Found this in my daily paper
Wei Zheng was a cabinet-level official during the imperial reign of China’s Tang Dynasty. One day, when he was about to take a nap, two low-level officials held a discussion outside his window. One official commented, “Our promotions depend on this old felloe [Wei Zheng].”
The other disagreed and said: “It is not so. The heavens decide such things.”
After over hearing this conversation, Wei Zheng decided to write a letter to the Office of Personnel Management. He asked the man who had called him an “old fellow” to deliver this letter. The man had no idea that the letter which stated “promote this individual”, was about him.
Upon leaving his administrative office building to deliver this letter, the man experienced stomach pain. Therefore, he asked his colleague, to whom he had spoken outside Wei’s window, to help deliver the letter instead.
The next day, the Office of Personnel Management made a public announcement that the man who believed in the will of the heavens would be promoted. Upon hearing this, Wei became confused and asked both men what had happened. Once he learned that the letter had been delivered by the wrong person, he sighed deeply and said “it appears to be true—even one’s career is determined by the heavens!”
When I read this on the metro today, it struck a chord in me. Like everything else I read, I applied it to scenarios that I am familiar with—thus, putting it in a Nigerian setting—and I saw so many parallels. There are so many people who feel that things that are their due are not happening to them. They expect things to fall into their laps without much effoft on their part. The average Nigerian has the consciousness where someone else is responsible for their happiness and advancement and that all they have to do is pray and all will work out or even worse, they try to cheat the system and then pray that it works out.I don't understand it. In this story, I not only see that the gain was dependent on the heavens but that the heavens rewarded the service. The second soldier performed the task and got the promotion.
The arguement can be made that the first man had no choice when he fell ill and you may be right. But his attitude was never that he would be rewarded for his work but that possibly, he had to cosy up to the old man for his promotion...that's how I saw it, anyway.
How about you?