Friday, 21 July 2017

Be a "Common" Carer

I believe most of us know how to take care of our personal belongings. Surely we would not want to abuse or excessively use our stuff, to the point that it breaks down, becomes damaged or less usable, or even to the point of it becoming so severely impaired that it can no longer be used.

However, I wonder how much care do we take towards items or facilities which are for common use. Do we ensure that we do our part to keep the facility or item clean and in working condition? Or have some of us become so self-centred or not the least bit bothered, couldn't care less about others and using such items or facilities as we please, and should there be a problem with such items or facilities, have we become so indifferent and leave the item or facility in a deplorable state?

One example of how some of us have become disgustingly indifferent towards common items or facilities are the toilets. I marvel at how some could be so inconsiderate in throwing excessive amounts of tissue, sanitary pads, or even hard items into the toilet bowls, causing the toilet bowls to clog. Some even don't bother to flush or clean the toilet bowl after they have done their "small" or "big" "business," leaving behind a trail of urine or faeces (that's "shit" or "poo poo" for those of you who do not know what "faeces" mean). Yucks! So disgusting and repugnant! And yet, there are some who seem to be disgustingly recalcitrant, preferring to leave behind their "droppings" for all to see.

If such persons have such attitudes when it comes to common items or facilities, one wonders what sort of attitude such persons would have towards their spiritual lives or relationship with God. After all, being clean is a sign of spiritual purity or goodness, as in "cleanliness is next to godliness". If one cannot be responsible in caring for what is meant for common use, I wonder how one could be just as responsible in caring for one's spiritual progress.

May we do our part in not only keeping such common items or facilities clean and operational, but also teach our children and others to do the same. Should we come across common items or facilities which need repairs, may we not look the other way, but notify the relevant authorities so that, hopefully, such common items or facilities would be fixed accordingly. Of course, catching such persons who commit such reprehensible acts towards such common items or facilities is certainly not easy, since we may not be able to install surveillance equipment, especially when it comes to places like in the toilet, but let us be vigilant, with hope that we would collectively and effectively reduce the possibility of such crimes from happening again.

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

PhD or phd or PHD?

Every once in a while, I come across people who claim to be intelligent or learned, even to the point of achieving high academic status, and yet the person's attitude, character and behaviour seem to render one's intellectual capabilities irrelevant, or even to the point of being obnoxious. Perhaps some of you may have come across such a person or persons before, who may have a PhD, but who may actually be more of a phd or PHD.

Now some of you may be wondering... What difference is there between the three? After all they use the same letters, except for the fact that some are in uppercase and some in lowercase. So what's the big deal here?

Perhaps, if I may, clarify what the three acronyms mean, then you may get my drift:

PhD - A Doctorate in Philosophy, usually the highest level to be achieved in academic circles.

phd - permanent head damage, as in the situation some individuals around us may be experiencing, either physically or in one's attitude or behaviour.

PHD - this is where it may get interesting, where PHD stands for:
P: Prasangka - prejudice or preconception
H: Hasad - envy
D: Dengki - jealousy

When one has become consumed with PHD, one becomes easily prejudiced towards others, envious towards other people's abilities and even jealous towards other people's good works or efforts. This could cause one infected with PHD to resort to unsavoury or extreme measures to put down the other, or even destroy the other's reputation, or even to the point of committing character assassination, in an effort to puff up one's image, pride and ego. The question is... would one ever be content or happy; or would one end up excessively fearful of one's shadow, or petrified that the next corner may reveal more so called "enemies" to be dealt with? Would one fall into the abyss of insanity, obsessed in protecting one's image and status at all cost?

So how do we prevent ourselves from falling into the snares of PHD? In a word: humility. When we embrace humility, we begin to realise that we are not the ultimate and that is okay. We realise that the world does not revolve around us, and we come to understand that we are merely pilgrims, contributing in whatever way we can for the good of all, and for the benefit of generations to come. Are we willing to let humility flow throughout our veins, or have we allowed the rot of PHD to overcome and engulf us in its treacherous grasp?

BO and MO during Confession?

Among the many challenges a padre has to put up with when it comes to confession, one which is just as potent and potentially pengsan-able...