Of all the 14 stripes on that flag, which one do you think outshines the rest? None. They're all the same alternately red and white. The same banner that I have known all my life, believed in and proud of. And no, you don't have to go to war to show how much you love your country. You do not have to die to show how much you stand loyal to your country.
Raising the banners and praying for the nation..
Oh this is probably going to sound like another berating post on patriotism, but perhaps it is timely. At least I think so. Because in this present day and time with all the good times flowing, we have probably forgotten all about history and our past freedom fighters. There were people before us who gave their lives so we could be here today to enjoy the benefits. There are and would be people who will have to face that fate when the time comes, but if it isn't you nor your turn, you don't have to look down on yourself. Patriotism after all, isn't always about violence or which side of the wall you stand on.
Freedom fighters pit-stopping before heading off to Sabah early this year...
If you can call your neighbor a brother, he who is different than you; if you love peace and harmony and strive to achieve those; tolerating and respecting one another; mingling with your fellow countrymen like family; earning trust and giving trust in return; despising hatred and elements that caused division among communities; and abiding by the law... You are and can be called a patriot at heart. A peace-loving loyal person.
How far are we from that today? Do we have hope of someday that we are all able to dwell in perfect harmony together? Putting aside our differences and unite under that same flag that our forefathers carried?
Every year we celebrate Independence Day, but are we really liberated in the full sense of it? We have state of the art technology, blooming economy, colorful culture, perhaps even known now by the countries who run the world... but really, do we just take all those for granted and forget how we came to be?
Last year's Malaysia Day celebration in Bintulu...
I could tell you my view, but it's already about to be lengthy enough, so why don't you ask yourself that. I mean, how hard is it to see these days if we as Malaysians, are all, as we say it, standing in a united front?
Remember the story of the father teaching his bickering boys about discordance through an armful of sticks? A stick by itself is easily broken while a bulrush of them cannot be conquered. A wise story passed from one generation to the next, but instead of snowballing with added values, the parable went like a rolling stone that err... gathers no moss.
Unity is a tough subject these days. Everyone is getting all worked up about it and getting all emotional about all things sensitive. As if we're trying too hard to achieve something that we can't even see. When poked in the wrong way, we get riled up so easily. Everyone is reacting and over-reacting. And the ones who are pointing fingers at the other parties are usually the ones more crude than the people they condemned. But then, of course, when people disgrace a member of our family, it is expected for the rest to hold a garrison and defend the good name.
Pics courtesy of www.teamworkandleadership.com
All manners of politicians are trying to ram their unity ideas down our throats. All kinds of opinion leaders are on the rise giving the world a piece of their minds whether they stand highly opinionated or insanely prejudiced. All arrays of religious teachings are laying down doctrines and guidelines on what or how a unity is expected to be achieved.
As if unity is something we gain overnight.
Perhaps we have forgotten that Unity in itself is unique and subjective. It is nurtured and taught from the grassroots. Did I say that right? Let me rephrase. Unity is not a subject we learn in school and hope to pass at exams but discard and forget once we leave the classroom. It's not a baking recipe that we emulate and incorporate to suit own own taste.
Unity is fostered through a deep understanding and acceptance that extends beyond the length of time. You experience and practice it and know its deepest strength. It's what holds a family together, the smallest unit of society. It's what determines the strength of a country. It's what makes us as a sturdy nation.
A family that plays together stays together...
It's not love for women that makes a gentleman stands up when a lady walks into the room. It's respect and culture that they were taught to do by their parents and their parents before them. Unity, like respect, is an unseen force that when you have it and you take it into everyday account, it just makes your journey steadier.
How is it that society these days could easily mistake the loyalty one shows to one's country to mean the political stand they take? Absurdity. Standing up when the National Anthem is being played, irregardless of where or when, does not reflect which political party I support. It does not mean I am pro-government either. Even if the opposition that reigns impose these rules, I would still stand. There's no question about it. What is so difficult about dedicating a minute and a half of your time to merely stand up straight when the song goes on air?
Oh yes it is a big deal with me. You not standing up for the song, that is -- to put in a serious word -- defection. Is that what we're teaching our kids these days? To disrespect the flag that gives you covering? Remember, racism isn't born. It is taught.
Innocent children emulate their elders as they grow... mold them carefully
Now my long point now is, yes I hailed from exotic Borneo, but I am still a Malaysian. Read the history of the formation of MALAYSIA yourself, you lazy all-debating never-satisfied pronk, and you'll understand the workings of my mind right now. This weekend is the 50th Anniversary of Sarawak's Independence within this big country. (I probably can explain that better in Bahasa Malaysia, but then again, you can also Google it yourself).
I love my country, yes. But I love my State better. You got a problem with that?
HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY, SARAWAK!
HAPPY MALAYSIA DAY!
HAPPY MALAYSIA DAY!