Friday, February 25, 2005

Waking Up to Reality.

Popular television and film actress Lee Eun-ju was found dead on Tuesday, apparently having committed suicide. She was 24.

Lee, the star of such hit films as ``Tae Guk Gi'' (2004) and ``The Scarlet Letter'' (2004) as well as the recent MBC television drama ``Firebird (Pulsae),'' was found by her elder brother in the walk-in closet of her apartment in Pundang, Kyonggi Province, where she is said to have hung herself. A note written in blood that included the words, ``Mother, I'm sorry, I love you'' was discovered at the scene.
Source: The Korea Times

Before anyone wants to leave comments on how wasteful it is for her to kill herself at such a young age-when she is such a pretty young thing, after all the achievements she had come about with and so on and so forth, let us remind ourselves that suicide is not merely " a star's thing".

Neither is it about a life wasted simply because one is pretty, young and has a bright future ahead of him/her. Do we say that a mentally-retarded person who commits suicide is somewhat 'less wasted'?

Obviously, we aren't very good judges in determining whose quality of life is better. Lee Eun Ju, despite being "so pretty, so young, so successful" didn't think her 'quality of life' was even worthy enough to go on living.

Nor did by being a Christian spurred her to press on.

Finding a suitable reaction towards the act of a Christian commiting suicide brings much difficulty to me. Not that it is less difficult if he/she is a non-Christian.

Ultimately, committing suicide is a sin. By killing ourselves, is by no means also the act of murdering; for such act constitutes robbing the very personhood of a Man.

The Bible tells us of God's command to Man, that "You shall not murder". It is God's sovereignty to give life and take life. Man has no right to dispose the life of others and of himself. Such act is disobedience and disobedience to God is plainly enough, though not in any way should be lightly-viewed; SIN.

However, instead of condemning her at her grave, I realise just how much a person needs God. Many would say, "How would you know He is there?" "You are only creating a God, purportedly to have divine powers to help you escape from the realities of this world".

Wake up to reality. There is only one fundamental reality, actually; is that we need God. Saying that we need Him is one thing. Acting upon our reliance on Him by turning to Him is another.

I sympathise with her death. But, I sympathised with her life even more.

She needed God. But in spite of knowing His existence, she somehow; did not turn to Him for reliance.

That is all that she had wasted, but it costs her her life.

And Eternity.

Sunday, February 20, 2005


During dinner, Jacksaid and the enigmatic David suddenly had an idea of venturing into entrepreneurship, by starting a company dedicating itself to solve the woes of singlehood of aplenty- a matchmaking company.

Coincidently, I was just contemplating this evening about how I would 'advertise' myself should I be desperate enough to resort to the 2nd last option there is to put a 'death' to my singlehood. (chuckle!)

The last resort, would be to register to Jacksaid and the enigmatic David's matchmaking company and end up with some Cinapek who wears thick, black-rimmed Ah Beng glasses, singlet and checkered shorts on dates, speaks in 'Engrish', sits with one of his leg up on the chair and gives me kuaci in place of chocolates on Valentine's Day.

Oh no. Better come up with a write-up to the classifieds.

"Wanted: Man. May consider him to be the father of my future kids. Preferably with the following features-Antonio Banderas' eyes, Tom Cruise's nose and Richard Gere's smile so that I can have good-looking kids. Must be good-looking. Nothing but good looks will do. Did I say he must be good-looking?

Sounds very predator-y. Must sound more submissive.

"Young, lonely lady waiting for suitors' proposal of hand in marriage. Will not initiate any moves. Please find me. Don't ask me how. That's a man's job."

Reminds me of the joke where a Christian was rejected by both camps of Arminians and Calvinists because to the Calvinists, he said, "I came by free will." And to the Arminians, "I was sent here." Both ways just don't work!

Well, I guess the all- time winner goes to...

p/s: Check out the man gawking...hehe

And no, I will still not resort to Jacksaid and the enigmatic David's matchmaking company for help.

"What are you waiting for?"
"Divine intervention..." - John, from the movie Shall We Dance?

Jacksaid and the enigmatic David are 'marketing' China girls by dozens- future wives, anyone?

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Stop this nonsense.

Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish in the sea, over the birds in the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."
- Genesis 1:26

Had I not read an interesting posting regarding human instincts being like animal instincts in SuaraMalaysia, I wouldn't have known that April 14 2003 was the date when scientists have successfully managed to map 99% of our human genome sequence.

According to the writer, these findings are significant because *quote*"it opens up a whole new world of science that was previously unexplored and gives the human race more control over its destiny. Secondly, it finally provided the scientific proof that we are all indeed just animals - similar in more ways than many of us want to believe. We share more than 90% of our gene sequence with animals such as rats and monkeys. Let's face it, Humans are animals. Why then do we do so much to deny our most basic "animal instinct" and accept that society can dictate how we can or cannot live? *unquote*

I beg your pardon.

More funny 'ideas' cropped up.
*quote*While there is a need to govern our behaviour and relationship when it affects other human beings, why is there a need to dictate how one can or cannot harm oneself? Why do we have to prevent two mature and consenting adults from trading sex and satisfying their animal need for sex and lust? Why do we have to prevent mature gay men from bonking in the privacy of their own homes? Or from getting married? Why do we stop people from getting highs on marijuana when we know the effects are temporary and reversible?*unquote*

It seems contradictory that the writer was imposing a law to govern human behaviour that would affect one another but abolish those that is preventing him from living his life as a living hell so long he doesn't drag anyone else into it.

How does one lead a barbaric lifestyle without affecting those around him? I wonder.

For instance, if one were to fall prey to his sexual instincts like animals, he would be transmitting all sorts of diseases to his multiple sexual partners. Has that not affected another person's life?

One can argue till the moon turns blue but no man can live his life without affecting the people around him.

It is most interesting that no matter how we think we are not, when we are making certain claims and commenting on a certain way that we should behave, we are; as C.S Lewis in Mere Christianity puts it, "appealing to some kind of standard behaviour which we expect the other person to know about." By suggesting that we should 'free the animal instincts' in us, the writer too, is expecting that we should follow this new 'code of behaviour'.

He further claimed that Man have "humanized" barbaric acts like values imposition so that it is easier to live with each other and that defending values are merely an act of cultural domination to ensure that one group of invididuals can dominate over the pack which is basically, animal instincts.

I beg to differ.

If 'values' and 'standards' were defended merely for cultural domination purposes, I would most like to know which nation's culture are we adopting as 'most acceptable norms'? Yes, there have been differences in moralities between different civilizations and different ages; but one must note that no such differences that expand across nations are so vast, that one should either accept this set of moralities or another.

For instance, a African would agree just as much as an American that a man should keep his promise to whom it has been made. This code of human behaviour is not invented by one nation and followed by another. As C.S Lewis had written," It looks, in fact, very much as if both parties had in mind some kind of Law of Rule or fair play or decent behaviour, about which they really agreed. And they have. If they had not, they might, of course, fight like animals( as what the writer claimed we are), but they(the animals) could not quarrel in the human sense of the word."

"Quarrelling means trying to show that the other man is wrong. And there is no sense in trying to do that unless you and he had some sort of agreement as to what Right and Wrong are."

The point that I am trying to make is that all human beings, all over the earth, have this curious idea that they ought to behave in a certain way, and cannot really get rid of it.

We are not animals. In the matter of speech, if we were, why the need to 'free the animal instinct' in us? That would only show that we have another set of human behaviour that we ought to follow for we know very clearly in our minds, have Right and Wrong in it.

Lastly, C.S Lewis asked: "If we do not believe in decent behaviour, why should we be so anxious to make excuses for not having behaved decently?"

Saying that we are more like animals than we thought would only be shifting our responsibility to such a lame excuse, because we cannot bear to face the fact that we have fallen short of the Law of Human Nature to behave decently.

Friday, February 18, 2005

His faithfulness is renewed ev'ry morning.

This morn' at 7.10 am

Morning has broken, like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken, like the first bird
Praise for the singing, praise for the morning
Praise for the springing fresh from the word

7.13 am

Mine is the sunlight,mine is the morning
Born of the one light, Eden saw play
Praise with elation, praise every morning
God's recreation of the new day
- Morning Has Broken, written by Eleanor Farjeon

Sunday, February 13, 2005

A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops. -- Henry Brooks Adams

A few weeks before Chinese New Year, a friend told me of her ambition to take up teaching English as a profession upon her graduation.

I was enthusiastic for her.

Back when I was in Form Five, I had an English teacher who then became the one teacher I never forgot.

She was one woman another would love to hate- loud, even brash; has a thundering voice which could travel miles and still not lose its magnitude, painted her fingernails with the colours that matched her wardrobe- even if she was wearing a yellow dress, oozing with confidence that one would have passed her off easily as being obnoxious...and who could forget her signature swagger?

But, boy; could she teach! A typical English lesson with her would be one that required no textbooks. "They are as good as dead!" She would exclaim in class. All that she required from us was our attention while she sidled up to any one of us; with a book in her hand; putting it on the table of one 'lucky' classmate, as a silent command of 'Read Aloud!' to the class.

She taught everything- from Philosophy to Poetry; and everything beautiful in between. She told us great stories of her own- when she was too poor to even buy a new umbrella and had to go to school with one that had too many holes in it, but would rather get wet going to school than skipping it because of her passion for learning; her wanderlust and her fascination with language and people.

Our homework were not exercises a, b and c from the textbook, rather; they were the recital of the Gettysburg Address by Abraham Lincoln, excerpts from various Churchill's public addresses during the World War II, Martin Luther King Jr's famous "I had a Dream"address, Emily Dickinson's bleak poems on Death and even on famous sayings by Socrates.

Although I could hardly remember beyond "Four scores and seven years ago..." I remembered the joy of learning that she has instilled in many of us. I remembered her enthusiasm as she read "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost. I remembered the words that she had scribbled in my journal, spurring me to take up writing and poetry.

And I remembered this, and it rings particularly in this entry- "Education is what survives when what has been learnt has been forgotten". a quote by B. F. Skinner.

It had been 5 years since I last saw her. So, imagine my surprise and delight when I met her in a most unexpected way during Chinese New Year. She didn't even look a year older since I last saw her- with her chilli-red fingernails that matched her blouse.

She too,remembered me-"the girl who would write pages in her journal". She must have thought.

We talked about my current plans, laughed about our old times and I finally plucked up enough courage to thank her for teaching me the finer things in life and language- something that I should have done 5 years ago.

Nevertheless, it was both a wonderful and meaningful reunion for a student and her teacher.

And a timely reflection on how inspiring teaching can be.

To Marcus, who would soon be leaving for Sabah to teach- may he be a blessing there, just as he has been a blessing to us here. Godspeed to him.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

"Why Are Women So Difficult?!"

I find myself trying to answer more and more difficult questions.:P

Women- difficult?

Serious bo?!

The reflections on the 'pains' that I came across during my pilgrimage seemed to have suggested otherwise, though. Haha.

Yes, I am biased. I am after all, a woman :)

Perhaps, what we find most difficult about being a woman is her torn-disposition of the temptation of leaving very obvious trails for a man to follow, or to wait silently for that particular man to lead her.

An obedient woman (and we should never be afraid to use this term) would submit to God by waiting in silence. There is a dangerously fine line drawn between letting a man lead and the woman follow suit, and a woman dropping hints and let the man follow her trail. Practising the latter would not be consistent with the order of creation and the biblical nature of men and women but we find that both men and women; Christians or non-Christians have become very accomodating to this approach of courtship.

Elisabeth Elliot wrote in Passion and Purity." Adam needed a helper. God fashioned one to the specifications of his need and brought her to him. It was Adam's job to husband her, that is, he was responsible- to care for, to protect, provide for, and cherish her. Males, as the physical design alone show, are made to be initiators and females, the receptors. It was not arbitrary that God called Himself Israel's Bridegroom and Israel His Bride, nor Christ the Head and the Church the Body and the Bride.The spiritual paradigm defines the relationship of men and women, specifically of husbands and wives, since that is the central human union. Adam and Eve made a mess of things when they reversed roles. She took the inititative, offered him the forbidden fruit, and he, instead of standing as his protector, responded and sinned along with her. It's been chaos ever since".

However, at the same time; we may have forgotten that women are also very emotional beings; and tend to cling on to the promises that the particular man has made to her. A woman may not respond immediately to the man's offer ( a subtle offer is nonetheless, still an offer) but would however, have bound herself with the promise (whether directly made, or indirectly made) that such man have made to her when they reveal their feelings for each other; to each other.

The problem begins when a man reveal his feelings to a woman , without putting much thought on whether there would be further development towards beginning a life together. If there is no such certainty of an intention to begin the relationship, a woman is contented in not knowing of that man's true feelings at all because much of the pain, confusion and devastation of pining alone could have been averted. What I want to stress here as a woman, is that a woman would be emotionally-attached to the man whom she has put much prayers and thought in contemplating a relationship with; hence, the man has to be sure of the road that is laid before him before any of these confessions take place.

Men, let not the women in your inner most thoughts be put in a misery of self-deception because of your uncertainties.

Women are not difficult, only too simple.

This is the point I want to make.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Balik Kampung Trilogy-Part 1

Civilization- turn left; Jungle- Go straight??!!

Balik Kampung Trilogy-Part 2

Yes, call me lifeless, but then again how lifeless can one be with Lifebook?:)

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Lifeless: This is life!
Full of Life: What?! You no life ah? It's Chinese New Year, wei!
Lifeless: Err...can la; the cover of the book is red what; considered to be auspicious reading material also la...

Special task force- putting money in angpau packets...finally; something different from blogging and flipping through pages of books. Still lifeless?! Aiyo...what to do...

So, that was all that I've been doing since I was back in idyllic Ipoh. I find myself doing pretty much the same things when I was in PJ (yes, lifeless me:) ) but being in the company of my family does make a lot of difference. Besides, it was too hot to go out anyway...

Balik Kampung Trilogy-Part 3

After a string of non-events for the past few days since I'm home (although I do enjoy being away from doing anything productive other than 'stimulating my faculty of wonder through The Red-Cover Book- a.k.a Sophie's World:) ); I am glad that my cousin and his girlfriend initiated a reunion dinner with us. (although it does sound as if I am dependent on my cousin's initiative for the dinner plan to get me away from the 'lifeless' me!)

I have anticipated the dinner for quite some time now, for 2 reasons
i) he is a cousin very dear to us and we have not met him for more than 2 years.
ii) he has not only become family to us in a worldly sense; but has also become a part of our family in Christ.

Being the first-generation Christians in our family, it brings us great joy; even exceeding joy to find that God has also chosen our cousin to enter His kingdom. Someone once asked me, "Do you believe that God will save your household as written in Acts 16:9 ?"

"Yes, because that is the promise that God has given to my cousin, my sister and I."

What a wonderful night it turned out to be that, this promise would have becomed more real to the three of us in every sense.