You may ask me what “HUMBUG” is. Well it is a polite word and more “correct” way of saying another word, namely: “Bullshit”. Off late I came across a book about the subject, and it was interesting indeed that someone took the effort to write about it and even provide elaborate philosophical explanations on it. What humbug (as I will use this terms throughout this writing instead of bullshit) is all about lies people tell to achieve whatever objectives that they want. It is something that people do every day and used everywhere by almost everyone. So what can we say and do about it?

First, we have to say that humbug is a culture that is pervasive among human beings. They do it because it is their very own nature or because it is so common that it becomes an acceptable behaviour among the people. Why that is the case? Because it started and promoted by the highest levels of the society, namely the political leaders. They even have no qualms about “humbugging” the people publicly through the mass media; and they are not even ashamed about it. Take for example money politics in UMNO: who in their right mind say that it is not present and endemic. But you see that all leaders of UMNO say publicly that they will not condone such activities, while at the same time they perfectly know well that if no money dished out, their chance of winning diminishes significantly. So what to do? Humbug the public. The public knows that they are humbugging, and they know that the public knows; but that is the way how things should be handled. It teaches the people it is okay to humbug because it is done by these visible leaders, so what’s wrong if I do the same thing!

Second, the western culture (so much of it can be seen from the movies and media) is so rampant with humbug behaviour. As I have witnessed it in the US when I was there for almost 12 years, everyone practiced it every day to each other, and it is commonly condoned and accepted. This culture permeates and day by day becomes acceptable culture to most urban societies of today. Even though this culture was foreign to Asians culture; today it is the norm. As it becomes endemic, the level of trusts and the values of honesty are quickly eroding from our society.

Third, for the businessmen, humbug is a necessity. Why? Because humbug is so pervasive among businessman and you can’t survive without humbug. Humbug becomes the rules rather than exception. After a while it is also becoming an art rather than a skill. Loan application to banks won’t get through if it is not full of humbug; business proposals will not look “viable” if the truth is presented – hence must contain full of humbug to make it look good. You need to humbug to let the other side of the business to have confidence in you and so on.

Fourth, for the common people, humbug is a daily routine. Some people humbug their spouse because of scared to be discovered of the truth. Some humbug their parents for the same reason. While other humbug their friends so that they will be viewed with envy or not being looked down upon. Women are humbugging the people by their makeups and dresses to uncover the ugly part of them. It is human to humbug, and it is also human to be humbugged.

Fifth, there are people who are just pure humbug. Whatever they say and whatever they do, it is full of humbug. In fact they are full of it and the foul smell of their humbug can be smelt even from distance away. These are the people that are sick and suffered from the humbug disease. We should avoid them at any rate.

Humbug, despite being a negative attribute of us is not that harmful, if they are done with no serious intent of harm, injury or deceit. It is only so when does humbug should be prohibited. Otherwise, I am sure that coffee talks among friends will be dull, and many healthy discussions cannot take place without some humbug being presence. Therefore, make sure that you “close” your nose a bit when you are among people as you know that there are some humbugs “stink” to be around. If the humbug is manageable, then it is probably okay. Otherwise, as for me, I will leave the place as soon as possible as I can’t stand the stench.

While we ourselves may indulge in some form of humbug, we have to practice restraint and developed a more honest and sincere attitude. Probably that way, whenever we go to sleep at night, we can have more peace with our own soul. And for that matter, always ask God for His forgiveness for our shortcomings.


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