Monday, May 25, 2009

Riding a Dead Horse - The wisdom of Buzkashi Riders

A Buzkashi match at Parwan, 21 March 1996. Photo: Bob McKerrow

The wisdom of Buzkashi riders, passed on from generation to generation in Afghanistan, says that 'when you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount'. However, in the UN and NGO community a range of far more advanced strategies are often employed,such as:

Changing riders;

Appointing a committee to study the horse;

Arranging to visit other countries to see how others ride dead horses;

Lowering the standards so that dead horses can be included;

Reclassifying the dead horse as 'living impaired';

Hiring outside contractors to ride the dead horse;

Harnessing several dead horses together to increase the speed;

Providing additional funding and/or training to increase the dead horse's performance;

Doing a productivity study to see if lighter riders would improve the dead horse's performance;

Declaring that as the dead horse does not have to be fed, it is less costly, carries
lower overhead, and therefore contributes substantially more to the mission of the organization than do some other horses;

Rewriting the expected performance requirements for all horses;

Preparing a workshop with paid attendants on the subject of Experience gaining in riding dead horses in post war setting;

Preparing a second workshop on environmental hazards caused by horse s…, and the advantage on using dead horses since they do not s… therefore are of no hazard to the environment.

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