Thursday, March 29, 2012


[Smita and I welcomed our third child Jacob on March 23rd, Friday 5:47am at Sparrow Hospital, Lansing, MI. At birth, he weighed 7lbs 14 oz and measured 20.5 inches tall. He is the cutest thing ever!]

During Smita’s labor, the OB/GYN at the hospital told us we must be pros since it's our third child. The assumption was that we know everything about labor, delivery, recovery and taking care of the baby. Its quite humanly that we feel proud when someone say we are good at something, and I wasn't an exception.

Well, until the baby was born and given to us for care.

It can be overwhelming that, now, we are responsible for the well-being of a brand new life, who completely depends on us to sustain and survive.

It's true that I had changed diapers, fed, took care of 2 children in the past. But that was over 5 years ago. I forgot everything. Now, I am re-learning. It's a totally new, sometimes unnerving experience.

It's fun too. Jacob is very curious. He turns his eyes to each and every sound or gestures we make (unless he is hungry).

I don't think I have paid this much detailed attention to Jessica or Jonathan when they were younger. It could be because of a subliminal knowledge that this could be our last offspring. Last chance to learn, observe and enjoy how babies operate. (Of course, there is a chance when we become grand parents. But I don't want to think about that now because it makes me want to imagine how I would look when I am old. I don't want to go there now.)

What Babies tells me is this: ‘life’ wants to happen.

I am marveled at the magnificence of human life.

The Batista at the coffee shop at my work told me something the other day. "If you have a boy, you need to worry only about THAT boy. However, if you have a girl, you need to worry about ALL the boys!". I thought that was funny and I laughed!

On a second thought, my grin slowly faded. I have both!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Are we progressing?

Are we progressing?

Developmentally? Economically? Scientifically? Technologically?

Human kind seem to take a lot of pride in its own progressive development over the centuries starting from industrial revolution to the modern day technological and scientific advancements. We have learned to solve a lot of problems by using machines and chemicals. Most of it is done in as effort of beating the tyranny of time.

Time seems more precious than ever.

We have developed techniques to better manage our time for better productivity and thereby a better life - from packaged dinners to artificial intelligence.

We have pretty much made the whole thing called life as a mechanical operation or a series of operations, which is usually kicked off by a morning instant coffee. We have learned the patterns and we are also on the lookout for better patterns, tools and strategies.

Is it just me or can anyone else see that there is something missing in our rushed daily life? Or is it that thing they call "progress"? Am I too old-school that I am not seeing the progress?

Can't you see how we are solving the problems in the world? They ask.

Look how we solved the issue of caring for children - we invented daycare professionals.
Look how we solved the issue of planting, cultivating and harvesting crops - we invented corporate farming and super markets.
Look how we solved the issue of preparing food - We invented packaged dinners and canned foods.
Look how we solved the issue of physical sickness - We have invented pharmaceuticals.
Feeling down? - We have antidepressants.
Need money? - We have loans.
Want to be in shape? - We have diet pills.

Do you see a problem with this mentality? Are we really progressing?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Grow deep!

A lot of people have chosen silence, passivity and isolation over standing up for truth and questioning things with courage, just so that they can avoid conflict. We have learned to compromise all our integrity and honesty for pseudo comfort and false sense of security. At work places we keep quite because we are afraid of being seen a difficult-to-manage, arrogant employee. At church we keep quiet out of the concern of being perceived as a rebel. We stick with abusive relationships, because we are afraid of living without those relationships. We are afraid of being seen as vulnerable. We would rather be in a state of depression than speaking out. We pretend. We close our eyes and blind ourselves to injustice, falsehood, control, darkness and bondage.

We are afraid of people. We are afraid of the god of our religion. We are afraid of being judged. We are afraid of being anti-social. We are afraid of breaking traditions.


Is this how we are supposed to live?

We conform to the level that we have no sense of identity or individuality. Everybody controls us - corporations, politicians, clergies, relatives; and we sheepishly submit our identity to them and beg them to control us, feed us, think for us, protect us. We wouldn't second guess their intentions or their existence because the whole 'mob' is doing the exact very same thing and we don't want to be the odd one out.

Mob mentality?

We live this conforming, compromising, gutless life 70, 80, 90 years and towards the end of our life, we would wonder did I even live one day as MYSELF? With my own thoughts, with my own convictions, with my own ideas, while being true to myself and others around us. Totally being comfortable in our own skin?

We think our children need conformity, so that we can better control them. No wonder we teach them conformity from day one. Guess what, when they grow up they will crave control and bondage.

We have the so called "experts" to shovel instruction and "how to"s down through our throats. We savor upon them and celebrate our gluttony thinking that we are smart because we have the "expert" advice and a road-map for how to navigate our life-ship.

What if life is not meant to live based on a road-map?

What if life is not meant to live based on a moral standard?

What if life is not meant to be going through the motions and doing what everybody else is doing?

Isn't that life boring?

Diet industry and mass food producing companies controls what we eat.

Medical industry tell us what medicine we need.

Clergies prescribe food for our soul and spirit.

Politicians control our sense of security.

Businesses, corporations, banks and credit card companies control our money.

We are bombarded with the How-to books and self helps books. We validate every step of our life against the knowledge and wisdom of the "mob".

With all these we grow wide and big (Does knowledge puffs up?).

What a boring life!

We never grow deep with a mob mentality!

What happened to adventure? wonder? awe? curiosity? courage? creativity? solitude? revelation?

Without these, how do we grow deep? How do we experience freedom?

Monday, March 5, 2012

Absolute Vs. Relative truth

Absolute truth: What is true of me and everyone else.
Relative truth: What is true for me is true for me, may not be true for you.

If I say, I am now writing in Spanish, most people, who can distinguish Spanish and English, would disagree.

There is an absolute truth here: Spanish and English are 2 different languages.

But, to those who don't know this truth (difference between English and Spanish), both the languages will sound the same. That is relativism. It's a myth.

I have heard people saying "You can't know anything for sure." Well, the question I want to ask them is "How do you know THAT for sure?"

A lot of modern philosophy and liberal theology are built on relativism with an agnostic notion that we can't know anything for sure.

I remember, during my college days, when the professor ask us to solve a mathematical or science problem, the problem will have several variables, but there is always at least one constant. Without that one constant, it is impossible to solve that problem or any problem.

There has to be absolute truth, otherwise everything we believe, say or do is in total vain. We cannot exist without absolute truth.