Excerpt from Chapter 13
The title of the previous chapter was "The Things People Say" and I concluded it by saying that if the realities of life have a funny edge to them, then why can't we enjoy them and have a good laugh? I want to commence this chapter with 3 jokes that might offend some readers. If you are the type of person who offends easily then please don't be a hypocrite by reading this chapter and then claiming that you are offended.
The Religion called Political Correctness
It never ceases to amaze me that many who claim to be 'learning to be like Jesus', more resemble Pharisees than Jesus. Instead of kicking over the money changer's table, they strive harder to collect more money. Instead of weeping for the 'rich man' who turned away from Jesus and whom Jesus let go, they condemn to the fires of hell anyone who rejects their message. Instead of shining their light to light the way for the lost, they cause many to close their eyes and ears. Instead of demonstrating the 'love of Christ' in their daily lives, what they end up demonstrating is their own self-righteous superiority. They do after all have a first class admittance ticket into Heaven. I find the PC thought police to be no different. The point I have tried to make via the jokes listed above, is that people often get so caught up in themselves and their cause, that they don't take the time to see life from any other perspective, especially the perspectives of 'different' people. People are so busy pushing their cause, mastering their craft, and letting no one get in the way of their success, that they forget to be human. They forget that they too cause offense.
People can become so insulated in their own particular ideological or social world that they fail to realize that that world contains only a small percentage of the whole world's population. They get so busy with their social and ideological duties, activities and responsibilities that they lose sight of the actual joy of living. While they may be dedicated to reaching their goal, many people never take the time out to enjoy the details of their journey.
In times past I regularly watched 'Dialogue', an English language program on China's CCTV 9. On one occasion, the host, Yang Rui, was interviewing Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar of Harvard University about his book: "Six Tips for Happiness Advice". After just a few minutes I grabbed pen and paper and wrote down some of the things Dr. Ben-Shahar was saying. I remember that he said that no matter what your philosophy in life (religious or secular), every human being has a need to have a purpose. He pointed out that many people who strive and struggle to 'arrive' at their destination, often do so, only to find that they are not happy. They failed to understand that happiness lies within a person, and comes from their daily living experiences. Happiness is not something that we import. (Of course I always say that if you must be unhappy, then at least be rich, it is easier to cope with).
Dr. Ben-Shahar said that people need to understand that it is from the journey itself that we derive pleasure, not the destination, and that in order to find balance in life, people must stop and take time out to look at the day's events, and see the joy that was in it. Far too often we only reflect on flaws and failures, rather than on joys and successes. True happiness is found in the many small moments in our lives, and we have to remind ourselves daily of all the things we are grateful for and appreciate. Here are some of the things I have learned to appreciate during my time in China:
.....................My children were already adults when I came to China and as I stated in the beginning of the book, I really didn't have an emotionally fulfilling relationship with them. Although my relationship with them has improved over the years, it is not the relationship that I always wanted and thought I would have. As I said earlier, the three boys in Hong Hu were like children, brothers and friends and we have remained in contact throughout the years. When I moved to Wuhan in 2005, I began making new friends, some of which I still get to see from time to time.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: November 2014
- As mentioned on the Chapters as Published: Finding Myself in China page, the original contents of these pages has been removed leaving an excerpt. Chapter numbers as they appear at Magic City are no longer correct within the current draft of the book. There has also been a lot of editing in the areas of grammar, additional stories and rewording of stories. Nevertheless I hope you have enjoyed what you have seen and will consider buying the book when it becomes available.
Writers Journal Kingscalendar
2013 Social Commentary Articles
Giving the Finger to Comrade GOOGLE's brand of Communism
By Comrade R.P. BenDedek
August 26, 2013
I have come to the decision that the only thing I can do is take a page out of Comrade Google's 'Little Red Book' and say: 'Screw You!' Comrade Google didn't like the way the Communist Government of China kept changing the rules. Comrade Google would not submit to a 'totalitarian authority'. Comrade Google decided to pull up stakes and leave. Is there a lesson to be learned in that?
Get rid of your Baggage People
Aug 21, 2013
Einstein is purported to have said: 'Insanity is when you do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result'. The 'pastors' I mentioned above, were real people; people who did their best to get me to believe and do as they did. In each of those cases 'prior to being caught out in their sins', each of those pastors spoke ill of me, slandered me and did their best to control and manipulate people I knew. They did me a lot of injury and caused me a lot of grief.
R.P.BenDedek (pseudonym) is the Author of 'The King's Calendar: The Secret of Qumran' (http://www.kingscalendar.com ), and is a guest columnist and stand-in Editor at Magic City Morning Star News. He is also the Editor of the 'Writers Journal' at Kingscalendar.com. An Australian, he has been teaching Conversational English in China since 2003.
Writers Journal Kingscalendar
"The King's Calendar" is a chronological study of the historical books of the Bible (Kings and Chronicles), Josephus, Seder Olam Rabbah, and the (Essene) Damascus Document of The Dead Sea Scrolls