Sunday, August 05, 2007

Stella Says…People are more important than money

by Stella Ramsaroop

(Originally published in Guyana's Kaieteur News on 05 August 2007)

I despise those bosses who treat their employees like dirt so the boss can feel more important. The ironic part of it is that no one – I repeat, absolutely no on – respects such a person. The only place that mean boss becomes more important is in his or her own head.

For example, one day a couple of years ago I was in the presence of a businessman for whom I already had very little respect. I had seen this man back out on deals he had made, I watched as he expected his employees to work all hours of the day regardless of their families and I saw him put money before everything else in the world – everything that actually mattered.

On this particular day though, I was to see another side of him that made me shake my head in pity for any person who would ever work for him. I watched as he ordered people about as if they were his slaves instead of employees. But it was how he treated these people, as if they were so much less important than he was, that made my stomach turn.

He treated them as if their feelings held no importance to him whatsoever and it was clear that if he said jump, they must jump or pay a heavy price for the insubordination. Moreover, he had no manners whatsoever. There was no please, thank you or any appearance that his workers’ feelings mattered whatsoever to him.

If ever I had seen an abusive situation, this one rank on the very top of the list. Of course, he probably thought I was impressed by his management style when in fact I was repulsed by it. It was obvious that this man’s ego needed to be stroked in a big way, so he used money to create an atmosphere in which he could put himself on a pedestal of superiority to all those around him.

To make matters worse, this man paid his employees a mere pittance, which was not worth the job considering the abuse to which these poor people were subjected on a constant basis. Like I said before, I despise this type of person. In fact, I would never work for such a sad excuse of a human being who thinks money and self is more important than the people around him.

These types of people, the type that abuse others for money or ego, come in many forms. One perfect example of this in Guyana is the destruction of infrastructure by some in the mining community. Can you imagine what insolence it takes to destroy a roadway that also serves as the network for water distribution?

Ah, but making money is all that matters. What does it matter if the people of the local towns cannot get water as long as the mining activity continues and money keeps coming in? Again, I am repulsed by the absolute disregard for others in quest of the almighty dollar.

According to an article entitled, “Guyana Road Destroyed by Illegal Miners” from the Houston Chronicle on August 2, “Kellawan Lall, an adviser to Guyanese President Bharrat Jagdeo, said the government will have to cut a new road through dense forest due to the extensive damage by unlicensed Guyanese miners and Brazilian prospectors, or ‘garimpeiros.’” Lall continued, “From what we have seen it would be too costly to repair the roads.”

It seems redundant to say that people are more important than money, yet still it seems it must be said. The government must now repair or replace the devastated infrastructure for these people – and who knows how long that is going to take. In the meantime, it is the people who suffer the consequences of this insatiable greed.

The aforementioned article said, “Workers on Thursday were repairing severed underground water pipes that supply nearly 15,000 inhabitants. Authorities could not estimate when service would be restored.”

Right now there could well be a thirsty child crying for water to drink as the mother comforts the child with words of assurance that water will come soon. Down the road a little, there is a mining boss man smiling over the bounty from the past few weeks without a thought as to how much suffering he caused so many people just to get that bounty.

I have to admit that I cannot comprehend this type of callousness. It is beyond my personal capacity to understand the heartless insensitivity to which humans are driven for money or power. Is it any wonder that many religions declare the love of money as the root of all evil?

I truly have no issue with those who have money. My issue, and it is a big one, is when it is obvious that money has the person. It is pathetic when a person will give up family, friends and personal values just to have money.

Sure, money might buy comfort of situation – a nice car, a big house and fancy things - but it can never give that person’s conscience any comfort for the sins committed against others in quest of fortune.

How on earth can those miners who tore that roadway to pieces sleep at night knowing the suffering they caused others just for a few pieces of minerals? At the end of it all, money means nothing and those around us mean everything.

People are the most valuable commodity on earth. Be cautious of anyone who would tell you otherwise, because this is the person who will treat you like dirt just to make another dollar. At the end of that person’s life, everyone will pity him or her for never understanding the most important things in our lives – each other.

Email: StellaSay[at]

1 comment:

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