What Religion Means For Me

Why do you pray to someone whose existence itself is a question of doubt? Once, one of my uncles had asked that questions to me.  For many nights I thought about that question. Thinking about the answer, many other questions also came into my mind. What is the purpose of religion? What benefit do I get from it? As I read the article “The Anthropological View of Religion,” I have found that the answers I came up with for those questions are quite similar to that article. Therefore, in this last blog entry, I want to share my views towards religion.

For me religion is a ray of hope. Through religion I always get hope to think for a better future. Doesn’t matter how bad the situation is, I always think that there is someone up there who will eventually pull me out from that problem. When all the hopes are shattered, it is only religion and my believe that hold me strong.

It helps me to keep faith: faith that purifies my senses and consciousness, faith that pacifies the feeling of vengeance inside me. For example, whenever I find out that somebody has done something wrong to me or I have been betrayed, I keep calm and tell myself that Allah always punishes wrong doers. Then, I no more feel any anger or hatred.

Religion is a process for me to learn to be a good human. It teaches me all the good attributes of a ideal human being. It motives me to be a better person. It restricts me from doing any wrong thing since I believe I will be punished for my wrong deeds in my afterlife. At the same time, it also motivates me to do good things so that I will get heaven in my afterlife.

Religion teaches me the method of having control on myself and on my surroundings. When I pray, I feel as if Allah is watching me and blessing me. Therefore, I feel a certain sense of peace inside me that tells me that I can control my destiny and fate as long as I am under the bless of Allah. So, I no more feel worried or confused or concern about my present or future.

Therefore, for me religion is the bright light that shows me my way in the middle of a dark obscure jungle. As long as I am under the brightness of that light, I can find my way and I feel safe, sound, and peaceful.

 

Their Feelings Towards Homeland

While reading the article “Narrating Location: Space, Age
and Gender among Bengali Elders in East London” by Katy Gardner, I started to
think about some of my relatives who live in abroad. As I started to match the
reactions of my relatives with the described characters of the article, I have
found many similarities between them. In this case, I want to talk about my two
relatives who live in America. One of them is rich and well educated while the
other one is from a poor background and not so educated.

Firstly, I have noticed that the migration issues are same
for everyone at the beginning no matter which background they are from. At first,
both of my relatives had same problems to adopt with the new environment. However,
it was easy for the rich and educated one to adopt with the new environment quickly
than the poor and less educated one. Moreover, while the educated one got a
good job there, the less educated one mostly worked as a labor. Since the
educated one was from a rich family, he didn’t need to send money to his home
in Bangladesh. Therefore, he used to spend his money for his own luxuries and
enjoyments. It was also very easy for him to make friends with foreigners and
get along with their lifestyle because of his education and fluent financial
condition. On the other hand, the poor one used to send the lion share of his
income to his home although he used to live in poor condition in America. In
addition, he also found it very hard to get along with American people since he
suffered from infeority feelings. As the living conditions of these two
relatives were totally different, their perspectives about the migrated country
were also very different. While the rich and educated one usually used to talk
about the wonderful and fascinating lifestyle of America to his relatives in
Bangladesh, the poor and less educated one used to talk about the hardship and loneliness
of migrated life.

Secondly, I have seen that the nostalgia and the eagerness they
feel for their homeland is also depend on their condition in that migrated
country. Whenever the rich one comes to Bangladesh, he mostly talks about the
negative sides of Bangladesh and improved lifestyle of America. On being asked,
he says that he never wants to settle back in Bangladesh. On the other hand,
the poor one always talks about his eagerness to come back to Bangladesh. He says
that he is staying in America only to support his family and as soon as he has
enough money to hold a business in Bangladesh he will come back forever.

Thus it shows that the perspective of migrants toward their
homeland is totally based on their experience and living condition in that
migrated country.

Some Lies Are Good Too

Although I was always aware of lying in various kinds of situations, I have never thought about lying so deeply until I read the essay “The Truth about Lying” by Judith Viorst. I never knew that lie also has different genre such as social lie, peace-keeping lies, protective lie, and trust keeping lie. The variations of lies have really surprised me. At the same time, it has also made me very aware about my own lies. After reading about different lies, I have gotten a chance to think whether all lies I say are appropriate or not. As I consider all lies, I started to find that most of the lies somehow have some kind of interest behind them such as peace-keeping lies, protective lies, and trust keeping lies. Most of the times, people say these lies to hide some kind of truths which might be important for the other people to know and harmful for the liars to reveal. Therefore, people say these lies with the motive of manipulation. However, during my course of exploration, I have also found that there is one kind of lies which are not based on any self interest or manipulative motives and that is social lies.

 

So, I think social lies are the best kind of lies. Even if they are lies, most of the time they are better than truths. Social lies are often said just to make other happy. Therefore, more or less, every people want to hear social lies. In social lies the liar doesn’t get anything in return but give a temporary happiness to the other person. For example, a little lies of complement to a children’s work, even if it’s not so good, can motivate him or her to do better. Similarly, a little complement about one’s look, who is not looking good, can certainly give him or her feeling of satisfaction, even though he or she knows very well that how he or she is looking. Moreover, this is the only kind of lie that doesn’t have any side effects or consequences. On one hand, social lies are also work as peace-keeping lies. They maintain the peace of family, friends, and society.

 

Therefore, I believe that social lies are the only kind of lies that are worth telling even if you don’t have any strict reasons to do so.

 

What Happen to a Dream Deferred?

I have never really thought about how desperately I want my
dreams to be true or how necessary it is for me to fulfill my every dream. The
only one thing I knew and care about is that I love to dream and it is what
makes my life beautiful and meaningful.

 

However, while reading the poem “A Dream Deferred” by Langston
Hughes, I have started to ponder about my own dreams and what has happened to
them as I delayed them. I asked myself, “What happened to my dreams deferred?”
Are they now rotten and died? Are they still filling me with same sensation
like before or they have just lost their appeal for me?

 

The answer I got is no. My dreams are neither rotten nor do
they stink. They are still as fresh and inspiring as they were before, in fact
even more. Therefore, I agree with the poet’s positive part about deferring
dreams.

 

Dreams are dreams until they don’t become a part of reality.
If every dream becomes true and real instantly than it won’t be a dream
anymore. It will no more have the same desire and appeal in our heart as it
usually has when we think about our dreams to become true. I have always
noticed one thing in our human attitude that no matter how desirable the thing
is as soon we get that it starts to lose its appeal for us. It is not different
for the dreams. As soon as we fulfill our one dream, the dream loses all of its
connections with our beautiful world of imagination because then it becomes a
part of our real life. Then we start to dream of other things to fulfill the
empty place in our world of imagination since it is the thing that motivates us
to struggle and go on in our life with hope.

 

We are human because have dreams and power of imagination.
Without dreams human life is nothing but a river with no direction to go. It is
our dreams that give us a direction to go, show us our way, and give us meaning
to be alive. Like the way a river flows to a certain direction with the hope
that one day it will be able to meet the sea, our deferred dreams propel us to
move forward in life with the hope to fulfill it someday. And that is what
makes life happier because the desire and imagination of fulfilling a dream is
more pleasant than reality of seeing it becoming true.

 

Therefore, I want to say that — when a dream deferred, it
becomes dry like raisin in sun that makes it sweeter than ever. When a dream
deferred, it becomes crust and sugar over like a syrupy sweet that enhance its
taste like never before.

On “Death of the Salesman”

The play “Death of the Salesman” by Arthur Miller, is a somehow knocks one’s self consciousness. I find the play more thoughtful rather than sad or emotional. Additionally, the character I have found most interesting is the character of Willy. On the surface, he appears as a crazy man who finally ends up doing suicide; and therefore, many people might consider Willy as a coward and loser. I have also thought the same about Willy as I started the novel. However, my thought about Willy has totally changed as I read the ending of the novel.

I think the ending of the play is the best part where we are able to see the true side of Willy’s character as a gainer and achiever. First, at the end, he got to know that his son Biff truly loves him. This is a big achievement for Willy since he always used to believe that Biff didn’t love him or care about him. Thus he finally managed to get the deserving love from his entire family member which had always meant a lot for him. I think no achievement could be more satisfying for a person like Willy than to get the love and care of his nearer and dearer ones. Second, after all of his sufferings and frustrations as a salesman, he finally acknowledged and accepted the reality that he was never meant to be a salesman which also gave him satisfaction. Therefore, in his imagination he agreed to go with his brother Ben to work and to explore himself. It also reflects him as a gainer as he finally dared to venture his true self, even it’s at the end of his life.

Moreover, his committing suicide is also a sign of his braveness. By committing suicide, he has been able to give his family a secure future with the help of the insurance money. Therefore, his sacrifice of his life for his family represents his courage and bravery. This was also a big achievement for him since by doing this he freed her wife from all her wariness. Through his death, he also gave his sons a chance to move forward in their life with their own dreams to fulfill.

Thus, through his death, he was able to achieve the things which he couldn’t achieve in his lifetime.

Be Happy Always

          Reading the article “The New Science of Happiness” I started to ponder in myself what happiness actually means for me. Eventually I have come up with the answer which I like to share with everyone.

          Happiness is satisfaction. When a person is happy with himself or herself, with whatever he or she has, that person is certainly happy. In my life, I have seen many persons who are unhappy in spite of having all the things that are enough to make a parson’s life happy. It is because those people are not satisfied with whatever they have. When they get more they start to want more. I am not saying that a person shouldn’t have desire or aim to get the best. It’s good to have dreams, wishes, and aims as these things make us happy and give us inspiration to go on in life. However, I also think that a person shouldn’t get over obsessed about his or her aim, desires, and wishes and makes these the main motive of living. When a person does that and fails to achieve those things, it becomes the reason of his or her misery.

          Happiness is to think about what one has, not about what one doesn’t have. There is a story I have heard from my mother when I was child that I like to share with everyone. Once there was a poor man sitting beside a street and grieving about his miserable poor conditions. He was crying and saying that he is so poor that he didn’t even have the money to buy a sandal that he could wear to save his feet from the heat of the street of summer. He was wondering about why god is so unfair with him. In the main, he saw a man crossing the road who didn’t have legs. Seeing that the man stand up, wept his tears, and started to smile thinking that he is lucky and happy enough, at least, to have legs to walk on. Therefore, whenever one gets unhappy and regrets that why anything worse happens to him or why he or she has failed, one should always look down to the people who are facing the worst than him or be happy by consider the fact that things could have been worse than this.

          Happiness is a feeling that needs to be felt. It is an idea that needs to be thought. We need to think ourselves happy in order to be happy. It we can do so, we will be able to find happiness in every simple thing or we could be happy even without any reason..

As I Look Back

I have found the poem “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost very inspiring. The poem talks about the dilemma and confusion that every person faces in some point of their life. We make choices, more or less, in every phase of our life and each and every choice leads to another. And that is how, through making decisions, we reach to our destiny.

However, it’s not easy to make decision and reach to our goal. Most of the time, we get stuck in the web of confusion and dilemma. Nevertheless, those who follow their instincts and have the power to take challenges, find it easy to overcome those barriers of confusion and dilemma. As a result, when they look back, they find that all the choices that were made and all the decision that were taken actually worked like steps of ladder to help them to reach their goal.

Looking back in my life, I also see myself making some choices same as the narrator of the poem has done. After completing my twelve grade, I was supposed to take preparation for the entrance test to get admission into a good university. My parents left the choice upon me whether I wanted to go to an engineering university or a medical school as engineer and doctor are the two most popular profession in our country. However, I choose none of them because I didn’t wanted to be a doctor or engineer like thousand other boys and girls of my country. In fact, I wanted to be something different although I didn’t know what it was. I decided to take a chance and explore myself. Therefore, I got admission in a public university. In the mean time, I came to know about AUW from one of my friends and immediately said, “This is where I want to study.” Unfortunately, since it was almost the end of the year and the admission date was closed in AUW, I didn’t get the admission form that year. Therefore, I had to wait a whole year. The next year, I gave entrance exam in AUW as I had planned and got admission. I quit the public university.  As the public university was very far and the communication system wasn’t very good, my parents and family members were happy that I got admission in AUW and  would be able to stay close at home. However, I also know that if I were studying in any engineering or medical school, my parents and family members would not ever let me to quit that. So my decision of not giving entrance exam in engineering or a medical school worked as a plus point for me to reach to my destiny.

Now, as I look back I can see that all the decisions and choices I made were all meant to take me where I am now and don’t feel regret for any of them.

How Was the Movie?

So far in my life, I have seen many movies based on novels that I have never read. Moreover, after watching the movies I have always lost the interest of reading the novels. The Joy Luck Club is the first movie that I have seen after reading the novel. I have heard people saying that reading the novel always feels better than watching the movie. However, my perspective is different about that. I have always thought that watching movies better than reading the novels as I don’t have to imagine and think about how the scenes and situation would be like.

However, the movie The Joy Luck Club has changed my perspective to some extent.  Although I still prefer watching movies rather than reading novels, now I also beliefs that reading novel is a totally different experience.

While reading the novel The Joy luck Club, the way I had imagined the characters in my mind didn’t quite match with the characters in the movie. For example, I found Jing-mei’s character very amiable which I didn’t thought she would be. On the other hand, Waverly was more arrogant than I had thought. I found Lena and Rose very respectful to their mothers than they were in the novel. However, the mothers’ characters somehow match with my expectation.

 I also found some situations totally different than I had pictured in my mind. I thought that the misunderstandings and conflicts between mothers and daughters would be very extreme and intense in the movie as I had read in the novel. To my surprise, in the movie, the relationships between mothers and daughters weren’t portrayed very intensely which was quite satisfying for me to see. Also, the parlor scene between Waverly and her mother in the chapter “Double Face” was more interesting and emotional in the movie where they cry and smile together as they started to understand each other. Moreover, I also found the ending of Rose’s life very satisfying when she and her husband Ted became together again, which wasn’t mentioned in the novel. It was also very interesting to see that Lena got a new boyfriend after her broke up with Harold. However, the only thing that bothered me was the way Ying-ying killed her own child because I had read in the chapter “Waiting Between the Trees” that she aborts the child after being cheated by her husband.

In conclusion, I think the movie has given more satisfying endings to all the characters’ life than the novel. Although I have found the movie more pleasant and interesting than the novel, I have to agree that the novel was more detailed and thoughtful than the movie.

On “Relationship 101”

When I read Buscaglia’s essay “Love Is a learned Phenomenon”, I didn’t able to completely agree with the writer’s point of view that love is something we learn from our surrounding. The fact that love is not human’s by born characteristics really bothered me as I had always believed that people are born with the feelings of love. Therefore, I started to ponder about the fact how love can be learned and why it’s important to learn. I didn’t able to come up with a convincing answer until I read the article “Relationship 101” by Times magazine. As I read the article things are start to become clear to me. I become convinced with the fact that things like love can also be learned and taught in class room. In fact, it is important and more beneficiary to learn about love and other different matters of relationship in class rooms in order to have a better understanding and better life.

Sometimes the way we express our love, respect, and emotions to others is matter more than how much we feel those things inside our heart. If someone doesn’t know how to express his or her emotions and feelings, it can create misunderstanding or the person could be misinterpreted. On the other hand, if a person knows how to behave in certain situation and how to express his or her emotions in a right way, he or she can easily convince people. Therefore, it is very important to know the right way to express one’s emotions and feeling. For example, for some people, love is all about taking control over someone’s life. As a result, in spite of having deep love, this kind of relationships don’t last for long as nobody likes to be controlled or dominated. If a person knows that love requires mutual understanding, reciprocal communication, and respect, he or she can certainly sustain his or her relationship for a long time in a healthy way.

Although I still believe that nobody can learn how to posses love in heart or have emotions and feelings for someone in class room, I certainly agree with the fact that the ways to have a healthy relationship with long lasting love can be provided in class rooms. Class rooms can teach us the right way to express our feelings, to show respects, to create understanding, and to establish better communication with other so that our relationships can work better.

What is inside our mind and heart reflects with our attitude and expressions. And how can we build a better attitude with a better way of expression can definitely be learned and taught in class rooms.

“Our Sorrows and Silence” Means what?

When I read the chapter “Magpies” in The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan, two things struck in my mind very hard as I had experiences those in my real life. First one is that our sorrows are the reason of others happiness and the other is that our silence reflects our weakness and docility.

I have seen it to be true in many cases that whenever we cry and express our sorrows, it gives pleasure to the other person, one way or another. If the person is the one who is the reason of our sorrows, then it certainly makes him or her happy that his or her intention eventually works out. On the other hand, if we are expressing our sorrows to someone we consider our friends, it will also give them pleasure as they will find out how happy they are than us. Therefore, it always comes out to be true that one’s misery, sorrow, and frustration is always the reason or related to other’s happiness, pleasure, joy, and success.

Once, one of my very good friends was telling me about her life’s sorrows and frustration. She was very upset with her parent’s high expectations and her cousin’s humiliation as she wasn’t a very good student. Although I didn’t mean to be happy for her sorrows, hearing her problem I felt a strange happiness for me since I didn’t have parents and cousins like her. Now, I can certainly realize that day my joys were feeding on her sorrows even though I didn’t mean that to be.

The second one is that whenever we remain silent against any injustice or wrong things, through that we are proving our helplessness and weakness. In other sense, we are also expressing our submission for that wrong and injustice. In our culture we have a saying that, “The person who do the injustice and the person who tolerates it is equally guilty.” Therefore, we should speak up whenever we see anything wrong happens. It is also a way to reflect that we are not weak or vulnerable.

For example, in my school, I have always seen that students are more tend to irritate or to bully those students who are quite and don’t say or do anything in return. On the other hand, everybody used to stay away from those who have voice and can defend themselves.

Therefore, I think it is very important for us to learn to have control over our emotions and sorrows, so that we won’t give others any chance to have joy and pleasure on our misery. And we should always try to speak our mind and stand for our right, so that we won’t be treated as weak.