The Rot We Lovingly Nurture

The Rot We Lovingly Nurture Activism, Blog, Identity Transduction, Malaysia, Philosophy, Poetry, Southeast Asia, Thailand
May 12, 2013

A mortal of words and not of deeds,
is like a garden suffocated by weeds.

Every time I wander the back lanes of a sprawling city, wade on the sandy shore near the wooden jetty of a fishermen’s village, or move in random sequence through an intimidating palm oil plantation, I am reminded of the struggle.

The forgotten, the neglected, the ostracized, the vulnerable. They are everywhere. Some toil away in the heat, sweating heavily, labor in an orderly manner in the midst of thick polluted air. While others have grown into their daily chores of repetition, their fathers, forefathers have worked the fields, the small factories and fishing vessels, bound by a shared tradition.


Poverty, the chains that confine the marginalized into a cycle of neglect. Society tends to forget them, despite seeing those haunted faces, those clenched fists, and thin bodies baked, ravaged by the unforgiving elements. We are without flaws; we blame everyone for the misfortunes of others and in the same breath we are the sacrilege.

We become the mockery of what we mimic, what we tell others to imitate our civilized behavior, what we boast of our achievements when we see one another. We take the words of the oppressed, we consume them for our needs, and we chant the war-cry with abandonment. Surrounded we are, flanked by bodies, quivering lips and flamboyance. The groupies, with that beaming face of an enthusiastic follower, a worshiper, or a pretentious cock; they marvel at how we talk with conviction, logic stirring the words, crafting sophisticated concepts of solutions, and shaping emotions.

The struggle is not about the Causes we claim to represent. Ironically we somehow become the Cause, fueling our personas with the hopes of the weak, then draining them into petrified husks.


We become the unthinkable. We are the enemy, the true face of complacency, an unmovable monument of our own pride. We become the Rot in the garden we lovingly nurture.



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    1. […] Stigmatization of the urban poor happens simply because people stopped caring for those without money and due to their lowered station in life. Society depends on NGOs to “clean the streets” of the undesirables, or what do they call them, “remove them for their own good” as someone said to me. […]

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