Walking Across The Bridge

Few weeks ago I was invited by a good friend of mine to go for his birthday treat. It was a good dinner gathering with 13 people, including myself. There were 3 straight women and 10 gay men. Yes, my good friend is also a gay and that night, he was celebrating his birthday and also his partner’s birthday (their dates only separated a few days away).

The night was good, we talked and shared a lot, and also laughed a lot. At first, we thought that night would be just fine, until we started to order the meals. The waiter was taking our order halfheartedly. How do we know? From the way he looked at us. He gave the guys such a sharp look, while to the women, he didn’t show such a sharp look. Whenever we ask them to order some more food or ask them to bring the birthday cake out, we need to ask them several times, before finally the order came.

With my straight eyes, I could see that being a gay man is not an easy matter. People still look at them differently. Even though the gay men are now more open and most people are more liberal, it doesn’t mean that the discrimination has gone. It is still there. Ideally, the discrimination should not go further than making sharp look or mean face!But it is now going brutal and worse. The story of gay killing such as the 13-year-old Sean Walsh or Matthew Shepard – really breaks my heart, because I believe that no matter sexual preferences that they found (not choose), they still bear the image of our Creator.

Maybe all that we need to do is to walk across the bridge. Walk the distance that we’ve been built between heterosexuals and homosexuals. By doing so, I believe that we can find a different new meaning about gay and lesbian. I am not saying that we have to agree with their sexual actions, because there is a huge difference between sexual preferences and sexual actions.

Let me close this article with a short reflection given by Father Dennis Rochford MSC, on our weekly bible study back to 2004. He said that, even though homosexuality is morally wrong, does not mean that we can’t love them. So, walk across the bridge, before you judge too much on what may be there … across the bridge.

Dumbledore and Humanity (Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince)

Have you watched the newest serial of Harry Potter? If you haven’t, then go watch the movie first. Later on, you may decide whether you are on my side or not.

If you have watched the movie, I believe that you still have that hatred toward JK Rowling for killing Dumbledore in such a tragic way. I still do, even though I had read the 6th book about 2 years ago.

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I want to share my subjective perspective on Dumbledore and his heroic action, to save Harry and the rest of the Order of the Phoenix members, as a way of being a human being. I am not going to talk about theology, but currently, I am reading a book titled ‘Lihatlah Tubuhku: Membebaskan seks bersama Yohanes Paulus II’ (Look at my body: Liberating sex with John Paul II) written by Deshi Ramadhani, SJ (written in Indonesian). It is written in p. 37, that one aspect of a perfect love triangle is giving oneself as a whole to the person that one loves. It is exactly what Dumbledore did in the story, he gave away his life for other people, including Harry.

Despite my own perspective, which is very subjective and not clear from a shadowy judgement, I have to admit that Dumbledore’s action reflected the deepest feeling in human heart, which is love. And love is not just to be spoke of, but most importantly, to be done, as Dumbledore has done it.

Dumbledore has shown the greatest treasure of humanity… to love!

PS: I will write a simple psychological diagnosis on Bellatrix Lestrange and Severus Snape .. later on!

Pieces from Jakarta Riot – May 1998

It’s been more than 10 years ago, when Indonesia was shaken by brutality done by those irresponsible people. It has been reported that many people died. Many Indonesian born Chinese women were raped and still no one can find out who’s behind that tragedy. I believe many of us had received emails or photos and heard on the news about how those people did their brutality actions.

Besides the fact that government did not do anything serious to uncover the actor behind that riot, we do not know much of what was really happening. But I watch a local TV station, Trans TV last Saturday evening (Jan 3, 2009). They have a weekly reality show called Termehek-Mehek (slank word for sobbing). This reality show helps their clients to find missing persons. It could be their family, girlfriend or boyfriend, husband or wife, or a friend. Last episode was about a girl (named Ida) who was looking for her lost friend, named Olivia. She had been missing since the Jakarta Riot on May 1998. Ida had been trying to find Olivia for these past 10 years, but she got none. At first, they got the wrong lead and they thought Olivia was dead during the riot. Ida cried hard and fainted when she heard this news. But then, they found out that the information was wrong. Olivia was still alive … and still missing.

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After a long searching, they got an address which lead into everything they need to know. That address was a house of Olivia’s grandmother. She told everything that had happened after the riot. Olivia’s father passed away because he could not handle the situation. His house was burned down. He lost his business because of the mass robbery during the riot. The saddest part is Olivia was shaken so hard. She was not able to bear all those pressures, she was depressed. At last, she was sent into Mental Hospital. Up until today, Olivia is still there. Spending her time with her own imagination…

There was one thing that I really hope while I was watching the show: that the robbers and others who were enjoying much during the riot to think back of what they have done. They maybe were happy because they could stole things away and burned down someone else’s house, but think of the present effects. One father passed away and his daughter is hospitalized because of her mental condition… and that is only ONE story out of those hundreds or even thousands other stories.

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For those who had been involved in Riot May 1998:

Imagine if you are having a daughter who has to be treated as a lunatic just because someone else hurt her. Will you get mad and take revenge? The answer is in your hands.

Let us pray for all the victims, their families and loved ones. May God bless them all abundantly and heal their broken heart, for good people are loved by Him. And for all the actors behind that riot, may God forgive you and give you one last chance to repent yourself.

A Season of Terror (1) : Bombers Attack

It’s been a while since the incident of September 11 2001 in the USA, when the terrorists attacked World Trade Center and caused 2,974 people lost their lives. The 19 al-Qaeda terrorists were hijacking 4 commercial airplanes and crashed them into 3 different places. Two of the planes hit WTC, one hit Pentagon and the last one to Shanksville, a rural in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. The world was shaken by this attack, for humanity reasons and also for the cruelty of those heartless  hijackers. They did not think about the effects of their actions.

The 9/11 attack

The 9/11 attack

The next attack was also a world-shocking news, first Bali Bombing on October 12, 2002. Those two bombs killed 202 people and hurt 209 others. That attack was the deadliest terrorist action in the history of Indonesia. This time the bombers were Indonesian and members of Jemaah Islamiyah, a violent Islamics group. Last November 9, 2008, the three actors (Amrozi, Imam Samudra, and Mukhlas Gufron) behind the bombing were executed at Nusakambangan prison.

The second Bali bombing happened on October 1, 2005. This time the bombs were exploded in Jimbaran food court and Kuta Town Square. One video captured the last moment when one bomber was walking into one restaurant at Kuta Town Square, and then suddenly the bomb exploded. Once again, the cruelty of humanity had show off its teeth.

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The latest news was the terrorist attack in Mumbai, India on 26 November 2008. The terrorists attacked a few places, such as: two five-stars hotels, hospital, movie theater, train station and a Jewish center. It had been reported at least 174 people were killed during the attack. The terrorists revealed the weakness of India’s security apparatus and even laugh at the dead police who wore bulletproof vests. No matter what was the reason behind the attack, such action is condemned, because the attackers chose the rude and cruel way to send their message and getting what they want.

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Humanity is at stake of facing the end of morality values. It is a truth that humankind has to face. We are working hard to educate the young children about good morality and kindness. But in the other side of this world, people are so full with hatred. They want to be heard. So, they send their message, in the name of religion, by hurting and killing others. They chose the hard way to express their thoughts. It is hard, and the result of their action is also hard to understand.

It is a season of terror. Can we stop it?

We can … if we want to. Listen to your heart. The pure one, not the re-make one. The pure heart will listen to others. But the re-make heart will fight for their own sake. Which one is yours?

How Deductive a Person Is?

To be honest, I never like numbers (statistics, quantitative or economics!)…

But when I started to study Psychology, I just realized that Psych is one Social Science subject with the biggest amount of statistics. So, I guess I have to deal with that.

Last night, I gave a shot to start reading the lecture materials for statistics. It was like having a nightmare at first. But then, after reading for a while, I started to find the enjoyment of statistics books. I compared that to the materials of quantitative research and started to make questions for myself … how deductive a person is?

For so long, I’m happy with qualitative method to do my work. I did my bachelor’s thesis with pure qualitative method (interview and observation). Then, when I was in UWA, I struggled with SPSS!!! I won’t forget those days… never! Still, I didn’t find the fun of it…

I keep on thinking how broad is statistics to be applied into humanity? Is it that broad enough?

Even though I started to find the fun of stats and quantitative, I still need to find the answer of my question. I don’t think we can classified a person (let’s started with one person) into numbers. Well, for me numbers can help to classify a person with certain type or label. And then what? I believe that we will never be able to captured a person as the same person with numbers. When we talk about Cicilia in numbers, then she will be read as Cicilia1.

What do you think?

*I’m still flipping my book*