I Believe…

As a rule we disbelieve all the facts and theories for which we have no use! 
Gustave Flaubert!

This is a hard  hitting and sadly little acknowledged fact of life. Whilst we all talk of our beliefs and freedoms and our levels of tolerance and understanding…we forget that freedoms are only safe when they are shared! As another wise man, Blaise Pascal said…Men do not do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it for religious reasons. This has sadly become a sad and vile aspect of our times, one that is talked about endlessly without any real and meaningful effort being put into addressing and solving this issue…which leads to the utterly devastating thought that “the powers that be” deliberately and insiduously turn a blind eye to this and let acts and incidents of this nature escalate to the levels of pure and unadulterated negation of all that is fine and moral and upright and worthy of being the Good Lord’s viceroy on earth…I believe we are continuously selling ourselves short on this exalted position, because I believe human beings have a unique place and responsibility among God’s creations…

I believe that any one person’s death due to violence and aggression is a heartrending and heartbreaking occurrence…this should not be given meaning and importance based on nationality…creed…color…gender…or geography!
I believe every violent death tears at the very fabric of the human rights of ‘civil society’! 
I believe it is easy to spout and sow seeds of discord and venom!
I believe that defending certain freedoms in a discriminatory manner is unworthy and unwise “double speak”!
I believe it is each and everyone of our’ responsibility to defuse this and start dialogues in our own spaces!
I believe we have to be careful not to buy into all that is being thrown at us! 
I believe Life prepares us through trials and tribulations…ups and downs…so as to be able to meet the rest of Life head on!
I believe Life is about growing to your own personal best in your own space…and taking responsibility for that space!
I believe Life is a privilege not a ride!
I believe that every action of mine will have an opposite reaction…and that what goes round comes around!
I believe that I cannot always control things around me…I can however control my reactions and subsequent actions of thought and deed !
I believe great Nations like people need to commit to the tenets of justice…truth…peace…human rights…freedom…on an even keel!
I believe that it is in the heart that all wars are fought and won!
I believe that the ultimate wisdom of God is greater than ours…and that we have to trust this and follow His edicts !
I believe positive and definitive personal change and growth must be the essence of Belief!
I believe that a people full of national honor and no sense of ownership of the Nation cannot make a difference!
I believe we all have the potential to make a difference!
I believe we are not trying seriously…mere lip service does not count!
I believe we have to stop waiting for a miracle whilst refusing to help create one!
I believe that our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world…as being able to make ourselves as a people and as Nations!
I believe universal truths are embedded in all our souls like a common DNA…
I believe the time has come to tap into them!

Advertisements

The Almighty Schedule…

The price of keeping to a schedule, with punctuality added to it for good measure is becoming more and more into a never ending series of games with no-one to play with but the ticking clock! It is said that there is a thin line between thinking of time as golden…and it being nothing more than a big chunk of fools gold…I have spent a big part of mine thinking that mine was obviously thought of as the latter…even as I am repeatedly told that this is nothing compared to a lifetime of just waiting for me…

Punctuality…almost as a discipline, was a motto carved in stone in our home! Father was one of the ‘old school’ who thought that it was not just a courtesy and a duty to keep a schedule and be on time, but a duty to the development of the self…he was just so perfect in his role of diplomat! In more disciplined and conscious societies this works…more…sadly in some parts of the world, the term being ‘ fashionably late’ has been taken to a whole different level…it now comes almost as a discipline in itself…with a whole new set of rules of the Game and of course it’s own set of ‘groupies’! It is becoming more and more a whole Brave New World out there and not only do I not feel brave enough to tackle it but oftentimes  painfully ill equipped to handle it and the nonchalant air of disregard that accompanies it…

I cannot help but think that this has to color all of the other aspects of our life…as an action…interaction…example…thought process…and way of life! How can the disregard for another’s time impact in any positive manner! On the contrary, it breeds a sense of contempt…disregard…disrespect…besides being sheer bad manners…but then, maybe I am being harsh and deserving of that common refrain…old fashioned…passe! Aristotle said…to enjoy the things we ought and to hate the things we ought has the greatest bearing on excellence of character…it is just that each generation has its own list of such things…hence the Generation Gap…I however remain stuck in the groove  of craving a world with a more gracious and secure sense of dispensation and conduct…whilst waiting with a cup of coffee…

A Leap of Faith…

In the face of an unending and relentless barrage of negative news, events, non events, disasters…natural and man made, it is becoming easier to throw up one’s hands in despair, giving in to the hype of a sinking ship of state. This brew has been simmering on the flame of discontent for a while now…slowly sliding into, more than anything else, a burning morass of heartbreak…however…when all is said and done…heard and found difficult to digest…the sorrow and anger seems to be misplaced and is wrongfully eating away at the very moral fibre of our collective moral responsibility of actions and beliefs…and needs a committed leap of faith once again after so many years…

Actions in the form of national ownership is the need of the hour…paying lip service in the secure confines of our comfort zones is not going to do it anymore! Standing up to be counted has to be the diktat of the times. We have to believe this in the face of all that goes against it! We have to believe that the Good Lord is in His heaven and all is in His control! Giving in to despair is a negation of this belief! This is the leap of faith that has to prompt us to become those pockets of excellence that have helped us all these years! Creating spaces of excellence and integrity in the personal, political and social discourse is vital to start the way back from the scourge of an immense spiritual, emotional, physical, ethical and intellectual wasteland…a wasteland being precipitated on account of apathy…doublethink…acceptance of contradictory beliefs…above all, an acceptance, adherence and fidelity to the corruption at all levels of personal, social and political discourse and behavior…

“When men stop believing in God, they don’t believe in nothing…they believe anything!” Chesterton very wisely said this many moons ago…it is as acutely pertinent today as ever…this is the divide we have to overcome today…this is the leap of faith we have to take to be part of a comprehensive process of rehabilitation of the incredulous wasteland our people and land are fast turning into…this has to be done with a deep and real sense of commitment, ownership and national honor and pride…

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…

Actions….and their chain reactions…

It often seems that this is such an inevitable train…and at times it is…but there are other times when you begin to think…believe…that there is no such thing…Sometimes we think it is just…this is only when it suits us…and sometimes it feels like a sledgehammer…and you are left wondering  about the whys and the wherefores…but, whether we want to believe…accept…take in our stride or not…actions do set in motion a different set of actions…a reaction…some to our liking and…some not so much…but there it is…c’est la vie my friend…

In retrospect we regurgitate all the actions which brought about a particular chain reaction…but it is done…and no amount of chest beating can change that…the domino effect was set into motion often unknown to us…by an unthinking word..action…non-action… But more often than not, it is the action…non action….word…we know to be not quite “right”…quite often it is a purely unthinking  knee jerk reaction…sometime we just do not take the time or effort to correct ourself…blaming it on circumstances, temperament, our nature…whatever…not realizing the severity of the chain reactions that then ensue…which can be calamitous…bewildering…unimagined…unwelcome…or then amazing…miraculous…warm and welcome. The reactions are always there…sometimes sooner than later…sometimes so far in the distance that we do not even connect the dots till much later….but a chain reaction will ensue…only sometimes not always what we had hoped for…

It is only then that we realize that the defining…definitive…appropriate…just thing to do or say…is always the “right” thing…we all know what that is…irrespective of our posturing…we know! But as always, we lead ourselves to believe that our actions were just and hence the negative reactions affecting us are a one-off happenstance…our tempers…egos…me…myself…always gets in the way! Sometimes even our effort not to…seems inadequate…half baked…till it is too late…the prayer is that the Good Lord in His grace and generosity grant us faith and humility and always help us to be the best we can…more often than not… 

Renewal of Faith…

We have a saying…custom…belief…about the evil eye…how an excess of good/happiness must ward off the evil eye with certain prayers…and although most of us will pooh-pooh the idea, there are definitely times when it is frighteningly true…or so it certainly seems at the time…

Last week, after a glut of joyous bonhomie, an incident with a loved one, my son, had me thinking just this…as also remembering my mother who believed in this unequivocally, made no bones about it…and let everyone know…in case they thought otherwise…but then, they don’t make them like her anymore…

The manner in which he handled the whole incident…the calm…poise…practicality…understated acceptance…gave me wings of pride.. His attitude towards the incident set the tone for the rest of us…As Khalil Gibran so wisely said…Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you, as by the attitude you bring to life…not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens to you…this was done in quite an exemplary manner…

I do believe that, determined by your attitude, the Good Lord then sets the pace for the next set of incidents…action…in motion…and miraculously the whole incident was reversed in a manner that is hard to explain…quite unbelievable…but there it is…the test of renewal of faith, based on the acceptance of a greater plan…

Previous Older Entries