Notes: God and Religion

SONY DSCThere is nothing new under the sun, so I write the same issue again. 

The concept of belief and religion has always been fascinating to me. The dynamic of our daily life leads me to wonder why religion has divided and categorised us as a human being and place us into a different place.

When I was a kid, I often wondered why neighbour chose to be Islam, and my family decided to be Catholic? Why is a friend of mine Hindu? Is it true that particular religion better than others? Is it true if one convert from one religion to other religion, would commit sin?

And when I was a teenager, I asked myself what religion is? Who created religion in the first place? Do we have to have a religion? What about being an atheist? Will we go to hell if we don’t believe in God? Do heaven and hell even exist?

I had nowhere to go find those answer back at that time. I did not know what kind of book I should read to find the answer. There was no way that I could find the answer at school nor in the family. It is because I am living in a society where everyone has been tied to a specific religion since the second we were born.

But as I entered university, I started to understand that religion is just a product of social construction. Nothing less, nothing more. And I do agree with that. However, I always do believe that our existence happens because of God. I refused to understand all the scientific argument about our life because it is just too complicated to understand.

And yes, I do believe with the existence of God. God is the most straightforward answer to our life existence. Having said that, one can always believe in God without being tied to a particular religion. Yet, my faith in God is not strong. It comes and goes.

For me, religion is a set of concept about the way we live our lives and the things that we consider essential. It is a guide for us to live our life accordingly. It talks about kindness. It talks about love. It talks about injustice. It also talks about wickedness. Religion is a set of a reminder of how we should do good while we live our lives. That’s all.

In these last four years, I have been learning about Christianity. Why? It is because I want to search and find the balance between mind, body and soul.

Yet,  having myself learning about Christianity, I still do not consider myself as a Christian or Catholic or even a religious person. I still have no interest to engage in church activity. But I go to Sunday service, I carry prayer pocketbook, and I have a great interest in reading the bible to understand about Christianity and religion. And ay… I even had a considerable tattoo cross on my back.

As I completed reading the old testament and new testament,  I learnt that bible content a set of beautiful teaching on how we should treat each other as human beings, an excellent reminder on how we should live our lives as part of the community.  Bible is a book of wisdom and love.

A few days ago, someone asked me why does one have to go to church to know about the concept of being kind to others? So I answered “It is because we, human being, are arrogant to always feel knowing everything; while sometimes we forget and go astray. It is always good to have a reminder.

But some event of life showed me another side of the coin. It showed that many people tie themselves into religion because they actually feel insecure about the reality of life. They seek comfort within the bible and look for a bible verse, which comforts him or her.

I do the same. I seek for comfort words when I am facing difficulty, which I could not find it from other people. I usually ask from either book -including bible- or music.

Yet, they quote a bible verse bit by bit without having a full of understanding of it. Later, they use it to judge others and justify their own action. Why? Because they believe that God would always forgive and save us.

You see …. one might read the bible daily. One might know how to preach about it also. One might engage in some church activity. Even, there is no Sunday service that one is going to miss as much as possible. 

Yet, what’s the point of being very religious and have a strong faith in God but have no idea to implement those religious teaching? It just talks the talk? But in the end, implementing spiritual value is our own choice, we would reap what we sow. 

As I learnt, I always feel good when I do good; I still feel restless when I do wrong to others. It has nothing to do with religion.

Ride the bus

Notes: Give A Hand

_DSC3916Sometimes we want to help someone, who is going astray because we know that (s)he is actually a good person inside. But  I realize that we cannot help somebody who actually doesn’t want to help themselves . Or they even don’t think that they might need help from anyone. Should we bother to give a hand?

 

Notes: Jogging on Jakarta’s Road

My recent achievement [2015:E O]

My recent achievement [2015:E O]

In these past few months, I have been enjoying my new morning routine, which is an early morning jogging on the road.  What? An early morning jogging on the road in Jakarta? Really?! Yes! I do an early morning jogging on the road in Jakarta, one of the most polluted city in the world.

I actually have been enjoying an outdoor running since early 2014. I used to do morning jogging in the Soemantri Brodjonegoro’s jogging track, part of Soemantri Brodjonegoro’s sport center in Setiabudi Subdistrict of South Jakarta. However since companies rent the sport center for some company’s event week after week, I decided  to do my morning jogging on the road than running on a treadmill in the gym.

According to Nike+, I usually do jogging for as far as 4.5 kilometers on week days and go for as  8.4 kilometers on the weekend. It does not take me long to do 4.5 kilometers of jogging, it only takes me maximum of 30 minutes. On the other hand, it takes me maximum of 55 minutes to do 8.4 kilometers of jogging. Not bad ay? Not bad at all!

As an early morning routine, jogging on the road taught me three things – time management, which side of the road that I run on and the type of shoes that I should wear.

Coffee is the best mood booster [2014: EO]

Coffee is the best mood booster [2014: EO]

What is it about jogging on the road and time management? Well, if you happened to live or visit Jakarta, you would understand’s Jakarta traffic. It is insane and I don’t want to deal with it!

I don’t want to do jogging when Jakartans are going to work, which means that many motorist and kopaja (Jakarta public bus) would be racing and speeding recklessly because they don’t want to be late. They, then, would get their way no matter what…. some of them would drive on the sidewalk!  On the top of that, the air would be highly polluted, which then cause me difficulty of breathing. In order to avoid all of those, I must leave my apartment at least by 5:30 or 6: 15 a.m the latest. However sometimes I do it later than 7 a.m sometimes.

The fact that I am working as a jurno, I also have an obligation to submit stories first thing in the morning. Indeed time management become very important for me. Since then, I have been learning and trying to be discipline in managing my time so I am able to submit stories before I do my jogging and still be able to go to gym (sometimes) and followed by meeting some sources or attending events or discussion at the same time. It’s not perfect tho but I am getting there.

Believe me or not, I usually start my day by 3 or 4 a.m. I would brew coffee, prepare fruit salad, wash my face or shower, write story while having coffee and fruit salad and go for jogging, continue write another story and go to work. I would reach home by 5 or 6 or 7 p.m and I would immediately sleep so I could have minimum of 6 hours sleep.

I must say that it is not easy. It is not easy at all to be discipline and manage time properly. If I failed, my mind would not be at peace and I would be cranky for the rest of the day.

For me, jogging is very important. It is because I have been taking strong medication, which has nausea and anxiety as side effect. In order to get rid of those side effects, I must do some cardio exercise.

As a bonus, I also leant that  if there is no adequate jogging path or sidewalk for jogging, I MUST  jog on the left shoulder facing on-coming traffic  and I should not wear training shoes for jogging on the road. Training shoes are fine to run on the treadmill or jogging track but they are uncomfortable yet painful for long distance jogging in rough surface.  Unfortunately  3 out of 4 my sport shoes are training shoes! So does it mean that I need to get new pair of running shoes? Well, perhaps! Ha ha ha!

My first 2015 jogging by Bosporus Strait, Istanbul, Turkey [2015:ER]

My first 2015 jogging by Bosporus Strait, Istanbul, Turkey [2015:ER]

Recently, many people often questioned me whether or not I have participated in the running event or runner club in Jakarta. Even one guy suggested me that I should be a running athlete. O.M.G! What? That is actually not bad idea at all. But I must say that I actually do jogging just because I want to be healthy and get rid of side effect of my medication. That is all matter to me.

Having said that I have never participated to any  running event or join to runner club. One of the reason is because  I don’t really have much time to do such a thing right now. Perhaps when I have been able to be discipline in managing my time properly, I would do it one day.

In the end of the day, health is the most important thing. I should not force myself to do all kind of activities -work, sport, hobby, socializing- as I am not a robot. I am just another person who wanna be healthy. Cheers!

Jakarta 140315

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Jakarta: Are Human Beings Less Valuable than Money?

SONY DSCSince I moved to Jakarta for the very first time, I always become very sensitive with the money issue. It is because I feel that we, as a human being, as a social being, are often being appreciated and valued according to the money that we have by others. It is very different comparing the time when I lived in Yogyakarta, my hometown.

Here in Jakarta, we tend to be appreciated and valued according to the money that we have, the money that we wear, the money that we live, the money that we drive, the money that we eat and the money that we earn. It makes us, as a human being and social being is less valuable than others unless they have money.

No wonder… there is much corruption in every institution, be it government institution or private company. It has become a social disease because people value others according to the money that we have, the money that we wear. No wonder… there are many women look for a rich man to keep up with the ‘social requirement’ so they can be accepted. There are many men look for a rich vulnerable woman to get money from them so they can keep up with their lifestyle even they cannot afford it. I don’t mean to judge but people try to do anything to generate a lot of money without using a ‘normal process’.

I used to be terrified with it. Honestly, I was… I used to think what about if I don’t have a friend here because I don’t have money? What about if this…? What about that…? But as time passed by… I realised that I should not have cared about how people value me, how people judge me, how people think about me. It is because others will never be satisfied with who you are, with what you have. They will ask for more and more and more.

For this… I blamed it to the media and business corporation, which try to brainwash people’s mindset with material stuff on a daily basis through news, song, film, advertising, magazine and books. They try to decide the definition of beauty for its audience so the audience, which is us, are buying their shit to meet up with the social requirement. Good job!

If we cannot afford it, we will force ourselves to get it by using credit card that we cannot pay every month; by committing  into a corruption be it small or big; by marrying or dating a rich man or woman; by exploiting other to work hard and earning money; or even by stealing. There are just many methods that people do to make money simply because they want to meet up with the ‘social requirement’, which has been shaped by the media.

In the end, we value ourself less, we don’t appreciate our own hard work. Yet, it is not done everyone and I cannot generalise it. I really feel sick with it. I know it does not only happen in Jakarta but in the majority of a big city and metropolitan city. Yet, as I am living here… I just want to share my thought about this issue in Jakarta.

Oh Jakarta…. would you be less arrogant? I love living here because I love my job but ‘those social requirement’ and ‘those definitions of beauty’, which have been implemented by many business sectors, have forced its citizen to be fake individual. I feel like living in a fake world.

PS: This is my personal reflection, you can agree or disagree 🙂