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Why Malaysian drivers drive like assholes?
Why Malaysians are inevitably late for anything and everything?
.................... (fill in your favourite grouses) ......
also applies to why people get married in the first place?

Ever wondered why Malaysian drivers drive like assholes??!! Surely we are not like that in real life, only when we get into a car that we become monsters. When we socialise we are totally different, very few of us actually have chips on our shoulders, get to know us or come to our house and we become the most gracious hosts on earth. If we go back to our small towns and kampungs, we are generally much much nicer. So how did we get to be so un-civic minded in many areas?

We speed up when we see pedestrians trying to cross the road, we speed up when cars want to cut into our lane .... Its not that we are inherently bad, I believe its conditioning. This can be explained with a most remarkable but true experimental project.

A group of researchers put 4 monkeys in a cage with a ladder in the middle with a bunch of bananas at the top of the ladder. Naturally the monkeys will try to climb the ladder, but every time one of the monkeys starts to climb the ladder there will be a couple of zookeepers with big hoses who will spray all 4 monkeys until the monkey that was doing the climbing stops climbing to come down. After a few minutes another brave monkey will try to climb the ladder again, and all of them get sprayed again.

Now this happened over and over again, and following the umpteenth time, every time a monkey tries to climb the ladder, the other 3 will claw and drag that climbing monkey from the ladder. Till none of the 4 monkeys will dare to climb that ladder.

Then they take one monkey out of the cage and introduce a new monkey. The new monkey will naturally climb up the ladder to try to get at the bananas, and it will be clawed and dragged back down before the hoses start. The more the new monkey tried, the more ferocious and nasty the other 3 will be to whack it down. Till the new monkey dare not climb anymore.

They then take out another of the original monkey and introduce another new one ... the same chain of events occur even though just 2 of the original monkeys know why they did not want to climb the ladder. They keep adding new monkeys and taking out the original ones till all 4 monkeys are new monkeys and yet they would be conditioned not to climb the ladder - but they don't know why really.

That is conditioning, how many things in life that we do are due to conditioning, and we ourselves don't really know the real reasons why we are doing it. In much the same way, plenty of expats after driving for a couple of years in Malaysia will end up driving like a Malaysian.

Civic sense can be ingrained, it can be taught, or we can be conditioned to do things a certain way ... only when we take a step back and reassess the reasons why we shouldn't be doing so, will we be able to rise from the pack.

Inherently most people do not behave badly but due to conditioning. If you lack self-awareness and do less self introspection which leads to more self actualisation ... we will just be among the running pack. It is precisely that that parents behaviour and instruction are so important to our kids.

We end up doing a lot of things because thats the way things were done ... we do not question enough why are doing it, should we continue to do it that way or should we change our attitude because they are inherently flawed.

I absolutely abhor the way some adults treat their maids. Can you imagine what the kids are learning from all that? Hopefully they have the character strength to re-learn only the good stuff and throw away the bad stuff, but that does not happen all the time. 

In the same way that our government instill fear and divide us along religious and racial lines, thats conditioning. To break out of that mould, we have to keep drilling down on proper reasoning and on what is right and wrong. Life is so complicated and a bitch.

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