Symbiotic Relationships

I recently asked a new acquaintance if she considers every relationship in life genuine or symbiotic in nature. Her reply was quite interesting because she categorized her relationships based on timeline and phases. According to her, she considers her friends from a specific phase of her life as genuine and every relationship thereafter as symbiotic.

For one who dislikes short-term relationships and have issues with separation, it got me thinking if the economic model based on supply and demand has actually seep into our lives. It seemed to have influenced the way we interact with each other. I wonder if our relationships can go beyond mutual benefits and what will it take to have a sustainable long-term relationship.

Can I safely say that a young man only have one intention when he starts a conversation with a young lady – which is to show interest that eventually leads to marriage?

And if the eventuality actually happens, there will not be any reason for them to have friends from the opposite gender in fear of causing misunderstandings between their spouse?

In that sense, it can be quite a lonely world don’t you think?

Is long lasting genuine friendships/relationships a myth or something that is still relevant in this time and age?

Can we really have a relationship that is totally free from an exchange of needs and expectations?

I guess that is the reason why we are all getting lonelier as we advance through life. We tend to seek out people of the same interests and that in itself can be seen as satisfying one’s need to belong.

Ideally, I wish that we should not need to ask ourselves “what’s in it for me?” in all that we do and live life without expectations from others. Perhaps then, we can have a genuine relationship with each other regardless of gender, race, and creed.

By reflecting on this scenario, I come to a realization and recalled that very day I asked my wife to be my girlfriend and subsequently my wife nine years later. In order to achieve a long lasting relationship, we need one that endures through the ups and downs. We need someone who we can trust our lives with. When it comes to friendships and relationships, quality is always better than quantity.

When we find it, we often call it unconditional love.

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Victory At Last

All I can say is that on 9th May 2018, good men did something and reigned victorious against evil.

The sheer joy could hardly be contained and most of us burst out in tears.

It was a very good day.

It was as though a great burden has been lifted from all of us. The dark cloud that was hovering over us for the longest time has been blown away.

The best part was, we all did it together. We were united. Our thoughts aligned and we turned our intention into action.

We came together when it mattered most.

And we WON…

Space & Time

While having breakfast this morning, I cannot help but to notice a young family of four that reminded of my own not too long ago.

Oh, the many struggles we went through. Though the struggle is far from over in terms of the future of my children, the scene gave me clarity and a realization that there is always a time and season for everything in life. There is always that silver lining.

I can only wish that the burden can be lighten for all humanity as we all strive to survive.

As we write the story of our lives, I hope it is one of interesting achievements as well as misadventures.

May our run in this race of life be as fulfilling and fruitful. One that as when the finish line greets us, we will be at ease knowing that it was a great run. Not perfect but great.

I know for certain that every one of us have a place and purpose. We are right here where we are for a reason. We all have a role to play. The world has a place for each of us and time determines where we will be.

Time allows us to improve ourselves and gives us the opportunity to change for the better every second of the way.

But we need to claim the time and space when the opportunity arises.

Change starts today! Change starts now!

Good Friday

The Minimalist’s Christ v2.0

Somehow I am always intrigued by the crucifix and I have done quite a few artwork around it.

With Good Friday here and Easter fast approaching, I thought about how I would like a custom made crucifix.

I can understand not everyone appreciate the type of art I am drawn to but I thought about a crucifix that showcases the significant parts – the crown of thorns, the nails in His palms and feet, as well as the hole on His side.

I wanted one that is in between symbolic and contemporary.

So I started with a sketch and I sculpted using clay. With some simple woodwork, it was done.

I have deliberately made it so that it is not His entire body. Somehow I kept it this way because there should be something left for imagination and interpretation.

Like any faith that one professes, very often it is about how values are instilled and lived through life. Christianity to me should be lived and not be a rigid set of rules and practices. It is a religion of the living God.

In essence, the visible parts showcased in this artwork to me are the groundwork, foundation, and seed of faith that has been sowed. The rest of it (the missing parts of His body) to me represents how we live our lives and how we carve the path of righteousness. These are the parts and spaces we need to discover and fill. Good or bad, it is no concern of anyone except ourselves as we are responsible for our own destiny.

Have a good and blessed Triduum and Easter to all observing and celebrating.

Conceptual Sketch

Disruptions

“It’s funny when you’re dead how people start listenin'”

That is how the song “If I die young” by The Band Perry ended.

Have you ever realize that certain incidents and problems in your life keeps repeating until you have addressed them head on?

Once addressed, we found that these issues are opportunities for us to learn something new. We become stronger and have new abilities to move forward to solve problems of greater difficulties.

Like a computer subroutine used to repeat processes, we insert break points for any anomalies that may arise between and during its execution.

The word “disruption” seemed to be the latest buzz word. I guess disruption can be defined as how a significant event is able to change the course and direction of our lives.

It’s another year and another Palm Sunday. And again, we have the story of the Passion of Christ reiterated. And as we enter holy week, the gruesome, violent, and gorish journey of Jesus heading towards His crucifixion will be on repeat until its finale on Friday.

In the long reading today, the congregation is required to participate and take the role of the manipulated public in Jesus’ time. “Crucify Him” was one of the statements we were required to recite.

I for some reason did not participate in the recital because I live in 2018 and refuse to be part of the mob that killed Jesus.

With the benefit of hindsight, instead of “crucify him”, I want to shout out so badly – “Release Him!” , “Leave Him Alone!”, and probably a little of “Go F*** Yourself!”.

Histories are meant for us to learn from and we are stuck where we are because we have not learned and unable to move forward.

History is what happened today, remembered tomorrow. In other words, today is tomorrow’s history.

There is no story that is a disruption in world history greater than the crucifixion of Christ.

How often do we hear people say “we will make history today”?

If we have made so much histories that mattered through time, we could have written so many modern day bibles. There will probably be a chapter for Steve Jobs, Muhammad Ali, Stephen Hawking, Nelson Mandela, Neil Armstrong, and the list goes on.

But there isn’t a modern day Bible.

We have not learned from this great history with Jesus at the center of its story. We have not learned that we will never ever be able to reproduce the divine however we try to be God.

Today we are still required to recite “crucify Him”.

Not unless we have learned the lesson of extreme and divine altruism of Jesus sacrificing His life for humanity, we will continue being amongst the crowd screaming “Crucify Him”.

We will only cross over to His side when we have learned and have been crucified – surrendering and dying selflessly for others.

Many have done that and most recently those brave souls that stood between the shooter and students in the Florida school shooting incident. That brought about a huge disruption in the community and paved the way for the #NeverAgain movement.

Perhaps this is why I have chosen to BELIEVE so that I can learn, be crucified, and hopefully become a disruption worthy of making history.

Until then, it remains “His story”.

Worth

If I were to tell the world of my ideals, I would first ask the question “What’s our worth today?” and follow that up with “What’s our worth tomorrow?”

We contribute to the world at many levels – as an individual, as a family unit, as part of our community, our nation, and the world at large.

We first invest in ourselves in terms of intellect, knowledge, basic needs, specialized skillsets, virtues, and values that help us grow as a person, an individual.

Next, with all the knowledge and skills we have acquired and equipped ourselves with, we use them to contribute in raising a functional family, bringing value to our communities through our jobs, paying taxes like all law abiding citizens, and hope against all hope that our little contributions will be able to make a difference in our nation.

When there is a breakdown along the way, we ask ourselves what could possibly be the root cause of the problem and we start to trace back to at least examine our lives at the individual level.

For some of us living in democratic countries, the general election could be in the horizon. It is a time of reflection and action to bring about a positive change to the current situation.

What’s our worth today?

In all of our ideals and expectations, we can be unreasonable. We want the world if it is possible. But taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture, we might realize that we really have a lot of work to do moving forward.

Collectively as a nation of talented people, I have reasons to believe that we have the ability to bring the nation forward financially.

Unfortunately, most of us feel that we have been shortchanged because of how regressed we are as a nation.

We should be worth much more than this!

Education being the backbone for a progressive nation to move forward has been stunted in recent years. As law abiding and tax-paying citizen, I personally expect a tangible ROI (Return Of Investment). If it does not directly benefit me, I would at least expect to see future developments that will benefit the next generation.

Not only am I feeling ripped off, I believe my children’s future is very uncertain.

What’s our worth tomorrow?

If we are worth nothing today, can we expect anything less or more for the future?

We can always trace back and the bulk of our stress can be attributed to the fact that we are all doing more as individuals. We no longer place our faith in those beyond us. No point depending on others in making our lives better. We learned to depend on ourselves and ultimately, we become very selfish and self-centered because it’s every man for himself.

It is very similar with the faith we profess and practice. When it no longer works for us, we rather depend on our own strength. We shun away from the community because there is no point in having others when we are able to take care of ourselves.

We emphasize on self worth more than anything else. We no longer care if we are worth anything as a nation. Patriotism no longer exists because there is nothing in the way the nation is administered that will bring about a sense of belonging and worth.

Somehow, that has got to change and every general election is the only chance for us as individuals to come forward and as a collective strength in bringing about this change that we all so yearn to see and experience. At least if it is not for ourselves, it will be for our future generations.

Not voting is NOT an option. We must make our vote count!

We need to reflect on the number of years and the same group of people who have lead us to our worth today – which coincidentally is NOTHING!

We need to vote for those who will make us worth much more tomorrow!

So what’s your worth today and what will your worth be tomorrow?