We Salute The Flag But Ignore The Pole – Josh Journal
I was watching an episode of Fresh Off The Boat when Jessica Huang made the quote “we salute the flag, but ignore the pole”.
This is an apt description of a thought I have had on my mind for a while now.
Society has an unhealthy fascination and obsession with mavericks, geniuses, trailblazers, and the odd ones. We celebrate, applaud, and salute them.
Recently, this fad has been extended to entrepreneurs and creatives.
There is that quote on how “salary is the bribe you are given to forget your dreams.” What a mess.
People are being encouraged to leave the stable, comfortable, and reasonable for more risky ventures.
That in itself is not a problem. It is the disdain and disrespect that people who opt for certainty and assurance are looked at with.
Someone spends between seven and ten years of their lives just to get an inroad into an industry, and you expect them to treat it with levity in pursuit of a side hustle.
Even mavericks need career people to build on. They need stable people to ensure their ingenuity and risk-taking becomes productive.
No one is in a hurry to interview the career diplomat, MDAs worker, or policy writer. It is the governor, senator, CEO, and COO that get the spotlight.
Do you think the “oga at the top” can get anything done if those below him are nonfunctional or dysfunctional?
There is a certain Henry Waxman. He was a US House of Representatives member from 1975 to 2015. He was involved in writing every monumental law in that time frame. Under different presidential administrations.
Yet he is little known. Even in the USA.
In Nigeria, it is only the senators and ministers who hug the limelight or are media sensations that we know.
In the background, others are destroying our future or crafting a better one, but we hardly know them.
Same with workers at the ministries and parastatals. They pass files to the boss to sign. The boss signs it without opening or reading a line. Next thing, a road is built or a house is knocked down.
In the arts sector, we salute Don Jazzy, Olamide, Davido, Wizkid, Burna Boy, Tiwa Savage, Yemi Alade, Chimamanda Adichie, Tope Oshin, Biyi Bandele, Mo Abudu, Kemi Adetiba, and others. As we should.
But ask all these people, and they will tell you about the team, the army, the squad, that ensure they are able to thrive and deliver at the level they operate.
This isn’t exactly new to our Generation. Abraham was called out. See how many chapters of the Bible is dedicated to him and his journey. Same with Jacob and his adventures.
But have you ever wondered why Isaac has so little written about him?
Isaac was the pictorial definition of stability. He inherited all his father owned, and multiplied it without drama. Where is his salute?
All the drama in Isaac’s life actually involved Jacob in one form or another. From Rebecca’s delay in conceiving, to the prayers that resulted in Jacob and Esau.
We also have the issue of the hand of Esau andthe voice of Jacob. Jacob was the maverick.
In this present time, we marvel at Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezzos, Ellon Musk, Michael Jackson, Oprah, Beyonce, Serena Williams, and others. We forget to salute the underlings that made a career out of ensuring these folks excel.
I am not asking you to start saluting empty poles. All I’m saying is give the pole the kind of respect you give the flag as it waves in the wind.
It is only free to fly because its safety is assured by someone else.