When I was a boy maybe five years old my Father would be watering the palm trees. Around the palms he planted bushes that has purple flowers with aromatic leaves that we put in black tea. He would make me sit on his lap, (watering palms took time) pick a palm date or a leaf and feed it to me while he told me old tales about who we are and the history of our clan . Then he would tell me one of our family’s mottos “a strong man protects himself, a stronger man would protect others, a Shamsi would protect all”. My chest would inflate with pride.
But he would baffle me with a simple question “Ali, how will a Shamsi protect all?”
I answered “we will fight anybody who tries to harm us”. My father smiled and said “ But we have a military and police to Protect us, in the old days we did not. So, we had to fight. But every generation have their own way of protecting all”
I was baffled again and then I said “I will sell carrots (don't ask, I don't know why I picked carrots) to feed you and mom and buy you everything you want”
He chuckled and said “That's generous of you. But what about your sisters and brother? Would the carrots be enough? To protect ALL in your family “
Years pass while this conversation evolves over the years. The family definition expands.
The carrots stand became a shop to cover my direct family. Then my father would ask what about your kids and wife and the shop became shops. Then he would ask, what about grandmas and uncles and aunts? The shops became a corporate, then he would ask what about their children? Your cousins. Then when the company evolved to a holding company, what about your clan? The holding company became an investment company. So what about their wives', families ? The investment company became an investment bank..
Years pass and I researched one solution after the other and while the question keeps expanding the definition of “..a Shamsi protect ALL”.
My father passed away..
So I would go to his grave every year and listen to the question and answer it..
What about your clan’s intermarried clans.. A financial market, a city..
What about the clans foreign wives’ and husbands’ families and their clans and their intermarried clans..
I realize my father saw the whole world as ALL, as a massive family to protect. Everyone under the sun is a Shamsi (our clan name means the solar after all)
I couldn’t answer with a country cause as a solution, it's never enough. Then I discovered economics in my undergraduate studies.
Alone, I can't protect them all. I remembered he told me “people who cooperated never got humiliated”. It means that if all team up we can protect all. It made sense, after all, everyone under the sun is a Shamsi and every Shamsi must protect all. This is what an economy does. It allows us to organize our efforts. So I researched all economic models. I dismissed one after the other. Too faulty, too inhuman, too selfish, too controversial or too controlling. Nothing meets the standards of protecting all without damaging some or discouraging someone, thus break the loop.
Year in, year out. I would visit the grave of my father trying to answer the hardest question I was not able to answer and share my findings.
One day I told him the answer to his riddle. Now I am working on proving that it works. So, next time I visit his grave I will have my proof. When that day comes I will start asking my children.. How a Shamsi protects all?
Besides my children, my greatest contribution to humanity is yet to come.