Yesterday I got a note from a reader, saying, “Bob, I long for the day when I won’t have any more problems!”

And I thought of Mr Pointed Ears!

Some ten years ago, a new dog, with long pointed ears, entered the colony I live in. Nobody wanted the new stray to stay in the premises, and so all the watchmen were kept very busy, chasing it out of the gates, but somehow it managed to outwit them, enter again and I marveled at its perseverance.

Not only did it have to contend with the watchmen, the pump man and all the sweepers who ran after it with their brooms and sometimes empty dustbins but it also had to deal with the three existing strays in the colony.

These three dogs who were a gang ran after this fellow and there wasn’t a day when there wasn’t a dog fight. But this fellow was big and strong, and soon I found that the lead black dog and this chap had become friends and he was part of their gang, also the watchmen, the pumpman and the sweepers gave up, especially when an influential gentleman in the colony took a fancy to this fellow and his wife started feeding him everyday.

So Mr Pointed Ears won. He stayed on in the colony, soon, the black dogs, who were quite old, died one after the other and this fellow was the only one. He was petted, pampered and stopped running around or exercising himself and became fat and lazy.

Then a new dog entered our colony.

Mr Pointed Ears made all the appropriate noises, growled, barked and even got up from his comfortable gunny sack which was his bed. The new fellow took two furious paces at Mr Pointed Ears, and suddenly our once fierce dog was afraid.

He’d forgotten how to fight.

He, who knew how to outwit the watchman, the pumpman and the sweeper, now found he was up against an adversary who was in form, while he was totally out of form.

The newcomer stayed on, roamed our colony, ate all Mr Pointed Ears food, and finally nearly drove Mr Pointed Ears out.

This reminds me so much about men or women who initially had all the muscle, determination and perseverance to build businesses or even their homes then lazily stretched out and slept, became complacent and thought the good life would last forever.

New competition comes in, new startups, new technology, enterprising businessmen, who these people would have made mincemeat off in their heydays but today, because of becoming intellectually flabby and weak spirited and having moved into a sensual lifestyle, they cannot fight back.

Like Mr Pointed Ears, complacency always finds its victim, and the only antidote is to continue looking for the next challenge, facing it, overcoming it and moving on...!

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