ARE TERRORISTS CONFINED TO DISCIPLES OF ONLY ONE RELIGION?

Does anyone, who is in a right state of mind, want to die a reckless death?

Terrorism is spreading in every nook and cranny of the earth. No one is safe. No country is safe. So long as an individual has an evil agenda and access to guns or other modes of killing, he will unleash a rage of terror on unsuspecting members of the public unnoticed. That individual becomes a terrorist.

These would be terrorists are disciples of many religions being practised by people around the world today. These would be terrorists don’t give a damn about anything. They just want to make a statement to the whole world.

In the past, perhaps, some of the terrorists were disgruntled souls who never achieved what they wanted in their lives. As such, they needed an outlet to vent their frustrations unto others in a violent manner. There were many other contributory factors that led to their violent actions.

Terrorist attacks are crimes and all crimes are terrifying be they a mass shooting perpetrated by a lone-wolf, a hate crime committed by an individual or groups of people, etc.

If people from one religion contend that no terrorists can be found among their followers, then the members of that religion really need to get their heads examined. It is tantamount to saying that no indiscipline exists at all among the students of a school. It is tantamount to saying that that school is filled with students who are flawless. If that were the case, parents from all backgrounds would definitely send their children to such a school. That is IDEALISM at its best.

When one member of the Christian flock commits an act of terror resulting in the deaths of many innocent people, how should people define such an act?

Is a school devoid of indiscipline among students from various races, colours and creeds?

Are Christians, from the various races and colours, devoid of terrorists in their midst?

The world has witnessed terrorists belonging to all religions from the past till the present.

Just because one member of religion A unleashes an act of deadly terror on innocent people, does that give the right for others to lump all members of religion A as terrorists? Where is the logic in such thinking?

Were there no terrorists from the Christian religion at all in the past?

Wait a minute! They were not practising Christians and they didn’t believe in Jesus Christ at all. Therefore, they were not Christian terrorists. Ignore the FACT that they were born under the banner of Christianity and that they were baptised according to the Christian religion.

Are there no terrorists from the Christian religion at all now?

Are the Christians one up on people from other faiths?

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OF DISCIPLINE IN SCHOOLS AND THE RULE OF LAW IN A COUNTRY

Indiscipline among students in schools can lead to many problems later.

The school is a place of learning for students and of imparting knowledge for teachers. For teaching and learning to take place in an orderly manner in schools, discipline is paramount.

The discipline enforced in schools guarantees the safety of educators, students and administrators alike. Teaching and learning in school is taken to greater heights when educators and students are safe from bad elements within the school compound. Parents will be more confident to send their children to schools that enforce strict discipline in their day-to-day affairs.

What happens when there is no discipline in schools? Who bears the responsibility for indiscipline in schools – educators, students, administrators, parents or the state?

As I see it, the responsibility of ensuring strict discipline in schools lies with all the parties mentioned above – educators, students, administrators, parents and the state. The cooperation of all these parties is vital in making discipline work successfully in a school environment.

Resources of various kinds are being invested into the education sector of a country. Will all the resources pumped into the education sector of a country yield any benefit if indiscipline spreads like wildfire in schools? When some sections of the student population behave and act like “arsonists” in the school environment, imagine what they can do in their adult lives. Are they being groomed to become future terrorists in society? As these “arsonists” have no respect for disciplinary rules imposed by the school authorities, what respect will they have for the rule of law imposed by the respective authorities of a country?

Consider the crucial roles of discipline in schools and the rule of law in a country. Do you see the bigger and real picture?

Would anyone want to live in a society that has no rule of law? The discipline in schools is a precursor to the rule of law in a country. With the rule of law, society is run in an orderly manner. Every citizen plays his part, knowing very well that the rule of law permits him to carry out his activities legally. If a citizen breaks the rules of a country or participates in any illegal activities wilfully, then he knows the penalties that will ensue.

To conclude, without discipline in a school environment and the rule of law in a country, a society ends up with law-breaking citizens who will have no respect for people and property.

ROCK YOU LIKE A HURRICANE

Hurricanes are bad. The devastation unleashed by hurricanes on the economic and the financial fronts can linger for some time. In short, the state and the federal governments of countries experiencing terrible hurricanes need to plan their budgets prudently every year. This planning helps them to expect the worst and prepares them to disburse vital aid of various kinds to the people affected by hurricanes quickly.

There have been many hurricanes that have been affecting man on all sides lately – Hurricane Crude Oil Price, Hurricane Political Economy, Hurricane Refugee Crisis, Hurricane Religious Fanaticism, Hurricane Terrorism, etc. How have the state and the federal governments of countries throughout the world been dealing with these “hurricanes”?

The havoc caused by these “hurricanes” on the economic and the financial sides still linger till today without any respite. In fact, things are getting worse economically and financially throughout the world. There seem to be no long-lasting solutions provided by the powers that be to all the above-mentioned “hurricanes”. Thus far, the various remedies for man’s ills created by these “hurricanes” have brought nothing.

Cornered on every side, economists, policymakers and the powers that be are forced to provide real and tangible solutions afflicting the people of many countries at the moment. If they fail to give any concrete solutions, then HURRICANE REVOLUTION will be unleashed.

Here I am,

ROCK YOU LIKE A HURRICANE…

Here I am,

ROCK YOU LIKE A HURRICANE…

RULES

When the very rules of English grammar and composition are broken, we should not expect good speakers and writers of the English language.

The study of grammar is the backbone of English teaching and learning. When the very backbone of English teaching and learning is missing, don’t expect anyone to speak and write English correctly, coherently and effectively.

The study of English grammar and composition should begin in Primary 1. After all the 10 or 11 years spent in learning grammar and composition in school, most students will be able to speak and write English well while in college or university.

When we know the rules of a game, we play to win.

When we know the rules of English grammar and composition, we speak and write English with confidence.

FAKE LEADERS

Have you ever wondered why some people are suited for certain occupations? It is as though they are meant to do those occupations.

Some people are good at what they do but some people just mess things up or they just pretend that they know what they are doing. There are many pretenders, who are unintelligent and who are real copycats, in the world today.

They copy the way of their predecessors or superiors who have contributed much to the respective professions. These copycats are in every vocation and they don’t possess much intelligence as well as common sense to solve issues related to their work quickly and successfully. Instead, they rely very much on others’ thinking to extricate themselves out of terrible blunders or they have many earlier role models to guide them. Nothing is theirs. Everything is borrowed from others. In short, they lack originality of thought.

Many copycats can be found in positions of leadership. For instance, some leaders of countries don’t possess any leadership qualities but they run countries. They are not even supposed to be leaders of countries, and yet somehow they managed to land the coveted posts of political leadership through trickery and deceit.

When they become leaders, they don’t introduce fresh and new thoughts pertaining to economic issues plaguing their respective countries. They don’t seem to be doing anything different from their predecessors. In fact, they are bankrupt of ideas.

As they don’t show anything new and refreshing for their citizens to emulate, these “leaders” become boring and stale. When these “leaders” open their mouths, it is only BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH. There is nothing new, original and refreshing really. They just rant and rave.

In contrast, intelligent leaders are brimming with ideas or they work with intelligent and like-minded individuals as they are to contribute fresh insights concerning various challenges facing a country and its citizens. It all boils down to intelligence. Intelligence is quickness of understanding and it is not acquired through an education alone. Leaders with less intelligence just berate others for their glaring failures. Such leaders will never admit that they are wrong.

Have you also wondered why the leaders of some countries lack the oomph to lead? The answer is very simple. They are the “MADE LEADERS” who don’t possess any leadership qualities and skills at all. For that reason, they don’t make any impact on those who are led. These “made leaders” lack inspiration and they don’t inspire others to think and do differently. These “made leaders” lack the bearing and the commanding appearance of real leaders. These “made leaders” are copycats who copy the leadership qualities of real leaders. To sum it all up, these “made leaders” can never equal the true leaders who are born and not made in terms of intelligence and real leadership qualities.

From their mannerisms and actions, one can safely conclude that the fake leaders who are the “made leaders” have a very limited outlook on the real life experienced daily by the layman as they are totally indifferent to the plight of ordinary people. These fake leaders just float aimlessly in mid-air.

The fake leaders don’t understand what the ordinary citizens go through in their daily lives. The fake leaders live in ivory towers in moated castles away from the citizens who toil for their living in the villages and the cities day and night. From time to time, the fake leaders along with their “court jesters” will make their appearances to the masses and articulate soundly about their relevance to lead the ordinary people in times good and bad. But in their heart of hearts, the fake leaders, who are just play-acting, don’t give two hoots about their citizens’ well-being.

Where does that leave the ordinary citizens when such fake leaders helm their nations?

THE RESULTS SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES

Dancing is a good form of recreation. In some cultures, dancing is a way to express joy when celebrating certain occasions.

Not everyone can imitate dancers and their capabilities. Nobody can masquerade as a dancer because his true dancing capabilities can be assessed by everyone immediately. The results are there for everyone to see and judge.

The majority of people in many other occupations, however, can masquerade their false capabilities in front of the layman. These false talents can pretend to be what they are not. It is just play-acting. They just play-act their designated roles in the respective vocations without raising suspicions in others. They are some of the incompetent doctors, lawyers, accountants, teachers, lecturers, engineers, politicians, etc. in our midst today. Their play-acting has brought them very far in the professions. They are the real masqueraders.

The masqueraders need to show results too. It is through the results of the efforts put in by people that determine their true worth.

For example, after 48 years of teaching and learning English using the Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) Approach yielding nothing but FAILURES UPON FAILURES for the majority of Malaysians, don’t the results show clearly the failure of the CLT Approach practitioners, Malaysians and native speakers alike? That is nearly half-a-century. Do they need another half-a-century to improve the standard of English among Malaysians? How else would one describe the achievements of the CLT Approach practitioners, Malaysians as well as foreigners? A successful failure?

Let’s take another glaring example in another field for everyone to see and judge. When leaders of some countries don’t lead their citizens to better economic and financial prospects, don’t the results show clearly that these leaders have failed in their political leadership roles? Don’t the results matter? When the results in the economic field show that the citizens in one country are dying of hunger and malnourishment, shouldn’t the leader be blamed for leading that country to such a state? How else would one put it? Good and caring statesmanship? Tell it to the hungry and malnourished citizens of that country.

When a business entity keeps making losses for decades, thereby prompting financial bailouts by a government to keep that business afloat, don’t the results show clearly that the concern has been badly run for decades? How else would one put it? Profitable losses?

Do the majority of people work for free? Don’t they get paid for work done after a certain period of time? Aren’t the RESULTS of their efforts at the workplace in the form of wages or salaries?

One must open his eyes to observe REALITY through the RESULTS of an attempt achieved by an individual or a group of people.

The GOOD RESULTS show that they are the right people in the respective occupations.

The BAD RESULTS show that they are the wrong people in the respective occupations.

The RESULTS speak for themselves and they speak VOLUMES.

“THE ASS AND HIS DRIVER”

Fables sometimes contain morals suitable or applicable to real life. In these restless and shaky times, one often tries to make sense of what is happening by turning to reading as often as one can. It may serve as a tonic to find peace within oneself or it may allow him to stumble on words of wisdom or stories containing morals.

Here is one story from the Aesop’s Fables.

THE ASS AND HIS DRIVER

An Ass, being driven along a high road, suddenly started off and bolted to the brink of a deep precipice. While he was in the act of throwing himself over, his owner seized him by the tail, endeavouring to pull him back. When the Ass persisted in his effort, the man let him go and said, “Conquer, but conquer to your cost.”

Now imagine the “Ass” in the human form as a leader of an organisation or a country and also imagine the “Driver” as the staff of an organisation or the electorate of a country.

The staff of a company will be on edge when they know very well how recklessly the leader of their organisation steers their company through difficult business periods. As their livelihood is dependent on their jobs in the company, they are naturally anxious to see the company “float” in a shrinking business environment.

The same applies to the electorate of a country. As the greater good of a nation is dependent on its leadership, the electorate of that nation is naturally anxious to see the country “float” in economically-troubled times ahead. The anxiety expressed by the members who make up the electorate is not misplaced. Their fears are real and substantiated when they see the leader of their country lead it in a reckless and carefree abandon. It leaves the electorate and the leader on the edge of a precipice.

The citizens of that country are not in a position to hold the leader “by his tail” and demand him to turn back on the road of governing sensibly as his executive powers make him invincible. As such, the citizens can only let go and say this to the leader, “Conquer, but conquer to your cost.”

Dear reader, do you understand the moral of my story?

HONESTY AND SINCERITY IN WRITING

Why don’t you do something entirely different for yourself? Write an essay of 500 words about your strengths and weaknesses. Be brutally honest. Write as if your life depends on it. In this way, you will be able to discover the skeletons lurking in your closet.

Present that essay in a professional manner. You are learning to be systematic. Your written English must be very good. Watch your tenses, sentence structures, parallelism, etc. In many cases, a reader will be struck by a piece of writing by the way it is presented in a truthful manner.

Honesty and sincerity in writing make a world of difference. Honesty and sincerity in writing separate the civilised from the brute. Keep writing many times. Attain the level of perfection where your writing attracts the reader to the way you think and feel about certain issues.

OF SCHOLARS AND SCHOLARSHIPS

Who is a scholar? Can everyone be a scholar? Can everyone who has passed a competitive pre-university examination be deemed a scholar in its strictest sense?

The Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary of Current English defines a scholar as a “person who studies an academic subject deeply”. Can everyone who has passed a pre-university examination be called a scholar who is able to study an academic subject deeply in a university?

Many people believe so. They are the many misguided and misinformed people who believe so. Every parent wants the best for his child. There is no harm in that. But can every parent expect his child to be a scholar when that child doesn’t even exhibit an iota of scholarly bearing?

Sometimes, parents expect too much from their children. Some children may be better suited for vocational studies as they are not academically inclined.

By insisting their young to enrol for academic programmes in a public or a private university, some parents may be damaging their children’s ability to earn decent wages in the future. With the ever increasing number of unemployed graduates in many countries, parents should seriously question why this phenomenon exists.

In the current global economic uncertainty, parents will be foolish to spend money blindly on their children who are not fit to be scholars. Parents need to do some soul-searching if their children are really capable of becoming scholars who will one day graduate from universities to be gainfully-employed in the working world.

Instead of academic studies which will render the majority of the young unemployed and which will drain the finances, parents should help their children acquire SKILLS that will be of real help in earning a living for their young.

Governments may be well advised not to dish out scholarships to every Tom, Dick and Harry or Jill, Jane and Joan freely. It behoves a government to test the suitability of a candidate seeking a scholarship for further academic studies. Most of all, a government needs to send out a clear message that a candidate who has passed a competitive pre-university examination is not automatically entitled to a scholarship for further academic studies.

In addition, even those who are eligible for scholarships based on a certain set of criteria need to be tested further if they possess the right qualities of a scholar to pursue academic subjects deeply. Some of those right qualities are competence in English in all its four skills (if the candidate is pursuing tertiary studies delivered in the medium of instruction called English) and subtlety of thought. Testing these future scholars rigorously will enable a government to foresee to what extent its funds will yield at the end of their academic studies. Furthermore, the depth of knowledge acquired by a scholar during his academic studies in a university will propel him, his society and his country to greater heights in all aspects in the long run.

Funds for any endeavour don’t come easily these days. Therefore, a government must be wise to invest money in people who will fulfil the role of scholars in the truest sense.