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The truth matters as every person is an influencer

Ahmed Balhamar
Filed on November 22, 2019 | Last updated on November 22, 2019 at 09.37 pm

The area was packed as the crowd rushed to the venue. They caught my attention as I was fighting my way to the front desk to register my name and collect my guest pass to a lecture called 'The School of Life'.

I was not surprised by the number of people attending the session. The crowd swelled to 3,000 according to media reports later.

The hall was full and the majority were of women; the number of men did not exceed 10%.

There is no need to mention the speaker as he is fairly popular in the region. What caught my attention during the speech was one sentence he said which caught the audience by surprise. They didn't expect him to mouth those words.

The speaker said, "Bitter times soon pass." It was a fairly reasonable statement to make but the message did not seem to register with the audiencet. I felt that the speaker's choice of words did not convey hope and optimism as intended. He sounded negative. Manfalouti, an Arab writer once said, "I don't say but I believe; I do not think but hear through the echoes of my inner soul."

I might have disagreed with some people about things they know. Truth is of more value than exchanging mere courtesies. In my head, I see the individual's brain as unique - it has a mind of its own and will not agree to everything that others say.

It is, therefore, important to be very careful and choose words with care because we have a responsibility towards society.

We may or may not be influenced by people but we are influencers in our own right. I thought of the influential speaker on stage and the impression he made on the audience, wondering what they took home from the event. I looked at their faces and realised they left with new ideas. It made a difference to their lives. What difference, I cannot tell.

- The writer is an architect based in Abu Dhabi


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