Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Dajjal Inside of Us

Dajjal is a well-known character in the Islamic religion, which betrays the truth and sucks people in towards his defiance. Whether he is a real person or a system remains debatable. Christians may also know him as the “anti-christ”. He is said to be one of the signs of “the last day”.

The most dangerous of his characteristics is his ability to mislead people to think that good is bad; heaven is hell, and vice versa (he is also known as “the great deceiver”). However, if we open our hearts and be truthful, we will be able to identify Dajjal’s traps and stay away from them.

The 1 dollar one-eyed pyramid. The symbol of Dajjal??

The modern way of life demands us to reach for a successful career, power, plenty of riches, fun all the way, and other worldly pleasures, a one-dimensional view, which is an analogy of Dajjal’s one eye. Although at times we realize that we are lost and need a more proper goal in life, the pressure that is created around us by Dajjal’s system, forces us to go back to our “ordinary” lifestyle. As we get sucked in his defiance, we get more and more comfortable with the ride and tend to just play along. This way, our happiness will be illusive and short lasting.

Somehow, we have let him taken control of us. His clutches are so powerful that we have let little Dajjals grow inside of us now. His lust, his ambition and his spirit to create a world of ignorance, competition, pragmatism, and materialism have become what we breathe for. We live day by day to continue our routines without any real meaning in what we do. We do our best to improve our way of living, our comfort, yet we tend to forget/ignore what is happening around us.

How can we bear following tomorrow’s fashion trend, while there are still people that don’t even wear clothing? How can we still enjoy juicy thick beefsteaks while there are people that are dying because of hunger?

Still fancy yourself a luxurious dinner? Think again...

Is there no hope left? After these little Dajjals grow inside of us, is there any way to get rid of them?

Let us try to listen to our hearts more intensively. Seek what real happiness is, and let us break free from Dajjals clutches...

Monday, February 19, 2007

The Forgotten Republic of Indonecia

Even though my word processor gave a red underline for the title I wrote, suggesting that it is a spelling error, I can assure you it isn’t.

I took this photograph below when I picked up my wife at Kansai International Airport (Japan) in 2006 (I don’t know whether they have changed it or not). I don’t think that there is an airline called Garuda Indonecia. So, the sign must have meant Garuda Indonesia, but was miss spelled. A funny thing to encounter in an international class airport, and you don’t expect the Japanese to make many mistakes.

Fly with Garuda Indonecia?

The miss spell is kind of ironic, because the Indonesian – Japanese history is quite tied up to each other. Especially if we go back to 62–65 years ago (1942-1945), when the two countries were very “intimately” connected. The sad fact is that, even though most Indonesians are well aware of what happened then, not all Japanese are (maybe because they don’t teach “negative” history subjects in schools).

Is Indonesia that easy to forget?? :P

Monday, February 05, 2007

Global warming and thinking green

Global warming is no longer a POSSIBLE phenomenon. Global warming is already here, it's real and it’s happening at the point of “no return”. Global warming is happening presumably due to the accumulation of CO2 and other green house gases in the atmosphere. An article in Independent online published in February 2006, said that the global amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is already above its threshold, which is 400 ppm. Shockingly, the predicted amount (the time the article was published) was already 425 ppm. Whether we like it or not, we are now facing a time where the unpredictable will most likely happen.

The earth is changing...

In the past year, slight climate anomalies have happened all across the globe. Heat waves, hurricanes, melting ice caps, endless rain, and warm winters (no snow!! Can you believe that?), are all just glimpses of what might come to happen next. By 2100, the global temperature is predicted to rise up to 6oC with a 58-centimeter rise in sea level. In their recent report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has charged MANKIND as the guilty party. So what's new? The question is, how did we do it, and what can we do now?

Plants are key organisms in maintaining our climate, because, along with several microbes, they are the only ones who can convert CO2 efficiently into Oxygen. Thus far, most of us have neglected the importance of plants in maintaining our way of life. From 1990 to 1997, every year we lost forests equal to 8285714 football (not American) fields. It means that every hour from 1990 to 1997, we lost forests equal to 945 football fields. The destruction nowadays might be even vaster. This amazing phenomenon itself is more than enough to cause the so-called global climate change (Not to mention the extensive CO2 released to the atmosphere by human activity, and other causes).

Our number one life supporter

Plants are invaluable to us. We have to be more aware of that. They are the only ones who can convert the sun’s energy to be able to be enjoyed by other beings, convert CO2 into oxygen that enables us to live, to breath and of course keeps CO2 from accumulating in the atmosphere (which is the main cause of global warming). From now on, it would definitely help if EVERYONE started thinking “green”. Protecting them means protecting us. Planting and growing them means investing for our future. And being aware of their condition means being aware of life itself. If all of us think "green", I’m sure we can make a difference.