The Undoing of Our Passionate Hearts

23 February 2009

In Oxford dictionary, the word "passion" is defined as strong feeling, example of hate, love or anger.

Passion runs deep in our hearts regardless of the kind of situation we are in: a sports competitions, informal conversations among friends, formal discussions among intellects, etc.

As a young child growing up in Burma, I can vividly recall how we would feel rather strongly about which side we were on whenever we spilt into teams to play games. With high sense of comradeship and strong will to strive our best for our team, we played our games with a lot of passion; through the exchange of opinions on whether it was a fair play, arguments ensued between different teams. Luckily, we were only children whose hearts did not bear grudges for long. So we would make up with each other after a few days of having a cold war.

So, you see, our sense of passion was evident even from such tender ages. It can also be seen in our daily lives.

Whenever a group of people gather in a coffeeshop or at a house, they will discuss about certain topics - be it poetry, politic, education, or any kind of context to their interest - over many pots of Burmese tea (known as Yay-Nway-Chan) for what seems like hours. During their discussions, voices are sometimes raised; aliances are often formed; disagreements can lead to unpleasant consequences at times.

Now, in twenty-first century, we, Burmese, seem to have taken the display of our passionate nature to the next level: blogs.

Recent exchanges between two particular pro-democracy Burmese activists from Singapore and their blog readers (both anonymous and identified) have certainly left me bewildered as to what is the basic reason for all those arguments. Without a doubt, those two Burmese activists have been at the forefront of pro-democracy activities in Singapore. Unfortunately, their passion for their own ego seems as large as their passion for Burma. As a result, in many people's minds (including mine), their admirable passion for Burma has been overshadowed by the display of their unexpected sarcastic retaliations towards criticism (whether constructive or destructive).

During the referendum in Burma, many people who voiced out their opinions on the blogs were spilt as to whether to vote "NO" or not to vote at all. Now that, 2010 election is in the air, many people have also started talking about whether to participate in it or boycott it. For some people, tempers flared and things got heated up.

For both camps of such issues, I cannot tell who is right or wrong: perhaps different approaches, different perspectives, different opinions. One thing in common is that I believe both camps hold on passionately to their own conviction; be it for his own ego or for whatever cause he may be fighting for or for the greater good of Burma.

It is rather sad to see that, passion - something so prevalent in our blood - seems misplaced for many of my fellow countrymen. Many a times, our passion seems to have clouded our judgement from making logical decisions and hindered us from seeing a greater overview of what is really happening.

The more passionate we become, the lesser level-headed we seem to end up as. We lose our composure. We fail to differentiate what are important to hold on to and what are not. We forget to learn to agree to disagree.

For some of us, we may even start to bear grudges. During childhood, grudges can be considered as being cast on the sand; to be easily washed away in a short time. But for adults who have gone through various kinds of experiences in life, grudges can end up being cast upon stone; too difficult to be removed for a long time.

And so, with all those, our unity seems to be far-fetched though many people have repeatedly called for it.

In Oxford dictionary, the word "unity" is defined as harmony or agreement (in aims, ideas, feelings, etc).

Well, in the context for the future of Burma and her people, if we carry on like this, I am beginning to wonder whether one day, our misplaced passion would end up being defined as a form of our own undoing for our unity.


(ေတးမြန္) said...

Hey.. Thway Ni

This is a very good article!

Passion mixes up with ego are really bad for most situations.

To me, the two activists have more ego than their love to the country. They are doing this not for harmony, unity or not for being good despite they may say it is for the country. Instead, they are doing this for their own ego. Perhaps they may not notice it.

I also understand personal ego can't be out of our everyday life activities. But if one has enormous ego, there will exactly be problems. So as the Singapore's leading activists for the country, they should look for better result rather than looking for unnecessary disputes and arguments which are breaking down the harmony of the people mind.

I was preparing to write about this in Burmese.

Jeg said...

Hi Thway Ni


what a recipe.

Their ego calls for STUBBORNESS and this is what we are watching around these days. Do we stop to see if other's views placed on the table benefit Burma? If those views benefit then we need to compromise.

By allowing their egos to take over their lives, they loose focus and start walking on the merry-go-round. Stuck in the same place unable to reach out to join and play within a team.

They have become INDIVIDUALS, it is only them who produce the best ideas, unfortunately the pie has many ingredients to make it a successful whole. A bit of this and a bit from there.

Patience, listening skills, teamwork are the essence of Passion. We do it because we love it, and passion make us feel great.

If those Burmese egos do not wipe their blurry eyes we are wasting precious time and their egos won't make them feel great once they realise their last chance is gone.

kay said...

The saying ,noted and reckoned many times is-
" Unity is miracle"

Jeg said...

Thanks Kay,

Let's hope UNITY arrives with plenty of time to win our freedom.

Thought for the Day:

"None of us can change our yesterdays, but ALL of us can change our tomorrows." Colin Powell

and Thway Ni's quote:

"Most of the time, it is easier for us to point out the things that should be done, rather than to find out why they cannot be done."


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