Patterns

Patterns

I am not sure about you but I feel that very often we go through life in repetition of patterns.

In the field of software engineering, a software design pattern is defined as a general and reusable solution to a specific reoccurring problem.

In life, once we get into a particular pattern that we sometimes call the “comfort zone”, our thought process is pretty much set until a disruption breaks the repetition of the pattern.

The buzz word in the business world today is IoT, short for Internet of Things. After a few decades, the internet still remains as the biggest disruption to our lives. At this juncture, we want everything “cloud”.

We need to recognize the fact that people born into every level of society are stuck in a certain pattern. A poor child born in the projects will repeat living in the patterns he or she knows best emulated through growing up in the patterns of his or her parents. The vicious cycle repeats until a disruption takes place.

The one most important disruption anyone should be given is EDUCATION. Education brings about change in people’s lives. That’s because it is one tool that can help equip a person with knowledge that changes the thought process and thus, breaking the repetitions of patterns.

For those of us who are aware of such situations, we must recognize those disruptions. I like calling them the “blips” of life. If we are in positions to action on these blips, we will be able to bring about change for the greater good of humanity.

So what’s your blip today?

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Charity Is Not Free

It used to be when people are genuinely kind and generous. I guess education got in the way. We are the product of the subtle oppressive written laws and practices of the church. What is written and practiced has instilled in us and caused us to have a sense of fear, guilt, indebtedness, and obligated.

The worse part is, we become conditioned to go back for more and somehow addicted to the sort of treatments dished out to us. That is perhaps the success of organized religion where we are shaped to conform.

But things are starting to change now that reality is setting in for what is thought to be free and charitable. It needs money to operate and stay relevant in a changing world. And when money is involved, people want their dollar worth and when that does not happen, the number drops.

Ultimately, it is up to us individuals to discern what is right for us spiritually.

Being unique individuals, we all have purposes in life. We are all capable of bringing blips of disruptions to an otherwise mundane world.

But those in position of power does not like disruptions so they have resorted to using various means to manipulate the majority by feeding our minds what is good or bad for us.

I believe that we ought to constantly remind ourselves to be unique and live out our purpose even if it means that we need to bring about blips of disruptions and cause discomforts that challenges the norm and widely acceptable but not necessarily best approaches to life.

So what’s youe blip?

Faith As A Service

Whether if you are aware or not, chances are you are part of cloud computing. If you have an email account with the likes of yahoo! or gmail, you are already using a service on the cloud. Google Apps are good example of the Software As A Service (SAAS) model.

Over the weekend, a short documentary was shown in church and it ended with a short web store advertisement selling religious articles. The advertisement’s closing statement was something along the lines of “click on the link below…for one of a kind shopping experience..”

Having had thought about the different styles of preaching between priests earlier, I coined the idea of “Faith As A Service” where the practice of faith move with the times, technologically speaking. Perhaps believers will soon be able to “subscribe” and “follow” whichever ideology or theology preferred.

It is undeniable that there is no one size fits all model when it comes to personal choices like religion especially when its core objective in my opinion is to help its followers learn the good ways of cultivating a fulfilling and healthy spiritual life.

Moving forward, I reckon that people would like to have access to instant quick fixes for their spiritual needs. Perhaps churches will move towards embracing technology to administer the sacraments as well.

Imagine an on-line penitential service portal where parishioners can receive the sacrament of reconciliation anonymously through various mediums like “live-chat”, “private message, or even a voice call. Why not?

I always believe that confession is an outlet for people to heal psychologically. The beliefs that one has “released” all of his or her sins through confessing them and to receive absolution is a way the church ease the guilt a person is holding onto. To a certain extent, keeping the confessors’ anonymity will help encourage more people coming forward to receive the sacrament.

These are probably unacceptable ideas in the eyes of the rigid laws of the church but if it works and if the church is genuine in helping to save souls, every idea is worth exploring, no?

Like all things new, are we ready to take the leap of faith and bring church onto the cloud as Faith As A Service?

The Sperm Theory

It is only human nature to feel inadequate sometimes especially with all the superficial and pretentious contents on social media. I am no different and it is hard to avoid feeling sad and wallowing in self-pity. It can be quite overwhelming when we start comparing ourselves to others perceived as better off than us.

At times like these, I usually take a step back and try to put things into perspective. And it is by no means a form of self-consolation.

Just think for a moment about the one in a gazillion sperms ejaculated the moment you were conceived. By a stroke of a (lucky or unlucky) minute difference in terms of timing when fertilization occurred, your life could have been very different.

We should be glad and grateful that Murphy’s Law was kind to us.

Have you ever wondered how life could have been if it was in total contrast?

Some people were born into cultures and traditions that deny them of the most fundamental of rights and privileges – slaves, refugees, fugitives, and political prisoners to name a few. Think about those without the most basic of necessities – food, water, and shelter.

It could have been very different.

Looking at things in such perspective has helped me be a little more grateful for all that I have.

It also begs the question of what should I do for others with all the blessings bestowed upon me. I am constantly reminded to be generous with my gifts and talents.

While on the topic of gratefulness, many are constantly looking for greener pasture elsewhere always thinking that the grass is greener on the other side.

Today, someone shared some words of wisdom with me and it goes, “The grass is always greener on the other side because it is full of manure. It is better to know the manure on your side than the unknown manure on the other side”.

That is so true, don’t you think?

Moments

Mindfulness to me is living in moments. While some moments last longer than others, I believe that each teaches us something about us and our lives. Our likes and dislikes can be reflected by how we react to each moment. I sometimes imagine our mind being a roll of film and our eyes the lenses on a camera capturing every moment of our day.

These captured moments become embedded and etched into our mind as memories that we cherish, fear, and sometimes yearn for whenever we experience certain sight, smell, or sound that reminds us of them.

The behemoth of moments we experience in life forms us as unique individuals that sets us apart from each other. Very often, not every moment is interpreted the same way. It really depends on our focal point within the composition of what our eyes perceive.

The beautiful thing about moments is how we can be creative in the interpretations. Whether the cup is half full or half empty so to speak.

And my wish for you my friend, is that you’ll always have many pleasant and meaningful moments in this life’s journey.

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.

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…