The Fallacy of Peace, Harmony and Assimilation in Society

IMG_0598Perhaps the most significant flaw in society is we are always never at peace with ourselves, let alone among ourselves. How else do we explain the chaos, hurt and destruction we leave behind when we are bitter? We become attuned to the saying, “some things are inevitable”. In the end there is no commitment to work towards peace. Why are humans captivated by war? Perhaps there are hidden incentives in abandoning the status quo. A sinister scheme could be at play but only few can understand. And these are figureheads who would make biased characterization upon others which can only result in retaliatory acts. Inevitably of course, the start of a irreversible ideological conflict. The only consequence to this is undue bereavement. No matter how we try to protect them, when peace efforts are undermined, we unwittingly inflict physical and emotional grief upon ourselves. The common citizen who has no role in international crisis are force to play the real-life characters as human casualties. They didn’t asked for hostilities and certainly didn’t asked to be collateral damage. And when situations deteriorate into armed conflicts, apart from death and destruction, there will be nothing but vast desolate land it leaves behind. Only when reconciliation begins, we realized that peace is a long and hard struggle.

Throughout civilizations humankind devised laws in hopes to protect societies from injustice, ennobled progress and cultivate peace and harmony. But man has yet to triumph over the evils of bigotry who lives in our midst. We see our struggles to rehabilitate immorality failing and we lose our grip on humility. The ills of hatred are continuing to fuel the flames of bitter rivalries and we make basic common sense increasingly hard to prevail. Yet we are still learning to understand only then we can see what peace can offer us.

Meanwhile before a state peace can be realised, there is a certain threshold that one needs to get passed. Because this is the kind of peace that requires a controlled state of mind, a psychological seismic wonder. It is peace on a personal level. It’s a more profound faculty of thought, occupying our conscience. Its depth determines how much we are prepared to make difficult choices. It is sometimes called, the inner peace and it provides a fundamental link to how we project or conduct our relationship with fellow human beings as well as the natural environment. These are things that actually have an effect on our daily lives which we sometimes take for granted.

In a study called, Nature and Society in Geography, B.L. TurnerII, in International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences (Second Edition) of 2015, quoted one of its contributors, Carol Harden, on soil erosion:

“..evident shown that abandoned land and roads/trails are critical in accelerating erosion..”

So basically when Mother Nature is sick or not at peace, there will be no inner peace for her children, the earth’s inhabitants. And should one succeed in seizing the moment, it is unclear how much further one can sustain its heights and intuition. Some of us may claimed to be at peace but in truth that is a priceless rarity, a scarce commodity. As scarce as a hen’s teeth.

The search for inner peace is usually induced by personal conflicts in our past. Eventually when we learn to pull through the upheavals of life, there’ll be a sense that we may have found that elusive solitude. But it may not be enough as the modern world, with whom our existence are linked to, is evolving relentlessly, challenging our rationality while overwhelming us for our weaknesses. We become weak when we are apolitical because our environment is part of the economics of politics. Therefore it’s prudent to understand global environmental matters as well. The earth’s ecosystem needs nurturing because unscrupulous industries are allowed to ravage her purity, all in the name of progress. If getting Donald Trump was worrying enough for global warming, the world will now have to deal with the likes of Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro who is seemingly hell-bent on promoting the deforestation of the Amazon. Our solidarity to act against these savagery are under scrutiny. Without a healthy natural environment, the search for inner peace will be nearly as impossible.

Remarkably, some surrogates of these ideologies have suggested that ensuing peace is subjective. Pushing philosophical beliefs against psychological stance. They believed that its consequence is dependent on one own’s perception of its existence — yet another attempt to manipulate reasoning. And to the leaders of these conservative theorists, their idea of peace is a deception for amassing more power and influence. One common method used is questioning our loyalty to their political movement. And when caught in a violent conflict they will claimed to have found a peace plan and denounce violence but in truth, their distorted ideology of truce exacerbate the plight of the victims and creates wider divisions by threatening adversaries of further hostilities with bullying tactics. It provides leverage to populist ideologies and gives rise to bigotry. This far-Right liberalism, who affirmed that one race (their race) is superior to another, is literally ruining harmony among society and undoing peace among mankind.

In recent years, we have seen the causes of racial discord that took place in leading economies are being used by the country’s incumbent leaders to gain mileage in their re-election bids. What was previously racially blasphemous are being pushed for acceptability by the extreme far-Right. Apparently becoming emboldened by irresponsible leadership. Meanwhile in the opposition camp, they condemned these deplorable and dangerous rhetoric in an effort to discredit their rival’s morality. But in doing so, they unwittingly precipitated some section of their supporters into a frenzy. Peaceful marches organised by Left-wing groups, somehow become somewhat provocative to the opposing party supporters and this is usually where trouble begins — a nightmare for security forces. In such circumstances, we could desperately feel violent confrontation brewing around the corner. Unfortunately, this is what election campaigns are all about and with very little provocation, chaos can break-out. A tit-for-tat behaviour can be fraught with danger. Unwarranted rhetorical outbursts have caused irreparable damage to a free nation. Violence from hatred and racism that was initially an “accident waiting to happen” has in fact broken out without control. This is where cool heads are imperative in order to proliferate peace.

As we travel through that hallowed journey of our search for peace, every answers to our questions will be revealed. How do we cast out our demons? Or how do we put our worry to rest? And as we surface the atmosphere of our inner sanctum of calmness, we will learn that life is no more than a planetary motion, orbiting around nature’s scheme of progression. The trajectory will lead us to a full circle in the unspoken galaxy. It will take us back to youthful spirits, where everything began, when our raw sensitivity takes shape. When we feel the ease to connect to other human beings and show them our courage to be receptive.

Harmony among humanity and the assimilation of society, isn’t completely about accepting cultural and religious diversity. There is more than meets the eye. What it boils down to is a combination of factors such as confronting social injustice, fighting the lack of government aid and in many cases, grappling with endless struggles for basic livelihood. And among other things that compounded the challenges to cultivate peace and harmony, is the blatant disregard for basic human rights and free speech. It is a hotly debated subject which opposing groups have their own varying definition of. Authoritarian governments are the principal culprit. Lead by corrupt and deranged dictators who are shrewd in masquerading as champions for the underprivileged. They claimed to uphold law and order but in fact enforcing extrajudicial assassinations and demonizing human rights activists, as we have seen committed by the Philippine President, Rodrigo Duterte. Criticism are being dismissed as fake news and with every resources at their disposal, they are able to inspire disinformation campaign against the so-called, enemy of the people. These are wrong and unjust but efforts to cancel out their forces are too weak.

Another element that is working to undermine our drive for harmony is stereotyping. It’s a living molecule inside our system that has existed for generations. Many believed that this tasteless trait may have been conceived in our genes and so they lay the blame on the targeted subjects instead. And due to an acute chronic ignorance, dehumanization across racial lines, religion and class, has become widespread in recent times. These dangerous xenophobic believers who are, holding respect as hostage demanded stricter immigration laws that actually violates human rights. Human migration takes place for various reasons but certainly never for the purpose of robbing the host nation’s wealth. We are always in exodus for the betterment of our legacy. The most disturbing thought coming from this phenomena is the fact that it’s more contagious than the common cold. By this assumption, social media platforms and mainstream media outlets must do more to confront these scourge. Complicity is unacceptable because it won’t help us improve our cause. There is an ongoing aggression from crude ideologies that is driving us mad. Ironically though, in order to begin our connection with peace, we will have to first, remove rage and remnants our xenophobic leanings that reside within us. Prejudice and angst will not enhance the strength of our inner peace.

“Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, no one but ourselves can free our minds.” – Bob Marley: “Redemption Song”.

And for all of our insecurities, we must learn to understand our limitations and imperfections. To be at peace and bring about peace, we need to be ready to let go the negative elements that complicate our struggles. To have the will to free ourselves from our difficult past. Some of us probably cannot while some probably will not. It is undoubtedly the hardest routine our emotions have to deal with on a regular basis. Patience is a virtue, people say but in-fact patience is a prerequisite. When we act in haste, we will feel the entrapment because all of its elements are not in place. We begin by being philosophical and yet we are impractical. This is an arrangement that we may find unjustified but it is spelled out invisibly.

Peace, harmony and the assimilation in society will always be an illusion as long as our world remains the way it is today. Our wills are free but we will always be enslaved to the rhetoric of the inapt movers and shakers who we ourselves put in office. Not only the ones who voted them in but us who aren’t convincing enough to them to be on our side. Eventually we become helpless as we let them burn our forest, contaminate our oceans and decimate wildlife and worst, destroy the very fabric of society. And because we are in the state of what we are today, tomorrow will not change anything. We may be modest but we cannot help it when we are still the same hypocrites. We talk of how dignified we should be and yet we strip bare the life of others and every living being that impedes our ambitions. We look for basic life’s contentment, but we make the relentless pursuit of wealth a priority all in the name of our children’s well-being. We want cheaper and quality services but we forget the forced labourer who earns a meagre of income. Forced, because they have no choice but families to feed. And eventually replaced by modern technology. We are literally xenophobic and we failed to realise it. We blamed it on a deeply rooted culture of hate but what we are really doing is looking out for our race. There is nothing wrong with taking care of our kind of course but we forget that skin colour are a superficial layer of common intuition.

Studies have found (just Google it) that there is no scientific or biological or even psychological proof to corroborate a perception that the skin colour determines how intelligent or inferior one person is to another and yet we choose fairer over darker. Smart people don’t necessarily produce smart kids or vice versa. But who is to judge that proper upbringing can guarantee morally sound descendants. Our future are actually dependent on what or who lives around us. These are the things that drive us from one belief to another. But isn’t it ironic that the identity we want seemed extraordinarily the same and yet we are moving backwards. We consumed whatever satisfies our needs because we are what we eat. Until we are able to correct ourselves and convince others to believe in the good for the world, there will never be peace. Collectively we can stop it.. or can we not? And will there be time before we can make it? Meanwhile as they say, the vicious cycle continues.

 

The End

THE TOUCH OF RAINBOW… The Unbounded Spirit.

Hand Sketch by Tluangtea

Hand Sketch by Tluangtea


Keeping a journal on sensitive topics can be a challenge.
Being objective not necessarily means being subtle. More often than not the characters are exposed to scrutiny as well as disparagement. And the subjects are at risk of being judged. However when all perspectives considered the real message can be clearly understood… 

“In order to feel, one must touch with bare hands.” – Abang Rahmat

Recently, I was asked by a friend who works at an independent charity organisation and social service centre, if I could help a family describe, in a few words, their thoughts about an organization called, Club Rainbow Singapore (CRS), whom they have been a member for several years. The beneficiary is the family’s youngest member who has a medical condition and considered to be a child with Special Needs. Towards the end of my endeavor I found myself to be more than just the ghost writer. I felt that I have become a story teller of sorts. A messenger. This is an excerpt of a story within a story… Dedicated to the fine men and women at CRS.

       ” When my wife and I first heard about Club Rainbow Singapore or CRS, the year was 2011. We actually heard it through conversations with a Social Service Staff at KK Children and Women’s Hospital. So we only knew vaguely that CRS is mostly about organizing exciting programs and events for children with special needs. Then, our son, Abdel was about three years young. And he of course, has a medical condition. But what made us really excited was actually the prospect of meeting people whom we thought could bring some fun to our son because we don’t really go out with our son out very often. But as we soon found out, CRS is quite different. And until today, Abdel has been living through an amazing childhood. This is my chance to relate a story of unbounded spirit that I encountered and it changed a little part of us for the rest of our lives.

     Abdel was born seven years ago in 2008. He suffers an abnormal genetic skin disorder called Lamellar Ichthyosis. It is also known as “Collodian Baby Syndrome”. Basically it is described by a continuous scaling and shedding of the skin caused by its rapid dryness. Resembling fish scales hence the term, Collodian. Naturally, it all began during the pregnancy term. In Abdel’s case, none were able to detect it until the first day of life. His condition is also characterised as the principal skin disorder, which carries a host of other secondary effects such as Anhidrosis and nearsightedness.

     Anhidrosis is a symptom that prevents the sufferer to perspire. This usually happens to Abdel when he is outdoors. His body is unable to cool itself. It’s quite chaotic just to see him fidgeting as the overheating skin constricts blood flow to the fingers and toes. As a result, there is skin tightening around the joints and around the eyes while some skin begin to peel. And so, Abdel has difficulty bending the hand joints and has problems with his vision. Needless to say, when the situation reaches its peak, the pain literally unbearable. And currently there is no cure except regular treatment of applying oils and deep moisturizers.

     From the very first day when our son was born, our lives are a continuous learning process. We have two older children who are normal. Therefore a huge part of our lives are really all about readjusting because of the attention that his condition demands. Our lives changed remarkably. More importantly, our psychological characteristic became more apparent. We began to see things with a different perspective. We learnt that we have become slightly more emotionally conscious and our two older children had to be mentally disciplined at early teenage years.

     These days our lives centred upon the welfare of Abdel. He becomes the focal point of our habits. We needed to get used to these changes because Abdel was growing up fast. We all had to multi-task. And especially my wife, she is the pillar of strength in the family. Not just a home-maker but also a caregiver, which also means a porter, nurse, therapist and a medical orderly. She is, in simple terms, more than a mother. Actually she has been a mother to our kids more than twenty-one years ago when our first child was born. 

     Abdel’s daily routine, as well as the household chores is packed with tight scheduling. In the beginning, every miscalculation of timing usually ended up in a huge time-table mess, an organisation nightmare. Sometimes the process and pace needed to be precise, simply because of the nature of his condition. At any time should weather conditions becomes harsh, he will become agitated and his reaction can be severe. Abdel will begin to scratch profusely and stop-work order for the day will be placed. It can be pretty intense. So we have learnt a lot about the diagnosis .

     However as Abdel turned seven this year, things are better organised. We are well aware of the highs and lows and more importantly we have more time to put away for family activities. That brings us to our connection with CRS, a wonderful and famous children’s charity organization, “.. Providing help to children who are suffering from chronic and life threatening illness..”

     When Abdel was growing up, time was a luxury that we did NOT have. He was unable to go out more often as he is strictly dependent on the environment. Unfortunately he has limited adaptability when going outdoors. To avoid any discomfort, we needed to choose the right activity for Abdel to participate. We needed to be wise for Abdel’s sake. That’s why many outdoor events organised by CRS that had to be missed. Obviously we were all a little disappointed. But hope was not lost. Things began to change. We were very happy that CRS also has events that were held indoors. And that is why, as much as we can, we try not to miss it.

     But it’s not just the activities at CRS that are great. There is more than meets the eye. Getting acquainted with CRS actually gives us that special feeling. And we were fortunate that we didn’t give up on hope. As I learnt more about CRS it became clear that it’s more about meeting people and families who has children with special needs. Incredibly, they were all happy faces. More importantly it’s more about the spirit.

     No matter how much the world has changed, there are still remnants of that social stigma about people with special needs. Life is hard for the physically challenged but it gets harder when they get little help just to get by. It gets worse when they are younger. The emotional effect that formed can be damaging. So it’s only natural that they are treated special. This where CRS is most prominent. With the work that they have been doing for children with disabilities, CRS has provided something that is not easy to find. It signifies that there are people in this world who really care. And the thing of it, we get to meet them all including the beneficiaries and their families.

     In truth families who have children with special needs come from diverse backgrounds. Some families may be affluent while most of them struggle to make ends meet. Generally the under-privileged are usually the less fortunate because the challenge is in the affordability. Thus going out for leisure outing is a big issue for us. As a result some of these children may never experience what other children from the wealthy families have. Obviously it made sense for CRS to prioritise the exceptional ones. And my family is immensely grateful to see Abdel benefited from such treats.

     On many occasions Abdel, along with several other special kids, got a chance to appreciate some exciting happenings. During those times I saw the faces of every child beaming with joy. I could swear every kid had a fantastic time. They really felt special. And who wouldn’t..? Especially with the movie screenings. I understand that to undertake such a massive operation can be a challenge. However at the end of the day, all the efforts are worth many times over.

     We had a few chats with other parents while sending our child to some events. And they always have praise for the people at CRS for their altruism. In our conversations with one particular personnel, I feel there is a sense of connection between us in the way children with special needs are raised. Certainly there are still families who will appreciate these helping hands. I personally hope that CRS and groups like them will flourish because it is an honourable labour. And I strongly feel that more support should be forthcoming.

     Abdel is indeed a blessing no matter what life brings to our family. There is nothing that we would want to change about him. Not even the sound of his cry can break us. For sickness and health, we shall be there for him. Meanwhile the impact of this charity work is making life great for the young lad. At the same time, it was a meaningful eye-opener for us. We literally got a lot more than we came to see – a learning process for all.

     So if you ever happen to pass by people with special needs, especially when they are young, just remember that they are indeed special. In fact more special than we can ever imagine. For they have been Bless with an extraordinary purpose. They exist in this world to remind us all to be thankful for our good fortune.

      I have always taught my son that life is more than just receiving. For someone like him to receive, someone else must give. At CRS, he learns that it’s the human spirit that gives and that matters most. There will be a time when he needs to remember what made him feel special, not who… And truly, Club Rainbow Singapore made it happen.”

The End

And For My Next Challenge…

The interim posters for the proposed three titles for 2016 TeleMovies

The interim posters for the proposed three titles for 2016 TeleMovies

Writing a screenplay, a dialogue based prose, is more or less different from writing an essay or narrative. Nonetheless script writers are also trying to tell us a story. I recently submitted 3 pitches or proposal for TeleMovie production to a local network studio. This will be my first. In three to four weeks from now, I expect to be notified if my proposals are accepted for some of next year’s shows. And after which there will be a story-board presentation before a panel of network executives. This first formal meeting will help us to convince the studio to pick my story ideas. But this does not mean I’m successful just yet. And the wait will continue before they finally call to say, either they liked it or “try again next time”. So you can probably imagine what I’m going through at the moment.

This is what I was told basically. From the time a submission is delivered, right until such time when the results arrived, the proposal will spend an average of five months before a the studio execs decides. And (this is the most interesting part) if any of the proposals is selected they would usually leave you one to two months of preparation time before any shooting begins! Talk about real glory… Now, I don’t really know how any other network studios works but this is to me an incredible nerve wrecking experience because when deadlines are concern, life depends on it. Perhaps a little too extreme for a writer who is so used to not having to wait. I guess on top of being restless, I’m mostly dreadfully impatient. What writer isn’t?

I couldn’t tell any of my friends about it for fear of a leak, this is according to the producers. Well, probably because I’m too afraid to jinx it. Unfortunately it had happened to me a couple of times before. And the feeling sucks. But sometimes you can’t help it when you have a hit story in your hands, can you? Well, ok. Maybe not a big hit but at least I know I’m really quite happy with my work… I even created my own (provisional) posters for all three of my submission. Obviously they will need some work but I hope those executives will find it convincing enough to accept it. (Oh God, please make them like it) So technically, by writing this blog, I’m telling the whole world about what I have been doing. This is perhaps tantamount to a massive screw up…! Because we are talking about a colossal and also irreversible) Jinx..! Then again I was thinking, what do I have to lose? But jinx or no jinx, urgh… whatever happens, happens.

And by the way, what is really the definition of a successful writing? Does it mean that when one’s work gets published, one is successful? Or maybe when the book hits the bestseller list? What about a winning script? An Oscar, perhaps? Or just a box office hit would suffice? Ben Affleck and Matt Damon won an Oscar each for best original screenplay, writing for the first time! That was really a massive achievement. I’m sure they have more success story to tell, when it comes to writing scripts.

In any case, I have no clue to what are my chances like. Network studios sometimes have a reputation of rejecting first-timers. So the next thing I should be thinking about is preparing myself for some not-so-good news… the inevitable, so they say. I might be actually giving myself too much credit than I deserved. These stories actually revolve around typical situations in everyday lives. That’s the theme that they have asked for. So I should really be happy with my work. Obviously I have made it quite unique but there is something that I sometimes do worry about — an opinion before people actually see the story. Who doesn’t? But you can’t help these reviews from happening.

Basically The three stories are, A marathon runner who is taking a new challenge by participating in a vertical marathon which is held bi-annually on New Year’s Day in “The Marathon Year”. A teenage girl who went missing on New Year’s Eve in “Missing” and a Member of Parliament who decides to tie the knot “The Wedding..”. Check out the cheesy tagline. Clearly there are challenges in creating these stories because I was always trying not to immitate.

My head said that I shouldn’t worry too much. Stay confident. The hopes and dreams. The positivity and all the focus energy. Every word my brain crafted. Four pages of profound pitching… Writing like there’s no tomorrow. Reading it repeatedly then editing for countless times. But I also know that when it was finally time to send it, my whole body was unwilling. Too afraid people would laugh at it, such amateurish product. But then after the documents were sent, the emptiness suddenly began… Now that it’s finally out of my hands, and anything that can happen, will happen. The feelings of apprehension and those little anxieties, they seem fond of getting close to my thoughts. And all because of this unnecessary and endless wait. I’ve got the network studio to thank for this reservation.

Finally it’s time to go back to what I was doing before (trying to take over world). I guess we all have to wait, then… And of course, you guys will be the first to know if there is any (just the positives) update on the matter. In this I mean my luck with the submission.

The Element of Time; Does It Really Heal? (Re-edited version)

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Three things you cannot recover in life: WORDS after it’s said, CHANCES after it’s missed and TIME after it’s gone.

Three things you cannot recover in life: WORDS after they’re said, CHANCES after they’re gone and TIME after they passed. So before we begin on the subject, let me start by saying that, time is short and people usually forget.

Not too long ago, while conducting an insignificant research on varying social habits and cultures, I came across a certain segment of subjects who appeared to be deeply concerned about their past life’s achievements far more than the present or their future achievements.

Insignificant because these things are sometimes inconclusive. It essentially exposed the idiocies in people but of course they can be amusingly common things we see everyday in our lives.

This is to say that for some people, what took place in their previous life mattered more to them than say, what they can actually achieve years down the road. And that’s usually how they want society to judge them. It was almost like saying, “I was smart in my previous life, buddy so I know these things better.” At best, that sounded like self gloating. At worst, arrogance. Typical it may be so the exercise was somewhatdisengaging.

In my observations, this group consisted of not only high educated individuals but also the not-so high educated ones as well. They believed that their successes in the past or in some cases, any lack of it, can determine how they control relationships with their peers.

Which brings me to my point, Time. The sub-constituent stretch of a moment in our lives, in which we decide where it starts until whatever point of moment we decide it ends. And is Time really capable of healing the undesirable past or is there something else that Time can really offer to us.

To actually say, Time heals everything, when one gets emotionally hurt, is not unreasonable. However to be healed by Time, per se, seemed unrealistic.

Firstly there is basically nothing of our past to be healed about. And Time, is not really the healer that we painted them to be. What Time really does is it literally flies by, stimulating a belief and hopes of achieving dreams that we aspire. And for that reason, Time is able to create naivetés.

When something happened in the past, regardless whether it’s upsetting or distressing, people said that, in time, those things will blow over. On the other hand, when pleasant things happen, it was normal for people to say that those were wonderful Times. So depending of how Time carries around our stories, they are either a nuisance or a friend. And meanwhile as Time progresses, something that happened today will be considered history by tomorrow.

Let’s take for example when a break-up in a love relationship happens. It can be devastating but sometimes people forget that these things happen for a variety of reasons. No matter what the circumstances are, we know that it’s a difficult thing to accept for anyone. After awhile regrets will follow and between the two of you either one will definitely need to endure more emotional pain than the other. Sympathy will come pouring in, more often friends would typically say, “Time will heal”. Unfortunately for me, at that moment I didn’t know what or who to believe at first. Soon I came to realise that Time did nothing.

So realistically, we all need to snap out of these setbacks. If we can’t move on, at the very least, move away. There will be detours once awhile. They are designed to test your resolve. Will you collapse again or soak-up the bumps? There are many ways to deal with everyday inadequacies and for starters, telling ourselves that Time will heal, is really not the way. Time is a brutal s.o.b. They won’t care if you self-destruct. And one of life’s arrangements is, it does not provide for Time to be our friend. So we need to try to open our hearts. Face the music because the tune eventually will end.

“Life is like photography.
You need the negatives to develop.”

Time is an unpaid advocate.Time has no emotion and Time can really ruin your plans for good measure. So plan for life’s contingencies to insulate yourself. People should realise that what we experience in the past is actually part of our journey. It happened because it was meant to happen. Go with the flow but let it flow steady.

We can call it fate if we want. We can cry over the loss if we want. And then we should try reminiscing. If it’s all done for the sake of feeling oneself again, the after effects of that can be quite fulfilling. Take my word for it. Relish the intense passion that actually occurred during those moments. The raw and wild intimacy. The need to make that false optimism will become unnecessary.

If you could take a quick look back into the past, you’ll probably be thankful because your decision to act made you a different person — probably better, from you were before. Do it over again if you want and not to worry about mistakes because you emotions are better prepared now. They’ve actually become automatically cautious by nature the next time around. Seek that therapeutic sensation if you must. For what matters is, only you and you only.

“We learn something from everyone who
passes through our lives..
Some lessons are painful, some are painless..
but, all are priceless.”

“…Time need not heal my thoughts. I am not in despair. The past shall remained there for me to reach out. Time shall never hold my sanctity for ransom nor my affection to be sold. I shall live life the way I desire and I will decide where my destiny leads me.

For the moment I shall cherish every sweet intimacy we shared. Nothing can compare to those magnificent feats of our lives. The extraordinary part of this life with you shall remain deep within my memory’s immortal vault. Time will pass us by and whenever I yearn for those passionate moments, I would only need to return to the portraits of your love to me. You are forever etched in my Time of life…
“I love you to bits.”
—  ..
excerpts from Letters to B.

The End

Ferns of Tioman

FERNS OF TIOMAN
by Mat Atahari

Lake Ti

A thousand autumns ago on the banks of lake Tioman
My stalk arisen to the calling of the Sun
Brought into this life
With winds above our seeds
Speculation ran rife
Of my forefather’s deeds

A thousand autumns ago on the banks of lake Tioman
I, descendant of Phyllitis, the first of the seven sons
Mere ferns we are not
But enemies of parasites
Loyal to foliage
Protector of rights

A thousand autumns ago on the banks of lake Tioman
We defended these rocks with our roots, our freedom front
Defender of truth
For this soil is free
For all its inhabitants
From giants to the bees

A thousand autumns ago on the banks of lake Tioman
Man is ruinous to the riches of this land
Ravaging the woods
Piercing the sea
Robbing nutrients and livelihood
As far as eyes can see

….

A thousand autumns ago on the banks of lake Tioman
For as long as we shall remain as part of this grant
Our labor of love
Slave to the land
To the heavens above
Ferns till the end

.

The End

The Thing About Failure…

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Whatever it may bring, failure is a terrible thing.

What is it about failure that we really don’t know? People fail into awkward and difficult situations. As with the Literary and Performing Arts industry, where I ply my trade, these things happen. And I had an unforgettable brush with failure that I wish to share. To begin, we know that failure is really not good for our inner self. When we experienced failure, the entire system in our body feels like falling apart. We feel mentally collapse and our breaking point is reached. People say it’s ironic how failure can provide the best inspiration for our thoughts. Failure is like the best teacher of life and the best reminder of our flaws. It literally makes us forget that we’re not perfect. Because one of the most difficult decision one has to make after failing is, choosing whether to walk away or try harder…(Can’t remember where I found this quote but) either way, we won’t be the same person anymore.

Whatever it may bring, failure is a terrible thing. Because it’s almost a certainty that a psychological reaction will follow every time we fail. With a bit of annoyance, we become fluent in expletives. Even the toughest optimist will dread at the prospect of failing. And without realizing it, we succumbed to our pain, we unwittingly hurt people around us, more than our own death. Does this feeling ever happen to you? I bet it does… perhaps even worse. As a budding playwright, I seem to have a habit of confronting too many of them. Writing is hard! Producing your work and getting recognition is even harder.

Failure changes for the better, success for the worse.
~ Lucius Annaeus Seneca.

When failure enters your realm, you feel at your weakest even when you’re tough, and vulnerable even when you’re strong. Retribution is unbearable, while to live life the next moment is like a bloody torment. Insanity is a only a few spoken words away. The choice and sacrifice you made when you started out is only what you have to defend your case. But until you meet your demise, failure will linger on. They don’t really haunt you but enough to prick your skin. They’re the data on your monitor screen that you’re unable to delete. They could communicate to you and cling like a pesky nuisance! And naturally  you want to kill it but that’s the thing about failure…when it happens, it becomes a part of you, indefinitely. 

There are so many things that people can fail at. School exams, relationships, business venture and personal endeavours. And sometimes afterwards the same failure is just waiting to happen again, luring in disguised as another golden opportunity to restart whatever that we have failed before. A second chance at a hopeless cause. And the illusion of success will throw you back into the same hole. You are probably kidding yourself but you will be the fool to go for it again. Apparently, second chances are worse than whatever the cause that you started out in the first place! Time that has gone and pass, will make you feel completely helpless. 

In truth, failure are like sins that we’re not immune to. I have failed far too many times and my previous experience was probably the worst one yet. I needed to fix it. I know it’s hard to dismiss it as plain, bad luck, but this is the challenge I faced. I suppose this is what people who fail would have to deal with. Time is so unkind because you know there is no such thing as ‘turning back the clock’. And every moving matter you see around you makes you sick.

About two years ago, I started a project, a theatre production. It’s not a huge project but quite an ambitious one. The project attracted quite a modest but amazing group of participants. The script which I wrote, centered upon psychological deception, was to me, a breakthrough. It was probably because of the challenges in the pre-production stages and the genre of the story-line — A mystery “whodunit” suspense murder. We have all the Artistic as well as the Technical people in place. And mind you, I’m not talking about your average theatre actors or director or producer. These are esteemed professional stage practitioners. So to cut a story short, the work came to an abrupt end. For some reason we failed to gather enough financial support and sponsorship for the project to go through… Now this is the type of failure that not only cost reputations but it also affected lives. So basically, it’s a worst kind of failure you can imagined.

Till now, the verdict is still out there on how things went wrong.  But in picking up the pieces, the emotional stress was unbearable. Regrets was plenty and the constant aching has no voice. I wanted to put the blame on fate but fate has no face. No way to typify the unfortunate turn of events. The effort was disproportionate to the outcome. And mysteriously so, failure seems to pave the way for more unpleasant situation to emerge. Then you will realize who your friends are. The shoulder to cry on just isn’t there. Even the person in the mirror won’t talk back to you. Sometimes it feels like you’re loosing control.

Of course it never ends there. You need to come out of the hiding because apparently, there are work to be done. Face the world with your damaged pride and your broken down dignity. Your shame will be made know for everyone to see. It makes no difference who gets the blame. Because the real test begins with whatever the emotional aftermath that you are trying to cope with, you have to carry them with you while you complete the process. As though the trauma wasn’t enough, the work just would not end. If the hurt doesn’t kill you, the deadlines will.

“…Find what you love and let it kill you.
Let it drain you of your all. Let it cling onto your back and weigh you down into eventual nothingness.
Let it kill you and let it devour your remains.
For all things will kill you…”
– Charles Bukowski

So what is thing about failure? Here’s the reality of it… It’s something that we must avoid at all cost. People say, dare to dream. But in my case, many dreams were shattered, promises broken, and friendship lost. At some point there will be complete nothingness only to realize that it’s a survival game. I’m probably still fighting it now. People tell you, that you should never give up in what you believe you can do. But they forget to tell us, that you are likely to suffer first, in the aftermath of a failure. Some just die trying… Well, actually the world around you will die and the negativity continues until things turn around. You will keep knocking the door at Lady Luck. But she has hearing problems and your hands are sore. All this while time just ticks away…

Failure is NOT a good thing. We run away from things that make us unhappy, so why risk ourselves into failing. But if you do come face to face with failure, here is what you probably can do. Be prepared to find a different life. Find yourself a new YOU. Be prepared to change from that old environment but more importantly from your former self. Meet new people because it can be very lonely out there. Find an excuse to pick yourself up. Always be pragmatic. That means you can fail again. Think harder..! And finally, just remember to keep that same loving spirit with you always because if nothing works, you will still be loved.

Note from the writer: The opinion above is based on the writer’s personal experience. Should the suggested methods are to be tried, results may vary from one reader to another. The writer shall not be responsible for any failure on the part of the reader. Good Luck to you all. Cheers…!

The World in My Thoughts… (Expanded Version)

Avoid popularity if you would have peace - Abraham Lincoln

Avoid popularity if you would have peace – A. Lincoln

As a matter of principle and a man of faith, I do respect the different ideologies that my friends choose. I am not too worried with their color nor their sexual orientation. I also have no problem getting along with people with any age because I believe that we all have the right to co-exist. Whether I or not have met any of you, I will do my utmost to understand your beliefs. But inevitably we are all really not perfect. We are actually more judgmental than we thought we were. Therefore, I hope you can forgive me for any of my shortcomings in the past. Hey, maybe some social networks sites will have to share the blame for this — (laughs). Nonetheless, you will have no less than my honesty.

For a prolonged period, we have seen so many inspirational quotes posted in the internet teaching us to be righteous and innocently making the person who post them popular. Coming from a diverse personalities, they remind us to be wise and reasonable and et cetera. But frankly, it’s hard not to be hypercritical because on many occasions, what we see are merely words to perk up our networking pages. It’s in our human nature that our own interest takes priority. For some, giving their point of view, shielded them from further exploitation. But unfortunately, as in most cases, being popular has its compulsion.

While recent arms conflicts around the world are in a worrying state, I have become increasing observant to the victims who suffered unnecessarily. Regardless of their beliefs or ethnicity, these human rights abuses are unacceptable. But here’s the thing,

“The evils of man will succeed unless the unbiased overcome the bigots.”  – Mat Atahari

Inadvertently we can be the guilty ones ourselves. But we have been punished much too leniently. Hence we should be our own counsel and file our own plea because honestly, reading out quotes will never be enough. Our naïveté are actually killing innocent lives.

These days political differences escalated into violence. Warring nations are either preparing their assault or pushing their incursion, all in the name of faultless ideologies. This cannot be justified. Countless families left homeless, their land occupied by a ruthless invaders. They become terrified by the massive ruled of fear, fueled by hatred and driven by greed for wealth and superiority. The way of life of normal people ruined beyond comprehension. Devastation to natural habitat cannot be undone. Destructive weapons becoming more advance costing at a premium while human souls are seemingly cheap. The graphic pictures are deeply heart-breaking to see. Mainstream media cannot be wrong.

Within almost every religion, bears a splitting sect. (By the way, I ask all of you to please NOT to associate Islam with the term “terrorist”. There is no Islamic terrorist, they are just, terrorist, period..) A rogue congregation that threatens civility. And this has led to deep rooted conflicts and bloodshed which actually can be avoided. I strongly condemned all its form. There are too many to name these people who are responsible for so many atrocities. But I’m sure you can name them from the land where you lived. They will find anything to discriminate against, so long as their means are met. And they will continue to mask their shameless acts with illusions of virtue. But being honest and fair starts at around us. Ideological differences are fine but fundamental human rights such as the right to live in peace cannot be allowed to be compromised. It’s strange how many world leaders come and go but the world is never better off. Modern civilization are inflicted with pain much worse than the previous generation.

I don’t have an agenda here, only a little concern about the legacy of human kind. I can’t help feeling fortunate for having accessibility to great number of things in life. However, if you can, I urge you to support the weak and the poor. The victims who are mainly helpless, crying children, defenseless women and the ailing old. They suffer endlessly by the hands of immoral aggressors who in time, will become despicable dictators. You can help by SHARE-ing legitimate news of cruelty that comes to you. This way, your government will be able to know that regular people like you and I are aware of it and we are really concern. If we are bold, our governments can be too. If we want change to actually take place, let’s make our leaders help us, to help them. Hopefully more nations will stop taking issues at others and start to realize that being JUST and resolved in their policies will help cure the ills. Advocate PEACE. Wipe off social discrimination and STOP all wars..!

I will respect whatever you choose to do next. I promise we will always be friends. Finally, thank you for your friendship. May you live prosper. God bless.

If You Look At Love Hard Enough…

Sacrifice and Passion are what every

Sacrifice and Passion are what every “Love” relationship should be built upon

Several days ago, a friend of mine, who does research on topics in psychology, asked me if I can give my thoughts on “Love”? It occurred to me that it’s not really a general question so I was motivated to provide my views, as the subject matter clearly has no generic response. Basically, it’s just my own thoughts of the emotional effects about love. I’m pretty sure this is not in reference to the intimate physicality but more into the serious stuff about relationships. In the end, I put together, in a short time, a brief note… a laymen’s understanding, an idiosyncratic thesis, which would almost certainly draw criticisms and ridicule. Hopefully I am able to confuse everyone. This way, the next time anyone decides to give me some homework, they would have to think twice (smiles).

Two things come to my mind whenever the subject of “Love” is raised; First is, Sacrifice. Second, Passion. CG Jung once quoted as saying that, “Faith, hope, love, and insights are the highest achievements of human effort. They are found-given-by experience” …It probably means that “Love” is achieved by experience (or something to that effect).

Of course, experiencing “Love” is not something that comes by so easily to some people. But passion does. And funny thing about passion… It brings out the act of sacrifice in everyone. A selflessness gesture that may be hard to invoke. Every breathing moment in our lives, we are called upon to sacrifice matters which are usually beyond us, sometimes to do something beyond our means. And often, unknown to us, “Love” eventually comes into play. It creeps in when we least expected it. The beauty of it, they tests our resolve and character because frankly, this is what “Love” is about. Seeking the truth within us. We’ve heard about he ultimate sacrifice, which is usually seen as an act that only parents would commit for their child. That is of course a different kind of “Love”. Nonetheless, for “Love” to exist, there must be sacrifice. And meanwhile, there is really more about sacrifice than meets the eye.

The true worth of a sacrifice is the type that when you act upon, while the intended person does not know. Ultimately it is the kind that only you, yourself know its consequence and value. It is a “love” that cannot simply be uttered because to declare such affection would deem the sacrifice insignificant. An instigation by the illusion of “Love”. –  Mat Atahari.

I believe that a sacrifice must come first in order to compel the “Love” reaction. I believe that it should NOT be the other way around. And it must come from within the depth of our soul. I would rather sacrifice something NOT out of love, but out of what that person I am sacrificing for, deserved it. The ‘needs’ should be justifiable than the ‘wants’. The need to be “Love” is imperative than wanting to be “Love”. When someone who has just walked a thousand miles to seek the “Love” of their life, that someone deserved to be loved, as the road can be filled with malice and punishment. The Passion, that exist in every soul defeats all obstacles.

And next comes Passion. Every human being has Passion. We found Passion in almost anything that we love to do. Some people are passionate in gardening, others, in the Arts. But people tend to get confused between Passion and “Love”. And this is where many relationships failed. I may not be an expert in relationship but I have spent many ups and down to know enough. So “Love” relationships are also about Passion. I hope my attempt to define “Love”, will elaborate why most people can get confused.

Being in love is so much different than being passionate about someone… And being in love is actually nothing, compared to being passionate about someone. And if the Passion does not exist, along with the obsession, then my assertion is accurate. How then, can you tell? When one is in love, it usually means that one feels infatuated or on many occasions feeling obsessed with the other person. When one is in love, usually one does things beyond comprehension. When you’re head over heels, you will become reckless. And your actions are usually not driven by sensibility. And for the name of “Love”, you’re suddenly able to put out the sun. Even symbolically, that’s quite impossible. However, when you’re passionate bout someone, you will tend to be cautious about everything that you do.

Take a sculptor, for example… The artist would take great care while creating a masterpiece. The sculptor knows what the finish product would and should look like even before work starts. A lot of research is being done to create a uniqueness in the product. With creativity, applied with the utmost professionalism. Thus ensuring top quality finish. And if something felt not right, the work is re-done. Not willing to compromise and surrender to mediocrity… And in order to do that, the sculptor sacrificed precious time, which is nothing less that the work deserved. And THAT is what passion means..! It simply overrides mad and hopeless love.

So imagine you are the sculptor in your relationship. There should really be no tests, only options, to choose from. If you make bad decisions, you have to track back to where it went wrong and perhaps reshape the path, in which you must sacrifice you time. You don’t want to settle for less. To make your “Love” worked, you want to be devoted but not overwhelmed. You want to be exceptional but not insurmountable. And finally you want to be flawless and not incomplete… And you will have your monument of “Love”.

So that is what “Love” really means to me. And Love is never easy because you can’t be right all the time. Taking chances is part of life. Like anything that you submit to, there is a chance that rejection can be the outcome. But of course, on the other hand, there the art of doing things. It’s really is a process that never stops until you know you have a masterpiece. Sacrifice and Passion are what every “Love” relationship should be built upon. And finally it’s also about instinct…. Be brave and persevere.

I wish you all good luck and God Bless.

TWO CATS AND THE OVEN

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Two Cats And The Oven
By Mat Atahari

I once met a fella who lost his two front teeth.
He has two obese cats, a big oven, a wife itching to leave.
He really loved to bake and calls butter, margarine.
Feed the cats meatloaf but his wife, only muffins.

 
I never ask his name again ‘cos he told me once before.
It’s really hard to spell it out but it sounds bizarre, I swore.
The towns’ people always mock him and called his wife a tart.
For some reason he accidentally pees every time he farts.

 
He loved his wife dearly next to the cats and the oven.
But the wicked spouse cannot be bothered, as she gloats frequently in the tavern.
He tries hard to change his strange and difficult habits.
But it’s really not that easy when the cats loved his biscuits.
 
So one fine day he thought of a way to win back his wife.
Perhaps a much bigger muffin for the love of his life.
He knew she despised his felines whom he took from the street.
So he plan to bake the dough with the fatty tabbys in it.
 
Unfortunately for him the oven’s door is rather small.
Heavy syrup and furry stuffings were culprits for his downfall.
The sleeping kitties woke up and one of them said, “Meow..?
Then the other one gave him shivers and asked, “Well.., how about we feast on you now..?”

..

The End