Mother Se’May Sayer: The ARC of Time
Season Two: Episode Five: This Stop is ‘BAD’
Part Two: Engulfed
(Oftentimes I would wonder how to start a discussion. What words I should use that would immediately take me to the desired road where at the end lies my destination. How do I do this with the utmost dispatch as time is a fleeting commodity in an uncertain world? Businesses don’t just spring to life with every necessity in toe. Businesses start with an idea and that’s where the ‘creator’ must put a hook into it to secure it before drawing it out of the energy of conception. The difference with this form of life is it won’t be enclosed in a womb. Once this idea has erupted from the mind that spawned it, it must be continuously connected to its’ creator. How you say? It can only be fed; energy diverts by its’ creator.
Business just like any worthwhile endeavor must be explored, pulled and pushed toward a visible object in reality. From that birth it still needs nourishment. Mother Sayer knows she is deep into the metaphysical aspects of why she must consistently feed her business like human beings need food and other necessities to survive and therefore thrive. Neglect can be just as harmful to a business as it is devastating to a human being. I can’t be slothful in my business. Mother would ring those words through her mind as self-care is to her mental health, so it is to the health of her business.
With that she knows her greatest treasure is her people. She knows that her people bring new energy that continues to make her company prosper. Mother knows the value of her people and she pays them accordingly. Where money doesn’t motivate she uses other tools at her disposal to get the results she needs. This episode tells the story of O’Woh E. Line pronounced (Oh Wo E. Line) and his climb up the ranks at The ARC Incorporated.).
Tuaole Rilyzah: Are you ready to speak with O’Woh and his team now Mother?
Mother Sayer: Give me 10 minutes to write some notes on my meeting with Hekima and her team.
Tuaole Rilyzah: You still want Hekima Beborne and Oakli Sands in attendance as O’Woh E. Line presents his project?
Mother Sayer: Yes. (Mother intends to have every project on this floor set in on each briefing to gain some understanding and insight as everybody works for the same team, but the games they’re all playing are completely different. Mother hopes the leaders are enlightened.).
Tuaole Rilyzah: Good. Excuse me while I check in on O’Woh.
Mother Sayer: Do what you have to do.
(Tuaole ushers Hekima and Oakli into the office space where O’Woh is currently figuring out how to present what little progress he has made on the Business Acumen and Direction project to Mother Sayer. Tuaole tries in vain to advise him that it doesn’t matter where you are in the development of your project. What matters to Mother Sayer is buy in from all your team members. Does your team believe in the idea and are their contributions welcomed? That’s all that Mother wants to see at this stage of development.
Don’t try to ‘BS’ her though cause that’s not going to be good for you. It’s been about 10 minutes and Mother keeps her schedule tight. Let me go get her. Remember, just present what you have so far and try not to embellish on it.).
Tuaole Rilyzah: Mother, I will take you into the heart of O’Woh’s project. Please follow me.
Mother Sayer: (This is the kind of consistency I like Mother says to herself. I told her to give me 10 minutes and she was right on her game. I love it when professionals act on what you tell them without hesitation or doubt.). Of course.
Tuaole Rilyzah: O’Woh. Mother is here. Please proceed with your presentation. Excuse me. (Tuaole exits the room and allows the presentation to start.).
O’Woh E. Line: Mother, my presentation, excuse me, my team’s presentation grew out of a necessity that is all too often missing from the essential ingredients needed to start a business and keep it going. The reasons why and who’s the one person that believes in the idea no matter the doubt surrounding the venture.
That is the ground where BAD seeks to seed and water. The nurturing comes from consistent support in philosophical coaching and honest feedback.
Mother Sayer: There will be no chance for neglect when a startup is chosen by your team?
O’Woh E. Line: None. The requirements for entry into this program will be quite stringent.
Mother Sayer: How so?
O’Woh E. Line: Money for one. Are there enough funds on hand to start and sustain the venture? Where will the venture draw from talent wise to give it the energy, legitimacy and belief to convince others to join its’ ranks? Who will be the face of the business? Are the leaders willing to put in ungodly hours to see to it that it succeeds?
Mother Sayer: Are you convinced that the merits of this program will fill a vital need in this city? Around the country? Maybe even around the world?
O’Woh E. Line: Since you brought it up I remember what you pulled me out of. A straight flush indicating the path my life had taken and it was about to be cut short. You saw my bluff and called me on it. If you hadn’t pulled me out of that life of deception and trickery I would be another black man walking the prison pipeline for whatever deed of mine that put me there.
Mother Sayer: It was not just your potential that persuaded me to take a chance on you. It was the intensity you gave to your criminal enterprise. Energy works both ways. It can be harnessed and applied for good purposes, or it can be harnessed and applied for evil purposes.
O’Woh E. Line: You gave me this position because the moment I set my mind to something I’m like a dog gnawing on a bone. I would scheme and plot a con until I find the perfect way to spring it on my mark.
Mother Sayer: Now as you have had time on the right side of say legitimacy how does it set with your mind? That’s what I’m asking. Do you belong here?
O’Woh E. Line: I don’t accept charity. I make my own way. I appreciate the opportunity you’ve provided, but the way I’ve done things always worked for me.
Mother Sayer: Yes yes of course, but how do you explain taking a temporary position of materials and concept handler to now holding a Project Lead position?
O’Woh E. Line: You know the status of all the employees of your company as well as you do mine?
Mother Sayer: A member of your team will fill you in. Now answer my question. How did a person of your background move up the ranks so quickly?
O’Woh E. Line: You made that possible.
Mother Sayer: O’Woh I don’t run a mom and pop shop. I run a multi-million dollar company that I will grow beyond the confines of these walls. I need competent personnel that has life experience in the area I find prone to success. Hardship. Suffering. Growth. Imagination. Strength of will. These are just a few of the character traits I look for in the people I hire. I then push them to their limits in every way. I realize you don’t quite understand what that means yet, but you will soon.
O’Woh E. Line: Results oriented leadership. I accept the challenge and you know this. You will not be disappointed.
Mother Sayer: We shall see.
(Mother continues to listen to O’Woh as he outlines his vision for a successful project. How many startups the project can handle simultaneously and the personnel who will be devoted to helping each business get off the ground and running. There seems to be some team members hovering around the sidelines and not fully engaged in the presentation.
Mother decides to explore her observation).
Mother Sayer: O’Woh introduce me to your team members.
O’Woh E. Line: From the left this is Lumina, Craig, Sharon, Joppa, Miess, and Geesa.
Mother Sayer: Joppa, is it? What role do you have in this project and tell me how well you think it will be received in the press? Is it groundbreaking stuff?
Joppa: With a few tweaks I think it can make an immediate impact.
Mother Sayer: How so?
Joppa: Well I wanted to add a lighter version of the program for those people who have an idea about what business they want to start, but don’t have the certainty of what that business will look like.
Mother Sayer: Go on.
Joppa: Say for instance there’s a young woman looking to enter the clothing industry. She has an idea for her logo. She has some ideas on what clothes she thinks girls and women could wear to make them look and feel their best, but she is conflicted by moral and spiritual concerns that could make her clothing line look prudish.
Mother Sayer: This hypothetical designer is concerned about her clothing line being viewed as too sexual?
Joppa: Yes. So I would propose a trial run of sorts that targets girls ages 14 to 20. Produce a line that answers their need for individuality and their need for originality. Do the test run in one market and gage the support for her brand from there. If the initial rollout is successful, she could then move to hire women and men from different cultures and design clothes based on their ideas of what they want to look and feel their best wearing.
Mother Sayer: Impressive. When I saw you looking away as your leader was talking I thought you weren’t interested or sold on the presentation. I’m curious thought did you share your thoughts with O’Woh?
Joppa: I did, and he tabled them for another strategy session each time.
Mother Sayer: O’Woh, Joppa’s idea sounds like it would add much needed alternative value to the heavy program. What specific objections do you have about his add on approach?
O’Woh E. Line: I asked him to table it for a few weeks that’s all. I didn’t say it wouldn’t be considered for full inclusion at a later time.
Mother Sayer: Joppa’s input would be tabled for a few weeks? Is that the best answer you can give me?
O’Woh E. Line: He should fall in line with all my staff and follow my lead that’s what I told him. I would consider his input if it was essential to the launch of this project that’s what I told him.
Mother Sayer: (One thing Mother Sayer does not tolerate is disdain or contempt in your voice against your own people). Okay. Here’s what’s happening from this moment forward. O’Woh you are demoted from project lead. You are reassigned to ‘ACCOUNTS and ACQUISITIONS’. Joppa. You are now project lead. Please continue with the presentation.
Joppa: (Joppa is stunned). Ah, yes Mother. Our approach for those people who have the wherewithal to start a business is to cover not the idea but the person as well. That’s why we would have a Philosopher and a Therapist on staff. We believe that a business creator must have the strength of will to see the business through every phase of development.
O’Woh E. Line: Ms. Sayer, may I say something.
Mother Sayer: Absolutely, you can speak in defense of how your actions have led to my decision to remove you from this team.
O’Woh E. Line: You knew I was a grifter when you hired me. A con artist and a cheat, but also somebody that could introduce you to the ways that these types of people like myself would come at you and your company.
Didn’t you tell me that you got played once by a gangster slash con man and you had to be pulled out of the fire by your father.
Mother Sayer: That’s true. What I didn’t tell you as a footnote to that story is I embraced the horrible lesson, and therefor allowed myself to learn from the mistakes. Meaning that seeing things through one set of lens still didn’t give me the insight I needed to recognize that buffoon of a businessman in that situation.
O’Woh E. Line: (He notices that his former team members are nodding in agreement to what Mother is trying to get him to understand.). Yeah, I know the situation was bad, but the lesson was necessary.
Mother Sayer: Right.
O’Woh E. Line: With me out of the picture who will teach you about con artist now?
Mother Sayer: Sarah, can you hand me the bag I brought with me?
Sarah W. Certainty: Yes Mother.
Mother Sayer: (She searches around in the bag for the right prop appropriate for this moment. She finds it. It is a flat three inch figure of a man having several pieces that can be placed back together when separated.). Here O’Woh, take a look at this figure. You see that it is whole. Now I will break it apart. Tell me in which state of existence is the figure whole?
O’Woh E. Line: The one that was whole and unbroken.
Mother Sayer: That is why I removed you from this team. Both examples I showed you the figure was whole. Why? Whether a person is scattered in pieces or presents themselves as whole there are still lessons to be learned that in turn become new parts of their life. I add to my knowledge and lived experiences by embracing the input and thoughts of intelligent people around me. I multiply by addition. In other words I gain knowledge by bringing in people that have in their possession what I need to strengthen myself and my business.
You failed to learn that lesson because you believe otherwise. Everything you’ve acquired was through deceit and chicanery. What lasting goodness has it added to who you are that others can admire?
O’Woh E. Line: I don’t need admiration or approval. I need people to know I have the goods and trust that by following my lead.
Mother Sayer: So, it doesn’t matter that they don’t know what you’re doing or what direction you would take the project? Just do what I say and know that I know how to get it done is that it?
O’Woh E. Line: Precisely.
(Mother no longer feels remorse for removing O’Woh from project lead. She now recounts a story once told to her by her friend from her college days at UofL. She takes a few moments to fully line up her presentation for her own benefit because she doubts it will resonate the correct meaning to this man.).
Mother Sayer: Mr. Victor was his name. He took the time to relate life and the issues we face in various ways. He used metaphors and the metaphysical. One story he laid out for me I find myself reminiscing about quite often. The lure of evil and let’s not be quaint about it because stealing is evil. We listen to fairy tales of good hearted men stealing from the rich and giving to the poor as if it’s okay because we characterize the rich as not sharing and it makes it okay to steal from them.
All the while the script is being flipped and you don’t even know it. Once you have a taste of evil, no matter how someone reasoned to you that stealing from certain people is right; you will begin to be covered by evil. He said he dipped only his big toe in a pool of evil and before he even realized he was ‘engulfed’. It was like he couldn’t breathe. His way of thinking had altered. No longer did he heed the warnings about doing bad things and how they begin to snowball on you.
He was completely underwater, and he kept saying he only remembered dipping his big toe in evil. Evil only needs a crease or a slight crack in the surface with just a small chance to push through to infect the host. Mr. Victor kept saying that he thought he was in a place where light no longer penetrated. He couldn’t locate anymore which way to go that would lead him out or allow him to breach the surface to forcefully inhale good air.
That’s the way it felt to him. He almost realized too late that old saying. “Practicing evil all the while believing you’ll never submit to it is no different than a fool and his money parting ways except what you’ll part with is your very soul.” By the way, breaching the surface after being under the spell of evil for so long doesn’t guarantee you’ll reach safe harbor to regain your footing, metaphorically of course.
O’Woh, you’ve been under the spell of false reasoning by equating the gain you’ve received under deceitful practices as justification to continue your thievery. I have offered you safe harbor and it was up to you to breach the surface and seek the light. That is all I can do. Report to ACCOUNTS and ACQUISITIONS, or not.
Tuaole Rilyzah: (Tuaole speaks after Mother gives her the signal to usher everybody back to work.). Okay, Joppa please proceed with the project and in one week I will report to Mother how your team is progressing.
Mother Sayer: Thank you Tuaole. Do we have one more presentation to attend today?
Tuaole Rilyzah: One more.
Mother Sayer: Yes indeed, one more.
(Mother returns to the inner sanctum where Tuaole commands all visitors and company personnel before she directs them to their intended destinations. She returns there because she knows after such a heavy spewing out of negative energy she has to reconcile it with all her aides and senior staff.).
Mother Sayer: Sarah, you have questions?
Sarah W. Certainty: That was intense. What are your thoughts? Which thought told you where to start first? How did you remain calm to deliver that message to O’Woh? How?
Mother Sayer: (Mother chuckles inside. She recalls that glorious day when her father told her he was picking her up from school because it seemed in his tone of voice that this day would be different. How he required her to be present without her knowing why when he confronted her uncle about him stealing from her father. The cascade of answers that flowed and connected to everything that was being discussed across many interactions she had witnessed in her house.
She is excited for Sarah because her understanding shot forward like a catapult, and she is certain Sarah’s will also.). Slow down Sarah. I am still perfecting my technique as well, so don’t crown me with glory and honor yet. Now about O’Woh. There’s a passage of scripture I use from the Authorized King James version that fits this situation. Romans 14:22 “Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.”
Sarah W. Certainty: I get that he is sure of his ability to scurry through the criminal underworld, but why would you try to enlighten somebody that clearly doesn’t consider the opinion or words of caution from anybody?
Mother Sayer: Exactly! Two things. The first one was the scripture I repeated to you and the second is why would I? I wanted to put on the record that he was told by somebody, so when he is judged by the First Father he won’t have an excuse.
Sarah W. Certainty: I doubt if he gives a shit, but I’m still curious to hear about your first point.
Mother Sayer: I listened to a man tell me something about torment.
Sarah W. Certainty: Mr. Victor?
Mother Sayer: Good, you’re remembering about the people that inhabit pivotal points in our lives which in this case was mine. Mr. Victor was sure he could be sexually active and also watch other people have sex and it not affect his spiritual, mental and physical health.
Sarah W. Certainty: He found out he was wrong.
Mother Sayer: Yes, but many years had passed while he believed in this imaginary fanciful ability he didn’t possess. Now to his credit he did many other things correctly. He accepted fault for his mistakes. He kept his word to remain faithful in his marriages. He still helps his grown children financially from time to time.
The thing is though. When life falls asleep for the last time, there is only one person answering for the name that is called forward. It is reasonable to be cautious about what this fleshly life has to offer us because it does weight down the spirit which has to answer for it.
Sarah W. Certainty: O’Woh found success wielding the weapons of deceit, thievery, lies and treachery. Those behavioral and character traits have an underlying sinister motive that is hidden from the pervader. Therefore the effects go unnoticed to the user unless that person is capable of self-examination?
Mother Sayer: (Mother smiles broadly inside. Sarah has paid attention more intensely than I had figured.). Your understanding is showing remarkable cohesion. Putting it all together in the places it fits is also crucial.
(Mother looks at Sarah to gage belief in her training and acknowledgement of the distance her daughter must travel.). Do you believe in a phrase that was paraded across television a number of years ago that went like this? ‘You are what you eat’.
Sarah W. Certainty: Vaguely. You know my parents’ played member and caretaker in the criminal underworld?
Mother Sayer: I know. Do you understand what the underlying meaning behind the phrase as I have spoken it to you?
Sarah W. Certainty: I get the gist of it. My body can only be as healthy as the food I choose to consume.
Mother Sayer: Yes, but on an elemental level the right food resupplies the body from the chemical makeup in the food itself. At the same time the body is preprogrammed to wait in anticipation at an elemental level for the food that would supply its’ needs. ‘You are what you eat’.
Sarah W. Certainty: It is the same thing, but on a different existential scale when it pertains to good and evil?
Mother Sayer: It’s as simple as that. Mr. Victor, who is a philosopher, teaches from a standpoint of drawing my reasoning out which allows me to come to the knowledge of the truth. He doesn’t think for anyone. He only facilitates the environment where learning and growth can take place.
Sarah W. Certainty: You do the same thing you know. I can do the same thing.
Mother Sayer: I’ve come to realize that and not to take your compliment too completely, but I hope to one day disseminate reason, cautions and truth as well as he does. Now, O’Woh lies in a place where Mr. Victor was once submerged and beguiled. Listen to my next statement because it’s important.
No one can perform evil deeds, act with malicious or foul intent, lie, cheat and steal because they believe that sometimes these acts are necessary to usher in the greater good. That is total nonsense!
Sarah W. Certainty: O’Woh wasn’t going to change anything about himself. He still believes that what he has become is not harming him. Why did you hire him then?
Mother Sayer: I hired him because I believe everyone deserves a chance at goodness. Mr. Victor often spoke about the joy he felt when he relieved himself of the torment he allowed. He said, ‘Se’May, I even noticed how my sense of smell increased. He could taste food in all its’ savory goodness again. Sarah, he could perceive the world around him properly again.
So many people allow themselves by their own permission to be consumed by their own desire for ill gotten gain. Giving someone their unexamined trust because it’s easier to blame that person for leading them astray. All and all it is their life that is now distorted. The only way to see clearly again is to examine your life through clear lens. I recently felt that. Being submerged and not knowing I was under and therefore not knowing I was drowning. When my daughter was taken I was in the depths of despair.
I knew I neglected my children in the pursuit of building my empire. If it was to please my father or put all those doubters to shame, I just pursued my business interests without consideration for the parts of my life that truly mattered. My children. One day I remembered that, and God knows I’m so happy that Son Skyy called General Tholodious to help me get my daughter back.
Sarah W. Certainty: So, you are not immune to the wiles of some seemingly innocent evil either?
Mother Sayer: I dam show am not and for what it’s worth I’m glad I was given the time to see the error of my ways and correct myself.
Sarah W. Certainty: You keep saying that and yet you know you cannot fix O’Woh. What was the point of hiring him? I don’t understand it. If he worked for my father and acted with that blatant disrespect, he would be feeding the worms right about now.
Mother Sayer: I know I know. Sometimes all we must do is help a person realize that the path they’re on doesn’t hold the truth. It only returns distortion and eventually destruction. I just wanted to pass along the information. I never said I could change O’Woh. I said I wanted to show him that what he believed and how it manifested itself in him. In a world that celebrates liars, thieves, gangsters and con men that there isn’t a lot of room for people who think they really don’t keep company with them. Even though they practice the dark art of deception they delude themselves about their own goodness.
Sarah W. Certainty: That’s never going to change Mother. Their sense of who they are is reinforced daily by the crap they watch glorifying all the behaviors that God says will not be allowed into Heaven. Murder, stealing, lying you name it. Those are the things that are shown the deference in American society.
Mother Sayer: Yes, it is different when you’ve seen some of those things up close growing up. Yet you didn’t glorify them. Why not?
Sarah W. Certainty: Because I’m not somebody that reasons like a lunatic. There are always consequences to what a person does. Now a family can have an existence and money based on the spoils of those terrible acts, but I never justified my father or anyone as pure or just doing those cruel things.
Mother Sayer: I averted my disaster in the same way, and I’m grateful for a friend in Mr. Victor because he showed me how honesty can save me. I certainly didn’t wish to be condemned to ignorance. Ignorance that leads to destruction.
Sarah W. Certainty: Condemning a person for a fault that can be reasonably corrected does sound like a harsh punishment.
Mother Sayer: That’s right Sarah, but you know the solution does sound simple. I am not God, nor do I wish to call his displeasure upon me. All it takes to avoid the depths of despair and eventual destruction is simply to own up to your faults. We ‘condemn’ ourselves by what we choose to believe, what we allow, and who we choose to follow.
There’s no teetering on the edges with evil, with ‘THOUS SHALT NOTS’ and ignorant behavioral traits. Listen, if you find yourself ‘engulfed’ and by the way you will know you are.
Sarah W. Certainty: Wait a second. ‘Thou Shalt Nots’?
Mother Sayer: The Ten Commandments? Don’t you remember them from Catholic School?
Sarah W. Certainty: Right right. No other God, not kill, not steal, not adultery, not false witness.
Mother Sayer: It is not required of anyone to do the things a Supreme Being would have you do. It is hypocritical to claim faithful practice of spiritual principles to amuse an audience of idiots. Most people falter because they truly believe that faith in a person that looks like them is believing in something greater than themselves. Their leader, a person of flesh and blood as they are, is responsible for them. I’d say to that ask all those ‘Israelites that fell in the wilderness and never made it to the promised land’.
Sarah W. Certainty: Your responsibility was also to the team members underneath O’Woh. Leaving them under his authority would’ve been unjust. A condemnation they didn’t ask for. You put him in place, and it was on you to caste him out.
Mother Sayer: Correct. It is on me because I sit at the top. I seek to uplift, but I also must caste aside those whose ambitions would sully the reputation of ‘The ARC’. His motivations were too imbedded within to be swayed by my mentoring. Therefore, I must always fall on the side of doing what’s right.
Sarah W. Certainly: Wow. That was intense. Give me a moment before we hear our third presentation of the day.
(Mother and Sarah consume some cold beverages and comment on what bright and dynamic people she has working at The ARC. Sarah is still reviewing the negative scene between O’Woh and Mother. How O’Woh didn’t even attempt to humble himself. He knew Mother had sole power to relieve him of his duties or retain his services. Why did he ‘buck up’ like he had an ace in the hole to play that would win him the hand.
Mother allowed him more latitude than I would have, but he still kept pressing his position that every answer or creative juice were inside him and him alone. Wait, did he think Mother revealing to him her despair and all the uncertainty surrounding the kidnapping of her daughter was a point of weakness he could exploit? Did he think Mother to be vulnerable and thus able to be subverted?
Mother is sitting in silence. She’s allowing Sarah to contemplate all that she has witnessed through the lens of her own perceptions. Silence is how she handled the cascade of answers her father exposed her too with her uncle in the mechanic shop that day after school. Mother knows all learning is not contained in a book. The dynamic nature of human beings demands that the best of us learn how to be ready in intense moments when decisions are made under pressure and stress.
1 Peter 4:12, “fiery trial which is to try you”. That’s where the old cliché of “If you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen”. Yes, I believe in Sarah. Sweating her little heart out in the kitchen with me.)…