13 October 2008

Nothing unites people like a common enemy!

I googled this to see if I could trace the author of this sentence. Instead, I found many who had plagiarized it. I am not absolutely certain and I stand to be corrected but I think that the origin of my title came from a book: Frontsoldaten by Stephen G. Fritz in which he wrote, “Nothing unites people more than shared rage against something or someone”.

Anyway, my purpose is not to identify the culprits who used this rather catchy statement in their speeches, blogs, essays etc. After all, I’m doing the same here!

Last night was the first time that I participated in a candlelight vigil. I found out that there would be a meeting at Padang Timur in front of Amcorp Mall. At first, I browsed through this type of news, without a second thought, as I usually do. This time, I don’t know why, I was compelled to show my face there. Who cares if no one knows me? Why worry if I might feel out of place? Therefore, with a bit of nudging (read begging) from me, my son consented to drive me. I finally managed to rope in another person and we were three! Great, we would be a group and not feel so out of place.

When we got there, it was just about 9 pm. I thought the vigil was going to last till about 11 pm and my earlier rush of jubilation to see the candles, even before we parked, turned to a wee bit of disappointment that people were already leaving. Of course, I won’t complain because this left us a lovely parking space available so near the main crowd. As soon as we got out of the car, other vehicles were passing by and pressing their horns. They were showing support! Immediately, whatever little reservation I had, disappeared.

Without delay, a nice lady approached me to ask if I needed a tee shirt. That was my original reason to go for the vigil.

However, I was blown away by the smiling faces, the camaraderie, the solidarity, the friendliness, the easiness and most of all the unity. We were all there for the same reason.

Although we did not interact much, we did not feel out of place. We felt like we belonged there. After all, we are Malaysians aiming for the same goal, wanting the same result.

As more people started to leave, we were approached by a tall guy, Haris. My heart leaped! Could this be Haris M Ibrahim, the blogger? I had to ask. Yes!!!!! How nice!!!!

I think I even saw Bernard Khoo. Next time, I’ll say hello to him. However, I have to admit, I’ll need at least a few more vigils or rallies before I can even recognize anybody!

It is true. A shared rage does unite people. A common enemy like the I.S.A does bring about a new sense of muhibbah. It’s been years since I heard this word. Nevertheless, it came back to me just like that.

To the Whisperer: This one’s for you!

33 comments:

Shakun said...

Welcome to the world of rallies, campaigns, vigils...etc!! You'll actually learn that it does not take much to unite people, but that it takes a lot (of time, tolerance and hardwork) to maintain it!!

Antares said...

That's how the atmosphere was at the Sessions Court in PJ where RPK is being tried. All these familiar strangers, the friendly, reassuring face of what used to be called "the silent majority," silent no more! Being physically there opens one's heart chakra and makes one proud to be part of a dramatic political sea change. It reconnects one with the all - and that's what being "a nation" is all about.

Anonymous said...

ladyRP went to couple of these vigils alone but was never alone once she was among the anak-anak bangsa malaysia and the flickering light of hope and unity

Sagaladoola said...

Thank you for being concerned ....

STEPHEN FELIX GROSSE said...

You said it right. Unity is strength. Try breaking one single branch. It will probably break. So unity is good. Good on you.

TheWhisperer said...

I was there before 8pm. Only left at 9plus. Anyway, you wouldn't know how I look like. That's excusable.

Just a thought here.. Were you the one talking to Haris with tears flowing freely? If so, then we crossed path again in A&W after the vigil.

I ll be there this Sunday and hope to get to meet up with you. It ll be Great.

young-at-heart said...

wahhhhhhh my sister did something I had wanted to do but was afraid. Not afraid but more like...what if there was a scuffle and people start running etc..what if the police came and things turn ugly ...you know lah what I mean. But good on you. There was a candle light virgil here as well quite recently. Kun's workmates were there of course!!! but she did not go. Hee hee.
Did you take pixs?
ok, nice to hear you actually did somthing other than just complain like me!!!
Mouse

Anonymous said...

Like you, I too was there for the uniting T-shirt and the spirit of peaceful strength that gave the air solemnity.

On my return, my daughter asked how it went. She clearly approved of my participation.....!

I have resolved to give away RPK Tshirts as advance Deepavali/Christmas/New Year gifts in anticipation of the defeat of our common foe.

GomoMan said...

GomoMan to the rescue ...

Haris said...

I always look forward to vigils and public forums as its a wonderful opportunity to meet new people.

Was glad to meet you last Sunday.

Hope to see you at the Jalan Timur Padang again this coming Sunday.

Haris

Estrelita Soliano Grosse said...

Shakun: Thanks for visiting all the way from Bintulu!

Antares: Always an honour for me when you drop by.

LadyRP: We'll meet up one day for sure.

Sagaladoola: Only playing my small part.

StephenFelixGrosse: Thanks, Baby!

The Whisperer: No, it wasn't me at A&W. Hope to see you on Sunday. Will look for you or you look for me, okay!

Young-at-heart: Akah dear, thanks for your comment. Doing my tiny bit for the ISA detainees. Nothing compared to what others are doing. They deserve the applause.

Anonymous 11.38am: Thanks for coming by. The T-shirts did the trick for us, didn't they? Great idea for gifts! Good on ya!

Gomoman: Thanks for visiting!

Haris: Consider it a done deal! See you there.

masterwordsmith said...

Hi Estrelita,

What a lovely post! I truly wish I could be there.Now, I can just imagine the atmosphere, the camaraderie and esprit de corps and lament that I missed all of that..perhaps during the Deepavali weekend. In the mean time, I must try to go for the one in Penang.

Congratulations dear Estrelita...this post is in Malaysia Today..Like I said in my previous comment, I like your writing cos it is so pure and from the heart. Keep up the good work dearie. We are both 'baby' bloggers but dying to express the cries from our hearts.

Hugs and may God bless you and yours always!

Estrelita Soliano Grosse said...

Masterwordsmith: Aw shucks! You flatter me too much. But I love it.

You really encourage me a great deal and I appreciate it tremendously.

Thanks dear. God bless Penangites and you especially.

Anonymous said...

Imagine what can happen, if the silent majority decides enough is enough.

Time to stand up and be counted.

Just my two cents ...

Cheers!

Orkid Galistan said...

The thing that you and the rest are doing...is what we call true Malaysians!! Proud of you Godma.

Estrelita Soliano Grosse said...

anonymous 21.13: I can imagine and two cents is worth more than no sense!

Thanks for coming by.

Estrelita Soliano Grosse said...

Orkid: Right this moment, I'm proud to be with the champions of Malaysia.
Thanks dear.

TheWhisperer said...

Thanks for your dedication of this post.

I am still blur here. Do I deserve this? What have I done?

Moving my widget a wee bit higher for you? I took that as a good feedback. I should be the one thanking you. Sorry i couldn't make it higher. Whatever is higher is priority.

I am glad you found the atmosphere at the candlelight vigil consistent to what i have described earlier in my coverage on Raja Petra's trial.

Overwhelming.. Beautiful.. Just beyond words.

Thanks again for turning up and for this well written post.

MORE!! please..

Michael Song said...

will definitely say hellow to u the next round I see u... keep up the blogging spirit... bloggers save Malaysia...

Estrelita Soliano Grosse said...

TheWhisperer: You are absolutely welcome. I added that on the spur of the moment because I had so many things going on in my head and couldn't get settled on what next to write. Your challenge got me focussed.
-Your widget is just where it should be now.
-About the atmosphere at the vigil, yeah,great minds feel alike.
-More!!! Arghhhhhh. Now I feel the pressure!
Cheers!

Estrelita Soliano Grosse said...

Michael Song: That's so nice of you. Again I'm thinking of the word "Muhibbah".

Estrelita Soliano Grosse said...

I would appreciate sensible comments otherwise they will be rejected.

Cheers!

TheWhisperer said...

RE: About Me

I would say you are cool...

steest said...

TheWhisperer:

Accepted!

Anonymous said...

I understand that there is a weekly candle vigil in PJ. However, can you enlighten me whether there is such an event held in PG weekly?

Thank you in advance.

Anonymous said...

It is very disheartening to read about the wrongs that are happening in our beloved country.

Why are our beloved Rulers keeping silent over the oppression by the evil BN.

Aren't they supposed to be protectors of the rakyat or are they only interested to protect their own ricebowls.

So sad!!!

Makes me wonder about their role and what they stand for???


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If we are neutral in situations of injustice, we have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality. - Desmond Tutu

Jarod said...

Vigil is nice right? where you can meet a lot of new friends and be united for one cause! Yes, indeed is a pleasure to be there last sunday. Coming sunday will not fail me. i will be there! See ya! TC

steest said...

Anonymous 16:19:
I just got back to KL. Sorry I couldn't get you an answer.

Thanks for visiting my blog. Come again okay.

steest said...

Anonymous 21:25:
We do what we gotta do. Nothing more but surely nothing less.

Desmond Tutu, what a great mind!

Thanks for visiting. Come again okay.

steest said...

Jarod:

Hey! Nice of you to drop a comment. Thanks to that, I found your blog. Will browse through it soon. I just got back from the vigil. I was out of KL and timed my return for tonight's vigil. It was great. Next time, must say hello!

Come again, okay.

Zola said...

Great work.

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