Beam me up Scotty!


It’s begun to rain and I’ve left the windows open. I want to feel the cool breeze blowing. As droplets of rain beat in on my bare skin I feel like a child with ice – cream.

I can see the sun peeping from behind the clouds. Beautiful! Let there be sunshine and showers. Bless this earth with love and life.

“How blessed I am!” is my gratitude mantra. That’s what I say each time I splash handfuls of fresh, clean water on my face. I could be living in the desert or some rural developing country where the water supply is unclean or uncertain.

If our dry spell and severe water cuts have taught me anything at all, it’s not to take anything for granted, not even basics like water and air. Inhale… exhale… hahhhhhh. Yes I’m grateful for the air that I breathe. I’m grateful for the days people don’t walk around with masks on looking like aliens – on the golf course, in shopping malls, at the airport etc.

Emergency alerts were a big thing not so long ago. When the Ministry of Health advised people to stay indoors and keep our children away from school it meant a big disaster. These days we tolerate the haze as if it were a part of our annual calendar. Visit Malaysia Year and all. The burning is closer than we think.

Son: No school tomorrow, mum.
Mum: Haze, right? Okay.

Remember Star Trek? Captain Kirk is famous for saying, “Beam me up, Scotty!” That was his command to be brought back to The Starship Enterprise. I’m thinking of a slogan I can use that would keep me insulated and detached from the swirling circus of recent events, something I can say that will be my “anchor” for feeling better, feeling safe.

A walk in the park – I once took that for granted. I used to think my home was my sanctuary… until robbers broke in. One would’ve expected law enforcement to swoop in and justice to take its course, but no. Even with eyewitness evidence, CCTV back – up, AND a confession, wrong – doers can get off Scott – free. “How blessed I am!” is my response. I could’ve lost my life that day. Things could be much worse.

My daughter called, “I’m turning back, mummy. The concert’s been cancelled.” What concert… oh no… you were actually going… to the one where those youngsters overdosed?

Future Music Festival: March 15 was the day Pharell Williams and other Grammy greats were to perform. Okay, it’s not as if this was the first time Malaysia cancelled last minute. Artistes had already arrived. Kids doing drugs is certainly good reason to axe any event.

Makes sense as a one – off incident, what happens when it becomes a precedent? Step back and consider our patterns and practices; what if this were to be a reflection of how we operate as a community, what would others conclude?

Business is disrupted and sabotaged when enterprise and enforcement fail to collaborate. How do other cultures manage large stadium events like the Super Bowl, or big – name performances like Beyonce and Jay-Z? I want to imagine a situation where security is non – negotiable. Screen people, make a thing of checking; make sure that patrons are clear of drugs and weapons.

Can we do it? You may think, “Extra work for what?” You might ask, “Whose responsibility is it?” It’s ours! We, the adults, the parents, the leaders; let’s make it our responsibility. Our country is our responsibility.

“Beam me up, Scotty” is beginning to mean something. “How blessed I am!” is true because I’m safe; but I can’t deny I’m affected. This is my Malaysia. It’s only March and we’ve experienced its madness; young people overdosing, open burning, water rationing, planes going missing – on top of dealing with everyday life.

Suddenly I realize that my “Beam me up, Scotty” slogan is what I’ve been teaching all along – how to manage one’s disposition, to focus on the good in things, and to choose from love instead of fear. Forget Scotty, I can rise up on my own!

Heaven forbid we play victims in this scene. Play the blame game? I prefer to believe that you and I can co – create the outcome we want. If we stand together we can rise above this “haze.” If we choose respect instead of tolerance, things will improve. Respect each other. Respect life. Respect Mother Earth.!

Can we do it? Will we commit to each other’s wellbeing?

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