Today is the national mourning day for Malaysians here, as we welcome home the crews and passengers of MH17. Its also the month of our Independence Day which will fall on the 31st of August.
With all the loss we had to brave through the storms, the word …’Merdeka’ probably gives us a different meaning other than our life.
As we see our flag being raised half …
What is …’Merdeka’ to us now?
If being free from the western ideology, then it would be quite questionable for without the west there is no east as well. And without the east and other civilizations before the renaissance, there wouldnt be a renaissance. So pretty much, we exist for each others existence.
Now that is clear, let us go back to ‘Merdeka’ which i purposely use Malaysian language. First, because it is our identity, for ‘freedom’ are rather subjective and open to interpretations.
Though the word ‘Merdeka’ narrows it down to a more specific and close to the hearts of Malaysians perhaps?
“Merdeka is a word in the Indonesian and Malay language meaning independent or free. It is derived from the Sanskrit maharddhika meaning “rich, prosperous and powerful”.
How rich do we want to be when it also means that the cost of living will also rise? How prosperous we want to be when tall building being built around us and ‘imprisoned’ us ?
How powerful can we be and will that guarantee our life not being at risk of other countries targeting our peace?Can a single case of suicide caused by depression also calls us to rethink of being rich and famous will give us happiness?
Or does the richness we collected all these years makes us rude to the elders like what happened a few days before the MH17 tragedy? Its not the first time we see rude young generation towards the elders, even to teachers and even animals.
The only difference is, most of these people gets away with it because nobody records them (but im sure God does!) In what way do we want to be prosperous while at the same time we have homeless and rising living cost , house, and unemployment rate (even the so called first world have a rising number of unemployment rate)
And does being powerful makes us powerful when we opress another country ‘freedom’ by invading their country for years?
So what does ‘Merdeka’ now means to you?
Why not, being rich means that we also give more to the people in need. What if it makes you even kinder and not suspicious of other peoples sincerity?
What if being prosperous makes you someone who makes sure the people, the community around us prospers with you instead of envy you?
What if it makes you share your happiness by making other people happy too?
What if being powerful is having the power to protect and defend those who have been oppressed?
What if it means empowering ourselves by being able to accept ourselves the way we are?
What if it means overcoming our differences instead of pointing fingers at other people just because they are different from you?
That all of us have their own strength and weakness, that being different is what make us different and unique in our own way. That by accepting our weakness , strengthens you instead of bringing you down. That even if sometimes we make mistakes, it doesnt mean our existence is a mistake instead, its a way for us to improve ourselves from time to time?
Go ahead be creative and rethink your life. See things in a different angle,and become who we really are by being ourselves. By focusing on our strength instead of looking at our weakness only. Find a way to overcome our weakness, and be happy with who we are.
Be ‘merdeka’ of yourself and from what other people think of you. You are what your think you are. So imagine yourself as who you want to be in the future and make that step to become that person from today!
Photo credit to William Ng