Purpose, meaning, choice

By Jerome Martin
June 08, 2011 | The Malaysian Insider

JUNE 8 — Nobody should feel obliged to stay or leave, wherever one might be.

Be it your birthplace, country of residence or somewhere you’re just passing through, no one should be compelled to be someplace s/he’d rather not be.

Which is why this entire business of our government begging Malaysians around the world to return disturbs me. You can ask someone to loan you 50 bucks as a favour. You can’t ask them to uproot, change their life plans and come home just to render some kind of “national service.”

People want different things in life and most of it is completely valid — aside from say serial murder and rape. The end result is some kind of meaning.

For some, it means partying all night every night and banging a different chick each day. For some, it’s sheer buying power and the ability to drop a million dollars without batting an eyelid.

And these are not so different from someone who wants to help the poor, someone who wants to write a great novel or someone who wants to work in government and make sure that the people’s money is well spent.

In short, life should be its own affirmation. What you do should make you happy about being you.

Still, many spend their lives seeking what is real. Something that has meaning to their lives.

Some hold to ideas of going some place where they get what they deserve, or quality of life is better, or there is no discrimination — if such a place could truly be said to exist. Does this provide meaning? Does one fulfil a purpose this way?

I guess it is a means to an end. Maybe they will be able to cure cancer or make advances in renewable energy in places with the right industrial ecology.

For those who stay, there is this notion of Malaysia being “home.”

But what does a home mean? Security? Familiarity? A sense of belonging? Those do not provide any meaning. They do not fulfill a purpose.

I call Malaysia home too. I spend a lot of time wondering why. Not why it’s home. But why I call it home.

Then again, I’m the sort of guy who is retarded by a sense of moral virtue. Framed within the context of doing something good, impactful and positive, rather than just nihilistic pleasure, cracks start to form around my notions of being a rock star.

Between being the world’s greatest… football manager, say, and Malaysia’s No. 1 football supporter, I’d pick the latter. Not much impact, but it involves people I give a damn about.

I know what you’re going to ask: “Why do I give a damn about them?”

Maybe because I’ve done something to make them who they are and vice versa. In a minute way, I’ve made Malaysia the way it is, and it’s made me the way I am.

And I just can’t run away from that. I can’t even try.

“Did you exchange a walk on part in the war for a lead role in a cage?” — Pink Floyd, Wish You Were Here

  1. #1 by Jeffrey on Wednesday, 8 June 2011 - 4:16 pm

    Supposing I were a bumi, got a PSD scholarship to MIT, completed my studies there work for a short stint in US and then come back as expariate & skilled brain under Talent Corp’s Returning Experts Programme (REP), with incentives like higher rermuneration package, flat rate of 15 per cent income tax for 5 years, 2 cars tax & duties free tax exemption for all personal effects brought into Malaysia, my children to study at International Schools etc.

    Life’s Ok what?

  2. #2 by Jeffrey on Wednesday, 8 June 2011 - 4:21 pm

    Of course to each his own if my priority were ‘gatal’ and to party (as what Jerome Martin says) “all night every night and banging a different chick each day”, the I won’t come back but instead choose to work in some small town in Kentucky where everyone is white and there’s no one of my race but me around where many of the white chicks there will look upon me as somewhat of a rarity and novelty that they must once in their life experience!

  3. #3 by tak tahan on Wednesday, 8 June 2011 - 10:50 pm

    HaHaHa..are u sure you’re 80s?..but i like your sense of humour.

  4. #4 by boh-liao on Thursday, 9 June 2011 - 6:20 pm

    Y call it home? Paradise here what! Hv wives will bang, some more obedient whore wives

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