Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Reflections on the D-word

Today's blog post was inspired by...

A dead rat.

... as well as other things in between, but mainly the dead rat. I saw in a rather contemplative mood today for some reason, and after coming back from the fitness centre nearby, I was just sitting in my car for a while in a dark alone and talking to God about stuff, which I haven't really been doing in a while. So when I got out of my car, I noticed this dead little bugger lying smack in the middle of the road at my apartment's basement. Poor thing probably got roadkilled by a passing car, and even though I realize it's a pest that can cause all sorts of diseases, I still have some sympathy for rodents considering I keep a gerbil family of my own.

Anyhow, it just reminded me about a few recent conversations I've had with friends about... well... death. Yeah I know, not exactly cool dinner topic, but seriously it's the only other thing certain in life asides from taxes, so I find it rather funny how some people just totally skirt the topic, preferring to pretend like it will never happen to them. I know someone whom every time I or anyone else says something along the lines of "You should do (so-and-so) just in case next time you pass on...", he'll get all fidgety and ask us not to say it like that. So we have to be creative and say "...when you're not around anymore..." or something like that. Or even better, just pretend that it will never happen at all. -_O?

I suppose it's a typical reaction of people who are afraid of death... and the only reason to be afraid of death is because they don't know what happens to them afterwards, if anything at all, so they'd just rather not think about it. Which to me is kinda weird, coz' thinking about the possibilities of what could happen to you in the afterlife is a VERY important thing, especially if there is a chance your spirit will continue existing for a long time (like FORVER) after you die.

I, on the other hand, as well as most people of my generation who are less bogged down by the mental and cultural taboos of just mentioning anything pertaining to death, have few qualms talking about it. In fact, I will happily tell you that when I die, I hope that all my reusable organs will be harvested and given to people who really need them, coz' I certainly won't need them anymore, and you all know I'm into recycling, so why waste a perfectly good organ? I just haven't gotten round to signing myself up as an organ donor yet. Dum de dum...

There was also this quote I heard on the radio once, supposedly from some famous dude (I *think* it was Ronan Keating), who said that he's not afraid of death but was afraid of dying. And the radio dj who mentioned that was like "Huh? What's that supposed to mean?" but I was thinking that that makes perfect sense. To be afraid of dying, I figure, means to be afraid HOW you would die. Like I'm totally freaked out at the possibility of going though a slow and painful death, like if I got into a really bad accident and most of my bones broken but still not dead, or if I came down with some debilitating disease and was stuck in a hospital for months or years, or if I was being eaten alive by a lion... well, you get the idea. But I'm not afraid of what will happen to me AFTER I die, just coz' as a believer in Christ, I have a pretty good idea of what's going to me happen to me after death. Therefore the fear of the unknown of the afterlife does not apply to me, as it would to most people who have no such reassurance and might be worried about whether their spirit ends up in some form of limbo-land after death... or whether they've done enough 'good' in their lifetime to earn a place in heaven or to avoid being reincarnated as a cockroach... or whatever their belief system is. I don't mean to sound like one of those pompous Christian pricks (unfortunately, there are some) who think they are better than everyone else coz' we going to heaven... Christians (myself included) are really just about as screwed up as the next person, and we don't get into heaven through anything we did particularly better than anyone else, but only coz' God is just too good to us. But anyhow, the explanation of that is another long story, which I would be happy to share if you asked, but I won't go into here.

One interesting question posed to me recently is "What would you do if you only had 24 hours to live?". Frankly, I really don't like these kind of questions where you won't have the answer to it unless you are actually in that situation. Like seriously, who the heck would actually know what they would do if they had 24 hours left? But there's another aspect of this question that makes it even more interesting... Whatever it is that you would do in the last 24 hours of your life, why aren't you doing it now?

Ooh, bugger.

The friends I were talking to both felt the need to accomplish something worthy within those 24 hours. But I think that in that situation, if you haven't accomplished anything worthy before that, doing so in your last 24 hours is kind of a bit too late. So what I would do is most likely be tying loose ends... writing letters to family and friends to clear up any bad feelings and give them final encouragement, going up to that dude I like and maybe try to weasel a smooch out of him... and THEN once all that's settled, I'd go bungee jumping coz' I've never tried that before and really want to. And THEN I would die in peace. Har har.

And then I think about the question I brought up earlier, which is "Why aren't I doing these things now?". After all, you never know when you're going to die anyway. I could get mowed down by a truck tomorrow. Unfortunately, answering this is much harder than the first question, coz' truth be told, I and probably 80% of the world hold off doing stuff that is important to us for reason that are pretty lame.

So yeah, that's just my few random and rather directionless reflections on death. Cheerio!

Monday, April 06, 2009

The money-spinning blog

I went for Barcamp KL at Inti College over the weekend, which is an event for young entrepreneurs to get together and share business ideas. Basically people come together, whoever wants to talk about something is free to book a slot and present his/her stuff during that slot to whoever wants to listen, and whoever gets bored can just leave and move to another room to hear another speaker. Lots of interesting topics were flying around, from 'How to Date a Japanese Girl' (apparently by a Japanese Girl), to 'Sex and Business' (needless to say, this one was interesting, but nothing to do with porn, people!) to a swing dance lesson from a group called KL Swing.

One talk I particularly liked was about making money from honest blogging. As in, you don't need to blog 'slanderous' stuff that's interesting to make money, but bloggers who write their own uncoierced opinions about things, without being paid off by companies to write something 'good' about their company/products, for example, can actually make a pretty good living off it. Example of this dude I'd never heard of before called Liew C F who actually makes a more-than-decent living just sitting at home in his underpants (or maybe less) blogging away! Of course, his blog is sponsored, but apparently they don't sponsor him to write good stuff about them. He's sponsored just coz' lots of people are interested to read his crap and it's a good place to advertise. Apperently he recently bought a very nice new Honda using his blogging income. How cool is that?

So yeah, I figured since before Barcamp that I would probably make a sucky enterpreneuer/ business person just coz' I don't like the risks associated with starting my own business, I don't have the passion for it and starting businesses involves good networking which I totally suck at as well. Like I didn't really bother to chat much with anyone new at Barcamp, just mainly hung out with the people I already knew. Which defeats part of the purpose of attending it. But one thing I can and do enjoy doing is exactly what I'm doing now, which is BLOGGING. And yeah, I heard of the idea of making money from blogs before, but I didn't really take it seriously til I went for that talk. So after getting that inspiration, I decided to get into the bandwagon of turning my blog into a money spinner. Woo hoo! Well, I'll probably earn a miserable amount from it, if anything at all, but hey, doesn't hurt to try. :P

However, my money spinning blog isn't going to be this one... just coz' if I'm going to get a high influx of unknown readers, I'd rather keep my personal life more private. Thus, I'm saving this blog for blogging more on personal stuff, ie. anything involving family, relationship issues, work, etc. And my 2nd blog shall be all the other stuff...except politics, but I explained that on my first post on my other blog. You can check out my new blog here. As you might expect, it's also in RED. Hehe. I wanted to named it The Red Blog, but that URL and practically every variation of that name was taken, mostly by people who only posted one or two posts like 5 years ago, which is highly annoying. I was tempted to email them and tick them off for using up cool blog URL's for nothing. *Ahem*, anyway, my new blog background looks even cooler than my current one, so I'm pretty stoked. :)