Don’t just read what you like to read. Don’t just attend ceramahs from your party and applaud your favourite speakers. You need to learn to engage all sides to see effective societal change.
Malaysia is at a tipping point for change. The Rakyat are ripe for change. Are you ready and up for the change?
I started frequenting Malaysia Today around 2007. It is an interesting journey. It was around 2005 that I started thinking about life in general more seriously. Before this I was just carrying out what was expected of me – study, make friends, find a good job and make a living. But something went wrong - I could not work in my well paid job. I got clinically depressed and anxious. There was always something unfulfilled in the shadows. That something is a question – WHAT IS IT ALL FOR?
Thus began my journey to discover myself. One thing then led to another and as I stumbled along I learned many new things. I learned to appreciate life better. I noticed a great decrease in hatred and find more love for others. This helps with my job where many colleagues have hardened up to the misery of others. I see things in a less petty manner where I view changes in less of what it means to
me but rather what it means to the quality that my clients receive.
Around 2010 I embraced atheism and its humanist tenets and this reinforces my notion of universal love (I find Pascal’s wager applies both ways if God is not a hypocrite). I mention this because it is important to find an anchor to cultivate the self and the actions that stem from it. This is my truth.
One realisation really stands out for me and that change and progress requires payment. Nothing is free. It is also unwise to wait for change to drop in your laps unprepared – it hurts more. So now I go about my life slowly and I carry out what I think I can cope with and this includes the upcoming fatherhood. I have to be prepared.
I have changed my positions many times. When I was younger I was a May 13 and the shadowy Malaysian social contract apologist. Now I know better. I have also lost a lot of my racial characteristics and that suits me fine. I just so happen to be a child born of parents of a certain race; how I live my life is my choice and I am not bound by pre-conceptions or stereotypes.
I used to be disgusted by the idea of LGBT. I used to be alright with someone until I found out that person was gay where I suddenly felt I had to tip toe around him. I came to realise that it is not a curse, it is not infectious and that sexual preference is not black and white. What matters more is how good the individual is and how I react to them. I would encourage everyone to treat LGBTs as you would treat yourself – as a human being.
I do not hate religions or the religious. I find the wiser religious individuals happen to share many humanist tenets while the less enlightened majority are petty and hypocritical. I would rather have a world without religions but then again human creativity will just fill the vacuum.
My biggest problem with religious people is the mental apathy and laziness of the majority of the practitioners – they want easy answers and are not willing to think hard. All creation is inherently biologically lazy. What I mean by this is that inertia is always preferred to action due to the energy required to act. Nothing is free and no one wants to pay from their pockets.
My biggest problem with conservative religion-ism is the reinforcement it provides to this mental disorder. It is only a small leap from unquestioning faith to unquestioning propaganda or from obedience to your religious leaders to obedience to the incumbent because they are graced by some deity. Religion can heal but it is poison as well.
Faith should challenge, not affirm. If you affirm faith it means you do not know the truth. Truth is beyond faith.
Are you bored yet? Offended? Elated? Need to pause to think?
Now comes the main point – hey, nothing comes free. Do you really want a change? Are you ready for a change?
How do you go about starting a change? Do you protest in the streets? Do you vote in a new government? Do you carry out a general strike?
No. Change starts from within. Change starts with you. Change starts when you expend some energy to think.
See something you don’t like? Would you act differently or even nobler? You go figure.
What if a family member is an LGBT, could you accept that? You go reflect on this.
Do you really care about Malay, Chinese or Indian issues? You go ponder.
Does it really matter who rules the country? Or are the causes more important? You go figure.
Do you find wackos deciding on how you live and are you letting them get away with controlling your life? You go find out.
Why are you reading Malaysia Today? Is it because you want to see changes? Then you need to change. It is harder to seek change. It is harder to be honest and truthful. You will find things that you do not like but once you start you can’t stop.
So go change yourself. Continue your journey of growth but give it a clear direction. Learn new things. Once you know yourself better you will know others better. Then learn to engage others. If you want real change in Malaysia, it doesn’t matter who is in the head, what matters more how the rest of the body reacts.
It is a war out there. You need to equip yourselves with knowledge. Learn history as many lessons are hidden in them. Learn philosophy to prepare yourself for changing attitudes and learn how to engage others.
Your enemy is the status quo and the champions of status quo are the government and society. Confound them. Subvert them. Give them a kick to show them where you want them to go to. Learn the Art of War which is a manual on how to win any war.
Learn to be non-partisan. Don’t just read what you like to read. Don’t just attend ceramahs from your party and applaud your favourite speakers. You need to learn to engage all sides to see effective societal change.
All this will take time but you need to start ASAP.
Do not let narrow issues distract you. Why should you care about Indian, Chinese or Malay specific issues? Why should you care if PPSMI is revoked? Why should you care about open LGBT lifestyles? Why should you care about anti-hopping laws? Itu semua cobaan. It’s all smokescreens. The fist is coming to your nose and you are worried about what colour underwear you are wearing. See the big picture.
The big picture is this – the unsustainable economic model. The robbers are taking away your future and you let them. They pay you pittance to gain your compliance so that they can decide your lives. They promise you riches which never materialise. You may not feel it now but when it hits you will really feel it. It doesn’t care about race, sexual preference, political allegiance or language. All it cares is who is going to live or who is going to starve. You have the power to decide how many will live or die - could you stomach watching others die knowing you could do something? And this is what really matters. This is what you should be fighting for.
But what about the less important issues which are equally legit such as race, religion, nationalistic pride, etc? Engage them not as enemies but as a reflection of yourself and do the humanist thing – treat them all with respect, understanding, patience and love – like how you would like to treat yourself.
Are you up for this? Are you ready for change?