sweater of some sort and jeans.I took no particular attention to him.In the praying halls,I saw a man,smartly dressed in shirt and pants,prostrating.I made a note that this was perhaps the “so often” mentioned adviser,the guys have been telling me about.The consultant who has big ideas,as I perceived,from the verbal descriptions.10 minutes later,in walked Yani with the rest of the group.After exchanging the customary hand shakes,I noticed the guys proceeding to the sweater wearing chap.They shook hands and I did the same.
“My name is Jaz,”
He took my hands and nodded,with his black spectacles scrutinizing every inch of my handsome chiseled face,”I am ******”.
The facial expressions might have betrayed me.I was clearly shocked.The term,”Never judge a woman by her bra size” rang in my ears.Nevertheless,I mentally prepared myself for an unforgettable session of meeting.
Prior to the night,I had stayed up late to prepare sheets of papers designed to be subject matters worth discussing on.I was informed that there were no agenda in place,and so I took the initiative to draft out one for the meeting.In my sheets of papers,were proposals and descriptions of the intended programs.
The meeting started with “The Consultant”,briefly introducing himself and the reasons for the meeting.He then briefly acknowledged 3 individuals,seated there,as observers.He then began,by giving a self drafted speech on his vision for the team.He cited his experiences,his involvements,his associations and his so many things.Then he stopped.He wanted to ask for views and opinions to go round the table.The person on his right started.It was then my turn.I began by introducing myself,and then I took out my sheets of papers inside my bag,and proceeded to pass them around the room.I then briefly shared my take on the ideas,and asked to refer to my typed notes for a probable agenda.Everyone did,except for the “Consultant” who gamely just put in on the table without referring to it.The discussion continued around the table.
Things continued with lengthy excerpts from the “Consultant”.It was him all the way.He took every opportunity to give his comments on people’s views.I was definitely not even looking at him,as I was doodling.Obviously turned off by sheer arrogance.There was a point in time,when he brought out a point,which he thought was a brilliant idea and he asked for opinions.I took up the challenge and said that it was not a feasible idea.That irked him,because he became a bit personal after that,using sarcasms towards me.Citing that he had a feeling that I seemed to be hell bent on usurping leadership of the group.He had the audacity to claim that it was the clarity of his heart that prevented him from having negative feelings towards me.It was cool to note just how a 37 year old head,was deprived of attention from me,reacted.
The two hours wasted,ended with me clarifying the issues with the 3 observers.Unknown to the rest,including myself,the 3 observers were in actual fact,the Management Committee of the mosque.The ego maniacal “Consultant” had not acknowledge their presence.Total disregard.I was appalled at his lack of respect.I asked for the 3 gentleman’s opinions,in view of the discussions they were observing.As they made their comments,this “Consultant” chose to interrupt them and give his two cents worth,literally.
One of the 3 gentleman then perhaps felt that enough was enough and he concluded by saying,
“I am in fact of the view that the discussions went well,and I am inclined to listen favorably to Hijazi,as his points of view were more clearer and very objective.”
That did it.It shot a nail through the “Consultant”‘s head,as he once again interrupted that comment with his.The gentleman,who was a teacher by profession,disgusted with the interruption just began typing on his notebook again,as how he did during the course of discussions.
I ended that meeting with a great feeling of triumph.Not because there was any competition of any sorts,but more of the fact that,I had not allowed my ego get the better of me.And I had chosen the Jedi path of silence and dignity.It’s true about what they said.”Empty assholes make the loudest whistles”(my own quote by the way!)
I learned a few things from that experience.Especially about leadership and influence.
- People do not listen if you yourself cannot listen to others.
- People do not care about you if you do not care about others.
- To say that you are a professional,yet dressed shabbily with no agenda in place,(citing that the agenda is in your head)reeks arrogance of the highest order.
- People will not pay you for what you know or what you say.They pay for what they want to hear,that can help them.
- People do not care if you are a General Manager for the past 10 lifetimes you had.They just don’t.
- Respect is duly earned by efforts and actions.Not by your past standings in the echelons of mediocrity.
- Do not dish out comments that are not asked for.If people want to be judged,there’s the High Court.
- Life sucks.If people do not like you,most likely they are right.
The Consultant served as a reminder to me on the fallacies and problems facing the community.Too many want to earn recognition,yet are not willing to even dip their hands in the normality of hard work.They want to be entitled to privileges,without wanting to give one.They want to believe that what they do,is the absolute truth to everything.
My say,”Cock ah!”(In other words,bull!)
Yes,I want an organization to call my own in time.An organization that prides itself at being humble yet driven to excel.An organization that has values based individuals running it.Not recognition starved maniacs.An organization that prides itself at being able to remain rooted and grounded to the community yet appealing to the global village.An organization that is based on the values of the Golden Generation of Islam,where every individual shined in their own way.An organization that thinks with the clarity of the Quran,and acts with the sincerity of the Sunnahs.
And yes.For all this…I do not need a Consultant.
The Consultant needs his own consultations.Perhaps,starting off with his values…