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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Sublime

I trace the thoughts
The patterns of
A kingdom found
An eternity lost
A stage of insecurities
On curious display
A sky of comets
To rake out the sun
A hope for peace for everyone
Whilst you bide your time
Flicking fleeting seconds into insignificant corners
Conquering obscure lands
Mapping crooked paths, wayward plans
Your wishes descend
Like large droplets of rain
Drenching minions
In anticipatory glee
They clamour for things not deserved
So you lay bare the cost
The imminent pain
An unforeseen loss
A storm to weather
I watch in silence
The perplexity of placebos
To tranquilise anxieties
Your hopes to be made better
But bitterness is a sneaky thief
That steals your destinies
Multiplying grief
Unless, until a greater find
Knocks down the intentions
Of enemies sublime.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The two sides of extreme

It is common for us in our human nature to want to restrict or condition the behaviour of someone else based on a judgment of whether what they're doing is reasonable or acceptable to us. 

Thus, we have social patterns being formed, fashioned after what is collectively deemed to be right by the society we live in. 
In some parts of the world, perhaps going topless in public may be so commonplace that no one would even bat an eyelid. But in certain other corners of the globe, it would be frowned upon, or the community may take it upon themselves to even reprimand or punish the person concerned.

But I am not here to debate what forms of clothing (or lack of it) are acceptable or otherwise.

What I am writing this post for is to question our rating of the extreme just a little bit. 

We tend to label something as "extreme" if we think it is out of the norm... or to put it more bluntly, out of OUR norm. Or perhaps we ourselves just don't agree with a particular habit or practice, and are out to make it unlawful or unacceptable for others. 

However, we must remember too that there are two ends to the spectrum of the extreme, and whilst we strive to stay away from one end, we should be equally wary to avoid the other end too.

Let me illustrate my point.

Within Christian communities, for instance, we generally do not condone extreme physical displays of affection, especially between couples, and even more so when they are merely dating and not married. For one thing, there is the spiritual-moral aspect about being a good example and being pleasing to God and not stumbling someone else by your indecent behaviour. Let's not go into that topic, anyway.

But take it to the other end of extreme. I've heard (and even seen) in some churches that couples don't even sit together during church services. Well, of course, there are sometimes practical reasons why this is done (one party has duties to do, being hospitable to guests of the church, etc) and that is perfectly fine. 

However, it's a slightly different story if the couple is deliberately not sitting together to so-called show others a higher code of Christian conduct (or something to that effect). It would then appear as if physical proximity between a couple would reflect less spiritual maturity, and that, in order to be a revered Christian couple and one that is regarded as "mature", you should not, in principle, sit with your partner during church meetings.

That is extreme too, isn't it? (And perhaps even a tad ridiculous, if I might say so).

So, actually both kinds of behaviour (public displays of afffection vs. deliberate action to remain physically apart as a couple in front of others) are extreme in nature. Thus, both are in fact not really good practices to adopt.

Hence, the solution isn't to cordon off this or that end of the behavoural spectrum, but rather to encourage moderateness. In that way, you'd have a good balance of things and everyone would be happy. 

In the case of my example, that would mean the couple concerned could peck each other on the cheek, but not start devouring each others' bodies or stripping each other nakes in some way or another when there are others watching. Yet they would not be spending time awkwardly apart during social gatherings at church, but instead remain close enough to feel each other's affection and be able to interact normally with others in the presence of their other half. 

I hope what I'm trying to say makes sense. 

And no, the example that I used above does not have any personal bearing on my own life. I believe I'm pretty well balanced in the way I conduct myself :)

Anyway, I'd say anytime someone cries, "Extreme", the question "On whose terms?" should follow.

But at the end of the day, it's all about being considerate, I suppose. Whatever we do, we should be aware of how it affects others.

And that is how we'll avoid unnecessary extremism. 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Refresh

Let's talk about new things, shall we?