On Religion: “You know what… I’ll pray for you”

DSC_0250… was what I was told as soon as she knew that I wasn’t religious. “Huh,” I thought.

It seems like a really nice and considerate statement, but then it had seems somewhat closed and short. Like the topic was over. It had bothered me.

You know what? I’ll pray for you, and that the lord will find you and lead you to a better place.

Wasn’t that statement a little passive aggressive?


Religion and I

Since little, my parents had given me a strict set of guidelines of things I can and can’t do, must and mustn’t do via religion. I was told to sit in a meditation posture and pray, without really knowing what it does.

It turns out, I was supposed to see my “master” in my inner conscience. If we pray and meditate a lot, with enough focus, we would be able to see her. I suppose it is similar to Jesus or Allah appearing in your thoughts when you ask for help.

My family’s religion, The Quan Yin Method, developed by the Supreme Ching Hai, is similar to Buddhism. Raised with this religion, I was vegetarian all my life. I meditated for most of my childhood, not knowing what I was doing. I was told to chant my “master’s” name before I slept so that I would be blessed. If I did everything right, I would see her in my inner thoughts.

Well, hard as I tried, I never saw her. 

I felt like I was doing something wrong. Like I wasn’t good enough. How come everyone else seems to be on the right path, but I couldn’t see it?

Doubts, Questions, and Insecurities

As a child I was really confused, but I was scared of asking for fear of adults scolding me. I was also scared of being slow and that everyone would know that I’m too shallow to understand the depths of my master’s teachings. 

I felt like I was just sitting there, waiting an eternity for the 30 minutes to end so I could go eat and play.

When we lived in the Philippines, Christianity was the dominant religion. I didn’t participate in Bible study, so I had a lot of time to myself while my friends hung out and talked about Christ.

I enjoyed reading stories about Christ. How God created the world. The story of Adam and Eve. The three kings and baby Jesus. Christmas was also my favorite holiday!

Then, I was also conscious of Buddhism, from books and TV shows, there were lots of fun lessons to learn. Buddhism taught me the importance to question everything. I needed to be conscious of my way of living.

If I want to throw fire at someone, my hand would be burnt first.

The more people I meet, the more my mind opened to what all was out there. I began to respect religion in so many ways.

If there is a god, then I think my feelings towards him/her right now would be much respect. I’m sure it must have taken a lot of effort to make such a large and intricate universe, down to every speck.

I see every religion has a point. A system. And if each religion says it’s right, then which is right? It’s hard to imagine that there’s only one right answer, leaving the rest of the ancient religious systems wrong.

The truth can be quite tricky a lot of times, tangled up in a ball of invisible truth yarn.

Judaism. Buddhism. Sikhism. Hinduism. Islam. Christianity.

Who’s to say which is the true one?

I used to say that there’s just too many religions, and that I didn’t believe in any particular one. I go on with my life. 

It worked while I was young, carefree, and somewhat ignorant of everything.

My Evolution

My perspective changed when I was faced with a question of – how do we raise children with regards to religion?

Today, I believe in every single one. I believe in the values they create within each person. All religion teaches the importance of values.

I admire that religion gives one such strength to get through difficult life ordeals. That it brings a family, a community together. Its ideals are to strengthen the resolve to be the best person you are. I studied a little on every major religion, and all I saw were good things.

Through travels, I have had many wonderful opportunities to meet with people around the world with their own unique religious beliefs. I love talking to people about their religion, especially those who devote their entire lives to one.

don’t believe in demeaning other people, like what happened to me today. The conversation had baffled me, making me feel as if I needed to be saved or leaving me feeling like I’m not good enough.

I think religions are great, especially if they are interpreted well and foster actions and feelings of:

  • Spirituality and mindfulness – be in the now and appreciate all else around them
  • Way of living – cause no harm to others
  • Values and Integrity – teaching honesty, work ethics, cooperation, punctuality
  • Responsibility – be a good person to a family, a community
  • Give strength – to get one through hard times

I have a lot of respect towards religion bringing people to different countries of the world to bring love and care to those who don’t have enough.

People could be in their own bubble, but they chose to spend time and money to take care of others.

So to those who says I will “go to hell” or that I needed saving and “pray that the Lord will lead you the right way,” I say- Thanks, it would be cool to see God, but if I don’t, then I will learn from the lessons he teaches through his religion. God is a part of us all, isn’t he? 


Thanks for tuning into my little segment on religion! What did you think? Have you encountered anything similar?

On a different note, here are some less controversial topics I’ve written about recently:

 

Perspective

“Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation. You cannot control what happens to you in life, but you can always control what you will feel and do about what happens to you.”

— Viktor E. Frankl

Not taking things personally is perhaps my biggest weakness. Sometimes, it just takes a little reminder from loved ones.

I’m quite lucky that no one has given up on me no matter how stubborn I am.

Working From Home: Language Interpreting

As you know from my previous post, I have recently been working online with my second remote job (see my first remote job post here) with a language company.

As a lot of people are quite interested in what it’s like to work from home, I decided to make a post about what it’s like to be a language interpreter, why I decided to do this, and where I want to go from here.


Do you know a 2nd language? Do you care about helping people surpass communication barriers? Want to improve on industry specific vocabulary?

I found a company that had allowed me to pursue an interest of mine, and had taken me lots of efforts to pursue. The results were quite rewarding because I was able to work from home full time, improve on a language, and help people!

Here are some details I have compiled for those who are interested.


Hiring Process

Onboarding was a long and gruesome task to of testing my fluency in Vietnamese. I was required finish a 40-minute long recorded call, specifically regarding Medical and Insurance vocabulary. I was required to do a drug test and other phone interviews. The entire process of interview, waiting, and training process takes up to 3+ weeks.

The nice thing about this company is that their training on an entry level interpreter is very thorough. Though I rolled my eyes at a lot of the common sense customer service tips, I was learning a lot of how the company works.

A lot of interpreting companies still use the telephone as the means to interpretation. In contrast, LLS stepped up their game and uses an wifi audio/video call program to manage all their call flows. The interpreter can transfer calls, mark themselves as taking a break, or receive video calls.

Free Stuff, yay!!!

I was quite surprised the day LLS send me my equipment. I arrived one day to 2 giant boxes full of equipment for my home office, consisting of:

  • Dell Inspiron Intel Core i7 laptop
  • 1080p webcam
  • Plantronics headset
  • A blue backdrop
  • 2 desk lamps
  • 2 work uniforms
  • and more!

When requesting replacements, they were very fast with their shipping. They even randomly send equipment that I may need in my interpreting work– for example: whiteboard, shredder, etc. So thoughtful, LLS! They don’t even require most of them back when the employment terminates!

5 stars for treating their employees nicely <3

Paid “Free Time”

Because I get paid per the hour I work, whenever I don’t have calls, I can work on improving other aspects of my life. I use a lot of my time to organize my thoughts, write, and plan out the rest of my day. Pretty nice, pretty nice.

Work in My Pajamas

One of the best things about working from home, however, is that I get to do it in my pajamas! I set my alarm 10 minutes before work, and when the time comes, I hope out of bed, brush my teeth, then get to work. Sometimes, I take quick breaks to go to the kitchen to whip myself up a hot meal.

I love this so much compared to the 2 hour commute in NYC. I certainly don’t missed the crammed subway and traffic in the city. I definitely don’t miss an opportunity to tell people what a comfortable life I’m living (for) now.

Flexibility

I have traveled with my equipments twice. All I need is WIFI, laptop, backdrop, camera, and headset. It’s been great in allowing me the flexibility to go somewhere new. Days off are requested through the Impact 360 portal online. I request the days off electronically anywhere I see an available opening slot.

Making a Difference 

Interpreting work covers a wide range of needs. Calls for help include medical visits, EMS calls, court hearings, insurance, legal matters, and more. On some level or another, I feel like I’m contributing my skills to help those who need it.

I’m not going to lie, I’ve hit some rough patches while working with LLS. I’ve had emotional breakdowns because of people’s problems. Why are there so many problems in this world??

That’s not all, I’ve also learned of the many ways people treat each other. I’ve learned that nurses can be rude and disrespectful. Elders can be stubborn, hopeless, and depressed, and humanity can be quite selfish at times. However, I’ve also learned that parents are ultimately those who care about their children the most and vice versa. I’ve learned that certain people have a true desire to help others, and I’m quite happy to be a part of the process.

Slowly, I learned to detach myself to all the problems. Once I took a step back, I’m able to seamlessly direct the flow and do my job as efficiently as possible.

Educational Value

My initial reasoning of becoming and interpreter is to master my industry vocabulary in Vietnamese. (What better way to learn than jumping in head first?) I’ve never received proper schooling in Vietnamese, and have learned all that I can read and write on my own.

Though I am not even close to becoming as scholarly fluent as I’d like, I am happy to pursue the the cause that keeps my cultural identity intact. My parents have been a tremendous pusher to keep the Vietnamese language alive. That I can achieve the ability of becoming an interpreter is all thanks to them.

As I began my interpreting work, I have become more adept in many other skills.

Because the context of what I interpret can make a sizable effect, I learn to choose my words carefully. I’ve learned to deliver bad news, deal with impatient clients, to negate all the negative things that I hear and not let it affect my life.

Are you going to do this for the rest of your life, Winta? 

Unfortunately, this is not my life career path. I never intended it that way. I’m doing this to make my life more meaningful. I’m learning my mother tongue, while getting paid. What can beat that?

My next steps are to actually discover my mother country. Yes, I’m taking a 3 month long backpacking trip through Vietnam for the first time in my life! I’m psyched, and hopefully, so are you. I will try to keep my adventures updated. <3


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