Let’s be honest, we are all selfish beings, constantly making choices that maximize benefit and minimize harm. But at the same time, we are complex creatures and our selfish or selfless behaviour are often difficult to differentiate.
The world has changed quite a bit in the last century. Modern technology and urban development has all but replaced the "kampung" lifestyle. Although much good can be said about industrial growth and progress, the modernizing of society has also altered people’s way of life. The slow pace of small community living has given way to a more pressured urban lifestyle where people are more focused on their personal goals and objectives. As people focus more on themselves and meeting their personal needs, selfish habits begin to take root in their lives.
There are many reasons why people are selfish. Some people may have been raised in a selfish environment by selfish parents and family. Others may have developed selfish habits due to their experiences or difficult circumstances in their lives.
Today all that matters are ourselves. We have become a selfish, ignorant nation. Now let see the ugly part of Malaysia. How selfish can Malaysian be in their daily life:-
- While driving, always cut queue anywhere and everywhere you can. If they don't allow you to cut in, go in front of them and block their way, swerve close to them or find a way to bully them.
- There is no such thing as first come, first serve. If you see a new cashier open his counter, quickly run from the back of the queue to the new counter so you can beat all the people who have been waiting long before you.
- If the person in front of you is taking a really long time, just cut into the queue next to you. If anyone says anything, glare at them and give them dirty looks.
- Don't respect others waiting to use public restrooms, just walk straight in past everyone else into the next vacant toilet.
- At a restaurant, pretend you didn't see all the customers who are waiting for a table, as soon as someone leaves quickly rush in and seat yourself at that table. Don't worry, the restaurant staff don't dare to say anything and will not chase you away. Just don't make eye contact with any angry customers.
- Don't wait for passengers to get off the LRT/Komuter, just push yourself in as fast as you can.
- If you see a car with signal light on waiting for a parking space, quickly rush in front and grab the parking space for yourself.
- If you can't find a parking space within 10 metres of the mall entrance, just park illegally near the entrance even if it is at a tight corner making it difficult for other cars to take the corner.
- Even if there are empty parking spaces a few shops down, just double park in front of the shop you want to go to. Who cares if you block others from getting out, or block the street itself.
- Just stop in the middle of the road to let off/ pick up passengers. Wait as long as you need without any consideration for other cars behind you.
- Allow your children to make noise, break things, dirty other people's car, throw rubbish everywhere in public, on the streets, into neighbour's house etc, as long as it's not your own house/stuff.
What has become of our manners and culture of being honest, considerate and tolerant? have we been so duped by the rhetoric of our more bigoted fellow citizens that we have become hatemongers? Or is the pressure of city living so great that everything is seen as a fight for the survival of the fittest, fairness be damned?
I think we have misplaced our moral compass. We have bought so much into the negative talk that we perhaps no longer believe there is any point to being good.
If only we would all wake up and smell the rotting stench, maybe there will still be hope yet for the wretched state of our nation. If we stop and realise that doing wrong doesn’t make things right, maybe we have a sliver of a chance at correcting the flow of our collective destiny.