Passage of Time…

Days…weeks…months…sometimes they all seem to merge into one another and at others…they never seem to end…or so it seems to us! The truth here is not quite so simple, because what really influences us in this passage of time, is our personal and biased perception of what we are passing through…that is what colors our viewpoints and choices…however, the moment we switch off our innate…biased …perceived views and notions…our preconceived ideas…a whole different aspect of looking at things opens up…or at least a more credible way of viewing the other facet…

The words of truth are often paradoxical…truthful words are not always beautiful just as beautiful words are not always truthful….so too is the fact that good words are not always persuasive and persuasive words not always good…a favorite quote to cover all one’s flanks comes to mind…Do I contradict myself? Very well then…I do…I am large and full of multitudes…but the fact is that everything is not always what you think it is and when we sometimes encounter that…we are taken aback…sometimes quite surprisingly and positively but, because we think we have a position to maintain, we quickly put our biased blinkers back on…

Human understanding is often inconsistent with true understanding…constant effort is necessary to keep knowledge square with the march of time. The paradoxes of life bring us to points when we start to understand just a little more…apparent loss may be real gain…cruelty may be real mercy…returning good for evil may really be justice and not generosity…as well as the realization that sometimes justice is easy, doing right not always so…the real test is being  humane enough to reel in the negative…and begin the journey to a more compassionate awareness…through it all, recognizing the Good Lord’s hand and wisdom which transcends all human calculations…

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In the Good Lord’s name…

“I am convinced about the veracity of my opinions, but I do consider it likely that they may turn out to be incorrect. Likewise, I am convinced about the incorrectness of the views different from mine, but I do concede the possibility that they may turn out to be correct.” – Imam Shafa’i

In the wake of so much distilling of religious thoughts…so much misrepresentation of belief systems…so much misdirected and misguided action and adherence…it is noteworthy to ponder the above as also, be pro-active oneself, in the dissemination and understanding of life as a whole…with special attention to belief systems.

As in all systems of belief…conduct…posture…interaction…relationships…responsibility, humility as a vital human element cannot be underscored or undermined in it’s most basic factor…the human aspect. Belief systems across the board give this the importance and place it deserves…requires and demands. It is only when we give in to man made injunctions and laws, based on misguided interpretations…given wind by traditions based on traditional practices…without thought or research into it’s veracity or divine background…fanned by popular and mindless rhetoric that we get situations and scenarios that are harmful…tragic…unbelievably sad and undeniably reactive. The sadness is, that this is all done in the Good Lord’s name…whereas the need of the hour is knowledge of the Divine based on compassion…love…wisdom…tolerance…understanding…dialogue…submission to a higher authority, as also a deeper…pervasive…intelligent…responsible and more humane attitude and behavior…in the Good Lord’s name…

Japan…

The tragedy that has struck Japan is heartbreaking…the aftershocks…are quite  literally being felt…not only by those living there…but emotionally by everyone across the globe. The terrifying images broadcast worldwide are just that…terrifying in their recording of the harsh…cruel…pitiless nature of natural calamities…It is at times like these above all, that our faith and belief is tested and we have to believe and understand that God is in everything and everywhere…

When things crumble in our world, we try to hold fast to whatever we can in the search for a signature of sense…how comforting it would be if things made sense and we could just slot everything into neat little boxes and compartments…but that is not how life is…it is in these acts of the divine in the play of life that we have to find meaning. It is at times such as these that our moments become more precious…that our choices change…the meaning of our choices evolve…on personal levels and on national and international response levels…

Japan has planned for such disasters…has prepared their populace for such…has developed and deployed technologies to limit damage caused by earthquakes and tsunamis…but nothing quite prepares you for…this…because there are limits to what even the best of human preparation can do in the face of…nature! After having said that, the national response in Japan has been awe-inspiring…it is in such scenarios that the acts and reactions of a people are definitively brought to the fore…primarily through what the national consciousness has been taught…their education and respect for discipline and order…for positive reconstructive energy and actions…we are what we stand for…what we endeavor towards…what we believe in…

The search and hunger to find meaning in our lives is an ongoing process…there is a deep craving for meaningful spirituality and faith. In the face of this natural calamity of epic proportion with all the compassionate responses of kind…of prayers for strength and fortitude…we have to bring more of the Divine into the expression of our responses…we have to be more of that reflection of divinity… Our Faith is our highest gift and in these trying times it will be tested…The Good Lord gives us the power to choose…once again…

Gen Y….

A comment by a very dear and loved young one of mine, about a style and sport icon, started me thinking on the ways this new generation connects the dots…and how refreshingly and compassionately different it is to my generation’s. I think it is still a bit of a shock to the system when you realize anew…that we are now in the most part…the eldest generation around…and when the generation gap is talked about…it is us ‘they’ are referring to…we need to get used to this…I need to get used to it…and stop letting it jolt me every time!

With things like…you are only as old as you look…feel…act…the unnatural emphasis on the Botox phenomena and dressing trends incongruous with age…the oft repeated and enjoyed phrases…the 60’s are the new 50’s…50’s are the new 40’s…or that age is only mind over matter…we do tend to sometimes forget that we are…once again with feeling…in the most part…the eldest generation around…

In another post…The joy of children’s successes…I wrote that I feel this generation is one worthy of much praise for their handling of their own personal spaces. I do think they do so in the most part…with an endearing lack of pretension that is most creditable. Their likes and life choices are governed by a strong sense of justice and humanity…their search in learning and working spheres based on individualism…their disowning of an artificial, make believe style of living, dress, attitudes and perception of the other…their unbiased judging of others choices…their concepts of things that really don’t matter…an ownership of their life…space…choices is one to be admired for it’s confident truthfulness…a truthfulness to be appreciated, because the truth is often paradoxical and not always pretty…and also because I feel my generation has often not been a worthy one as far as role models are concerned…

This post is dedicated to these young ones who are learning most ably to rejoice in the way things are…with confidence…compassion…kindness…truthfulness and for taking ownership of their choices with modesty…courage and an almost nonchalant awareness that when you realize that nothing is lacking the whole world belongs to you…

De Trop…

Too much…more than necessary…excessive…over the top…nothing quite captures the nuances of this in the translation…and so, the “lost in translation” really hits home…

What exactly do we mean when we say this? We say this in different and random scenarios…at confusing times…at stressed moments…in mystifying scenarios…at perplexing times…at times of impending gloom…even in moments of great exuberance…a famous line comes to mind and encapsulates this…It’s not the load that breaks you down…It’s the way you carry it! In the final analysis it is having the confidence and faith in your own space…in spite of everything…that is the definitive quality required in handling the…de trop…

Life is very often stranger than fiction…the turns and twists it unexpectedly takes, often leaves you reeling, but, when you think about it, you realize, you have to let reality…be! You have to let some things flow, after having done whatever it takes, to ensure your reality is taking you in a certain direction…heading a specific way…and not just flowing with wherever it seems to be going… As it is also said…nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished…

Which of course then brings you to the understanding that you have to rejoice in  the way things are…live in the moment…because at the center of your being you have the answer to what you want and more importantly, who you are… Which is why we have to go  with the flow of the natural and spontaneous changes in life…respond intelligently…learn from them…develop and hone innate strengths on this journey…grow through them…embrace their learning curve capacity, and…carpe diem…seize the day…