A news report on a Brits student trying to raise fund to get back home by doing all the outrageous challenge was something that is just too normal for some. This could be partly due to the difference in country of origin, culture, religion, values and mission in life. From a psychologist’s point of view, what I see is just how a human navigate her life based on her understanding. I am sure people nowadays hold on to the mantra “the one most important thing in life is to live life like you want it.” Many believe that unconditional happiness and love can only be found by being unbounded by rules, rationality and maybe civilization.
This scenario makes me realize how much our culture, religion and values shape us into humans with decency and dignity. Seeing this phenomena objectively, I came to realize that we are who we perceive ourselves and our objective living in this world. Some people treat life as play and amusement without having further implications. Others, being aware that all acts will be accounted for, are more more vigilant in their life. I am very sure that if a Malay student is the one pulling all those stunts, that person will be subjected to a lot of criticism by society. First for being morally deviated, second for setting a bad example.
Our culture and society value education highly. We expect knowledgeable people to be mature and rationale. At times, being daring and overly brave does not translate intoprofessionalism. Bravery has to be put in place where it will bring good outcomes to the society. Furthermore, risks are taken for a good reason, not just for the sake of showing off. A sensible person will consider the implications of any risks taken before taking any actions. We don’t just eat grass and say “will these make me sick?” afterwards. We think before eating the grass!
Life is all about choices. May this incident become a thinking pointfor all of us sharing the same religion, culture and values. We are more fortunate to become who we are today although others may view us as conservative. We are proud of our culture as Malaysians. To any Malaysian student who contribute to the fund-raising challenge, shame on you!
ISMA JOHOR Activist
Graduate of Psychology