"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest." (Matthew 11:28, Message)

Our true beauty and self-worth transcends the influence of the white-washed media

I remember having watched a similar doll test video a few years ago, and now that I am becoming more aware of the issues of white privilege and its effects on people, I am thinking through the implications of these studies more deeply. I did an online research to look into the background of these studies, and learnt that the original psychological research started in the 1940s to look into the effects of racial segregation in schools in America back then.

“These findings exposed internalized racism in African-American children, self-hatred that was more acute among children attending segregated schools. This research also paved the way for an increase in psychological research into areas of self-esteem and self-concept”
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenneth_and_Mamie_Clark

Similarly, this article noted:

“The Clark Doll Test illustrates the ill effects of stereotyping and racial segregation in America. It illustrated the damage caused by systematic segregation and racism on children’s self-perception at the young age of five.”

  
This is the reason why Malcolm X’s words below resonate so much with me.

“Who taught you to hate the color of your skin? Who taught you to hate the texture of your hair? Who taught you to hate the shape of your nose and the shape of your lips? Who taught you to hate yourself from the top of your head to the soles of your feet? Who taught you to hate your own kind? Who taught you to hate the race that you belong to so much so that you don’t want to be around each other? No… Before you come asking Mr. Muhammad does he teach hate, you should ask yourself who taught you to hate being what God made you.” (May 22, 1962, Los Angeles)

I came across this book that puts into perspective the influence that the white-dominated media’s concept of beauty, which is subjective and culture-specific, has on people who are exposed to such media.

“Beauty standards are perceived according to cultural norms. For example, the cultural norms and beauty standards of the Masai in Africa are different from that of the Eskimos in Alaska. Black Americans, perhaps more than anyone else, carry a heavier psychological burden. The mental damage from centuries of bombardment with Euro-American standards of beauty has had tremendous impact on how we view ourselves within what is essentially an alien country.”

Yes, if truth be told, there is something powerful, genuine and moving about the raw, unadulterated, innocent beauty of indigenous people such as the Masai people in Africa, like what is said in this blog. It is something that the white-washed media that is obsessed with artificial make-up and fair skins cannot stand nor comprehend. It is paramount that we reclaim our innate, original beauty and our sense of inherent self-worth.

My views on Southeast Asian Games 2015

Below are my answers to an online survey in www.yougov.com

Q: Why do you feel neutral/negative about the SEA Games 2015?

It seems to be part of the competitive system that tends to divide people rather than create true unity among humanity. Rivalry and competition fuel the capitalistic money-making business, and competitive sports tends to distract people from social and humanitarian issues. Sports has its place and can be beneficial in some ways, but the commercialisation and glorification that come with it can be detrimental to the process of loving and accepting ourselves and others for who we really are.

Q: Why are you neutral/unsupportive towards Team Singapore athletes’ efforts in SEA Games 2015?

Ultimately, we can be our own best versions of ourselves, and no one is intrinsically better or worse than others. We are more than our national identities – we are all one human race. I don’t consider myself a Singaporean at my deepest core, so I don’t support Singapore or any other nation, as nationality is an artificial, man-made, illusory human construct that doesn’t exist in reality.

The power of laughter and tears

10411060_953645728025906_5869112378873240609_n chaplin

Yes, laughter and tears are the very emblem of the essence of our humanity, which holds the power to be an antidote to hatred and terror indeed. It reminds me of an impassioned speech by Charlie Chaplin, which I came across some time ago, in which he also spoke about how the world, in the face of wars and violence, needs to recover humanity and universal brotherhood.

A call to deal with systemic and institutional racism

More and more people, especially those in the West, are becoming more aware and are talking openly about the issues of racism and white privilege. It is thus heartening to see the speaker acknowledging the issues and challenging people, especially those of his own race, to see through the myths and recognize that historically, many white people have been mistreating the native Americans and the black community, stealing from them their territories and their labour, sweat and tears. Indeed, this reality is opposite of what people have been told by the media that has been dominated by privileged people, and it is good and courageous of him to debunk the myths and to encourage his fellow whites to deal with the issues of racism and white privilege that their ancestors have started, in order to bring about greater healing and equality among humanity.

Psychoanalysis of early life trauma

school meme 2

On looking back, it looks like the public school education system that I grew up in has far more repercussions than I probably realised. The need (or the pressure) to keep up an appearance of performing, whether in studies or socialising or participating in discussions or conversations, seem relentlessly pervasive in every aspect of our lives. Why was I shunned or ignored in schools, or later in life, in social outings such as care group meetings? It seems that to be popular and extroverted is the goal of many of my peers. If friendship were to be built on such superficiality, I would rather be not part of it. On hindsight, maybe it was a blessing in disguise that I didn’t – and couldn’t – fit into the crowd, as much as it felt painful then.

BREATHING and “THE KNOW-WHAT’s” for YOUR BODY

Video information

“Segmet.net” provides critical and rare information on Breathing and what to do to gain the greatest benefit for your own Self. Part 2 contains an actual Breathe-along portion. Enjoy!

I have checked out both videos and watched them twice as her message on how to breathe deeply and consciously is so refreshing and important as a perennial reminder for me. I learnt that breathing deep down into our diaphragms can activate who we really are in our body and help clear the emotional trauma/tension that is stored above/around the diaphragm area. I find her demonstration of the deep breathing useful and I noted that the method of inhaling through the nostrils and exhaling through the mouth slowly at our own pace and space is similar to that taught by a trekking expedition guide when my hiking companions and I were warming up to climb the mountain to go to Cemerong Waterfalls. Talking about water, I find her reminder of staying hydrated in order to eliminate toxins from our body helpful too. I enjoyed listening to the warm and informative talk by the speaker.

Listening with compassion

Video description

Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh says listening can help end the suffering of an individual, put an end to war and change the world for the better. Watch as he explains how to practice compassionate listening.


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