Bucket of Records

Very few people have the moral courage to own their wrong decisions and prejudiced policies
"Perhaps those in chairs, big or small, fail to understand that one day the bucket will get filled up and then start leaking its content. The spillover is enough to get them down unceremoniously."
"Perhaps those in chairs, big or small, fail to understand that one day the bucket will get filled up and then start leaking its content. The spillover is enough to get them down unceremoniously."Flickr [Creative Commons]

Time is always on the wings. Even though it’s fluttering is something intangible, it alone belongs to us when we have nothing else. And it can never be impartial: either it will prove to be a close friend or a fierce foe. It all depends on how we treat time.

Remembering bygone days is a part of advantageous exercise since those who can’t remember them are condemned to live them again. Carl Sandburg said, “Past is nothing but a bucket of ashes”.

But won’t it be appropriate to call it a ‘bucket of records’? ‘Ashes’ relate to residuum which is often execrable and useless, whilst ‘records’ serve as reminders which can become a telling reference for the future. More precisely, ‘records’ is another name of history. Another expression for ‘Inward Journey’.

During the American Civil War, Lincoln, to please a politician, signed an order transfer­ring certain regiments. But Stanton, then Secretary of State, refused to implement it saying, “Lin­coln is a damn fool for ever signing it.” The remark was leaked to Lincoln, who agreed: “If Stanton said I am a damn fool, then I must be, for he is nearly always right. I’ll step over and see him.” Likewise, President Roosevelt once said that one out of every four decisions he made was probably wrong.

Very few people have the moral courage to own their wrong decisions and prejudiced policies. Conversely, people have a tendency to manipulate and brag about so-called arguments and achievements to wrap up their blunders. And then, stepping over is an act that needs strong courage and character. Men in chair beg and beseech the powers that may be to stay on and on for loading up their nasty bucket of records. How ridiculous!

Perhaps those in chairs, big or small, fail to understand that one day the bucket will get filled up and then start leaking its content. The spillover is enough to get them down unceremoniously.

It’s the irrefutable fate of those who believe everything is everlasting and puff out their shallow size. Even if they manage to stick to the chair by hook or crook, their ‘contribution’ in a real sense is rotting and regretful.  

History is the record. After the beginning of World War II, Japan without having openly declared war, bombarded the huge American military base at Pearl Harbour, destroying it com­pletely.

As an immediate major naval victory, it was a matter for Japanese jubila­tion, but as a piece of military strategy, it was ill-conceived because it had the effect of bringing the USA directly into the war, whereas the latter’s involvement prior to this had been only indirect.

At this point, America then formed a united front with Britain and the USSR, which came to be known as the Allied Powers. Matters came to a head in August 1945 when America dropped the first atom bombs in the his­tory of mankind on the Japanese towns of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, completely ob­literating both these industrial centres and bringing to an end the military power of Japan.

The bombing of Pearl Harbour was, un­doubtedly, Japan’s greatest military blunder. It quite unnecessarily brought the USA into the war. But Japan, realizing how great a mistake this had been, refrained from com­mitting another.

A defeated, but still living nation, it opted for adjustment to the new set of circumstances rather than putting up re­sistance to them. In this way, Japan opened up for itself new and splendid possibilities.

Finding no opportunities in the military field, the Japanese put all their efforts into the fields of education and industry. Within a period of thirty years, Japan became far more powerful than before. Of the original incident which set in motion this unexpected train of events, a commentator wrote:

“That is the queer culmination of Pearl Harbour, but history has many contrived corridors and perhaps Pearl Harbour was one of them” (Al­-Risala magazine).

Men and nations are always in the making of history. Some demean themselves and thus disgrace the happenings and history. They leave malicious records as well as memories behind and become hatefully invisible to the rest.

However, few rise up to do well for all and be just with the affairs they handle. Such persons have deep insight and acumen gained from their rich background and genuine exposure. They don’t prance like dust particles. Nor do they speak self-eulogies. They are composed and humble. They have the grey matter to understand:

‘…Kahti Hai Tuj Ko Khaliq-i-Khuda Ghaiyibana Kya?’

And that’s why such people alone can stand embracing the situation stanchly and leave the scene silently and gracefully. Though painful, quitting means recovery and reordering. It is always a better choice as “misconstrued defeat” than being cursed and abused often.  And getting reduced to a bad memory.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.

The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK

Related Stories

No stories found.
Greater Kashmir
www.greaterkashmir.com