Success is relative
That is a truism in this country of ours, “the more successful you are, the more relatives you have!” For those in power, the title of this piece should be “the more successful you are, the more rela-thieves you have!”
So, Shakespeare was right when he said “The first thing we do is, let’s kill all the lawyers.”
Dick the Butcher in Act 4, Scene 2 of Shakespeare’s Henry VI, Part 2 said this implying that society could not exist in a state of fairness and peace without the protectiveness of both the law and its staunch guardians and in order for their coup to prevail, they must eradicate society of the very defenders of justice who could both stop the revolt he intends to help spur and then remove the power he hopes to grab.
In these extraordinary times, may I add politicians of the Alibaba type told in an Arabian Nights classic that teaches people not to be greedy.
So, it goes Cassim and Alibaba, sons of a merchant, from whom supposedly they are to inherit share and share alike. Cassim married a rich lady and became wealthy. Alibaba married a poor, humble woman and lived the life of a woodcutter.
One day, he went into the forest for some good quality wood. There, he chances upon a cave owned by a gang of 40 thieves. He watched from behind a tree and learned that the cave is magically protected. He heard the leader say a magical word to open and close the cave.
He waited until the thieves left, tried the magic passcode, and lo and behold “Open Sesame”, and the cave opens. Inside, he found the loot – mounds of gold jewels, coins, and other precious artifacts. He is awed by the wealth but is careful enough not to leave a trace of his visit. He picks up a small bag of coins and leaves the cave.
Alibaba tells his wife about the cave and the thieves who borrowed weighing scales from Cassim to measure coins. Being sneaky, Cassim pressured Ali to reveal the cave’s location bringing a key to haul off precious metals and jewelry.
Done, he forgot the magic words and was trapped inside. The thieves caught, killed him, and hanged his body by the entrance to scare away future intruders. Alibaba got the body to bury. The thieves realized that someone else knew their secret. Searching the town, they zeroed in on Alibaba and attempted several times to murder him. Foiled each time, it was the thieves who ended up dead. And Alibaba took over all their hidden wealth. Be satisfied with what you have.
Present day. One day, Adamor of Aromin flowershop went to my favorite barber, Abet, formerly of Kokens now with Kwentong Barbero for a haircut. After the cut, he paid but Abet said, “It’s on me, because I’m doing my good turn for a day.”
Adam was so pleased and left. He sent a “Thank you” card and a dozen roses to show his appreciation.
Later, a grocery-cum-car-dealer from Lakandula, Ben, went for haircut. Paying, the barber again said “It’s on me, because I’m doing my good turn for a day.” After an hour, there was a “Thank you” letter and a bag of groceries at the door.
Then my favorite politician came in for a haircut and when he went to pay his bill, the barber said the same. “It’s on me, because I’m doing my good turn for a day.” The politician was ecstatic. The next morning, when Abet went to open up, there were a dozen other politicians lined up waiting for a free haircut. Ay Apo!