Acts of commission and omission…

An act of Commission, is the doing of an act that causes harm, an action by a person that perpetrates an offence. Commission is performing an act that results in some harm. Omission is not performing an act that is usually done or expected to be performed .

Think of it as omit vs commit. It is often thought, that one is more liable for omission. However, is doing something, unless it is blatantly wrong, not as answerable when it results from acts of commission rather than acts of omission? This is pure pedantic and there is no denying that both are equally damaging and hurtful…specially so in our personal lives, choices and decisions…since they involve issues dealing with responsibility …care…integrity…liability…sensitivity…honesty…conscientiousness…concern…love…family…

Social and personal choices of commission, involve words or actions that actually affect other people…personal choices in matters of family…disclosure of personal data or information…acts that move consciences…moral acts based on intentions and volition…cynicism and anger posturing as virtue and religiosity…

Similarly, acts of omission, involve actions or words affecting others on a physical level too, such as withholding a loving word…the pat on the back…that vital word of encouragement…a desperately needed hug of reassurance…acts, words, withheld, not just by outwards deeds, but by an inner activity of the mind…refusal to say the right thing…the lack of grace and humility to accept an inner cacophony of self righteous posturing…

It is the rising above this…in spite of oneself, that is true virtue and devotion…leaving the ego on the back seat…which is one of the Good Lord’s cardinal laws…the most arduous battle of them all…understanding of these acts as conscious and voluntary…ownership of one’s actions…acceptance of some higher law that we must submit to… As always, the prayer for His grace, is the answer…

A train journey through the desert…

An unlikely journey through a desert of Arabia…by train…alone…got many of my loved ones really rattled! For me…it was an adventurous journey in a land where I find the need for personal definition at it’s peak…I struggle to find myself in a land, where contrary to perception and all expectations…and in spite of my apprehensions, I have never encountered any disrespect or lack  of courtesy…

Whilst realizing that this bias I carry, is one that is ingrained into my physche through various mediums…mediums through which there is no denying, the truth often gets royally mangled out of shape! I am also well aware, that my good experience is not always the norm…it has been my good fortune…or is that only my bias showing up again? I am a frequent visitor to this part of the world…I have no untoward “stories” to tell…hence, it was almost as if I was pushing the ante by this solo train journey…

Once again…I am blown away at the amazingly positive experience it turned out to be…in so many ways ! The train journey itself started with little to be desired in the speed…thoroughness…courtesy…ease…of the check-in procedure. The comfort and hospitality zone…service…attention to time schedules…were all exemplary! The impact of the terrain we travelled through…the desert…was dazzlingly powerful and starkly beautiful as it was severe in the raw intensity of it’s unending expanse…the fiery sunset lent multiple hues and speckled the sand dunes in a breathtaking picture….the total lack of life for a great part of the journey…interspersed with areas dotted with strange colored camels caught your breath…the Good Lord in keeping with the severe beauty of the landscape had these in…black and white too ! Incredible…quite awe-inspiring…

In parts of the journey, we often came close to the oil rich…ultra modern…signs of technology…in a state-of-the-art train…with other single Arab women also traveling alone like me ! A stark reminder of the dichotomy and reality that is the Arab world today…

 That is the dichotomy I struggle with, I realize! This concept of shadow worlds, so to speak, that run parallel…to the world I know…the world I take to be the real world…very egoistically…bringing personal convictions and ethics to the table of another’s culture and choices. The realization, that my personal sense of acknowledgement and confirmation has to take a back seat…irrespective of an almost strong sense of violation…comes home to me as powerfully as the impact of the terrain I travel through! A journey of learning…another learning curve…

Changing lifestyles…

I am traveling once again…after a brief…hectic…fun filled time back “home”. I seem to be spending a lot of time and life…traveling to various parts of the world to be with loved ones…loved ones, who now no longer choose to live in our land of origin! This is a pronounced and definitive life-style change, which seems to have come about in my lifetime…one however, that we are all, still trying to find our bearings in…

Father was a diplomat and as such, we travelled and lived away from “home”…so to speak. We went back in the holidays and it was something we really looked forward to. Our very large family clan, were in the majority, still all there and it was a truly magical and fun time to be together. At the never ending family parties…we needed no outsiders…we were a number to be reckoned with, just on our own! Good times…

We still meet frequently…love of family is a mainstay…only, we are not so many now when we get together…the same sort of numbers are now, more often than not, found in different parts of the world! From my grandparents generation…three of my grandparents never left home base in their lives…this is a drastic…life changing…lifestyle change…

The “global village” our world has become, is an undeniable reality…however…what is also undeniable…although not often acknowledged…is the search for definition that is irrefutable in this relocation process. The search and journey to acceptance in foreign climes…the effort and manner towards assimilation…the vulnerabilities at play, whilst trying to find oneself, charting through unfamiliar territory…the grace, to let go gracefully of the tug at your heart, towards your “home” of origin…without letting unkind and unnecessary justification be the basis for accepting ownership of changed loyalties…therein lies the greatest challenge to this rampant life style change these days…

 All the art of living…irrespective of geography…lies in the fine mingling of letting go and holding on…because life is a long lesson in humility…

Sisters…

It is said…that of two sisters, one is always the watcher, the other the dancer! I have watched my younger sister dance away…often with reckless abandon…and always loved it…and her! She has also led many of us who love her…with unfaltering tenderness…on merry and fun filled dances…and we have all loved her for it…often, when it was over though!

On this birthday of hers…after many years…due to a travel destination that did not allow this…we have not spoken. I have missed it badly, I know she has too…because sisters know why you are as you are…and accept it…because, sisters know the original text! You may grow up to be different…and people may sometimes say…”You are sisters? Really!” Yes…really! Really, because we are bound by a common past…common ground…common territory…the thread of umpteen shared experiences…shared memories…a shared history…same prejudices that carry echoes of mother’s voice…a mutual knowledge of the intuitive, unspoken kind…all of these forge a strong, interwoven and emotional link, a link that transcends differences and often outlasts just about every other relationship! Marriage, husbands may come and go…death of parents…children often and eventually go away…friends lose touch, move away…the one thing that is never lost, is your sister…she is always around…a confidante…best friend…ally…”losing touch” is generally not an issue…

A sister is a gift to the heart…a friend to the spirit…a golden thread to the meaning of life…sisters are connected throughout their lives by an extraordinarily strong and special bond…truly, a blessing par excellence….

A literary bonanza…

Poetry…prose…theater performances…discussions about literature…art…the meaning of life…manna for the spirit and soul! The last two days have been spent around this environment and it has been a truly uplifting experience. Great thoughts, beautifully articulated…inspiring dialogue, compassionately delivered…a barrage of wise and informed discourse, brilliantly presented. The download speeds for absorbing and assimilating it all had to work overtime…and did so with joy and enthusiasm…

What it has also helped to highlight and bring home more forcefully, is the inherent need to connect to these things in the comfort zone of the vernacular. I have had the opportunity and privilege to study languages and speak a few…but the joy of hearing the vernacular being spoken with the ease…fluency and beauty that some great writers and poets have spoken in, these past couple of days, has touched a core…a core we often do not even acknowledge in the “busyness” of our daily life, which has now become so…global and international in the practice and practical scheme of things.

Although this globalization of speech…manner…dress…execution…has now become a natural need and way of life…and perfectly acceptable on many levels…the sense…significance…understanding that is enriched by the core perception of our roots…traditions…language is a space entirely on its own…a most comforting, comfort zone…