Thursday, August 25, 2016


Our sense of identity is what keeps all of us sane in this world of constant change. This sense of identity is the constant that is inside us which tells us who we are and how we can relate to each other.

Knowing oneself is the ultimate in self-development. Each of us tries to find out who we really are, what makes us at one with ourselves and at peace with ourselves.

This is important after all the indoctrination which we are all being subjected to since we were born. We are all taught from young the necessary skills of how to survive our immediate environment and the environment we may meet. The farmers tell their children how to farm their own plot of land, the fishermen how to fish in the coast just off their villages, the shopkeepers how to charge a few cents above costs, the coffee shopkeepers how to make coffee and soft boiled eggs, and so on. School masters teach their pupils how to read and write and count in order to be able to communicate with the rest of the world through books and how to deal with three-dimensional materials in a meticulous fashion.

Each creates a sense of identity that is immediate and local, familial and communal and parochial. There is nothing wrong with this. First you know who your parents are, then your relationships and friends and other people you come in daily contact with. Each does at a different job to complement those of others. Each tries to resolve a different problem facing the community in which they live, in order that everybody shall live happily with the least of the inconveniences of the mundane.

The competition for survival, which is the hallmark of modern life, calls for effort by each and everyone to increase each of our own capacities to produce and provide in order that more can be consumed by those who are less fortunate. The increase in efforts is required of all; if only one person makes the effort, he can only give but not receive in kind. But the reality is that everyone is gifted differently and what often happens in small local communities is that those who have will help out those who are unable to help themselves.

The sense of identity can of course be generalised in order to embrace more and more universal and even cosmic concepts. The king of a community calls for a sense of the identity of the state, and the king of a country calls for the sense of identity of the nation, and the president of a federation calls for a sense of the identity of the federation of different entities each of which may have little commonality with other of the composite. The head of an organisation calls for a sense of identity of a cosmic union with a principle or a principal, appealing to very ordinary and sometimes ignorant but simple people who merely wanted a sense of identity belonging to a family of sorts. The whole idea is that everybody in the group is the same in one or some ways, but not entirely.

When a sub-group within a group defines itself different and deserving of special privileges, then this is a demand for entitlement which the rest of the grouping must pay. This sets a lope-sided group which can only grow in a deformed manner and not rounded. The day when the special sub-group sees itself to be at one with the rest of the group will that group be set on the path to advancement.

It is inevitable that the history of society can be properly seen in generational terms. Each generation makes its own mark in society. Unfortunately for us, ours is marked by an insecure person who wants to reshape the world to please himself. But god will one day save us from him and we once again be free to be ourselves. We may be too old by then, but hopefully the children we are bringing up with close the wound for the whole nation.


walla said...

1 When everything is perceived to change constantly and disappointments abound, we hanker for our own comfort zones which we associate as our respective identities.

We argue our comfort zones are our platforms to build a sense of progress out of those disappointments. The progress in mind is to be in the direction of our desires. These desires are created every instant at the interface of our nature and nurture. Thus it is the alloy of our nature and nurture which shapes our desires which in turn formulate our identities.

2 Pinker argued that common sense must prevail and we should admit the particulate role of human nature in modern-day society. In this type of society, three dogmas of universal notions have been assayed. The blank slate says the mind has no innate traits, the noble savage says people are born good but corrupted by society, and the ghost in the machine says each of us has a soul that can make choices free from our biology. He searches for a common sense way to recognize human nature diversity against the bland uniformity of idealistic universality.

3 But what about nurture? Nurture is education which is logical argument of facts leading to conclusions. These conclusions are supported by repeatable results evinced by history and are thus important for human beings to make choices that will improve a situation or prevent matters from taking further turns for the worse resulting in more and bigger problems for all. In modern-day societies, people universally want to solve problems and make progress.

As a banal example, students who rally peacefully obviously do so out of concern for their future inasmuch that of their country. That so many of them are falling onto hardship because funds are no longer available for their education in what has been repeatedly sold as a country of plenty must inevitably lead all to conclude the fortune of the state has taken a turn for the worse for some reason or other. Yet too many in officialdom seem to have lost their tongues, turned a blind eye, even satayed a hunky-dory air of semuanya-ok when asked the reason or other.

In such a non-development, how can problems be solved and progress be made to improve the future of the country? The rally walkers have been nurtured to think, conclude and care. Isn't that what the annually billion-ringgit education industry is supposed to deliver?

On the other hand, the red shirts who threatened to counter-rally have pulled out in a huff at the last minute to dismiss students as beneath them only to threaten the Executive arm they will rally at its doorstep if no action is taken against the students. Yet against that direct power-usurping threat from the red shirts, why does that Executive arm remain comatose to this moment? The conclusion then is that the reds are proxying for the very subject of contention. The reason or other.

If the red shirts have any education and thus nurture, they would have disbanded themselves in the interest of a country of noble savages. Likewise, if the Executive arm has any education and thus nurture, it would have taken action against the red shirts for a show of bravura only not comical to modern-day society for want of uniforms worn by circus clowns. But then again if that arm is still immobile with regards the main issue, why should anyone be surprised anymore?

walla said...

4 When change is a constant and disappointments abound, we need to beat change by following its method. We need to change our mindset which is our identity which is made from our nature and nurture.

Mainstream experts have argued it is alright for the country to run into the red and for our debt ratio to gallop beyond the critical fifty-five percent to touch seventy inclusive of contingent liabilities. They say it is alright because it is right-hand to left-hand transactions and many other countries likewise print money and federally set prices and tax ceilings. They argue after all it is by government for people.

Proxying thugs against students is not evidential of anything by government for people. It is in fact an affront against the very democratic principles upon which this nation was founded. A nation soon to have another candle on its cake. Now shrunk in size when there are more mouths to feed.

Furthermore if a government is really for the people, where are the official answers and evidence of clean governance that would not require suspicious accounts transactions across the globe? If a government is really for the people, why are whistle-blowers and artist(e)s threatened and punished but perps liberated and celebrated? If a government is really for the people, why the officially admitted need to redraw electoral boundaries so as to favor the return of incumbents living off state funds until their representatives have no place to stash their loot except in the ceilings of their houses? And how many more still remain free from the dragnet now trawling the waters as a diversion from the usuals? For if it is not a diversion, what were the preceding agency heads not doing and more importantly on whose orders?

There is no point talking about the importance of identity of a person with view to identity of a nation when the nation has been misrepresented by misfits out only for thieving quick bucks at the expense of the clueless masses unsuccoured by deficits in both nature and nurture.

walla said...

5 A good country is where everyone gets a crack at improving himself and herself in an opportunity environment that is clean, straightforward and incorruptible.

The basics of resources, career guidance and secularized motivation are given so that people can rise above their nature and nurture to match their desires and motivations in life to the demands of industry and market that are in turn vortexed by the forces of competitive globalization.

The environment itself must be socially universal. No program should continue in situ that does not recognize its own inherent limitation. If for instance a specific group is helped exclusively and without a specific time stop or target markers, its members will continue to expect and demand more and more exclusive assistance especially when their mindset favors an expansion of family members with nary a thought of the attendant socio-economic costs to others who are the ones coughing out the funds. No such scheme can survive for long without permanent cranial damage to the national economy.

Such a scheme creates social tensions and divisiveness, and drives a final wedge between brothers and sisters so that national identity is permanently impossible no matter how many gold medals are attempted. Especially when the doubles are of a race whose dignity apparently has no official value.

The dignity of citizens cannot be selectively championed on the basis of perceived need, especially when the ones doing the perceiving are themselves in need of real dignity to be earned.

6 Without mutual feeling of brotherliness and borderless cooperation, there will be no platform for more permanent progress by those dispossessed. The circuit of their nurture will not be completed despite formal education programs which will remain untested by real-world market and work demands so that any progress they make will be superficial today, irrelevant tomorrow, and bludgeoned by the forces of constant change in the future.

That is why so many turn to religion but with a vapid identity set on escaping the hardship of this secular life for some misty promise of the afterlife. A hardship that could have been better addressed by a systematic approach to solving problems already enlarged by reduced opportunities outcome of compromised economic governance and spiritual leadership.

walla said...