March 31, 2006


Follow-up to St. Paul from flyer's blog

In the morning I listerned to a program of BBC 4.A veteran of Second World War talked about his exprience during the war.He was captured by the Japanese and kept in prison.In spite of fear and being beaten by the guard,they struggled to carry on.He said that it was the human nature that people looked for a shred of hope.It is common sense that people live in hope,drived by hope and run their business for hope.However,where does hope come from?Why do we hope for something better?If we cannot get what we hope for,how can we live the life we lived before?Everyone in this world has the experience of disappointement.Sometimes we may think it is because we are not good enough,sometimes we may think it is the fault of a particular person,sometimes we may accept it and take it as part of our life-happiness and pain is part and parcle of life itself.For those who are lucky,disappointment and frustration may be just a small part,and they can move on without it.But what about those who loose anything if they loose that one they are pursuiting?For those who have unconditional love and always can hide in the shelter of love,lose is not so bad.But what about those who live on their own and no one loves them?It is not easy to answer all these questions and the problem of pain has puzzled scholars and philoshophers for centries.Where does pain come from?How to deal with the problem of pain?How can people keep faith in the face of pain?A long time ago I read a lyric of a Christian song which went:"Even there is a sweet hometown in the heaven,and there is loss and pain in this world,I'd like to stay here."It takes the position that even this life is full of disappoitment and pain,it is still worth living.I find similar point in Bible.When St.Paul said in 'Letter to Philippians':"To live is Christ,to die is gain.If I am to go on living in the body,this will mean fruitful labor for me.Yet what shall I choose?I do not know!I am torn between the two:I desire to depart and be with Christ,which is better by far;but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.Convinced of this,I know I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith."For St.Paul,it is easy to choose to die and it is better to die considering all his suffering.However,he chose to live for his fellow Christians,to work for them, to advance the gospel that he had faith in.In a nutshell,it is the calling on him that asked him to continue his trip of faith.There is no other way in the face of pain of life except the way of faith and the strength to struggle on with faith.When life is disgusting,faith keeps one sober hoping for another better world and working in this inferior one.When one is tired and weak,faith provide the source of strength.When the passangers are thirsty,the fountain of faith gives them pure water.
There is another story by BBC 4 this morning.An old man heard that the Queen was ill and took a long walk dedicating to the cure of Queen.He left home after living there for many years.What motivated him is a word from someone in the street:You can do anything with faith.In such a scientific world,he may be regarded as a fool.However,I think he is right.Yes,one can do anything with faith.
I'd like to use aother story to finish my narration.More than one hundred years ago,an American girl wrote a letter to a famous newspaper asking them whether Santa Claus did exist.The reply is this:"Yes,Virginia.Santa Clause does exist,like truth,courage and love does exist in our life."Maybe it is a reply too good for the adults and too profound for a child.However it speaks the truth.

March 30, 2006

St. Paul

Follow-up to help others? from flyer's blog

St. Paul is the one who lead me into faith.It is about 10 years ago when I graduated from the university.Confronted with the pressure of looking for a job and tortured by my bad health,I began to read Bible.It is the Epistle that touched my life.However,what caught me is not the reasoning there, but St. Paul as a real person moved me so much.When I was reading the Epistles,it seemed that I met St.Paul in the flesh.He is wise,passionate and perseverant,a man who stood firm against anyone who opposed to his beleif.In one word,he is a kind of man who I have never met befiore.I know a lot of people who don't know what they hold truth but drift with the tide.I also know a lot of people who have no courage to declaim their faith.I also know some people who give up their faith in the face of intimidation.But St.Paul is the one who sticked to his faith and worked for it until death.He travelled for three times from Palestine to Grrek to tell people the good news that Jesus has died and resurrected for them.During the journey,he suffered a lot from his enemy:he was put into jail for several times;he was whipped by the officials for many times;he was also scorned and condemned by his own people.All these were left behind.And he only said that "Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,I press on the goal to win the prize for which God has called me…."He kept his word until dealth.

March 29, 2006

help others?

Follow-up to stronger or luckier from flyer's blog

It is not easy to help others.The first reason is that you don't know the want of those who are in need.It is not easy even to know oneself,not to mention to know others.The second reason is about how to help others.It always takes time and enegy to figure out the best way to help others.The third reason is more fundamental and people should be very careful about that:instead of helping one to solve the problem,it is probable that help create more problems.All the above have been found in the process of foreign aid.When NGOes implement the assisstance programs,emprical studies have shown that they don't know what the the really need of the poor people are.Most of the programs are driven by the donators from their own perception of the reality of the people in need instead of those who are to be helped.An expert ironically found that an English organization had donated some sewing machines to a poor village in Zambia but only proved to be useless for improving the condition of local people.It is also found that people don't know how to help others.For example,in order to help farmers to access the markets,bicycles were donated to a small village but only found that it was impossible to use it on the hill track there.However,both these two difficulties can be easily overcome by putting more time and effort to understand local people,to take on local employees to solve the problems.When it comes to the third problem,it is much more complicated.When the foreign aid causes problems instead of eliminating them,there are several sets of issues there.I would like to talk about conditionality here.Conditionality has been notortious not only because it really aggravates the bad condition of the poor countries,but only because it ruins the reputation of aid,put it simply,it poisons the good will of people providing help.The source of conditionality is very simple:people have no trust between each other.Those providing aid merely can't beleive that people receiving the money or materials use them properly.Several factors give arise to this suspicion:The first is corruption.Enormous defalcation and misuse have been found in those countries receiving aid.Secondly,the poor countries lack of institutions to support the operation of foreign assistance.Thirdly,the donations are manipulated by private companies in rich countries for their own benefit.It is not new to know from the news that those countries giving money want to get something back.All these reasons have made foreign aid much more controversial than before.And it is not easy to separate them from foreign aid.
However,the biggest finding of recent years is not conditionality.It is at last the rich countries know that the best way to help the poor is to help them to help themselves.It is not totally new as a conventional wisdom.However,the most difficult thing to implement it into the practice of froegn aid.It has been said that an actor-orienated approach should be taken and the foreign aid should be used to construct voice and accountability of local people.Simply put,people should be armed to develop by themselves.Governance issue should be addressed and local people should be helped to make those in power accountable.In this sense,the issue of foreing aid is not an isolated issue but should be addressed along with the goverance and cultural shift.Help has become a much bigger issue than it is.For all these,I would like to say:it is so difficult to help others.

March 28, 2006

stronger or luckier

Follow-up to people of Feb from flyer's blog

If one feels no love in life,what will happen?He will survive if he has hope.What if one has no hope?It is probable that he will struggle to live if he knows that someone loves him and he cherishes it.But what about life without love or hope?It is highly possible that he is going to commit suicide or destroy himeself little by little.Life is about love and hope.A lot of people take it for granted that people all have love and hope.But it is not so.People are luckier than people.This is always true.A few days ago I talked with one of my flatmate about the life of illegal immigrate,their hope and their misery.She said these people were not worth sympathy.She also said she always thought that it is those people's fault that they could not make a living in the society.I was not superised by her view because I know most people have such points of view,more or less,and this view is not totally ungrounded.However,what I only want to say is that people are luckier than people.It is not good for those who are luckier to laugh at those who are less luckier.Those who think they are stronger may be only luckier.

February 25, 2006

people of Feb

Writing about an entry you don't have permission to view

The Anchoress Julian of Norwich was born in late 1342, and may have lived well into the fifteenth century, dying around 1412. We know very few details about her life; in fact, we do not know even know her real name. At some point in her life she became an anchoress — a vowed solitary who lived a life devoted to prayer and meditation, confined to a cell adjoining a church. In her case, Julian's cell adjoined the church of St. Julian in Norwich, from which we get her pseudonym. Virtually nothing is known about her aside from what she writes — and she reveals little about herself, preferring instead to talk about her "courteous" God. In her writing (the first book written by a woman in English), Julian reveals a profound level of mystical wisdom and insight that, over six hundred years later, remains on the cutting edge of Christian theology.

We do know that when she was 30, in May 1373, she became deathly ill, and while on her supposed deathbed she received a series of vivid, profound visions or "showings" — sixteen visions in which Divine love was revealed to her. She recovered from her illness, and subsequently wrote two books about her experience: a short text presumably written not long after the experience, and a longer text, written twenty years later, which reveals the maturing of a deeply reflective mind.

Julian is best known for her optimism ("All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well"), and also for her repeated insistence of naming both God and Christ as "mother." Her theology of the motherhood of God is an anticipation of, and inspiration for, much of the most creative theological and spiritual thought of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. One of the loveliest stories from Julian's collection of visions involves a point where she was asked to hold something little, no bigger than a hazelnut. When she asks God what this is, she is told "It is all that exists." She marvels that this thing could even continue to exist, so small and delicate it appears. She then realizes the reason the universe continues to exist is because "God made it, God loves it, and God keeps it." This sums up Julian's optimistic, visionary theology — a theology where the love of God is expressed not in terms of law and duty, but in terms of joy and heartfelt compassion.

From link

January 03, 2006

on love

Follow-up to Love from flyer's blog

In the world scarce are two:love and justice.This is not my word.I got it from somewhere I can't remeber.However,I cherish it for a long time.The longer I ponder on it,the more I take it as a true description of the real world.I am not a cynic,neither am I a pessimist.However,I really doubt the human nature and don't beleive in it.Life has taught me to think twice when I have to rely on others.And I have accepted it as normal if I am betrayed or when someone swallowed his or her word and caused troubles.It is only the way life is.This is what I would like to tell myself and get away with it.This morning I read this:"I have a silent sorrow here;a grief I'll ne'er impart;It breathes no sign,it sheds not tears.But it consumes my heart."If I meet the author,I'd like to tell him that he is wrong.Yea,life is filled with disappointments,missteps and sufferings.However,one's heart can be releived from consuming with a beautiful mind and soul,which makes way for a life of love regardless of all the misfortunes in the owrld.

December 20, 2005

Before Sunset

4 out of 5 stars
I take the title"Before Sunset"as a metaphor of life.Our life is like a walk into the sunset and life withers as time goes on.As one poem said:I warm'd both hands before the fire of life; It sinks;and I am ready to depart(Walter Savage Landor).Life is a jouney and everyone knows there is an end,just as all know the sun will set.
For the movie,I take the title as the metaphor of the relation between Jesse and Celine.Time has changed a lot of things and they can't turn the clock back.All remaining is pity and saddness of life.
This movie is about a unbidden encounter of a American man(Jesse) and a French woman(Celine) nine years after than they had a unexpected love affair in Vienna.This time is in Paris,the home city of the woman.They have a walk from a famous bookshop to the home of the woman.The tone of this jouney is manifested by the scenes and music in the movie.It is not something as strong as the hard drink but as plain as the tea after noon,just like the talk in the movie,some tears,but not crying,poignant but not painful.
It is a 24-hour plotless meander with a lot of conversations where the potent lies.Conversation is the most common way people take to get to familiar with each other.The more conversation,the more protective armor was hacked away and the more truth about self and life comes to the surface.Following the stroll in Paris and the talk,the audience sense the acute pities and pain of life.In contrast to the movie "Before Sunrise",this movie is a smash on the dream of romance and the hard facet of life prevails.Although the director leaves the end open,there is little chance that the two can have a bright future.Their life has tranformed after 9 years.The idealistic youth has given way to adult reality.Jesse has had a wife and even a child,and the life of Celine has been scarred with disappointment and unfortune.All these mean that reunion take painful price.It is in this way that Linklater illustrate how life is.And she succeeds in instituting all these truth of life into the slowing walk and the conversation,the music and the nice song written by the actress herself.This is her forte and here lies the potent of the movie.It strikes the chord and resounds in the heart of people.Becauce in the deep heart of most people,there is some regre and pity that will aroused by this movie.

December 18, 2005


Writing about an entry you don't have permission to view

"Without love an outward work profits nothing, but whatever is done out of love,however so samll and inconsiderable it may be,becomes completely fruitful."
"He does much who loves much.He does much who does something well.He does well who serves the common good rather than his own will." (Thomas Kempis 'Imitation of Christ')

December 07, 2005


Follow-up to candle in the wind from flyer's blog

A few days ago,one of my friend told me something about one of his friend.That girl he talked about is a quite sociable girl who is quite open and like to make friends.When he saw her for the first time,he assumed that she lived a happy life.However,it is another time he really knows her.Whrn time goes on,they become more and more familar and become friends.One night they sat together and talked at random.Suddenly the girl cried and told him that she was very lonely and always felt sad.My friend said that it was a surprise for him for his assumption was battered.At last he told me that people always appeared happy but it was not true.I remember a famous psychiatrist Jounge said that people always had an alter ego,which was put outside and hided their true feeling inside.I think it is not a surprise when I talk about this in such a way,because more or less everyone is in such a situation.For fear to be hurt,people shield themselves with a mask.It does works.However,Junge told us that it was not healthy for one's personality.If the more you hide yourself from a mask,the less you find your true image.Little by little,one doesn't know his true happiness and grief,he loses his joy,he doesn't know what he really wants and what he looks for.It is bad,for he always makes mistakes because when he gets something with effort,he annoyedly to find that it is not what he wants.That is why psychology always tells us that you should build up your true image.As I have said,life is a process of discovering.I have to say,the most important mission of this process is to know yourself.Tragedy is not only about loss,in the same time it is about gain.

November 25, 2005

candle in the wind

Follow-up to Strafford–upon–avon from flyer's blog

The news of Independence said that George Best was dying and remarked that "His genius was the purest British football has known…the legend's flickering flame was all but extinguished. "And his doctor said"I am afraid Mr Best is coming to the end of the long road of his ill health."When read this,I think of the famous song of Elton John"Candel in the Wind".I like the song.The lyric is as good as the melody:
Goodbye Norma Jean
Though I never knew you at all
You had the grace to hold yourself
While those around you crawled
They crawled out of the woodwork
And they whispered into your brain
They set you on the treadmill
And they made you change your name

And it seems to me you lived your life
Like a candle in the wind
Never knowing who to cling to
When the rain set in
And I would have liked to have known you
But I was just a kid
Your candle burned out long before
Your legend ever did

Loneliness was tough
The toughest role you ever played
Hollywood created a superstar
And pain was the price you paid
Even when you died
Oh the press still hounded you
All the papers had to say
Was that Marilyn was found in the nude

Goodbye Norma Jean
From the young man in the 22nd row
Who sees you as something as more than sexual
More than just our Marilyn Monroe

Maybe it is the fate of many ones,who made their fame and was lost in loneliness.Worth or not,he or she is the only one who can tell.

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