Tag Archives: pride

The Valiant Soldier

"You're stubborn. Even if it takes you a million times, you'd always get up again and again to finish the job. That's what I love about you."

I don't think there is a line at all between persistent, stubborn and just plain crazy. Where I stand at least, if I want something done, I'd go all the way to see it done. More often than not by myself because no one else would have the patience to stand by me if things go wrong.

When I look back at all the things I've accomplished in my life, it's easy to wonder how I've made it this far. Against all odds, I've done what other people thought otherwise. But in the shadow of its brilliance are the trials and tribulations that defines the person willing to go to such lengths. The simple things that people take for granted often become moments that force me to face my own ignorance and become something more. I did not know most the things I know simply because I heard it from someone who got it from a book. They are the countless hours of trial and error painfully amalgamated into an experienced whole. Experience that was born out of the solitary attempts devoid of a helping hand.

So if my pride and arrogance is tempered only by my stubbornness, it has a good reason. For far too long have my pleas for help been answered in silence. For far too long I have depended only on my own hands for some of my greatest works of art. For far too long have I been the stage in which people walk by, stopping only for a quick glance out of boredom or for their own selfish reasons.

I will keep going. Even if I have to fall a million times, I will soldier on. Not anyone else but my own. Not for the greater good but for purposeful trivialities. My reasons are my own, my actions are my words and my results…my results are the lessons of my pride and joy. They are what defines my world and in the end, probably what makes me better than anyone else out there.

Maybe even you.

To The Spoilt Ones Who Never Saw The Second Opinion

The thing about youth is that we often mistake pride for intelligence and wisdom. Just because we are able get through high school and live a decent life, we believe that we're untouchable, free of the burden that life gives us. So when life occasionally throws a stick into our well oiled gears, we fall, our minds miserable and hurt, unable to see past what we only know as our own world.

I was young once and given the circumstances of my age, I think I still am. Yet the burdens of my youth were never one without a singular perspective, one that drove me to the edge of depression and spiralling insanity. That was my folly of youth, the belief that my own personal hell was mine for all eternity, a black hole in which I cannot escape and one that no one can help.

It wasn't until years later until I realized that people could help and that I had a choice. My burden's may have been my own to bear, but by no means did they mean I had to bear them in misery.

Going through the misery and darkness has never meant that we are special, even if our situations are unique to ourselves. Proving that your black cat is blacker than mine doesn't change the fact that we could have tried to be better than what we have become. It doesn't change the fact that suffering is still a universal constant in life and everyone goes through it. Suffering doesn't make you any different, what you do with your suffering does.

At the end of it, we still have a choice, even if they are limited to what we would or would not do. Misery will always be bound to the pride that tells us we deserve better. Anger and frustration will always be entwined by the expectations that a good life have always coddled us by. Sometimes we have to choose between letting that pride go or living with the misery under false pretences. More often than not an easy choice that's hard to enact.

I might not have found a way to completely let go of my pride or my misery, but it doesn't mean it has to offset the things in life that are good and worth being happy for. Part of living life is to know when to make your demons an issue and when to keep it at bay. It's not worth building a reputation by being a drama queen over things that aren't worth fussing about.

Given the old cliché that I often use, we all grow old. Maybe this a moment that starts telling you to grow up.

Words of Wisdom

"There is no greater discipline, no greater will, no greater conviction, than mankind's pride and vanity to themselves"

By that I also mean I've started jogging and boy does it really hurt my knees. But it's either that or be stuck between looking like a sack of sweet potatoes and the kind of guy that Mel would actually perve at. That of course is a no brainer decision.

Where Were You When Malaysia Went To Hell?

By now, most people that bother about such things would have read Micheal Backman's article in The Age regarding Malaysia's not-so-frugal waste of the country's monetary resources and highlights some of the reasons for it, mainly the fact that Malaysians are essentially stupid.

The thing is, I don't think that Malaysians are stupid. I'm Malaysian and I know for a fact growing up in Malaysia for most of my life that most Malaysians are the deviously shewed and could con you out of your wallet when you're not looking at it. They are frugal, independent and hardworking. Then again, they aren't your usual suspects of Malaysians

It's not that I'm trying to put down the majority of Malaysians as a whole, but it's just that like Backman said and I have said this so many times, Malaysia has a "grossly inflated sense of its place in the world". Like blogging, nobody really cares when no one knows what it is you're doing. We always tend to put stock in the wrong things. We're so driven to be the first at something, we always fail to see what it is we're threading on to get there. It's like building house without realizing the foundation you're on is basically made of cardboard. It doesn't really work the moment you put more weight on it. And a lot of Malaysians know something like that is going to happen one day, the question is really about when rather than how.

Yet Malaysia continues to turn an individuals feats into some sort of propaganda for our "Malaysia Boleh" slogan. Not that we can't do it. We can do it. There has never been any doubt on that. Not that it's wrong to instill pride in one's nation. But come on, we've got more pressing things to attend to now because no one else really cares. So one Malaysian can sail around the world. So we have a Malaysian born international actress. So what. Good for them. They should be proud of themselves. What are you as individual Malaysians proud about? I don't know about you, but I'd like to be proud of my own achievements, not someone else's.

If I didn't know any better, all these things like sending a Malaysian into space for instance are nothing more than smokescreen for more pressing issues back home that no one wants the public to focus on. We got economy issues. We got racial issues. We got religious issues. We got governmental issues. We got education issues. We got unemployment issues. We are a whole nation of issues. But none of that seems to matter to the majority of the Malaysian public. Probably because while half the population doesn't know what's happening, the other half is sitting down in food stalls arguing the problems of Malaysia and how they know someone in the system who told them this, all over a cup of tea. None of this really does anything to solve the problem…but strangely enough it keeps the country moving, even if we are limping.

But like I said, Malaysia isn't stupid. We know that this is what we do. We know that this is somehow part of our culture. We know that we aren't doing anything. We also know that one way or another, Malaysia's infrastructure is going to collapse at one point and reveal cesspool of its core. We know this enough to try and send our kids to other countries and hope they come back bringing something good along with some nice guy or girl back home or stay where they are and bring us along with them away from things.

Even with all the pointless waste of time and money that Malaysia puts its brains into just for that false sense of the 15 minute fame for reasons that can range from political smokescreens to just because we can shows that Malaysia isn't stupid. We are still a nation that despite our incredible lack of foresight, still can keep a country running. We were never stupid.

What we are is "kiasu" and for better or for worse, that sings a whole different tune altogether.

The Obligatory National Day Post

Merdeka

49 years ago today, a bunch of our forefathers stood on Merdeka square (or stadium) and declared that Malaysia will no longer have the Queen's head on our money. We became a free nation to ourselves. We've been colonised for so long by the Portuguese, the Dutch, the British, the Japanese for a while, then the British again and on August 31st 1957 on a bright Saturday morning, we declared ourselves free from all that. Our independence finalised, we would be masters of our own nation even if we all screw it up somehow which we do these days, but what growing nation doesn't?

Of course on that Saturday morning, hundreds of people turned up, huddled in a crowded mass to witness the moment when our soon to be first Prime Minister would yell out the words that spelled our independence "Merdeka!" which means freedom in the Malay language. Would I have been living then, I would definitely have gone to watch that historic moment, because for our country, that was a moment that would be akin to JFK's assasination or the Apollo 11 moon landing. It was epic and isn't something that you would want to miss. So in this dramatic reconstruction, I give you where would I be during those time stopping moments:

My Medeka

Yeah, knowing me, I would completely forget to set the alarm on my clock and sleep right through it anyway. Of course, knowing me, I actually have a valid excuse. I'm not much of a patriot but I do know where home really is and while my expectations of my own country isn't up to what I have experienced as someone who spent part of his childhood trying to understand why societies differ, it doesn't mean I don't hope the best for a country still struggling to find it's own identity.

Of course, things aren't perfect and I don't think they will be for a very long time but that doesn't give me the right to bitch about a country I haven't done much to help improve either. Every country is built and made not by the people who lead it, but the people who live (and die) for it. I admit, I haven't been living much for Malaysia, much less feeling like dying for it so if there are any faults that make Malaysia what it is, part of the responsibility is mine to take, just as it is the responsibility of every citizen, big or small, to make our country what it is.

Malaysia to me will always be the place where I grew up in. It is the place that made me who I am regardless of the good and bad. To me, it will always be about the people, the food, the society, the food, the culture and the food. Things that don't really define a country for what it is or what it hopes to achieve, but it defines a person for what they will become other than being slightly overweight.

Malaysia is a country in which people have fought, lived and died for to make it our country. Maybe our National day isn't about remembering the day when we had it all to ourselves. Maybe for me, National day is about honouring the individuals who did whatever they could not for themselves, but for something greater than individual pride. Something that they could leave as a legacy not for themselves, but for others as well. Something we could call home even if we don't treat it like one.

Maybe one day, more than enough of us could be half as dedicated to our nation, much less nobler principles as what our forefathers have struggled for. Maybe that day would take as long as it would take for me to wake up without an alarm clock. But there is always the hope of it and maybe then, we could be proud to call Malaysia our home and then bitch about it loudly because at least by then, we know we lifted more than just the "teh tarik" we're drinking on a warm Malaysian night.

We did something about it.

So happy Merdeka Day Malaysia. Happy Merdeka Day indeed.