not just waiting

now we see everything that’s going wrong
with the world and those who lead it
we just feel like we don’t have the means
to rise above and beat it.
it’s hard to beat the system
when we’re standing at a distance
so we keep on waiting on the world to change.

when you trust your television
what you get is what you got
but when they own the information
they can bend it all they want.
it’s not that we don’t care
we just know that the fight ain’t fair
that’s why we keep on waiting on the world to change.

one day our generation is going to rule the population
and we’re still waiting on the world to change.
– from “waiting on the world to change” by john mayer

i will be voting for the first time during these general elections. to say i am excited would be a gross understatement. i have been waiting to vote for a really long time.

it’s not so much the desire to make a change that is the driving factor behind this enthusiasm about voting. to be honest, the status quo is a whole lot more appealing than a potential repeat of the events of ’69. i’m going to be in this country for quite awhile and i’d like some peace and quiet, thanks. besides, i am but one in 24 million malaysians – what on earth can my vote do?

of course, it is precisely that kind of mentality that causes most eligible voters to not exercise their right to decide who takes care of them. it is that fear of instability that causes people to stay close to the familiar instead of doing a little more research in order to choose the right person to stick up for them.

but as i was saying, it is not the belief that i can change my country if i show up and drop my ballot (marked with indelible ink) into transparent ballot boxes that makes me want to vote. it is the fact that people have died in the process of ensuring i get to do it in the very first place. this privilege we have, when we turn 21 and register as a voter at the friendly neighbourhood post office, was fought for. go read about the suffragettes, go find out how far we’ve come from the times when only noblemen could decide who gets to make the big decisions, then tell me that there’s no point in making an effort to cast your vote.

who knows? in the process, you may even start to pay attention to the newspapers (there’s more than one out there, y’know?) and become interested in knowing who the people who determine how well you live are…like i, the apathetic woman i am, surprisingly have.

my friend justin has, for some time now, put the following as his msn nickname – “better to light a candle than curse the darkness“. better to use your privilege as a voter than wait for the world to change. the fight isn’t fair – politics never is – but a fight is better than none at all.

if you’re a registered voter, get out there on the 8th of march and cast your vote. you have 3 weeks to keep up with the papers, talk about it over teh tarik with your friends/relatives or blog about it and fish for comments. but whatever you do, whatever you believe the outcome of the elections will be, don’t pass up this opportunity to have your say.

i’m not content with just waiting. i hope you aren’t either.

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