Even Atlas shrugged
Like the pests in the household got together one day and decided to hold a major meeting to discuss their survival problems.
The roaches, the flies, the mosquitoes, silverfish, fleas and wasps arrived on time and the meeting was called to order.
Someone said, one second, where’s the gekko lizard?
They all looked up and saw the lizard on the ceiling.
Come on down, they said, we are waiting for you to get started.
Can’t, said the lizard, you’ll have to do without me.
But we need you, said the group, get down now, this very instant.
Are you all blind, snapped the lizard, if I come down now, who will keep the roof up, fine mess you’ll be when it comes crashing down.
There are people like this lizard. People we meet every day.
Indispensable people. Believing that without them things won’t work, things will come crashing down, systems collapse. And you look at them and say, the first lesson you learn wherever you are is that no one is indispensable. There is always someone ready to takeover...at less cost and probably with better result.
Now, there is nothing wrong in having our illusions but so many of us stick to the ceiling in our upside down fashion and actually believe we are holding up the roof.
All too often the position we hold or the wealth we have accessed leads us into even a deeper delusion about our role in the great scheme of things. You hear people giving themselves away.
I have to attend the dinner, they’ll be so upset if I don’t fetch up (they won’t even notice, brother).
My boss depends on me, he values my opinion ( how can anyone be so inutterably naïve).
My friends are always asking for my advice, any problem and I get called (yeah, sure.)
As usual, I had to save the situation, they were stuck without me (probably created the crisis in the first place.)
Then the acolytes join in: Sir, you are the greatest, nobody can do it like you, where would we be without you, this company runs because of you.
And the lizards, they believe this drivel, they absorb it and use it as fuel. They become the glue that keeps things from falling apart.
And it never strikes them that all the evidence points in the opposite direction.
You just flit onto the stage, my friend and then you flit off it and no one gives a toss after the first few days.
I recently met this person and he was talking about the ‘architect’ of the success graph in the company he works for and how he has been dumped by the Board and the company will never be the same again, it is doomed, all downhill from now on.
And since I can’t be silent I say, you are kidding, right, you don’t really mean it.
He says, of course I do, the company can’t pull through without him, he was the best, it will be a shell, no one can fit into his shoes.
No problem, I say, just throw his shoes away and get another pair.
I get no laughter. Instead he says, you wouldn’t understand, he was indispensable.
What do you say to people like this? I want to tell him the company will not only pull through it will probably flourish and they will get rid of everything that reminds them of him and a few weeks down the road they won’t even recall he had ever been there let alone been the architect.
I also want to add that neither will he because he’ll be so busy telling the new lizard what a whizz he is.
For holding up the roof.
But I leave the man his illusions.
And then I look up at the ceiling and there is this lizard there...holding up its own roof and feeling good about it.
Way to go...maybe.
Except that even Atlas shrugged.
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