Tuesday, July 12, 2011
When we were young, the world seemed so simple. Because our parents will try to explain the world to us in the in the simplest way. A line is drawn and all that is behind this line are good, and everything else is bad.
When I was growing up, the Red Indians are bad, the Germans are bad and the Japanese are bad. The Chinese are bad, too, because they eat pork. Indians are bad because they are dark skinned. Generally, all Non-Muslims are bad.
In my simple mind then, Malays are good, and all Malays are Muslims. The Arabs are our role models because our Prophet Muhammad was an Arab. Democracy is good, and all our leaders, our Prime Ministers, our Ministers are all good.
Back then, only Pak Imams (old people) wear the "serban", and only Pak Haji (old people) where skull caps (hence the name, songkok haji), and the words of these (old) people are gospel. Policemen keep us safe, soldiers are our heroes.
There was little doubt in my mind, that these were the indisputable truths.
Then, somewhere along the way, knowledge and experience have planted the seeds of doubt in my mind and it flourished, fertilized by the advancements in information and communication technologies. Now, the world is gray.
Now we know that the Red Indians were fighting for their existence. Now we pride ourselves when we own the German and Japanese products. Today I can honestly say that my best neighbors are Chinese and Indians and my worst ones are Malays (and presumably Muslims). Now we know the rich Arabs do not think it's worth their time and money to help their poorer brethren. Pak Imams and Pak Hajis, and ministers (prime or otherwise) have been caught with their pants down and in various compromising positions.
Today the corruption of and abuse of powers by those who supposedly our protectors are legendary.....
While once it was rigid and steadfast, now truths are flexible and we bend them as we please to keep our hold on our stature in society, our access to creature comforts, and our decadent lifestyles.
As I get older, I realize that the only thing we can truly rely on is the fallibility of man. Being human, we are born to make mistakes. And, how we rate our fellow humans, whether they are good or bad, is based on how much we are willing to forgive their mistakes.
Sometimes I look at little babies, sweet and innocent...I feel sorry for them... Because they have no choice but to grow into an adult.