I was listening to one of Sam Adeyemi’s messages one morning when he mentioned something that had been burning in the crevices of my heart a long time. He spoke of how you could easily identify who was the boss among a band of musicians simply by the dressing – he’d be dressed in an expensive lace while the rest of the band will be wearing, oh never mind. The same goes for the fashion designers (or tailors as you may know them). At the entrance, you are greeted by one or two skinny girls dressed in what looks like a prisoner's uniform, their hairdo resembling nothing close to fashion and their outfit (or uniform) looks like it was sewn by nature. On entering the office, you instantly recognize the madam (or boss). How? She’s dressed expensively, sitting elaborately in a well-designed chair while her underlings are dressed like, never mind again.
It isn’t only the artisans who have this way of life, the corporate world shares in this belief system too. Only this time, the boss-servant relationship takes on a more polished outlook. I challenge you to visit any corporate establishment (not a startup) and you’ll find apparent distinctions between the bosses and the associates, from the size of the car to the size of the chair to the quality of the office furniture even to the salary. The point in all cases is that there is such a deliberate attempt to put as wide a gap as possible between those at the helm of affairs and the ‘rest’. In most cases, this is achieved by making the conditions of the ‘rest’ as unattractive as possible. Think of a princess whose maids must under-dress in order to make her stand out. Unfortunately, our religious institutions are not immune to this mindset and it doesn’t take a prophet to decipher that our political system thrives on it.
I’m of the opinion that this kind of life where we have to make others poor in order to appear rich is at the root of a stagnated society that we quite are. It shows a paucity of character and virtue. Take a look at King Solomon who was reputed to be the wisest and richest man of all time. When the Queen of Sheba came to evaluate him, her comments focused on the quality of Solomon’s servants, their impeccable dressing and the way they carried out their duties. Now, that says something, which I find instructive – your worth is evaluated in how you treat your underlings. There is nothing deifying about enslaving those under you in order to feel powerful. It reeks of insecurity, monopoly and lack of creativity. It is downright primitive! It explains why bosses pay their workers demoralizing salaries yet expect them to be motivated at work. It explains why our legislators heap huge sums of money on themselves in the name of allowances. It explains why a governor will be referred to as Your Excellency even though we don’t live under a monarchy.
I’m not against being differentiated. Differentiation is bound to happen; not everyone will be able to afford a Range Rover. However, when differentiation becomes a life goal to the extent that you’re willing to oppress other people to achieve that, then you have crossed the line. And maybe you haven’t crossed the line because that’s what most people (would) do. In that case, you’re in good company. But then from then on, you cease to be my friend. The change we seek in Nigeria isn’t going to come if we don’t purge ourselves of this terrible mindset.
In a few lines: You don't have to make another man feel inferior in order to be superior.
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About The Author:
Ifeoluwapo is a Medical Doctor, Brand Strategist, Blogger and Author of several hundred quotes (Daily Insights). He believes aesthetics and quality are not mutually exclusive and does his utmost to get the best of both. He is the author of Musings of An Analytical Mind and tweets from @hypoxia13 Don't leave yet!
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I am a Medical Doctor, Brand Strategist and the Author of Musings of an Analytical Mind. I love to challenge conventional thinking and am a firm believer in the coexistence of aesthetics and quality. Follow me @ifeodedere on Twitter.