Archive for January, 2010

Who will replace these great men ?

January 10, 2010

I had the priviledge to attend primary and secondary school at a fantastic educational institute called La Salle run by the De La Salle catholic missionary brothers (http://www.delasallebrothers.com/). The school is still around but the brothers are no longer here to run the schools, as the schools have all been nationalized.

I am not here to debate on the merits and demerits on nationalization. This discussion will lead us nowhere.

Instead, I’d like to pay homage to these fantastic men. And I can speak from personal experience. They have dedicated their lives to educating young men everywhere in the world, most of the time, asking for very little in return.

The education that they imparted to us was wholesome. They were teachers who would tell us about how to live life and how to conduct ourselves as worthy contributors to society, unlike the current education system, which emphasizes on book knowledge.

Brothers, we salute you.

Is this your tree ?

January 8, 2010

I have one for you.

Let’s assume that you live in a house and you love gardening. But your house has limited land, certainly not adequate for gardening.

You see a small plot of land next to your house and you plant a fruit tree in that plot of land. The land does not belong to you.

You nurture the tree religiously. You water and weed the tree every day and care for the tree in every conceivable way. The tree soon blossoms into something beautiful. It has lovely green leaves, delicious fruits, beautiful branches and looks very healthy. It makes you very proud.

My question is this.

1. Does that tree belong to you ?

2. If not you, whom does it belong to ?

3. Is it fair if it belonged to the owner of the land ? The tree is a result of your hard work and not his ?

4. Do you think you should share the tree with him ?

5. If you think you should share the tree with him, will your answer be any different if I tell you that the owner of the land is the government ?

Love Exists Within a Context

January 7, 2010

I was watching a rerun of an episode of Northern Exposure (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Exposure) some time back and the character that plays the radio DJ (I can’t remember his name) spoke about love between a man and a woman existing within a context.

It got me thinking…

Isn’t it true that romantic love between a man and a woman is confined to exist within a context ? By this, I mean that romantic love exists within a framework of strictly defined criteria. If all important criteria are fulfilled, the feeling of love continues and perhaps even flourishes. But if certain criteria are violated for any reason, the love that once blanketed every other emotion can potentially turn around and transform into instant contempt or even hate.

Examples can be found almost everywhere in daily life. Will you and can you forgive (completely) a cheating partner ? How about a drunkard husband or an abusive wife ? We all have our thresholds, limitations and tolerance levels before which love turns into hate.

Love refers to a deep, ineffable feeling of tenderly caring for another person (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Love). This feeling, strangely, is somehow linked to the set of criteria that we set for ourselves when defining the framework within which it exists. Violate the criteria, and this feeling vanishes into thin air or at the very least, diminishes in strength.

Therefore I propose that mankind redefine the meaning of romantic love as a contract.