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It happens only once every 4 years, where the whole world would converge and cheer on their teams. I'm talking about the Olympics. I remembered watching it, and was curious how many medals Malaysia had won since we joined. This is also an important article where I hoped everyone would read, which I will write with no apologies. This will be one of the rare articles that will be read for years to come. It is extremely sad that we won only 6 medals in the past 56 years since we joined, and none of it were gold. And what makes it even more sad, 5 medals come from only 1 sport - badminton, and only 1 bronze from diving. Olympics is a great time for us to reflect and think in macro-perspective. We may boast at ourselves, and gloat at our past glories (usually about politics), but the future is still ahead for all of us. It's really meaningless to put up giant banners shouting at our past victories, especially when the pictures are in black-and-white.
Olympians are Humans too...
I got excited about the Olympics and began to look inside my own country when I accidentally watched the Women's 48kg weight-lifting section at a coffee shop recently. I wasn't exactly a big fan of the Olympics, knowing the facts of my own country's performance and our only hope in winning another medal lies with Lee Chong Wei alone. Suddenly I began to view these women weight-lifters as some kind of performer, for there are cameras following their every move and preparation. It's serious stuff in there, when they have to use their strength to lift weights 4 times of their own! Imagine you are one of them, and the sheer pressure to perform such a physical feat - right in front of crowds and cameras. I also took pleasure in identifying their behavioral nuances and reactions to their coaches and crowds in the stadium.
Why other Asian countries can, we cannot?
The gold medal winner was China's Wang Mingjuan who managed to lift 208kg. The silver medal went to Japan's Hiromi Miyake and the bronze went to Korea's Ryang Chun-hwa. I'm very interested to watch these women, real women, in muscular bodies and thick shoulders, very much look like a man! I know how women feel, and generally, women are more emotionally driven than men. But these women weight-lifters was absolutely focus. In China's case, Wang Mingjuan was absolutely unperturbed by people around her - an asisstant massaging her muscles and the coach's constant whispers. She was strictly focused on lifting the weights. For Korea's Ryang Chun-hwa and Japan's Hiromi Miyake, both of them were quite attuned to their surroundings, hence causing them to lose a few notches in maintaining the weights to win the gold, I supposed. Both of these women were practically waving and blowing kisses to the crowd after each round. It got me thinking the psychology aspect and mental process of these women and what differences it made for them to be a Gold Medal winner versus the rest.
Where you put your Pride?
Strength is an important aspect in any Olympian undertaking. Strength of the mind, spirit and physical. But as Malaysians, where do our strength lies? It must be based on something in order for it to be, for no value can stand alone. Being a Malaysian myself, I have observed in general our society based our strength in our pride. We are proud about our race, religion, material gain and culture. But are these enough to take us to great Olympian heights? Another aspect of our strength is our fierce-ness, most like the local movies perpetuated - gangsters, bohsia, mat rempit. Can you even call that strength is highly doubtful. But we made it so, by thinking that if we are fierce, lan-see, talk loud or arrogant - we are strong. Mind you that this sort of pride falls under the same category as the 7 deadly sins like gluttony, greed, lust etc. You're all going to hell!
Change Your Environment
When the winners for the women's weight-lifting was announced, I noticed the top 3 winners are from Asian countries! Hooray for Asia. Unfortunately, it does not include Malaysia. What went wrong here? Why other Asian countries like China, Korea and Japan can consistently win medals in broad sporting categories and we cannot? I look deep in our Malaysian society again, and found that it lies with our so-called values. When other countries who are winning Olympian gold medals focus their values on honesty, fairness, transparency and real knowledge to bring up their own countries as a whole, in Malaysia we are mired in the petty stuff. The ratio of quality people in Malaysia versus the no-quality sort is widening more day by day. This is caused by our environment. I'm not talking about the weather, I'm talking about the whole social make-up that splits its people apart, from the education system to business practices up to the law. Have you read lately any new up and coming entrepreneur in Malaysia that is innovative enough to make millions and become international?
Lack of Humanities due to Corruption
The humanities are vital in progress. Humanities here covers the arts, music, intellectual, freedom of expression and opinion sharing without fear or condemnation. It's about discovering new frontiers in science and innovation. Since I have some experience in our local entertainment industry, it's sad to see most movies we made are merely copying what already works in Hollywood. Hardly anything original, even our so-called action genres are full of shouting, wailing, breaking of stuff, all that small things magnified from the camera close-up onto the screen to make it look "big". Either that or extremely culture or tradition specific movie that focus on one particular race, which leaves out poor out-of-work actors like myself (maybe because I look and think too international to fit into any local culture?). The humanities are important in cross-pollinating knowledge from different industries and fields of knowledge so the country will grow as whole and movies are the image by-product which reflects that country. A gold-medal Olympian will surely have a holistic knowledge of the humanities in keeping his/her mentality strength and cutting-edge knowledge in physics and science whenever he makes that jump across the hoop or sprint at the fastest speed possible. We are doing none of that.
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A Thriving Country Always Survive the Olympics
A true Olympian gold medal is not born alone. The country of origin has to be a place where all its people thrive and prosper as whole, a conducive place for its people to make a living and achieving a good quality of life. That's why these countries are categorised as First World countries. This is an important element, for a place of thrive will seek its precious talents and nurtures them to excel to Olympian heights. When the time comes for them to survive in the Olympics, it will be only a test to their years of nurturance. Gold-medal Olympians must come from a place of thrive, not for himself only, but the country as a whole. Because with the Olympian comes its hopes and aspirations he brings from his homeland. What happens when it's the opposite, meaning the home country is a place of survival, not thrive?
Walking into another pit of fire
The aspiring Olympian would feel even more hard-pressed, stressed and worried if his own home country is one that is politically corrupt, where its people is segregated and privilege is only granted for the certain groups of people. This is because he comes from a country of survival, not thrive, therefore he does not get the proper nurturance and subconscious mentality support needed to excel in the Olympics, where survival is key. He would only walk from one pit of fire only to enter into another. It becomes too much for him, for the situation in the Olympics arena is just another form of survival, but he would fail for he did not get the overall strength needed in terms of his country, its people's support and the whole reputation his country brings along to the game. It becomes even much more worse the feeling of how monumental the competition feels and how his capability is dwarfed in comparison to other countries.
Can you look beyond your own selfishness?
So we must all start from the very basic. We must all not be petty over little issues like the LGBTs wanting to be granted their protection rights like everyone else, or the crude distinction of bumiputras fighting with the non-bumiputras for more privileges. We are all one - everyone is a human being, a brother and sister to each other and we all deserve the same privileges. There are bigger things than us, more important aspirations to strive forward to. If the gays want to suck dick or eat pussy, pardon my language - so? (I only condone married couples to have sex) Why is there harsh condemnation? Everybody does that, including the straight too, so what's the big deal? It's only sex, like going to the ATM to withdraw money. Only small people cares about petty things people do with their bodies, putting everything out of context and blow it out of proportion. I know certain men are extremely proud of their circumcised dick, but look which dick brings home an Olympic medal this year. We must move beyond these petty issues and come together. Vote for brave, courageous leaders (is there any out there?) that dares to unite the people as a whole through enacting laws that unite people as a whole and abolishing laws that discriminates in all forms, not the ones that pleases the "what" aspect of the brain like which race rules supreme, sexual orientation, marital status, political views, economic gains, infrastructure, tradition etc - that's petty and dumb simply because it's nitpicking at only one small detail, not the big picture. Traditions and religions can become petty too, when one is obsessed over its practise at the expense that the world has changed and moved on - look at the Olympics! Have we moved beyond these pettiness? I don't think we have. Or is it true that our country is ruled by petty, control-obsessive and selfish leaders? Look at the number of medals we have, they're not even gold yet. Will there ever be a Gold for us? Do we even deserve it?
If our leaders think big, they would hire big-minded people like a Communication Coach to give them consultation. I write this with love for my country.
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