Friday, August 26, 2011

Belajar dari Sejarah

( Sumber : newsletter azizi ali - Sept 2011)


Xia, Shang, Zhou, Han, Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming, Qing.

Rashidun, Umayyad, Abbasid, Fatimid, Ottoman, Sokoto, Khilafat.

No, I’ve not gone off my rockers. History buffs will recognize the first line as the names of the Chinese dynasties and the second the Islamic caliphs and dynasties – in their chronological order.

See, when not reading books on money matters, I like to check out the history books as well. Partly to find out what has happened, partly to know the truth (of sorts since history is always written by the victors) and mostly to learn the lessons of the past.

I discovered a long time ago that most (as in 95 percent) of the problems that you and I are facing are not new. Generations of men have faced the same problems before us. What’s more, they have solved the problems. So, instead of cracking our heads trying to find out the solutions to these problems, it is obviously faster, cheaper and yes, saner to apply the solutions learnt from our forefathers.

Now I’d like to share a few of the lessons that I’ve learnt from history:

1. Do not flaunt your wealth too openly

Enjoy your toys but do not flaunt your wealth too openly as it creates resentment, especially to those lacking the basic necessities. Flaunting what you have may be fun and may be good for the ego, but if you overdo it, one day, some people may turn up at your front door with parangs in their hands as what happened in France in the late 1700s. In case you have forgotten, we now refer to this period as the French Revolution – a turmoil period when the poor and the downtrodden revolted against the aristocracy and the rich, and cut off their heads!

2. Reward people based on their talent and ability

Unlike what some people may believe, talent and ability are not reserved for one race, one family, one area, one state or one country. They are dispersed all over the world, cutting across skin colour, race, religion and bloodlines. This being the case, you’d do well to hire and more importantly, reward people based on their talent, ability and performance.

This partly explains why Genghis Khan’s empire stretched some 12 million continuous square miles (covering 30 countries and over 3 billion people on today’s map) even though the Mongol population was miniscule. He supplemented his small Mongol army (only about a hundred thousand strong) with talented soldiers from the vanquished armies and lands he conquered. Ordinary soldiers and even former slaves rose to become officers in his army if they showed exceptional fighting talent and ability.

3. Watch over your money

Jaffar al-Mansour, the first Abbasid Caliph, gave this advice to his son Mahdi, “Watch over your finances. You will be great and victorious as long as your treasury is full.”

I can vouch that the advice still rings true today – hundreds of years later.

4. Empire rises only to fall when they get too big for their britches

It may be hard to believe that the mighty USA will soon be a footnote in history. But they will (to the delight of some people).

Grand empires have risen throughout the centuries. They rose and ruled the (known) world for decades and even centuries. They seemed so mighty, so smart, so strong, so rich and so infallible that the thought that one day they will be gone sounds so absurd. Ridiculous, bordering on madness even. But it happened anyway.

Proof? The Egyptian dynasties. The mighty Roman empire. The Byzantium empire. The Spanish empire. The Ottoman empire. The British empire. Communist Russia. All are mere footnotes in history today.

5. Never outshine the master

Be all that you can but never ever outshine your boss. Even if you are smarter, tone it down in front of the master. Even if you are wealthier, do not outspend the master. Firstly, it is poor manners. Two and more importantly, it might just irk his ire. And let’s face it, you can never win going against the boss as what happened to Ibrahim Pasha (Grand Vizier trying to outdo his king, Suleiman the Magnificent), Jaffar ibn Yahya (trying to outdo his king, Harun al-Rashid) and Teb Tengeri (Genghis Khan’s shaman who tried to outdo his boss). All three paid for the transgression with their lives!

6. Be wary anytime someone tells you that “This time it’s different”

I was tickled pink when I read the comments made by the people who ‘invested’ in Swisscash when the online scam was at its’ peak sometime in 2007. “The people who are complaining about Swisscash do not understand the investment.” “The local banks are jealous as everyone is taking money out to invest in Swisscash.” “You cannot compare it to other investments as Swisscash is different from the rest.”

What is remarkable about it is that I heard the same lines from the people who invested in Skim Pak Man Telo in the mid-1980s! So much so that it seemed like echoes from the past.

Some things, it turns out, never change.

The truth is that it’s never different.

Copyright © Azizi Ali 2011

Dulu aku tak suka belajar subjek sejarah..Boring sebab asyik kena menghafal je..Dah la kena ingat tarikh sumer..Time tu aku tak nampak langsung releven apsal nak kena hafal tarikh..siap nak hafal tarikh perjanjian2 penting tu..lepas exam habis sumer lupa hehe...tu la akibat kalau belajar untuk exam dan bukan kerana ilmu..

Sekarang ni aku rasa sejarah amat penting untuk dikaji sebab kita boleh dapat banyak pengajaran dan ilmu untuk bekalan kita menghadapi masa depan.. Sejarah boleh dijadikan rujukan..Contohnya, kita boleh kaji sejarah ekonomi dunia untuk mengenalpasti arah trend ekonomi pada ketika ini. Dengan adanya info ni, kita boleh membuat keputusan pelaburan yang lebih bijak berbanding dengan hanya dengar cakap2 orang..

Malah di sini boleh nampak perbezaan betapa praktikalnya ilmu yang kita sendiri nak tahu berbanding dengan apa yang orang lain suruh kita belajar...haha...


quicky said...

tu la belaja kat sekolah tuk exam je....sama je semua org...patutnye kena revise sejarah tu kena la relate ngan current situation baru nampak relevennye kite belaja sejarah...ini x nmpk ape motif blaja sejarah...
selamat hari raya~~~

mdizone said...

setuju2...budak2 sekolah hanya disogokkan dengan maklumat2 yang diorang tak nampak apa relevennya dengan kehidupan mereka. Last2 maklumat2 tu dilupakan begitu sahaja selepas habis exam.

Selamat hari raya juga :)