Selfishness belongs to the Stone Age

It is better for the town council to send more firemen for training at a cost to avoid the monopoly of knowledge which has left town fathers with an egg on the face.

IN yesterday’s issue, NewsDay reported of firefighters in Beitbridge that struggled to put out a fire as they did not know how to use the newly-acquired firetender. The reason: The one trained on how to use it did not impart the knowledge to colleagues for reasons best known to himself and this shows poor management on the part of those who run the town.

The people who are supposed to ensure that the knowledge is passed on to the other firemen did not superintend as they snored on the wheels.

We will only assume that by not sharing the knowledge acquired, the fireman was making himself indispensable and intended to hold the council to ransom since he is the only one who knows how to operate the machine.

To the trained fireman, it is his knowledge which he is not supposed to share notwithstanding that council paid for such training at the City of Harare.

This reflects badly on the town’s succession planning. Does it means that if Mr X is not present, there is no one to operate the firetender?

We hope the town’s leaders will not sweep this incident under the carpet. Heads must roll after this embarrassing gaffe which came at a very high cost.

It is better for the town council to send more firemen for training at a cost to avoid the monopoly of knowledge which has left town fathers with an egg on the face.

Some belongings could have been salvaged if the firemen knew how to operate the machine.

The Beitbridge tragicomedy is replicated in local authorities, parastatals, ministries and even the private sector where people cling to knowledge on the mistaken belief that this ensures they are “here to stay”.

Employees come and go. No one is indispensable. This also applies to the managers, directors and shareholders.

There are some machines that are only operated by one person, a company car with one driver such that if a “foreigner” is assigned to drive it, the car will not start or the new driver will be involved in an accident. 

What have we become as a society? Are we so selfish that we can sacrifice everything for expediency?

This disease cuts across society and is also found in national leaders who believe they have the copyrights to leadership and only them can be in charge.

Selflessness and teamwork are the building blocks of a nation.

As Napoleon Hill said, great achievement is usually born of great sacrifice and is never the result of selfishness.

Whenever selfishness is the staple food, that country is on the path to destruction. Italian mystic and pious laywoman, Caterina di Jacopo di Benincasa, known as Catherine of Siena, would not have summed it up any better when she said, “The poison of selfishness destroys the world”.

It is selfishness that has left the economy on its knees. It is selfishness that has left nearly half of the population relying on food aid. Selfishness has seen the widening of the gap between the haves and the have-nots. Young people now aspire to be like some rich tenderpreneurs who are making money by virtue of their proximity to the seat of power.

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