SEPT 4 — Some might say on the balance of things there is really no progress these days.
It is an endless feel of us knocking against each other until the futility of being a nation is becoming more and more apparent.
Which is good, being a nation, building a nation is never easy.
We just had a feudal group a long time ago, thinking they could build a nation of compliant citizens with no issues and complete obedience, without dissent.
I am not going to be going through a “let’s beat them up” session.
The thing is, nations are ideas.
That is why sustaining the faith in a nation repeats. And faith in it will not be built by the TV channels telling us we are a nation.
Propaganda can only go that far in today’s world.
It might seem like a complete epiphany of sorts, but Malaysia is many different things to all of us.
Which is fine, it just extends the concept we promote as a free people, individuality.
The will to make everyone submit to an official version of things, is just so cold war, and since we are about two decades after the end of that period, perhaps Malaysia needs to move into the brave world of adolescence.
We as individuals will have to make these guarantees to the guy next to us:
- I will talk to you. You might not talk to me. You might not like me. You may abhor me. Which is fine by me. I cannot engage you unless I talk to you. I have to let reason prevail over my emotions of you ignoring me, or worse despise me. I’ll risk being despised as long as I can engage you.
- Your ideas are likely to be strange and rough, just like mine. I’ll let you speak them, but speaking them will not make them truths or the way forward. By you speaking them, then I am reassured that you can be as wrong as I am likely to be. It will be nice for both of us to wrong.
- It is ok for you to hate me. But I insist that you are certain on my ideas before hating me. My ideas if they have worth will linger in your mind long after you forget my name, let alone remember to hate me.
- Question me if I am offensive. Let me realise if my ideas are not clear then they will be attacked. And if in responding to your questions I unsure of my answers then I have to question my answers.
- I will smile at you intermittently. It is ok to smile at people. It comforts people and it lets my humanity rather than my demographical details cloud your read of me. And it may tempt you to smile. Thank you for smiling.