29 December 2012

Ladenge - A Song of Protest






LADENGE is a people's song. It asserts our right to protest about injustice. It is a song for citizens who want things to change for the better in our country. Yes! You can raise your voice and register your protest!

I wrote and composed this song in 1993. The recent protests on the gang-rape of a girl in Delhi reminded me of it. This version of the song voices support to the cause of justice for women . May it become the voice of those who want to change things for the better! Please remember to protest peacefully.

Here is the link to the song on Youtube: Ladenge - A Song of Protest

How safe are our Daughters?


This article posted below was published in the Oct-Dec 2012 edition of the Family Mantra Magazine published from Bangalore by Kutumb Communications. It was written in September 2012 much before the 23 year old woman was gang-raped in Delhi. Needless to say there are no words to express my grief, sorrow and anger at what happened to her. It is time India brought about a change so that her daughters can live safely. 

She remains unforgettable, etched in my memories. She was a girl of twelve living in a Remand Home in Delhi. I was a student of Standard IX visiting the Home as part of our SUPW – Social Work Classes. We were given case studies of girls who were lost, kidnapped or caught for petty offenses. She was not one of them.

When I sat to interview the girl assigned to me, she came and sat beside me. During the next couple of visits I found her near me. She made me curious. I was shocked to learn about why she was there.

Laila was gang raped by four men from her village. She was on her way to deliver food for her father and brothers. The four men gang raped her inside a truck and threw her away.

They stole everything from her in that one dastardly act they committed against her. She lost her childhood, her family, her future... and everything she knew about herself and her life. She never had a normal life after that incident. The perpetrators of the crime were not convicted as she could not tell them anything about them.

When I met Laila, her limbs were distorted and curved, she could not walk upright. The trauma had taken its toll on her body and mind. She was an isolated girl who feared even the shadow of a man. She was raped even by the policemen. She was afraid to cross the verandah at the entrance if any policeman was sitting there.

She was treated by others as nothing. They mocked and ridiculed her as she walked with her bent legs. Her daily activity was cleaning and washing the compound, after which she would go and sit in a corner. I asked her about her family. She said it was more than a year since anyone came to see her. They too had rejected her. Who wants a gang-raped girl who tainted their family’s name?

My encounter with Laila made me wonder what happens to girls like her. Is there hope for them? My mind was deeply disturbed by her predicament because girls like her cannot help themselves. I wonder if justice will ever be done to Laila who spends her life in a Remand Home while those who did this to her are roaming around scot free. Who knows how many girls they could have raped since then?

A Shame for India

The National Crime Records Bureau reports that there has been a shocking 873% rise in rape cases between 1953 and 2011. 42,968 cases of molestation of women were reported last year. 2,61,000 cases of crimes against women, including sexual harassment, cruelty by husband/his relatives, kidnapping, human trafficking were recorded. India’s report card for women’s safety states that one woman is raped every 22 minutes! [1]

Among the 53 cities of India, Delhi accounted for the highest number of such crimes at 13.3 per cent (4,489), followed by Bangalore at 5.6 per cent (1,890) and Hyderabad at 5.5 per cent (1,860). [2]

On 9th July the whole country was aghast to see the video of a 17-year-old girl being dragged, beaten, stripped and molested on a busy street in Guwahati by a mob of about 50 men. Though the Police station was just 1 km away, they arrived at the scene after 45 minutes. No action was taken by the police until the video of the assault went viral on YouTube and caused national outrage.

To add insult to injury Karnataka's Women & Child Welfare minister C. C. Patil was quoted saying that women should “know how much skin they should cover.” He stated that incidents like rape and sexual harassment can be attributed to the decline in moral values in men, indirectly caused by women dressing “provocatively.” [3]

Top cop Kiran Bedi wasn’t left far behind in belittling the trauma of women who are raped when she lashed out at the media for what she called inadequate reportage of Team Anna's alleged exposes on corruption. She said, “Ask yourself. On a small rape case or assault which a low ranking police official commits, how you would discuss it?” [4] 

A Tehelka investigation reported, “According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), the conviction rate in rape cases in the capital was a dismal 34.6 percent. In case after case, courts have been acquitting the accused because of flawed first information reports (FIRs), erroneous procedures in collating medical evidence and shoddy investigation. Lawyers and women rights activists have continually been flagging the deep prejudice prevalent in the police against women in general and rape victims in particular, as the single biggest reason for the repeated failure of justice.[5]”

In the same report, Satbir Singh additional SHO of Sector 31 Police Station, Faridabad who completed 27 years in service and investigated around 20 rape cases said that he believes half of all rape charges were false. He was unapologetic about questioning the intent of rape victims when they came to file complaints: "One lakh. Two lakh. Fifty lakh. People have understood this is a lucrative trade for women; it's business. They've found an income source. It's common; you're short of money, your parents don't give you money to spend. You make compromises." [5]

One wonders that if this is the attitude of our ministers and top police officers of our country, what is the future of women in India? How safe are our daughters in a nation that brands and punishes the victim for being raped rather than the criminal who destroyed her life and robbed her of her dignity?

What can we do?

It is our primary responsibility as parents and teachers to teach our daughters to be safe. We can protect them by teaching them precautions they should take to avoid suspicious strangers. We need to teach them to guard themselves at all times, especially in moments when they are most vulnerable. They have to learn to trust their instincts about people and situations. They need to be alert to their surroundings and be aware of the first signs of danger.

Teaching our daughters to be safe doesn’t mean that we are inducing fear into her. It means that she will know how to act if ever she is attacked. It is our responsibility to teach her about keeping away from danger just as we would tell her to keep away from fire.

At home and in schools too we have to teach our sons to respect girls and treat them with respect. Any untoward behaviour should be handled very carefully.

Our Duty as Citizens:

It is useless to have laws that are supposed to defend women if citizens don’t act against lawlessness in society. Each citizen has a voice and we can use this voice to speak out against the ills of our society. We can demand for the police force to be made more sensitive to gender related crime. We can take action against legislators who dishonour women through their words and action by not letting them continue in office. We can send across a message loud and clear that crime against women will not be tolerated by us anymore.

It is time to wake up India. If every parent does his or her part as a citizen we can initiate action that will change things for the better.  

Reference:

12 November 2012

Understanding Intent


Have you spoken sincere words
Only to be tagged ‘proud’ and ‘arrogant’?
Or even worse ‘unjust’ and ‘a blamer’?

Have you shared what you really did
And heard others say ‘bragger’?
Or said something that really hurt you
And found the hearer judge
‘That’s not how it should be’?
And ‘How can you speak like that?’

Words that come from the heart
Report what a person really felt
Words about what a person did
Report what a person really did
This has nothing to do with ‘standards’
But to do with what ‘really happened’.

Perhaps people would rather you said
Things to suit their ‘way of thinking’
Like when someone keeps hurting you unjustly
They want you to say nice things about them!
Or even though you did a lot of things
They want you to pretend you cannot do them!

They do not want to accept that
There are people who feel things that they didn’t feel
Or who can do things they didn’t do.
They want people who are ‘different’
To change themselves around them
Just to suit their ‘shallow nature’.

I’m tired of walking around egg-shells
Caving in to the egos of people
Who do not want to rise above
Their narrow definitions
Of how a person can be
Or what a person can do.

I’m tired of being misunderstood
Just because they do not want
To live by higher principles of life
Or see the higher good in others
I do not want to measure
Myself or others by their ‘measly yardstick’!

I believe we are called to live
For higher ideals and purposes
I believe that each of us can be
Much more than we allow ourselves to be
If only we would know
The heights the human spirit can aspire to!

I’ve decided to be like the eagle
That flies above the storm
And sees places unseen to birds below.
I know it is a lonesome journey
But I believe that there are other eagles
I will meet and then I’ll have company!!! 

30 October 2012

You Are... - A Song


Here are the lyrics of another song I wrote and composed. It is addressed to God our Creator. 

The Song is titled "You Are"  

You are
more than equal
The King of all that is…
Yet You came and became nothing
So every soul shall live
Who am I that I should take pride?
Who am I that I should look down from high?
Who am I? 

Chorus: 
My Lord the Master of the universe!
My Lord the King of kings!
My Lord the Savior the sacrifice
Who teaches me how to live 

In my sin…
You never shunned me
You came and gave me hope
From within I was so broken
You brought my soul to life
Who am I to look down on others?
Who am I to ill-treat my brothers?  
Who am I? 

Chorus

Filled with smiles
my heart is singing
The song of eternal joy
By Your love Your warmth is healing
Every wound inside
Why would I not share it with others?
Why should I not of Your love testify?
Why shouldn’t I?

Chorus 

With all my heart
I want to praise You 
You’re more than life to me!
All my life I want to serve You
Make my life count for You!
It is my joy to do as You tell me
It is my pride to call You my own!
I am Yours! 

Chorus

Women of God


Here's a song I wrote and composed specially about women and for women. Here are the lyrics of the song...  

Women of God

Noble and gentle, 
Honest and meek
Working in earnest
Strength and dignity 
Called to be pillars
Of the church and the home
Called to be daughters 
Drawing near to God’s throne!

Chorus: 
We are women of God 
Who worship the Lord
Who sit at His feet 
And minister to the weak
We feast on His Word
Draw strength from the Lord
Growing stronger and wiser
Humbly serving the Lord.

Looking up to the women 
Who lived out their faith
To Deborah and Miriam, 
Hannah, Ruth and Esther,
To Huldah and Rahab, 
Elizabeth and Mary
We are striving to write out
Our own faith-story!!!

The LORD God has called us
To be samples of His love
To be vessels of His grace
To be beacons of light!
To call back His own
To bring them to His throne
To fly high in spirit
And be forever His own!

P.S: I was hoping that the song would spell out what we can aspire to be as true 'women of God'. I am happy that I have had the privilege to know such women of God too!

29 October 2012

Sparks of Inspiration


I am amazed at the intricacies of life around me
The spread of beauty that enthrals my soul
The hues and colors that refresh my heart
And enthuses me to do good things.

Some things stand out amidst the squalor of despair
Some tiny brave hearts and some large but gentle souls
The stark contrast of extremes that play together
And weave a beautiful tapestry of life.

Life emerging from the cracks and crevices around
The rays of light reflecting from a tiny little stone
Transforming a dark and dingy hole
Into a lit palace laden with treasures.

I feel happy when I see goodness in unlikely places
The strings of hope sing songs that bless my heart
My feet wait to dance with joy never ending
My eyes shed a tear of joy at the victory.

In a dark and weary day as I walk the roads of life
Seeing a little bird or butterfly refreshes me
A feeling of bliss passes like a whiff of sweet perfume
When I smell the fragrance of the land bathed in the first shower.

I have a treasure chest of memories
Filled with the awesomeness of little things
Whenever I feel down with discouragement
I look for these sparks of inspiration. 

Engraved


Life has taught me some grave lessons.

I have learnt after several wounds
That if you don’t care for yourself and your interests
No one else will do it for you.

Some people are blessed to have loved ones who care
Who teach them how to look out for themselves
For those less fortunate
The vagaries of life don’t spare
They ruthlessly tear you down
Until you learn to lift up your hands
And shield yourself.

I had lost my faith in human beings
Seen things I never wanted to see
Known the depths of depravity that some can go to
For mere material gains
They can kill and maim the spirit of others
Just to ride the wave of success themselves.

In the places that stand for justice
There can be grave injustice
In places where love is worshipped
There can be ugliness of hate
And in those who pledge to build others
There can be envy and jealousy
Such hypocrisy that I cannot bear!

I used to feel sorry for my losses
The precious things of life that I lost
But it was then that I understood
That learning is better than ignorance
And wisdom is better than knowledge
Some people cannot tell the difference
While I can cause life taught me well.

I thank God for the lessons I learnt
For His protection that didn’t let me perish
As storms caused havoc around me
For every grief He gave me a nugget of wisdom
For every loss a deep place in my heart
I heard that these very deep places
Store blessings when the showers come.

I am still learning in the school of life. 

Crossroads


Standing at a crossroad once again
I frown, I fret and complain
Why?

After a while the drama subsides
My heart makes a note
Of the time and place
An afterthought peeks in
Have I been here before?

The terrain seems similar
But the trail is different
This time I have reached the same place
Through another route
Yet the lesson is the same.

I am puzzled
Amazed that the result of two different situations
Can be one simple lesson
A lesson for life
I feel happy at last
As I know that finally I can turn the page! 

25 September 2012

To the Timeless Living God - Holy is His Name!

These are very significant days. Days when the destiny of persons and people is being decided by God. Days when God looks into the Book - the book that records our lives and the things we do.

These are days when we will see the awesome power of God. The power with which He will rule over the earth. The power with which a righteous and holy God like Him will stand up for the oppressed, those crushed by injustice and brought down by suffering caused by their adversaries.   The power with which He will cut off those who didn't take His repeated warnings seriously and repent when He gave them time. The time to repent is running out... let us repent for all our wrongdoings - whether in thought, in word or deed - so we can be right with God!

God is a holy God who loves us and doesn't want even a single one of us to perish. That is why Jesus chose to pay the price for us and our sins! We can be saved only if we accept the sacrifice Jesus made. Since only those who know they need to be saved will accept a Savior we need to accept Jesus as our Savior and be washed in His blood. It is His blood that cleanses us. Once clean we can stand before God the Father when the Book is opened and we will be deemed righteous because Jesus paid the price for us. He saves us from the consequences of our sins! His only desire is that we will now - having been cleansed from sin - walk right with God, live a life that pleases Him and sin no more. Can we fulfill His desire? He has given His all for us can we give Him our love, our sincere obedience and life?

Here is a song that rightly worship the one true God who is beyond time and space, whose righteous acts are written in the Bible! I love this song... and this video is so apt too, it reminds us of those who are heroes of faith and how their acts glorified God. May we do the same in this generation and may the desires of our LORD God be fulfilled! Amen.



P.S: This is not a song by me. Please see the credits on the video to know more. 

My Confidence is in the Lord!

The Power of the Blood - A song on what the Lord has done in my life! 


We may find ourselves in difficult situations... Life is like that. The best thing is that any difficult situation doesn't have to bring us down!

We can ask the Lord Jesus to help us, to intervene for us or even wash us clean from the sins that we have committed. In Him, we can have this confidence that we'll be safe! We can rest in the knowledge that His love for us is true and that He will conquer every adversary who stands against us, even Satan himself!

No matter what battles you are fighting today just remember Jesus conquered them all at the cross! No evil can come against you if you hold on to HIM!

This is a song that re-iterates our faith and confidence in the Lord and His accomplished work against our enemy! Learn it and sing it to remind yourself that you are indeed saved, made whole and have nothing to worry. The lyrics are given below...

God be with you!

~ Henrietta

Lyrics of the Song - The Power of the Blood 


By the Power of the Blood of Jesus
I’m saved!
By the Power of the Blood of Jesus
I’m made whole
He saved me! He saved me!
And He made me whole
I’ve nothing to worry
Cause He’s in control

Now I know that any power of evil 
Won’t hold
And the value of the blood of Jesus
More than gold
Cos He saved me! He saved me
And He gave me life
No Satan can stand up
Before the Author of life!

Even in the face of pain and sorrow
I’ll stand
Even burning in the fiery furnace
He holds my hand
He’ll save me, He’ll save us
I know I can be sure
Cause He faced death just for me
My pain to endure.  

Henrietta Decruz (C) 

30 July 2012

What matters is...


Yes we have trouble
Yes it hurts
Yes it feels terrible
But what matters is
We are overcoming it!

Every dark day
Every rough patch
Every crazy problem
Has to sometime
Come to an end.

Looking back
Every problem
Taught us something
Every difficulty
Was a reason to grow!

Don’t ask
For comfort or luxury
Don’t ask for an easy path
The roses may smell good
But heroes are made by thorns.

28 February 2012

Ideas to Make a Better Society


You could call it the creative mind at work... While I travel I see different things around me and suddenly thoughts jump up at me, “What if this could be fixed like this...!” I smile... then I think, “Is it possible to make such things happen?”

One person alone may not be able to make the whole idea fall into place... I believe different people with different capabilities and guided by the same intention to see social change can make these things happen. In fact it would surely be possible if some people in places of authority took up such ideas and added energy and dedication to them so that we can see the change we are hoping for.

Are you wondering what kind of ideas I am talking about? Well they could be plain and simple ideas or they could be out of the box, different and sometimes crazy sounding ideas... all the same, the similarity in them is that they aim at changing something for the better.

A picture of me during the train ride that inspired me!
Like for instance, while travelling by the local train in Mumbai during my last visit there I saw the sides of the railway tracks all littered with paper and trash of every kind. I wondered how people living on the sides of these railway tracks were putting up with living around with such dirty surroundings.

As I was thinking about this, I suddenly noticed there was a lot of paper and plastic waste around which could easily be recycled. This brought to my mind that huge group of recyclers we know as ‘rag pickers’ who many take to be a nuisance but actually serve society by contributing to the recycling industry – silently.

I thought what if the railways chose a day when they would allow rag pickers to come and pick up every recyclable paper, plastic, carton, etc from the railway tracks and earn whatever they could from it? The result would be cleaner tracks, better surroundings around the railway areas and a better income for these rag pickers! It would be a way of society telling these rag pickers that we value them, care for them and it would build up their self esteem and probably a good number of them would start caring more about themselves as a result of this.

I know this is only possible if someone in the railways and at a place where such decisions can be made – takes up this idea and works it out. There are some NGOs working with rag pickers in Mumbai and they could form the team that will help bring this plan into action. It may sound crazy but I think it is very workable... all we need is the enthusiasm to bring about change!!!

Another idea... Well I have used public transport a lot in the years before and I used to fret a lot about the condition of some of the APSRTC buses which didn’t have proper rods for passengers standing in the front to hold on to... I used to wonder who on earth designed these buses because they didn’t seem to bother what would happen to the people standing there when the bus was over full and when the brakes were applied suddenly. I wondered if those who designed utility vehicles and other products think about the people who have to use those things when different situations arose. Well, thankfully they started phasing out those old rickety and terribly designed buses for better ones and the problem is being taken care of.

One more idea... I work with a Deaf NGO called Deaf Enabled Foundation and I have become sensitised to the needs of the Deaf in our country. One of their needs is that all movies, television programmes, videos and audio material be available with sub-titles because they cannot hear what is being said. While thinking about this it suddenly struck me that it is very possible if we can get a software made which would in the opposite way of ‘Narrator’ which is normally used to read out written material and is available with Microsoft Windows. In this case we need words spoken in any form to be transliterated and typed in subtitle form. This facility is needed in different languages.

Deaf Enabled Foundation Members at the International Deaf Day Rally 
I believe if brilliant software developers put their minds to this, it is very possible. Whenever they accomplish this, it can be made available for all television channels and government machinery like railway stations and all public places where announcements are made so that the Deaf can understand what is being spoken. Now that is a challenge that perhaps Microsoft and other companies who create software can take up as a CSR initiative! I would be overjoyed to see my Deaf brothers and sisters get the information they should be getting because it is their fundamental right to information!

Well, in a nutshell I would say we have a lot of creative minds in society who can be brought together to resolve the problems faced in society if they are allowed to collaborate with the people in authority. The main criteria for selection of such creative people into such a ‘Think Tank’ should be that their intention is to do good for society without any selfish interest. In doing so they could impact society and be instrumental in building in a better future for everyone. 


Maybe you are a creative person and you too have good ideas that could bring about change. Well, don't keep them to yourself, share them and hopefully in the future someday, your idea will germinate and bring about the change that is needed to transform the lives of many people. Maybe we creatives from around the world could come together and form  'Creatives For Change' or something like that... Who knows! It is possible!
Well friends, let the good ideas keep coming and may they be implemented too! Here’s to a better society and a better future! 

27 January 2012

The Rules of the Game


It is an interesting sight to watch little children playing games together. We can see they have a leader who decides which game the group should play. He spells out the rules about what they are allowed to do and what they should not do. The leader has the power to throw out players who don’t follow his rules!

Pretty simple isn’t it? The leader chooses the game and sets the rules and others just simply have to obey those rules. Breaking those rules mean forfeiting the prize or getting thrown out of the game. Both of these eventualities are decided by the leader. 

Well it may be very simple to understand in terms of children’s play but when we have to accept the same scenario in real life, it doesn’t really go well with most of us. We are a generation that likes to live ‘my way!’ and smirk at the rules altogether. ‘Rules are meant for breaking’ is a common statement we hear almost everywhere. For the current ‘generation ME’ or ‘generation next’ living the ‘right way’ is ‘unfashionable’ and ‘boring’. Is it any surprise that we have increasing instances of accidents, disease, death or destruction because people don’t follow any rules related to traffic, health, prevention of addiction or the way to keep peace?

The question is how do we look at rules? Do we look at them as some mean person’s scheme to make our lives more difficult and miserable? Or do we look at them as instructions meant to make our life smoother, easier and safer for everyone concerned? Our outlook towards them decides whether we obey or disobey them.

With rules there are consequences for not following them. Just as the leader in the children’s game decides that someone should be removed from the game because they broke the rules, in real life too, breaking rules have consequences… sometimes very severe. For example, those who use the road as a racetrack may ultimately meet with a grave accident due to their no-respect-for-rules attitude and if they die it means that there is no return to the game of ‘life’. At other times, there is a warning, a fine, an imprisonment or your license could be confiscated.

We may not like the idea of rules, but the fact is that these rules govern every area of our lives right from the spiritual, physical, social, financial and all aspects of life. The universe we live in has its own laws. We are all familiar with the laws of gravity thus we know that if we throw something up it would certainly come down.  This law is a reality, one that we live in. It is the same with other universal laws such as the law of cause and effect, the law of compensation, etc.

Who made the universal laws that govern our existence? Did they just come to being? Absolutely not! There is Someone who made the universe and brought everything into existence by His power. He made the earth, the sun, the moon, the planets and all the creatures on earth. He also ordained the times and seasons for everything and we are able to plan things throughout the year simply because the cycles He planned at the beginning of time have been going on continuously since the time He made them. We know Him as the one true God.

Everything in the universe moves according to how God ordained. Considering we have to acknowledge that the rules He made concerning how a man should live, where he would go after death and the result of doing evil will also have effect. It is a fact that every living creature has to die and each of them is governed by the rules made by God. Whether we accept His existence or not is of no consequence to Him. He ‘is’ and therefore what He ordained stands and no one can fight Him and have their way. Just like the leader in a children’s game, He has His way. His rules apply and are carried out by all elements in the universe – living or non living. Those who go against His ordained rules face getting thrown out of the game, which here would mean death – eternal death.

We know that there are consequences to every addiction. Alcohol, drugs, sex, food, gambling, or anything a person may be addicted to in the end tends to swallow that person’s life and leave him shallow, lifeless or even dead. Too much of anything is bad, too much of salt is bad for your BP, too much of sugar has severe consequences too. Most diseases we have are a result of too much! ‘Too much’ love for anything tends to become a bondage, a prison which is difficult to get out of. God has given warnings to us so we can avoid getting into such predicaments. We are also warned about an excessive love for power, money or anything that is worldly. We are warned that those who live by the sword, die by the sword and that love for money is the root of all evil.

Why did God make all these rules? Why does God tell us such things? The answer is because He cares for us. He wants us to treasure ourselves and value our lives. Just as when a mother tells her child to keep away from the fire so that she won’t be burnt, in His love God sets boundaries for us so that we too can be safe.

Rules and laws protect us and our rights. Imagine if you made a deal with someone and paid them all the money but they failed to keep their part and didn’t deliver the goods. If there were no laws you would not be able to do anything about it but since there are laws you have a way of dealing with the problem and getting your money back. Without rules society would become a lawless jungle where anyone can behave anyhow, do anything that harms others and no one would stop him. Rules and laws are God’s way to ensure there is order in everything. When rules are broken they help us know that there is a problem that needs to be solved.

Obeying or disobeying the rules God made not only affects our present and future life on earth but also our eternal destiny. We know everyone of us will die someday. What happens after we die? Well, God has also made a place called ‘Hell’. Hell is referred to in the Bible as ‘Gehenna’ of fire, Hades or the lake of fire – the second death

Jesus illustrated this in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. Both of them died. “And in Hades (the realm of the dead), being in torment, the rich man lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far away, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried out and said, “Father Abraham, have pity and mercy on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame. But Abraham said, “Between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who want to pass from this [place] to you may not be able, and no one may pass from there to us.” Luke 16:22-24,26

‘Why should we care about Heaven and Hell?’ you may ask. Well I know it to be the Truth. I understand that you may choose to disagree with it… However, there is one thing you must consider, what if you are wrong? Would you personally choose to spend eternity in a lake of fire? We are not talking about one year, ten years or fifty years… we are talking about forever! Obey the rules or commandments of God and enjoy eternity in heaven where there is joy of every kind OR disobey them and spend eternity like the rich man in the parable – in Hell, the lake of fire, the place of eternal torment.  

Personally speaking… I prefer obeying and going to heaven even if I have to suffer on account of it in earth… After all, permanent is more important than temporary, isn’t it?