Saturday, 1 December 2018

“Hans, are we the baddies?”

If there’s one thing that I’ll never regret, is being the quiet kid in class. There’s something funny about being in that position wherever you go. There are perks. Especially in the norms of Asian culture where speech is silver and silence is golden. Somehow people respect you more, seniors are intimidated by you, and most important of all, people think you’re pious. That last part is more of a nuisance if not helpful in anyway. Having done something bad is a lot worse. Much like a junior of mine; sweet, cheerful and quiet boy, brought to the principal’s office for the rude and sexual gestures he made to his female classmate. It was difficult to feel any empathy for the guy. But the wise words of Atticus Finch in the masterpiece To Kill a Mockingbird suggests otherwise;

”You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view- until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”

The Nature of Evil
               Yes it is a bad thing to show inappropriate gestures, and disciplinary measures must be taken, but it is crucial to understand this; he is not a bad apple. He’s not a delinquent. Take this on a bigger scope, and it’s the case with Edi Rejang and the liquor store. Although the actual video was full of racist remarks and inappropriate slurs, it’s the same thing. He received his ample punishment, and also the rage of the netizens. But most of all, he is not an evil man. Take this on a bigger scope and you’ll get the Abu Ghraib incident back in 2003. Eleven soldiers of The United States Army abuse, rape, torture, sodomy and even murder the prisoners of the Abu Ghraib Prison in Iraq. But they weren’t rebels nor excommunicated soldiers. They are like any other normal soldiers. The Rwanda genocide back in 1994 was seen as the most massive genocide incident causing an estimated of a million deaths in only a hundred days. The Tutsi were slaughtered not by soldiers, but by their own neighbours and friends. Good people who share their food and play with their kids. Good people whom the Tutsi trust.
These people are not inherently evil. These are good people.  Good people in situations that requires them a change of moral due to the conflict of individual’s disposition, situation and the systems of power. 
The Lucifer Effect 
               Numerous psychologists, thinkers, philosophers have debated over the internal and external factors in the behaviour of a person. But never took the system as the factor. There’s the apple, the barrel, and the barrel maker. Usually when someone did something bad, it’s a question “who”? Who did it, and who’s responsible. And never took the barrel or more precisely who made the barrel into considerations. Dr Philip Zimbardo suggests that when the system shapes the surrounding, the surrounding may have an influence on the individuals. It is the power that is given to these individuals that started the evil deeds. Power as in having the ability to influence others. And as it is, when one dehumanize others with that power, that’s when good people are capable of bad things. 
Take the kid right at the start. The masculinity and safe haven of being in the majority group of the class triggered into dehumanizing his classmates, and to exert power. The infamous racist at the liquor store presume the power of the indigenous group of the country. The Abu Ghraib soldiers held the authority for the prisoners. The Hutu assume superiority over the Tutsi.

The Banality of Heroism

Joe Darby was one of the soldiers in the Abu Ghraib prison. And he was the one that reported the incident to the higher ups. He risked his life in the act. However, despite the heroic act, he deemed it an ordinary thing to do. It’s weird how we perceive heroism. The greatest deed must be done by the greatest of us. Joe Darby wasn’t someone of a higher ranking. Heroism isn’t based on the personality of a great or powerful person. It is in the situation. Much alike to the great crimes stated before. Circumstances that urge us to do good instead of being the bystander. This is the banality of heroism. Having heroism as the norm of our society. Doing good deed as it is nothing. Strive to be the Spiderman of your neighbourhood. We are no more demons than we are angels.  


Friday, 28 September 2018

1 Year Anniversary

It’s not precisely 1 year. But I did start in this same month, just over a year ago. I have no stories nor any discussion to share, just some rambling over what happened for the past year. Or perhaps there’s nothing to talk about. I’ve always start one of this stupid writing with this in mind: “Don’t do Art for Art’s sake”. There are of course, at times where I feel obliged to write. For writing’s sake. Though the name of this blog speaks in volume. It’s a mind palace. So whatever useless random thoughts came to mind, I would defecate it here. It’s fun. But for how long? Perhaps this is what I would like to touch upon- “What next?”

               Gautama Buddha once said, “Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment”. This phrase came to me as I was walking home from a morning jog. Well, not the exact words, but probably the same meaning as I haven’t come across that quote yet. But the feeling was there. I was thinking of doing all the things I planned for the day. Showering, making breakfast, and going to work and so on. Living for the day and only for that day. For one thing, it cured my habit of procrastination. Everything had to be done in that single day. But most importantly, it subverts all of my anxiety for the uncertainty of the future and the regrets of my past.

               Hold on, I know it may not seem practical to neglect everything about the future. As the philosophy of Eternalism suggests, as time passes, the moment that was the present become part of the past; and part of the future, in turn, becomes the new present. When talking about the future, there are 2 related feelings that would usually rise. The first is, as I have stated before; anxiety. There’s a lovely quote from my favourite anime of all time. One Punch Man.

“I’ll leave tomorrow’s problem to tomorrow’s me”

Albeit it the protagonist, Saitama is a person who is devoid of any motivation for anything, at least he understands that thinking about the future problem won’t bring any results. There’s no practicality in it. Most of us are afraid of the uncertainty of the future. What if I don’t get a job? What if she met someone else? What if everyone laugh at me? All this is anxiety. Instead, what you should be worrying about is your bedtime, your assignment, tidying up your room, how much squats should I do, and what to cook for dinner. The small things that currently require your attention. Just as Dr Jordan Peterson said, “If you can’t even clean up your room, who the hell are you to give advice to the world?”

               The second part of the feelings is; the dream. There’s this one scene from Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone, where Harry found the Mirror of Erised. Upon looking at the mirror he saw his parents with him in the mirror. Professor Dumbledore soon explain that the mirror shows people what they most desire, hence the word Erised, which is a reverse of desire. He goes on and say that it’s dangerous and people have starved to death sitting in front of it. This is a lovely metaphor in which we all live in. We love to fantasize our dream house, dream job, the perfect spouse, and all the things we so much desire. So much so, perhaps we are similar to the man Professor Dumbledore mentioned.

               Going back to my previous remark, “What next?” well honestly, I don’t really care. I’ll still post monthly whenever I can. But expanding my skill and learning is my priory concern right now. And that is what I’ll be doing. Hopefully I’ll be doing more of these anniversary piece.

Friday, 31 August 2018

Death, Sex, and Country

Having watched The Incredibles for the hundredth times with my 4 year old nephew, I’ve decided my favourite scene in all cinematic history. It was the opening scene. Right after when Mr. Incredible saves the man from an attempted suicide and got sued for it. Although the remarkable scene was to show the downfall of the superhero trend (they pull it off better than BvS), I was more intrigued by the suicidal man. It hadn’t occur to me that some suicidal people didn’t want to be saved. See it this way, there are hundreds of organizations that offer suicidal prevention hotlines, suicidal prevention training for first line responders like police officers, firefighters and such. But what if they protest against this. Forming a club of suicidal fighting the government over their rights to choose what’s right for them. Of course, it is very odd. But that’s it. Why do YOU decide what’s right for them? What do YOU know better?

            Today is the independence of my country. Over 61 years we build this country from the clutches of foreign rule. The unity of our people is the inspiration that drives us towards a better nation. Racial discrimination doesn’t pose as a major hurdle anymore. Instead, it is a matter of genders and sexual orientations that boiling our day to day conversations. Add this with the recent government’s intervention stating that it’s their rights, and not to receive any oppression or discrimination. It’s startling how there isn’t any huge protest happening in the streets yet. Both from the conservative side and also the liberals.

            The famous philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche said in this book, “Beyond Good and Evil”, nothing is true everything is permitted. Truth is just a matter of perspectives. Leaving behind the traditional morality and other dogmatism. In this case, we might say that there is nothing wrong with having different sexual orientations and such. However, I want to point out the fundamental question of what is considered as right and wrong. It conforms to function.

            Say for example, I take a screwdriver and start hammering it to the TV set. Well, that is wrong. The function of that screwdriver is to take out the screw, and a hammer is to hammer things.

            The fundamental function of a reproductive organ is to- well, reproduce. The epic struggle of the species is to inherit their genes to the next generation. I want to propose that there IS something wrong with these people. And instead of oppressing and discriminating, help them. Just as those suicidal victims wanting to die. Why do YOU decide what’s right for them? What do YOU know better?

Saturday, 14 July 2018

This is obvious. But let's talk about it

Hands on the steering wheel. 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock. Firm grips. Eyes kept on glancing back and forth between the side mirror and the back of a wide 18 wheeled truck. Sweat rolling over my neck as I wait for the opportune moment. The 18 wheeler in front doesn’t seemed to be as fast. I move to its side. The road suddenly felt a lot more cramped. The divider on the other side seemed to be coming closer and closer. Anxiety grew within me. I needed to go faster. I floored it. The seemingly endless narrow road was beginning to slip away. Finally out of the crevice of potential death.

That was my first experience of overtaking in a highway. Sure does mean a lot to me.  However, in all that adrenaline stepping on the gas, I wondered if I didn’t go to such extreme in increasing the acceleration. Of course, that is a typical question you get from a physics quiz. A question of time, distance and speed.

         What speed really is just the difference of distance over a period of time. The variables will have an effect on one another. More speed, less time. You don’t need to be a theoretical physicist to get that. But in all fairness, the question that probed my mind was that I didn’t need constant acceleration. Just as long as my speed is higher than the truck.

With all this, it comes down to only one crucial thing. One thing that determines the importance of any action; time.

         We are, figuratively like cars. Moving at its own speed. Overtaking each other. Some obeying the road laws, while some don’t. The only variable that keeps everything in relevance is time. Some, achieve success even before they reach 30. Achieving all their dreams at such an early age. Of course, it’s proportional to their effort. While some, only get to reach their dreams well over retirement age. It is just a matter time. The distance. The speed. Those don’t matter. Time is the ultimate measurement. What people make a fuss about though is about how they want their riches and wealth to come in an instant. As quickly as possible. The underlying problem of this is that we do not realise our own speed. Our own effort on making it a reality.

         A higher speed, but a constant one was all it took to overtake that truck. 

Monday, 30 April 2018

Mance, Geralt and The Prime Minister

Just recently I’ve finished binge watching The Game of Thrones series. Admittedly, I was late to the party. Everyone’s done discussing about it and only now I’ve been looking for spoiler discussion about the controversies of the general plot twist. Albeit it that the focus for people are the main protagonist, the vile schemes of the other family banner, or just the story arc of a girl that has nothing to do with the actual plot of the saga; my mind kept on a line from one of the characters:  

            “The freedom to make my own mistakes is all I ever wanted”.

It struck me hard. Although you have to understand the context of this line. It was spoken by Mance Rayder, a proclaimed king beyond the Wall, defeated by king Stannis and was told to kneel. Of course, he didn’t. Which is a mistake obviously; got burned alive- well partially, until Jon Snow fire a bolt into his heart. But what really got to me was that he realises that it’s a mistake, but would gladly go with it. He accepts it.

            That’s really what I want to talk about. To shed some light though, I need to emphasize on the importance of choices and the consequences of it.

            The best medium to emulate this of course is in the works of CD Projekt Red’s The Witcher 3; and yes it’s a videogame. Unlike any other medium, this can actually offer a choice, even though it can never replicate the true feeling of a real decision making moments in our day to day lives, at least we can have the illusion of it. This game, is first and foremost is a story driven role playing game. There are other more complex games that involves only in the mechanics of making decisions like the Telltale games. However we are made to expect the outcomes and the consequences of our actions the minute we made it. We realise how important this particular choice will be. Because we are told to do so. We never knew whether what we did is the right or the wrong in the Witcher. Sometimes the implication of our action comes 40 hours later, or just doesn’t come at all. We never knew how important the next decision will be. As a result, we play according to our feelings and go with what we thought was best. I got the worst possible ending though.

            And that’s just how life works doesn’t it. We never really expect an immediate impact on what we do. Just go with what we think is best right? What comes after is something that we can never have control of. Just focus on the small things first. Do you realise how many decisions you have to make from the moment you wake up from bed. Of course, making a simple mistake as sleeping in for 5 more minutes isn’t really what we can call a life changing moment. Take a step back. Look at how you reached a fork in the road in life. What would be different. Choosing a different school. Admitting in a different university. Falling in love with a different person (don’t start a debate on how we can’t choose whom to love). In everything we do, there will always be regret. Regret in choosing a different path in life. People make mistakes. Big ones. Like it’s the end of the world for you. If only you could reload a previous savegame file. But we can’t. We have to live it.

So, I can safely say that what makes us made a decision, is because of regret. We will choose the path of the lesser regret. And this is ultimately what Terry Connoly and Marcel Zeelenberg (2002) proved.

Hence, The Decision Justification Theory was proposed. Mainly, two components of regrets in decisions are comparative evaluation (regret over not choosing the other option), and self-blame (regret for having made a poor decision). Although the focus on what I’m trying to point out is in one of their reviews: “People experience more regret over paths not taken…. That people may regret inactions more than actions…” An example of this involves an experiment with a football coach making an action or inaction based on the prior conditions of winnings or losings. Of course, as expected, the prior winning coach would feel regret if he change the team but still loss. But the prior losing team would feel even more regret if were inactive. Why though? Because of how the winning coach was unjustified by the changes that he made while the losing coach would be justified if done something active. Thus feeling less regret and remorse.

It’s a bit confusing. But plainly, it means that the regret is based on whether or not we can make a justification on the decisions we make. Imagine that you’re on a winning streak. And maybe you’ll want to shake things up a bit. But in doing so, made you lose the game. Compare this with the situation that you’re on a losing streak and you made some changes and still loss. The bigger regret would be the former situation. Because you have a justification. You actually tried to make a difference but it didn’t worked. I never really realised this before. Of course you would still feel regret, but it’s lessened.

To put this into practical circumstances, I think it’s suitable to bring in the issue of politics. HAH! If you’ve managed to read this far, you’ve fallen into my political propaganda influencing to defect to the other party. No. But really, I was intrigued by the so called “decisions in choosing for this upcoming general election”. We are mostly afraid that we would regret choosing the wrong leader. But remember what I said about the coach experiment. We are technically losing. I mean, our country isn't really the best country in the world. And I don’t know much about economics, but it seems like we’re going down in that department as well. The best thing to do now is actually to have action instead of inaction. Change something. Even if we still fail, we have at least some justification on hand. Try a different approach. Choose a different leader. I’m not talking purely based on political beliefs. This is strictly logic and science. Wow, this really is a political propaganda. 

Friday, 23 March 2018

It's All in The Mind

Back in 1999, it was an amazing year for the gaming industry. We got to see System Shock 2, which at that time was a revolutionary for storytelling in a first person shooter, and also inspired games like Bioshock and even have its influences in games nowadays like the 2017’s Prey. Super Smash Bros made its debut in the January of the year on the Nintendo 64 while Final Fantasy VIII released on the Playstation. Even for the PC “Masterrace”, they got their perfected Quake III Arena which then was famous for its CPMA mod which bloomed the competitive first person shooter tournaments. Nonetheless, there’s one that flesh out from the rest; Planescape: Torment. A game that didn’t made a lot profit at the time. Won shit tons of awards. Even regarded as the best role-playing game of all time. Best known for its storytelling and world building than its gameplay mechanics which it borrows of from the second edition of Dungeons & Dragons games like The Baldur’s Gate and Icewind Dale which also uses the infinity engine and still marvellous games till this day. The thing is about Planescape though, it is in some ways, changed how a narrative in a videogame were made even decades later. It can’t be replicated into a movie adaptation, or a novel. It only works as a game. I know what you’re thinking, what the hell am I blabbering about on an 19 year old videogame. I’m getting to that part in just a minute. Before anything else, you’ll have to understand the context of what I’m trying to explain. There’s weight into this. It wouldn’t do any justice to this game or for the sake of this essay if I fail to lay out the context beforehand.

The protagonist, unlike your typical prophetical dragonborn, a farm boy or just the mere fact that the protagonist is a perfectly human character, our protagonist here is actually already dead. Well, not really dead. He’s immortal. The first act of the story started waking up at the mortuary slab. Waking up not knowing anything and having amnesia. The premise, the setting and everything here wants to change that typical fantasy genre trope. There aren’t any humans, dwarves, elves and orcs. The world itself, The Planes as they called it, a multidimensional place where you go to when you die. And even then, there’re societies and cults that believed that the world that there’s still another life beyond this and called it the true deaths. The whole town of Sigil, is full of demons and succubus, and the whole plane is condemned into the blood war, where different race of demons rage war on each other. And after all this, in all that chaos, the protagonist, your character, his sole motivation and goal is; to find out who he is. That’s all there is to it. He isn’t supposed to save the world. He don’t even know his own name. His mortality was taken because of his own wish. Every time he died, he is awaken again without any memory of the life before this. The only guidance is from the tattoo he made in his every incarnation. And in his travels, he finally meets with the witch hag, Ravel, which she reveals that she was the one that ripped your mortality. She was imprisoned by The Lady Pain (don’t worry, she’s not relevant to this story), and was task to answer a riddle. A riddle in which will have a significance meaning until and even perhaps after you finish the whole game. “What can change the nature of a man”. Now, you have to understand the salience of the question, mechanically and in terms of narrative. When you first met her in the maze, the possible answers that you can answer are 16. 15 truths and a lie. This comes down to, love, regret, a woman, hatred, betrayal, power, death, success, age, greed, and finally a lie, which just to seduce and compliment Ravel. Every answer is actually correct. She will grants the exit to the maze afterword. It doesn’t really matter which answer you choose.
However, at the very end of the game, this happens.

Nameless One: What can change the nature of a man? 
The Transcendent OneI have seen you live a countless lives, Broken One, I have lived your endless quests that accomplish nothing except spread your torment though the multiverse. Then, this is my answer and you are my proof: Nothing can change the nature of a man.
Nameless One: You are wrong. If there is anything I have learned in my travels across the Planes, it is that many things may change the nature of a man. Whether regret, or love, or revenge or fear - whatever you believe can change the nature of a man, can.  
The Transcendent OneThen you learned a false lesson, Broken One.
Nameless One: Have I? I've seen belief move cities, make men stave off death, and turn an evil hag's heart half-circle. This entire Fortress has been constructed from belief. Belief damned a woman, whose heart clung to the hope that another loved her when he did not. Once, it made a man seek immortality and achieve it. And it has made a posturing spirit think it is something more than a part of me.

“Whatever you believe can change the nature of a man”. This is what I said about how the choices given to you at the beginning. It is such a powerful gesture in a videogame. Whatever you believe can change the nature of a man, can. The real answer is belief. Whether it is love, power, or whatever that we, the player feels or thinks is the answer. Because we believe in that. The whole story revolves around this concept. Everyone we met in our travels did this whether we noticed it or not. This is mind-blowingly good. Oh and by the way, “The Transcendent One” is actually his mortality. The antagonist. Spoiler huh. In a lot of ways, this game feels a lot more real than anything that I learned growing up. It may doesn’t seem like it, but our world do have some reflections on the worldbuilding of the Planes. What we think will find itself to be manifested into this physical reality. The ending takes place in The Fortress of Regrets. A physical manifestation of what the first incarnation of The Nameless One. Something that exist just because of a thought. An emotion of a being.   

All this talk about belief and how it can make a real difference actually has a term for itself. It’s called the law of attraction. The new thought. In which likes attracts likes, positive attracts positives, and good thoughts attract good things. Tony Robbins, a well-known philanthropist and motivational speaker put it so perfectly on describing the law of attraction and the magic of visualisation. We all know how people become successful, it’s because of their mind-set, but how does that really built. The first thing on top of everything else, is of course the potential. It what determines how far you know you can go. Robert Bannister, the first guy to make a 4 minute mile run made that potential that we can do those things. He broke the records. In 2 years’ time, 37 other people made the run. It’s because they know it’s not impossible. The potential for every single person is remarkable. Whether or not they tapping on the potential depends on the actions that they make. From the actions that they make, will produce the results. For some people, what made them realise their true potential comes down to beliefs. Beliefs that they can do all those things. Ironically, the results that they produce, will reinforce the belief and it’ll affect the potential again and so on. So let’s say, that a person have an unlimited potential (like anybody else does) make such little actions and of course will make very little result. It’s because he doesn’t believe in his potential in the first place. Add up with the poor results that he gets, it’ll definitely have an effect on his belief on his potential. This will keep on spinning and spinning to no end. If you believe in the first place that you can do all those things, then of course you will tap your potential by doing more actions and results in a good way and that will reaffirm your believe again. Lots of other great figures have done this before. If you want to drive that Lamborghini, then truly believe that you will drive it one day. Truly believe that you will want to achieve that dream. No matter what people tell you it’s futile and a waste of time to think of far-reach goals, keep on believing that you can reach it. Don’t let others’ pessimistic thoughts drag you down from getting what you want. And if you still didn’t get that Lamborghini, don’t let it affect your beliefs. It’s because you still have doubts about yourself.

This is a remarkable lesson I learned from just playing a videogame. The whole reason I want you to read through that story of The Nameless one, is to truly understand how this whole concept is explained through a videogame. An art form of the law of attraction. A fictional representation of its concept. Or perhaps, I just freaking love the game. I was thinking of doing a second playthrough. This time with strategy guide and getting all of the secret overpowered weapons.

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Beholder

I believe we all had that moment. Your heart skipped a beat. Pupils dilated. Knees weak. Hands cold as ice. That moment when your heart got this warm feeling and you took a deep breath only to let it out as huge warm sigh. A sigh to remind yourself to breathe. As you regained the posture of a seemingly cool guy, trying to impress whoever was watching (probably no one), you slightly took another peek. Glancing from one end of the room to the other end. And at the focus of that glance, a girl (boy if you’re a girl, or you’re gay or whatever). A quarter of a second was all it took. To measure every detail of her face. To peer at whatever that she was doing. However of course, you’d overstayed your welcome and she noticed you looking at her. A flood of embarrassment came rushing as you pretended to look at somewhere else or trying to occupy yourself with some boring textbook lying open in front of you.  What I’m describing, was my first ever experience of having a crush. A typical high school crush. Love at first sight. Well, not really. Its reciprocal, but I’ll get into that in a moment.

Not Trump
For the longest time, I've been wondering how, why and what is that sensation. It wasn't long however, for me to actually discover those answers. In the study of interpersonal attraction from social psychology, it encompasses on the idea of what makes people attracted towards each other. This means in terms of relationship and even friendships. For the sake of this essay however, I'll be leaning more towards what it takes to be attracted in a relationship. And this first factor for it, you guessed it; physical attraction. A notorious attribute when one considers in choosing a life partner, but it does. Albeit people are denying it, it still serves as one of the reasons people are attracted. Case in point, the Halo effect. A behaviour of evaluating someone based on things that are totally unrelated. Like how we tend to view handsome and pretty people as more intelligent, kind and other good traits. And all this is subconscious. We're not even doing it on purpose. The epitome of this phenomenon, was none other than the 29th president of the United State of America; Warren Harding. I remembered reading in the book “blink” by Malcom Gladwell in which in one of his chapters, discussed about this topic. A great read. In fact, this is the book that made me jumped into the field psychology. Anyways, unanimously Warren Harding was regarded as the worst president of USA. I won’t be going on his presidency and careers, but it is noteworthy to mention how in the world was he elected to be the president in the first place? Related back to what I mentioned, about how the physical appearance can be a very crucial factor in deciding people’s opinion. A sleek, well groomed, the phrase tall, dark and handsome were the first impression that popped into people’s mind when they saw him. It’s what you would expect to run a country. However it’s all on the surface. It’s hard to ignore that all this talk about physical appearance, we must consider and contemplate about our genetic inheritance.

In nature, at the very basic, the very roots of the species, we fight for survival. The grasshoppers go through evolution of its skin to blend in with the leaves. The ones that didn’t however, are made into prey for the predators. The stronger acquire mates to reproduce. That’s natural selection for you. This, in way is true to an extent. We value those that have that beautiful genetics. Wanting to have our offspring bearing his or her genes. And what’s left are the fat ugly and incompetent to die for nature to make its evolutionary selection. Alas, we’re not really animals are we? It fascinates me to realised, that most unattractive people I’ve met have the most fun personality and character. A way to make up for what’s missing. The balance is there. The ones that are left alone, without a matting partner, deprived of their need for passing down their genes to the next generation, completing the cycle of evolution, are the people that have no effort whatsoever to be competent. Be it to have the physical appearance or the attitudes and personality that can attract people.

Speaking of attitudes and personalities, I should talk about it. It’s inevitable to talk about attraction and not mentioning what seems to be the core pillar of attraction. No- I’m not talking about personality. Rather, even deeper into it; similarity. It’s only logical isn’t it? The personality that we are looking for in a partner should match ours. Not just personality, but cultural backgrounds, and even the physical appearance. However, opposites attract doesn’t it? This is where numerous studies suggest the complementary model. We are attracted to those that complement us. Filling those empty attributes and us, unto them. These two factors does seems a bit contradicting. In this matter however, I believe there’s always a balance between those two opposing forces. It is in some way, a good factor for having similarity in an initial relationships, however most studies suggest that complementary in a relationships is a lot more important as time goes on. Well, primarily because complementary works best in terms of dominance and submissive. Two hotheads would try to win over each other, while the other two mellows are two passive to start any initiative.

The next factor however, got me more than mere interested, as I had realise it even before conducting this read. It’s the propinquity effect and the mere exposure effect. An easy way of demonstrating this, is with a sitcom; The Office (the US version, not the UK). If you haven’t watch it yet, here’s a spoiler; Jim and Pam got married, but still, their whole journey was so realistic. I know, I’m taking an example from a fictional TV-series. A comedy. But it just shows, how  closer you are with that person, the more likely you would be attracted to that person. The story I shared at the beginning of this essay? Yeah, she’s a classmate. The propinquity effect entails that we have better chance to meet with the closer people, much like how people whom live in the same building tend to come together more often, that’s Residential Propinquity. That love interest with Jim and Pam, that’s Occupational Propinquity. And finally, Acquaintance Propinquity. This also ties with mere exposure effect. Meeting that same guy over and over again, for days on ends, will eventually make him more pleasing and more like-able. 

Yep. no words needed here.
           I haven’t finished my story have I? I just said it was reciprocal. Well, the intial feelings I got was because there was this rumour that she liked me. And oh boy how did that made me euphoric, but the simple truth is just that she thought I was a creepy weirdo. Wait, I’m still a creepy weirdo, but I’m proud to be one. On more pressing matters, if you are in the same cultural background as me, I want to pose a question. I just listed above, on what makes people attracted to each other. How relationship that could last a lifetime be made. All of this tools are already inside of you. But how in the world, where we can choose our soulmate based on our own decision, not affected by anyone else, we tend to get divorce? Compared to the early 2000’s where most marriages are arranged. Dr. Sumeet Kaur gave an interview with The Rakyat Post about “Why Malaysian Couples get Divorced”. I quote, “Arranged marriages are done after taking into consideration socio-economic status, religion, culture and compatibility between families. Love marriages focus more on the emotional connection and passion between two individuals and it does require, to a certain extent, cumbersome adjustments after marriage. But in love marriages, couples are used to idea of instant gratification so when they don’t receive the same feel after marriage, things can turn sour”. This idea of “True Love” what kills marriages. Well, I’m not saying that it doesn’t exist, but people tend to believe that “True Love” comes magically without any effort. When sparks fly, and the cosmos lined up for your meeting, things will be happily ever after. It doesn’t work like that. Of course, divorces keep on escalating nowadays, may be because of financial reasons, or even abusive husbands. Nonetheless, the mentality of the people must also take into consideration. I will only leave you with that. But you don’t really have to post an answer down in the comments. It’s just a rhetorical question.   
Dr. Sumeet Kaur