By Sanzar Kakar, BusinessDNA Chairman
Nobody can predict what the upcoming year has in store for us, but by keeping 2020 at
the forefront of our minds, we can develop efficient strategies for the uncertainty ahead.
Coronavirus, unemployment, riots, explosions, and attacks! The world seems to be deteriorating faster and faster. Even natural disasters—cyclones, floods, landslides, earthquakes, volcanoes, and massive fires—hit all records this year. As 2020 comes to an end, let’s all take a deep breath and start the new year with a renewed sense of purpose. A focus to help those in need. A commitment to continuously improve ourselves, by learning from others. BusinessDNA provides a platform for the Afghan business community to share lessons learned so that others do not repeat the same mistakes. In this edition, we highlight stories of those who stood up to meet the challenge of today’s unprecedented situation. We turn to the brighter side in order to shine as a glimmer of hope. This reminds me of a story by Al-Ghazali. The King of Persia had a six-month painting contest between a Chinese man and his five greatest painters. Each of the two sides was a wall on which to paint, and both walls faced each other. The Chinese man insisted on a curtain to veil his painting until it was finished. The five painters used hundreds of colors to paint the clouds, sun, moon, planets, stars, children, and animals—all in incredible detail. The Chinese man did not use any brushes or colors at all. Just some tools and cloth. He would disappear behind the curtain and no one could understand what he was doing. After six months, all the people gathered around very excited to see who won.
The King was delighted by the most beautiful and gorgeous painting that the 5 painters had completed. But when the King pulled back the curtain which had hidden the Chinese man’s work of art, he was utterly astonished! He fell backward onto the ground! Speechless! For there on the polished wall with nothing on it at all, was a reflection of the five painter’s work of art. It was far superior than the painted version: For now, it was mirrored and shimmering, sparkling and shining, dazzling, and enhanced! The Chinese man explained all he did for six months was to polish the wall into a mirror!
The story is about working to polish our hearts enough to be able to see the truth. I think of BusinessDNA as the core essence of—as the heart of the Afghan business community. We strive to reflect the incredible work of the Afghan business community, too often overshadowed. In these dark days, sometimes we need a well-polished mirror to see our community’s true brilliance.