Two years ago, one of my PhD supervisors David Herbert picked me up from Kristiansand International Airport, and my adventures in Norway received a warm welcome. It was snow white then just like today.
When I look out of the window now, low and behold, the exponentially increasing flurries dance at the rhythm of the wind. The movement captures mysteriously the little twists and turns I have had thus far.
What would I say two years from now?
If Racism is defined as “hatred or intolerance of another race or other races”, then we should define Religionism as “hatred or intolerance of another religion or other religions”.
Perhaps, the above helps us see clearer more than a narrow focus on religious zeal, jumbled up by descriptions such as “excessive and exaggerated” or “affected and pretended”.
Zeal turns our attention inward, while hatred or intolerance are outward expressions immediately felt by the person before us. We don't have to ignore zeal and its sister, passion. But, addressing hate and intolerance seems to be a better starting point.
After the smoke subsided, I listened attentively as two men spoke into my small Canon A70 away from the big mass media cameras.
How could I not dig back looking for the traces which lead us to some ashes? The project, however, required new instruments from old sages, so I could attend the fragments of today delicately.
Hopefully, my work won't be in vain, at least it aims to contribute one important piece to the solution. I owe it to the two men, and to many more, who planted the seeds now growing into a little garden I can't fully see yet …
I like music. Good music relaxes, inspires, energizes and occasionally touches me.
Lately, a range of musical images and sounds as metaphors keep hovering over my head. Somehow, they open up fresh ways for me to think, and reorder my reflections.
'Recomposing': Perhaps, I am working on this again and again…
They say that learning is a life long activity, but beyond that, I think learning to learn (again) is a series of necessary interruptions through life.
Watching the 10 episodes ploughing through the subtitles of the originally Latin American-Spanish independent documentary 'Forbidden Education' was exactly what I needed yesterday. Because this PhD journey of mine has really been about 'learning how to learn' again (and again)…
When I was a kid I searched for knowledge, truth and meaning out of curiosity. As an adult', I (re)search for knowledge, truth and meaning, often through the curious eyes of my kids.
A public figure with 'former' in front of his previous job blurs out a comment, perhaps expecting us to take him seriously. But why should we, when a quick google of his name pops up a 'triple correct video' that has publicly sent his credibility down the drain.
Though easily distracted, we don't – and we shouldn't – forget easily.
Malaysians are friendly people, and in most cases we are good friends with with each other, or at least have the potential to be life long friends with anyone.
This appears to be another round to turn us into enemies, what he did then in private, and now doing in public is still: 'wrong, wrong, wrong'!
Revisiting is good practice because so often I miss the treasures when I'm in a hurry.
Last night, I revisited Luther and reason; and both surprised me. This morning, a detour to think about research programmes helped to refine the way I look at my work. The last one week, it was good to return to old 'emergent conversations' that have now become for me 'friends in conversation'.
After these 'revisits'', I head back on track hopefully with a brighter vision, and richer wisdom for the long road ahead.
I spoke with a 'minority alien' today. The content of our chat spurred me to question whether 'minority' is simply about numbers, and the word 'alien' – at first sight – doesn't necessarily mean a visitor from another planet. Memories of 'minority' voices from two contrasting countries engaged in dialogue flashed back like it was yesterday. Intervening from another time travel moment, how could I forget the faces of the 'aliens' who as far as some were concerned: non-existent? 'Minority' and 'alien' then are really cries of people to draw our attention to their right to exist, or to put in another way, the reality of fellow humans being denied the right to exist.