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modern day conflict with the ancient truth June 14, 2009

Posted by walnutsrice in lessons learnt, one step to reality, the questions.
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Many Jewish settlers in the West Bank believe the land was promised to them by the Bible of God.

And it is this, the promise of Judea and Samaria to the Jews, that has created a long standing conflict between the Israelites and Palestinians for the land at the West Bank. Maps were drawn and re-drawn. Boundaries were demarcated and re-demarcated. The occuptation of East Jerusalem, although considered to be part of the West Bank and therefore part of Palestine, was ‘required’ to complete the undivided city of Jerusalem – to be the captial of Israel as told in the bible.

240px-1947-UN-Partition-Plan-1949-Armistice-Comparison  240px-UN_Partition_Plan_For_Palestine_1947

I am not certain if the supposed promise meant having to create a diaspora of the Palestinian people, and to oppress them for decades. It certainly isn’t the way to fulfil the promise or to live the promise. A quick google search would pull up images of the Wall that circles Palestinians settlements at the West Bank, cutting people off from schools, work, families and other essential services. To get across the ways, they had to go through strict security checks at certain times of the day. At times of unstability, the checkpoints may be close for days. Both groups seek to create an independent statehood. The initial intention is not to create one at the expense of another. But one thing led to another. And here is what it is today.



Don’t let the beautiful image of the sunset trick you. The reality of the walls are harsh. The suffering is real. The bleakness of the future is starking. What is the use of installing these walls to mark out the boundary between two people on the same land? The polarity of yours / mine, Israelites  / Palestinians.

And the chosen one / not the chosen one?


The question of faith June 11, 2009

Posted by walnutsrice in lessons learnt.

Science tells me God must exist. My mind tells me I will never understand God. My heart tells me I am not meant to.


Camerlango: Professor Langdon, do you believe in God?

Professor Langdon: Well, I want to believe. Its not easy. Having faith requires leaps of faith, cerebral acceptance of miracles …”

Camerlango: I did not ask you what man says about God. I asked if you believe in God.

Professor Langdon: Faith is a gift..that I have yet to receive.


I still think faith is a gift that was given, but only because I sought it. This is the interesting bit about faith. Most gifts are given without asking – but somehow faith doesn’t come to those who don’t search for it. Alongside faith, I did not ask for the understanding of  God, because I think if i had to understand God thoroughly before having faith, I may never believe.

If you ask me if I fully agree with what the bible says, my answer is no. I shall not say what they are. However what I disagree with is independent of my belief in God.  Maybe because I don’t agree with everything said in the bible, I find it unrealistic that one can accept the entire truth. without questioning.

The circular argument is this. If God is flawless, then the truth must be perfect. If the truth isn’t perfect, then God is flawed?

(commence)ment June 7, 2009

Posted by walnutsrice in better self, lessons learnt, real dreams.
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‘believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart even if it leads you off the well-worn path.’ – Steve Job

transcript here

i think the address at graduation is called the commencement address because it stands for the beginning to the end. and therefore, life begins when college ends. college does not cast in stone the rest of my life. Instead, it starts me off on the path for a long long journey.

i like to think that college education is a plus. not a necessity 😉 i don’t think ever saw college has a pre-requisite to get somewhere in life. Of course, I went to college and learnt a lot about myself, and it was the formative years of the grown-up Ellen (if there is even such a thing); but as I often say, college or not, good or bad grades, first class honours or not, it does not define a person. It is what I do with what I learnt, and the gifts that God gave, that would eventually determine experiences that define me. i try a little to follow my heart, do the things that i love instead of the things that most perceive would take me somewhere. These are the things that I hope people would remember me by when the journey finally ends. Perhaps one of the things I try to do, is to not always do what is grown-up and practical. I think the kid in everyone keeps people alive.

What are the things you do that you think would define you as a person?


necessity . beauty February 1, 2009

Posted by walnutsrice in lessons learnt.
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important lessons: look carefully, record what you see. Find a way to make beauty necessary; find a way to make necessity beautiful.

Anne Michaels, Fugitive Pieces

i ponder January 21, 2009

Posted by walnutsrice in in clarity, lessons learnt.
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and then she said:

if it has already been decided as such, why fight it?

on hindsight January 19, 2009

Posted by walnutsrice in better self, lessons learnt.
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one of the most important lessons i have learnt at work is to accept constructive criticism and use it positively. I react to them personally, however, only sufficiently to be motivated to improve and become better in the shortest time possible. in fact, i know how to ask questions in order to extract some form of honest criticism from people viewing my work, simply because i know that most people are too polite and kind to be brutally honest about their ratings of my work:

1. What’s wrong with this? – this always works. they will instantly work hard to find out what is not right and put their finger on it.

2. How do you think I can improve? – this sets up the opportunity for people to offer their views and solutions.

3. Could you show me quickly how it could be done? – acknowledge that the other party is more competent and they will be happy to help out.

4. If i face other problems, can I come back to you again? – people will surely say yes.

i find it extremely helpful to keep a neutral tone at all times. even if i do not agree with what is being said, i always remind myself that i asked for help first. therefore i should not confront the solution offered but may take time after the discussion to have a thought-through. however i do not mean to say that the journey to this point has been easy. in fact, it was not.

:: i used to be fiercely defensive and took offense at criticism. i would think that my work was good and although it is not the best, it deserves credit, at least. however i realised that criticism was directed at my work, not at me personally, and that it is not the responsibility of anyone to comfort me when i was reprimanded. I used to refuse to ask for help, only to come around and produce something way below expectations. i i slowly come to terms that i am not invincible, and two heads are often better than one.

+ therefore i can understand completely when someone becomes extremely defensive and protective over work. it is a habit that takes time to get over, and pride is often the culprit at work here. i try to be forgiving sometimes when dealing with such situations but my temper gets the better of me sometimes so this is something i have to work on 😉

my first reflection of 2009

01.01.09 January 1, 2009

Posted by walnutsrice in better self, lessons learnt.
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a brand new year. to be nicer to the people around me. spend more time at home. work less. eat more fruits. laugh more. curb my bad temper. spend less money. save more money. do something for the community. exercise more. eat less junk food. wear shorter heels. be deliberate.

brand new year are for changes.


i am starting my yoga classes. despite all opinions that yoga is a form of worship, i choose to take it as exercise. just like running. i am slowly giving up pounding the pavement. need something to treat the tense muscles, not add to it. stretch. breathe. better posture.

2009 should be better.

and to share what Suyin from Kyurii shared, something i need in my life:

You cannot be truthful if you are not courageous.
You cannot be loving if you are not courageous.
You cannot be trusting if you are not courageous.
You cannot enter into reality if you are not courageous.
Hence courage comes first…
and everything else follows.” -osho

that sounds right.