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The Inhumanities That Humans Do to Fellow Humans Just to Uphold Their Cherished Viewpoints

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It is my feeling that we are not essentially judgmental nor by nature rigid against the views of others. We only become dogmatic and narrow-minded when we wholly succumb to an ideology or to a belief that thoroughly conditions our minds and hearts into thinking and feeling that our belief, and only our belief, has the sole right to exist in this world. I find rigid dogmatism (i.e., “only my view is the correct one”) as rather misplaced and misguided: because for a belief or for an ideology to be part of the so-called “market of ideas” implies that there are other ideas other than one’s own that deserve to be heard and to be acknowledged in this world of diversities.

Despite the denials of those who are bent in establishing a totalistic hegemony and dogmatic fundamentalism, ours is still a pluralistic world of diversities of views and opinions.

In itself, it is not wrong to have an ideology to live by, or to have one’s own cherished belief system—this is very much needed if we are to find significance and meaning in our lives.

Ideology or belief gives us our own “weltanschauung” or overarching perspective in understanding ourselves in relation to the world. The danger lies when one becomes exclusively conditioned, rigidly constituted, and unthinkingly brainwashed by one’s own cherished belief to the point that one does not anymore give space to the “other’s” right to a belief or an ideology.

The danger in exclusivism lies NOT in having a belief; but it lies in NOT ALLOWING SPACE for the “other” to articulate his belief and in closing one’s mind and heart to the possibility that the belief of the “other” is as meaningful as one’s own belief.

What is the disastrous result of this bigotry of other’s views and intolerance of other’s way of life? One ideology pitted against another, one religion striving to ease-out another religion into oblivion and obscurity, political demagoguery trying to demonize its dissenters—and many lives of human beings are sacrificed in these wasteful ideological and religious struggles, erroneously termed “just wars” or “holy wars”. This situation is too pathetic!

This situation is also incorrigible—because it shows a kind of cognitive dissonance on the part of a fundamentalist ideologue who believes that his specific ideology is for the goal of serving humankind. All these ideologies and belief systems confess to the principle of “the intrinsic value of human life and of the human person” as part and parcel of their worldview; and yet thousands of human lives are being sacrificed in the name of a particular ideology or religious views!

Until now, I cannot fathom why during World War II, Nazism in its brute barbarities against Jews and Gypsies, was readily accepted and was even defended by some German philosophers who are known to be advocates of universal humanism, transcendental idealism and all-inclusive existentialism. Or take a more recent example; I still cannot comprehend how a very loving husband and very kind father to his children, can detonate high-powered explosives in a busy and crowded train station—killing and maiming innocent people; all done in the name of “sacred struggle against infidels”.

These examples show the utter dissonance, the maddening effect, and the demonic addictive power of misplaced ideology as it irrationally conditions and utterly beclouds one’s clear conscience to the point that one becomes cruel to fellow humans all in the name of upholding a lofty principle or in the service of a cherished creedal system.

We need to be careful in the way how we view our ideologies and beliefs. It is fine “to have” an ideology and there is nothing wrong with “having” a cause to advocate or a belief to hold-on to: what is wrong is when this ideology or belief will “have us”—owning us—and we become its virtual slaves by constituting and conditioning us in its programmatic brainwashing, instead of us possessing this belief by processing rationally and emotively the validity of its claims. If I am not mistaken, it was Oscar Wilde who said something like this; “I value persons better than principles since no principles in this world, no matter how lofty, can ever remove the intrinsic value of the human person. There is no principle in this world no matter how profound, which can take the place of the immeasurable worth of the existence of even just one ordinary person”.

Existentialists are one in their stand that the human person can never and should never be sacrificed in the name of any cherished belief system or ideological principle because ideologies do not have intrinsic value in themselves; they become valuable only if they can aid humans in their search for life’s meaning and significance.

Creeds or beliefs benefit our existence making life meaningful; but they can be virtual monsters—as history factually attests—if these creeds and ideologies become masters over our existence and that of others. If we, human beings simply listen to the voice of our rational conscience and the humane promptings of our heart rather than to the conditioning and the mind-altering-programming of our respective creeds and belief-systems, we would have been spared from the cruelties, brute violence and inhumanities of so-called “just” or “holy” wars against other humans.

If we, simply listen to our human conscience and to our humane heart, then the hands of the whole humanity would have been spared from shedding the blood of innocent people who were (and until now are being continually) slaughtered in wars that are waged in God’s Name or in the name of an Ideal Utopia and misplaced extremist nationalism.

As for me, our rational conscience and our compassionate human heart are still the best antidotes to the poisonous hatred and murderous instinct peddled by life-denying ideologies and narrow-minded dogmatic belief systems made by humans against fellow humans. Universal tolerance and all-embracing compassion are still the best practices that will effectively counteract all kinds of hatred, violence, and cruelties brought about by intolerance, extremism and rigid dogmatism of fanatical and fundamentalist ideologues in our midst.

May we all manifest and live-out this spirituality of tolerance and all-embracing love in our daily existence and in our concourse with our fellow humans. So be it!

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How Much Sleep Do You Need?

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When you’re struggling to drop off, or if you’re battling the demands of work and home life, you can find yourself wondering how much sleep you can get away with. Is it ok to have just four or five hours or must you get a solid eight or nine hours every night?

If you’re suffering from insomnia, or just the demands of a newborn baby, you may be wondering – how much sleep do you need?

How Much Sleep Do You Need on Average?

This is a difficult question to answer as the amount of sleep a person needs depends on a lot of different factors like age, health and lifestyle.

Many people think staying up through the night to get work finished or to meet a deadline means they are being more productive but the science shows the opposite is true.

Without enough sleep, you are sluggish and impaired which means you work slower and make more mistakes. So, next time you’re struggling on a project, take yourself to bed and get some sleep. You’ll wake up refreshed and more creative – producing better work in the long run!

There is also a difference between the amount of sleep you actually need and the amount that is recommended for you to work at your best. While you can survive on fewer hours sleep, that is only a short-term solution and you should aim to get the optimum amount.

You might be able to carry on with only six or seven hours sleep for a few days but over time this will take its toll and you should be spending more time resting.

Some inherited factors like your genes can also affect how many hours of sleep you need to function at your best.

 

www.thesleepjudge.com

 

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Mx.

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In many official forms today, people are given gender choices: Mister, Miss, Mrs., Ms. plus that ambiguous word “Other,” about which I have always wondered. I know it to be a gender-neutral honorific but who actually ticks it off?

I need never wonder again.

According to Merriam-Webster, “Other” refers to those who do not identify themselves as belonging to a particular gender—or those who don’t want to be identified by gender.

Can you guess what this world-famous dictionary did to acknowledge “Other?” While we weren’t looking, it added an honorific just for him/her/whomever.

Pronounced as mix, this new word has been in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged since April 2016 and added to their online dictionary last September 2017.

While the word isn’t used as an official title globally yet, it is already recognized and adopted in the UK and soon other parts of the world may follow suit. Men and women can then freely use it.

And men and women will completely be mixed up. No more shall there be bad and good, rude and polite, correct and incorrect, man and woman, black and white—just all shades in between.

2018 will be cluttered and mixed-up with new words and new identities, reminiscent of our famous Filipino dessert called “halo-halo” (transliterated as mix-mix).

In one tall glass are many kinds of fruits and some vegetables in various colors and shapes with bits and pieces of native cakes thrown it, plus milk and sugar mixed in crushed ice and ice-cream.

More and more people will demand for ways to acknowledge themselves, their individuality, their  me-ness.

This is not at all surprising; it is not going to get better. Apostle Paul warned Timothy, “. . . that in the last days there will be very difficult times.  For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred.”  1Timothy 3:1-2 (NLT)

By grace, we can keep the faith.

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The Unspoken Word: Aging

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People often say to me, “You don’t look your age.” I don’t quite know how to react—smile or smirk. I am sure they mean well and want to make me feel good, but somehow, there’s a disconnect somewhere.

feel my age. Every single year of it. I feel it in my bones, in my muscles, in my eyes, in my ears, in my gums, on my scalp and on my skin—in every place of me.

Does that mean my body parts have aged before my looks?

Sheila Nevins (aged 78), an American television producer and the President of HBO Documentary Films, calls this “compliment” to women of a certain age as fairy tale. In fact, she wrote a satirical and hilarious book about women in this late life stage. She titled it: “You Don’t Look Your Age and Other Fairy Tales.”

When (or if) I get to be her age and still writing or training young writers in workshops and seminars, I will probably be hearing more “You don’t look your age.”

Our late househelp Manang Vi, whose oral bluntness was unrivaled, had doused my delight, “When people say that to you, they’re wrong.”

I replied, “You mean, they’re lying?”

She said, “No. They just don’t know what they’re saying.”

God bless her soul.

There’s a statement that I wish people would say instead, “You’re aging with grace.” But there’s a stigma attached to the word “aging.” You don’t dare speak it to other people’s lined face, unless you are a physician specializing in geriatrics.

The word grace does not come naturally in conversations, either—unless you are in Sunday school or a prayer meeting.

But since “You don’t look your age” seems to be the “in” thing to say to people whose looks have obviously transformed from a fresh plum to a dried prune through the years, I should be grateful.

Whatever changes my body (or mind) has gone and will go through, the only One that matters remains unchanged.

“I will be your God throughout your lifetime—until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you.” I Isaiah 46:4 (NLT)

 Grace D. Chong

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Source of Security

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During my first year of marriage, Raynie asked me the deadliest question spouses could ask one another: “Why do you love me?”

Now, I know that many of you think this question is sweet or cute or harmless. But I assure you, this can be a trap for any person’s insecurities. So before I tell you my answer, let me talk about why this question can be dangerous.

So many people judge themselves using worldly standards. That means they look at the mirror and assess themselves according to their looks, their accomplishments, their fashion, their intelligence, or even their social circles. That’s how the world judges.

When it comes to relationships, this becomes the standard by which people judge themselves and one another. I know it can happen to both men and women since both put their hearts on the line when they get to know one another. The man risks getting rejected while the woman risks feeling unwanted. So let’s ask the question again: WHY DO YOU LOVE ME?

When a girl asks that question to a guy, she is usually looking for security. For a christian girl to ask that from a christian guy? Oh, that’s a relational death trap. Here’s where the cycle of insecurity comes in.

Girls tend to think:
“I’m not good enough.”
“I’m not kind enough.”
“I’m not pretty enough.”
“I’m not smart enough.”
“I’m not intelligent enough.”
“I’m not successful enough.”
“I’m not sweet enough.”
“I’m not sporty enough.”
“I’m not sexy enough.”
“I’m not independent enough.”
“I’m not strong enough.”
“i’m not feminine enough.”

And guess what. At some point in your life, one or more of these statements will be true. There will ALWAYS be someone smarter, richer, prettier, funnier, sexier, stronger, kinder, etc…

When you compare yourself to others, you will ALWAYS lose. When you use the world’s standards to evaluate your desirability, you will always lose. When you use the world’s standards to find security, you will always lose. AND WHEN YOU ASK THE OPPOSITE SEX THIS QUESTION, and expect him or her to evaluate you based on worldly standards, you will BOTH lose.

Take at look at this cycle:
1- Why do you like me? (the girl is using worldly standards)
2- The guy thinks she’s pretty (the girl got her wish and got judged by worldly standards)
3- Someone prettier comes along (the girl loses and feels insecure)
4- She then gets angry at the guy (she blames him for using worldly standards to judge her)
5- She then looks for a guy who has lower standards, or improves herself to fit that standard
6- Repeat step 1

AND THIS GOES FOR MEN AS WELL AS WOMEN!

The solution? Stop judging yourself and evaluating yourself using worldly standards. Instead, judge yourself based on the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. You are valuable not because you’re rich or funny or successful, BUT BECAUSE THE GOD WHO CREATED THE UNIVERSE DEEMED YOU VALUABLE ENOUGH TO BEAR THE CROSS OF CALVARY. We are sinners, deserving of wrath, yet received grace from God when we repent of our sins! How does that change things when it comes to our relationships? Well, for starters, we realize that we do not and will never deserve a spouse. We will never deserve receiving another human being as a gift, to love us despite our sinfulness. AND YET GOD BECAME MAN TO LOVE US AS ANOTHER HUMAN BEING. The result is humility. Not pride. We won’t feel that we deserve to be loved, and yet will receive love with a humble and grateful heart!

Secondly, because our value and security is in Christ and His cross, we won’t feel threatened that others are richer, smarter, funnier, and etc because every other person is just a richer sinner, a funnier sinner, a prettier sinner, a more successful sinner… and when we see this, the playing field is leveled for everyone. We are all in need of grace. We are all the same. And in that sense, there’s no need for competition.
So please, don’t settle for a guy or a girl who loves you based on worldly standards. You might think it would be better than being lonely, but trust me. Marrying a guy or a girl for the wrong reasons will only INCREASE your loneliness. Why? Because you won’t be with a guy or girl married to you. Not really. Instead, you’ll be with a guy who is married to your face, or your bank account, or your sex appeal, or your wits, or whatever it is that he married you for.

Don’t judge or evaluate yourself using worldly standards, and don’t ever allow others to do so. Rather, base everything on Christ’s Cross. And be with someone who wants to be with you for the right reasons. But what are the right reasons? Well, let me answer the question my wife asked me: Why do you love me?

My answer?

“Because God placed a love in my heart for you.”
“Because I see Christ being formed in you.”
“Because I see Christ being formed in me through you.”

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