It seems to me that each generation has an obligation to be plagued by some form of worldwide tragedy. My grandparents suffered through World War II and the communist insurgency in Malaya. My parents lived through the Cold War, the Cuban missile face-off between the U.S. and Russia, both the Vietnam and Korean Wars, the Tiananmen Square massacre and the 1998 economic crash. Hence, it is only fair that, as part of what most adults would condescendingly call ‘Gen-Y’, my fellow counterparts and I must face our own share of international disasters.
Here are some of the horrors that have occurred ever since yours truly was introduced to this world:
- The 2008 economic downturn.
- Red shirt rallies in Kuala Lumpur.
- Global IS attacks, including one in Puchong.
- The Japanese earthquake.
- Global warming.
- People in denial of global warming.
- Donald Trump becoming the GOP’s candidate for the American presidency.
- The Sulu insurgency in Sabah.
- Increased racial and religious hostility.
- Immigration issues in Western Europe.
- The Orlando shooting.
- Greece’s economic disaster.
- The bombing in Ataturk Airport.
- The bombing in The Holy Artisan Cafe in Dhaka.
- The bombing in Bangladesh.
- The bombing outside Madinah.
- Bombings in general.
So here I am, writing this out, mainly to vent my feelings of utter helplessness while reading Kaichou Wa Maid-sama trying (and failing) to ignore humanity’s stupidity as a whole. IT’S A CYCLE PEOPLE! OPEN YER EYES AND SEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.
It’s happening again. All the conflict that happened in the past, the conflict our leaders promised would never happen again – well, IT’S HAPPENING. RIGHT NOW.
I’m just afraid. I never thought that I’d have to fear so much in this lifetime, knowing that anyone could pull out a hand grenade, or a hand gun, or a machete, and going kamikaze in the middle of – oh, I don’t know – Subang? The LRT station? The airport? Just barely an hour ago I was sitting outside a restaurant, anxiously looking around in case anyone or anything seemed suspicious. A few weeks ago, I’d be happily whining about how much rice my dad made me eat, or trying to convince my brother that too much meat is bad for health.
Today, I sat on the red plastic stool and spent a good five minutes glancing about my surrounding before the food arrived and my attention was sufficiently diverted. And fifteen minutes ago my attention was once again diverted by Misaki finally getting married to Usui. My inner fangirl is throwing a hypothetical wedding party.
Okay. Back to the serious, depressing stuff.
Throughout history we see a pattern – one of cause and effect, action and reaction. It has happened before when Europe waged war against the Arabian peninsula in the Crusades, causing shock-waves of religious conflict that we still feel today. It happened once again when America decided to intervene in the Middle East, destabilizing the region and causing people to seek vengeance with Islam as their axis (see: excuse). And it happened again in Malaya when the British were hard pressed for help, eventually turning to the communists and aiding their guerrilla war against the Japanese by supplying arms to the PKM.
We see a pattern of responding to an evil with a greater evil – so how long will it take before the Western world snaps and turns this fight into an MMA-style all-out religious war? How long before this becomes, once again, Islam vs Christianity?
God forbid that ever happens.
All I am capable of for now is to vent and to hope that someone – ANYONE – scrapes the dirt out of his/her eyes and sees the cycle of terror repeating once again. Coming to think about it, I do not think that we have had any problem spotting patterns. We do, however, have a problem taking action in preventing those horrifying things from happening again. In all honesty, we are all the stereotypical Asian student – perfectly capable of knowing, but completely hopeless in application.
I feel sorta helpless. But I don’t think I should feel like that. In a small way, I have already won my portion of the battle. I have seen, I have known, and now it is my responsibility break the cycle of hatred and misunderstanding. While I am no great orator, and will not accomplish changing people’s mindset on a global scale, I can play my small part, simply by being a better person to others regardless of race, religion and the whole other bunch of cliche SPM terms used in the closing of an essay. It is amazing, as INTEC has shown me, how far a little charity and selflessness can go.
Also – and who knows? – my writing may help.