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Baby Boomer

Justice of  Peace, Tokoh Wartawan Sabah dan Labuan, CC Pung’s strong dose of philosophical musings.

I’m a Baby Boomer.

I think I’m not alone in in my discomfort about  the shifts and demise of values that defined my generation’s sense of decency and the boundaries of my moral behaviour.

My mind is on  how apathetic I’ve become and how far I’ve numbed my senses to things and behaviour and attitudes that are bizzare and were usually scoffed at or shamed.

Specifically, I’m thinking how often I chose not to react to even scandalous and perverted ‘new’ things such as some, like same sex marriage, which clearly shows that the human race as I knew it is going off tangent.

I grew up in a little town with a single night spot – the cinema.

My primary school prohibited movies on weeknight. I never knew how the policing was done until my name was called out during weekly assembly and punishment meted out.

Looking back at it today, I think the Orwellian ‘1984’ society of having a ‘big brother’ watching your every move was happening in the honest, unhurried, communal, Kibbut-like life that was characteristic of my home town of Papar, in Sabah.

Today, the hip behaviour is each to his own, being selfish is excusable. If I talked frequently about the Najib character and his corruption, I get told to ‘go start a protest march lah’.

If I pointed to a civil servant living lavishly beyond his means, I get a retort ‘why, are you jealous?’

I guess it is because of the apathy and how casually we waved aŵay issues affecting us that the west’s promiscuity, pornography, and all manner of decay are occurring with increasing intensity in our supposedly Asian society.

There was a time in my youth when holding a girl too close in a ‘fox trot’ at a class party could stir up a scandal! I guess it was society’s (in Papar, at least) way of checks and balance.

Thinking back, I now understand that little can happen in the shades when a community of people of shared the same good values.

Today, we keep quiet when we see our neighbour’s 13-year old daughter behaving suspiciously and appeared at places or doing things not suited to her age. But as soon as we learnt of the girl’s pregnancy, or her drug taking, or worst, her suicide, we pretend to be unselfish with our sympathies and our cold shoulders. The shameless among us will even offer, between sobs ‘oh, I wished I had informed you earlier that …’

Dishonest govt officials are every where. Incompetent politicians are never short in supply. Civility is deteriorating. Social consciousness is declining. Being rude is macho.

Most of us are aware of the decline in our community cohesion, but we absolve ourselves, telling ourselves ‘I’m okay. It is the others who are not …’

People tell me I’m living in the past. But other than the social media and smart phones, they can’t tell me what’s so bad about the ‘past’ I grew through.

To  me, common decency, good manners, respect and humanity in general have no expiry date. Hearing a woman TV anchor saying “me and my wife …” is not okay, never mind if her name is some 

DeGeneres.we have to retake society from the pronouns generation.

Say something. Cry out. Call out what’s wrong, twisted and perverted. It is your business. – Talantang

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