Tuesday, March 28, 2017

What's Keeping the World Together?

There's so much of enmity, anger, aggression, disagreement, ill-will, suspicion, jealousy etc between people in the world today that one wonders what keeps the world together. The tension that really flares up into open wars, bloodshedSs, ruthless killings and murders happen everywhere between countries and communities within a country, both rich and poor, culturally sophisticated and modern or extremely traditional, highly educated or still backward.

Economic and technological advancement do not seem to prevent such flare ups. The achievement of wealth and prosperity, the fulfilment of security and social needs, the freedom to love and be loved by friends and relatives,and the abundance of opportunity and time for self fulfilment or need-achievement, do not appear to bring contentment and peace to modern society.Law enforcement keeps failing to maintain the peace and often resort to brutal or capital punishment to scare away the would-be law breakers. Yet the prisons are always full of law breakers and criminals.
quarrels & fighting never stops
So, what is really lacking or missing in life today which makes the people so easy to be provoked, start violating, abusing and trespassing on each others's rights, warring on each other, killing each other and destroying each other like wild animals? Is it greed, dissatisfaction with one's share in life and envious of other's good fortne, the thirst for more power and wealth, the need to feel more secure,be honoured and respected or be considered as the richest or greatest power on earth? Why must we hurt and destroy others to get more of what we want?

I have read most of the motivation theories that moved people into action to get more of what they want, to fulfil their ambition and satisfy their insatiable need for everything. Underlying most of them is the need to manipulate and outwit or 'cheat' people to give them what they want through several subtle means or ruses often euphemized as the art of bargaining, negotiating or diplomatic manoeuvres. The objective is to win over others,although you can allow them to win a little (the win-win formula). Still, the bottom line is you must get the best out of the interaction.
imprisonment never stops law breaking
It is our objection to such a situation, what more being forced to do what others want us to do that seems to create the enmity, anger, aggression, ill-will, suspicion etc which create the tension and tendency to fight back. Letting the other party win means not just a loss of certain privilege, advantage or material possession, but will make us feel ashamed. Yes, shame is the more disastrous of the result, the strongest reason to resist something.

It appears to me that shame is the strongest force that moves us to take certain action or refrain from doing so. We feel ashamed if we don't win in a quarrel over something and would therefore do anything to win. We feel ashamed if we are poor and therefore will strive to become rich. We feel ashamed if our neighbours are living more luxuriously than us. We feel ashamed if we fail in an examination and will therefore work hard to pass and do better than our friends.In fact if something were to happen and it won't cause us any shame, we wouldn't care too much about it.

Thus, it appears that things are kept intact because people are ashamed to do something which will change the situation. Consequently, they won't hesitate to do something if it will cause them any shame. Viewed in this light people now do all the crazy things in the world because they no long have any feeling of shame about it. The feeling of shame has been taken away from their soul. Thus they can cause countries and people to go to war and kill each other because they don't feel ashamed of doing such things. They cheat and deceive people,steal, rob, and trespass onother's right because they don't feel any shame anymore in doing such things. In Islam Prophet Mohamed (PBUH) once said: If you don't feel ashamed (of doing something), then do what what you want... In the human body there's a piece of flesh which if it's good will make the pthe person as a whole good: that piece of flesh is the heart.
if you're not ashamed..
Thus, shame seems to be what is missing in the heart of the many so-called law-breakers, criminals, and the leaders of today who commit shameful acts in furthering their now interests or the interests of the peple they lead. They can lie and cheat, deceive and outwit people in their own country or in the world at large because they no longer have any feeling of shame. It has been taken away from them by the Creator…..

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

quest for modernisation….

At one time the less developed countries, including Malaysia, wanted development. Then they want modernisation. Now it's transformation into a high-income, high-technology and an ultra-modern nation which is desired,with high-rise business centres,condominiums, multilevel highway interchanges, high speed mass transport system,realtime communication etc. With that comes all the economic,social and moral ills and aberrations of today.
the desired
We often forget that every action has a reaction, every advantage has some disadvantages and nothing is totally good or bad (but thinking makes it so). Some of the unexpected, unintended and undesirable consequence of rapid development and modernisation far outweigh the benefits enjoyed. Worse, they cannot be annulled, revoked or redeemed as in the case of a historic building destroyed to make way for a new and modern shopping complex- only to be so for a few years. It them becomes obsolete. But that part of the national identity removed is lost forever.
the decreasing quantity and value
The most obvious unintended consequence or rapid modernisation and higher income is a meteoric rise in cost of living. There will be a price escalation on almost all consumer goods and service charges. A comfortable income of a thousand or two ringgit before, now makes a person a pauper. Malaysia is now facing this problem and more and more people are falling below the poverty line. This is shown by the increase in the number of people qualifying for the government public assistance program or handouts to the so-called poor- nicknamed BRiM.
the number of applicants increased from some3 7 million last year to 8 million this year after the minimum family income to qualify for it is set at RM4000 pm. The upward shift of the poverty line is an admission of the rising cost of living.

The number of applicants is bound to increase every year as the value of each ringgit falls, more people lose their jobs, and government subsidies on some essential goods are removed. The imposition of the GST has also made the poor poorer. If it has saved the nation from a dire strait, it has been done at the expense of the poor, NOT the rich.
the miserable poor

That's the physical aspect. What about the moral and spiritual aspects of modernisation when all business interactions are aimed at profit-making? ? When brisk, businesslike, monetary dealings take place, where's the room for warm and courteous exchanges of greetings and complementaries that is the soul of human relationship? We buy a lot of things without even an exchange of smile with the cashier. Young people don't greet old folks anymore, nor show some respect for them. The old culture and sense of decorum are gone, just like the old and historical edifices. Everything is just pure business unless it's among very close friends. If you are rich, everyone respects you. No money no respect.That's modern life where "money is King"to quote the PM of Malaysia.

So, if modernity and a high-income society is what we want, be prepared to accept the undesirable consequences. Find the means to become rich or you get poorer by the day as the cost of living shoots up leaving you to become a pauper in no time, unless you can find a quick way of making money. Just look at how some Malaysians become millionaires and billionaires without earning a single ringgit from undertaking some honest business.