A Rakyat is obsessed, mesmerized and awed by politics and politicians. A Rapera knows that politics is not the beginning and the end of life. The beginning of life is life –you are born. The end of life is the end of life – you are dead. Between cradle to grave, there are many challenges, needs, issues, responsibilities, duties, temptations, etc that will be put in your path of life. How you respond to these things will determine whether you are a mere Rakyat or a Rapera.
“Do men think that they will be left alone on saying, "We believe", and that they will not be tested?” (Quran 29:2
These are simple truths of life. These simple truths do not admit differing interpretations. For example, at the very least, one has to eat and shit (no disrespect meant). Between the act of eating and shitting there are so many other simple truths. You either accept them or deny them. A Rapera cannot live in self denial like the common Rakyat. A Rapera must be prepared to confront the challenges with courage, wisdom and patience. In the process, be prepared to feel grieve, frustrations, loss of worldly privileges, etc. But you will not lose your dignity and humanity.
“You shall certainly be tried and tested in your possessions and in your personal selves; and you shall certainly hear much that will grieve you, from those who received the Book before you and from those who worship (serve) many gods. But if you persevere patiently, and guard against evil,-then that will be a determining factor in all affairs”. (Quran 3:186)
How do you guard against evil? Corruption and destruction of societies are not done by the ghosts and “evil spirits”. It is done by humans who worship false gods. Most of the Rakyat may serve and worship many false and created gods – politicians, priests, ego, materialism, tribalism and such. Have we not heard of the phrase for example, “biar mati anak jangan mati adat”? Culture is worshiped at the expense of the sacred life that Allah created. A Rapera is not distracted by these “dazzles of life”. A Rapera serves and worships only the Truth. The crystallization of truth is the performance of righteous deeds.
Politics is a conduit like a pipe. It may carry clean water or human waste. Untreated human waste is stinky and hazardous to life. Politicians that use the pipe to carry clean water or treated human waste are Raperas too. Politicians who use the pipe to carry untreated human waste or dirty water (like what is occurring today) have become part of the human waste. Hence we hear people say that politics is dirty. What is dirty needs to be treated and cleaned. The truth is that simple.
The question is: who will do the job? You or are you waiting for “them”? If you wait, then you are a common Rakyat. If you do what you can to start the cleaning process, then you are a Rapera.
Sure, power can be intimidating to some of the people, especially if power is in the hands of evil or those prone to evil. But look at the truth of power again. Briefly, it is temporary and self destructive in the hands of evil. If you have mixed with “powerful” people, you will realize that many of them are actually extremely lonely narcissists. They all know deep within that one day the curtain will fall and the audience will simply move to another show. That is why the corrupt ones are self deluded in amassing wealth with the false notion that at least I will be okey when I retire”. How much wealth will ease the loss of youth, agility and the audience? Please talk to ex-politicians, ex-high ranking civil servants, ex-judges, all the ex-ses. You can see that some have retired gracefully and some retired compellingly and unhappily.
Power is a subject onto itself that need to be understood carefully by the Rapera. Maybe I can take it up in another article. For the purposes of this article, let me add one more point – even the most “powerful” is not really powerful when you think about it. In the Quran you have the example of the Pharoah who finally died by drowning in his chase after Moses. In modern times, you have the examples of Indra Ghandi, Ferdinand Marcos, Joseph Estrada, Thaksin, Suharto, etc. In this context, Dr Mahathir was wise in voluntarily relinquishing power while he was at his peak. In other cases, you have leaders whose tenure in power have been cut short by events.
“Say: "O God! Lord of Power (And Rule), You give power to whom You please, and You strip off power from whom You please: You endow with honour whom You please, and You bring low whom You please: In Your hand is all good. Verily, over all things You have power”. (Quran 3:26)
A common Rakyat is submissive, and fearful of the powerful evil. Hence he has an excuse not to do the right thing. Hence, he may corroborate either consciously or unconsciously with the evil leader/person. On the other hand, while a Rapera may also be fearful, he is ever conscious that the presence of the evil leader/person is a test to him. The fear of failing the test overwhelms the fear of the “power” of the evil leader. Before God, there can be no excuses, maybe reasons AND there is a big difference between the two. You and I know it – deep inside.
A Rapera must forever hold on to the truth. Raperas need to remind each other of this.
NEXT: REGAIN YOUR DIGNITY AS A RAKYAT – BE A RAPERA. [PART 5]