Sunday, April 02, 2023 | Ramadan 10, 1444 H
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Holding out for a hero


In 1984, Jim Steinman and Dean Pitchford collaborated with the husky-voiced Welsh, yes that’s right, she’s Welsh, starlet Bonnie Tyler, to produce the almost anthemic, “I’m Holding Out for a Hero,” which featured on the global pop charts, peaking at Number One on ‘Billboard.” Most of the world is holding out for one now!

“Where have all the good men gone...” it begins, and it’s a question we find ourselves asking of nobody, maybe over coffee, or a juice, a lemonade, but outside of our families and friends we find few to aspire to, don’t we? From a global perspective, and I don’t need to mention names... we see those who are physically unfit to rule... too old... too slow... simply incapable of maintaining coherent thought and discussion, let alone lead their nations!

“He’s gotta be up for the fight.” Hmmmm, let’s not hide behind gender either. I’m happy for women to have greater ascendancy among leadership and management, but they must stand up even taller. We have women who display empathy, compassion, and concern, but do they grasp or are they making the most of the wonderful opportunities they must, to be real heroes, or heroines? Are they being all they can be? I see Baida and Noor al Zadjali of Meezah Consultants re-shaping traditional ideas in Oman, and that must be a good thing, right?

The music continues... “and where are all the Gods?” Well, they, irrespective of your faith, are still there, but are you reaching out, are you listening, and are you being what they want you to be? Again, we could, and should, question whether the moral and ethical needs of our current world order are being met by those in positions to make a difference? The Sultanate of Oman’s adherence to its culture and traditions are heartening reminders of how one reed may be broken easily, but many... not so.

“Where’s the streetwise Hercules to fight the rising odds, Isn’t there a white knight upon a fiery steed?” And there lies one of our greatest fears today. We have nobody capable of asking difficult questions and demanding genuine answers. The self-serving paranoia, hatred, and antagonism with which insecure individuals compel nations towards war and conflict, upon the flimsiest of pretexts, are horrific reflections of the barbarity of centuries past. Have we learned so little across time?

“I need a hero!” We all need a hero, or heroes. We do need someone to “be strong, be fast, be larger than life.” Oh goodness, do we need someone good or what? Just someone who will demand honest answers. However, all we get is the arrogance of evasion, the smug indulgence of silence, and the temerity of obscurity, rarely coming out to ‘face the music.’ The CEO of BP, owner of 1,218 petrol stations across the UK, has a company fuel card, so is totally insulated from petrol price rises. The Chairman of EDF Energy (UK) has their utilities, their gas and electricity, paid as part of their employment package. How aware do you think they are?

In a world where... incredibly and regrettably, train drivers are paid more than nurses and teachers, we do need heroes. It is also a world where, incredibly, corporate energy giants announce indecent profits at the same time as they, with the connivance of politicians, apply multiple tariff increases. It is a world where we are being ‘driven,’ towards electric vehicles without genuine consideration of the environmental impact of lithium mining in Chile and China having a horrendous environmental impact upon those countries, and therefore the planet. But maybe, out of sight...

Oman is an oasis of calm and tranquility in a world that is becoming a maelstrom of intrigue, of faithless existence, of conceit, arrogance, and pride that all come before a fall. Don’t be dissuaded from your objectives of a society in which health and education are the primary concerns. Your doctors, your nurses, your police, your teachers, should be your heroes, because every day, they are “up for the fight!” They are real heroes!

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