Not many people can take criticism. Am I correct to make such a conclusion?
Everybody hates to be criticised. Am I correct to make another such conclusion?
How many people hate to be criticised but yet can take it? I think this is the fundamental question.
You see, I think, in effect nobody likes to be criticised for isn’t pride and ego part of human nature? I for one, do feel the sting if I have been criticised and it also depends on how the criticism is being carried out; is it out of malice or sincerity?
I often feel anxious and nervous whenever I have to present my work to my superior for comments or feedback. It’s never nice to have someone else, especially one whom you have high esteem for, points out your weakness or flaw. But at the end of the day, I just have to live with it and accept the fact that I am not perfect and we share this world with many other people with individual opinion and preference.
The concept of democracy probably derived from this understanding that different people hold different views and opinions and not just that, every individual has a right to exercise his or her opinion and participate in the decision making process. Freedom of expression and peaceful assembly are also derived from the same concept.
By having such concepts, it is to acknowledge the basic essence of being a human being. They are not developed for people to challenge authorities or to gain power. It is merely created to protect what is fundamentally human; that we are not inanimate objects with no souls but borne with the ability to think, to question, to agree and to disagree. To suppress these characters which define us as human beings, would be like castrating men, denying him of his basic primal nature.
If you look at all the international conventions pertaining to these rights, the word “everyone” is usually adopted. This indicates that the provisions which are carefully drafted are designed for individual human being as its core subject. It is not meant to topple government power or to threaten national security.
However, many governments have misinterpreted these rights as a direct challenge to them. They think that if they allow people to freely express their opinions or to participate in peaceful assembly, they will lose popularity and subsequently power.
In the end, they also fail to see the big picture. They fail to anticipate that while they may be able to assert and maintain power over the people, the time will come when things will change (they always do). After all, as I’ve mentioned, this is human nature. By going against nature, is to invite disaster. The days of dictatorships or disguised democracies are slowly numbered.
Not only they are foolish not to understand this, I find it an insult and disrespect for human beings.
Many countries in the world are still continuously exercising its power to silent opposition voices. Not only do they hate criticism, they cannot learn to take it as well.
When I look at our neighbouring countries, such as Thailand with its recent political crackdown on demonstrators, ending in bloodshed and violence, I think the Malaysian government should be grateful that we have not resorted to that level. We are still people who can express our protest in a civil and peaceful manner.
However, when certain politicians threatened not to challenge the patience of UMNO, be warned that they too should not challenge the patience of the people. Times have changed and hence it is also time for governments to adapt to these changes if it wants to progress.
Written on 15 October 2008