Friday, June 20, 2008

June/ Chapter 21: Warriors, part 1

Yesterday I was trying to get home after having drinks with friends at exchange square. There were no cabs so I went to the airport express to get a cab, but not down bottom. The fastest way is to get a cab is on the ground level where people are getting off.

It's the quickest because there are no queues. which is why it's also brutal and interesting to observe, you'll see people rushing to and fighting over cabs.

After a while I realised I might as well have turned on the discovery channel and watched Hyenas fight over scraps of meat. It was a big free for all with absolutely no rules at all. Anyone that was polite and didn't rush in front of someone else would not have gotten a cab. I saw men push in front of women, women in front of men, and people shouting insults. The funny thing was everyone was wearing a suit.

Humans are very adaptive creatures and behaviour changes depending on the environment, the culture we live in, and what others are like around us. When I started researching for this blog, I realised a lot of the research and articles that apply to Western society, apply very little or not at all to HK and Asian society. For example, in Western society men value more independence in a woman. In Asia men value more submissive behaviour. The difference is pretty much all down to differences in culture and society.

But are we adaptive or just slaves to our environment?

If we were to judge society in terms of morality on a sliding scale, on the one side you will have virtues (moral excellence), on the other you would have vices. HK is one of those places which has so much sin, even good people will adapt to become more selfish. To illustrate this, let's look at a short list of what virtues and vices are (there are more but not listed):

Fortitude (the moral courage to do the right thing despite opposition or discouragement)
Integrity (basing actions on consistent framework of principles, opposite of hypocrisy)


I highlighted in bold the 3-4 most important points which pretty much leads to the other virtues and vices in the group.

HK and many other large cities in the world would be best described not by virtues but by vices. It gets that way because big cities are about earning money and then indulging in a better lifestyle. But the temptations in a city like HK are so bad that I've seen good men become corrupted, because doing the right thing is seen as silly, naive or boring, whilst doing the wrong thing is celebrated. There is very little morality in HK, and hence why there are so few nice guys, why there are so many players, and why men are cheating.

But women are not much better in this town. Lots of women cheat as well, and women in this town are very materialistic and greedy. A man's wealth and earning power is a lot higher on the selection list of HK women compared to other places. I've been on dates before where at the end of the meal the girl just sits there and doesn't even say thanks because she feels she deserves to get dinner from a guy. I also know for a fact that when a lot of girls go shopping they tell each other to get their boyfriends to pay for things they want.

What are we HK guys? ATM machines?

It's a two way street, and the price for a town with more fun, and more material wealth is that for the most of us personal relationships suffer and we'll be lonely. If there was karma, and punishment for sin, then collectively as a town we reap what we sow. Now I'm not preaching or judging any particular lifestyle, I'm just reporting the truth.

Ok, so now you're wondering what this post had to do with warriors and why did I post up a pic of a GI in Iraq? Let me get to that in part 2.

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