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OPINION: On positions and possessions: Between the WHO and the WHAT

By Mohammed Dahiru Aminu PhD

Positions and possessions do not always make a person. Too many people define themselves by what they are rather than who they are. They define themselves by their positions and possessions. But positions and possessions come and go and they also unite all sorts of people. Positions and possessions are held by people who are smart and people who are daft; people who are just and people who are wicked; people who are honest and people who are thieves; etc.

If you define yourself by how much money you have, you would have a thief who has stolen more money than you would ever have, and they become superior to you, given your own standards. But if you define money not as end in itself but only as a means of, say educating the children, then you might not be intimidated by those who amass money as an end in itself.

Interestingly, people who define themselves by what they are also define others as belonging to that category. So, if money is what matters to them, the poor are looked down upon. If position is what matters to them, they are arrogant towards others. In the end, they exhibit the worst traits of human behavior and are detested by those who know them.

But those who define themselves in other terms, such as their education, their character, their values, etc., are hated by those who do not share those values but end up as the only ones on the right side of history. So, benchmarking is only good if you benchmark against the WHO rather than the WHAT.

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