Eight great lessons to learn from Col. Gaddafi.

Monday, 31 October 2011

It is now a week and some few days since Col. Muammar Gaddafi the late Gaddafi left this great world to go and have a taste of the other world that so unfamiliar to many of us, a strong states man with a unique character and personality is what Gaddafi presented to the world.

That said, the political and fracas surrounding his death is not of concern to us now. We have a lot to learn from Gaddafi’s life
and rule; and from both his strengths and weaknesses.

#1. Stand for what you believe in.
Gaddafi was a person with a unique identity grounded in his personality. For instance, the fact that he pretended to only know Arabic as a foreign language, among other fanny characters he presented. He was a person who strongly believed in what he believed in! This in part, facilitated his downfall.

#2. Never give up.
Yeah, never give up is the statement. I hope if you are reading this, you know what I am talking about. I mean fighting to the death; this is what Gaddafi stood for. At least he was not ready to be depicted as a failure. Even when he knew that he never had a chance against the western forces, he persisted. He even urged his supporters to fight ‘till kingdom come’. A tabloid in Uganda reported that it was even included in his will!

#3. Impressions need utmost priority.
This was one of the reasons he upheld a political system for over 40 years – impressions. For long, we were made to believe that Gaddafi was a savior of the Libyan peoples. That everyone had a job, housing with piped water, heath care among others all covered by the regime, however, this was not the case. What if it was, then it would be hard for us to explain the lynching we watched on TV.

Machiavelli, a political philosopher once said that people are moved by impressions, so did Gaddafi and I can solely affirm that it had actually worked for him. What was depicted to the outside world were distorted ‘facts’ – for lack of a better word!
I think, unless you have other options, you should not take this one as a lesson to learn, at least not one of them. You should consider it only if you have no other option but to conform.

#4. Play it smart, but someone else is stronger!
One problem with Gaddafi was that where he failed to make friends, he created enemies. Someone could be thinking about the bombings at Lockerbie, the other picturing Gaddafi tearing into pieces the UN charter. One thing was clear to Gaddafi, most of his enemies were stronger than him in almost all aspects besides owning oil wells! They also had stronger allies. Now, what did Gaddafi do? He kept on provoking them. What happened to him? They smashed him as a crazy man does a car windscreen.

#5. Never be selfish.
Selfishness only serves the bearer. Gaddafi had managed to protect the interest of the Libyans (black gold) from external forces, but in essence, these Libyan interests had become his personal interests. He had excluded many Libyans from the benefits that come from the oil resource. In other words, he had defied Max Weber’s theory of bureaucracy were he states that work should not be mixed with personal motives. This will explain much of the discontent that we saw in the past few days.

#6. Never give the enemy a chance.
One of the things Gaddafi loved the would have been evoking a sense of anger within his enemies. One could affirm that he was the architect of his downfall. The fact that he loved provoking the enemy will partly explain why he is six-feet under.

#7. East or West, home is best.
One person remarked, “Gaddafi acted foolishly”, in this he meant that Gaddafi should have run away when he still had a chance. Even the president of Uganda, YK Museveni labeled Gaddafi a brave man. This was because, according to Museveni, Gaddafi died while on the battlefield. The question was, where would he go? Anyways, the best and only option he had was to stay at home and ‘fight the good fight’.

#8. Do not wait until you are 50!
As all of us are aware, Gaddafi became president when he was 27 years of age. A President at 27? How is that? In short, Gaddafi achieved self-realization before he was even 30! The question goes to you who are reading this, for how long are you gonna wait until you take the biggest stride towards your dreams?
Col. Gaddafi, now the late Gaddafi, call that an additional ‘title’ to colonel, had what you would consider the fullest life at the helm for the longest time in this century [or the last two centuries]. A man of different characters and perhaps, a man of different lessons.


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