Saturday, November 8, 2008

No More Proselytizers

This is in the comment thread, but I thought it worth repeating here:

A blog reader wrote:

I had a suggestion (after the deluge of religious comments in the previous threads): why not start a post (titled "Save Shin's Soul" or some such) specifically for your many religious readers. Then from now on, any irrelevant religious proselytising can be written there directly or pasted there by you from other threads.

I just feel that the many interesting comments by you and others get swamped - or sidetracked - by the virtual door-knockers. It really is impressive how much grace and patience you manage to respond with, having already stated your beliefs countless times.

My response:

Maybe you're right. Others have also complained about all the comments from Christians trying to convert me.

From now on, I'll try to limit the religious commentary to ideas that are somewhat fresh and interesting.

I will try not to post comments that say the same things about how much Jesus loves me and how my life on this Earth is meaningless if I don't accept God. These commentators might have good intentions, but I guess they don't know my background enough to see that I probably have had more exposure to religion than they have, and that I have well thought-out reasons for rejecting religion. If interested, do a search on my blog for "God" and "religion".

So, no more comments from proselytizers on this site.

36 comments:

OhMyGod said...

That's sooo nice to hear, Shin. Finally. No preaching.

Anonymous said...

Are you back full time?

Shin said...

Anonymous,

I'm afraid not. It's just that this week, I had a number of things to post as a result of all the comments that have been coming in after the TV documentary.

In fact, I might have to cut down my blog posts even further, since I'm feeling increasingly weak and tired. So, I might not stay on the Mon-Wed-Fri schedule every week, but I'll try.

Thanks for your interest.

Kathie said...

Good morning Shin,

Noticed the time stamp on some of the comment postings. Are you sleeping well? Did the coughing distrupt your sleep?

Happiness is the meaning and purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence. ~ Aristotle

Nobody experiences perfect bliss at all times because the pursuit of happiness is represented by an infinite continuum, not by a finite point.

Today marks another milestone you crossed. I wish you HAPPIER each day.

Having you read this book "Happier" by Dr Ben -Shahar? He is one of the most popular teachers at Harvard. One out of five students has lined up to hear his insightful lectures as he ingeniously combines scientific studies, research, self-help advice and spiritual enlightenment to create a set of guides one can apply in life. I thought you'd be interested to read it and incorporate this wisdom in your dealings with loved ones and readers. Josie and Toby will benefit as they see how you live more happily. I bought copies of this book to give away as presents to friends and loved ones. Would like you to have a copy.

Shin said...

Kathie,

Thanks for telling me about that book. I'm afraid, though, that I already have quite a backlog of books I'd like to read, mostly about how to help children handle the trauma of a terminally ill parent or the death of a parent. Not very cheerful reading, but I'm learning a few things that might help Toby and Josie.

And then I have all these books about God and religion that people have recommended to me. I know. I don't believe in God and I'm not religious, but it doesn't hurt to try and learn a few things, even at my age.

I take longer to read these days than I used to - maybe due to chemo? Radiation? Tumors in the brain? Ordinary old age? Anyway, I have quite a lot to read already, so for now, I'll just keep your recommendation in mind for when I finish all my other books.

Thanks.

Kathie said...

Hi Shin,

No worries. Do what you want and do what you can.

Good day.

Kathie

Wendy said...

Dear Shin.

Guess you have heard from enough well-wishers here so I'll keep it short.

Here's another person praying and wishing for your well-being.

Be strong!

Broken said...

Dear Shin,

I've been following your blog for a while now. I admire your courage and in many ways, reading your posts helps to lift when spirits on days when I feel down.

My mother too had breast cancer. I was 14 at that time and while I knew she was seriousy sick, I somehow felt that everything would turn out okay. Call it gut feel or pure faith, but my mum beat it, and she's now a 15 year cancer survivor.

I'm not sure why I write to you. Perhaps I feel some sort of affinity with you in the things that you say. I, too, do not believe in God, and many of the things that you say here make so much sense and express everything that I've always felt so clearly and intelligently.

I guess I want to tell you that I envy you in a way--that's not at all to make light of your situation. But I envy you because you have such a wonderful family, a husband who loves you, respects you and who stands by you so totally during this period. You have warmth and you have love.

I read your posts and some give me this fuzzy feeling deep inside. It makes me happy, gives me hope in the human race... that maybe there are some people who are good and kind out there.

I remember reading one of your posts where you said that kindness was by far the most imporant and underated quality to teach your children. And I cannot say how much I agree. If only people would be kinder to each other... it would take away so much sadness and pain in this world.

While I have a long life ahead of me, Shin--I am only 30 and healthy--I don't think I'm have the emotional richness that you have. I have been so hurt in love by a callous, cruel person who built me up so high and then sent me crushing down.

Small problems, compared to yours. But the pain is immense. And I know how tempting it would be to say this will pass, that this is nothing, that it's too common a problem to be a problem at all.

But at the end of the day, Shin. I wish that one day I, too, will have what you have--someone who will be there for me no matter what. And I guess one day I will learn to be happy again... I hope?

I wish you well, Shin. It's just 10 years more! And even if not, I share your beliefs that your life here on earth has been rich and fulfilling enough to have few regrets.

Shin said...

Broken,

I'm glad to hear your mother is a 15-year cancer survivor. I like hearing stories like that, not just because it could mean there's hope for me, but because it means that even if I don't kick cancer's butt, somebody else will. Cancer doesn't get to win all the time.

About the broken heart... I've always prided myself on being a smart girl. I'd frown on women who got all silly and weepy over guys. But even my super-rational, clever brain couldn't control my heart when it got broken. They say it takes double the time you were with someone to heal from the break-up. So if you were with him for one year, it will take two years to completely get over him. I was with this guy for three years and it took 15 years. And then I found love again. And then I got cancer. This would make for a lousy movie script, no?

Hang in there. There are more movies with happy endings than sad ones.

Anonymous said...

I dedicate this song to you Shin..
rest well ...

WHAT LOVE IS

Love is a morning sunrise;
Love is the rain that falls;
Love is an evening sunset,
A stranger who calls.

Love is an April shower,
The warmth of a summer day.
Love is the hidden sunshine
That chases tears away.

Bridge:
Green as the grass that's growing,
Blue as the sky above,
Soft as the wind that's blowing,
All these things are love.

Love is a bolt of lightning
Slashing across the sky.
Love is the tender warmth
I see within your eye.

Bridge:
Green as the grass that's growing,
Blue as the sky above,
Soft as the wind that's blowing,
All these thing are love.

Love is a morning sunrise,
Love is the rain that falls;
Love is an evening sunset,
And I'm the one who calls.

you can hear the song here
by Roger Whittaker

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aL5GL_CB6CA

From
Agape

Leighbee said...

"It's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all..."

Shin said...

Agape,

Roger Whittaker is really not my style, but some of these photos were beautiful. Thanks. I especially liked the one of the mother cat cuddling her baby kitty. I know, I know. I've said before that I think pet-owners are silly. So I guess my bark is worse than my bite. Thanks again for the poem and the link to the video.

beneyuen said...

I would suggest that you link your blog with Google Adsense and make some money for your favourite charity. You can do the same with "Paypal donate". You'd be surprised how much more you could assist others with all these links. : )

Shin said...

Beneyuen,

That's a good idea that others have also suggested. I resist for two reasons:

1) I don't think I have enough traffic on my site to raise substantial funds for charity.

2) I, personally, have an aversion to Web advertising and tend to stay away from sites and blogs that have ads - they get in the way of the content. Ironically, I used to work in the Internet advertising business. Maybe that's why.

3) I don't really know how to do it and how best to go about it, even if I WERE talked into it.

Spy said...

Hi Shin.

Much as I want to read your updates and your replies, do take care. Have enough rest and eat well.

I'm a cancer survivor firstly diagnosed in year 2001 and a recurrence in 2007. Just finished my chemo and radiation treatments early this year. Kindly share your daily diet plans, supplements, and most important, how you manage to be so postive and happy in your life. You are amazing, full of courage and life! Please do share with me.

Have a good night and rest well!
Be strong and let's fight this battle together! I'm sure we will win; have faith!

Best Regards,
Spy

Shin said...

Spy,

It's always good to hear from a fellow cancer survivor with a positive and fighting spirit.

I've written a number of posts about diet, nutritional supplements, natural cancer cures, what causes cancer, fighting cancer, where I get the strength to be so positive, etc. If you type in these words or phrases in the SEARCH field at the top of my blog page, you'll get these past posts.

Maybe these will answer your questions. If not, please come back and ask more.

Jill said...

Hey Shin.

I believe that without the pull of god or whatever, we can do something else to give you our encouragement - perhaps sharing with you my joy today.

I had a walk with my friend at Ikea and it was sunny and really made my day. I enjoyed the great lunch with great desserts. That's how I cheered myself up when I really felt down these few days, due to family problems and lack of time for studies.

Going out for a walk on a sunny day (I love the sun so MUCH) has helped sort my mind. : ) I hope this coming week I can function better and get energized and motivated for a wonderful week ahead.

Hope you too! Take care, and let's spread our joy and laughter to all people around us. SMILE ( :

Love,
Jill

Shin said...

Jill,

Your comment just put a smile on my face. Here's wishing both of us a great week ahead!

Anonymous said...

My son tells me all the time that he is the only one in his class who doesn't believe in God, and the only one in his class who believes in Santa Claus.

Oops!! Ha ha, well done, we've obviously been superb parents!!

ANGEL said...

Shin, I did some psychology related workshops and I learnt that no matter who dies in the family, everyone always feels guilt. Especially children, when they grow up, an unconscious part of them would feel like they caused the death of their parents. Love, however can overcome all these.. I think you are doing a great job in letting your kids know how much you love them..:)So, you don't really have to worry about that.

The creators of the workshops did not write anything that specializes on the trauma of children.. the founder, Lency Spezzano started the work she did though because she was working with terminally ill children. You might want to research and see what sort of books you might find that might help you in that aspect on their website. She has written a book about that called Make Way For Love, you can check for more info from their website..
http://pov-int.com/en_ca/books

PS: I also learnt that, all physical problems are also psychological problems as well. Not sure how relevant this is to you but just thought I would like to share anyway..

According to the book, YOu can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay, Cancer is usually linked to some feelings related to long standing deep hurt, resentment or deep secret grief eating away the self. Breast cancer in women, usually related to relationships with men...

And affirmation you can repeat daily to yourself to help in that aspect is "I lovingly forgive and releas all if the past. I choose to fill my world with joy. I love and approve of myself..."

Daily forgiveness exercises to forgive 10 incidents or 10 people everyday will also help ;)

Good luck!

Shin said...

Angel,

Thanks for these recommendations, but I have to admit that I think as much about this psycho-mumbo jumbo as I do about religion.

I tried to read Louise Hay, but I found her annoying. Chanting "I love and approve of myself" seems to be for people with some serious self-esteem issues, which, as you can see, is not a problem for me.

I touch upon this issue of people being manipulated into thinking they have psychological or emotional problems in an earlier post titled,
"If A Tree Falls".

The idea that cancer is linked to emotional problems is a bit loopy, if you ask me. Studies have shown otherwise. But forget about the studies. I was a very happy woman before my cancer, and I'm still a very happy woman WITH cancer.

Anonymous said...

Dear Shin,

How are you?

No More Proselytizers, you said.

From now on, I'll try to limit the religious commentary to ideas that are somewhat fresh and interesting.

If you did follow the recent financial news, you would have learnt about mis-selling and misrepresentation of financial investment products that caused thousands of investors to lose their hard earned money as a result of Lehman Brothers’ collapse.

Yes, misrepresentation is a hot word. As I read Paradise Declined caption in your blog, I thought the Bible truth was grossly misrepresented to you! No wonder you declined the paradise. No wonder you couldn’t agree with the many Christian teachings.

No, not trying to convert you. Just putting facts before you, misperceptions have to be set straight so that at least you get to know them before you go.

Is plain simple truth so hard to accept that people must add meanings and interpretations to them? Just read and understand the verses as they are. Nothing more,
nothing less.

“Further God blessed them and said to them: “Be fruitful, become many, fill the earth and subdue it. Have in subjection the fish of the sea, the flying creatures in the heavens and every living creature on earth” Gen 1:28

“In the sweat of your face, you will eat bread, until you return to the ground. For dust you are and to dust you return.” Gen 3:19

God’s original purpose for mankind is on earth and there is no change. If Adam and Eve didn’t disobey, they will remain here on earth forever. When they died, they went back to dust.

“For the living are conscious that they will die, but as for the dead, they are conscious of nothing at all, neither do they anymore have wages, for the remembrance of them has been forgotten.” Eccl 9: 5

“All that your hands find to do, do with your very power, for there is no work nor devising nor knowledge nor wisdom in Sheol, the place which you are going.” Eccl 9:10

There is no life after death. We just decomposed and return to dust.

“A generation is going and a generation is coming, but the earth stands till time indefinite.” Eccl 1:4

“For this is what Jehovah has said, the Creator of the heavens, He the {true} God, the Former of the earth and the Maker of it. He the One who firmly established it, who did not create it simply for nothing, who formed it even to be inhabited: “I am Jehovah and there is no one else.” Isaiah 45:18

“As regards the heavens, to Jehovah the heavens belong, but the earth He has given to the sons of men.” PS 115:16

“The righteous themselves will possess the earth and they will reside forever upon it.” Ps 37:29

“He will actually swallow up death forever, and the Sovereign Lord Jehovah will certainly wipe tears from all faces. And the reproach of all His people he will take away from all the earth, for Jehovah himself has said.” Isaiah 25:8

“And He will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will there be mourning, nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.” Rev 21: 4

Paradise is here on earth. Yes, all the beautiful things we are familiar with and long to possess forever are all here on earth. The Creator has created the earth as home for mankind. Why should we yearn to go to heaven? Yes, all sufferings will be gone from the earth under paradisic conditions.

I can’t imagine a loving God would want to take our loved ones away to be with Him. He must be such as sadist and won’t deserve any worship if He is really so.

“He that is touching you is touching my eyeball.” Zec 2:8

Yes, we are all so precious to Him, just as Josie and Toby are to you.

The rest of the story as to how we be saved, you heard enough. However, let’s just focus on simple facts and leave God to do His job in deciding our future.

Oli

Adele Di Fior said...

Hi, I've a recommendation on a documentary - "The Secret" in DVD. It helps greatly in my life. I hope it will benefit you as well. Love and best wishes, Adele =)

Shin said...

Adele,

Thanks. Someone has given it to me already. I haven't gotten to it and probably won't. I'm really not into these self-help, life-coaching guides. But it must be doing some good for others, because people keep recommending it to me.

Mandy said...

Hi Shin,

My close friend, Cherine, is diagnosed with stage 2 nose cancer in Oct'08 and now undergoing the chemo and RT treatments in SGH. She too is taking it positively and setup a blog to update on her condition.

But she is starting to feel awful from the side effects of RT. I'm not sure if it is too much to ask of you to drop a line or two in her blog. I believe comment coming from you will mean much more to her as you can understand how she feels. Her blog site: http://bionicjen.wordpress.com/

I just hope that Cherine can draw strength and learn from you to keep up her fighting spirit.

Please do not feel obligated... it is just a request.

Thank you.

Shin said...

Mandy,

I've just read your friend Cherine's blog and left a message for her. Thanks for introducing me to her.

But really, I don't think it's me helping her or other cancer patients. I think we're all helping each other. I get encouragement from reading Cherine's blog and seeing her struggles and fighting attitude, as I do from reading the many other cancer blogs that I've found along the way.

So I should thank you for leading me to Cherine, and Cherine, for helping me and other cancer patients to keep fighting.

P.S. Is this Mandy, as in Kim-and-Mandy? Or another Mandy that I don't know personally?

York Sun said...

You are very confident and determined. Good luck and never give up! We are all supporting you!

Anonymous said...

Hi Shin.

I'm sure you've been blasted with lots of well-wishers after your TV airing. Please bear with me, as I am going to add on that list.

I do not and have not read through any blogs since the blog bubble started. I always felt bloggers are a bunch of egoists who can't wait to air their lives to the world.

But I just couldn't stop myself from searching for your blog after I "met" you on your recent TV airing. As I read your blog, I noticed you are candid and not afraid to show the real you. You did not try to live up to the "warm, heroic" lady that the TV made you out to be. Instead, you divulged to the world the real and flawed you, which made you more human and approachable.

You are a real cool lady! And I must say I salute your strength and courage to live on.

My most sincere wishes go out to you, and I pray you will live on miraculously. I will continue to read your blog and hope to share your life with you online.

Take care and God bless!

Shin said...

Anonymous,

Thanks for your comment. It means a lot to me particularly because you see beyond the "warm, heroic lady" that the TV made me out to be.

I have to admit that I'm not too comfortable with people thinking I'm this "warm, heroic lady". I saw the way the TV show portrayed me and thought, "Wow! What an incredible woman! Who IS that?"

I agree with you about the whole blogging phenomenon. I always felt the same - a bunch of egoists thinking people out there in cyberspace care about what they have to say.

But hey, this thing started off as a way to keep overseas relatives informed, then became a legacy for my kids, and now, due to circumstances out of my control, has become a place for people touched by cancer to share their experiences. Not a bad thing for something I thought was an ego-driven fad of our self-absorbed society!

Anonymous said...

Hi Shin.

I saw the documentary on Channel 8 and I thought I should share my story with you.

December 13, 2007 is a day I will never forget. I had a persistent cough with blood. I was advised to go to the hospital to have an X-ray. They found out there was a huge mass measuring 11 cm by 8 cm located between my heart and my lung. I was shocked at the size of the tumor.

I was doing well in my banking job then and everything seemed to be going great for me. I was only 27 at that point. It was like the world was an oyster for me. Then everything crashed and even my girlfriend left me. I lost everything in a short span of time. Odds were against me as it was a huge tumor and it was located in a dangerous area... too close to my heart. Surgery would be risky due to the size of the tumor.

I had intensive chemotherapy for almost 4 months followed by surgery. The tumor shrank and it was removed for good.

At that point, while receiving chemo, I was feeling really low, a feeling only cancer patients know. Chemotherapy is tough, or rather "tough" is an understatement to me. It was horrible. I lost all my hair. I couldn't think properly.
Friends came and tried to comfort me but I guess they wouldn't know how a 27-year-old cancer patient feels.

During my treatment, I found my new love. It was a time when I'd lost all my hair and in the midst of treatment, a girl came and we fell in love. It was a time when I did not know whether I would be alive in days to come as the odds were against me. Why would a girl fall in love with me? That didn't make sense.

I'll keep it short. I survived the operation and got my job back. I am getting married soon. I was told by my doctor that I am cured.

I wanted to share with you that when everything was going against me, I prayed hard and GOD did listen to me. I just wanted to share my experience with you.

Shin said...

Anonymous,

I love this story. Thanks for sharing it with me and other readers.

I don't know if it was God or something else that saved you. You believe it was God, so it was. That's all that matters.

I think you must be one amazing guy and your fiancee must be one remarkable woman to see that in you.

Congratulations on getting a second chance at life.

Vicky said...

Often we'll impose our thinking on others, either directly or indirectly, with good intention. Just remember the basic principle: Everyone has freedom of choice :-)

Anonymous said...

HI Shin.

My mother, a breast cancer victim, died four months ago after a 20- month battle.

On the topic of Christianity...

She believed too much in Christ, to the extent that she forsook chemotherapy and only started it a year after her initial diagnosis of Stage 3 breast cancer. By the time she turned to Western medicine instead of the so-called " miracle healing" to treat her cancer, it was simply too late and the cancer was raging throughout her body.

If I learn a lesson from my mother's predicament, it will be that faith in a religion alone will not decimate cancer.

Shin, you are a noble lady. I can see that you are fighting the battle against cancer not solely for yourself, but also for your lovely and beautiful children and husband. It is draining and very stressful but I know in the midst of your battle, you are taking
the opportunity to spend quality time with your loved ones and rediscover the bitterness and sweetness of life in general. Life is transient but as long as we live without regrets and have our loved ones around us, recapturing the fond memories with our loved ones, it will be a life well-lived and spent.

I wish you happiness. : )

Shin said...

Anonymous,

I'm sorry to hear about your mother. I'm sorry she waited so long to allow science and medicine (empirically proven) to help prolong her life.

Sadly, I'm sure there are Christians out there who will say that she died because she gave up on Christ and turned to medicine instead in her final moments.

I went to a preacher who said I was cured. He was wrong. But Christians will say that it was my fault because I didn't truly believe. It's a no-win situation.

I've heard stories of cancer patients who died after foregoing conventional medicine to put their trust in religion or alternative treatments. But these stories don't get a lot of attention because they're sad and because they ruin it for the Christians and pro-miracle cure folks.

I think it's sad that some of these organizations and institutions prey on people when they're at their most vulnerable.

Anonymous said...

Dear Shin,

On 10 Nov, Oli quoted several biblical texts. In fact, these verses have to be read and understood within the context of the passages- flow of texts, background of the book that was written, writer's intention. Misrepresentation or misinterpretation can easily happen when people do not study them in their context and misinterpret them for the wrong purposes.Isolated verses not read in context can be misunderstood as to who they refer to and why they were said.

I believe those who has a heart to search for TRUTH will find it. Falsehood and darkness lies in the heart of the deceitful.

Shanen said...

Dear Shin,

I got to know your story after you were featured in the Channel 8 documentary.

I find that you are really optimistic [and that's really good!] and that you are beyond strong! Therefore, I hope you will continue your tenacity : )

Take care!