The art of winning the hearts and minds – win all the battles still lose the war

October 14, 2014

I can fully understand why at times, it may be necessary to use unconventional means to nip a problem at its bud.

Believe me I can. I am probably the only person in blogoland who can well appreciate ‘the practical necessities’ of a course of action even if it is morally reprehensible and incongruent with the whole idea of what it means to be ‘good.’

I can even understand why under certain untenable conditions such as a ‘clear and present’ threat – it may even be necessary for the state, hegemony or an individual to resort to threats, intimidation and psychological warfare to keep the peace and harmony.

Believe me I can understand.

But I also know these methods are intrinsically wrong is so many ways…they are wrong at so many levels of understanding.

As they bring out the very worse in mankind and can only lead us astray from the right path.


‘People who talk often about rights, fairness and equality always seem slightly odd and peculiar to me. Granted! These people may come across as perfectly normal to you. But my point is they can never be ‘normal’ to me.

That doesn’t mean from time to time I don’t secretly wish – I could sit down and bear out with the all the power of my patience and sagacity to hear them out. Curiously, I do.

As there is still a part of me that yearns to believe in the idea – humans are intrinsically good and they can always be counted to do the right thing. To help old ladies cross the street….to stop and fix someone else’s flat tire….to return a lost wallet without any expectation of reward. That sort of thing.

There are times when I want to believe in this idea so much that I even loath the very idea of looking at myself in the mirror. That is to say when I stand before this image of a man who resembles me – I am never quite convinced, he is a actually me or that I am him.

There is always a imperceptible lag like how the voice over on a film just doesn’t quite synch very well….or when the train next to you begins to move and for a moment – you’re not quite sure whether you’re moving or still…it doesn’t last very long…this bitter sweet sensation of doubt….but usually it is enough to remind me that something is terribly amiss.

Yes….believe me I do so want to believe in the idea of human goodness.

But to me…the idea of human goodness…has always been a distant light. I am not willing to elaborate in detail why this should be so – let us just say my success came at a terrible cost of the damnation of my soul. Sure I could probably justify it by crafting clever reasons to convince you and possibly myself – why it could only have been this way and no other way. Could even intersperse the argument with words like ‘naive’ ‘presumptuous’ ‘petulant.’ But I am not going to do that.

There was one time when I was called to the death bed of one my business rivals. He is an old man. When he whispered in my ears. Forgive me…let me take this grudge that you hold in your heart to the otherside. I told this man that I had forgiven.

But as soon he looked in my eyes. He began to weep uncontrollably. Then it occurred to me – the colossal significance of that light had now vanished forever….The man did not believe me.

But I meant what I said. I meant it with all my heart.

And when one becomes a man like me. It’s almost impossible to see the world in the way one saw it – with that sort of childlike innocence where the colors would always be so bold as to pop out! To look upon the affairs of the world without the charioscuro of intrigues – to just see things as they were meant to be…without the shadow of doubt that a serpent lurks somewhere in paradise.

Because when cyncism, apathy and what I can only describe as a general distrust takes hold of one – it’s almost impossible to see or talk about things with the same level of enthusiasm and heart that makes dreams possible.

That’s why I glad. Glad that my kind will be the last…like the last Mohicans. I am so very glad. As I never ever want my children to see the world thru my jaded eyes. I want them to always believe in the idea of goodness…I even want them to believe in that great lie: if they work hard then everything will just work out fine….I want to believe….I so want to believe.’

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