Tagged: love

I/We Choose

We have grace

To live better lives.

Not the life of riches and luxury and leisure,

but the life of grace,

To find contentment in the present,

And ever trying to improve.

This grace we have,

To be kinder, better selves,

For others.

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We have kindness,

to take a look around

(wherever we are – the train, the bus, the crowded streets)

to be gentle, and to smile.

We have grace to live well,

Not by the size of the bank balance,

But by the size of our hearts.

In the day’s end

tired we may be,

But grace we still have,

to remember the battles of others,

and then to be

Gentle and kind.

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We have grace,

to let things be.

Not just to look for our on interest,

but also the interests of others,

not to be offended,

by the rashness of others.

This grace we have

To be with others,

Regardless of:

race, language, religion, countries

of differences galore.

Grace we have.

We choose to have.

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We work, not for ourselves,

but for our dreams, families and friends.

We work together,

We join in our gifts to create,

the future we want to make into the present.

This future will need all our grace, our kindness, our love.

All these we have.

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This love we have,

We choose to have.

To live not for ourselves,

but for others.

To work for our loves, and pray

on the things we lowe.

To dwell in grace and kindness,

while we live and work and love.

Identities

 

 

This week is about individual identity.Slide3

 

Where do we get our identities from? Parenting, faith, religion, education and socialisation all have something to do with it, and the identities and values they nurture help the individual interact with the diversity of society around us. Are we equipped to do so?

I volunteer at Explorations Into Faith, a group of people that aims to engage with the diversity of faiths (and non-faiths) in Singapore. You can find out more at their website here: http://eif.com.sg/

Also, a talk by Andrew Solomon, author of Far From the Tree, talking about horizontal and vertical identities, and the love that conquers all. An extensive book review by Maria Popova here: http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2013/06/12/andrew-solomon-far-from-the-tree/

reflecting on social activism

Its what the title says. It was suppose to be a time of prayer, but I ended up clarifying my stand on things about social activism…

I am really tired of the phrases such as ‘changemaker’ and ‘social change’. After a point, these phrases become so overused that they become empty of meaning. I’m not sure myself about how I feel towards activism. I thought maybe I could clarify it a little here. I know there’s a part of me that’s still interested in social justice. I don’t think its a nebulous concept, but it is very clear. What I think it is, is to look towards a society with lesser, inequalities. I would think that inequalities would always be with us, but it is the extent which is the obviously the problem. But more than that, social justice, and by extension, social change, is about the effort required to enable more people to lead more meaningful lives according to their own definition. To me, it means to give empowering education, the kind of support of creative talent that Ken Robinson talks about. My starting point is that people were created to be good, and that given the right environment, they will make the right choices for their own lives. To me the debate about values is important, but not the whole point. Sure, you can trumpet the words ‘democracy’, ‘liberty’, ‘freedom of xyxyxy’, but all of that, is really peripheral compared to the reality of experience. By that I want to mean, ‘how are these values at work, and empower ordinary people in their everyday lives?’ Not that these values are peripheral, but what they mean, and how they work out in the lives of ordinary people – I think that is substantially more important. To me, that’s real social change, on the ground, at work in the lives of people.

To me, social change, must be, and has to be, about people living out and fulfilling their value systems. Everything else is simply talk. Unless lives get better, unless I see a more loving, giving, and thinking society, everything is really cheap talk.

But more to the point, values in themselves provide the social environment for a decent society. I’m really thinking that a values-based society is secondary to that of a love-based society.

The statement comes from a personal opinion that the civil society in reality still does not represent a broad swath of society, and despite the spectrum of ideals, the reality is, these are the most vocal voices. And despite the plurality of viewpoints, the debates themselves becomes a sounding room of their own that becomes divorced from reality from the ground. And when it gets there, it no longer become social activism…

I want to add: that the society that I wish to see, is a love-based society, of sensitivity and tolerance, no matter the religion.

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