I started a business. It made me want to drink copious quantities, smoke myself into oblivion and hit my head against a brick wall. Instead I wrote a blog.
Once upon a time a girl was born with green colored skin which resulted in her being an outcast from her family (as it was clear she was not her father's offspring) and from her society where she grew up feared and loathed for being different.
So begins the tale of 'Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West'; the antagonist of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Having been a fan of the original fairy stories (or at least the 8 of them published by Puffin when I was a child) I was fascinated to see the story re-imagined from the perspective of the so-called wicked witch and last night, I went to watch the musical with my good friend Jenny (who says she works at Google, but having invited me to their HQ three times only to cancel at the last minute, I start to doubt it).
Without spoiling the story any further, the musical is worth seeing purely from a social and political commentary point of view (es, yes, the music is wonderful and I will be reading the book).But for me it was another beautifully rude awakening of how we can be so blind and ignorant of events which surround us if we only seek to understand one side of the story. Of course a fairy story doesn't matter so much and yet I berated myself for not having thought before of the character assassination of the witch that we accept at face value from The Wonderful Wizard himself who, after all, was discovered to be a complete fraud and liar.
Critical analysis is at the heart of good decision making in most situations. In business it's what I have done for most of my professional career - the challenges and the opposition is what ensures reasoned courses of action as far as is humanly possible and yet every day we see humans fail to do so. Pursuing their narrow minded visions and ego-lusts for power wholly convinced in many cases that their position is the right one.
And so yesterday saw the official announcement of the death of Kim Jong who according to sources
'demanded absolute obedience and agreement from his ministers and party officials with no advice or compromise, and he viewed any slight deviation from his thinking as a sign of disloyalty'.
How tragic to be so unsure of your own position that the slightest disagreement threatens your very fabric to the extent that another's opinion is by definition a traitorous act. How vain to believe that your experience and education serve to validate - without question - every decision you might care to make including those which result in life or death of your peers.
Thus whilst I feel a bitter satisfaction in the fact that such a man has come to the end of his sorry life, I will also remember that Kim Jong was a product of his own father's propaganda machine. For an infant to be taught that he is a God and that others exist only to please and serve him, is tantamount in my book to child abuse of a horrific kind as it ultimately resulted in the oppression and deaths of countless others.
In his own country, Kim Jong was revered as a man even with magical powers over the weather. In the west he is abhorred as a dictator and despotic leader. But it's clear he didn't get that way on his own.
We all have a responsibility for speaking out.
So make your voice heard.
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