Aiman Azlan





Monday, July 29, 2013

Ramadan Reflection Day 20: A Radical Seed in a Land of Possibilities
Photo by the yes man

Okay, I am going to stick my head in the clouds for a minute.

We are very susceptible to trends, and not just on Twitter. Almost everyone wants to stay updated. Those who don't are looked down upon.

Fashion, games, phones, cars, computers, television sets - you name it. If it's not the latest trend, then it's too old and must be disposed of. Nothing lasts. Everything has an expiry date.

A trend is a powerful thing, but it must be kept in check. Otherwise, trends will control us. We will follow everything that trends dictate. We will give little to no consideration to what trend it is and what does it lead to; as long as we're ahead of the game, we don't care. Why are we so obsessed with being ahead? Ahead of what? Where does this race lead to? Where is the finish line? Or rather, is there a finish line?

Capitalism is no secret. Capitalism is no conspiracy.

The idea behind it all is to make us consume more and produce less. Not too long ago in our history, we were the opposite. We were communities of producers and we consumed much of what we produce with out own hands. If you ask me, I say those were the golden years. We might call them people of the pre-civilization era. If so, I cast a doubtful eye on what "civilization" means.

We used to grow our own food. Now, we have children who don't even know where oranges come from. We used to find creative ways to entertain ourselves.

We used to create our own entertainment. Now, we can't even summon sufficient creative energy to entertain ourselves, such that we need to outsource our entertainment to TV, computers, games, phones, etc.

We used to sew our own clothes. Now, we can't even fix a small tear in our pants. We just go out and buy a new pair.

We used to go out and explore the world. Now, we are stuck on our couches. A 1km walk is seen as too much, so we take the car. We shouldn't be surprised that the general health of the public is in a bad shape.

It makes sense now that we are afraid. We are afraid of not getting a job. We are afraid of not having enough money. We are afraid of being poor. We are afraid of enduring hardship. We are afraid of waiting.

We are used to consumption that the thought of not temporarily not consuming or consuming much less scares us to death.

I don't want to sound like a grumpy old man. When I found out how awesome the previous generations were and I compare them to us, it's hard to convince myself that we are - ultimately - better off. I am not suggesting that we move backward in time and live exactly like our grandfathers. I am suggesting that we take inspirations from the past and apply them to the present.

The advancement of technology is amazing, but we have to be mindful of its cost. Advancement for advancement sake will not do, if we plan to prosper as a collective.

This is not an expression of ingratitude. I am grateful for the blessings that I have today. But I am beginning to caution myself not to think that a wolf in sheep's clothing is actually a sheep.

I am not immune. I am a consumer too. This article is a voice of frustration in myself, first and foremost. Forgive me for doing a lot of talking, without the walking. I'm still figuring out the walking part, like a baby.

Somewhere in our history we became unable to walk on our own two feet. Someone managed to convince us that we need a cane.

Okay, grandpa needs to get off the rocking chair now.

My name is Aiman Azlan. I have rich experience in youth engagement, both online and offline. I am passionate about social issues involving the local youth community. In 2015, I founded Aiman Azlan Academy to empower the youth with sustainable self-confidence through effective communication skill.

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