Banishing the spirit of bochap (apathy)

March 31, 2012

The world is mired with poverty. Hunger. Illiteracy. War. Environmental degradation. Fundamentalism. When you think about it, the world seems to be besieged by an endless list of problems; each event threatens to throw out boomerangs at humanity. Even without the real time media feed,  we would have to be blind and deaf not to realise that our world is ambling along like a drunkard in a pot filled road.

But why should we even bother about what is happening in the world?  If there is war, it’s happening in another part of the globe. Yes, there is evidence of hunger and poverty all around us – so we try to do our bit by occasionally feeding the poor, and then we carry on with our lives. We think we can save the planet by going green, so we make some changes in our lifestyle and feel suitably virtuous.

Does any of this engage our minds on an ongoing basis? Do were really feel happier when we consciously set our minds to save people and planet? Rarely. Most of us are too busy getting on with the business of earning a living and building and maintaining relationships and feeding the family to think of the larger picture. That’s how the game of life is structured in the glorious battery chicken life in Singapore – most of us have our nose too close to the grind wheel to ever realize there is a world outside our world of perpetual work and chores. Hence, most of us then to outsource, the many problems which we usually come across to someone else. “Let the governments sort it out,” we say. “Or let those activists who always jumping up and down about this and that take the baton and run with it. After all they have the passion.” As for most of us, all we really care for is to set some time to bask in peace and solitude.  

But this attitude of ‘let someone else handle it’ isn’t just a fleeting thought, as benign as it appears to be, it is a philosophy, in it’s own right. That is to say, it is a system of values by which one lives’; ‘a personal outlook or viewpoint’; ‘any system of belief, values, or tenets’. While most of us tend to think of ‘philosophy’ as an abstraction, it is nothing short of the highest expression of how you wish to live your life.

If I choose ‘to let someone else handle it’, don’t be surprise if one day, we just end up being so apathetic about the whole idea of life – that all we are really do is existing, instead of living. Many people can fall into this mindtrap, where they find themselves waking up every morning going to work only to immerse themselves in this routine, till there is very little left in their lifes. After a while, a sort of leaching and chelating occurs in their daily lifes, where they can’t seem to even get excited about people, events and even changes that may affect them in profound ways – when whole droves of people don’t even realize that whenever they take the attitude of, “let someone else handle it.” What they are ineffect doing is relegating their birthright to others to draw out the manifesto of what it means to lead a purpose driven life – that is a big problem to me.

It is a problem as I don’t believe the people who are supposed to “handle the problem,” simply don’t share the same philosophy of life with either me or you. Every time a nation neglects the well being of the larger number of its people to favour a few, it is following a philosophy of narrow minded self interest. The goal could well be to perpetuate a myth concerning a bloodline of a certain family who are closer to gods than humans. Or it could even be something really fundamentally simple, like what is the best way to prepare a child for adulthood? Why do so many people lead unfulfilled lives? It’s because those entrusted with their well being pursue a philosophy of selfishness above all – they all know, that most of us are too busy trying to ekk a living and no one is really checking on them. But, is it also because that person who is knows that life isn’t hunky dory and even realises he should do something about his terminal apathy refuses to take any interest in the lifes of those who are supposed to “handle it.” After a while most people come to accept the system that they live in, it may take them years of bitching and even silent resistance, but eventually, the system always wins.

Darkness 2012


“Life can either be edifying or crippling. It can either be happy or intolerable. Beautiful or ugly. It is really in the palm of your hands. But whatever life throws out. It is NEVER a good idea to just leave it to others to “handle,” anything for you – I guess you can do this, whenever the aircon service uncle decides to pop in on a Saturday to overhaul your leaky aircon. Sure you can leave it to him and take the day off and go to the mall to unwind. But 9 out of 10 tens, if you adopt a bochap attitude, then others will just give you crappy service. You will that your aircon will leak again in no time – so its best to take an interest in what this aircon uncle does – look at his tools, ask yourself how well prepared he is. The same attitude or philosophy can be used to physicians. To me they are just mechanics and technicians, it never pays to just let them, “handle it.” If they are not happy to explain the reasons for their decision making process – make sure that physician gets marked down, make it a big issue that threatens his livelihood. Same applies for car maintenance, if you find something that is out of synch or just doesn’t sound right, take the trouble to look underneath the bonnet and follow through right to the end where you even know the name of the mechanic who once touched your car. As for politicians, it is really the same logic – they are just service providers, nothing more or less. I consider them just maybe two rungs higher than a food court manager – to behave otherwise would be to overstep the remit of their vocation and mandate. I don’t tell you how many times you should fuck your wife or in what way – so why should a politician even have the temerity to tell you what you should do and at what age you should retire etc. Sure they can come up with all sort of rules and regulations to rail road you and your loved ones towards a general direction – but providing you never ever just leave it to them to “handle it.” Then it is very unlikely that they will ever be able to shortchange you or even pull the wool over your eyes – as you are always one step ahead of them. Everything they do, you know why they do it, right down to who benefits and how along with why. By just taking a little interest in how things are regularly, “handled,” you will be very surprised how edifying life can actually be – you should never trust anyone, not even me, life is not so simple – you have every RIGHT to demand of others who usually “handle it,” to earn your trust. Anything less is to lead a life that is slightly better than a sheep and we all know where sheep end up at the end of the day.”

Darkness 2012  

The Way of the Farmer – transmitted by the essembled, KDD Nagasari, Broadcast space station – KDD Yap Ah Loy, Super Niberian Class Data storage vessel – KDD Beras Wangi, Super Niberian Class Data Storage vessel – KDD Taiping, dregnought class signal jammer veseel, KDD Alor Setar – JUMO class signal encryption vessel – KDD Bukit Bintang and her sister Tberrian Class Space station KDD Semangat – KDD Les Enfants du Paradis, death star – KDD Californian Server Data Vessel – KDD Kursk (E-16 Enryption vessel) – KDD Excelsoir (Data Storage vessel) – KDD Nariobi (Sapper vessel) – The Brotherhood Press 2012.

Joining the essemble at 1320 GMT / 3-04-12 will be the following heavy cruisers – KDD Germania (Intelligence and reconnaisance vessel) / KDD Stalingrad – JUMO class radio signal jammer vessel / the Thai Royal Observer vessel KDD Sasithorn / KDD Vanquish (data rerouter vessel – class 82, Type 7 variant / KDD Chingay (radio jammer) – The Brotherhood Press 2012 /



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