We Need to Recognize Our Weaknesses


There is a tendency among many to believe that only people in the East indulge in rumor-mongering. However, this phenomena is worldwide because human mind is the same. 

Fears and anxieties, both real and imagined, ancient and modern, form part of the social relationships between people everywhere. The mind is then set to believe anything. Rumors may be deliberately started or arise when people feed upon a diet of fantasy and horror as they do from television.

In the First World War, the British and French deliberately started the rumor that the German whom they were fighting ate the kidneys and hearts of children. This was done to create revulsion and hatred against the Germans. The rumor picked up so fast, and so much was added to it that people began to argue whether the Germans preferred raw or roasted kidneys and hearts!

Rumors were deliberately started by vested interests in Europe during the middle ages. They multiplied fast. Their relentless force took over from religion and logic. Many charlatans and preachers of falsehood appeared and fooled the people.

Even in today's modern society, sometimes medias publish stories that are entirely based on rumors. This is very dangerous indeed as today's audio- visual media reaches everyone with lightning speed.

Due to the weakening of religious values in the West many people will believe anything. For instance, we hear of long-dead film stars rising again. Elvis Presley, the famous rock singer, has been supposedly sighted by hundreds of people!!

Rumors may also be innocent. There were wild stories that Blackpool, a seaside resort in Northern England, had been taken over by Russian holiday makers. This rumor arose because people imagined that it was the kind of uncouth place the Russians might like. Yet when journalist Vitali Vitaliev went to see how many Russians were there, he found none. 

If rumors can persist with such force and vigor in societies with free medias, I shudder to think what the case may be in closed societies. Rumors can be dispelled only when there are strong medias that provide us detailed information.

Medias are not meant for only relaying news. Rather the interesting ones are those that bring to the attention of the readers' issues that affect them. And as we are in the 21st century, there are many issues that confront us. The world is changing rapidly. New technology has imposed new life styles. These are going to shape our lives how we behave, to what do we react and how effectively will we use our time. 

Remember, time is the scarcest resource and unless it is managed, nothing can be managed. In this connection, recently, I happened to read that billions are lost because of absenteeism and late arrivals by employees in the public sector. Much of the blame rests on the manager. I agree that managers are responsible for maintaining discipline and they are also responsible for distribution of work.

They should set examples for their subordinates. However, I believe that people in our part of the world, as a rule, do not put stress on punctuality although our religion focuses on it. I think society as a whole should re-evaluate time management. The importance of time should be taught from childhood.

Government employees are products of the society they live in and are a mirror of that culture. They are not expected to be different. I remember a long time ago while sitting in an official's office, an employee came in asking for overtime. The official replied: "You just come in your regular hours and I will give you overtime!" The employee got the message.

I believe that such issues discussed freely and frankly help society to improve itself. Every society has its strengths and weaknesses. Those that fail to recognize their weaknesses will be unable to prosper. The discussion of subjects and tolerance in accepting the views of others will go a long way in creating viable societies that are capable of facing the onslaught and challenges of an ever-changing world.

We, therefore, should ask ourselves whether we have equipped ourselves well or at all in order to meet this challenge.



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  7 Comments   Comment

  1. ALLI Bacchus from USA

    I CONSIDER THIS ARTICLE APPLICABLE TO ALL STRATA OF SOCIETY, AND NOT CONFINED TO MUSLIMS IN PARTICULAR.

    HOWEVER, A TRUE BELIEVER WILL BE PUNCTUAL AND RELIABLE IN HIS DUTIES, AND MUST GIVE A FAIR DAY'S WORK FOR A FAIR DAY'S PAY.

    HE MUST BE FAIR AND HONEST IN HIS BUSINESS TRANSACTIONS WITH THE PUBLIC, AND FULFILL ALL OATHS, AGREEMENTS, AND COVENANTS.

    THIS IS EXACTLY HOW THE PROPHET(sas)AND LATER THE EARLY COMPANIONS PROPAGATED ISLAM IN OTHER LANDS.

    SINCE LIES, BACK-BITING, SLANDER ARE ALL MAJOR SINS, MUSLIMS AND OTHERS SHOULD REFRAIN FROM SPREADING WICKED RUMORS, INDULGE IN GOSSIPS, AND MAKING MISLEADING STATEMENTS ABOUT INDIVIDUALS OR A GROUP OF PEOPLE WITHOUT SUBSTANTIATING THE FACTS.

  2. Ramesh from Canada

    I am agreeing with Mr. Romesh Chander. muslim peoples are coming to America and not being American but trying to change America. Hindus are becoming good citizens of America and contributing to the world. But what are muslims doing? Keeping India backward and trying to make America also backward country. If they are not liking America they should be going back, and not trying to change America.

  3. Romesh Chander from USA

    Note to Samin:

    Not convinced by your argument.

    If you were correct, then why are muslims in US fighting the society at every stage? They should encourage 'anti-sharia' legislation in US; but they are fighting it, even in Kansas where legislation has no mention of Sharia / Islam / or even religion (no other religion is opposing it; why muslims feel threatened?). All I find is that muslims in this country are spending awful lot of time on 'Islamizing' (and thus making enemies out of lot of people), and spending very little time on making money or even on education.

    I get email from CAIR every day and read them carefully; I get no email from any Hindu / Indian orgaqnization.

  4. samin from usa

    Little note for Romesh:

    IMHO, similar with Hindhu and others, Muslim come to the west mostly for 2 reasons:

    - economic reasons

    - education

    For the first usually come from the lower mddle class, they struggle economical at their home countries. And for the second usually come from upper mddle class in their home country, go to west for education, and then get job here and never come back.

    There is none (perhaps very little, some imams that invited/hired by mosques to lead the mosques) of Muslim that come to the US for religious reasons (to do evangelical work). Not the other way around many evangelist (most of them paid) come to the east to do evangilical work.

  5. Abduh from MALAYSIA

    Re:Human,

    Writing as an 'outsider' your perception is correct minus the actual knowledge. Your take on Muslims as having 'blind faith' in a book 1600 years old ran smack into how miniscule your knowledge is of Muslim adherents. Muslim did not 'blindly' put their faith on a 16 hundred year old book. The Book is The Quran not just any book written by Confucius, Aristotle, or Stephen King et all. It is not written by Prophet Muhammad SAW as you might be led to believe nor was it written by his Sahabahs. It was Allah's own word jotted down for posterity and valid till as you might say,'armageddon'. Your take on the believers being beholden to It's contents is absolutely correct, but only as guideline because in true Islamic tradition, we still believe in Ijtihad (which roughly translated

    means meetings of Muslim ulama in finding ways and means of suitable implementations) without compromising on the basics.It is hoped that before YOU comment on belief and practices of approximately 1.5billions adherent of the faith, you make an effort to understand their duty towards their religion.

    Peace, thank you.

  6. Romesh Chander from USA

    Note to Human:

    I agree. What bothers me is that muslims who come to the West, learn nothing from the West and indulge in superficial problems and superficil solutions. If you cannot anlayze the problem correctly, you cannot solve it. Superficial analysis leads to superficial solutions (if at all).

    The author does a good job in superficial analysis of problem which are not pressing at all, and hence wasteful of time, energy and money.

    Do the muslims ever think why they moved to West? Rarely if anybody came to the West for religious intolerance in his/her home country. But all they emphasize is Religion in the West.

    Hindus came to West to make money and they concentrate on it. They keep their religion to themselves and practise it at home. Do you ever hear news about Hindus in the West? (only news about Hindus in the East).

  7. Human from United States

    The author starts with a great promise. Introspection is very

    important for any community and without introspection, the

    communities tend to become stagnant. Muslim communities seem to

    suffer from a serious case of lack of much introspection.

    Unfortunately, he ends with a whimper by looking at some superficial

    symptoms. As an outsider, I think the biggest weakness of the Muslim

    communities around the world is its blind faith that a 1600 year old

    book is enough to cater to its spiritual, physical, financial and

    societal needs forever. Such faith can only be counterproductive

    both in terms of its development and by opening doors to people to

    exploit a large group of people. Serious examination of this aspect

    of Islam will be a very big first step towards improvement.