December 30, 2016, Israel
No, this is not about a Chinese restaurant.
Pharaoh King of Egypt has a dream. It is troubling him on many levels. He wakes up in a cold sweat, his heart beating. None of his wise men can help him. One of the troubling parts of the dream is the seven fat cows consumed by seven thin cows and seven rich grains consumed by seven thin grains. Lets' deal with the cows.
When two full years had passed, Pharaoh had a dream: He was standing by the Nile, when out of the river there came up seven cows, sleek and fat, and they grazed among the reeds. After them, seven other cows, ugly and gaunt, came up out of the Nile and stood beside those on the riverbank. And the cows that were ugly and gaunt ate up the seven sleek, fat cows. Then Pharaoh woke up. (Genesis 41)
Not only do the thin and gaunt cows consume the fat cows but the thin cows remained unchanged. They are not any fatter or healthier looking after their big meal. Nothing changes, there is no improvement.
Why is this so troubling.
At the T shirt factory the other day I was speaking with Moshe. I looked at the thousands of T shirts they had just printed for one of the other Krav Maga associations. I said to Moshe, "Moshe, I must be honest, I think their Krav Maga is simply awful, I have seen it I have studied it and I think it will only cause people to get hurt very badly, but yet look how successful they are."
Moshe responded, "Listen, it has nothing to do with the product, it is all about marketing. Look at you, working hard making the T shirts yourself, they don't bother even coming in. I never met their head instructor, this is beneath him. Guys like you should have nothing to do with money matters or marketing, you need to focus on the teaching and find a businessman to run the financial side of things."
Now this is troubling but true. A good Krav Maga system might be called the Fat Cow, as it is rich in great techniques, while the poor system is the Thin Cow as it is truly poor. But somehow the Thin Cow consumes the Fat Cow and yet remains unchanged. The Big chains destroy the Mom and Pop stores, the Starbucks people put out of business all the local coffee shops which might have superior quality coffee.
The lesson of this Biblical passage is that this is a truism that has plagued mankind from the beginning. Pharaoh is deeply troubled because the lesser quality product not only takes over the little guy but does not even grow from it. "And their appearance is the same as before"
Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “In my dream I was standing on the bank of the Nile, when out of the river there came up seven cows, fat and sleek, and they grazed among the reeds. After them, seven other cows came up—scrawny and very ugly and lean. I had never seen such ugly cows in all the land of Egypt. The lean, ugly cows ate up the seven fat cows that came up first. But even after they ate them, no one could tell that they had done so; they looked just as ugly as before. Then I woke up.
The point of this Biblical passage is that this is a truism that dates back to the beginning of civilization. The Big Corporation buys out the Little Guy and yet remains as ugly as before. It is not as if the CEO comes over and says, hey, we bought you out but now we want to learn from you. We want to improve our product and offer what you offered. No, the big corporation consumes the little guy and remains as ugly as before, "the appearance is the same as before" and this is what was so troubling to Pharaoh.
This goes against nature. We want to believe that the better product wins, the better candidate wins, the better commander becomes general and the truly great man is recognized as such. But no, Pharaohs' dream, sent to him by God Almighty teaches us the reality of the real world, of hard core business, the school of hard knocks. The Fat Cow, the healthy well bred cow is not always the one that survives, it is often the thin, gaunt ugly cow that prevails. And Pharaoh wakes up with his heart beating, as do I.
We look at the world and we see all sorts of charlatans and Shysters making it big. Talent-less singers and actors hitting the big time while great talents can't seem to find the right door. Too many of us fiddle around our entire lives trying to figure out the combination to open the lock and find success, but it alludes us. And Pharaoh wakes up in a cold sweat and calls for his wise men.
Pet Rocks were a huge success, someone became a millionaire. A pet rock? if you would suggest that to me I would suggest a good psychiatrist, but they apparently had great marketing. Justice does not prevail in this world.
But yet with IKI Krav Maga we stay the course, we stick to the path of the good product. My focus is on better techniques, better training, for it is not about selling more T shirts but saving more lives. (although I would be delighted to sell more T shirts).
In a correct world the Fat Cow eats the Thin Cow and even if the Thin Cow eat the Fat Cow at least he would gain some healthy weight. But this world is not correct and not perfect. And that is why we prepare for every eventuality. Let our success be with what really matters. Let us leave this world having actually contributed something of value.
Have a good Sabbath everyone.
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