Monthly Archives: April 2012
Looking at the general elections happening around the world, we would notice one common phenomenon. Even if one major party wins the race, it is no longer a clean sweep. People are electing the opposition to have their voice heard. It may not even be that the opposition party is good, but people are not comfortable with a party holding on for too long and having all the say all the time. People prefer to have opposition. But the end result is questionable. It ends up with a government who cannot perform properly because of the opposition trying to reverse what they do. The government loses their authority. People are the one who check on them and even warn them. I wonder what a government really is and how the government would ever function properly. Although the people’s concern may be corruption or afraid of any abuse of power, there still need to have respect for the authority. It is more and more difficult to be a government, for sure. But I do hope there are credible governments that people can trust to run the country, whether they voted for the government or not. Whoever wins, we need to respect the outcome. People are trying ways and means to challenge the elected government. That won’t work. Government has to be credible, people has to support and give time. Don’t protest for the sake of protest. When we protest, we better know what a better way is. Don’t just raise problems, find possible solution first. It is never easy to run a country.
This has become the way we react. I guess we will also gradually see this way of reaction in our workplace and in our home. Everyone thinks of their rights. They no longer know what a privilege is. May God grant us wisdom to handle all these because a lot of problems are brewing not just in our country, but also our workplace and our home.
There was once that I tried to use Super Wall in Facebook. As this was the first time I was using it, it led to a page to send a picture as a start. I was actually trying to send this picture just to a few persons, but once I click ‘post’, it was sent to all my friends. There is more to come. It then led me to send a video. I don’t know why all the videos are something not too edifying. All contain some sexual content. What’s worst, I cannot find any button to move to other category or to exit this page. The only button I saw was ‘post’. I thought since I did not select any video, I could safely click ‘post’ to send a nil post. Within minutes, my friend wrote to me asking why am I sending this video to her? Then I know the big trouble I am in. It has automatically selected the first video with nude pictures though censored and sent it to all my friends. Once sent, there is no way to get it back. I had to send apology and ask them to delete the videos. Technology can be so dangerous. There is no way of turning back. Be careful! The bad things also come with the good.
When the blogging industry got started, it was for people who do not want to disclose themselves, but yet wanted to keep their ‘secrets’ public. But this purpose seems to have taken a 360 degree turn. With so many social networks around, every thing that you write, think and unload becomes visible to every body. When you communicate with one person in the network, every body would know unless you purposely adjust the settings. That’s what I call started private, but ended public. More people may know us than we think. Last time they used to say that if the sender is a dog, they would not know the sender is a dog. But now they even know what kind of dog you are!!
I wonder do we really intend to keep our life private. Or we actually like it to be public. At the end of the day, we still prefer people to know who we are. But without knowing us face to face…
Human like methods and when we put a series of methods together, we form a strategy. When we do anything, we like to think, what on earth should be the method? Which strategy should we adopt? We trap ourselves in running programs and in following steps. But the truth is that methods or strategy that works for someone may not on work on us even though we follow exactly. What is wrong then? Perhaps is the dependency on methods. The best method may be ourselves. We have to find ourselves in the things we do. We are the method and we are the strategy. What makes the difference is the person who does the thing not the method or the things itself. But we like to work on things. It is easier anyway. What we need is to work on the person–myself. A lot of methods may then work. Different strategies may be employed once we become the method. It is like Chinese kung-fu, the highest realm of swordplay is not which stroke one knows, but when one becomes the sword. God’s word is written but it is only alive when we become the word. This can only happened when we embrace the Word and live the Word. May we know the true method in our lives.
When we read the newspaper these days, we would be shocked to find that there is so much political instability around the world. We see so many problems within the ruling parties. We see people arguing and fighting for their power. We can also see that people of the nations are more and more demanding and more and more difficult to please. We see people exploiting people, people misleading people just in order to gain popularity. The world political systems are crumbling, who can you trust? Do you still believe in systems? What is democracy? Is democracy the best system of governance? What exactly do you see? Humans are failing! Humans are destroying themselves. They are against one another. We are just so close to the end of this world. False peace would come very soon, if you know what I mean.
Last time I used to think that experience counts until recently. Experience counts only if there is a deliberate reflection to learn from that experience, or else even if we have the same experience, we may still commit the same mistake. Every experience demands critical thinking so that the experience can add value to our life. Each experience can actually increase our learning and improve ourselves from the previous experience. May every experience count in our lives.
When we come to culture and customs, we tend to think about contextualization. Contextualization is actually an important process of making relevant the existing culture and customs but with a new Christian understanding. But the issue is that contextualization is usually done based on intellectual religion; a religion that is based on what we studied in books. While applied on the field, it is usually not the case. People usually do not even know what their true belief is. Their belief is tends to be eclectic as they usually practice folk religion. Perhaps, we need to look into contextualization again. It may have to be more specific and indignenous. It should be relevant to different cultures and people group rather than just applying some generic principles. Contextualization must reach the indigenous religion and not the intellectual religion. We need the experience in the field rather than what we get from books. Very often what we know from books do not match with what we experienced in real life. Let us find out what is really happening before we contextualize using our book knowledge.
I realised that we can adopt so many kinds of teaching styles. But we can fail in teaching for various reasons. Sometimes, our teaching is criteria based. Students feel a sense of intimidation because there are too many criteria or ‘to dos’. They feel a sense of failure even before they start trying. They know that the criteria is far too perfect for them. Some teachers are informative based. They wanted to get every facts and details across. They are afraid of missing out certain facts that make the lessons incomplete. They fail to realise that the lesson objective is more important than remembering the details of the story. This is especially true for child education. Children can get the details of the story, but they may not get the teaching point. Others are cognitive based. They go by reasoning and logic. They emphasised on the flow of the lessons. Some are problem based. They teach for correction. They zoom into the problems and explained what is wrong and what need to be done about it. Those who are more successful are those who are transformative based. They exposed worldview thus letting the students know more about themselves. The students are about to analyse the situation and proposed a solution themselves. But it requires most work and thinking too.
What is religion in our world today? Is it still a belief? Is it still a philosophy? Is it a worldview? Is it about peace or about war? In the name of religion, we proclaim peace. In the name of religion, we declare war. Religion has always been a tool people used to fight for rights and to justify our rights. It is anything but religious actually. Religion has been an identity for people groups. It is a weapon to fight for survival. It is a means to achieve our ends. So sad…..
Have we been too fixated with our faculty of thoughts and emotions? Is it possible to think with our hearts? Can we feel with our heads? There is cognition in our emotions, and there is affection in our thoughts. If we only think with our heads and feel with our hearts, we will fail to understand ourselves, we may also misunderstood others.