I have no idea, who this reaches. I have no idea who will actually read this college student’s post.
I have become increasingly critical of what I have put up on my blog, I look at the works that I am writing, I am consciously aware of its flaws, and I feel that only when I have made my work respectable, I will post it.
In the meantime, (in an attempt to break out of the boredom and mundane routines of life), I will make it my endeavour to take out FIVE things I have learnt this week, it can be anything ranging from productivity, writing to fitness and politics.
The point of this is to bulk your brain in small bits and bless your heart when you feel like you have given up hope on the world.
- You have more in common than you think.
We live in a world that is globally isolated. We are seeing an unprecedented level of globalisation, yet we see an increasing trend of people seeking to be isolationist. Highlighting differences, seeking to operate by a binary reality of us and them.British vs. Immigrants, we get Brexit.
Black Lives Matter vs. The Police, we get a divided America where there is boiling tension between its law enforcers and its public.
Trump vs. Logic (okay, I kid)But you get the point. The truth and reality is that we are more common than you think we are.No culture has ever involved in isolation. No country has ever thrived by cutting itself from the rest of the world. No person has ever lived well in his own reality.
Take a look.
What on earth is so special about it?
The head of this Buddha has prominent artistic features unique to Greek culture.
The beard, the curly locks, the lion head at the top of the hair of Buddha, the crown on its head of royal features are what you see in Greek statues.
See the similarity?
Well, you may think well there could be a coincidence eh?
Between 2nd century BC and the 1st century AD, the first anthropomorphic representations of the Buddha were developed.
These were absent from Buddhist art which usually represented the Buddha with symbols such as the stupa, the Bodhi tree,the wheel, the empty seat, footprints and other forms of abstract art that did not seek to personify the man of Buddha himself. Through such symbols, they sought to only portray his beliefs and ideals but not the man himself.
But the manifestation of a Buddha image suddenly attained a high level of sophistication, with no gradual procession of evolution. Hence one can infer that the sculptures of Buddhism were naturally inspired by the sculptural styles of Hellenistic Greece.
Now, The image and statue of the Buddha have become a staple of Buddhism. People go to the temple to worship the statue of Buddha. We perceive it to be uniquely Asian, without truly considering how it came to be.
But just a dive through the annals of history that happened more than 2000 years ago, we have witnessed the transfusion of culture. It is mindblowing how the Greeks who were completely different from the South Asian civilization (in terms of religion, politics, and philosophy) have fundamentally altered the nature of Buddhist art or even Buddhism itself.
Through such a frame of reference, we can definitely see how cultures in the past have influenced each other. It is the ability to adopt the similarity, not accentuating the differences that allowed for the flourishing of civilization.
- Trudeau and Trump
In this article, The coolest Canadian Prime Minister ever who just got featured on his first comic book cover recently (I mean seriously, PM Lee really gotta up his comic book game) is actually eerily similar to Trump.
- How To Ask Questions?
As I have been looking through my college life (in this mid-sem break), is how do I enhance my learning?My brain is currently in the process of de-rusting and every day, and sometimes, I look at myself and say “Dude, I don’t even know what I don’t know!”Well, I found out the Corson Technique!In a summary, it is about not just seeing the problem but observing it. In any text or question, the moment I found issues with understanding, I would hold up and read the statement again CLOSELY.
The idea is to pinpoint the exact problem and area of contention that I need clarification with.PS: College info geek: The above link is sick AF (and fresh!)
- U-Town and Execution?
So often, when we walk around Singapore, we hardly consider the history behind the geography. We see the space and land around as transitionary without considering the narrative that has driven it.
Just the other day, as I was walking into University Town, I caught a glimpse of a historical marker that explained how it was near the U-Town Bus stop that the execution of the Captured Riau Commandos happened.
It is mindblowing that this place where I study, hang out and learn, a space that was seen to be the home of the premier institution in Asia had such a grimly and bloody history. It is the very same space, where the lives of 23 Commandos were taken away from them by their Japanese captors.
Maybe, next time as we walk around, instead of trying to catch Pokemon, we can catch nuggets of our history and find out how Singapore came to be.
- Poetry isn’t that hard.
As a student dealing with literature, I observe poetry, reading and studying it. For so long, it seems so unapproachable and difficult.
I know the plane of genius that Larkin, Auden, Yeats, Sylvia Plath were on. I recognised my limitation that I would never ever attain the level of word-artistry they attained.But truth is, that’s not what poetry is about. Poetry is an expression of self, a reflection of our deepest inner thoughts/ insecurities.So, what is poetry?A camera that takes snapshots of life through words.
A decorated page from your personal diary that you choose to share with people.
A bridge constructed with words as bricks, the structure as bolts to link your internal fantasies to the external realities.
A curation of the smorgasbord of thoughts in your mind.Am I a poet? Heck no.
But I sincerely believe that poetry can be made accessible. Poetry can be made fun and mind-blowing at the same time.
And as I continue my take-5s, I seek to find other forms of poetry that allow us to express ourselves.
With that I hope, you enjoyed this short take-5 with me! I hope I have bulked your brain and blessed your heart!
In the meantime…