Saturday, 13 August 2011

A modern day Mr. Scrooge’s finding as he feigned dying

                            A wealthy man should enjoy good health,
                                        mental health included

Mr. S.M. Simpson had been down with depression for a few months. He was easily upset over some petty and negligible things at home and at his business suit at a penthouse of a building he owned in Central London, UK. The 70 year old millionaire ran a conglomerate of corporate companies that had business entity in many fields, be it finance, insurance, banking, shipping and some manufacturing industries. His partners, directors, senior managers and executives, personal assistants and his confidential secretary had found him to be easily irritable and irrational. He became fastidious and seemed to have a bone to pick with every one. Due to his uncompromising and belligerent character lately, no one wanted to be close enough to report to him the latest market trend, the state of affair of his business empire, and the mobility of his staff; as a result his overall business suffered to the brink of near collapse. Fortunately he had some very dedicated directors and capable managers who had been at the helm of his various fields long enough for guiding the corporate companies in the right direction. Coupling with the strong fund as capital reserve the business empire possessed and some conservative investments it owned, they managed to run the everyday affair without much hitches and obstacles. It seemed that Mr. Simpson’s business empire still could operate normally for another fiscal year.

                            An old convalescent nursing sanatorium
                       A modern convalescent nursing home 
Still Mr. Simpson remained lonely and desolate. His wife died more than 10 years ago, and he did not remarry. He could never have a cordial relationship with his adult children as they were always knocker blockheads to him. His children were both married with their own off springs. His son was living in the US and his daughter had migrated to Australia. Since he had no close confidant Mr. Simpson brew an insidious scheme in his self-centred mind to fulfill his fanciful whims. He checked himself into one sanatorium for the critical ill and the aged. He then made known to others that he was suffering from terminal sickness and might not live long soon. Though he was feigning sickness but as a big paying master of his own sojourn at the nursing home for the aged, no one at the home raised any objection. In fact they thought this old man was dying alright. However the details and nature of his illness was not disclosed to any party.


What Mr. Simpson did was to find out what others thought of him, how they felt towards him, their loyalty and trust in him, and had any one harbored animosity or acrimonies towards him, thoughts of dislike or disdain him etc. Soon Mr. Simpson had endless visitors throughout the day while he was there at the nursing home since he had been an active member of The Chamber of Commerce in the social circle. To his abhorrence he discovered that some came to see him after been strangers for few decades, claiming to be distant relatives. He was further annoyed that few old friends and associates turned up at his bedside to bid him farewell bluntly, thinking that he would be dead the next day. One of them even told him that he was older than Mr. Simpson but he had better health and a blissful family. His legal advisor reminded him that his will was formulated 30 years ago, did he want to revise or amend the content and the beneficiary. His partners turned up en masse to check his condition, and were relieved that the senior president was not going to another dimension anytime soon; they left as fast as they arrived.

             It is ideal to have someone close to help run a family business
Much to his chagrin there were total strangers came a calling out of curiosity. Some murmured good wishes to him for an early recovery and left name cards in case Mr. Simpson was kind enough to dispense some cash to them in the form of donations or charity. So did some non-government organizations, old folks home and orphanages. They sent their representatives to solicit funds from him to run their societies. Mr. Simpson was not amused neither did he commit any promise to become a known philanthropist. A few old friends told him that they were seeing him for the last time as a formality. Even some debtors showed up to tell him in a sarcastic way that since he was dying, they did not need to repay him for the moneys they owed him.

Hardly a week past at the sanatorium for the aged, Mr. Simpson was too eager to check himself out a disillusioned and frustrated man. He was still depressed, down and angry. In the psychologist’s consultation room he confided all his miseries in Dr Abraham’s presence. After listening intensely to Mr. Simpson’s plight and his experience at the sanatorium for half an hour, the well-known psychologist took a deep breath and said: ‘Too bad, not much of them wanted you to be around longer. It seemed that your effort spent at the convalescent home drew blank and was in fact futile.’ Mr. Simpson was actually looking forward for some consolation, soothing words and supportive advice from the famed doctor. He was quite infuriated to hear from Dr Abraham.

                  This picture was carrying a caption: Marriage for money
Dr Abraham ignored Mr. Simpson’s facial expression and began to talk with crystal clarity; though not too loud but drove home every word into the latter’s ears like thunder: ‘I think your checking into the sanatorium home had been an irresponsible and foolish act…….’ ‘What do you mean……?’ He almost fell off the expensive, leather clad chair he was seated, half lying down. Dr Abraham continued his relentless fusillade of powerful shots aimed at Mr. Simpson: Instead of finding out what others think of you, why don’t you look back, lay down your pride and prejudice, engage some soul-serching effort, to recall what you had or not done to others, in a benevolent, idyllic, forgiving way? Had you ever made concession to accept others’ ideas, opinion and suggestion while you ran the companies? And did you reward them accordingly for their contribution inasmuch to recognize their hard work? How often you’d let your staff down by refusing to listen to them? Respect went both ways, and did you return any accosting in the morning when some one greeted you? Since you’re the boss, they wouldn’t mind you ignore their existence; but in their mind they’re cursing you, branding you as one old snobbish knave. How about their esteem and potential? Did you sense the presence of someone outstanding and brilliant when you talked to your subordinates, and readily created a cache of think tanks in you corporate companies? Did you set an impossible target and tantalizing task to reach amongst your staff? You should discard your false status of a haughty aristocrat, and don’t thrive in your own imaginary cynicism! By the way, how much had you done in the past to pay back to society in a philanthropic endeavour? What are going to do about that?

                                 Psychologist at work     

Dr Abraham unleashed a series of questions and indictment without a pause, at times pointing an unfriendly finger at Mr. Simpson. As he owed the latter nothing and in fact Mr. Simpson needed to pay him for a earful of lecture. The psychologist chirped happily but softly at Mr. Simpson’s predicament as he sent him out of his consultation office. His long rally of speech aimed at the millionaire was actually a well prepared one; he had heard so much of Mr. Simpson’s idiosyncrasy and his ethics.

                    This super rich man can never be lonely          
Two months later Mr. Simpson was back to his penthouse office of his Simpson Tower in downtown London. His staff, board of directors, partners and managers, and his business associates had all found him to be a changed man. He had become friendly and cheerful, greeted everybody he met at the lobby and his office. He took initiative to talk to lift attendants and cleaner janitors too. He announced to his staff and management that they would be rewarded with handsome bonuses and pay revision by the fiscal year end. He took pain to talk to his staff that were resigning and offered them better terms to stay on. He had instructed his financial planners and legal advisors to launch a SM Simpson Foundation that would provide aids for the underprivileged, the old and helpless folks, the orphanages, and the homeless, as well as scholarships for promising students. Not too long later his children were seen visiting him with grandchildren in tow. Everybody who knew Mr. Simpson claimed that he was a changed man- a modern day Mr. Scrooge.

                         In Charles Dickens's famous novel, 
                      "A Christmas Carol" Mr. Scrooge  was a
                         miserly rich man who ignored poor
                  and desolate people. He turned over a new leaf 
                           later to become a kind philanthropist.

                                 Charles Dickens (1812-1870)-One of the
                                        Greatest Novelist of England
Alan CY Kok

A telltale story I heard

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