Wednesday, August 5, 2009

How NOT to measure ourselves

Quotes on money

Along side the Bible verses in the posting, instructive to note that Mao Zedung also said “to get rich is glorious”.

It has also been quoted that “Donald Trump doesn’t see money as the measure of a person. He pursues it not for want of it, nor to accumulate it, but merely as a unit of measure.To Trump, money is but a scorecard that tells him he has won and by how much”.

Dayak Earlier ways of measuring success

To the Dayak Iban - antu pala, tajaus, tawaks, tibangs (full of padi) bravery, courage, righteousness … used to be the measured of a man. Until RTM (see John Postil) successfully transform the Iban into commercial creatures with fervent longings for injin padi, injin moto aik, can food, bicycle … as pemansang. Of course, BN (un)wittingly feed the insatiable hunger for materialism at the expense of stunted or denied spiritual growth.

Bejalai / Belelang

Some adventurous Iban young man went on Bejalai to Indonesia to bring back wonderful material stuff -more tawaks, tajaus and basic electrical equipment, to bring back to the long house.

The measure of an Iban man’s worth, his dignity and pride, grew to be determined by his material acquisition. Thus the poor, long house folks envy the well to dos, and despise the poorer folks.

Dayak Ways of transcending Wealth - through knowledge

The Iban leadership, transition beautifully into the commercial world. It used to be the Tuai Rumah gains much respect among his anembiak for bountiful harvest, for knowledge of the Iban adat, and for bringing lots of meat from successful hunting.

Now - it is based on government handouts

In the new world, the Tuai Rumah, would pride himself for getting pemansang, to be shared among his anembiaks - from government, especially during election.

And so, as Mao Zedung said its best, to be rich is glorious. And Donald said - he is not obsessive about money, but he gets high from the action of getting money.

But Perhaps, as the posting and Money Changer said it between the lines: its not the prize (money) thats important - its the highs you get from working for it and the noble motivation for wanting it.

I would add as well, taking a cue from Donald, to remind ourselves not to measure ourselves or others by how much money they have, lest we lose our dignity, and sell our souls (or those of our anembiaks) for a few bottles of chap apek.

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