The sayings, ‘the boss is always right’, ‘the majority is always
right ‘, ‘do not rock the boat’, the customer is always right ‘..
etc, etc, have always elicited an instinctual ‘bullshit’ reaction
from me .
I don’t know about you.
Trying to subordinate yourself on the altar of the superiority of
number, higher position, authority or needfulness almost always
gets your ass fried. Or, sunk.
Please pardon this French.
Here is a fable about getting into trouble by trying to be the good
boy and floating along the pathway of popular opinion, or similar.
Idiosyncrasy sure has its rewards.
while on a journey to the next village, a boy rode on a
donkey and the father walked alongside .
As they continued their journey, they passed some people who remarked
it was a shame the old man was walking while the boy was riding the
Inconsiderate of the son, they opined!
Father and son considered that the critics were probably right, so
they exchanged positions.
Later on, they encountered some people who remarked, “What a shame, he
makes that little boy walk, while he is riding .”
Father and son then decided they both would walk!
Subsequently, they passed other people who thought they were stupid to
walk when they had a decent donkey to ride. What were they smoking?
So, they both rode the donkey. Now they passed some people that shamed
them by saying how wicked it was to put such a load on the poor
donkey. Two people on the frail donkey!
The boy and man said they were probably right, so they decided to
carry the donkey on their heads! .
At last, they thought, they would be able to silence these people
complaining about everything.
As they traversed a bridge, they lost their grip on the donkey and it
fell into the river and drowned
Clearly, if you try to please everyone,your ass gets fried or
Relating this saying of the post title to acquisition of power /
distribution of favors, it is a chicken and egg problem.
If you got into worthwhile position by kowtowing and bootlicking, ,
not ever having a dissenting view from your superiors, if you get
into high level positions NOT through the power of ideas, you naturally
expect the same treatment from your underlings.
A vicious cycle.
There is this other fable about bullshit being able to get you to the
top, but not being enough to maintain that top-level position.
It goes something like this….
Once upon a time, a penguin decides he wants to fly up
into a tree, but he can’t quite reach the lowest branch.
A bull comes along and tells the penguin, “If you eat some of my shit,
you’ll be able to fly up to that tree. My shit is chock_full with
nutrients, so, you’ll need to get up into that tree.”
The penguin takes a little bite and expectedly , was able to fly up to
the lowest branch of the tree .
The penguin marvels at the view for a while, flew down.
The next day the penguinyy gets the idea that if he ingests even more
shit today, he’ll be able to fly even higher. Sure enough, the penguin
consumes copious volumes of more shit and flies up to the second
branch on the tree. The view from this branch is even better.
This continues for a few days until finally the penguin reaches the
very top of the tree.
The view from this height is splendid .
Unfortunately, a farmer, spotting the penguin at the tree top, pulls
out his rifle and blasts the penguin off the tree.
Clearly, bullshit may get you to the top, but it can’t maintaon you
in that position
Bootlicking or trying to please everyone /superiors can only maintain
you in their good books for a while.
Now, it is true that if you don’t embrace the idea of NOT outshining
the master, you may not go far in certain settings (such as government
The book [48 Laws Of Power] talks about this @ http://is.gd/NVd93d .
If you are a man of your ideas, with an independent mind, you would
not fit in lots of mediocre settings, and risk being frustrated, or
worse, ostracized .
Nigeria, being a predominantly mediocre society, the best minds have
an uphill task in getting their talents to shine through.
However, to escape being enmeshed in the cesspool of mediocrity,
shine all the same, and embrace sterling principles that set you
apart from the docile comforming crowd…
He who is different walks alone. But he also gets ahead faster because
he has no baggage slowing him down!