Untung ‘Lakie’ Laksito continues his quest on finding ‘who the Ellawie’.G’day and season’s greetings! Christmas is coming thick and fast. A few more sleeps and everybody will be celebrating.
Some of us will be rejoicing and others simply celebrating, having a feast, ripping the wrapping paper off Christmas presents and generally having a good time.
Without trying to stop readers doing what they enjoy best, I would like to remind everybody that it is a season of goodwill.
As a kid I was brought up in a country with the largest Moslem population in the world. Although if truth be known, half the population –at least during my life there –never set foot in a mosque or any other place of prayer.It never stopped them from celebrating the equivalent of Christmas, which is the end of Ramadhan.
During the month of Ramadhan people are required to fast –that is not allowing anything (food, drinks or even their own saliva) to pass through the mouth, throat and into their stomach. Fasting is not just for the physical and worldly things, but also for more intangible things such as evil thoughts, jealousy, anger etc.
At the end of Ramadhan, people celebrate the Id el Fitri.
It is not only the celebration for the end of a test of self control, it is a season of good will where people visit each other, especially family and relatives, exchanging gifts and presents and more importantly asking forgiveness for their faults and mistakes they made (wittingly or unwittingly) in the past.They praying together asking the Lord to absolve their sin.
The season of goodwill and Christmas reminds me of a story of Jesus. He was giving a sermon one day when a group of Pharisees brought to him a woman who allegedly had committed adultery. They set her in the midst of them and said to Jesus, “Master this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act”.They insisted that Moses’ law commanded that she be stoned.
Now before I continue the story, I watched Australian Story recently.
I don’t know if you have heard of Richard Flanagan. A largely self-taught writer, this Tasmanian novelist is a London the Man Booker Prize winner. Amongst his novels is The Narrow Road to the North, based on a true story about his father Arch Flanagan.
Arch was sent overseas in the second world war to fight the Japanese. Unfortunately he was captured and kept as a prisoner of war. Worse still, he was sent to Burma to help build the notorious Burma railway.
He witnessed and experienced the hardship and terrible treatment the POWs had to endure. Death from starvation, exhaustion and / or beating was frequent.
Amazingly, Arch survived. Asked to describe what it was like, he simply said, “a horrendous experience”. So was he embittered by that? And how did the experience affect him? He gave this response, “it makes me very tolerant”.
Back to the story of Jesus. Having pointed out that the woman should be stoned according to Moses’ law, the Pharisees asked Jesus, “what sayeth thou?”
They continued asking and in the end Jesus got up and said, “He that is without sin amongst you, let him first cast a stone at her”.
The above two stories are 2000 years apart and yet they have the same essence. The same message.
‘Tis a season of good will. The dawn of a new year is breaking. It is not just a time for celebration, it is a time to reflect, to ask questions without passing judgement to ourselves as to who the Ellawie.
Well this is the last of this year’s columns. May I wish you all a very happy and joyous Christmas. May the new year bless you with enlightenment, peace and tranquility.
Have a good time, enjoy this precious life and take care.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.