Opinion

Why can’t we just let everyone be fabulous?

Erna Mahyuni

Native Sabahan Erna is (not) Malay but loves Malay literature. Her hobbies: cats/gaming/blogging at ernamerin.com/Tweeting at @ernamh.

NOV 9 — If metaphors became literal, I imagine most of us would be standing in broken glass. Stones scattered amongst the bewildered faces, people unable to understand how they became the targets.

By the nature of our inherent imperfections, we are ill-qualified to pass judgement on other people.

But we do it anyway.

It is easier by far to destroy than to build. Easier to find fault than perfection. Easier to sit around and gripe than to move to either remove the source of our woes or to grasp, instead, something that gives us joy.

Take the recent passing of Apple icon Steve Jobs. Not long after his death, articles decrying the hero worship surrounding him appeared. “So-and-so is the real saviour/icon/messiah/next top model, not Steve Jobs!”

If there is one thing I know for certain, it is that every single one of those people behind said articles will never come within a mile of greatness. Not because they vilified Steve Jobs, but because they expended so much effort into doing so.

There is a big difference between critiquing an effort or creative work and making a personal attack. Only the meanest of souls find joy in shredding a person into pieces. It takes a lot of energy to revile and hate. The people who aspire to higher things simply do not have the time.

Look at the artists. The statesmen. The visionaries. One thing they had in common was a desire to do something bigger than themselves. This desire consumed so much of their efforts it made no sense to spend even an hour of their time mocking another human being. Not that a few of them didn’t indulge in some of that but history does not remember them for their personal attacks.

So I put this question to the legion of personal attack junkies: Lu takde kerja ke? (Don’t you have anything (better) to do?)

It is hard for me to believe politicians are busy people when they spend so much time reviling movements like Seksualiti Merdeka. The economy is troubled, our education system is broken, crime and poverty are still problems and they’re more concerned about Ali wanting to bonk Abu.

Whatever morality is, I find it hard to equate it with injustice, intolerance and cruelty.

The argument from supposed guardians of morality (and what’s between my legs, it seems) is that their acting like nosy, virgin biddies is in God’s name. Who made them God? Is there some commandment somewhere declaring “You shall disallow any men who like men from being fabulous; Kimora Lee owns the patent on that”?

To quote from the book Ecclesiastes: “No one can tell us what will happen after we are gone.”

I object to anyone trying to save my soul as no one has as yet furnished me proof of my future destination after death. Yes, I believe in God but I consider it a personal flaw requiring too much effort to remedy. Like my flat nose, crooked teeth and my scary obsession with Alan Rickman. Over the years, all of those flaws — including my belief in God despite the fervent efforts of atheists —are just part of what makes me, me.

At the end of the day, when I see God I hope that I will have more to say than “I threw stones at people from my glass house. Well, everyone was doing it!”

* The views expressed here are the personal opinion of the columnist.

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