DSK in shackles
Over the past few weeks, we’ve all been served with the unpleasant dish of breakfast, lunch, supper news of the sudden fall of a strong man in world finance. The Boss in the realm of the very International Monetary Fund; that multi-trillion dollar fund headquartered in the USA that governments, including mine borrow money from…DSK; Dominique Strauss Kahn has resigned to enable him contest charges of rape of an immigrant maid in the New York hotel he footed $5000 a night to lodge in . Sure, we are human beings and can’t help getting a jolt of tabloidy satisfaction; After all, we love nothing better than seeing the powerful and formerly smug dragged across the front pages in ignominy.
But DSK was tipped to be the successor to the French President Nicholas Sarkozy by electoral pundits. Many people are amazed by this alleged act by a man held in so much esteem. Conspiracy theories have cropped up from all over the place, especially in his native France to his defense. Whether he is guilty or not, we leave that to the law do decide.
In sober reflection today and in my quest to understand why most men, at the epitome or the very peak of their success in their chosen fields and careers disregard dire consequences and act quite contrary to accepted norms and practices. My quest took me searching throughout the bible and also through my companion, Google to try to help my brain possibly understand this phenomenon, before I fall to it.
Indeed, the very first article I chanced on, addressed a rather delicate issue of legalizing prostitution in the United Kingdom. Sebastian Horsley, the writer of “brothel creeper” summarized his thoughts in this very interesting, intriguing and invigorating phrase “ There is a charm about the forbidden, that makes it desirable” and supports it with the biblical argument that Adam didn’t want the apple because it was desirable; there were other desirable fruits, but he did so because it was forbidden. Just after reading this one line phrase, did I realize that I had a very interesting task at hand.
The second piece of information relevant to this discus, was a proverb I heard a while ago, and relevant to this very piece…I cannot recollect who actually said it first to me…..It’s a literal translation of a proverb in the twi language that goes “If you are old, You are not older than Abraham; If you are wise, you aren’t wiser than the King Solomon and If u have strength, you aren’t any stronger than Sampson and if u have any integrity, it doesn’t surpass that of King David’s’; but a woman caused the downfall of all these people’’. Indeed I dug deep to the bible find out the various individual accounts of Abraham, Solomon, Sampson and David.
Just for recollection purposes, Abraham had a sexual relation with Hagar, the Egyptian maid of his wife Sarai, and brought forth Ishmael. Solomon, the wise King is recorded to have had 300 wives and 700 concubines but still couldn’t resist the temptation of the Queen of Sheba who eventually turned his heart away from the Lord to idol worship. Sampson’s story is well known. The strong man fell in love with a philistine woman, Delilah who used the perverted form of love to lure Sampson to divulge the secret of his success; his strength, to her and cut his hair, the source. Samson lost out on his strength and was taken to Gaza to grind grain. King David’s account rather sends chilling to spines. He was overwhelmed by the beauty of Bathsheba, and sent forth her to his palace to sleep with her. She was Uriah’s wife, and Uriah was one of the many soldiers in his own army. David impregnated Bathsheba and sent Uriah back to the battlefield with his death warrant couriered by his own hand.
All these accounts of powerful people behaving so badly are unjustifiable, some are though. Especially in cases where men are set up by unsuspecting people and scandalized mostly for political gains. But as I read through these tales about these people, I immediately discovered some patterns that contributed to them faltering at very important times.
EMERGING PATTERNS AND TRENDS
The very first pattern I discovered was habits that weren’t killed at the very early stage. At a wedding ceremony I attended, the pastor’s sermon hammered on a theme that talked about foundations. He went on to say “there is no foundation that can be laid apart from that which has been already laid”. Habits we pick from childhood are very difficult to shun. If we would be truthful to ourselves; many of us who find it difficult to lay our beds and clean our rooms right after waking up would realize that, we weren’t doing that as kids. Likewise, those of us who find it difficult with starting the day with God through devotion weren’t starting the day with God as kids. The formative years of our lives are very important and any lesson we learn that time in a way depicts how we will behave at a later age.
But, there are habits we pick through unhealthy associations, leading me to the second trend I observed. It’s widely believed that habits of drug usage, excessive drinking and others are passed on from peers. Unhealthy companionships or associations they say, corrupt good manners. This is particularly true for most people who don’t have that solid foundation, instilled in them from childhood. There are people who don’t develop addictions; they can start anything at any time and quit when they want to…others also curse the day they held their first beer, lighted their first cigarette and used up hard drugs. Each human being is different in their own right and we should always strive to know who we are.
In Nicholas Cage’s lord of war, he made a profound statement “there is no problem leading a double life, it’s just the triple, quadruple and quintuple life it leads us that’s the problem” This is exactly so for most of us. We are all good at hiding a part of us and only present the suitable part to suit the occasion or the people we are with. Bad habits are thus, left to grow to full blown status without putting a stop to it at the very early stage.
The third pattern I discovered was the “first time syndrome”. This I saw, was usually experienced by people who are so used to a certain lifestyle and live in ignorance of the others. They are mostly used to a pure life and have only knowledge of issues like extra marital affairs, adultery and rape in theory. They live in oblivion of them and think they can never be affected and therefore are clueless when they are confronted by the reality of these evils.
I recently chanced on the resignation letter of a staunch Christian preacher. He was an elite evangelist who travelled the world over to share the word of God. He cites a moral fall as the reason for his resignation as he had a sexual relation with a lady he met at a hotel in South Africa after speaking at a conference in that country. It’s a very unfortunate story; several of his admirers are still to come to terms with the occurrence.
The third and final piece of relevant information to my article, was the discussion at the barber shop I cropped my hair the other day. The person discussed was not Dominique Strauss Kahn, but a famous footballer who was respected and admired by all until his private dealings were put in the public domain. My barber, a wise one decided to allow the discussion to go on without altering a word. It was a very interesting one; new perspectives emerged and generally, there was a certain impression that I gathered that the footballer, who I can’t name because of a legal super injunction, let down his guard.
After heated discussions and when the place wasn’t getting any quiet, my barber pointed to moral decadence as the cause. Then there was unusual calm at the place, for a second we all wished he would expedite his speech. He spoke as a wise man would and blamed everything on the society we had created for ourselves. He went on to say that on the television, movies, music, the internet and on billboards dotted all over the place, sex was used previously subtly, but currently boldly as a tool to reach the masses. I immediately recollected one I see regularly and smiled. I was in total agreement and he concluded by saying “as long as we have sex as the theme, these sexual misconducts will come and go, on and on”.
But the universal trend I discovered in all these cases was the fact that all these men picked up from where they fell and moved on with their lives. Abraham went on to become the father of nations; Solomon didn’t die in idolatry; King David is still by far the most popular king who ruled Israel and has so many name-sakes than any other. Even Sampson, in his death, killed so many of his enemies who had gathered to mock him and praise Dagon, their god.
And as it turns out, being pilloried as a harasser or cheater isn’t a career ender for many men. It just leads us to a period of pausing, reflecting deeply and emerging as better men. A word to the ladies; Men have a 90% chance of recovering after a moral fall or sexual misconduct, you can’t be pretty sure of yours!