For whoever is not against us is for us

For the longest time, I have been blaming my misfortunes to the fallen angels and I sometimes ask myself why God puts one through his/her predicaments. There are also those who believe that God put us through difficulties as trials to help build our characters.

Now, I beg to differ because to think that anything negative comes from God is very contradicting and unacceptable. Didn’t we sing to the tunes of “God is Good”? If He is the good, why would He want to put us through negativity?

I strongly believe that God gives us the wisdom and intelligence to improve our judgment in all that we do. We are all given the gift of creativity that helps us solve problems that we face in our lives and we need to tap into our own areas of expertise in order to excel in our passion.

“The enemy of my enemy is my friend”

Likewise, if you set your mind and will to tune into the positive, you will make a conscious decision to surround yourself with people and environment that allows only for you to thrive well.

I believe Jesus’ words “For whoever is not against us is for us” have a political undertone. Besides from encouraging his disciples to join forces and work together, I tend to think that He was also telling them to recognize the people and events that they can complement in order to achieve the grander plan.

But often times, the mind is very much influenced by its perception of events and experiences. Past experiences help us make better decision at present and future. It is our experiences that help us differentiate between positive and negative.

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Being First

Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.” ~ Mark 9:35

If you have not already noticed, my thought has been somewhat political lately and of course it is the state of my country that I am thinking about mostly. I love my country enough to want to see it grow and progress. Unfortunately, it has been quite disappointing and frustrating to see how it continues to be crippled by those in power afraid of losing their positions. Positions that allow them to execute their corrupted agendas.

For the past two days, my thoughts were centred around a certain vision and how this vision that was supposed to be achieved in a few more years, will fail to come to fruition.

The vision boasts about how this country will be futuristic. I tend to liken it to Matt Groening’s Futurama where cars fly on air and humans are transported by tubes running through the futuristic city. Unfortunately, the Sadness (Inside Out) in me is optimistic that this will not be achieved.

The reason why I feel that we cannot achieve this targeted vision is because of the partly superstitious mentality of the people. Believe it or not, some people in this country believe in a theory how the prime minister is chosen. The theory suggests that the prime minister is picked based on an abbreviation that is the name of the first prime minister of the country. We are currently at the last letter of the abbreviation and the country is in total mess political and financial wise.

I see the believe in this theory as a symptom to be larger problem because to me, it is an indication how the majority of us are still depending on others to carve our future. We have no control over our own destiny and we allow others to determine the future for us. It is liken to surrendering to blind faith rather than shaping our destiny by investing in some initial ground work. In other words, we seemed to have obediently submit our power to the so called elected leaders and whatever they do unto us, we accept as what is right for us. Thus, we have failed to groom and elect good leaders into office.

After many years of indoctrination, we have not grown a bit intellectually and we have no mental capacity to follow through to see to it that our so called vision will be achieved. What is worse, we have groomed the majority to give up easily their the inability to endure hardship. We have groomed the majority to be entitled and feels that everything is for their taking instead of putting in sheer hard work to achieve and obtain what they desire. We have groomed the mentally weak that when challenged or unable to obtain, resort to brute force when attaining whatever and according to their whims and fancies. We have groomed a majority that feels that it is fine to start something but do not ensure its completion or it coming to fruition.

In other words, we have raised a generation of people that submits to the temptation of instant gratification coupled with a great sense of entitlement – the perfect combination for disaster I must say.

The vision that was conceptualized shall come to pass and we might regress to finding shelter in the caves. That’s if we have not exhausted all the natural resources feeding the greedy appetite of the blatantly ignorant.

The solution is simple.

Having a goal, vision, or objective is good but not enough. We must always be prepared and welcome changes. We must keep on changing by replacing the bad for better. We keep on improving and accept improvements until we achieve our goal, vision, or objective. We then call this a success.

Thomas Edison did not invent the light bulb on his first attempt. It was through constant changes and improvements to his methods that he found success. Mr. Edison definitely did not sit around or wait on others to make the bulb light up. He did not submit to the uncertainty of “come what may” – he simply made it happen.

He did not hire subordinates and drive them like slaves to materialize his inventions. He got his hands dirty, and turn his thoughts into physical working models through real hard work.

Mr. Edison and all the great people in this world was never first to begin with. Some were ridiculed and laughed at while others made very unpopular decisions in life.

They became first by coming in last and servant of all…

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Time and tide wait for no man

The truth of the matter is, there is a disparity. Disparity in many facets and at many levels. The smart is getting smarter while the dumb is getting dumber. The smart learned much self control while the dumber let ego and pride run wild.

On one hand you have entitled ones growing up having it easy while on the other hand, those who work hard not only for themselves but also the entitled. What are the root causes?

I believe 2 things – upbringing and education.

Those entitled teaches their young to be easily contented and if things don’t go their way, it is perfectly fine to use brute force because they are entitled. Since the world is for their taking, education is not priority. Without good education, they choked themselves of many opportunities and naturally, their intellectual growth continues to be stunted. 

While the enlightened are moving forward, the entitled continues to regress and threatens with incidents of the past. The calendar moves forward and not backward so must we forge ahead. Others can choose to fall behind, we need to embrace the world come what may through progress.

What don’t kill you makes you stronger they say. It is a matter of choice if we want to take the less travelled road and grow through all the challenges that it brings.

Part of learning is allowing the mind to explore new possibilities and accepting the fact that in every experience that life brings, there are lessons to be learned.

Constantly Evolving

“Change is the ONLY constant” ~ Heraclitus

I spent half of my weekend reading an autobiography of a young man who is currently seeking political asylum in another country after being persecuted in his own country. It was very provocative and made me think a lot about the situation where I am. Not that what he has written anything new but I took special interest in the way he articulated the issues accurately.

The common types of government often listed are democracy, republic, monarchy, aristocracy, and dictatorship.

While reading the book, I wondered if all these models have failed in our modern and complicated world today. Some of us even claim that we are stuck in the “matrix” where it is very difficult to define our frustration but at the same time, life goes on.

Perhaps, I am even forbidden to question or have such thoughts. Whatever it is, as days go by, the more I feel that all of us in one way or another is bound by a system derived from a model of government. Our minds has been conditioned and it is very difficult to unlearn.

We all know that past experiences shape our minds. Our thought process are further “enhanced” by religion, beliefs, and the many laws governing us.

The more I look at the situations and predicaments that we face in our daily lives, the more I feel that we’re being thrown into a mould. A mould to ensure that we conform and it is, by and large restrictive and rigid.

I sometimes ask myself whether my thoughts are exactly what the government of the day is trying to suppress.

Is this all real or is it make believe?

Are we living a lie?

Are the media painting and saying it as it really is or is trying to indoctrinate us to follow the flow so that only a few will benefit from our obedience?

How can we break away from the mould?

How can we be different in a monotonous life and homogeneous society that has been long taught to live in uniformity?

I reckon that the sociology of the world at large is evolving and soon, there will not be any room left for the rigid system. Democracy will evolve to be a much complex model to cater for the complicated sociological needs of the people.

I believe the enabler of this new model is globalization and how well we are all connected regardless of the geographical distance.

I hope that when that happens, we all trade in one currency. The level of civic-mindedness will be elevated and every one is passionate about the well-being of the people around them. They will have a sense of ownership and responsibility to ensure that their environment will be kept safe and preserved for the rest of mankind.

There will only be one common language – LOVE.

Can we build robots that can exhibit, feels, and express love?
Can we build robots that can exhibit, feel, and express love?

The Culture of Progress

In the not so distant past, my life was nothing but a mundane routine. I felt stuck and needed a breakthrough. I often wondered the hows and the whys am I not getting the sense of achievement that I so yearned for.

On the personal front, reading about goal settings and working towards a purposeful life helps. True breakthrough came for me when I started working with a very experienced manager at work. He kept me engaged and motivated. There are objectives to be met on a daily basis.

Under such circumstances, I come to realization the difference between the western and eastern cultures. Asian cultures tend take and react to failure differently compared to their western counterparts. Westerners learn from failures while Asians tend to wollow in their failures sometimes to a depressing point.

Due to such mental and thought process, it is difficult to think out of the box and that cripples one’s expression of true potential.

A very good example of the contrast can be seen in J.F.K.’s speech regarding the USA’s effort going to the moon and I quote:

“We choose to go to the Moon! …We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win …”

Such inspiring words that does not only apply to individuals but to the community at large as well. Bearing in mind that this speech was made in 1962. For a leader at that time being able to utter such words, how far are we falling behind. It is 2015 and I still have not heard such powerful and inspiring words coming from any leaders of this era. We still cannot get out of that loop of pettiness.

A successful and progressive nation is not one that sweeps issues under the rug. It is one that take the issues head on and find the solutions to move forward. A successful nation is one that can afford to laugh at their own mistakes, acknowledge them, and move forward. Not one that finds excuses and convince oneself with pride by justifying the wrongdoings as deserving, entitlement, and Divinely given.

We need to unlearn and relearn constantly as the world changes. We need to first acknowledge that there are still much to learn in our own lives and every single day poses new opportunities for us to learn something new.

We must first be humble enough to say, “You know what? You are right and let’s work on it….”

The shallow mind will snub at the speech and say, “this is western culture, not ours” failing to see beyond that. We need to be able to look at good examples and emulate them regardless of whatever culture. Nothing wrong in embracing what we perceive as different.

 

Conquering Fear

“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” (James 1:22)

Coincidentally that was the reading for mass last Sunday morning. Leading up to last weekend there has been a lot of fear and anxiety. It was the same like the previous protests. A lot of fear instilling news used to paralyze the people. For me personally, it has been quite a lonely journey. People used to shun from me because I speak of rallies and protests. You see, people feel intimidated with someone they perceived as “different”. I am not different but I learn earlier in life that I have to work for what I want in life. I hate to wait on others to get things done for me because that makes me feel helpless.

“Why inconvenience yourself and be silly? Don’t be the idiot, we must be smart to safeguard our own interests – think about your family, all that you possess, don’t loose them all”.

Will you even have a place to be an idiot or otherwise if you do not safeguard it now?

I guess that is the problem with all of us. We prefer to tread the safe path. Rather him than me.

Then the news came that the churches are opening up their doors for those attending the rally.

A breath of fresh air.

I felt an affirmation that what I have been doing is right all along.

So what is taking you so long?

Let’s see if it is safe on Saturday, perhaps I will go and have fun on Sunday.

That is the most of you. You only want the fun part, who doesn’t?

Let us not just listen and parrot. How will that take away your frustration?

Let’s do….

Because, damn if you do, and damn if you don’t….

I guess we have allowed ourselves to believe that the unjust authorities can do anything to us even though their actions are against the law. That is a very fair concern given that we have witnessed so many cases of people being framed abd persecuted without a fair trial. When a criminal keeps on getting away with the crimes committed, it is only natural that it becomes a justified habit. It will definitely be difficult to break this habit and one will definitely put up a fight to hold on lest be punished by the rule of law.

God is with me, I fear nothing….

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