On the 10th to 17th April 2015, I visited Busan and Jeju Island in Korea. This was my retirement trip with my family. In Malaysia, we see lots of Magpies in urban as well as in the forest. I was surprised to see magpies in Busan as well. They are bigger in size as compared to those in Malaysia. God created them with more fluffy feathers to withstand the cold temperatures there. In Busan, I noticed that the birds are free to fly and move around and not caged as pets.
Recently, I had a new neighbour in my Subang Jaya house. Just next door to us. This family is very fond of Magpies and Murai Batu ( a different specie ). My neighbour extended the back of the house just to accommodate about 60 birds. My morning is now filled with music from the birds in the cages. While my neighbour is keeping all the birds in the house, I also discovered that he sets traps for other magpies along the back lane. So far he has trapped more than five magpies already and were added to the numbers kept daily.
So, why am I writing this story? Is there something that we can learn from this practice? I believe we can learn from the circumstances around us.
The Magpies are very smart bird. They thrive well in urban areas. Even though my neighbour sets trap daily, the success rate is very small as the subsequent birds somehow knew it’s a trap. But, I use “BUT” because there is a flaw in their intelligence. The magpies like to fight when another calls for a fight. My neighbour sets a decoy, another magpie in a separate compartment within the trap. Once they came near and stand on the trap to fight, that’s it. The lever will come down and shuts the bird inside. It’s prison time for the rests of its lifetime except whether it can escape like the GREAT ESCAPE story.
Somehow humans like magpies also like to fight. Throughout history, many wars were fought. Millions of people were killed. Thousands were taken as hostage and suffered terribly in war camps and detentions. There are many reasons for war. It could be for economic, political and religious reasons to go to war. Within families and nations, there are battlefields aplenty. Wars or fights like the magpies are a kind of slavery or bondage like the bird in the cage. When we war against others, we set ourselves for the trap that’s placed there. Unknowingly, we get trapped for the rest of our lifetime. Even our generations to come will continue to live in bondage if there is a war.
So in order to live for freedom, we stay away from war and fights. All human beings are born free. We are born under one sky and one earthly family. Human beings are the highest creation of God, with full thinking and intellectual faculties. The bird cage or bondage is set up by evil human beings, with bad intentions to enslave humanity. They are there to arrange for the fight and get as many preys as possible in the conflict. Thus FREEDOM for all of us is to be that ambassador of peace and love in a depraved and “fight filled” world. Where there is a trap set, we tell others not to go near. There is a better way to solve the conflict. Seek the higher ways of humanity where people everywhere will live in peace and goodwill. Think and talk with a heart of love.
In our human family, conflicts are plenty in our modern world. Divorce rate is highest in human history. Not forgetting all the abuses and pain we inflict on each other daily. The fight is on and eventually we are the losers. We are caged in our own world of selfishness, unforgiveness, revenge, narrow mindedness and so on. The cycle of pain keeps rotating over and over again. Someday, we have to stop it and change the situation around. The way forward is still LOVE. Stay away from fights. We do not owe any man anything except to LOVE one another, more so within our own families. My heart breaks to know that many close friends cannot work out their marriage conflicts and ended in divorce. The only answer is to learn to LOVE and seek reconciliation and forgiveness.
As for our nation, everyday news is about conflicts and the narrow interests of the select few. We fight each other verbally and sometimes physically. Mass media and the Internet news are filled with hatred, divisions, corruption, abuses of power, religious rights and privileges and so on. We use powers to subdue and control populations. Dictators of the past have used the same SOP (Standard Operating Procedures). The governing authority is dead set about having the authority to corrupt, to control and to swindle billions out from our beloved nation under heaven. Again, isn’t it like a magpie fight and the enslavement to follow after it. What’s the trap then? The people will live in fear, in poverty, in hatred and in disillusionment just like the magpie in the cage. The nation divides and disintegrates. We must break free! The people deserve to live a life of freedom and pursue the dreams of God in their lives. And that is to bring about peace, harmony, unity, love, happiness and progress for all. Can we do it in our generation? I believe we can IF we put our hands together to work out a better tomorrow for our children! Love must transcend beyond the self and transmitted into the nations.
Malaysia Yang Indah! (Beautiful Malaysia)
Written by : Chim TS (26.04.2015)