On beliefs and how they relate to others…

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(Disclaimer: I do not own the above picture. All credit goes to the creator)

This post is made in response to this video describing how fundamentalist groups are encouraging ‘purity balls’ whereby young girls are, frankly, coerced into swearing to remain celibate until marriage as well as the drives by fundamentalist Christian groups to promote abstinence for religious reasons.

As the above picture states, as long as you don’t cause ANY kind of harm to yourself or to others, you could worship whatever you want to worship and believe whatever it is you want to believe. When you refuse to accept that other people have different beliefs and have the right to these other beliefs as well as refuse to accept that many beliefs need to be contextualised.

No one has the right to force someone to believe in something. No one has the right to scaremonger people into believing in a faith system. And that goes for ALL faith systems. Instead of basing the merits on abstinence and the demerits of contraception purely on doctrine and faith, why not acknowledge that abstinence and contraception can be beneficial in a practical capacity? That it is often better to be safe than sorry regarding our sexual encounters and relationships?

Give people information on your beliefs and let them make their own minds up. Sometimes the most loving and the safest thing to do is contrary to traditional doctrine and we cannot refuse to acknowledge this forever.

This is the video here!

On revenge and it’s worthlessness…

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(The above image is of Hamlet killing his Uncle Claudius in Shakespeare’s Hamlet and was painted by Gustave Moreau (data unknow). The image came from this source http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Prince_Hamlet_kill_King_Claudius,_in_Shakespeare%27s_Hamlet_.jpg)

 

I was watching an episode of Dr Phil (an American talk show) and I found something that I wanted to write about here immediately. The outline of this particular episode was Dr Phil trying to mediate a very serious dispute between two women (woman A and woman B) where woman B (as well as some friends) completely sabotaged woman A’s  very successful Beauty Pageant career by forwarding incriminating pictures of woman A from previous years to the director of the Beauty Pageant that woman A had obtained a very significant victory. All of this was done out of revenge for previous disputes that could have easily been resolved in some other way. Woman B admitted that she did this out of spite but also felt that woman A was undeserving of her winnings due to past mistakes.

Whilst I agree that woman A should have known better than to let such pictures be exposed to the public sphere, it is very apparent that what woman B lost and what she could have lost due to her desire for revenge was even greater than the damage caused to woman A. By leaking a particular picture that including nudity, woman B could have been sent to prison since woman A was a minor in the aforementioned photo. It is one thing to make a person acknowledge their faults and short-comings , it is entirely another thing to destroy two lives in order to  exact revenge. Not only did woman B damage her own reputation, she put the wellbeing of her own children and her own future at risk for her revenge. The old sayings ring true when we are exposed to such situations, even ones that are not as extreme: an eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.

It hurts when we are wronged. It hurts when we see others being successful when we believe that they may not deserve such success. I have often felt a need for revenge in my life and I have yet to meet a person who has not. Spite and revenge do nothing to aid matters however and they only risk aggravating the situation. The wrong done to us still remain, the past remains unchanged but the present is bitter and the future is tainted. If a person takes delight in such conduct, it only makes them stoop to the level of the other person in the eyes of others.

What is to be done, then? Are we to let wrongdoings go unpunished? Are we to let justice become a distant memory?

No, not at all.

There is merit in discussion and in civility. There is a merit to explaining why you felt someone had wronged you and how it can be remedied. There is merit in war of all kinds being a last resort. There is no quick, universal fix for any conflict but surely a longer, perhaps more arduous road to peace is better than a quick and inescapable road to complete ruin. Even if the ruin is not quick or complete, it will be there and it will linger.

Here’s the aforementioned episode. Please have a watch and let me know what you all think!

Dr Phil Episode

On doing nothing in particular and enjoying it anyway…

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I was looking through my pictures on my phone and I found this one and I couldn’t help but smile. The above picture is one I took a couple of months ago when I went to visit my family during a break from university. My two dogs are getting older and enjoy sleeping a lot more than they are used to. Plus, they don’t see me as often as they used to and so they have no qualms about monopolising my time! I was doing nothing except being a pillow for them and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.

In this hectic world where every single minute is under intense pressure to be productive we may often forget just how wonderful it is to enjoy the moments where there is nothing that requires our immediate attention. Moments when we can simply take a breather from the often frantic pace of life and remember just what it is we work so hard for.

I often think to myself, ‘What is the point of living with unnecessary stresses when life is too short to begin with?’ It’s moments like in the picture above where I think ‘What a shame it is that some people cannot enjoy a brief moment of relaxation because they think it’s wasting time!’

No, these brief moments are not wastes of time!

They are the times where we can spend time enjoying the company of others or just our own company, to read and to write, to watch some TV, to plan new dreams and adventures, to relish in a day’s work well done or to have a moment to recover from a day that may not have gone to plan.

I never used to appreciate moments where I could take a break from everything until I saw just how sublimely content my parents are to simply drink a cup of coffee whilst sitting down after a hard day’s work.

I know that I will one day look back on my life and how simple it has been and wish to return to my carefree youth. I know that one day I’ll have an even greater appreciation for the quiet moments in life. Quiet moments sitting with my parents, being a pillow for my dogs or simply feeding my parrot cereal from my bowl. I dare say that I feel like this at times already!

What do you all think? How do you all like to spend your quiet moments? I would very much like to learn about what people cherish most during their moments of relaxation. 🙂

On the mockery of manual labourers…

So again I found another picture of ‘Actual Advice Mallard’ and whilst I do agree with this one wholeheartedly, I am absolutely baffled as to why this needs to be said to some people.

(Disclaimer: Again, this particular picture is not mine)

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My opinions on this matter are rather strong since both my parents are and have been manual labourers and the vast majority of my family tree were as well. It is agonising for me when my mother is sobbing on the phone telling me that someone had completely disrespected her just because of her profession. It is agonising for me to hear my father telling me how unappreciated he is by society despite both him and my mother providing an important and necessary service to the community (they both work as what people would commonly call ‘street sweepers’).

The person who made the comments in the above picture is right; by demoralising those professions that are no ones you go to university for, you are undermining the sheer hard work that many manual labourers do. By assuming that an academic career is superior you are creating an unjust environment when all of society’s members should be counted as important in their own way. Also, let’s not mention that with the economic climate being as strained as it is you can count on more graduates being expected to do jobs they would never have expected to do.

One of my most cherished descriptions of the way the ideal society should function is expressed by Paul the Apostle in the Christian Bible. He compares society to the human body in that all it’s parts (from the mind to the toes) play a crucial role and that we should be considerate of any part we consider to be ‘lesser’ since they still serve a purpose. You do not have to be a Christian to appreciate the passage’s vital message that you are still an integral part of society no matter what your job is in society.

The aforementioned passage is found in 1 Corinthians 12: 14-27. Please have a read 🙂

http://mobile.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Corinthians%2012:12-27

On the nature of intelligence…

I found this picture online just now (disclaimer: the picture and the views expressed in the picture are NOT my own. I merely wish to express my view on it)…

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Assuming that this picture is advocating forms of academic intelligence, I would firstly like to say that this is NOT a view I hold. There is no harm from seeking answers from those we feel are more intelligent than ourselves and there is certainly no shame in wishing to stretch our own intellectual capacity. We should not, however, dismiss others on the simple assumption that they do not have the answers that we seek or that any knowledge they may impart is not worth our attention.

Through day-to-day life I have come across many different people who are all knowledgable and intelligent in different ways. From scholarly to practical trades, from daily to once-in-a-lifetime experiences we all have lessons and intelligence to share with others.

I can never truly know who is the most intelligent in a room but I certainly believe that there is so much that we can learn from other people. We needn’t dismiss the lessons we can learn from others just because we seek different forms of intellectual stimulation.

Never doubt that we all have something to contribute to daily discussions of knowledge! Never automatically assume you’re in the wrong room!

“This above all…

“This above all — to thine own self be true;
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man…”

This is perhaps my most cherished quote from my favourite piece of literature, Hamlet by William Shakespeare. It is said by the character Polonius during an advice-giving speech to his son Laertes before the latter departs to France during Act I, Scene III.

For me, this quote is a reflection of how I strive to live my life; how I strive to be truthful to both myself and others around me. 

It is also a reflection of what I would like this blog to be; a blog where I can share my thoughts on the events of daily life in a manner that is true to my own beliefs about this amazing but complex world we live in. I would also hope for this blog to be a place where ideas can be shared and challenged (albeit in a respectful and civil way).