Do you think It’s right to get revenge on someone, or would just let karma take It’s course?

Neither. I’m that guy who just says “biar Tuhan yang membalas”, because:

a.) I’m vain enough to assume that he is on MY team, and..

b.) he’s like my own personal enforcer to settle my personal disputes.

Oh offended, are we? Well, take it up with those people who say “biar Tuhan yang membalas” and mean it.. because I’m pretty sure that is how *they* see it.

Vipey, jika kamu menderma atau membantu lalu orang itu bersyukur dan mendoakanmu misal “semoga diberi kesehatan dan doa klise lainnya.” Apakah kamu akan langsung bilang menolak untuk didoakan?

Ngga akan menolak. It’s the sincerity of the thought that counts, and I consider it an expression of gratitude. In many ways, prayer is a lot like music. Both serve no *practical* purpose whatsoever… but if it makes you feel good, then hey, that’s a good enough reason to do it.

Dri, boleh tau knp your brother memilih menjadi muslim? What it’s like to the rest of the family?

Well, I can’t speak for him. I think he needed direction and arahan. Some people find purpose and jati diri from within, some people need it.. well, handed down to them by old men long dead.

What’s it like for the rest of the family? Perfectly fine. Whatever makes you happy or gives you pegangan, man. My parents believed that we should choose whatever gives us peace of mind. It’s our own lives to live, after all. Do I personally understand how some people find comfort in this regional/cultural myth over that regional/cultural myth? Nope. But hey.. why should anyone justify what makes them happy?

I’m sure the majority of you probably uttered some grateful phrase in Arabic upon my brother choosing (not “born into”, not “converted”, but “chose”) Islam. But if he was located in Bangladesh at the time, he could have easily chosen Hindu. And hey, we’d be fine with that too. One man’s deity is another man’s four-armed talking elephant.

Let me give you a bit of context. My parents where born in in the 1930s. That would make them *grandparents* for most of you. Yet, they were open minded enough to raise us without any cultural brainwashing, and let us choose to how to live our own lives.

It’s easy to berkubang menggelora in our diversity and self-congratulate our liberal social media personas for befriending those of different beliefs. Fine. But just keep that in mind fifteen years from now; when your own children prefer to subscribe to the “kasih” or “mindfulness” of some other belief system. A belief system that was not inherited and chosen by the parents, and grandparents before them. Or when your son or daughter wishes to marry someone of a different ethnicity and religion. Or perhaps of the same gender. When that day comes, remember how proud you were of posting pics of your friends of different faiths.

I mean, it’s not like you were born in the 1930s, after all.

Hey Vipey, I confessed to some of my college friends that I am no longer religious. They didn’t really take it easily and I.. don’t know how to react about that. I hate that I have to defend my point of view, but it seems like hoping them to accept me as I am is too much to ask. Suggestion?

One: Don’t defend your point of view. You don’t owe anyone an explanation, and neither do they owe you anything. As I always say: semua orang berhak deluded sesuai keyakinan yang diturunkan orangtua masing2.

Two: If you can accept them for whatever their parents made them believe, but they can’t do the same for you, then don’t worry about it. Strive to have the serenity to accept the things you cannot change; the courage to change the things you can; and the wisdom to know the difference. (Yes, I copied that off the Serenity Prayer).

Adrian, ada ngga anggota keluargamu yg a believer? Apa pernah diskusi/debat mengenai keyakinan dengannya?

Of course. Banyak kok anggota keluarga besar saya yang relijius; dari katolik, protestan, dan islam. Sejauh ini sih belum pernah diskusi atau debat mengenai agama. I guess there is no reason to, and none of them have ever given me a reason to argue either.

But honestly, the matter came up during the illness and eventual death of my father and sister. But I know they had good intentions, so sometimes you have to let things slide. There is always a time and place for such debates to take place. That wasn’t one of them.

Hai, mau tau soal dmn sekolahin anaknya, skrg kebanyakan yg bagus tuh either islamic bgt atau kristen bgt, saya cari sekolah yang err lebih moderat n liberal. Since I know you wouldn’t put ur daughter to that kind of school, jd mau tanya dmn yg pas buat non believers like us. Thanks

Dia kami sekolahkan disini:

Menurut saya sih ini sekolah yang *sesuai* dengan harapan saya untuk anak. Soal “bagus” or not, itu sangat relatif. That really depends on what type of person you aspire your child to be. Sekolah ini tetap mengajarkan agama, tapi juga memahami that some kids prefer to use reason and logic over dogma. To be a minority in a country like this, that is something I am grateful enough for.

But from what I know, this school isn’t for *any* parent. Karena memang sangat melibatkan orangtua dalam mendidik anak (which doesn’t work for the “ya itu kan tugas sekolah untuk mendidik!” type of parents), dan pendekatan yang, well.. might seem a bit too Ubud/”Semesta”/Anak Alam for some people. So yes, urusan cocok2an.

Example: the kids have a morning yoga session, which of course involves the “salam matahari” pose. One of the (tampang stress) GBU parents got *very* upset and pulled their kid out of school the next day. My first thought was “man, that’s how fragile your faith is.”

Hi Adri, do you absolutely deny the existence of any supreme beings or do you still believe that the highest power whom believers call ‘God’ exists, only with your own interpretation? If not then how wld you rationalize events like death, coincidences, or ‘jodoh’? Thanks for answering!

“Absolutely deny?” No, I don’t absolutely deny anything. The same way you wouldn’t absolutely deny the existence of unicorns, sasquatch, leprechauns, or the Loch Ness monster. But until someone can present peer-reviewed empirical evidence on their existence, I’m pretty sure you’ll think “Yeah, so? Says you.” too.

And how do I rationalize death and jodoh? I don’t. The same way you wouldn’t (or dare not) rationalize how something sedemikian almighty somehow cannot (or wouldn’t?) protect the slaughter of over a hundred children by his own followers, like what recently happened in Pakistan.