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Bon Journal

The world as we know it

The events of recent months have turned my world upside down. One word summarises it all: betrayal.

I studied engineering, mathematics, and economics. They have one assumption in common: that people are rational thinkers and follow logic. If so, what caused September 11th? If so, what caused someone I thought I knew very well to betray me? If so, what caused a company to betray its employees and shareholders?

Was I illogical in choosing such a friend? Was I illogical in my perception of what happened? Or was I logical, but others were not?

If I had not depended so much on that assumption, perhaps I would be less confused now. Why should people be rational? Why should logic dictate what happens? Why should there be a cause and an effect?

I was brought up to trust the system. I trusted those older and more experienced than I to have the wisdom and maturity to guide me. I trusted the loyalty of friendship. For without loyalty and trust, there was no friendship. Just as we place faith in our parents, we place faith in our employers and our governments. But when the system breaks because of something we don't understand, we lose faith.

We become skeptics and cynics. Worse, we no longer confide and open up our hearts like we used to. Everyone withdraws.

Credibility. When a company loses credibility, it loses everything. How long it took to gain support and respect, to build credibility - and in some high profile inquiries, its credibility comes under scrutiny. Onlookers can't wait to throw stones to boo and hiss.

Can I handle three betrayals in less than a year? Or should I view the world through different lens? The world as I know it can no longer be explained by the vocabulary and logic I learned as a child. It all makes sense if I stop believing that people are rational.

11 November 2001 Sunday

Related Links:
Freedom of speech: links to speeches, articles, emails post-Sept 11th
Black Tuesday