Originally, I wanted to write about “Building for a Future”. However, I find it difficult to write about building for a future when the present is being destroyed. I cannot just turn a blind eye and continue writing about business after the recent senseless mass shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand. I am struggling to find the words to fully describe the level of evil that the perpetrator possesses to kill people who were having their most intimate connection with their Creator. This monstrosity is just inhuman.
If the killings had happened in any other place of worship, regardless of faith, I would feel the same.
Killing a person is one thing, but I cannot even begin to think how evil one person can be to senselessly gun down women and children as young as three years old in cold blood. This devilish act was even streamed live on social media, as if it was a sporting event that people should not miss. To take the life of another is ungodly but to take the life of a child, the defenceless soul among us, is unspeakable. This is a heinous crime against humanity.
Thinking of the dead children, I believe only the hardest of hearts would not break down and weep. But that is not enough. As rational, responsible people, we must search our soul, we must question and do our part in every possible way to speak and act for humanity.
This set me thinking. Even a business cannot be cold and without a soul. Humanity must also exist in business. After all, consumers of products and services are human, and we cannot talk about business or create products and services in isolation from humanity. As much as we set out to build good things in life, we have to acknowledge that there exist people who are out to destroy what we have built.
This reminds me of the times I took my children to the beach and tried to teach them lessons through building sand castles. They soon realised that they could not build the castles using dry sand. They learnt to wet the sand to get the right texture to build a sturdy castle. That was not enough. They made sure the castle was built in a safe spot where the waves could not roll over it and crush it. They did all they could to protect it, too. Then along came a child out of nowhere, who saw this castle with a glint in his eyes. Then he charged at it, kicked it and stomped on it, and then scooted off laughing.
Similarly, in business, we build and create, making sure that everything works. We do everything possible to make our business, product or service sustainable for the long haul. Then, here come the “enemies” — the competitors, the disrupters or worse, the corporate vultures whose only aim is to destroy. What we have taken pains to build and nurture over time can be gone in the blink of an eye. Just like the children who perished in the Christchurch massacre, children who are “built” for the future, gone just like that — destroyed by the destroyers.
But who are these destroyers and why do they destroy?
To answer this, I must first ask this question, who knows best the purpose of creation — the created or the Creator? The purpose of creation will always be best known to the Creator. But when people, the created, want to play the Creator, that is when the problems start. It results in conflict when the created do not understand the real purpose of creation. This gives birth to destroyers, and the justification merely follows the changing laws of mankind.
Previously, if the majority of people came to a consensus, then what was agreed upon became the norm and then the law. Then this changed. It was no longer decided by the majority but by the mightiest. The mightiest was the law, the judge and the executioner. But even this has evolved. Today, in the digital era, the loudest has become the new norm. If we are not aligned to the loudest among us, what we say can be judged as wrong. So what’s next? Because this scenario created by people keeps on changing, there will always be destroyers among us.
To attend to them, we must get back to the fundamentals. The created should not behave like the Creator. When the Creator commands, “Thou shalt not kill”, all the created should comply. Then there will be no space for these evil destroyers.
As a builder in business, I have to prepare for this. I must attend to it. No one in their right mind with an iota of sanity can afford to ignore it.
Just because this time the atrocious murders occurred in a peaceful place like Christchurch, in a country of which people have visions mainly of green pastures, gurgling rivers, sparkling waters and grazing sheep, the world sat up. The media went into a frenzy. But it is happening every day, mostly unreported, in Palestine, Syria, Yemen, Myanmar and many more places.
So, for now, I refuse to say it is business as usual. For it is not. We are living in unusual times.
Datuk Azrin Mohd Noor is the founder of Sedania Group, an innovator, author and IP expert