Thursday, 29 September 2005
I've had enough of people constantly keeping their heads buried in the sand.
I've had enough of people who think that being salt of the earth is equivalent to shutting up and not saying a thing about anything.
I've had enough of people who are more concerned about the dos and don'ts rather than God's grace.
I've had enough of people who take life so seriously, they've forgotten how to laugh. Or even smile. Or even understand a joke.
I've had enough of people who claim to be Christian but certainly do not demonstrate His love and care.
As Mahatma Gandhi said, "I like your Christ, but I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."
I've had enough.
Have we become a society concerned only about political correctness?
The push to pass an Anti-Discrimination Amendment (Religious Tolerance) Bill by the Hon. Peter Breen, albeit one that was drafted with the intention to promote peace and harmony amongst different religious groups, is merely scratching the surface of an issue that deals with people’s attitudes.
The proposed amendments to the Bill state that “it is unlawful for a person, by a public act, to incite hatred towards, serious contempt for, or severe ridicule of, a person or group of persons on the ground of the religious belief or activity of the person or members of the group.”
In light of the recent increase in tensions between religious groups, passing a Bill that could possibly curb public acts of hatred may be welcomed. But then, imagine a society where only civilities are exchanged and debates are only allowed if they do not offend anyone…imagine how much hypocrisy that could entail.
One can understand the rationale behind wanting to pass the Bill, and yet, what exactly is it preventing and how will it be enforced?
How does one agree on the definition of subjective expressions like “incite hatred”, “serious contempt” and “severe ridicule”?
All the Bill might be able to achieve is to force people to gloss everything over with a coat of honey when they wish to express their opinions. It does not change the innate attitudes of people.
Unless supporters of the Bill are able to prove they can mandate it and accurately define its terms, passing the Bill could be a futile exercise in promoting harmony. In the meantime, we should be more concerned about changing people’s attitudes towards each other. Jesus says to treat others as you would like them to treat you.
Can I say that? Or have I just incited hatred against non-Christians because I mentioned something Jesus said?
For more information on the Bill:
Anti-Discrimination Amendment (Religious Tolerance) Bill 2005 (pdf file)
New South Wales Government Legislation Review Committee Digest
ABC Religion Report
I love the challenge and the exercise in creativity, but it honestly isn't easy!
I just spent the last 30mins trying to summarise the first point.
No wonder I'm getting distracted and procrastinating as much as I can.
Wednesday, 28 September 2005
I'm not sure that by posting this message will enhance any of my power or my peace of mind, but I certainly agree with what he says!
No one "sends" an idea unless:
a. they understand it
b. they want it to spread
c. they believe that spreading it will enhance their power (reputation, income, friendships) or their peace of mind
d. the effort necessary to send the idea is less than the benefits
No one "gets" an idea unless:
a. the first impression demands further investigation
b. they already understand the foundation ideas necessary to get the new idea
c. they trust or respect the sender enough to invest the time
Caught the movie last night and it had me wishing I was part of the scriptwriting process.
The amount of word play, witticisms and hilarious humour involved in the entire script was highly impressive.
This was entertainment on double, maybe even triple levels.
The story and the wonderful work put into animating the whole movie was really great and simply watching it on the surface level was entertaining in itself.
However, it was the little details lurking in the background that will not be picked up until the second or third watching that added to its beauty.
On top of that, the play on words. Oh my goodness. To have such a strong grasp of the English language and come up with such great one-liners that tied in to the entire theme of the movie was enough to make me want to worship the ground the scriptwriters walk on.
Unfortunately, there isn't really a point in me giving examples because you will not get the joke until you actually watch the movie.
Which means you have to watch the movie.
I caught their previous feature films years ago and was duly impressed by it. It seems that they've only gotten better at their work over time.
Besides, Gromit is so cute!
Tuesday, 27 September 2005
Monday, 26 September 2005
Considering Ida was stopping by Sydney on her trip around the world, what better way to show her the beauty of New South Wales than a trip to the Blue Mountains.
Caught the sunset at the Three Sisters which was gorgeous and inspired us to plan to return the next morning to catch the sunrise.
So bright and early Sunday morning, we rose at 5am (yes, even *I* woke up at that unearthly hour) to witness a spectacular sunrise view of the Blue Mountains....only to arrive there and find the entire area shrouded in fog.
We couldn't even see 10 metres in front of us, what more a sunrise that would take our breaths away.
Despite the disappointment, the rest of the day was beautiful. Saw the Leura Cascades (pictured) and the Gordan Falls, which were both breathtaking.
Hiked up and down the area, working off our extremely unhealthy breakfast of Nutella and croissants.
Went to various lookout points to experience the majestic-ness of the Blue Mountains.
Contemplated jumping into the embrace of the forests down below, only to remember that gravity exists and the tree tops aren't as soft and fluffy as they appear to be...
Thursday, 22 September 2005
Tuesday, 20 September 2005
Why do governments have to be such a big pain and make such incredible demands on visa requirements? It's not as if she's going to leech off the Aussie government. In fact, I know for sure she'll make a great contribution to the economy.
But alas, her visa application wasn't approved and she's returning to the States in two days.
My best friend is leaving me. After reuniting for about nine months after spending close to two years in two different continents, we have to say goodbye again. At least she is working to return in January next year.
But in the meantime...
No more hours of long conversations about everything under the sun.
No more being able to gesticulate wildly, unable to say a word and yet have her understand me.
No more cooking experiments together.
No more soft gooey choc chip cookies.
No more travelling adventures with her.
No more sitting in her room and watching TV, making cynical and sarcastic comments.
No more experiencing weird indie films and plans to attend plays together.
No more Kristin.
Friday, 16 September 2005
It's not as if I have a bad life here, although the news of Kristin having to return back to the States in 10 days certainly put a damper on things. It's simply the return to reality and a mundane life that dulls everything.
Maybe it's because after nine days of bright sunshine on the beach in the great outdoors, I'm now stuck in a building looking out a window at an overcast sky that is making me feel a little down.
Maybe it's because after nine days of activities, of being around people, I'm currently sitting in front of a computer with nobody else to talk to that is making me feel a little bored.
Maybe it's because after nine days of fun and holiday, I'm dreading having to return to work on Monday.
My real life isn't bad. It's just different, and it somehow pales in comparison to the wonderful time I've had in Fiji, hanging out with good friends and not having to worry about anything in the world.
Then again, maybe if everyday is like my time spent in Fiji, I would get tired of it very soon too.
Thursday, 15 September 2005
Nine days of bright sunshine, sandy beach and the sea. I wish I was back in Fiji right now.
I had such a wonderful time and it was such a good break from week of stress I had just before I left.
There were so many activities, we went snorkelling, visiting traditional Fijian villages, swimming in waterfalls, watching firewalking, kayaking and of course, getting ready for the wedding.
It has been an amazing nine days, filled with so much warmth, laughter and good fun. I still can't believe I actually camped out for nine days and endured mozzie bites, cold showers and roughed it out for the whole time. The campsite was right next to the beach, which meant many walks by the water and time spent just looking out into the distance with the gentle breeze blowing in my face.
Getting to know the locals and Nat's family and friends from Australia was really great and well, all I can say is that I wish I was back in Fiji. I had such a great time, it's hard to believe that it's back to reality now....
For those who have some time to spare, photos can be viewed here. (I've maxed out my limit for this month so will add more from the wedding and the reception next month.)
Monday, 5 September 2005
Descending into Sydney yesterday did strange things to my heart. Simply seeing the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge and the rest of the city made me feel so welcomed. It really felt like I was returning home and suddenly I realise that I have come to see Sydney as home.
It was good to have been able to sleep in this morning and not have to worry about churning news today. To simply meander the streets of Sydney enjoying the time I had to myself. Most of all, to be able to sleep in my own bed on my nice pillow just did amazing things to restore my spirit.
And this time tomorrow, I will be landing in the sunny tropical island of Fiji, having the time of my life.
Bring on the bamboo-rafting, fire-walking, snorkelling and pottery lessons!
Friday, 2 September 2005
It has been an interesting experience. Fairly hectic and never felt more popular in my life, having everybody needing some sort of information from me or wanting me to do something.
Was impressed as to how passionate some of the people have been. These folks are committed to the business of the church and contribute fairly actively to any discussions made.
Working more than 12 hours a day has been interesting as well and I think I'm beginning to develop a fairly close relationship with my computer...
Thank goodness it will all be over soon.
And if anybody's interested, check out what I've been involved in here.
Am going to go enjoy my first early night.