Singapore
I am a writer trying to build a readership from scratch. The pathetic stats number never seem to rise. Read my works and you'll agree that my writings are just plain junk or simply an art of a decidedly Bohemian attitude.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Do not slur, just because you do not understand

I am very glad and proud that I have taken up Eng Lit as my major in my Uni. It is a pity that most people do not see this major as a skill in itself which is more superior (in my opinion) than any other courses. For instances, we have to analyse a character's personality, his strengths and weakness in just a mere few conversations he had with other characters. We learn to read between the lines, examine the conditions that made this character say a particular line and review the consequences of his actions and his subsequent reactions to his consequences and that includes politics, history, geography, art, music, religions and philosophy.

In a business course, you learn to maintain and sustain an organization. In an accounting course, you learn to balance the figures. In an engineering course, you study the mechanics of a machine and what makes it work. In a medical course, you learn to treat illnesses. In a media course, you learn communication skills and marketing. But in an English Literature course, you learn to be human.

An ex colleague of mine once told me her teacher in her Buddhist class made a joke of Christianity by saying their concept of heaven, everyone is naked (depicting from pictures of angels who are not clothed). He laughed and said that in Buddhist context, our heaven is when everyone will be clothed. She then laughed and told me how everyone in her classed laughed too.

I was appalled and disgusted.

First of all, Buddha DID NOT say nor explain nor describe anything about how heaven is. To us, there is no heaven- there is only Nirvana or Nibbana. And even Buddha himself didn't know how Nirvana looks like because he did not even see it before passing on. Besides, angels are naked for a reason: they do not need clothes anymore because they are way passed the basic rules of modesty and morality. Seeing someone naked does not and will not arouse their sexuality or sensual pleasures; they are after all, angels, and not humans! By saying such immature things during class by a teacher not only puts Buddhists in bad light, this teacher also showed he is a very shallow man, in my opinion, not fit to deliver a religious class at all.

This sort of analysis is not something mere business students or medical students can understand. It requires a different order of aptitude to comprehend a certain kind of work or communication.

Let me explain more.

I have just ended my last class of part 1 of my Buddhism course. And I am saddened by what was taught during the last lesson. It was not so much of a Buddhist lecture, it was more of pointing out the differences between Buddhism and other religions, and with that, you cannot run away from slamming others while promoting yourself.

First of all, my teacher explained that for certain religions, one is able to go to heaven as long as he believed in his god. There is no indication of how one needs to be good and so on. I know where he took this from. It is from John 3:16. I was a Catholic myself and with my little knowledge of the bible and what I have learned from Eng Lit, I was able to rebut my teacher (but of cause I did not), that that line from John 3:16 was more than what it meant.

It means, in order to do his works, follows Jesus's teachings and so on, you would need to believe in god first. It would be the same as us Buddhist who need to believe in Buddha first before we follow the Dharma. It is something as simple and logical as that. This, I am sure, students of Eng Lit are able to draw the similarity from and place both side by side to say that these 2 logic are the same. They are only written in 2 different ways.

I recalled watching a rerun of Lord of the Rings on HBO with my brother many years ago. I told him about how the troll in part 1 was so hard for the whole lot of Legolas and Gimly etc to defeat was actually the writer's depiction on the first appearance of the tank in WWI and how massive and difficult it really was to bring down and that every stroke of attack on the troll was real portrayal of actual parody of real life experience because J R R Tolkien was really a soldier in WWI. My brother was collectively surprised and impressed when I told him this is how a Eng Lit student decipher a text.

I feel sad for the rest of the students in my last Buddhist class who got the wrong illustration of other religions. I am more sad that it is my own Buddhist teacher who taught them the wrong things. What you do not understand does not mean that it is wrong; just like some Christians laughing and mocking us Buddhists praying to fake idols. Case is we are not praying. We are merely remembering the Buddha's teachings and humbling ourselves to someone who has taught us the right way out of samsara (endless rebirth and suffering), so that we may have enough self control, self discipline and effort to practice the Dharma and follow suit, his way to Nirvana.

So to that ex boyfriend of mine called Alex Lim who mocked and insulted my choice of my major, fuck you... not (Buddhist don't curse and scold other people). I just pity you at how ignorant and immature you are, because you lack the right skills to tell the right from the wrong. And to others who slur and affront other religions because you do not fully understand it, please try to ask other people of these religions who will be best to explain the right analysis to you, otherwise, live and let live.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Justice and vengeance; anger and retaliation (Part 4)

I have an ex-colleague who is always on the look out for all sorts of upgrading courses. She does the most radical of things and always on impulse. But she never regrets her decisions and whatever turns out for her. Everytime she goes on a random escapade or signs up for whatever courses, I find myself in awe of her courage and her throwing caution to the wind.

She was the source of my inspiration to want to learn more about the religion I was blindly bonded to. I thought I was a Buddhist as long as I pray, chant, abstain from eating beef and offers joss-sticks every morning. But I was wrong. I proceeded to sign up for classes myself (after much procrastination), and was so much enlightened by what I was taught that I found out there are so many sides of so many things.

For example, this ex-colleague once shared with me that in her karma class, her teacher taught her that if a person is dying of cancer and is pain, no one is to help him relieve his pain ie by giving him morphine or painkillers because for him to die in this way, he had not paid by his dues and would bring forth his pending karma to his next life and he would have to suffer the same pain again.

Only upon going for my own Buddhist class and learning from my own teacher that I found out how wrong this ex-colleague was taught.

Firstly, why would people in helping you relieve your pain are such that they are harming you to bound for another round of negative karma? Because one is simply accountable for your own deeds, no one, by helping you can lessen or heighten your karma for you. The next thing is, the way things were explained to her are so morbid and negative that my ex-colleague got the whole idea of karma wrong. For someone to help you at the point of your death or when you are dying of painful cancer, would most likely mean that you have accumulated positive karma previously to have some be there for help you lessen the pain as you die. It does not mean that you should refuse any aid so that you can suffer the stature of pain in order to pay back your dues.

Karma is not rewards and punishment. It is merely a cause and effect cycle.

The abbot of the temple where I attend classes told me that while we take time every week or every day to exercise our muscles and body, we should also take time to exercise or minds which is something we often neglect. He also said that whatever we feel is a product of our thoughts through our senses.

If we see something and think about how it is distasteful which then creates a feeling of disgust and hatred, it is simply a reflection on our own feelings against our opinions of something. And because of this, it will result in certain intentional or unintentional actions which will bring about its consequences.

This is exactly the Law of Attraction.

Now for the past few weeks, I have been going on and on about my hatred for this particular person I am working with. I know why working with him is so difficult. It is because of his terrible ways of abusing his power, his hunger for boot-lickers and his lack of respect for his fellow work-mates that got me mad. I am not someone who can curry his favour and so I got ostracized and most of all, this resulted in me losing interest in this job.

I am not punished for standing up in what I believed in nor am I rewarded for standing up for the rest of the colleagues and for myself in the process. This is merely a cause and effect. I stood up against a tyrant and got s**t in the end. But it is not all negative karma that I have gotten. I did, in the cause of justice accumulated positive result which is the support of my other fellow team mates.

So what next, you might ask.

If I stay on in this job, I can either continue to suffer the way I am right now by taking in all the visually and audibly horrific things and taking them in my stride, then treat this as a stupid, mundane job and not use my brains ever, or morph into a boot-licker. The other choice is to leave.

No prizes for guessing which route I am going to take.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Justice and vengeance; anger and retaliation (Part 3)

One of my friend posted a picture-quote on instagram that says "Once you start to dislike someone, everything they do begins to annoy you" and it quickly made me nod my head.

I have never really hated anyone nor disliked anyone in particular. Only 3 people I can remember were my uncle who rented us his apartment while we were waiting for ours to be built and scheming(ly) took rent from us, he not only used his religion to "teach us" manners etc but also insulted my family. 

The next person I can remember was my ex boss from my previous company. She speaks of nothing  but sarcasm and cynicism. Her famous lines were always, "Oh I wouldn't dare not greet you. You are the director of this this this and by not greeting you would be soooooooo impolite of me, wouldn't it?"

The latest person who was recently added to my list would be this person and I am currently working with.

Now I try not to "pollute" my website by writing about negative things such as criticising people but I must say that when you do something wrong, you turn into a lawyer but when others do something wrong, you are quick to turn into a judge. I am guilty of the above too. 

So I constantly try to move away from being bias and judgmental before forming my own opinion of this particular person and try to exercise compassion and empathy. Even if I dislike that person so much, I would still try not to think about him or what he has done and concentrate on my work.

But this is easier said that done.

How does one constantly try to input thoughts of good qualities about this person that you dislike while this person repetitively makes everyone around him or her upset with their ways?

Take my ex boss for example, I never understood why she always chose to speak this way and when she did, I always saw people rolling their eyes and turning away, undoubtedly criticising her under their breaths. So if I had to exercise empathy and compassion, do I first think of her as a poor widow who left her kids in KL to work her ass off in a foreign country so that her kids could go to the Uni? And then later think of her as a pathetic woman living on her own during the weekdays who had to drive to KL every Friday evening to see her kids and then drive back on a Sunday night?

When I started working after graduation, I met a colleague who was branded a meanie. She always wrote nasty emails to people, is quick to criticise everyone, always grumbled and complained and had practically nothing nice to say. Everyone in the office hated her and though she did not do anything openly to harm me, I hated her simply because everyone did.

Once, an old colleague went out to smoke caught me there. We made some small talk about everyone in the office and I then took the chance to ask him about why this female colleague was always so nasty. He told me because her husband got killed in a car crash when she was pregnant. Her husband never got to meet his son. I gasped at this piece of news and was speechless. The next thing I did was to spread this news (to this old colleague's dismay) so that no one will speak ill of this female colleague anymore.

We are always very eager to form our own opinions of other people and unless that person stand up to justify his ways, it is simply impossible to employ the compassion techniques on anyone especially when that person is doing harm to you.

So when a fellow colleague g-talked me about how she gloated at a component of an impending event nearly causing the entire event being a flop, I laughed along with her. Then I stopped to take a step back and picture myself, looking at myself and my fellow colleague smirking. It is a horrible sight.

But guess what, I quickly erased that thought away from my mind and continued to smirk though now, I did it half heartedly and tried to change the subject. I am glad to say that I am not all that evil hearted to wish ill on someone, but this someone is one who had intentionally and knowingly harmed and hurt me with his words on so many occasions.

I guess this world will not be a better place even if it's short of one less evil person. It is very difficult to exercise any compassion when that harm and hurt is directed intentionally at you. What I can do henceforth is perhaps not to smirk or gloat when something bad happens but I certainly am not going to empathise with this person and say that it is okay to harm and hurt others just because the world harmed and hurt you too.  

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Justice and vengeance; anger and retaliation (Part 2)

I can't say that I am a huge fan of the famous Singapore blogger, Xiaxue but I do read her all the time, follow her Dayre and instagram. It sort of fills my need to busy-body-about someone's life. From her, I got to her other bloggers who are also her friends.

It is really interesting reading about their lives, learning about their buying habits and writing about which good skin products they use and of course, reading about their children and the weals and woes of being a mother.

I usually skip the thousands of comments that are left on their blogs or dayre though I do read them, when the latest ones show on their instagram pictures. Most of these comments are questions on where they buy their make-up, how they find the food in this and that restaurant from which the bloggers snapped their food porn.

Sometimes, I do read about them writing about haters and what they say to them. Xiaxue once said that she has ever had people wished her get cancer, raped and get knocked down by a bus. Recently, she has received threats from a follower who wanted to murder her son.

Now I know that putting your life out there for people to read, one is bound to have people write mean things to you. I also know that the more famous you are, the more people hate you.

I came from a neighbourhood secondary school in the middle of Jurong town. The girls who hailed from there are mostly riff raffs or gangsta-wannabes. They usually wear black bras underneath our white uniform and could be spotted with tinted red hair. Once, I got stared at by this girl called Xiuying. I do not know anger or wrath from a teenager as much as what I knew from Xiuying. Everyday, she would make sure she turned up within a few metre radius from my eye sight and would proceed to stare death stares at me. I do not know why but I do know that she wanted to beat the hell out of me.

I got to know this from a guy friend who also happened to be in some kind of secret society gang in school. I was kinda upset with someone wanting to beat me to death but I was more curious of the reason why. I was a student leader in school which means I had to do my extra student duties of ensuring there are no smokers hiding in the toilets for a toilet break or people who skipped classes and sneaked outta school. I did not recall, catching Xiuying in any of these duties before, so why the hell would she hate me for?

My guy friend then found out from her, the reason was that she simply hated my face.

From then on, I always have had haters at certain points of my life. Most of these people just hated my face (I don't have a villain-like face, if that is what you are wondering about). I have very small eyes with very faint double eye lids and the shape of them are quite slits-like which a friend of mine calls them, oriental eyes. I am short at about 1.55m, with a small waist, small feet, small hands and what nots. I might however, have a loud voice and I'm really good when it comes to verbal fights but those are not visible from my face so I seriously don't see anyhow my looks could get people to hate me.

I don't recall hating or disliking anyone for the way they look. But I did start to hate people when I started to work. Most of them was because of how they chose to treat me by speaking ill of me, doing bad things to me, malign me, frame me etc.

Either way, whether I have a reason to hate people or not, I have become a hater myself. And it is sad because I have never been that way before. Though these times of hatred do not last long, but they do last for sometime and I find it impossible to forgive these people.

Now I am not so noble a person, nor am I a saint. I am human after all, and I do not sit and wait for poetic justice, if I can, within my own righteous and justified ways, stand up for myself and put these villains back to where they should not harm people, I would very well do it. Just that, I often find myself hating these people there after and it is then that these haters have polluted me in their negativity.

I know how to deal with haters and put them in their place, but I must from today on, abstain from being a hater myself. This, I need to constantly remind myself.

My pre-wedding blog

Dear readers,

I have created another blog. It will house all my pre-wedding posts. If you would like to follow me in all the ups and downs, emotional rides and hair-pulling episodes of choosing of dresses etc, the link is here:

http://countdowntowedding-21-mar-2015.blogspot.sg/


















Thank you!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Justice and vengeance; anger and retaliation (Part 1)

I had to delete the previous post because I do not want an article where I am emitting hatred towards someone and when I read back, would bring back bad memories.

Despite that, I still want to bring about the subject of anger and how it has been tempting me these few days like the irritating serpent of Eden. 

Firstly, it was this boss of mine, sending hate emails and making his insults personal and demeaning. Now, some people might tell me that he is under a lot of stress from his father to perform better and meet his expectations in his career. Whatever it is you are facing at home or from your boss who happens to be your father though, does not mean you can step all over your employees. 

Initially I retaliated with as hateful an email to him as the one I had received, I defended myself and the accusations he threw at me. The hate emails then went to and fro, back and forth. I must say that the I had already tried to be as polite as can be but I did not try to hide my discontent and anger in my words. The emails halted when he relented because he wrongly sensed that I was giving in (when I was not). I did not reply to his find email.

The next thing that happened was this crazy female driver driving a Kia carens first tail-gating me like hell on the right lane on my way home from work one day. it was peak hour and the roads are packed with cars, it was impossible for me to road hog even if I wanted to because the car in front of me was only 1 car space away from me and we were driving at about 90km per hour. I looked up at my rear-view mirror couple of times to see the lady constantly radiating hatred at me which I didn't know why because I didn't even recall cutting her lane or anything. But the tail-gating continued and I just drove and talked to Andy casually, when suddenly, this crazy woman took the left lane and sped up beside me. It was then that I knew she wanted to cut me. Yes, I did selfishly pressed the accelerator harder because I really didn't want to give in to her craziness. But a lousy car she was driving, and she did not expect the car in front of me to jam the brake as we near a bend. It was too late for her, she flipped her signal lights only for half a sec when swerved her car into my lane and jammed her brakes too, causing me and the driver behind me to jerk our cars into the brake mode. Anger fumed my eyes and I yelled a curse at her. Then I honked. And I did not let go for more than 10 seconds. The next thing I did was to drive to the next lane and I gave her the finger.

The subsequent incident that happened was on twitter. As you know, I am attending Buddhist class and the Buddha's quotes really moved me when I read more and more about him. So I tweeted one of this teachings and hastagged Buddha and Buddhist in my tweet. It was a harmless tweet because I did not insult or demean any other religions. This is pretty much a free world we are living in now and everyone is free to practice the religions of their choice. But this Caucasian guy replied my tweet with "I am the truth' - Jesus which got me mad. I have always have a raging bad temper and boiled up like hot spring in the split of a second but this time, I really did try to claim myself down. I was afterall, born and bred of another religion and then late chose to follow my heart and belief in another. So in a way, I do respect other religions too. I merely chose another way to find my path and worship. What I did next, was not something I am proud of but I did reply to this guy who later decided to follow me (I believe is to stalk my tweets in case I tweeted another quote from Buddha), I asked him why did he follow me, then I proceeded to block him in the event it will turn out a potential fight on twitter between me and him on the topic of religion.

I believe there is a day for everything, a day to be angry and a day to be happy etc. Now, I am not mighty proud of what I have done especially when it came to the first 2 incidents. But whilst I think and accept as true that there is a day for every feeling, there is a clear distinction between justice and vengeance, anger and retaliation. Sadly though, I had decided to choose the latter.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

I finally experienced it. Have you? (Part 2)

I have been to Buddhist classes for the past few weeks. I must say that I finally went for class even though I had always wanted to go since years ago.

I was born a Catholic and a Buddhist by choice. Despite the vast difference in these two religions. I found that they are similar in many ways; but I shall go to that in another day.

What I wanted to write about here today is that every time something happened to me to make me realise something or feel something, I always wanted to then pen my thoughts down. As you know, I only write during the weekends and if that particular incident that took place shook me so much that I can wait till the weekends to write, it must be something that affected me hugely.

These few weeks however, every weekend as I find myself at my work desk trying to type out my thoughts about something that moved me so much over the week, I realised that I have nothing to say.

What took place few days ago that stirred up so much emotions in me then found me unable to transcribe anything down at all. Not because my muse has left me, but more like the incident no longer has that much impact on me to make me want to compose anything about it anymore. It was like, "Damn!" and now it is merely, "You sure?"

So what is the connect between this and my being at some religious class?

Don't worry, I am not going to go all preachy on you.

What I want to say is that I have grown to be more mindful of what is happening around me which later caused me to accept certain things with a more cool approach. I am though, still cultivating myself and am in a learning stage and no, I am not going to be some nun eventually and start to spread Buddhist teachings to everyone here on my website.

For starters, I am more mild and do not blow up do much. Actually, one of the reasons why I finally signed up for Buddhist class was the belief that it could help me curb my raging temper. But religion is not magic, it is an area of study for good breeding and discipline. Hence, I learned little by little, week by week about being 'good' and it did make me feel better.

I don't know if having gone for this class has made me more aware of all the bad that I have done and thereby, making me turn from guilty and then to a determined not to commit the same mistakes again.

Just yesterday, I was driving to meet Andy in town for dinner. From a distance, I made out a familiar shade of colour of a car model I know so well. My eyes screened the license plate which later made my heart skipped a beat- it is THE car. My first thought was to pick up speed to make sure the driver saw me and then feign ignorance and continue to drive as far away as I could. But as my car approached closer, I tapped the brakes a little and saw, the person I had done harm to before and my heart squeezed itself to a tight knob, emitting guilt and pain like a heat radiator. It only took me that one minute to turn my day around and as I drove to my destination, I tried to keep my eyes at the skies, praying silently to wish well on that person I have hurt and saying sorry to the air as though that person could hear.

When I saw Andy and we gave each other our usual 'hello' hugs upon meeting, I mutely thank him and the Gods in heaven for giving me this wonderful relationship no matter how many people had opposed it or how many obstacles we had gone through to be together. I thought of the harm I had done to that someone I drove past and this immense amount of gratitude just enveloped me as I was nicely tucked into Andy's embrace. Just how much good karma had I accumulated and how many positive thoughts I have emitted for this, I don't know. But I am damn sure of all the bad things I have done and to still deserve someone to love me unconditionally... well, I just wanted to cry and no one zillion times of saying 'thank you' can fully express my gratitude to all the good that is around me.