I have just found out that today – Friday, November 13, 2020 – is World Kindness Day
It’s a reminder that pro-social behaviour – altruism, benevolence and compassion – does wonders for humanity. I mean, between Mother Teresa and Adolf H, for instance, there’s no comparison.
Unfortunately, most of humanity falls in between the cracks in a sort of “betwixt and between” limbo. We can’t claim sainthood, but neither are we mass murderers.
We could all be a lot better. And healthier, apparently: benevolence reduces stress as it makes us feel better about ourselves.
Certainly, our Members of Parliament can behave a lot better and less disgracefully.
Why on earth do we need a person convicted of corruption and abuse of power as the head of the Backbenchers Club? In other countries, Najib Razak would be in jail now: in Japan, for example, bail isn’t a right by any means.
Here, he’s not only walking about, he’s campaigning and generally promoting the three causes closest to his heart – I, me, mine!
And Parliament thinks it’s an example to other Malaysians?
This government seems to think that informed decision making comes from a long tradition of guessing, and then blaming others for inadequate results. In this tradition, it’s not whether you win or lose, but who gets the blame.
Witness the mystifying spectacle of Sarawak MP Tiong King Sing – who rarely comes to Parliament in the first place – loudly blaming Dr Noor Hisham, the Director General of Health, for the country’s sudden spike in Covid-19 cases.
To compound matters, Mr Tiong does not check his facts claiming, falsely as it turned out, that the good doctor had not visited Sabah, the epicenter of the spike.
Worse still, no government MP, least of all the health minister, came out in defence of Dr Noor. It was the opposition that came to his defence, ironically. Second to hypocrisy, humbug seems to be the biggest industry of our age.
It certainly seems so in the US.
Donald Trump knew that anyone who believed that the truth would set him free had never been in a traffic accident. He found it hard to believe any man was telling the truth because he knew he would lie if he was in his place.
Mr Trump lost to Joe Biden by 4 million votes, yet still claimed to win. On Thursday, election officials said there was absolutely “no evidence” that there had been any fraud as claimed by the President. Ironically, they added that the 2020 election had actually been the “most secure” in US history.
Well, you know what they say: If the facts don’t fit the theory, change the facts. That’s what Mr Trump’s trying to do. But it looks like the writing’s on the wall. Because reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, does not go away.
Deep down, one suspects he always knew he was going to lose because he kept flagging the point that there would be fraud if he lost. The inference was that he could never lose.
Here’s a newsflash. You lost. Deal with it.
The 19th century German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer had an interesting theory about the truth. “Every truth passes through three stages before it is recognised: in the first, it is ridiculed; in the second, it is opposed; in the third, it is regarded as self-evident.
Give it time. Even the Donald night embrace World Kindness Day.