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The Story of Omar

One man begins a global transformation

Young Omar was said to have been something of a precocious child yet he was also uncannily charming and got away with things that other children may have earned some reprimand. But children were loved because their parents saw them as an investment towards an unforeseeable future.

The village where young Omar lived was inconspicuous, the wall of woven twigs that kept lions and other creatures out of the village at night was in the process of being replaced with a much more solid mud brick wall. Omar and the other boys his age helped their elders as they were capable although much of the time they played as they watched.

The village was on a trade route and caravans regularly passed by taking goods to and from far off places like Egypt and Tibet, Bharatha or China. The caravans would stop at the village and in exchange for a few supplies the horses and oxen were rested, the people would spend a day resting then after a night of singing and dancing they would move off the next morning.

Omar was observant as to the manner of dress of the visitors and he also noticed that some wore ornaments of precious gems. Some days after a caravan had passed by Omar was tending the sheep with his older siblings when he chanced upon an unusual looking stone. He picked it up, spat on it to remove the dirt then folded it into the simple piece of cloth that wrapped around his hips.

He kept the object hidden for several days and then approached his uncle who was a stone polisher and and rapidly showed him the item. His uncle was a kindly man and suggested that if it was polished the traders might exchange something useful for the village in return for it. Omar was excited at the prospect and his uncle set to work preparing the stone.

Almost a year passed before the stone was ready to be bartered and Omar insisted that he was going to make this trade because he found the stone. His uncle wished him good luck but as it turned out the next traders who passed through had a good knowledge of precious stones. Omar presented himself as a young man ready to do business and the chief trader was amused that a six-year-old boy was about to do some serious business.

Perhaps the trader had drunk a little more need than he intended or perhaps he wanted to encourage the youngster to take trade seriously so he gave him several pieces of gold in return for the gem. Omar was delighted, he had real gold, not just a pressed clay trading token.

He thought that since he had found the gem and traded it, he should be the owner of the money without thought of the month so if his uncle had put into preparing the gem. A wise word from his father persuaded him to spend some of the gold on things of villagers actually needed and the people were very grateful to Omar.

He revelled in his new status and with a little gold that he had secreted, he bought not only a new wrap but a warm shirt for the coming winter months and still he had a little gold leftover. He became the Peacock of the village strutting up and down and showing off. The first day he did that the villagers thought he was sweet and somehow novel but there was always work to be done and Omar was pressed into doing his chores.

He resented having to work and he used the promise of gold to inspire other young boys to search the landscape for more precious gems. Some were found and like the first, they were of good quality. His uncle more reluctantly this time set to work preparing the precious stones and when another caravan came by, Omar traded his pressures wears.

He used some of the gold he had traded towards necessities for the village and some better tools for his uncle but this time he spent a lot more on his apparel. He was becoming very aware of the power of gold. Instead of paying the boys to search the landscape he organised them and some of the men to start digging. The allure of gold was influencing his thinking.

Omar was somewhat sensible and ensure that the villagers were looked after and he gained a lot of knowledge from his uncle and passing traders. The gems in the area fetched a good price in foreign markets and Omar was becoming something of a celebrity. He had his own personal room added to the family hut and with a degree of foresight he hired a foreign engineer to improve the village water supply and irrigate the fields.

Omar was on his way to becoming a young Prince, people did as he asked and he dreams of even greater riches. He thought that if he found enough gems he could build a palace of gold. But while the villagers appreciated the improvements in their lives and fortunes, they were finding that Omar was rubbing them up the wrong way. He became prone to strutting up and down and giving orders yes such was the promise of gold, his fellow villagers were fairly obedient even though it sometimes meant going against the elders.

But then Omar fell in love but it was a love that was not reciprocated. The girl he was becoming infatuated with disrespected him because he was arrogant and rude. But then Omar was waking to the world of girls and he found that a small gift would bring any girl to his bed. The senior villages objected and confronted him but he called on those in his employ and the confrontation resulted in a stalemate and the village was divided.

After 10 years from finding that first gemstone, Omar was one of the wealthiest men in the entire region. He used some of his wealth and became a trader and perhaps that was the choicest because there were a few gems left to be found. Perhaps fortune smiled on him though it was more likely that he had learned from the passing traders about what was valuable and he knew quality.

He left his village and moved to the great city of Ur then traded across the region amassing a considerable fortune. He used some of his wealth to create his own copper, silver and gold coins that became popular with other traders and also with kings across the region.

Another 10 years passed and he amassed a tremendous wealth because he had learned how to use other people in his endeavours. He found that by giving people enough to survive and making them work, he could quadruple his income every year and afford to maintain a private army rivalling some of the kingdoms he passed through.

Because he'd been unlucky in love as he saw it, rejected by the first girl he had fallen for, he never fell in love again and used his money employing women to pleasure him. Of course he had many children but he had no true parental love and he treated them more like economic assets. Because of his misfortune in regard to his first love he decided that woman were trivial and the goddesses that everyone loved not worthy of his veneration.

Omar even went as far as refusing to have any representations of goddesses in his abodes although he was quite partial to surrounding himself with beautiful women purely for his pleasure and if he was displeased by one, he could give her away or even sell her.

Many of the other traders looked up to Omar because he had become the most successful trader across the region, he lent money to Kings and has wealth gave him the power to own people and dispose of them as he wished. He never once returned to his own village, never again saw his uncle who had facilitated his worldly success and never again saw his parents or siblings.

When he died in the most unpleasant of circumstances, his concubines, his children and his competitors fought against each other for pieces of his wealth and they carried on his legacy, accumulating wealth and usery.

This young man was clever, he used people, made a fortune, chased after temporary pleasures yet abandoned the people and principles he'd been raised with. So began the game of patriarchal capitalism. More and more people began playing this game and in more lucid moments, some wondered why they suffered even when they were extremely affluent while those who were destitute and loved the old gods were so happy.

Over the generations the goddesses were exterminated from the popular culture and the world became slaves to patriarchal capitalism.

We suffer this today and if we are to save this civilisation we must take a lesson from Omar, know that he was wrong and restore the goddess to her rightful place. They would facilitate a more communal approach to living with a genuine democracy. Perhaps the greatest tragedy today is that the modern education system is designed to turn out large numbers of Omar's.

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