Every 25th of the twelfth month, we celebrate the birth of a magnificent figure who once walked the earth. ‘Was he divine, or a mere man?’, many debated. No matter the signs he bore, or represented, we all knew he was the reason many have found faith. He had walked the earth for everyone, yet not everyone had walked the earth for Him. However the differences, He preached peace.
Despite such a fact many Christians are fed with since birth, not many remember. Younger generations are more fascinated with the idea of ‘Santa Clause’. Advertising agents perhaps, profit per se on it. For those who be reminded with St. Nicholas, he or she be blessed. Yet even so, it is easy to encounter one who has no thought of such a figure, instead a round bellied red coated old man, who descends upon chimneys, and rob many off their cookies and glasses of milk.
Acceded it be a good childhood story, many still forget the purpose of such a jolly occasion. If seen through the window of a 21st century, all you could see is many who prefer distance from families, sharing, and sacrifices.
Christmas is perhaps summarized best with a single word, ‘love’. Love, be it to family or friends, or even strangers that we have every rights to ignore, yet chose not to. Withal, as effortful as can be, it is of hardship to find such a scene amongst the ones who acknowledge Christmas. Be it absorbed by time through shifts of eras, it is significant for one to understand its celebration.
We must never forget Christmas.
Many may get confused. What does morality has not been able to offer when it is what most humanitarians live by? What many do not wonder upon is that morality does not necessarily include equality and at the same time, equality is what many people persue.
This simply means that, a morally behaved man may not be as fair or believe as much in justice. This is why justice has failed to prevail in some cases even in modern civilized days.
But then, what is equality? When we treated dogs and cats and many more as pets, where there are animals, who are not much of a different be treated as food, is that equality? However this could not be questioned as it is one of society’s norms that certain animals are pets and certain ones are food. However, have any ever asked why?
Some may have snakes as pets yet critized. But to its owner, snakes worth more than the rest to be pets. Same as those who could have raised pigs as pets yet others raise pigs as porks. This is all totally dependent to how humans perceive different situations with different perspectives. In short, we will never think of equality because we chose preference.
Why can’t we achieve morality and equality at the same time? Maybe we could. But if equality is to be imposed, our morally acts would include giving swines massage therapies for they would deserve as much as any of us. Perhaps even letting dogs live in houses and us sleeping in kernels.
Yet when you apply morality without equality, it seems immoral when viewed from those who do not benefit. We allow cats to hunt down mice and reward the cats in exchange for brutal punishments for the mice. Yet it is moral to pat a cat for its great job and immoral to abuse a cat for lives it has wasted.
Then there are those who ask, “Why are there no equality?” It is because we chose morality to govern us.
We are living in a society where stereotypes will not extinct. Some may or may not agree to the statement that “Fat people are lazy”. However it is completely shallow to stereotype. Of course, there is no fault in being shallow and ignorant. Hence, we can do nothing to those who are shallow and ignorant and nor can we change their perspectives.
Some stereotypes are harsh, some are mild, and some are generally agreed by majority. No matter how it is, those who knew better to not stereotype should be thankful for they have been born with a wiser mind.
By personal experience, I have heard statements like, “Fat people are lazy.”, “Fat people are stupid.”, “Women can’t drive.”, and plenty more that may take forever for me to list. I was educated to not conclude a matter before it is a fact. The thing is, nobody can conclude something without first doing an overall overview.
How will you know if you have a tendency to stereotype? The moment when you realise you take your first impressions strongly, and may even consider it a factor during your conclusion making, you can consider yourself a stereotype person. A non-stereotype person would not include his or her first impressions in the decision of his or her conclusion.
For example, when you see a beggar begging for food, your first impressions would of course naturally be that this person is no more than a beggar and a burden to society. However, a wiser mind would consider the possibilities that he may be here for a reason, or that he may have problems that we may not know or understand.
Until you can proof your conclusion through a thorough survey or test, your conclusion is merely a hypothesis. A hypothesis will always be an assumption, regardless of its majority votes which will just proof that majority are well satisfied with just assumptions and not seek for truth and actual fact.
The stereotype “Fat people are lazy.”, are just merely a hypothesis similar to all the other stereotypes. There are of course people who are not fat that are lazier and in turn, fat people who work ten times harder than others. Regardless, stereotypes will not extinct. We can only dwell in this society that we hope may improve.
Most people often had words and messages that are inconvenient to be addressed. For whatever reasons it may be, others will never understand. So here it is, the words that I failed to express to certain people in my life.
My Grandfather (passed away in September 2008)
Hey Grandpa, how you doing? How was life on the other side? Actually, I’ve always wanted to say, you’re my hero. I’ve always wanted to say that I love you but I am never good in expressing touchy thoughts. I just want to let you know that, what you’ve done for me, for our family was amazing. All of us appreciates and misses you. If only I could say this when you’re alive, but I just can’t. Love is something that I can receive and feel, but not express. I’m sorry that I’ve never been there enough for you, though you’ve been there all the time, for me. Maybe in a later life, you would be somebody important to me. And hopefully I would learn my lesson and by then, I’ll be able to let you know how much I really do love and care for you. I hope you can read this somehow, no matter where you are now. Your presence has always been within me. Your warmth, your smile and your grace is still here, in my memories, comforting me during my tough times. Such a great man you were, I hope I’m growing up to be a person like you were. From your beloved grandson.
The Girl I Love – My Bestfriend
I’ve always wanted to tell you that I’ve fallen in love with you the day you said you like me. But I understand, in order for friendships to last longer, we should stay as friends and this feelings was just a phase for you. Truth is, though I always show you my cold side, deep inside, I store you in the most comfortable and warm corner of my heart. The spot where I place my loved ones. Stop being insecure, because you’re the most beautiful girl in the world. Though I’ve never really told you that, but it’s not because I don’t think so. It’s because I don’t think I’m in the right place to tell you that. Just be patient, and one day, that right guy will tell you how beautiful you are and it would mean the world to you, it would mean more than if I said it. I know you might think I just never change, never able to stand up for what I want and tell you that I love you instead of hiding my feelings despite the outcomes. I just hope that you understand, I wish for our friendship to last because at the same time you’re the best friend I’ve ever had. The one who understands me most, the one who is always there despite how broken down I am. I’m just not strong enough to sacrifice a pure friendship like this, for merely my selfishness to pursue romance. I’ll always be here for you.
Hey mum and dad, there isn’t much to write here as I hid the least things from the both of you. However, I just wanted the both of you to know that, I love the both of you. I recognized the sacrifices made, and I will never forget what the both of you did, just so I don’t starve and to provide me with the best education possible. I’m hoping that I do not disappoint you, mum and dad, because truth be told, I’m not a smart guy. Don’t worry though, I’ll do my best just as you guys did, to raise me up. I’ll grow up into a strong man, and I’ll shelter the both of you, then.
Had you been burdened by your daily workloads, studies, or responsibilities? Living life is like facing a challenge everyday. Everyone knows that and there is no reason for another article to stress on that. So, how to have a less burdening life? Here is how…
1. Do not take up extra weight
What do I mean here by extra weight? Life is already burdening enough, it is time to ditch what is unnecessary to free up some space. First, you must understand that, such weights are what you put on yourself. You always have the choice to not carry them, therefore definitely never blame others for the weight you had yourself to carry. Extra weights are simply your negative side.
Stop being critical. As you criticize, you unknowingly add expectations to you and everyone/everything else around you. Accepting is a much easier task to be done.
Refusal to offer help.
At times, you would feel like your life is burdening enough and it is completely idiotic to carry others’ burdens as well. Bear in mind, the more people you helped, the better you are in solving problems, or even better, you may be rewarded with numerous helping hands.
Tendency to take out/overthrow.
There are also times when you feel like it would be easier in life if you just take out all of the competitors or tackling your issues once and for all. The route to achieve such is however shorter, but undeniably steeper.
2. Trying too hard
Not in every situation, that the law of “Effort + Time = Success” applies efficiently. If you try too hard to achieve something without taking the time to think of the reason and to understand what you have to do, you’re just making your aims as hard to achieve as the efforts you put in.
3. You did it yourself
It is important for us to know our faults. Our mind is divided. In most religions, it is more familiarly known as the inner battle of good and evil. However, the concept is slightly different in reality. Our mind is divided by a thin line between realization and ignorance. By default, we are created balanced. As we tend to deny that most of the problems we faced are caused by what we have done, we slowly conclude that all these are the faults of others, luck, or fate. None of these could force you to what you do not wish to if you really did not have the intentions to do so. When we decided to give in to such thoughts, our region of ignorance is increased. This causes us to look away from the source of problems and provide ourselves with false assumptions of solutions, thus never solving them. When this problems are unsolved and stacked up, it would one day topple us with its intense weight.
4. Ways to solve
Lastly, it is our weakness when it comes to finding a solution for our problems. But most of the time, we act upon our instincts. In most cases, we already know what we should do but we tend to not do it because we lack in the correct mindset to initiate. Always trust your logical thoughts more than the rest. When your mind has the solution, other parts of your inner self may discourage you to do so because they think that it is more burdening than it already is. Yes, solutions are often what you need to sacrifice to achieve. But do you prefer to carry a 50kg boulder for a short period, or carry a 10kg stone for the rest of your life? Do the maths and trust your logical thinking.
All in all, only we ourselves can solve our problems. We can never provide the recipe and hoping for a chef to come out with something exactly to your preference. When you want something to be done according to what you prefer, get into action yourself. Most importantly, do not in any circumstances, unknowingly made your life more burdening than it already is.
Compared to the 16th and 17th century, our society’s norms had gone through big changes. Back then, our concept of morality was much more abundance compared to now (it was never enough anyway).
Can we live by a day, not using a foul word or swearing? No. It has become a norm for nasty words to be spoken. Foul words are now, languages in their tongue. Meaning that, the word F*** is now considered decent to be included in dictionaries. If we were to use such a word back then, how would the society look at us? In most religions, I believe, is against the usage of least decent words. How have we performed so far? Tremendously awful.
It is though I might not need to censor the word. How would it offend anyone?
If you are a Buddhist, it is taught that, we must always speak decently – only speak if you have something nice to say. But is the word F*** decent?
Though our society has changed, meaning to say, such a word may not be as hurtful or as taboo as before, does it removes itself from the “sin list”? Could we, if we had the chance, to ask Buddha, Jesus or any other from other religions, if we could simple say F***, but not literally mean it, and to be counted as decent, provided that the society we live in could accept such a word gently?
If a word we spoke does not hurt anyone, how could it be a foul word, right? Well, maybe some of us who agree are right.
But, what about our other least decent sides? Let us see an example. If David is to mix around with his bunch of friends who seriously think fat people are useless, will it hurt if he too, thinks the same? Well, you might think David would not differ himself from the rest of the jerks, but we cannot deny the fact that the majority thinks so. So who are we to blame David? It has already been stereotyped that fat people are not favoured, yet we tend to say those who think so are not considerable?
In this case, have not we discriminated? Yet in all teachings of morality and religion discourage us to do so. Then, if we were to cope along with the society could we have done wrong?
Recently, I have read a book regarding Buddhism. It is said that, to be a good lay Buddhist, is to practise all the teachings of Buddha, and at the same time cope well with the society. I was there thinking, there is no way we could successfully pull this through. It is either we lean towards religion, or coping with society.
If you were to distant yourself from what everyone else is doing, you are obviously an anti-social, no matter how religious and how wrong you think you would be if you were to participate yourself into whatever that is going on.
The society is the majority. Society’s degradation is due to the degradation of the majority. Due to the fact that most people are being “religious” yet at the same time, please everyone in the society, gave birth to the term, not many of us know, that is ‘Religion today, is all but morality’. People who are involved in such an act, take religion as a title, not for the sake of the teachings.
Most religions oppose discrimination, yet as members of the society, we discriminated. How much have we truly sinned and wronged?
We do not simply change the rules of acceptance in religions just to cope with our living standards. We, ourselves must change to cope with all the teachings in religions. There are many more acts besides discrimination that is further deteriorating our quality of norms.
The individualistic quality is now judged by how well one can cope with society, not concepts or morality or religion.
And the question arises, can we still not wrong or sin, while living with the society?
Often we look to the skies and wonder, what is beyond. How far does the universe stretch? How small are we if we are looked upon from beyond. How could it be that, our planet Earth is just right in the spot where life exists. When it comes to a question like this, there aren’t many answers to it, except the existence of a creator, a God.
Have you ever sit and wonder, how could you, be you? How are you not some other creatures, but human with a mind and the ability to think about this? What force put you here, putting your very soul into this body you currently own?
Christians and most other religions believe in the existence of a creator, a God, a divine being. Could it really be that someone is truly watching over us, providing us what we can never see nor realize?
I had always tried to answer all these questions and doubts. I tried to research lots and lots about astronomy of how our universe works, but could it be that, a huge blanket of stars and galaxies was cast towards and fooled all of us? No matter how hard we tried to search and search again with our powerful man-made telescopes yet, we could not find a true and final answer.
All we had were theories, speculations, and debates of how our universe are assumed to be.
In science, it was explained that, our universe was created according to the occurrence of ‘Big Bang’. If so, galaxies are communities of solar systems and planets, and so Earth was a coincidence, so is the existence of life. Through science also, the law of probability suggested that, there may be plenty of Earth-like planets out in the universe.
Comparing the size of our mother Earth to the universe, we could even find individuals of different cultures, races, and background, yet identical in features. How could the probability of Earth-like planets be lower? Thus the theory of aliens must be true. However, what should we do when we find them? What if they are hostiles, or what if we got greedy?
Through religion, we know Earth and life itself is created by God. Then how do all the galaxies and stars and planets explain themselves? Were they too, created by God? Then why isn’t there any stories about the other species or races regarding them in our religious writings?
Once, I came across a statement that today, curbed my curiousity. It says…
If one day, we were to possess the knowledge and truth about the universe, we may be God.
Such a quote is familiar to me, but never had I bothered myself to seek out its owner, knowing that I really did get it from somewhere beyond me.
The moment the writer of the quote mentioned God, could it means that, it is a task, not achievable? That it is so hard, beyond our grasp as human beings, that only God could.
Or is the writer an atheist, and meant an ultimate knowledge would be obtained, if one is to acquire such a knowledge?
Only time will tell the answers to such questions…