Ketchup = catch up. Sorry ah, lousy joke. Jagung. Bring on the corn. I have comments and qualifications to early stuff said that are so long I bunged them into their own post.
1) I have to apologize, now the Singapore haze I was so sympathetic about last week appears to be clearing, and parts of Malaysia have haze so bad some schools are closed and it was discreetly and not unkindly pointed out to me via email. (Wonder why my mum didn't say anything hmm) Anyway, I'm sorry. Pollution sucks and people deserve clean air - it's why I don't even think smokers should smoke in designated non-smoking areas. Because in a perfect world, we should get to choose what nonsense goes in our bodies, be it junk food or nicotine or what-not.
Yet for air pollution, you often cannot choose - so air pollution is a little study in selflessness, one that many people, being (d-uh) human, will fail in some way or other.
2) An answer to Mun's very good question from my originally flippant previous post, about how I talked to Rockstar about death. Which was when I realized if I really wanted to give her my best answer, I'd admit that at some point discussions would turn also to our faith because of the afterlife.
We'd started off with the idea Rockstar would one day have to say goodbye to the dog, because different species have different life expectancies, for eg some bugs live for like, 2 weeks, but for them that's already an entire lifetime... We have as yet not addressed the concept of a human being dying, but he is definitely aware that people have a certain life expectancy, and part (though not all) of that can be affected by lifestyle choices like smoking or diet. (Which was really what I was on about - for e.g. if Lightning McQueen used lousy fuel, his engine would pack it in faster. The whole Cars 2 is about an alternative fuel with a conservation/ anti pollution message, and it's almost the only full-length movie he's ever sat through.)
I thought to also flesh out the Egyptian Pyramids thing though, since I suppose at some point he's going to come across the 7 (is it still 7?) Wonders of the World and just going about kiddie book stores or at that popular playroom we were at over the weekend and even on Babytv you do come across Egyptian Pyramids so I did mention how different civilizations and cultures have different beliefs. Most reflect what they believed to be the best wisdom of their time.
In keeping with Sunday school and the fact we are Christian, Rockstar is of course aware of our belief in Heaven and eternal life through the acceptance of Jesus as our personal savior. Sometime in our daily conversations we then also touched on Creationism and Evolution, especially since we have Bible stories in books and on cd at home too. This is rather interesting because Rockstar naturally enjoys to talk about evolution, and is extremely fascinated by anything science.
What I've said is, one of the reasons we learn about science is to pave the way for future discoveries. Theories are meant to be studied for their thought processes. So we learn as many theories as we can. We learn how others arrive at conclusions, we learn of the strengths and weaknesses in their arguments, and it helps us on our way in forming our own theories and conclusions.
Probably because of how it happened for me - one moment I'm at church simply to humor a colleague I had a lot of respect for because she really walked the talk at work, the next moment something happens to me when I least expect it and if I never feel it again for as long as I live I will still know there is a God - I believe that you have to want to believe.
There is a lot of literature out there - my mum especially loves to read books that cast lots and lots of counter arguments to the Christian faith. (Please don't read too much into this - she has been doing it way before I became Christian because she attended a strict convent school with apparently very scary strict nuns - and her Christian friends then give her Christian books as well). The day I accepted Jesus, I probably knew less about the Bible than I knew about other faiths. No one was ever able to debate me into believing, previously, but one day there was the knock and I opened the door.
And so I choose to believe what the Bible says is true. To me, this is why it is called faith. From that day I knew there is a God and so I believe in what His word says. That means I have to believe all of it. All the while we read about Big Bang Theory et al - Rockstar has always had the astronomy bug.
It's definitely not the only way, I've heard friends bring out powerful arguments evidencing the truth of the Word, it's just I had already chosen to believe anyway, sound arguments or not. Just as before I became Christian I chose not to and no one could then talk me around.
So, what we say to Rockstar (because sometimes he really just keeps asking all kinds of things) is, there are many different peoples and cultures in this world and throughout history. Knowing, understanding, respecting the various cultures and beliefs is part of learning history and science, and it is how the world you live in works today. (I blogged ages ago how the church we attend had sent relief teams during natural disasters that chose to also rebuild the mosques in the villages because when they had chosen to show God's love, it was without strings attached - and rebuilding the villages without the mosque, which was the villagers' way of life, would've been one giant string.)
So, Rockstars, this is what your parents believe. Walking the talk is just way hard and all we can really do is try, knowing no one ever does it perfectly. But we think it's the best way to show you our point of view, you know, when you become <shudder> teenagers and such, all the while we shouldn't/ aren't keeping you from anyone else's.
ps: Btw Kings and I are "first generation Christians" and my mum in particular is a staunch Buddhist/ Taoist. I grew up witnessing not a few temple ceremonies, including the ones involving spirits and deities and mediums. My best friend from my schooling in Malaysia is Muslim and we're still in touch today.