Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Have We Lost Our Ability to Walk?

Many people living in city centres in Malaysia have lost their ability to walk. They'd rather double park near their destination and inconvenience other road users than find a parking space further down the road and take a walk.

This is becoming so prevalent that it is almost acceptable to do this and leave your phone number in the car. Some don't even bother to provide their contact info. They'll only come out after the owner of the blocked vehicle honk many times.


The problem can be easily observed immediately after school when parents pick up their children, during Friday prayers, in business centres and apartments around KL, at some institutes of higher learning and occasionally during major events.

Most of the time, parking space is available, sometimes more than enough, just that they are further away. Walking is oh so difficult.

Someone I know, who is not from KL, told a story about how shocked he was when somebody blocked his car at the car park. He thought that this was unacceptable. Welcome to the city Bro. Get used to it.

Too many times I've seen cars parking in a way that block or inconvenience other vehicles during Friday prayers. It's not okay. Don't you think that it will not nullify the reward you get for praying?

Why don't we park further away and walk. After all, there is a hadith of the Prophet Muhammad(SAW) stating that we get a reward for every step we take to the mosque.

What's wrong with walking a bit further? It will burn a few calories. And we wonder why lifestyle diseases are so prevalent nowadays.

What about those who are fit and have expensive gym memberships? What's the point of training so hard if you can't walk a few hundred metres. Maybe you are saving energy for your next workout. It's the sign of the times that people workout purely for fitness, not for any sporting or functional reasons.

I've seen grandfathers, more than 60 years old, park far away, walk to pick up their grandchildren from school, some even carrying the bags for the kids while younger adults just double park nearer to fetch their children. It's all about attitude rather than age.

I believe this trend will get worse. Nothing we can do about it. Some people just don't care and are not bothered. Reminds me of the film Wall-E, where humans live in an automated machine assisted environment providing so much comfort but causing them to lose their ability to walk. 


I just feel that in the long term, these incivilities have an unexpected way of coming back to haunt the individuals who perpetrate them and the society where too many of these individuals exist.

Note:
  1. Of course exercising purely for fitness is perfectly fine. Still it would be better if you could use the muscles for some practical purpose.
  2. The article refers to able-bodied people who refuse to use their ability.
  3. Sometimes there's just not enough space to park in a proper parking spot, for example during Friday prayers. Nevertheless, there is no reason to block other vehicles.
  4. Photo from nst.com.my and from the movie Wall-E.

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