The Speech

By Novid Shaid, 2011

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The chairman stood upon the podium, grinning at the seated gentlemen, who sat around their tables which were arranged in their ceremonial shape, and began:

“My dear colleagues and friends! I would like to welcome you to this historic, inaugural Greedlibb conference, which I am confident will develop through the future at great progress. I as the chairman am utterly honoured to be addressing you in this opening speech, before we split into our respective groups for the strategic planning sessions.

My friends, there is an old saying that there are only three types of people, those who make things happen, those who watch things happen and those who ask the question, what’s happening?  I would like to humbly add a fourth group: those who are acted upon. This nugget of wisdom introduces a critical notion, which, if we are all not in complete agreement, could fester away, corrode and collapse our hopes and aspirations for our world.
There is no doubt, that we are the movers and shakers behind many charitable initiatives around the world. Sitting here we have colleagues who have not only invested thousands, but millions of dollars, servicing the poor and needy. You are, without a doubt, the salt of the earth. But service to mankind, although it is important, must be secondary to service to the cause and service to each other.

We must prevail and we must work to sustain our interests, our loved ones and our futures. We must be the ones who make things happen, who lead, who provoke, who channel, who organise. For the nature of this world is one of scarcity, of limitations. And if we are not the ones who lead the way in managing this scarcity, then we will eventually join those who are now scrambling to find the very resources that we are on the eve of securing for the rest of our lives. Very soon, they will be relegated to watching, while we will be the ones who are doing.

Service to mankind must never overshadow service to the cause. We must thrive and grow, for without us, this world will fall into the hands of unpredictability and confusion. We are the ones who draw a line in the sand, who draw a road map into the future; we make things happen. But the future of all we hold dear may be in jeopardy if we do not agree on this simple rule: service to the cause first, then service to mankind. We lead, while the rest follow, we set the agenda, while others imitate or fall in line. And there is no doubt that the world will see this and marvel at how we pledge a generous hand at helping those without, while ensuring that our hands are firmly holding the future within.

I would like to particularly remind you about this point as you embark on the critical planning you are about to undertake. Those who will be acted upon are a necessary component of the grand scheme of things and now is not the time of enumerating the ethics of Plato or the rights of man. Either we will prevail, or the others will. Either we will make things happen, or we will be relegated to watching, and then perhaps being the ones sticking our hands in the air while the unlettered brigands empty our pockets and pass us by. We must think with our heads and not with our eyes or hearts.
Right then, so are will all agreed and understood?”

All heads nodded away in agreement.

“Great, okay, those of you on the right, here are your maps, you can work on the Middle-East and South Asia, and those of you on the left, you can take Africa.”

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About Novid Shaid

I am a Muslim writer and English teacher. I have written poetry, short stories, a play, and I am currently working on a novella. My subject matter and themes are related to Islam, Sufism, politics and also my job as a secondary school teacher. My work is copyrighted and any works published here may not used or copied without my prior consent. You can contact me via the "Contact Me" page, if you wish to use any these writings. I am keen to gain the notice of publishers and if any are interested in my writings, please contact me via the "Contact Me" page. Was salaam, Peace

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