Saturday, March 22, 2008

The reason for it all

Raison d'être is a phrase borrowed from French where it means simply "reason for being"; in English use it also comes to suggest a degree of rationalization, as "The claimed reason for the existence of something or someone". A raison in nature may also symbolize wisdom or knowledge.

Che’ Jak was our lecturer in UTM. He was to many of us who graduated from there a philosophical sifu; in his own special, slightly crazy yet wise way. Of the many thing about him, I remember his story about a food shop he found somewhere along his travel. The shop was nice, the place clean, the service was fast, with a smile and the food was good. The owner himself moving from table to table, smiling, cracking little jokes, laughing a little to the customers enquiring if everything was okay. He seems so cheerful and happy.

Pleased with what he saw Che Jak told himself to return again someday.

When that day came several years later, he sat at the same table as the last time; observing. The shop was still the same but the same owner was now sitting at the till, busy collecting money. The shop was still full of customers but the owner was no longer smiling, cracking little jokes or laughing. He was no longer a cheerful self.

Why? Che Jak asked us.

There were many reasons and arguments put forth that day. They were all correct he said. But more than anything else, the reason for the happiness he said was because the shop owner was in the beginning doing a service to the people, his customers. The later unhappiness came because he was now no longer doing service but a business. He had lost the reason to be happy.

I find the similitude from the above, in the days after the election. Strange enough from both camps of the victors and losers, winners and whiners.

In the aftermath of the election, the bickering by the winners over the exco seats, and the coveted MB or chief minister position would embarrass a third grader fighting for a cekelat. The losers and whiners too, not to be left out, hit out at the people they once so called served, threatening them with the end of the world. Maybe that was what the press said but that was how it seems.

It brings to light the sheer arrogance and hypocrisy from the people called politicians (some if not all) to what they really were.

Strange because only a fortnight earlier they were screaming for a chance to serve or continue to serve the people.

So was all the hoo ha, all those promises meant to serve the rakyat jelata or themselves? What has positions got to do with serving? Must you be in position to do good? Is the collective power not good enough?

I do hope at the end of it all, sensibility sets in. The people need leaders, a good one at that. Not some selfish self serving dot dot dot. Not ever again I hope.

I pray those smiles they flashed during those grueling campaign will come back. And insyaAllah it will bring smiles to the wajah (faces) of the people too; happy, knowing that at the end of it all they chose to be wiser.

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