I watched the movie 47 Ronin couple weeks ago. It was quite entertaining movie, I must say. With all the actions and dramas in it, it was quite an amusingly inspiring through the way it paints the marvellous story of the 47 samurai warriors in fulfilling their life in the path of honour.
I called it amusingly inspiring, because it does highlight the particular nuance of humanity most of us known as belief.
Certainly I have no intention to talk about religion here. I would rather propose to see it to larger degree, where belief is about how we see the world. Worldview, that’s perhaps a term I prefer; a term I often use in my post graduate papers.
The worldview, the way we see the world we are living in, in whatever scope we choose to see it; is what we believe our life is. In the case of the samurai warriors, they see their dignity in devoting their life for their master. In the case of a person like Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, the transparency of information in form of disclosing secrecy of institutions is his belief of life. For a merchant in a market in Istanbul could see that taking care his family and ensure their welfare through his business in the market is his task in the world.
Everyone has to have a belief in something. Even if someone believe that he should not believe in anything as life is just a meaningless by essence, that ‘nihilism’ view is a belief in itself.
What I have seen as the importance of belief, actually, is not the belief itself, but its believer. We have recorded many major beliefs through history, from religious beliefs to great economic thoughts such as capitalism and socialism. History present us a range of views, from existentialism to hedonism, or from democracy to anarchy.
They are just ‘stuffs’ you can find the aisle in ‘the supermarket of life’. What makes those stuffs become more than just stuffs is the one who hold it valuable and use it. It is not the belief that makes it essential. It is the people who live their life according that belief that makes the belief powerful. Here goes the popular phrase: The magic is in the believer.
This happens everywhere. In our social life. In our neighbourhood. In the public sphere we see in media. In our workplace. People do things as their belief leads them.
For some people, who are so invested in their belief strongly, the belief can stop the time for them. What I meant here is not really about stopping the time, of course. It is about how these people see their belief as the forever truth. This can be seen in situations where some people are so attached to what they have held as the right thing, and nothing can change that. And when time changes, as it always does, and their old belief seems to have failed, they can’t accept it.
Some of them could have experience this as the world has turned upside down. some of them will learn and adapt, which will probably lead them to a new belief. Some others choose to see that the world has betrayed their belief. For the latter, they see the world should be ‘corrected’ and should go the the right direction guided by their belief.
For these people, they see their belief as their master. They feel that their master was betrayed and therefore, they must avenge, or at least resist the new establishment.
For these people, we like to use many ways to call them: fascist, conservatives, resistant to change, or even terrorist. It really doesn’t matter whether the naming was proper and correct, as long as they are in our opposition.
On their side, they see themselves as warrior without master, who has been betrayed. That’s why, they also see their path as a heroic path. They see themselves as ronin.
And then, we wonder why these people are so in resistance toward the new changes we bring for the good of the world? I say, it should be no wonder.
Because they think they are ronin…