Reclaiming our Humanity…

The countdown to the New Year has started…depending on our geographical locations, the New year is closer to some of us than others and as this year reels to an end, the heart is saddened at the manner and speed at which our humanity is plummeting to baser depths than the mind and soul can even begin to grasp! Reeling in shock the paradigm of human behavior seems beyond almost any…human dimension! How does one fall into such an horrific abyss of brutality… injustice…atrocities…flagrant wrongs…which are now taking place across borders and continents with impunity and a scary nonchalance…with non committal and apathetic stances and  insouciant nods and approvals from the “powers that be”…this is certainly not the man the Good Lord made in His image…

I realize it is easy to lay blame…randomly on circumstances…lack of education… poverty…mob frenzy…but do we not as members of a Civil Society have to own up to having failed on all these levels…and then some…because we are witnessing regular barbaric acts of inhuman actions in our milieu…with no end in sight…unfortunately the media does not always help and has to stop pushing the envelope of depravity and horror just because that garners more readership…

Where does all this behavior take root? In the mothers arms..the mother who is regularly abused by a system that gives her no respect or dignity…in an education system that is defective even in it’s eliteness…in imparting or rather failing to impart core values of substance…in daily social dealings that lay no emphasis on justice and rights…on a total  lack of a commitment and adherence to laws of basic human conduct. Responsibility and  accountability, two vital humane proponents seem not to concern us too much…they are not qualities we seem to pay much attention to…admire…or even try to inculcate…

Public and personal outrage is also not new…despair… remorse…sorrow…anger…grief is demonstrated as a collective outpouring…but more is required…much more.! We have to relearn core human behavioral tenets…We have to relearn to live them…We have to stand up to be counted in a commitment for change…starting from each and everyone of us! 

As always, I do believe, that it is the belief in a higher form of accountability, that more often than not propels us towards a more humane and just approach to all we do and say. A regular dose of personal introspection and critical self analysis is absolutely vital! When all is said and done , we need to be prepared to stand up to be be counted ! Reclaiming our humanity is where we have to begin…there is no doubt that the pockets and islands of excellence that abound around us are praiseworthy on all sorts of levels…we do however still need to aspire to making serious commitments for change in our bid to reclaiming our humanity across the board…

This blogging year has been one of much joy…encouragement…discovery and personal growth…my blogging ‘family’ is now a vital part of my being…and although this year I have been absent from it for long periods of time…it is now very much a part of me! 

As always, the Lord be praised , we had a family Celebratory Finale to the year…and my common and blessed refrain is…truly my cup runneth over…

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year….may it be one of much joy…good health…love and laughter….inner peace for each one of us as well as a collective one for our world….

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Simply put…

Sometimes…nay…quite often my children say something so thought provoking, in such a simple manner that it takes my breath away…in the first instance at the renewed realization that they are by the Good Lord’s grace all grown up, astute, intelligent, wise in ways mothers are often surprised at, above all, most thankfully humane, with the added quality at their being able to put things in perspective so simply! This surprise is often followed by great joy and pride…so thank you all for having done that many a time even though I may not have told you…I have benefitted from it in so many ways unbeknown to all of you…God bless you…

The last such bit of a ‘simply put’ thought was concerning this blog…it has been of help almost in an unexpected way!  Often we lose track of our own narrative by giving in to the perceived and expected one! We are responsible for all the energy that we create for ourselves and hence we are also responsible for all the energy we bring into our space…for which we need to, not only take ownership but we also need to take pride in the space itself, without giving into the maintenance of a fantasy which we are subjected to on a regular basis. The maintenance of fantasy is fanned quite blatantly and insidiously through the media, advertising, peer pressure…and the holies of all holy…what will people say!

We indulge in this in the face of an unending and relentless barrage directed towards maintaining the fantasy…forgetting that the inherent dichotomy of fantasy is the maintaining of the unrealistic…it exists because the desire must be perpetually out of reach…desire supports fantastic fantasies! Getting caught up in this leads us away from the real purpose of life…which is the achieving of God’s Grace above all…we are exactly where we are meant to be…the manifestations of God are all around us…there are no coincidences…only and always…just the Grace of God…

So said Mark Twain…

A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on it’s shoes..

So said Mark Twain, many many, moons ago! In the world we live in today, this is so true! With the myriad of high tech transmitting devices available…a word is barely uttered, before it is already known somewhere else….unimaginable till not so very long ago…

What this does also mean is, that these lines of communication…as welcome in some scenarios…as they are distressing in others…are faced by the aspect mentioned in the above comment by Mark Twain…quite incredible since this line is from an age where our present communication scenario may have been fairly impossible to even imagine! The real worry is that in the transmitting…the truth is often royally mangled out of shape…the second…and third hand report is sometimes so distorted, that the mind boggles…whilst the ‘information’ continues to go it’s way silently and insidiously…creating havoc…heartache…distorted versions of reality…misconstrued…misrepresented and manipulated…with little semblance to it’s actual reality…

Is this the way of the future? Is this what we have worked for and towards? Is this really what we want? We are strange creatures…we humans…and that too is often a misnomer…with the wikileaks type distortions gaining momentum on the world stage…it is a free for all…a no holds barred voyeuristic scenario and society. Where exactly are we headed? 

The world has changed so much and so drastically in my lifetime…I, who have always felt I was born in a wrong time period to start with… Although I enjoy the perks of high tech technology as much as the next person…the framework of its working, utility and influence is disturbing. It’s all pervasive intrusion in all of our personal spaces is definitely a thought worthy of distilling, as much as it is worthy of genuine introspection in determining it’s rightful space in our lives….

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…

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…

Prayers for children….

These lines were written by Abraham Lincoln to his son’s tutor upon his joining school…these were our prayers too for all our children…not articulated as well….but always there…

Treat him gently…but do not coddle him because only the test of fire makes fine steel.
Let him have the courage to be impatient…let him have te patience to be brave.
Teach him always to have sublime faith in himself…because then he will always have sublime faith in mankind.
He will have to learn that all men are not just…all men are not true.
But teach him also that for every scoundrel there is a hero…that for every selfish politician there is a dedicated leader.
Teach him that for every enemy there is a friend.
It will take time, I know, but teach him if you can, that a dollar earned is of far more value than…five found!
Teach him to learn to lose and also…to enjoy winning!
Let him keep away from envy and learn that bullies are the easiest to lick!
Teach him if you please, the wonder of books…but also give him quiet time to ponder over the eternal mystery of birds in the sky…bees in the sun…and flowers on a green hillside.
This is a big order…but see what you can do…
He is such a fine little fellow…My son!
In school teach him that it is far more honorable to fail…than to cheat!
Teach him to have faith in his own ideas even if everyone tells him they are wrong!
Teach him to listen to all…but teach him also to filter all he hears on a screen of truth and take only the good that comes through!
Teach him to be gentle with gentle people and tough with the tough!
Try to give my son the strength not to follow the crowd when everyone is getting on the bandwagon!
Teach him to laugh when he is sad…and that there is no shame in tears!
Teach him to scoff at cynics and to beware of too much sweetness!
Teach him to sell his brawn to the highest bidder…but never to put a price on his heart and soul!

This powerful, inspiring and commendable prayer from a great man…is above all a parent ‘s prayer…these are universal truths…hopes…ambitions…prayers…and resonate with parents across the globe.

My youngest son, whose birthday it is today is well out of school classrooms…but these are prayers that are ever pertinent…and dedicated to him above all today. I am so very proud of all that he has grown into and achieved…his gentle and soft nature…his ability to bring laughter and sunshine to my world…his humanity and compassion…my prayer for him is that the Good Lord will always help and guide him and help him face and handle all the challenges that force us all to search for our center of gravity…to stay the course and accept that it takes both the rain and the sunshine to make a…rainbow! Amen….

The Triumph of Faith and Endurance…

For the last two days we have watched with bated breaths the culmination of a miracle on TV. Yes…the case of the trapped and now freed, Chilean miners! We spend so much of our time disputing the miracles of the Good Lord…whether by ignoring the daily sunrise and sunset…the magnificent beauties and magic of nature…or the cycle of life…but now, this miraculous journey of faith and endurance of the Chilean miners, the untiring and phenomenal journey of technology coupled with faith and commitment is there in all it’s irrefutable hi-tech reality…

This journey of hope started in real terms for the families of the miners and the  rest of us 17 days after it had actually begun for the miners…it is unimaginable to even begin to comprehend what they went through in those initial 17 days…but their hope and faith brimmed to the surface and the rest of the world in their first contact…an unforgettable moment…and from then on, the caravan of hope, work, technology, commitment, resilience , endurance , unity,  faith…culminated in the rescue of all the trapped miners…a record in every sense of the word and record stats. The heart sings at this modern day miracle…with thanks and gratitude to God for enabling us to make it happen…a blessing par excellence…

The wave of jubilation, camaraderie, team work, love , rejoicing, joyous triumph that greeted the first miner right up to the last one who surfaced was an unforgettable sight…a victory for humanity…cutting across borders, faiths , color, class, creeds…this is the lesson that this modern Day miracle brought to our world…this is the hope and commitment we need to remember. The cage that brought the miners out of the dark underworld bowels of the earth was named…the Phoenix…an apt name, full of hope and expectancy…is mankind ready to rise out of the ashes of tyranny, oppression, autocracy, domination…to a Second Coming…

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