It was a week before Christmas, many years ago, when I graduated from the infantry officer cadet school after 9 months of blood and sweat. The commanding officer gave us his final advice before the passing-out parade: “whenever you face difficult situation, just turn and look at the insignia on your shoulder”. And I did. From time to time, I gained confidence from believing that I could be ‘somebody’ because I belonged to an organization which, in this case, was the Arm-forces of my country.
The more I climbed the corporate ladder, the more obvious it seemed that people couldn’t but depend on title and status. It is like a survival kit, one can’t leave home without it. For example it is weird when greeting someone for the first time saying: “Hi, I’m Ben, …..”(silence). It is more likely the sentence is followed by “…manager of ABC company” or “…graduated from OPQ university” or “…minister of XYZ church.
We have to relate to someone or something somehow to find our existence. The Jews relate to their father, for example Bar-timaeus is the son of Timaeus. Similarly, Abdul Rahman bin Mohamed Ali refers to a Malay guy named Abdul Rahman and he is the son of Mohamed Ali.
I have been jobless for some time now, and the habit of “title-dependency” can be quite depressing at times. Can I say “Hi, I’m Ben, a job-seeker or an under-aged retiree”? Now I can fully understand my wife title-less sacrifice all these years at home. Although “housewife” has been replaced by a nicer title called “homemaker”, it still doesn’t sound that glamorous after all. Does it?
Yet I know, even though I am nobody in the eyes of the world, I have a God as my Father and I have a King as my Brother. And Yes, I’m Ben, a Christian. Amen! By Ben