Why can't you just do as you're told?" Haven't we heard that a thousand times? We have heard it at school and at home and we will eventually hear it at work. "Doing as you're told" seems to be a part of life.
The Nazi war criminals cried in defense at the Nuremburg Trials after the Second World War that they were simply following orders. The horrible crimes they committed, they said, were done because they were just doing as they were told. Even in the trial of Saddam Hussein, taking place in Baghdad, part of the defense case for some of those on trial is that they, too, were following orders, doing as they were told. So where do we draw the line? Why should we obey some people and not others? Should we even do as we are told at all?
If a little boy of one year old goes to put his hand in the fire because the flames seem colorful and exciting, no one would dent the parents' right to stop the little boy's hand from getting burned. Say, for example, a little girl of eight is shopping with her mother n the supermarket and her hands stray to the most delightful packet of sweets and puts it in her pocket. Once again, no one would den the mother's right to tell the girl, without explanation, to put the sweets back. A discussion about right and wrong might follow later, but at that time the most important thing is to get the sweets back on the shelf before anyone is accused of stealing.
Both of these examples are simple. Somehow, the older we get, the reasoning gets a little less clear. A fourteen year old wanting a new pair of jeans might just be able to grasp the reason for his father's refusal as the family cannot afford them. It gets a little more difficult when the sixteen year old is told not to hang around with a certain group, or to be back home by a certain time which always seems to be ridiculously early! This is when the arguments begin and, sometimes, the only explanation on offer is "Do as you are told.
The problem with growing up, though, is that we like to rebel just that little bit more. In trying to establish who they are, and in allowing their personalities to develop, young people sometimes reject authority just for the sake of it. Every teacher knows well the boy in his class who will say "no" just to provoke a confrontation, knowing all the other students are looking on. Teenagers and young adults get into so many arguments with parents and elders, partly because it is quite natural for them to do so. University students famously rebel against the system, which five or six years later they will be quite happily be a part of!
There are many examples where the freshness and the ideals of youth confronted the tied, old ideas of an unjust system and brought about great change. The protest by South African schoolchildren in Soweto against being taught in Afrikaans, ultimately led to an end to apartheid, even though 700 youth lives were lost in that protest. The world held its breath too when students in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, China lost their lives protesting against human rights abuses in China. So, yes, there is a time when young people are called upon to say "no" to injustice and to make a difference.
There is also a time, though, when we need to know when it is best to do as we are told. On the whole, parents love their children. They make great sacrifices for them and do everything they can to provide for them. Parents don't want their children to come to any harm. This applies as much to when your son is 2 as to when he is 22. Fathers love their children. "Do as you are told" might be a clumsy way of putting it, but can often be translated as "do this because I love you and I don't want you to get hurt."
There is a very fine line, in the eyes of parents, between being a child and being an adult. Knowing when to let go is one of the most difficult things a father or a mother needs to learn. Recognizing this in one's parents is difficult, too, for a son or a daughter to see.
We have a duty to speak out strongly against injustice and oppression and against anything which opposes our principles. In such cases, doing as you are told is clearly not the right thing to do. However, faced with the experience and the wisdom of old age, or the righteousness which comes from prayer and knowledge or the love which parents have for their children, we are called upon to listen attentively and to act accordingly with love and respect.
In the case of our current ruling Government, we should just do as we are told. We are living in a peacefull environment. Political stability is the primary reason that we have so many Foreign Direct Investment coming into this country. Political stability comes from good governance based on mutual sharing and win-win partnership established by Barisan Nasional coalition since its formation in 1973. Our founding fathers worked very,very hard to build up this country and we inherited this fantastic nation which have provided us with so much good things that we take for granted. At times, we just forget that we are living in complete harmony and blessings. If we dont be gratefull and starts to break our solidarity and unity based on some idelas that are not true, at the end of the of the day our children will inherit a broken country.
In Malaysia, we do as we are told because our current government, has been good to us and we fail to see all the good things we share in this country.
Do this test...Ask any Bangladeshi or Indonesian or Singaporean...between Malaysia and their country, which one they prefer. These foreigners 10 out of 10 without thinking will say, MALAYSIA....Shame on us !