Why do we judge so quickly?
Two friends, Pessimist and Optimist, were on a bus ride when the latter suggested they stop for a meal.
"I don't think that's a good idea as it could cause something bad to happen," said Pessimist.
"Or it could cause something good to happen," replied Optimist. "Besides, I'm hungry."
So, they got off at the next stop and walked into a restaurant. While enjoying a hearty meal, they heard the breaking news on TV announcing how a bus was crushed in an avalanche about 15 minutes ago. To their horror, they realised that it was the same bus that they were in.
In sheer relief, Optimist said, "See, I told you something good would happen if we got off the bus." But Pessimist contradicted, "If the bus hadn't stopped to let us off, it might have missed the avalanche."
Now it is up to us to see if the glass is half empty or half full.
Back in 2017, during Ramadan, I was searching for an organisation where I could contribute my Zakat fund and a former colleague strongly recommended Bidyanondo. Subsequently, a meeting was organised with Kishor, the founder of Bidyanondo, and I came to learn his vision and the story behind Bidyanondo.
During the hour-long meeting, I felt somewhat small before this giant of a visionary. I still recall how Kishor expressed his discomfort with the name, Bidyanondo, which was chosen on an agency's recommendation, as it has a religious connotation as perceived by many.
Fascinated, I decided to visit its Mirpur branch with my sons to see its work firsthand, and I ended up spending almost half a day cooking with their volunteers, and packing and distributing food among the poor.
In addition, I also got the opportunity to interact with the volunteers, students, and teachers in its free school. Convinced of its fantastic work, I started my personal association with Bidyanondo and later took it up at the corporate level.
I also studied how it manages Zakat funds and found that it had dedicated bank accounts and Zakat-backed activities in compliance with the Shariah law.
In 2019, as a part of the holy month of Ramadan campaign, Robi partnered with Bidyanondo on an innovative idea of Kishor – Iftar Vending Machine, which I personally visited with my colleagues and was very pleased with.
Based on these personal experiences and interactions with Kishor, can I claim I know everything about Bidyanondo? Obviously not! But I will not stop short of admiring its work and wish there were more organisations like Bidyanondo. Does it have any agenda other than standing behind the poor and needy? Not that I know of.
Pessimists love to pick on anything, sparing not even the perfect. Of course, Bidyanondo is not perfect. Who is perfect in this world, for that matter? Are you or our society?
From my experience with Bidyanondo, I can vouch that we are less perfect than them. Process loopholes are common to all organisations, and Bidyanondo is no exception.
In my earlier job, the faces of two great legends got mixed up due to a silly mistake by a media agency. Does it mean that the management or the board supported the blunder? I am sure Bidyanondo also has room for improvement, which will only help it become more mindful and emerge stronger than ever.
When you are treading deep waters, it is unlikely that you will find your friends around you. And when it comes to being judgmental, our society is a master in the art of drawing quick conclusions and then looking for facts to substantiate them, little considering that re-emerging from a damaged reputation, no matter how ill-founded, can be a mammoth task.
The truth of the matter is that while big flies like tax and bank defaulters get away, benevolent entities get caught in the judgmental social web.
The author is founder and managing director of BuildCon Consultancies Ltd