The gathering of Great Minds'" which was held at the Kuala Lumpur Securities Commission. (I enjoyed it actually, because the environment was creative and the audience was engaging). My topic was "Creativity from Diversity".
To demonstrate how diversity is able to create new perspectives and open up new "windows of looking", I shared with them an experience I had with an 8 year old dear friend of mine.
This 8 year old boy is a product of mixed parentage - Malay, Chinese and Burmese. (And adults who claim they believe in God will force him to choose an ethnic class or make him conscious of one! Makes you wonder "what god" they worship)
He told me that he was scared this month. I asked him, "why?" He was told by his Chinese cousin that this is the hungry ghost month and that these ghosts will possess boys.
I sat him him down and told him what the hungry ghost belief was and then reminded him that there is also another belief that Malays have. This is also the month of Ramadan.
I told him that while Chinese believe that the gates of hell are open and all the ghosts have rushed out to roam the earth, the Malays believe otherwise. The Malays believe that in the month of Ramadan, the gates of hell are closed and no ghosts or spirits can roam the earth! They are all chained!
He looked at me amused and said, "Yes. That's what I was taught in the agama class too".
"So, are the gates of hell open or closed you think? Got ghosts roaming around or not?", I asked.
"I dont know. It sounds so funny now. Two different story about the same thing. Both from adults".
I reminded him that while adults may have good motives, they need not necessarily have clever ways of handling situations. Sometimes they cause great harm with good intentions. Most of them grow up never thinking about what they hear. "That is why you must always use your brain and think about what they are saying".
"Remember how you were frightened to sleep with stories that the monster is looking for boys with eyes not closed at night? I told you there are no monsters in the house?. That if you do not sleep, you will make me the monster if I hear you falling asleep in school?"
He laughed and laughed.
"The next time your cousin scares you with stories of hungry ghosts, tell him that you had lunch with one and the ghost wants to meet up with him".
He laughed again heartily and said "Coool. That should shut him up!"