Too Many Sorrows You've Enjoyed

'I've never liked puzzles. I always preferred to play with words.'

I've always resisted from writing about politics or national affairs. All those newspapers and TV shows forcing politics down my throat is enough for me. Sometimes though, I need to express these strands of thought that weave themselves into a pattern that becomes impossible for me to ignore.

Our textbooks tell us all the same thing. We must be united. We must live harmoniously. We must ignore our differences and focus on our similarities. It's a good effort on promoting unity, but it just doesn't cut it. Unity is an emotional bond. It possesses your heart naturally, growing through heartfelt ties and heartless episodes. You can't teach unity the same way that you can't teach love, or fear, or happiness. 

I just don't feel that in Malaysia. I want to, I really do, but with all the splits and divisions, we're heading so far from that goal of togetherness that I've become lost in my own country. Where do we stand when our own people don't want to be part of their nation? There's only one time when I truly feel as if everyone cares about the same thing, no matter what differences they may have. Sports. It's a rush, that moment seeing thousands of people in a single stadium and not defining them by race, but just seeing them as Malaysians supporting their country. I love that.

It's because we've never had a common enemy. Post-independence, we've never had any incident which the whole country was against. No great war, no revolution, no famine. Nothing where all of us had to genuinely band together in the hope that our willpower would get us through such a traumatising tale. Fear and grief; two basic human emotions, yet so strong and uniting. In times of terror, our vulnerability leads us to find comfort in the vulnerability of others. We see ourselves in the fear around us, and it makes us feel safe. We look past our faces and grudges, connecting through emotion. We've never had that.

If I were a politician, I'd create a ghost enemy. A fabricated terror, something to unite everyone against. United in fear. It sounds Machiavellian, it sounds immoral, and it sounds deceitful. Welcome to politics. Naivety gets you nowhere at the top. Politics is a game; politicians should learn how to play.

Our lives are too comfortable here, too safe. It breeds complacency and disillusionment. Look at us, we fight over the smallest things. Humans are creatures of conflict; peace never lasts long. We just create our own problems, over and over again.

What saddens me the most is that some people are only Malaysians by luck of the draw, merely because they were born here. They feel nothing for the country, content to live their lives without even glancing behind their arrogant backs to remember where they're from. It's not for me to tell them to love their country; that would make me as bad as any of the textbooks we learn from. No, it's all up to them. I just hope we don't need World War Three to truly be united. 1984.

'Negaraku. Tanah tumpahnya darahku.'


Anonymous | 23 September 2011 at 14:47

good writing. really. keep posting good things.

Arief | 23 September 2011 at 19:22

Thanks, I definitely will :)

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