Real Conversations

How often or when was the last time you actually had a truly “connected” conversation with someone? The type of conversation that gives you a sense of fulfillment the moment it ended? The kind that is filled with values and philosophies of life?

I always enjoy a good and thought provoking conversation that challenges my intellect. The type of conversations that I appreciate most are those that enables me to feel not only the presence of a soul in the person I am talking to but also leaves me feeling truly connected to him or her.

We tend to compartmentalize our lives and we put up a different mask based on the roles we play in our lives. So much so that our pretentious identity takes over and changes the person that we truly are. Very often, we turn to the virtual world as an escape and the true self expresses itself because of all the deprivation caused by the other identities.

We spend most of our time at work and as we play out our roles at the workplace, we tend to have small talks and unfulfilling conversations with our co-workers. To keep a professional front, we almost never open up the personal compartment at work.

Likewise, when we get home, we shut the door of the professional compartment and put on the personal front because very often, our family may not understand our role at work and are not interested in the details of our jobs.

Among the all compartments, I assume that our social media compartment would be the most interesting and complex because in the cyber world and behind the guise of a username, we are able to express our wildest imagination, play out the perfect impression, and allowing ourselves to be soaked in all the affirmations, praises, and perceived “feel good” feelings.

I had a very good conversation with a friend living far away today. The reason why I considered it a good conversation is because it left me feeling very refreshed and fulfilled. It was a two way conversation with contents ranging from the simple updates of our lives since we last chatted to how different countries use tax monies to benefit their people in general. We also seek and exchanged opinions on certain decisions we were mulling over and it was really interesting how I was able to get a new perspective and fresh ideas in those matters discussed.

It was the type of conversation that will never get into the professional or social media compartments and not necessarily the personal compartment either.

I believe at the end of the day, it is very important that you shut all other compartments and give way to that ME compartment because chances are, the ME compartment has been long buried underneath the mountainous pile of compartments we so often spend most our time on. I guess it is very easy to get into such a state when our lives are often habitual.

I hope you will have the time to seek the ME compartment this weekend and ask yourself – “Have I had a Real Conversation lately?”

Go ahead, pick up that phone…

RealConversations

Right-side Up or Wrong-side Down?

UpsideDown

The sole intention for me creating this weblog is to use it as a journal. It is a channel for me express my views as I gain new experiences in life. From time to time, I read through the older entries just to reminisce past experiences as well as gauge where I am in life generally.

As of late, I have been writing a lot about the spirituality of my life and my reflection on how faith plays its role in all the experiences. Some of my blog entries tend to sound a little Atheist-like in my stance with certain cultures and traditions.

It is not that I do not believe in God, it is just that I do not believe in a cruel and punishing God.

If we practice certain religion which is based solely on the interpretation of the scripture, we may get very confused with the many school of thoughts. We may find many contradictory verses in these scriptures making us wonder if we really should take them literally.

And then, there are these expectations which different groups with different school of thoughts tend to imposed on us as we journey through life. To complicate things further, we too have our own individualistic perceptions and perspectives.

So how do we juggle and cope with all these while maintaining our unique identities?

Many would say, to each his own and I concur with that.

We are made to be different and to experience different experiences in life. I reckon that when humans in general become generic, it is a sign that mankind is doomed.

With the dawn of the discoveries of all things quantum, we need to start looking at things quite differently. We usually use “between…and…” as a preposition to define a measure between two things. Perhaps in quantum, it will be a measure of three or more things concurrently.

Thus, between expectations, perspectives, and perceptions are what our individuality are defined…

P/S: Honestly, I had no idea what I was writing about. Just some random way to explain my thoughts about the above photo I took at the park this morning. Just trying to sound like a genius.

Instantly Gratified

It is the Olympic fever throughout the world at the moment and for the last couple of days, my social media feed has been abuzzed with news about the unexpected gold medal winner in the Men’s 100m butterfly swimming event. The gold medal was won by an unassuming Joseph Schooling from a small but very progressive country called Singapore. Since his success, many netizens has condemned certain people trying to claim credit for his win – politicians and the likes. A neighboring country has gone as far as claiming itself as his mother’s home country just to claim that little credit for the existence and emergence of such a fine athlete.

But the truth of the matter is, the win came from the sheer effort of Mr. Schooling himself and no others. The gruesome training and all the hard work was his and his alone to endure. He takes full credit for being in that pool, swimming against the rest of his competitions, and being the first to reach the finish line at that very moment – that split second. Not even a drop of water from that Olympic swimming pool can claim credit for his win. It is just that simple.

It really got me thinking about this phenomenon as to why are we constantly seeking the opportunity to claim credit for someone else’s success.

While I was driving back home today, two sentences came to mind:

“The problem with the instantly gratified world is that, everyone wants the successes but never the effort to attain them.

Everyone wants to be Joseph Schooling but not what made Joseph Schooling….”

I believe we always like to “cut to the chase” especially among the Gen-Y and Millennials.

A conversation I had with my hairdresser the other day regarding the younger generation is quite disturbing. He mentioned that the young ones these days enjoy their Starbucks coffee but not willing to work any harder to earn what pays for their “lavish” lifestyle. They want it easy and fast.

The millennials want to attain their ideals in such a short turnaround time that they have forgotten that the initial investment of time is needed to acquire and harness their skills and improving their crafts. Like a computer game, they want to cut to the chase by using “cheat codes” and “walkthroughs” in life. But life doesn’t work that way or does it?

The point that I am trying to make is that, success does not come knocking at our doors or just fall onto our laps. We need to first invest our time and effort before reaping the fruits of our labor. There are a lot of truths in those “Keep Calm” memes that we so often see on the internet. Sometimes we just need to have a little patience and invest some time to allow ourselves to go through the “grind”. If we survive, we will always come out of it stronger.

Perhaps one day, we will not only witness the successes of others but with a little leap of faith, we shall be celebrating our own successes as well.

sky's the limit

The sciences behind religion

Heaven

Please do not ask me to prove anything scientifically or spiritually because I am writing this piece based totally on the little common sense that is left in this mind, my gut feeling, and my state of mind at this particular point in time.

Wouldn’t it be a double whammy if you tell someone dying of terminal illness the possibility of yet another trial after death in the form of a long and painful soul cleansing place called purgatory?

What hope are we offering to someone who had been suffering throughout the last days of his or her life?

I sometimes wonder if a child who from birth had never been introduced to the idea of purgatory or hell, would he or she end up in a serene and peaceful place after death. I believe she would because it seems to me that heaven, purgatory, and hell are nothing but a state of mind.

Very often, in our manipulative ways, we instill fear in others in order to obtain what we desire for ourselves. We plant the idea of hell in our childrens’ minds in exchange for obedience. We failed to realize that in doing so, we are teaching their minds to spawn a crippling emotion called guilt. How damaging is that? 

Not too long ago, the social media was introduced to a video of the 5 monkeys experiment.

In many countries, religions has been localized and blended into the cultures of these countries. With a localized flavor, it is hoped that more will come to accept and embrance these religions. Now, certain cultures are like the 5 monkeys experiment. We do not know exactly why we do something as required by the culture or in this case religion but we do it anyway because that is just the way it has been practiced.

I am opined that things need to change if they are no longer relevant. Why can’t heaven exist without purgatory or hell?

I was once told that in order to believe in Christ, I need to also believe in hell because without hell, it is hard to accept Jesus’ existence and Him dying for our sins. Well, why can’t we just accept the idea of Jesus dying for our sins so that we can break free of guilt – the same guilt our minds have defined throughout our lives thanks to the idea of hell someone introduced to us not too long ago?

Our sole objective then becomes flooding our minds with serenity and peace the days leading to our death so that we attain that state of mind.

We need to believe God really is loving. And if it is love, why punish and instill fear? Is it not man who seek to be in control?

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” ~ John 14:27
Let’s just leave it at peace…
And peace be with you all…

Daily Encounter With The Divine

God is GOOD.

It does not matter which God you believe in just as long as what you place your faith in brings about good.

I am always in a hurry to go home to my family after every business travel. Today it was no exception. I asked to be placed on an earlier flight and the airline staff at the check in counter politely obliged not knowing the time it would take me to go through the long security and immigration lines.

He gently slide the boarding pass towards me, I looked at the “gate opens” time which states 4.05pm, and realizing that was 5 mins ago, I gave him a puzzled look and he returned with a sinister grin. I have 55 minutes before take off time minus 20 mins when the gate will be closed, that means I have approximately 35 mins to get to the gate which I later realized was at the very end of the airport.

My watch showed 4.30 pm and I had just passed security check. The immigration lines were long and I started going into panic mode. I counted 25 people ahead of me and the average time taken to process each passport was about a minute – another 25 minutes out of the time I have to get to the gate confirms my fear of missing the flight.

IMG-20160803-WA0004

I started praying that another immigration officer would get on duty and open up another queue. A couple of seconds later, I saw this officer preparing his station and he walked out of his station to pick people he wanted to make a new queue. He walked next to me, I tugged at his sleeve, and showed him the time on my boarding pass.

Without saying a word, he held my arm, and gave it a hard tug pulling me into his queue placing me right in front. His firm grip made me felt assured and it was like him saying, “I’ve got you and you will be fine”.

True enough, I was on my way and turned out, my flight was delayed for 20 mins. I made it just in time to see the plane being pulled up to the tarmac.

So if you ask me if I’ve encountered God today? I’ll say YES without a doubt!

Where there is GOOD, there is God…

God is GOOD….