Monday, April 23, 2012

Everything Matters

I sat down and went on a tirade about the class which I've just finished. These are kids in the last year of the secondary school. "Why do those kids come to school and not want to do anything for themselves? Two whole periods! If I did not bug and breathe down their necks with veiled threats, nothing!" And this would go on for a while... cos these days, for some reasons, many students, especially boys are simply giving up. They cannot cope. Finally, after all the rantings, in exasperation I would utter this final phrase to myself, "It doesn't matter!"

Does it? These are 17-year-olds. They're so 'damaged' that they shut off almost all the time. The only reason they don't sleep or give other problems in my class is I am their form teacher; and I have a say in the outcome of their school leaving certificates.... they know I can be rather mean. In other classes, they sleep, create a furore, talk back, disrupt, etc. But copying down work is as far as I can get them to do. For these kids, work is done once the copying is completed. Trying to think of solutions and answers are not in their vocabulary. So why should they matter to me? They should not. They don't seem to want to help themselves. Yet I react to this scenario again and again, often times with a degree of frustration as well as resignation.

And today it hit me that it matters to me... in an explicable way it matters to me. The irony is if I choose to do the opposite, it still matters, to me... though in a rather quirky way. Cos by still going in to teach and just do it, it matters to me cos it's a job. It matters in a selfish way.

Most of us care only about the things in our very own little world. Some of us care a little further. There are those who care beyond their little worlds into the big world. But in every situation, everything within our boundary matters to us. When and how we react, shows the way it matters; selfish or magnanimous.

That is why we have people like Mother Theresa. Every poor would matter to her. Or Mandela, every bit of freedom for the colored mattered. And so he languished in the jail for decades. Or Su Kyi, her people mattered. And so she stayed on in Myanmar all those years, at a great cost. And at the other end, we have Hitler, every Jew he can kill mattered to him, every inch of Europe he could conquer mattered to him, every bit of power he gained mattered.

In a church, everything matters to every church goer too. Everything matters, to the church leader and the members. How we act or react reflects how it matters to us. Both shows the christian d unchristian.

At home the same applies. Things at home matter differently to different members of the family. It may matter to the wife that the laundry is done everyday. It may matter to the husband that it not be done everyday. It matters in a weird way.

Bersih 3.0... I can't help in wanting to take a swipe at it. It matters to the government. One minute not a threat, next minute no permission. It matters... and for known and unknown reasons, I guess it's plain for all to see. Kinda funny, this everything matters thingy. It matters whether we like it or not, whether we care to admit or not, in different ways, different directions. Of course it matters to us the citizens too, this Bersih 3.0 thingy. How it matters.... well, it depends on which side of the fence you sit.

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