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Monday, December 29, 2014

Dissonance

I don’t know why, but I’m feeling ill at ease at the moment. Which is why I’m typing this out right now. Writing usually allows me to clear my head and let me focus for a bit, forcing me to sort out the never-ending clutter that is in my head.

It could be because of the news that another plane from our region has gone missing. God knows that can rattle just about anyone into dissonance. 

It could be because of the ongoing flood situations all around Malaysia. They’ve made me wishing I was doing more than just donating things and retweeting ways to get help to the flood victims. 

It could be because I just did a rant on twitter just now, expressing my views on how helicopters could be put to better use than flying ministers around places to get their pictures taken with the flood victims, and the backlash I got from that little rant was more than I could handle.

One person said that I was “pandai, tapi mengata kat orang bukan main lagi.” That made me feel guilty.

Firstly, I don’t feel that I am at all “pandai”. I actually think my intellect lags waaay behind that of my peers. I’m just a dude that is severely under-read and spends most of his free time taking naps, quite the antithesis of the habits of any “pandai” person. So to be called so by that total stranger whom I most probably will never meet throughout my life, made me feel sejenis guilty because I somehow was able to convey to that said person that I am worthy of such a label.

Secondly, part “mengata kat orang” was somewhat justified. My tweet was actually directed towards the parts of the general public that expect their elected “leaders” to be around the flood victims. Sure it may look good in the papers and on blogs, but let’s get real here. They’re really only doing it because they don’t want to taint public perception and be seen as “one with the people”. If they were really genuine (and some are), they wouldn’t take up valuable resources (such as helicopter rides) and bring a whole entourage of people whose sole purpose is to publicise their presence among “the people”. Because not being there would result in netizens screaming “WHERE ARE OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS?! ALL THEY KNOW IS TO RUN AWAY AND LAZE IN THEIR AIR CONDITIONED OFFICES!!” and that would affect valuable votes in the next elections, and they can’t risk that, can they? Why let actual workers do actual work in helping to get the flood victims sorted out when their reputations are on the line, right? The public need to see their elected officials feeling the people’s suffering, barula puas.

So yeah, I was “mengata”-ing, and that doesn’t really reflect the type of human I want to be. What type of human do you want to be Anwar? I guess the type that only has love for his fellow human beings. The type that is able to see the good, even in the horrible. They type that doesn’t complain, but tries his best to make things better by being a better person and doing better things.

But I’m not that type of person, am I? I’d rather laze around in my comfortable bed, retweeting a whole bunch tweets and feel content with all the “work” I’ve put in to alleviate the victims of their suffering than to go out and actually help.

And that makes me a horrible person.

So that’s where the dissonance is coming from.

***

There’s this one story that’s been spreading around twitter about the Sultan of Kelantan driving out to a flood shelter on his own and helping out with stuff and things. When asked by some guy “where’re you from?” he simply replied “I’m from around here.” and just chuckled when people suggested that he looked like the Sultan. Whether that story be true or not, THAT is an example of a genuine person helping out. Going over unannounced, helping out without fanfare and plays down his role in the bigger scheme of things.

I’d like to think that if I were in a position of power, I’d be something like that, you know? Genuine. Chill. 

But the truth is, I don’t know that. For all I know, I’d value my position too much and, blinded by my status, be all full of myself. I’d use people’s tragedies for political mileage and basically just sell my soul to the devil just to be viewed as a saint in the eyes of my fellow man. I’d stop caring about people as soon as they can give me nothing in return. 

Can I ever be such an asshole? The answer is yes. Yes I can.


And that scares me shitless.

3 comments:

hpm.ba said...

Thank you so much for a well written, easy to understand article on this. It can get really confusing when trying to explain it – but you did a great job. Thank you!
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Mellowman said...

I feel ya, man. The world and all our actions in it are far from being definite black and white.
I'll leave you with one thing.
"Never forget your dialogue with God, it is your strength." - Tariq Ramadan

Im said...

It's a good piece that I believe most of us have it going on in our heads. Thank you for being true. :)