What is life?

Monday, January 25, 2010

"She looked down at her plate, at creamy globules of curry gravy, and knew that her life from then onwards would be a lie, that her belief that love could knife through the barriers of pride and ambition that isolated each and every human being was delusion and that the individual's grasping need for respect would keep her erecting these fragile edifices of pretence. She would work hard, smile at her mother, humour her colleagues and laugh with friends, but grow rich and old alone unless she met a man she could accommodate as easily as her mother did her father, someone with whom to share living costs and a child, someone of whom she would have no illusions that he could ease the burden of her loneliness."

From "Evening Under Frangipani", by Philip Jeyaretnam, from the book "First Loves".
Winner of the First Prize in the 1985 Singapore National Short Story Writing competition

What insight... but steeped in hopelessness.

What an insipid, uninspiring life to live... a life which many might have already succumbed.

The unexamined life is not worth living~

Chasing Twisters

Chasing Twisters
As if the unpredictability
Defines you
Sometimes there
Sometimes not
Not by choice
Not my choice

Pining as the heart grows faint
Suffering from withdrawal
Why don't you choose regularity
Isn't that quaint
Wouldn't that be nice
Wouldn't that make you fit into the system
Just like everyone else
Can't you just conform
But I'll be bored, unfulfilled, left for dead, says I (or am I deader now?)
Can't I choose
This, I like
Where I will do my utmost, best

The more freedom you have
The more disciplined you actually have to be

Someday I will chase a Twister
Like I'm chasing one now.
For in the eye of a Twister
There is Peace

~ Esther Sophia Tan

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Reflections on editorial on ST Sunday, 17th Jan 2010

"Happiness is a warm gun, John Lennon sang in one of the Beatles' songs. He was referring to a heroin-filled syringe. But the drug did not make him any happier, except for the duration of each fix. By all accounts, Lennon was an unhappy man, perhaps until his last years. But critics generally agreed that Lennon was more creative and edgier than his song-writing partner Paul McCartney, who is blessed with a sunnier disposition.

Like Lennon, many of the world's great performing artists had been miserable folk. They had their personal demons to fight, and the struggle was often what drove them to create enduring works of art. This is not to say that people who are generally not unhappy cannot produce great art works. But their numbers are probably smaller. This begs the question: What is the nature of happiness and isn't some dissatisfaction a good thing?

A recent survey by the National University of Singapore Business School found that Singaporeans who have university degrees or earn $5000 or more a month are the happiest. Yet they are dissatisfied with their lot and enjoy life the least, compared to those who make less.

Their dissatisfaction could stem from their higher, unfulfilled expectations. But if discontent is not crippling, it may be what would drive them to achieve more. It is said that contentment is happiness, but it is a then line that separates contentment from complacency. When complacent, one tends to spiral downwards. There can be no happiness there.

When they say they don't enjoy life enough, many higher-earning Singaporeans probably relate "enjoyment" to fine food, fancy cars and luxurious homes. But there is only so much one can enjoy of these things. One enjoys life fully only when one is purposefully engaged, and is passionate about the things one does. Happiness comes as a fleeting by-product. Recognise that and one can be a more fulfilled person."
from ST Sunday, 17/01/10

Indeed, "One enjoys life fully only when one is purposefully engaged, and is passionate about the things one does. Happiness comes as a fleeting by-product. Recognise that and one can be a more fulfilled person."

Happiness is a choice. There are those who are wealthy and well, yet unhappy. And there are those who are not so materially-wealthy, but because they are placed priority above material things, they are wealthy too, in relationships, in fulfillment from doing something well, etc.

I think happiness comes from a certain satisfaction. And when the satisfaction comes from fulfilling a priority in one's life, you get happiness.

So when you choose to place material fulfillment as a top priority... and you don't get it... misery results. And in Singapore, where a certain amount of consumption of material goods is seen as "success", it is hard to go against it to say that it is NOT IMPORTANT at all... thus the results of the survey would be skewed - people who seemingly have a lot but are dissatisfied in life... cos too many times... we've been grilled that TO BE SUCCESSFUL means to be able to have this and have that.

I don't think material fulfillment should be at the top. There are too many other things important to me in life that would be sacrificed. And that doesn't mean I don't work hard... but I'm choosing to work at the things that matter to me. I wouldn't want to be dined at a top restaurant and be bored to death by my company... give me my loved ones at the kopitiam anytime. It's nice to be driven around and given fancy grub, but nothing beats being with yr loved one, even when it means walking and taking public transport. (Btw, it helps my heart... I think I'd live longer walking anyway. Oh, and don't mistake that for sour grapes... when I should get my own set of wheels, I will. When they are relatively less expensive. Haha.) And I'm not against material things, it's just that they aren't that important to justify sacrificing peace of mind and state of well-being.

And Daddy above is going to meet over and above my needs. So why fret? :)

But, that also doesn't mean to be complacent or easily placated... or to simply let go of the things that matter to us when the going gets tough. That, is cowardice. Being a wuss. And for people who put material fulfillment as most important, THAT is also a choice.

So, choose well... happiness IS a choice.

Or perhaps one can see it as a journey while getting there... and not a destination. Maybe they'd not be so dissatisfied. Perhaps it's cos when they achieved what they thought they wanted... and 'happiness' isn't there. Maybe cos 'happiness' has suddenly shifted the finishing line... and what they thought would bring them happiness actually doesn't/couldn't. So they set another new finishing line... and so on... becoming even more dissatisfied in the process.

So, BE HAPPY. And satisfied. Regardless. We are all sojourners.

We aren't going to be here for an eternity. So, look for the eternal and contribute to the eternal. And BE HAPPY while doing it.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Choice, Choices

My tiredness is complete. My brain isn't functioning anymore.

What would I have rather chosen? Daddy above is with me. I think I wld still have chosen what I chosen. To pursue than not to. To know if something or someone is for me than to have not known at all. All things work for the good of those who love Him and are called by His name...

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Musings on the 2nd Day of the New Year

Well, if and when everyone knows his/her own calling… cos we are e happiest when we’re in e flow, in our calling. We wouldn’t b discontented, we wldn’t nd to end up in strife for things… ie. fight w others, engage in ptless office politics, or do things tt wld b on yr conscience forever…

When we learn that, it doesn’t and wouldn’t matter if u’re a big/small fish in whichever pond cos u’re at yr happiest n realising yr potential of who u’re created to be.

Cheers, and have a blessed 2010 ahead. :)

~ A comment, in response to http://www.elvinng.net/blog/2009/11/03/big-fish-small-fish/


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Movie Abalone

Whenever I think of New Moon... I think of e abalone...

How about getting Robert Pattinson to endorse New Moon (Abalone)? It'll be a hit. Hahahaha! But I'm just amusing myself.

Finally I gotta watch it - e acting is A WEE BIT painful to watch, sometimes... I'm like trying to decipher what did her frown mean - pain, confusion, thinking about something... I usually can't figure it out till she says it.

Not good. For both Bella, n e audience.

My heart goes out to Jacob, really. He reminds me of sm1. He must be heart-broken. *I was tearing then... THEN e proposal part just cracked me up... and THEN it just ended... hmm, wasn't quite sure what to make of that.

And even though I watched it alone, I made a new friend, and my new friend, let's call her Ms K, graciously sent me home! If only I can make making friends a profession. (Not that I like to take advantage of ppl - I just love knowing new ppl, hearing things from their perspective and learning fr them.) Haha. Thank you, Ms K!

I couldn't decide who to root for when Ms K asked me, I've a tendency to root for the underdog. And wolves are such beautiful creatures to behold. She said she likes e vampires... but... I like e IDEA of vampires... but I think I like Jacob better. There, I said it. :P

Friday, December 25, 2009

After Avatar on Christmas Eve's Eve

Just watched Avatar, an alternative reality, of another world. Like watching Neo. Tt's another classic. Loved how they explained Déjà vu. If only I cld watch more movies... or not have to watch so many alone. Good to have watched Avatar not alone. :)

Avatar's like watching someone's imagination, really. Rich and relentless. Think I'd too feel my senses being bombarded if I've watched it in 3D. N mayb fall asleep as well. :)

Sometimes watching 3D makes one develop e most irritating headache, where you have to pretend tt you are ok, and still enjoying yrself.

Sometimes I think we are as if we are driven by another reality, pursuing certain things we know are not real. Or sometimes we may not know that it's not. We don't know what we don't know. Haha. Or sometimes we might pursue something that we think we want... but actually don't.

But e strength of our desires, dreams and imagination is what keeps us going. Who is to tell us that they wouldn't or wrong. That strength to pursue relentlessly is a gift. To be used. For good, and for bad. Admirable when we use that relentless strength to pursue good. Like Randy Pausch. People who willingly take e the unwalked path. No fear. No Fear. The thing that "captures our imagination", so to speak.

And there's a calling-calling too. A calling to be someone. We all have that on our lives... but sometimes some of us never find it. And fail to be that Belgarion we are meant to be. Congratulations to those who did find it, and do find it. Ask and you will receive. Seek and you will find. Knock, and e door will be opened to you. Sometimes I think we get lost cos we don't know what to ask for.

Perhaps that's where FLOW is. When one's desire, calling and ability match. The rest will come.

Sometimes a life is cut short. For what? I can never tell for now, but I know there's a gd plan for us. Still.

Gaia is crying. Like e Tree of Souls. And we are like e Sky People who think we can take whatever we want. How detestable. So we ought to be defeated... which means...?

Someone like who's like Jake (gd-looker Sam Worthington) who'd ride on e Toruk... to unite e 5 Na'vi tribes?

Maybe we really need someone to do that... impressive enough to counter this: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/dec/19/copenhagen-key-questions-climate-deal

But I wonder why... this period of time feels more a Nov Thanksgivg than a Dec Christmas... ... mayb that's what most of us lack. Sometimes I forget. Completely. E ability and willingness to give thanks for what's good. But it ain't cos we're gloating at others' misfortunes... And I sincerely give thanks. I've much to thank for.

And sometimes it's cos we have too much to lose... that we do not even dare to place a bet... and we simply drift. Being uncertain. Being unsure. Cos we are afraid to lose again? But indeed... "If you love something, set it free. If it comes back to you, it is yours. If it does not, it was never meant to be." AND sometimes when we know that it's not to be... don't touch, but sometimes it's just too hard. Or sometimes we are simply too selfish... n think only of our own needs that e other is simply ignored or placed 2nd. Mere mortals we are. Dependence misplaced.

If only it's easy to love. And simply love. Without considering how and why. If we do have to consider e hows and whys... is it still love then? Is "bread" and love always vs each other... does it come in a neat package, usually?

I think I'm e one who'd choose love-love. Hmm. Do I have a choice in e first plc? Dunno. I'm just thinking out loud. Even when we say "No choice"... tt's a CHOICE made too! Maybe I'm just being naive. Ha. Well, I don't want to be naive. Child-like would be good, thank you very much. And so it's with faith. It is “with the heart” and accurate knowledge that one exercises faith.

"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." Indeed.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

"Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it."

Matthew 10:39

39Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

This was the verse I heard, during worship at SA's.

If I have no concern for my reputation, "face", I won't be concerned, or afraid. I can do all through Jesus. I don't HAVE to be afraid, as long as I know that I am doing His Will, and whatever request it would be, it would be a "Yes." And I shall ask Him to stop me in what I'm doing should I have heard something wrongly in the 1st place.

Solved! :D

Kingdom economy: Matt19:30 "But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first." Let's seek more... and see what He says... Daddy, please show me...

An Introduction to The Old Testament Template by Landa Cope

*Rediscovering God's principles for discipling all nations*

Good for me to put my reflections in here... heh.

God has defined principles for 1. Government, 2. Economics, 3. Science & Technology, 4. Church, 5. Family, 6. Education, 7. Communication, and lastly 8. Arts and Entertainment, but when evangelising, we've not bothered to go beyond the message of salvation, and like what the book says, has truncated the entire biblical message, which Cope feels that has not helped the evangelised nations at all.

So... the 5 principles for Govt:
1. Government ordained by God and essential to the life of a nation.
Deu 1:9-12
The Appointment of Leaders
9 At that time I said to you, "You are too heavy a burden for me to carry alone. 10 The LORD your God has increased your numbers so that today you are as many as the stars in the sky. 11 May the LORD, the God of your fathers, increase you a thousand times and bless you as he has promised! 12 But how can I bear your problems and your burdens and your disputes all by myself?
2. Govt gets its authority from the people.

Deu 1:13

13 Choose some wise, understanding and respected men from each of your tribes, and I will set them over you."

God will not leave the people floundering, but gave guidelines:

3. Character: "
wise, understanding and respected men"

4. Representative:
"from each of your tribes"
Consensus: Deut 1:14 "You answered me, "What you propose to do is good."

In that sentence, there's consensus from the people.

And 5. Govt's primary purposes to provide a source of just resolution to disputes and conflicts of the people.

Domain of govt reveals: The King of Kings
Primary attribute of God: Justice
God governs this domain through: Delegation of authority to the people

Therefore, there shouldn't be a dichotomy of a secular vs churched life. If we're professed Christians, then all we do shall be worship onto Him. Let's give thanks for Mondays!

*More to come, watch this space... *