Hello, what’s this? You may wonder what the above title has to do with a column on religion, but let me explain. No I have not gone crazy the article does carry an underlying religious theme. I have decided to write a piece that is light hearted and one that makes for easy reading.
So I am going to use as a basis the ‘tomato’ idea that I had picked up elsewhere and it has slowly been germinating in my mind. I have taken the liberty to redraft it but I have carried the essential message that it was meant to capture.
In essence it highlights our human frailty of disliking and of hating some people. We all go through this phase at one time or another; we dislike or hate someone for our own reasons, sure we may have a reason to ‘hate’ that someone; you’re not the only one, we all carry some burden hidden within us; sometimes we confuse dislike, anger, resentment and even jealousy with hate, but to some degree we all have that malaise lurking within us and carry that burden through our life.
In these situations the Qur’an and the Hadith teach us that if we wish to earn the forgiveness of Allah on the day of Judgement we have to forgive others. Allah says in the Qur’an: “Be quick in the forgiveness from your Lord, and pardon (all) men – for Allah loves those who do good.” [Qur’an 3:133-134]â€¨ Now to the tomato game:
A teacher decided to let her class play a game. The teacher told each child to bring along a plastic bag containing a few over-ripe tomatoes.
Each tomato will be given a name of a person that the child hates, so the number of tomatoes that a child will put in their plastic bag will depend on the number of people they hate. When the day came, every child brought some tomatoes with the name of the people they hated. Some had 2 tomatoes and some had up to 5 tomatoes. The teacher then told the children to carry the tomatoes in their plastic bags wherever they go for 1 week.
Days passed and the children started to complain due to the unpleasant smell let out by the rotting tomatoes. After 1 week, the children were relieved because the game had finally ended.
The teacher asked: How did you feel while carrying the tomatoes with you for 1 week? The children started complaining of the trouble that they had to go through having to carry the heavy and smelly tomatoes wherever they go. Then the teacher told them the moral of the story and the hidden meaning behind the game.
The teacher said: This is exactly the situation when you carry your hatred for somebody inside your heart. The stench of hatred contaminates your heart and you carry it with you wherever you go. If you cannot tolerate the smell of rotten tomatoes for just 1 week, can you imagine what is it like to have the stench of hatred in your heart for your lifetime?
Throw away any hatred for anyone from your heart so that you will not carry sins for a lifetime. Forgiving others relieves you and helps you to lead a happy life.
Each one of us has committed sins, probably made many more mistakes and surely we have done things and wronged others; perhaps by means of deception, untruthfulness or backstabbing. But we tend to focus on other peoples errors while we overlook our own shortcomings?
Forgiveness is linked with piety and God-consciousness – is there anybody who is without sin; is there anybody who can be arrogant enough to say that he does not need to forgive; do we not know that Allah forgives those who forgive others?
Therefore, we should overlook the failings and faults of others and learn to forgive them. ‘But if you forgive and overlook and cover up their faults, verily Allah is Oft-forgiving and Most merciful. (Qur’an 64: 14)
Just like the rotting tomatoes, anger, dislike, resentment, envy, jealousy and the like can be likened to a long festering wound – if you do not attend to it, it can only get progressively worse. That simmering hatred within you can also make one become anti-social and unlikeable.
Carrying around hatred can be emotionally debilitating and it can drive a person to do uncharacteristic things including taking revenge. We should therefore turn to prayer and learn to exercise self- restraint and forgiveness so that we can come to terms with and live in harmony with our emotions and thereby create inner peace.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said; ‘To be forgiving and to control yourself in the face of provocation, to give justice to the person who was unfair and unjust to you, to give to someone even though he did not give to you when you were in need and to keep connection with someone who may not have reciprocated your concern, will ensure you a palace in Paradise (as a symbol of reward).’
This means that we should be merciful and forgiving with one another. First of all, we ourselves should avoid doing anything to upset others and then we should forgive those who have upset or made us angry. We simply cannot hope to be strong in faith if we are not able to forgive.â€¨
Sometimes it is only our hurt pride and bruised egos that prevent us from forgiving those who have wronged us, unfortunately some of us think that to forgive shows a sign of weakness and is humiliating, and for them it is better to be strong and preserve their honour – but honour in the eyes of Allah lies in forgiveness. “But indeed if any shows patience and forgives that would truly be an exercise of courageous will and resolution in the conduct of affairs.”(Qur’an 42:43)
To be strong in faith we have to learn to forgive others; if we cannot find it in our heart to forgive others how do you expect the Almighty to forgive us our own trespasses and sins? It is all about self-control. Every religion teaches self-control, even the Bible says:’ “…. whoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also”.
Hatred contaminates our life and spiritual well-being…..so we need to get rid of that heavy burden of hate that we have been carrying around with us – learn to forgive and forget.
To all our election candidates, now that voting is over: let’s get rid of those ‘smelly rotting tomatoes’ that you have been carrying around with you – it’s over, let’s move forward
In 2005, the Business & Economic Advisory Council (BEAC) pitched the idea of the establishment of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to the Mogae Administration.
It took five years before the SEZ policy was formulated, another five years before the relevant law was enacted, and a full three years before the Special Economic Zones Authority (SEZA) became operational.
… courtesy of infiltration stratagem by Jehovah-Enlil’s clan
With the passing of Joshua’s generation, General Atiku, the promised peace and prosperity of a land flowing with milk and honey disappeared, giving way to chaos and confusion.
Maybe Joshua himself was to blame for this shambolic state of affairs. He had failed to mentor a successor in the manner Moses had mentored him. He had left the nation without a central government or a human head of state but as a confederacy of twelve independent tribes without any unifying force except their Anunnaki gods.
If I say the word ‘robot’ to you, I can guess what would immediately spring to mind – a cute little Android or animal-like creature with human or pet animal characteristics and a ‘heart’, that is to say to say a battery, of gold, the sort we’ve all seen in various movies and tv shows. Think R2D2 or 3CPO in Star Wars, Wall-E in the movie of the same name, Sonny in I Robot, loveable rogue Bender in Futurama, Johnny 5 in Short Circuit…
Of course there are the evil ones too, the sort that want to rise up and eliminate us inferior humans – Roy Batty in Blade Runner, Schwarzenegger’s T-800 in The Terminator, Box in Logan’s Run, Police robots in Elysium and Otomo in Robocop.
And that’s to name but a few. As a general rule of thumb, the closer the robot is to human form, the more dangerous it is and of course the ultimate threat in any Sci-Fi movie is that the robots will turn the tables and become the masters, not the mechanical slaves. And whilst we are in reality a long way from robotic domination, there are an increasing number of examples of robotics in the workplace.
ROBOT BLOODHOUNDS Sometimes by the time that one of us smells something the damage has already begun – the smell of burning rubber or even worse, the smell of deadly gas. Thank goodness for a robot capable of quickly detecting and analyzing a smell from our very own footprint.
A*Library Bot The A*Star (Singapore) developed library bot which when books are equipped with RFID location chips, can scan shelves quickly seeking out-of-place titles. It manoeuvres with ease around corners, enhances the sorting and searching of books, and can self-navigate the library facility during non-open hours.
DRUG-COMPOUNDING ROBOT Automated medicine distribution system, connected to the hospital prescription system. It’s goal? To manipulate a large variety of objects (i.e.: drug vials, syringes, and IV bags) normally used in the manual process of drugs compounding to facilitate stronger standardisation, create higher levels of patient safety, and lower the risk of hospital staff exposed to toxic substances.
AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY ROBOTS Applications include screw-driving, assembling, painting, trimming/cutting, pouring hazardous substances, labelling, welding, handling, quality control applications as well as tasks that require extreme precision,
AGRICULTURAL ROBOTS Ecrobotix, a Swiss technology firm has a solar-controlled ‘bot that not only can identify weeds but thereafter can treat them. Naio Technologies based in southwestern France has developed a robot with the ability to weed, hoe, and assist during harvesting. Energid Technologies has developed a citrus picking system that retrieves one piece of fruit every 2-3 seconds and Spain-based Agrobot has taken the treachery out of strawberry picking. Meanwhile, Blue River Technology has developed the LettuceBot2 that attaches itself to a tractor to thin out lettuce fields as well as prevent herbicide-resistant weeds. And that’s only scratching the finely-tilled soil.
INDUSTRIAL FLOOR SCRUBBERS The Global Automatic Floor Scrubber Machine boasts a 1.6HP motor that offers 113″ water lift, 180 RPM and a coverage rate of 17,000 sq. ft. per hour
These examples all come from the aptly-named site www.willrobotstakemyjob.com because while these functions are labour-saving and ripe for automation, the increasing use of artificial intelligence in the workplace will undoubtedly lead to increasing reliance on machines and a resulting swathe of human redundancies in a broad spectrum of industries and services.
This process has been greatly boosted by the global pandemic due to a combination of a workforce on furlough, whether by decree or by choice, and the obvious advantages of using virus-free machines – I don’t think computer viruses count! For example, it was suggested recently that their use might have a beneficial effect in care homes for the elderly, solving short staffing issues and cheering up the old folks with the novelty of having their tea, coffee and medicines delivered by glorified model cars. It’s a theory, at any rate.
Already,customers at the South-Korean fast-food chain No Brand Burger can avoid any interaction with a human server during the pandemic. The chain is using robots to take orders, prepare food and bring meals out to diners. Customers order and pay via touchscreen, then their request is sent to the kitchen where a cooking machine heats up the buns and patties. When it’s ready, a robot ‘waiter’ brings out their takeout bag.
‘This is the first time I’ve actually seen such robots, so they are really amazing and fun,’ Shin Hyun Soo, an office worker at No Brand in Seoul for the first time, told the AP.
Human workers add toppings to the burgers and wrap them up in takeout bags before passing them over to yellow-and-black serving robots, which have been compared to Minions.
Also in Korea, the Italian restaurant chain Mad for Garlic is using serving robots even for sit-down customers. Using 3D space mapping and other technology, the electronic ‘waiter,’ known as Aglio Kim, navigates between tables with up to five orders. Mad for Garlic manager Lee Young-ho said kids especially like the robots, which can carry up to 66lbs in their trays.
These catering robots look nothing like their human counterparts – in fact they are nothing more than glorified food trolleys so using our thumb rule from the movies, mankind is safe from imminent takeover but clearly Korean hospitality sector workers’ jobs are not.
And right there is the dichotomy – replacement by stealth. Remote-controlled robotic waiters and waitresses don’t need to be paid, they don’t go on strike and they don’t spread disease so it’s a sure bet their army is already on the march.
But there may be more redundancies on the way as well. Have you noticed how AI designers have an inability to use words of more than one syllable? So ‘robot’ has become ‘bot’ and ‘android’ simply ‘droid? Well, guys, if you continue to build machines ultimately smarter than yourselves you ‘rons may find yourself surplus to requirements too – that’s ‘moron’ to us polysyllabic humans”!