In response to my buddy’s question on the degrading of the culture of caring among Cambodian society, i decided to cook up this very short post.
So to recap, on the 7th of June, 2014, I and my close friends joined with some other awesome people in the event: A Cup of Kindness. Basically, we cooked up some food and distributed it to the homeless throughout Phnom Penh city. We were all enthusiastic, mind you! you don’t know how broken one can feel when confronted with a child no older than 3 years old asking for the drink in your hand because he’s just too hungry.
Anyways, I and my pals went to the riverside since there were many poor kids running around the sacred Preah Ang Dong Ker place. We got them in line and promised to give them food fair and square. Like my what my buddy said in her article, people were annoying. They kept coming for more, some even hid their packages and asked for more. MORE. MORE.
That is ultimately annoying since we had a limited number of food to share around. After annoyance, came anger, then i was left with only curiosity. What had driven them to behave this way? my answer would be selfishness.
I believe selfish people are the ones who think they do not yet have enough. That explains why some rich people are still selfish. They do not yet have enough, that’s why they try to find more. FOR THEMSELVES.
The thing is, if we want to spread the culture of “sharing is caring”, we have to start tackling the idea of not having enough. We have to start tackling the idea of “if i don’t get it now, there won’t be enough for me later”. It’s not easy a task since Cambodia is a country with such poor educational system, and poorer moral standards.
What I suspect is that this is the remnants of war- of years of civil wars and last but not least, a catastrophic genocide at the end. During the Pol Pot regime, people had to live for themselves. Everybody was watching everybody. People were taught to keep their mouths shut, in case they got reported (which meant death).
Everyone was for themselves.
People that survived that bloody regime grew up to the grandparents, parents, aunts, teachers of this young generation. what do you expect them to teach to their grandchild, their children, and their students?
Exactly. I was taught from little that i had to feign for myself; that i had to think only about myself above all if i wanted to survive. I’m sure, to some extent, most youths have received this teaching too, saved for the fortunate few.
But the thing is, we can break out of that. We are no longer in the Pol Pot regime. We are no longer punished for being kind. We are no longer sharing the same piece of cake. We, the middle-classed folks can give plenty and still have enough to survive.
We, yes, i am talking to you, you Brown drinkers, that you can break out of this selfish mold too. Changes have to start from us. Who knows? we might or might not be able to start a new sharing revolution in this burned country full of scorched selfish souls.
Maybe. just maybe. Two or three generations later, Cambodian people would look at the 2010s and dub it as the starting place of the sharing culture which will have been so common in the next fifty years. i do hope so. i sure do hope so.
In the mean time, to those who have been sharing, I have only this for you: thank you and keep on swimming, you little sharing fishies!