My father loved cowboy pictures and also enjoyed watching war movies, but the reason he relished them wasn't so much the action but the humour. "Just watch their one liners in a tough situation Bob!" He used to tell me and we laughed together as soldiers in the thick of battle with bullets flying all round them said something witty and made light of the tense situation.

From the stern, autocratic father to the political dictator, from the rigid headmaster, to a harsh uncle or aunt, dissent is not tolerated. But it’s not just these so called tyrants who can’t take someone questioning their authority, sometimes we ordinary individuals, who are supposedly more flexible in our approach in handling someone disagreeing with us, can’t take it.

“How dare you?” we shout at a son who says he’d like to stay out late, when you the dad and big chief of the house have announced curfew time as 10 pm!


Ah dear reader, let me refresh your memory. Now sit yourself down and let me tell you Aesop’s fable of the hare and the tortoise! Once upon a time Bro Hare was making fun of Bro Tortoise for being so slow. “Do you ever get anywhere?” he asked with a mocking laugh.

“Yes,” replied the Tortoise, “and I get there sooner than you think. I’ll run you a race and prove it.”

The Hare was much amused at the idea of running a race with the Tortoise, but for the fun of the thing he agreed. So, the Fox, who had consented to act as judge, marked the distance and started the runners off.

The greatest gift a leader can gift himself or herself, is to present oneself with a team who have the freedom to disagree with the leader.

“Sir, I don’t agree with your views!” is a statement one should welcome in a meeting, whether it’s government, corporate or religious. Because that disagreement is founded on a thought that has already been expressed, which means that the thought has moved forward, and whatever comes out of that debate which follows, will be a deeper, wider and broader viewpoint.

They called her the chapati lady! She walked in the park, and as she strolled along, she threw warm, tender chapatis to the stray dogs who waited for her each morning. The strays loved her. They waited for her and for the mouthfuls of love they fed on each morning. On her part she enjoyed the gratitude she saw in the eyes of the poor four-legged creatures as she walked around the park each morning.