Saturday, June 10, 2006

Of striking of cheeks

9 am Saturday morning, and no one is on Msn...

Did I wake up too early? Oh wait, I forgot. Last night was the opening match for World Cup. Everybody should be still sleeping now. I suppose Germany won? I dunno, it's just not my "cup" of tea.

2 weeks ago, a dear friend of mine had her wisdom tooth extracted. And she came to church with a left side of her face more swollen than Moses Lim's tummy after a buffet dinner. And in jest I told her "The Bible tells us that if someone strikes you know your right cheek, you must let him strike your left cheek also!" (see Matthew 5:39)


Almost everybody knows that phase from the Bible. Even non-Christians knows of it. But few, very few people practice it, except maybe when they are the one doing the striking of cheeks. My personal conviction is that I am to follow it to the best I can. Of course I am not perfect. I often have the urge to defend myself, to retaliate, to strike back, even harder.

Mahatma Gandhi led India in numerous social and economical reforms solely on that principle. Though he was not a Christian (he was barred from entering the church), he read the Bible religiously and followed many of the teachings Jesus taught. He led the Indians in rebel against their British colonial masters, he tried to reform the Chaste system and prevent bloodshed between the Moslem and Hindu community.

Gandhi had very strict instruction against his followers fighting back against their attackers whenever he led a demonstration. He rather take all the beating, or call off the demonstration, then have his conviction revolted.

In his own words, he interprets the words of Jesus, "I suspect he meant you must show courage - be willing to take a blow, several blows, to show you will not strike back nor will you be turned aside. And when you do that it calls on something in human nature, something that makes his hatred decrease and his respect increase."

Martin Luther King Jr. He took over this principle from Gandhi and led America in social transformation in the 1960s. Using the same non-violence ideology and convictions, he destroyed the racial discrimination in America. In the process, his churches were burnt, he himself beaten and thrown to jail and many times threatened with death, so were many of his African-American brothers. But he never return so much as a finger to his attackers. Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated and killed in the process of his fight. But now I'm sure everyone can see the fruits of his labour the US.

Not sure how this entry developed to here... or why. Maybe I'm in a mood for a better world... or something...

Whatever! I'm going to bake cookies again now!


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