Fuvahmulah people and their obedience to Authority

I’m not bragging when I say that Fuvahmulah people are some of the nicest people in Maldives. If someone travels every island in Maldives and ask which island provided the best hospitality, the answer is always Fuvahmulah. It seems on the day we are born, doctors and midwives installed a program that makes us kind and obedient.

Our kindness is something I’m proud of. It’s one of those rare values I care most. But on the other hand, our obedience is something I’m concerned of. Too much obedience is unhealthy. We are both obedient to authority and the illusions of authority.

The illusion is real until we realize it’s an illusion, I mean it’s real to our mind. This happens because our mind is inside our head and It uses our eyes and ears to find out what is on the outside world. Whatever comes in front of our eyes is transferred to the mind and will be processed. There is no mechanism for separating reality from illusion. Everything is processed in the same way. The only thing one can do is to keep reminding ourselves what is in front of our eyes is not real. This is how we watch scary movies. Everytime the monster appears on the screen we get scared, then quickly we remind ourselves it is just a movie. After that we become calm. We keep on telling us ‘This is not real’ ‘This is not real’ until the end of the movie.

In the real world, it is much harder to identify whether something is real or illusion. A cloud may appear as Queen Elizabeth or a pirate ship. A man who is broke might look like a billionaire. There are techniques we can use to identify false from true. It must be learned so that we will not be fooled by other people and authorities.

We are well aware that the aim of private organization is to maximize profit. These organizations are always in search for new ways and means to maximize profit. When we look into history, we see that organizations have done everything they could, these include exploiting workers, exploiting natural resources, ignoring any kind of harm caused by their actions, harms as large as oil spills causing mass extinctions and so on. There is no doubt that today these organizations are any different from previous ones. They are finding new ways to exploit workers, consumers, and resources. We must be careful so that we will not end up as their victims.

We created governments to sustain our society, maintain roads, protect individuals and defend our country. With this purpose in mind, we handed over powers to the government. Since power corrupts, so does our governments. We cannot trust it. We don’t have to look much further to see cases where governments taking advantage of people. From Nazi Germany to present China, there are numerous examples to take from.

Sometimes our family has authority over us. We trust them wholeheartedly; we wish them well. With all good intentions from them, we have seen families command their children to get married to someone they don’t like or distribute assets unfairly. There are cases of discrimination in larger families. Where some children get less attention than others.

As individuals, we demand very little from society. That is to mind their own business and not to get involved in our own affairs. We want a life that is free to from annoyance. We want to go from home to shop without telling anyone. We want to travel without permission from the government. We don’t want governments to tap our phones and websites we visit. These are all wishes. It remains as wishes. Because there is no way a government would let us do all above. So we might as well learn how to live with it. We can live with it.  At the same time, since we founded these governments and it’s power comes from us, we must keep our eyes on their actions and watch them like a dog.

It is true that above mentioned authorities benefit us in many ways. Also, we should not forget that authorities that have power over us do harm us. Therefore, we should always disobey whenever they make a command which conflict our interests.

These are not typical advice we get from school system or government or private authorities. The main reason is that they want control over us, and if people follow this advice, they would lose it. They want us to be average: work in a 9-5 job, live in a rented one bedroom apartment, married with someone who is unfit for anything, and watch a TV that glorify these things.

It’s time for us to set higher standards on us, demand more from us, challenge not others but ourselves. Challenge us to do what we did yesterday but ten times better. After that demand from authorities. And the last thing, not to blindly follow authorities.

We are raised in such a way that it’s a taboo to question anyone superior to us. Whether it’s government, private company, our parents, doctors, lawyers. We suppose to accept their decision whether we agree or disagree, whether we like or don’t like. This gives them more power over the power they already have. This makes their life too easy and makes them careless with their judgment. As we know, people always choose the easiest path. They will choose easiest path for them, not the for us. So, in the end, we are at loss, not begin fulfilled our needs and wants. Therefore, it is much wise if we are obedient only when it is beneficial for us.