Saturday, March 21, 2009

My loyalties

I've had a few conversations with a Malay person recently...and it despaired me.

We talked about racism in Malaysia, and I said how disappointed I am that to this day we could not look past the colour of our skin.

She mentioned the Social Contract, and why the Malays still cannot accept the Chinese and Indians as one Bangsa.

It is because they are suspicious. They do not know where Chinese and Indian loyalties lie.

I mustered all the dignity I had, and told her, here halfway across the world where I am right now, that Malaysia is my home, my motherland, my heart.

"Hidup orang Malaysia, mati orang Malaysia".

And in a very sad way, I wondered how dare she question where my loyalties lie.

I thought of my family, my friends, the people who were in the Bersih rally, the Pantai Dalam rally, the vigils and the fight for a better Malaysia. We are all of all creeds and colours. All wanting a better Malaysia.

Is there a need, is there really a need, to ask where our loyalties are?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Mind jogging at 3.30am

I've just finished Paulo Coelho's The Pilgrimage, and these huge, powerful, revealing thoughts are swimming in my brain and I guess I best capture them before they flee into everyday, mundane life...

In gist, it is really about a pilgrim's journey on the Road to Santiago, in search for his sword with his guide Petrus. But he will not find it until he discovered the secret of his sword. And the secret was what to do with his sword once he found it.

But in usual Coelho fashion, he weaved in stories of pride, wisdom, self-discovery and humbleness. The Road to Santiago is a road for the common people. Everyone of us, if we just open our eyes to it, and stop denying its existence, is able to achieve our dreams. But we lose the will to fight the good fight, and resign ourselves to a life of not ever achieving our dreams.

He wrote of love, in its purest form - agape. It consumes us and allows us to push on. But it is this form of love that so many people experience and pass on to others in form of giving and sacrifices.

And only by teaching others, would we learn most. Perhaps Coelho is right, the answers' already in our hearts, and it takes very simple things, like listening and watching, to find them. Petrus told the pilgrim that it was only by teaching that he truly understood the meaning of the pilgrimage and all that it encompassed, and his own true path.

Happiness is not a sin. So why are so many people afraid to be happy? And yet perhaps the most humbling thought I had was why do I personally covet happiness, as if its the end of the road for me, that I figure all this self-searching and painful loneliness will lead me to some answers, and yet I fear finding it?

It clicked in my mind, just as the pilgrim finally realised why he was denied his sword.

It was because neither of us know what to do with it once we've found it.

The secret of our happiness is what to do with it when we found it.

And to find it we have to fight the good fight...the pilgrim was forced to climb waterfalls, raise crosses, climb mountains and the final steps to achieving them all would be the hardest, easiest to fail or give up, the point where you're prone to question thyself, and get cold feet...and yet you've got to fight the good fight. The final hurdle humbles you, and serves as a reminder that you've came a long way.

Mind-provoking. Very humbling.