Sunday, May 28, 2023 | Dhu al-Qaadah 7, 1444 H
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What tangled webs we weave, as we flatter to deceive

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The wonderful Jonathan Swift wrote, “Falsehood flies, and the truth comes limping after it, so that when men come to be undeceived it is too late, the jest is over and the tale has had its effect,” meaning the damage has been done!

That recalls Ashley Lutz’ recent comment that “Incompetent bosses often hide behind their more skilled employees.” Even though it has become the norm for teams to review their supervisors, employees are often afraid to speak up because they fear the consequences. You should have more respect for yourself! Supervisors who would take credit for your achievements, while blaming you for their failings are schemers, recidivist, and habitual. Each new intrigue a plot, a new ploy, to maintain control. Such machinations are not solitary reactions, but wily conspiracies, seeking to take, or keep, something that they may even entitled to, yet are so insecure in their own knowledge and understanding.

Let us be clear... there is nothing wrong with wanting things, we all want things from the time we are kids when we want to be fed, then toys, then clothes, money, cars, jewellery, children, homes, grandchildren, companionship, comfort, and ultimately... rest! But, in real life, at every step, someone wants that which is yours. Babies pinch toys from each other, kids pinch cookies and friends, teens steal friends, adults become well... covetous, and that is where the worst deceptions occur... as having achieved a position of dominance, that is not enough, the covetous conceal their own failings, inabilities, and insecurities, by using your talents to fulfil their own obligations.

You see... they cannot possess your intellect, your knowledge, your understanding, even your thoughts, and that must really irritate them! So, they do the next best thing, manipulating who you can effectively interact with, so they have ownership of the results of that intellect, knowledge, understanding, and thought processes, and take credit for positive results whilst wielding any negatives are used as a further control mechanism. They become masters of a chess like game, where they know the rules and you do not even know you are playing! not. Only with maturity will you understand that really, in truth... there are no rules. However certainly, to divide first to conquer, then divide and rule, is the old maxim that rings true in far too many organisations and institutions. If we learned one thing from that enormously successful ‘Game of Thrones’ series, it is that manipulation and deception can keep even the strongest blind to their potential, and oblivious to opportunity.

Most of us do not see or recognise all deception though, as it is human nature to see others in the light of our own standards and morality. While we may recognise undeserved discipline or reprimand for what it is, we will rarely see it as part of that greater scheme because in our youth and naivety, the only great scheme we see, is that we are allowed to see, and we are parties not to concepts and ideas, but are compartmentalised, and task driven. The deceiver knows too, from ‘Loves Labors Lost,’ “A jest’s prosperity lies in the ear that hears it, never in the tongue that makes it.” Yet knowing a deception is empowering, hurtful, disturbing at first, but then with maturity and understanding, knowing the lie means you know the truth, and with so much more certainty than before, so you gain strength, or conviction, through that knowledge.

Deceptive employers and supervisors don’t think about you while they are plotting, and may appear much differently than their true character, as in Shakespeare’s ‘McBeth,’ “Look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent beneath it...” They are narcissistic and conceited, remarkably self-absorbed, and while their high position gives them prominence, their actions ensure that they remain uneasy... So, again to quote Shakespeare, the master of the intrigue, “They whose guilt within their bosom lies, imagine every eye beholds their lies.”

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