WalaHaja #6: The APEX Predator, embody all and transcend all

WalaHaja #6: The APEX Predator, embody all and transcend all

In social psychology, the supreme error is what is described below:

“The fundamental attribution error refers to an individual’s tendency to attribute another’s actions to their character or personality, while attributing their behavior to external situational factors outside of their control.”

So, if they did it, it’s because they are corrupt, but If I do it, I was under extreme circumstances you know nothing about.

That’s why in conflict resolution, it’s best for people to “sit together” and speak their heart out of how they felt and thought during a certain incident, everyone gets out of this “setting” with a clean heart and upgraded mindset.

That’s why I’m a big fan of the Bedouin tradition of “قعدة عرب” “Informal Setting attributed to Arabs”.

As humans, we are dancing between two “snakes” in our head and perception:

“Hostile Attribution Bias” and “Rejection Sensitivity Bias”

Hostile Attribution Bias is the tendency to ascribe negative, hostile intent to others’ ambiguous behavior.

Rejection Sensitivity Bias is the tendency to anxiously anticipate, easily perceive, and overreact to rejection.

If you want to commit to the justice of a true warrior, you have to be cornering these two snakes while considering them both till you reach the fine line of justice.

I had to study all the above and practice it while I try to figure out the psychological beside the physical side of being a Samurai, it’s the same with Arab Warriors and probably the same with every human group who had been seeking “Justice” as a governing principle.

If you start every interaction with a positive intend and the positive intend does not go through, your heart and mind try to settle for a reason and one of these snakes is going to become more dominant, you’ll either assume that the other’s behavior has been hostile and aggressive while in fact they were just having a bad day or were triggered by something you said or have done. The same thing you can take some cues from the environment as a sign of rejection and you being not welcome and it might not be intended for that.

A true practice of “Justice” is gathering information and having direct heart-to-heart and mind-to-mind interactions to define things as they truly are and the person who had the one of these snakes in their head “crossing the boundary of justice” then is made to recognize what happened, apologize, correct the situation and benefit the collective from that deep and truthful human experience.

The accumulation of events, experiences and stories of how these snakes has been kept under control in human society is what emerges a “fair and just” society and

Little Abdo, bullied, harassed and smeared had to wear their “Samurai” hat and go into processing mode to define what happened for him and for others and call for a conversation to settle our situation to move forward in openness, love and connection. When the response to this request is “yet another ambush” there is something totally wrong with this social setup, which means that based on the above knowledge, it will “never yield good results”.

This is what I realized after I took a series of “what seemed like obvious betrayals” to call for this kind of “قعدة عرب”, the sequence of actions in which I felt that “injustice” was done to me, was getting close to 10 and nobody wants to talk to you about it. You meet a man, strike and agreement, draft a contract and is fully ready to sign and commit and they look at you as “you are way below me to sign a contract with you”, so your agreement remains “verbal” and “in Emails” and you go in based on your “perceived understanding” to be shocked that they have premeditated an “ambush” during even the activity you organized as “a meeting for us to open our hearts and reach a mutual understanding of justice”.

I love technology and being at the further edge of “playing with new toys and building something awesome with it”, but then, algorithms can’t exist in a vacuum, so I hoped to influence building a “fair and just environment” through which we can create these lovely toys and manage it based on the understanding of “limiting the effects of these snakes in our head”.

My name has the Merciful in it, and I have struggled to practice mercy against offense, but I arrived there and I was still in one piece, the community brand that I worked on built a great following on Twitter and via an Email list, though, the vision needed a “business model” to settle into and while almost close to “3-4” models have been copied and falsified. I thought it’s fair for me to settle for a small part, just 100 square meters and I will get “community members” each to cover the cost of 1 square-meter/month, thus, this 100 square meters will get the first 100 members and then we offer a “list of services” with a profit margin that can even be declared, so, the community project does exist based on membership, we will be able to pay the rent indeed and then we can expand based on our intelligence and efforts.

I shared all these details with the “landlord” and was given a basic contract for when we are ready. I was told that this is still a work  in progress and there is “nothing” going on for now and I’m welcome there, so I will be informed upon availability, so I waited and focused on preparations for when this is available.

But then it was announced that there will be another event at the same place, so, I thought it’s natural for me to visit and check out when the place will be available. I had an income payout that covers the cost for the 2 months required to get started and anticipated to cover the rest from membership sales. A fair chance at building the vision and oh boy, I usually have more hidden than shown and I wake up at 5:20 AM to develop new ideas for the current challenges, so my sense of “free will”, saw this as a fair chance to finally settle this community project, have a fair environment and then I can hand it over to someone and move on with my passion for designing cool uses for technology.

Hosting this event and the fact that it was not as locked as I was led to believe triggered my curiosity to go and asked the CEO about what’s going on, given that “the landlord” was too busy to talk to someone like me. The CEO just told me that a number of 4 or so companies are planning to do the exact same project that I proposed and that they really do not like “conflict of interest” and ended their statement with: They did not call you yet?

The memories of the “ambiguous” 4-5 incidents in which projects that I have spent years and months designing and spending my own hard earned money to finance its development all came to mind, I went home and announced the project without even having a space, what came next was searching and securing a space for it and making the conversation from these curious minds into paying customers and evolving this “potential project” into a solid and sustainable business model that can reach tens and hundreds of thousands of people (as per the information I was able to extract from my meetings including with IFC, World Bank .etc) and out of those the more we offer more value through out membership the more members we will have.

Having openly and transparent communicated that including exact amounts of incoming “payouts” that will be used to cover the costs, It was “unfair” for that project to be handed out to others to do it and I was rushed into an announcement followed by the mission of setting up an operation to “make it work”.

And guess what? I invited the exact same people who were involved in that to join me, outside their campus, yes, but still I did really want to “belong”. Even if their own snakes refuse that for any reason.

The same story above was repeated with someone else, who came traumatized to complain to me that he put the last of the money has has into installations for a specific piece of real estate, to be told that “someone else was brought to do that job” and what he invested his time, passion and money onto is now can only be thrown.

This is when a call for “قعدة عرب” was made, this was an honest invitation to talk “generally” about building a “code of conduct” for our shared community and network, it seems also that this invitation and organization was done properly that “The Provost of the American University of Cairo” showed up and was given an opportunity to speak.

The landlord claimed that he will be traveling, so I responded to that by telling them, that in case of changes in their schedule or plans, a place is reserved for them, also, they have a product to sell, a barter deal to get the space for the event in exchange for them speaking and pitching their offering were made, I even drafted a contract for it to share it but they refused to sign it”.

The day of the event, they were downstairs, they did not show up, they did not send someone and after the event, they claimed that “given that there were not notified”, then such and such is to be owed, they were handed over all proceeds from the basic ticket charged to attendees as per their request. And that got me wondering, if someone responds to the invitation for “making peace with the past in order to move forward with the future” this way, do you see them engaging in any “peaceful” way with anyone else?

Shortly after, plugging the full capacity of my exhausted heart and mind into making it work, pushed away from the original space where this model was designed for and rushed into trusting the wrong people and not managing them properly due to overload and exhaustion, the result is left for you to guess.

This was unfair and I know for sure the same has been repeated with others and I know for sure the “snakes” both in our heads and in our physical environment would “kill” and “poison” for these stories to never be known.

Practicing the justice inside our mind by being fully open to information from our environment and being sharp to judge its accuracy will help us keep these 2 snakes of biases at bay and develop a clear vision for what is just and what is fair.

Once we have this inner clarity, we can go back to people and SPEAK UP, not only for ourselves but for others who suffered the same actions on their hands.

But if the principal is corrupt and connected to everyone above them, do you really expect any “justice” to be served?

That’s when a true Samurai does what they were trained to do.

I studied leadership among packs of wolves and herds of horses, and they possess almost the same intelligence in only allowing the most fair to represent their interests and take charge.

Someone who can clearly declare it:

“I embody all and transcend all”.

I battle my own snakes and keep them at bay most of the time, sometimes I need to be corrected when my impurities and wounds, could also be coming from the same “bites” of these snakes, take over, I understand that others go through the same in their own hearts and minds”, I treat them like I would treat myself and I go beyond the desire to “take what is not mine”.

This is what I came to believe to be the true essence of leadership. What remains is whether there and then we would have the strength and capacities to “apply this fairness” in real life but the presence of strong men who are ready to understand, process and execute what is determined to be most fair.

That’s how animals pick their leadership and by then, “The APEX Predator” is not determined by any specific feature, but rather by their ability to “embody all and transcend all”.

And here is a photo of “The APEX Predator” of “The Paradise Project”, they’re on the top of the dominance hierarchy of the snakes kingdom, it can see, process and digest and only applies its sharp teeth when it’s clear that “justice” has been violated and as you can see, it’s as cute as hell, but as the Arab poet says:

إِنَّ الأَفاعي وَإِن لانَت مَلامِسُها عِندَ التَقَلُّبِ في أَنيابِها العَطَبُ.

Despite their soft and smooth skin, when they decide it’s time to attack, in their sharp teeth there you’ll find the end.





Also published on Medium.

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