Where will you be my darling? Where will you be when the dark is rising?
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
It's been a month since my last serious post. Thought I'd make one again.
Suddenly I've been thinking about a lot of issues, mainly due to good talks with my friends about tons of things. So you know what, I thought I'd post a serious (and long post) that I typed last year in notepad, but never posted, due to the controversial nature of it. I don't like to offend people, but I do stand up for my rights and opinions. There will be conflict of agreements, and with certain issues going on now, I think it's a good time to post it. Remember, I typed this last year, don't judge me by my previous thoughts and opinions. I still keep some opinions. Others have changed for the better.
To prevent anyone from judging me through this post, I'll let you figure out yourself what is still relevant in my life and what is obsolete. You'll see what I mean when you read my post. And, I realized that my post is creepily relevant to issues I've been talking about lately, so it'll be interesting to see my past speak about future (now present) events.
Hmmm. I'm typing this post so that people can see my perspective. I don't mean this as a direct rebuttal, nor an argument. I know the people who've made certain suggestions have my best interests at heart, but although I may be open to certain ideas, I won't accept it outright.
Okay, on with it. As the new year is coming soon, I've been asked by certain people to change certain aspects of myself. Firstly, my words. I've been told to tame my tongue, and not be so direct. Being direct is just me, and I've realized it works better than being subtle. However, for the sake of those who can't handle the truth, I think I'll listen to this one, and be less direct to those people who I think can't take it or aren't worth my "directness". To those who I know are able, I'll still be direct to them. This is one of the changes I'll listen to, because I'll know its for the better for certain people. Plus, I agree... my directness is quite harsh sometimes. Our language matters to people (and in church context, younger members), so although I find no problem with my language, I understand not everyone is alright with it. Change it for the better so it'll benefit. This I believe to be true.
I've been told to wear different colours too. Understandable, 'cause I wear black 99% of the time I go out. To make them happy, I've worn blue or white sometimes. That doesn't help though, 'cause they've told me to regularly wear different colours. Some people want me to wear different colours and carry myself in a different way so that people will see me as someone who can lead, and so on. Then, I'm told, I can wear black and all that stuff I wore before. Isn't that like faking it, so that others can see? I change every year, and people know I've been changing for the better since I first came to church. Like a previous cellgroup leader once mentioned, I'm still black and all, but I've become a totally different person on the inside. He sees it, and so does everyone else. To change the colour of my clothes will be for the fact that others will get some "attention" on me changing, but its just for show in the end isn't it? That I can wear black after people realize I've changed on the outside. It's so external that I was nearly thrown off by this suggestion. So what if people see me wear another colour? That may make them assume I'm changing, but it's just on the outside. If they are to judge my inside by my clothes, I find that terribly judgemental and forgive my words, pathetic. What benefit is it to change my colours and have people think different thoughts about me? I'd rather wear black everyday and have people get to genuinely know me. It builds a true relationship, and they see me for who I am, regardless of my colours.
I've also been told to jump during praise. Five years in church and admittedly, I only jump on really big events like Emerge and the Festival of Praise. Other than that, I move around my legs and stuff but I don't jump. Frankly, its just because I don't feel like it. I praise with all my heart, and I just don't feel its necessary for me personally. I don't have a problem with it, but I don't feel that jumping means I'm more excited for God. Now when I do it of my own accord, it certainly means I am. But when I'm told to, it kinda defeats the purpose right? Isn't it just like wearing colours? So that others will see it? As I've said before, I pride myself on being the same person to everyone. Putting on colours for others to see or jumping so that others will notice will really make me feel fake. God will know my heart anyway, so isn't it worse that I'm jumping with "fakeness" during the Almighty's praise? Like I said, I have nothing against jumping. Just for me personally, I don't feel a need. Especially when I'm told. Jump all you want. But if you're just doing it so that others will see, praise will no longer be a language of faith, but of fake.
My hair, colours, fashion all have been criticized by many people, each asking for me to change a certain aspect. It's a well known fact that I can't please everyone. No one can. Yet I'm told to. Aye, one time, I cut my hair and my cellgroup all said it was much better. However all my classmates didn't like it and voiced their displeasure in jokes. My class is one of the best I've been in, and it's not just them joking for fun. They're honest in the fact they don't like it, because when I've had other haircuts, they've said its good. So yeah. I am admittedly different from everyone. I don't like blending in, because its just boring. In the words of Adriel (yes, the Arista one... since he doesn't read my blog) "I don't conform to the cookie cutter." I arguably make an impact wherever I go, be it minor or major, positive or negative. But wherever I go, waves follow. You don't regularly find people who dress in all black, wear chains with spiked hair, yet go to church. Add the fact that I'm from Canada, living in Malaysia, and studying in Singapore, with a Canadian accent and like for designing. And you know what? I like being different. Listening to other peoples advice is flattering, but it just conforms me to their idea of what's ideal isn't it?
When I walk around with friends, and someone is majorly different from the normal Singaporean, it's with near certainty that I'll hear some comment criticizing them. Someone who's bald? They'll make a joke about the shininess of his head. Someone who's practicing dance moves in the MRT? People will point, some will laugh and pass them off as some nutjob or para-para addict and others will even record them down to laugh at them in Youtube (I seriously believe these guys who record them down have no life themselves). I mean what's wrong with being bald? In wrestling, Stone Cold is bald, and he's hugely popular. So is Kane, although I do personally prefer him with hair (and mask). David Gan is near bald (the last time I remember) yet everyone sees his talent in the hairstylist industry and has no doubts even with the lack of hair on his own head. And to people that dance in the MRT. They could just be practising for a major concert sometime later, or they could just be doing their hobby while time passes. No one disses people playing PSP's in the MRT. They enjoy it and it kills time. Who says the dancers aren't doing the same? Are you not criticizing them of what they like? Why then is it okay for you to do your interests although they may not be as noticeable?
Hell, I'll let you know something about me. I am me. I am who I am. What you see is what you get. I hate it when people see me and judge me prematurely because of how I dress and all. I know first impressions are a given, and especially in work places, where I have no choice but to follow with the code. However, in church especially, I do not expect this. As Christians we're supposed to love people regardless of who they are. Because my hair stands all the time, I wear a very Satanic-looking cross, and I wear black all the time, will you judge me? Mahatma Ghandi, the famous Indian who peacefully helped gain independence and peace for India made this comment "I like their Christ. I don't like their Christians" How ironic. Ghandi once walked into a church with his traditional Indian garments, but was rejected by the people. They said that this church was only for the civilized and refined. So Ghandi turned towards Hinduism instead, even though he himself acknowledged the errors and contradictions in the Vedas (Hindu scriptures). Imagine following a religion just because you know it will bring peace, but you do not truly believe it yourself. You are rejected by the people who claim to know truth, and are angry that you walk away from the real truth to follow something else you do not truly affirm. This is why I do not agree when people say that when we go to church, we should dress our best, but have their own ideas of what is acceptable. I have seen people who dress in bermudas and slippers but they do it with a sense of fashion and look brilliant. Yet I'm certain that the same people who tell us to dress well in church would reject this fashion just because of the slippers. It's their best and their fashion. You don't judge me because of my clothes because you know me, you know its my style. Why then do you look so appalled when you see a member wearing slippers? Who says its not their style and therefore, their best?
I live for myself and God. Does it sound oxymoronic? It does, I admit. But here's the thing, I say I live my life for God, that is true, but I also live for myself too. Just because I live for God, does that mean I don't do the things I want as well? Sure, if my opinions come into conflict with the Bible, I know what to follow. But let's say something a little more trivial, like my fashion and clothes. I wear my clothes because I like it, not because God (who I'm not making assumptions on) likes it. He created us, He knows every single part of our body. Even the most sensitive parts. Our clothings just cover us. If people dress to seduce and for other bad reasons, then God will not approve of their clothing. But jeans and chains with a shirt are not going to seduce anyone. God has no problem with that. Neither do I, and it is for myself that I wear my clothes and pick out what I want. Very often, I've been told that I should not do so-and-so so that people will not get the wrong impression. A lot of my non-Christian friends think Christians can't go clubbing, get tattoos, and wear things that aren't "Christian". Liberal people may not have this view, but I daresay the majority of Asians do. If people in the world and worse, in church are going to judge me because I go clubbing, it merely reflects one thing, that you are judgmental. I put pretty girls pictures in my display picture sometimes, and I've been told by several people that although I may have a clear conscience, it may affect younger members. Seriously, how? How is showing a pretty girl going to affect people who are learning about Christ? Why do these people not disciple girls and guys who put famous stars on their wallpapers or posters, but are very harsh towards putting pretty or handsome people who are not famous? When I put Jolin as my display picture, no one had a problem. I changed it to some pretty girl who I didn't know and immediately people talked about it. It's sickening. I have a clear conscience. How people view me is beyond my care. If they assume bad things, then it's of no benefit to them. It merely shows how shallow they are in assuming so much about me with so little substance. I know what I'm trying to do. They don't. So it just goes to show their shallowness. So what if people have a wrong impression of me? It just shows their ignorance.
Like I said, I live for myself and God. I'm not here on this earth to please you. Sure, I can have good friends and undoubtedly, enemies. But my purpose isn't to listen to your every damn word and make myself into someone you'll accept. Like I said in the above paragraphs, why am I judged because of what I appear to be? I am the same person to everyone. In church and out, I am the same. If you could see me in every area of my life, you'd testify to this. Perhaps I may be a little more rowdy outside church, and use more refined language when speaking about biblical principles, but that's about it. I don't see the point in refined language in basketball and being rowdy while teaching others about God. Therefore if you judge me by what you see, I consider you extremely shallow and judgmental. You don't know me very well, few do. Why should I appear good so that you'll have a better impression of me? Some people will like my personality more than others. Others will dislike it, although not dislike me. I'm not going to show one side to you and another side to others, because I hate being hypocritical. Who I am to your friend is the same I'll be to you. Don't like it? Very well. Everyone has their own opinions of what they prefer. Judge me just through that? You're one sanctimonious prick then.
I don't like people judging me prematurely. Know who I am to you first, and then you can make your opinions on me. Whether they're positive or negative is not my business. It's your opinion. But what I hate worse is other people judging my friends because of how they misinterpret what I say about them. Or even worse, through my blog posts. There are a lot of people who read my blog not because of being interested in my life or because they enjoy the posts, but to find out what I do. To see if my words match my actions. I say I don't lie in my blog, and unless you count me accidentally reporting I won a match 11-9 when the real score was 11-10, I have never lied in years. And it's not really a lie anyway. Just an accident. Therefore people seem to have a general idea that what I write in my blog is true. It is, but how you interpret it is another thing. I mention various friends in my blog and it seems that other people judge their character through my blog posts and their own assumptions through what they see. Despicable if you ask me. So I mention that me and some friends go clubbing. Are you going to think they're drunkards and stuff just because they drank too much that night? What if it was a Christian? Are you going to have a worse impression of that person since getting drunk is forbidden in the Bible? Like you haven't sinned before. "Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone." Back to me, are you going to judge me through what I write on my posts? I've realized that in my posts, I usually write a lot of my incidents, and in the mentioning of services, I usually give it a few short lines with my thoughts. Oh, as a real Christian, you'd want to make your worldly posts shorter and your thoughts and revelations on services longer. I do that sometimes, in their own separate posts. But for the majority of my posts, its for the reader to read and enjoy, including my non-Christian audience. So I make both sides see my days events, and have my religious lines short. However, when I do make a Christian post, its there, in all its glory. I would have a hard time believing that people would judge me like this, but I've seen that many people in higher authority seem to have a greater number of revelational posts. Is it because they truly enjoy posting it as a blessing or is it because they think its what they should do because people read their blogs and get an impression of them through it? I give them the benefit of the doubt. However, for the sneaks who read my blog for the reasons I mentioned, let me say, I'm disappointed.
I don't judge people. Hard to believe? Don't worry, I don't blame you. It took me a while to get it through in my head. I have opinions of them, sure, but I never consider it as fact outright unless it's proven or I know them better. I don't take things at face value. I've had good friends backstab their friends to get better results. I've known someone who seduced her friend's boyfriend and later on dumped him, just to see if he'd fall for her. It's sickening and I don't do this. Therefore, would you say I'm better than them? I think you would. But although it sounds "fair", through God's eyes, its the wrong way to judge. You're not perfect, so therefore who are you to assume so much? They might just be insecure of certain issues and therefore do those things, while they could be volunteers and helping out in important charitable events. God loves us all the same way. Just because I didn't two time, backstab and seduce, it doesn't place me on a higher pedestal to God. People always compare themselves to other people, where they come out better. That's to most people, yes, and I'm flattered if you think well of me, but I've done my fair share of bad. I've tried to set someone on fire before, attempted suicide and got into many fights. Sure, it's the past, God has changed me. But isn't it the same case for those who've done wrong? Its in the past. If they've not repented, that's another story, but that's not my focus anyway.
Back on the topic. Goths and people like me. When goths walk by, they turn heads everywhere. Comments and criticisms follow soon enough with their audience. I'm not a goth, but when I put on eyeliner, and my hair is particularly wilder on that day, I'm a victim of it myself. Once, someone walking with his girlfriend muttered "Satanic" while walking past me after giving me a glance. Many other times I can hear people saying something about guys wearing eyeliner or they continue to look at me in the distance. Do I feel hurt? Not really, but it does leave an impression. It's just a preference to wear eyeliner when I want to. Movie stars wear makeup everytime they're in the public, and the fans go nuts over them. See them with no makeup, and they don't look as flattering. Take Angelina Jolie as an example. Sultry and pretty. But with all her charity work in third world countries, she doesn't look as good as she does in say, Beowulf. The person considered "normal" turns no heads and fits in with everyone else. People who are different, and I consider myself included, make waves everywhere, for better or for worse. Don't even get me started on racial issues, which I seriously despise.
Do I take part in criticism? Partially. When people point it out and laugh, I'll laugh a bit, but I'll rarely take a pro-active part in continuing the insult. I'll only do that when it is really for that persons benefit. Like one time, this really, really fat (sorry) lady in her 70's was wearing a bikini and miniskirt in public. Now while I'm quite liberal with what people wear, I was really wondering what this lady was trying to do. There is nothing flattering about her outfit, and I'm sure even the most liberal of people will agree. I took a pro-active part in criticizing her, however it was constructive, not abusive. I mentioned she coulda worn something else than this (especially in the Orchard area). When someone looks radically different, and I know the person, I'll make a joke about this, but I'll make sure they know I'm kidding. It's their taste after all. When people belittle Christianity in a minor way, like say, "I don't like God" or "I hate Christians, except you." (I find that ironic, honestly). Its their opinion and if they make it into a joke, I'll go along with it, 'cause I'm not going to be like "Hey don't insult my God." If you do, you're seriously the worst spoilsport when other jokes invoke your emotions. Besides, its not insulting. It is just their opinion. However, when they really make it serious and truly insulting, I will speak up. When my friends make racial jokes, I laugh along with them, but I don't contribute. So far, it has only happened once, but if my friend really goes beyond jokes and insults that race to a really far extent, I will speak up. If you're wondering, it was a Muslim talking about Jews.
Martin Luther King Jr was an African American who lived during the times of great racial persecution in the US. Rosa Parks was another black who lived in those times, and there was an unwritten custom that whenever a white (Caucasian) person wanted to sit on a bus, the black person had to stand up. Once a white man wanted to sit where Rosa Parks was sitting, and she refused. This turned heads, and even when the bus driver himself demanded that Rosa Parks stand, she still refused. In the end, the police officers were called to the scene. The idiot was still "fighting" for the seat. She was arrested, and it made headlines. Martin Luther King read her story and was inspired to make a difference with these racial issues. He made a stand, made many speeches involving the equality of all races, and never used violence. People called him a coward, bombed his church and certain people tried killing him. One succeeded. While giving a speech, someone shot him, and he died. Assassinated for helping the US reach a level of racial equality as it never had before, his most famous words came from another speech. The most famous segment is "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." Take note that when you make comments involving dark-skinned people (Indians and Bangladeshi in particular in this country), you're spitting at the memory and lives of people like Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks, who've died for their beliefs.
Same goes for the people who are different. I take my side with them. I would want to expand more on Martin Luther King's line, that not just the colour of our skin, but the way people look and dress. Don't judge a book by its cover. A classic line, but how many actually listen to it? Jesus had meals and associated with the different people in his times. He never once insulted their looks, He did not judge character, but always changed their lives and practices. A great example. Few follow. Admittedly, even many Christians themselves.
Again, I don't mean this post to insult anyone. I take all advice to heart, but not at face value. Just my perspective.
Long post... kudos if you actually read all of it.
I posted this because I felt that some issues brought up recently are scarily accurate of what I mentioned in my post last year. I typed it out last year in Blogger, but I copied and pasted it to notepad and didn't post it, due to the nature of the post. With the events I mentioned last time almost happening in tandem with real life events, I thought I might as well post it. I didn't want such a long post to be wasted, nor did I want to hide my views forever. I have nothing to hide, and I'll make sure people know that.
Remember, I wrote this post last year. Don't get offended if you think I'm pointing out at you. I most probably didn't have you in mind when I typed this. Most probably.