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Protesting Against Soft, Indifferent People

February 3, 2008

I often wonder why people around here (and around me) are getting increasingly apathetic and nonchalant about seemingly important events and world-changing decisions. At first glance, it is unfathomable how people can just sit there and do nothing. If your neighbour’s house is on fire, I’m sure most people will get up and start dousing the flames. But when it comes to important global/national issues like inflation, unjust fare hikes, less than satisfactory policies towards significant matters like education, environment and citizen welfare, people simply behave as though they probably deserve whatever is thrown their way.

Of course, it has to do with how we are brought up. We are a people conditioned in a hermetically sealed system of “do-as-you-are-told-no-questions-asked”. I won’t go so far as to say we are under prescribed thought reform since a young age, but we are nearly there. Domesticated, fearful and generally content, not because we are really satisfied with our current state of life, but are afraid to demand for more. Ironically, we are taught, too, that “no question is stupid” and the only way to learn is to question, question, question. Yet, when the time comes, most people shrink back into their shells and few stand up to the occasion when answers are needed.

Personally, I don’t like the word “protest”. I prefer the term “peaceful demonstration or rally”. Protest has the perceived element of anarchy, anger and violence. Which may or may not lead to a bloody revolution. It doesn’t necessarily have to be. It is just a open display and call for change. An avenue for people to come together, harness their collective energy and make their voices heard.

Protest is education. Protest is independence. Protest is growth. Protest is power. [Read: Where does our Power Originate From?]

In order to achieve a level of thought independence and development in the people, freedom of expression is a necessary evil. In order for a people to see a groundbreaking reform that will see through many generations and benefit everyone, we need people to speak up. How else can a leader provide treatment to a nation of diseased and weak minds if the people don’t identify their afflictions, and actually desire to be healed? We have seen great examples of successful reforms. People perished, empires toppled, policies changed, land recovered, livelihood salvaged, lives saved…

No-one should feel frightened. It is an integral part of growing up. (Remember the playground scuffles in kindergarten and the bathroom catfights and the screaming matches with your parents when you were a teenager?) Apply it to a bigger context and there you have it. We need to fight it out to get past our differences and shed some light on what we truly want and mature. The world will see its share of good and bad times, but one thing is for sure, the people feel a sense of engagement and involvement with the laws and policies placed upon them because they were there when they were created. They BECOME what eventually controls them, and they are okay with it because their inputs were respected. And then, they are truly content, and most importantly, they feel that it’s in their blood and they actually, for once, will want to give a damn.

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