Prongs rode again last night

That’s my favourite quote from the Harry Potter series.

Most online readers would quote the preceding

You think the dead we loved ever truly leave us? You think that we don’t recall them more clearly than ever in times of great trouble? Your father is alive in you, Harry, and shows himself plainly when you have need of him.”

as one of their all time favourite quotes/chunks from the Harry Potter series (and that is a wonderful quote) but I think the single sentence

“Prongs rode again last night.”

-Dumbledore

just sums up everything so beautifully. What Dumbledore wanted to express, the series of events Harry went through which included him stretching his hand out towards his stag Patronus and watching it disappear. It’s just such an elegant, comprehensive statement. I don’t know what to say. All I know is that I was deeply moved and immediately thought “This is why I spend time on fiction.”

Or maybe I just like the idea of Patronuses in general. A symbol of something important to you which can fend off the darkness and protect you in times of need. Writing this, I also think of Alan Rickman who passed away recently, his character Snape and his doe patronus.
RIP Alan Rickman. You brought the magic to the big screen, in not just this franchise but many others. That’s awesome.

A lovely gif from 45.media.tumblr.com
A lovely gif from 45.media.tumblr.com

 

The pre-investing reading list

Local ones:
http://www.moneysense.gov.sg/
http://www.cpf.gov.sg/imsavvy/default.asp

With a first googling…

http://www.cnbc.com/2015/04/21/cramer-basics-how-to-start-investing-your-savings.html
http://www.fool.com/teens/teens05.htm
http://money.cnn.com/2015/03/19/investing/how-to-start-investing-4-questions/
http://www.investopedia.com/articles/basics/06/invest1000.asp
http://www.businessinsider.sg/how-millennials-can-start-investing-2014-10/?r=US&IR=T#.Vp5WurQQmCQ
http://www.dailyfinance.com/2015/09/29/how-to-start-investing/
http://www.moneyunder30.com/how-to-invest

More guided advice
http://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2014/04/28/how-should-an-18-year-old-get-started-in-investing/#2715e4857a0b4f059306697c
https://www.quora.com/I-want-to-start-investing-What-is-the-best-way-to-start
https://www.quora.com/How-should-a-22-year-old-invest-his-her-money
https://www.quora.com/How-should-I-start-investing-my-money-as-a-26-year-old-with-no-related-knowledge
They’re all from Quora. Oh Quora what would I do without you

Happiness is not the End Goal but a by-product

For reference, from Lifehacker which features a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt:

“Happiness Is Not a Goal, It Is a By-Product” by Thorin Klosowski

We often think that happiness is something we achieve, but as Eleanor Roosevelt reminds us, happiness is something that happens when we do everything else right.

In her book, You Learn by Living, Roosevelt outlined her view on happiness:

Happiness is not a goal, it is a by-product. Paradoxically, the one sure way not to be happy is deliberately to map out a way of life in which one would please oneself completely and exclusively. After a short time, a very short time, there would be little that one really enjoyed. For what keeps our interest in life and makes us look forward to tomorrow is giving pleasure to other people.

It’s a nice reminder that if your goal is just to be happy, you might want to think about what it takes to actually get there.

And Relevant Magazine’s‘s Happiness is Not the Goal : Why the first step towards true happiness might just be to stop prioritizing it.

Happiness cannot be our life center. Unstable and unreliable. It’s fickle; feelings fluctuate and what gives us feelings of elation may not contribute towards a well lived life. Ironically, the more one chases happiness, the more happiness can elude.

A comment in Relevant Magazine also stated, “Lovely read. The gospel makes it ok, to not be ok.” We have this  pressure to BE HAPPY every moment of our lives, and when we aren’t, there’s obviously something wrong with us. We then fret and worry about why we aren’t happy when we are SUPPOSED TO be happy, and it goes on. For this quote, the purpose of life lies in the gospel, and life’s road may or may not be happy. If one’s purpose lies in helping others, or attaining nation-wide peace, happiness is gained because of the the sense of fulfilment you get by working for the greater good. Suffering may abound along the way but the unhappy times are accepted with grace. Everything seems really roundabout, but there is a difference.

Gender in the Catholic Church-a very short and simple ramble

The woman was created after the man.

 

What does that mean?

Does it mean that women play a supporting role to men?

Well the Old Testament portrays women as being of less worth…no surprises there, probably something universal in those times.

Today? Women can’t be priests in the Catholic Church. When I was a child, someone told me it was because women had periods and were therefore unclean. Really. When I grew older, the Church emphasised the different roles males and females had. Males and females had different spheres in which to operate, and priesthood fell into the male sphere of action.

Sounds much better, but what are these different “roles”? I’m not too sure myself.

Roles, or no roles, however, there isn’t a reason why the Church today has so few women as figures of authority other than priests. Surely there isn’t a reason why women can’t be managers of finances, budgets, operations? Also, what’s with the non-existent funding nuns receive from the higher-ups? I know many choose to live a life of poverty and I respect that, but surely those who are struggling to feed their fellow sisters and raise funding for daily activities could better focus on making contributions to communities in need of help if they spent less time and energy worrying about how to get by themselves and handle the costs required.

I’m thinking there probably isn’t a reason; the Church likely has a case of inertia. Things have stayed this way for a long time, and the status quo is simply prevailing. The Church is steeped in tradition, and it hasn’t sorted out existing practices into 1) valuables that ought to be kept and continued and 2) trends/habits that are no longer relevant.

That’s just the organisation though. What’s more worrying though, are the fundamentals. Marriage is likened to the relationship between Christ and the Church. With, of course, the male being Christ an the female being the Church. If I’m not mistaken, this is the reason why only males are admitted to the priesthood.

But in this sense, it does feel like women are lower than men, and are meant to submit to them. God, is this how it’s supposed to be? Slightly disturbing.

Yet there is one more crucial point: This may not matter at all. Because the existence of a heaven levels the playing field. If both genders have to bow down before God and have the same criteria for entering heaven, then they have equal access. And since life on the eternal plane is what matters, then perhaps all this will simply come to a “So what?”

Honestly, the articles and debates never stop, and it gets tiring quickly. I realise I keep coming back to “So what?” when it comes to present issues. I think it’s good to feel uncomfortable with some things because it shows I’m thinking, at the very least. Is there a use though, in fretting about such things? It’s time consuming, and perhaps I should be better off during something helpful and productive rather than trying to find neat answers which don’t exist in the first place and don’t improve the most pressing needs of the needy. Male or female, everyone should shine brightly with the best aspects of themselves. And do what they can. Maybe that’s enough.

Light and Darkness

there is always a yin and a yang

light and darkness

cost and benefit

in this human existence

these are the rules you must abide by

accept or be paralysed

this must be how artists can paint the bleak

can you even run away from the dark

when you live in it, when you contain it?

the amazing, strong, beautiful human beings

maybe they understand that making sense of what happens

is futile? overrated?

and these are the humans that undergo the most tragedy

so it’s wisdom exchanged for endured pain?

doesn’t seem like a good trade?

of course, likely not of their own choosing?

and humans today aren’t much more superior than those of the past

as long as we are mortal, civilisation’s wisdom is capped