IN the aftermath of the arab spring, Malaysians got up and said, 'Hey we have to fight too.'
And so they did.
However, the problem with us is that we want to fight but lack the capacity to be intellectual about the arguments we put forth and the battles we choose to pick.
For the most part, we have always been surface dwellers, and we continue to be so, without bothering to exercise common sense and logic.
In saying surface-dwellers, it simply means that, generally, we focus more on the surface, without looking into what's underneath.
In even simpler terms, we are not that far different from the boy who cried wolf.
We fight for racial equality and denounce those who we think are racists.
But how do we do it?
We become judgmental and brand the racists.
We insist on being liberal and tolerant but we do that by putting down those who hold on to a certain set of beliefs.
We say we want more freedom, we want justice, equality, and insist on being liberals.
However, we immediately put down others who do not share our liberal ideals.
We bash the non-governmental organisation (NGO) Perkasa for being extremely pro-Malays, but we ourselves become extremely pro-liberals, and we trample on those who don't share our views.
We scream for democracy.
Yet we misinterpret the word.
Democracy has never meant everyone getting their way.
That's just plain insanity.
In our fight to free ourselves from the alleged grasp of bad governance, we insult the freedom fighters before us.
What we as Malaysians fail to understand, in my opinion, is that the government, whichever party gets to run it, is a mere reflection of us as a whole.
Of late, most of us have been screaming to the government asking them to listen to us, but we refuse to first listen to ourselves.
The government, whoever runs it, was once part of the masses.
They too were once nobodies.
In fact, we were all born as nobodies.
We are so eager to blame the government for everything that is wrong within our society that we forget, that government we hate came from within us.
If we as a society refuse to change, it doesn't matter who sits in the chair at Level 5 of the Prime Minister's office in Putrajaya.
If we as a society insist on staying the way we are and simply resort to the blame game, it won't matter which party wins the next general election because we will still be a nation that continues to bark at the tree.
Sometimes I wonder why we fail to see that there is an inter-connectedness to everything around us?
We take for granted simple day-to-day things yet we loudly voice out the need to weed out the alleged corruption in our current government.
It all starts with the man (or woman) in the mirror.
Look around us; are we offering bribes to our kids just to get them to either shut up or do well in school?
Why can't we see that everything begins (and ends) with us?
Look at how we treat the foreign workers in our country.
We may not all engage in physical abuse, but we commit grave injustice when we so freely refer to them as though they are lesser human beings when we comment on the issue.
We so carelessly dismiss them as though we are the supreme race, devoid of flaws and mistakes.
And yet, we can easily point fingers and accuse others of being racist.
What is the difference between us and those we blame?
In our fight to be a more tolerant and just nation, we do it by becoming intolerant and unjust ourselves.
We dismiss things we don't understand, and we offhandedly pass remarks about the beliefs of others without bothering to understand the essence of the issue.
For 2014, I just pray that we are granted more common sense and logic.
At the rate we are going, it is not the current government that will run us down, but rather our own stupidity, arrogance and selfishness.