An Open Mind…

A fellow blogger very wisely reiterated the reminder that…a mind not open to other’s thoughts and ideas is a great tragedy. This is I think one of life’s major challenges…one that is sadly gaining traction in the inability to give the other the benefit and respect of listening with an open mind to their beliefs…opinions…perspectives…Choices…because we have forgotten that…minds like  parachutes, work best when open…

I do believe that to operate from a paradigm of an open…receptive…unbiased…and compassionate mind is definitive on so many levels and enables one to give life a meaning that is not always possible otherwise. It is important to give significance to our lives by giving importance to and valuing the  lives of others…this is not always easy,  but then, very few things worth doing are! Morals of excellence are created by showing tolerance in personal spaces between ourselves…as also creating spaces in the political and religious discourse…using the power of the heart as well as the power and depth of the mind. To respond intelligently, with humility, tolerance and kindness…is justice, the firmest pillar of society….to wax indignant, harboring justifiable feelings of resentment…prejudice…superiority… is so much easier but lacks developing the incomparable potential that is an inherent part of human nature and  embedded in everyone’s soul like a shared DNA…

The Good Lord works in mysterious ways and this last week just as this was on my mind..I found myself in positions that needed all this and more on the table…I met a friend after a long time…the path and choices of her personal journey of growth has been one that has not always  been easy to understand…accept or wrap my mind around…it is still hard…but it has been her journey and one that now seems to have brought her a sense of inner peace…it gives me a warm sense of comfort for her…I also heard a scholar whose  erudition…knowledge…sagacity…is praiseworthy…just one I find hard to relate to…his impact on others is significant…even whilst I find it difficult to comprehend! What is apparent thereof is that the paths to personal evolvement…growth…understanding…learning… and the curve it takes, are not just varied but also sometimes incomprehensible to our understanding…that does not make them wrong…just different…the difference often being the ability not to jump to make harsh judgement calls for things…opinions…views…lifestyles…choices which are difficult to comprehend and relate to…because it is only together, with everyone contributing in the firm belief that we can make a difference…that we do…

 Voltaire said…I may not agree with what you say but I will defend to death your right to say it…that may sound a  bit dramatic…but what a lot of wisdom that line carries…

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Happy Birthday Son…

It is my older son’s birthday today…I am on a transatlantic flight and although when I alight at my destination, it will still be his birthday for me…it will not be so for him…our lives seem almost surreal at times they have changed so much…but the one aspect…connection…link that is irrefutable and unchangeable…is the connective tissue of the mother to the child! There is a sort of magic that happens when you have a child…and through varying stages…ages…times…when the magic is not always so readily on tap…it is never really too far below the surface to tap into…motherhood has a special gene for this…the Good Lord be praised…

As mothers, our lives rarely follow a straight path…for obvious and natural reasons sometimes…but the discovery of self through your children is a journey of great learning…development…and unparalleled joy…interrupted often…but a ride worth every moment of it’s duration…finding oneself in the sandpits is often…playing the par course…but the journey is one of such incredible love…joy…fun…laughter…tears…angst…humility…pride…up to a day like this, when you can write about it with your head held high…thankful for the blessing of being able to say with bursting joy and pride…humility and thankfulness…This is my son!

The unparalleled joy of seeing a child exactly where he is supposed to be…be in harmony with his heart and universal truths…be able to remake himself and his goals with the passage of time and experience…be ready to explore and learn the power and depth of personal strengths…to have the insight to accept and understand the power of prayer in the development of character…to wisely use his heart and the Divine as a source of real power…is a blessing par excellence!

The prayer is that he will always be able to understand and accept his calling as opposed to fame…continue this path of discovery whilst maintaining dignity of choice…share his calling and gifts in the help of others…understand that we are the sum of the wisdom of the Divine and ancients, and be able to embrace this wisdom…sagacity…values…whilst taking responsibility for his own special positive energy that is his space…continue to develop and hone his innate goodness…and always continue to be the source of joy and pride he has always been…the prayer above all is, that he is able to use his God given gifts to propel himself to be the best that the Good Lord meant for him to be…always…Amen…

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…

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…

Ask…and you shall receive…

Sometimes it is the most inconsequential…trivial…unimportant things that bring home, this basic tenet of faith, with a bang…I feel strongly that asking for…more…with all that has been bestowed upon me so graciously and munificently may be a bit greedy…but there is no denying this basic tenet of belief systems across the board…

It is also when this grace is manifested voluntarily…repeatedly…graciously…that the ‘asking’ gives one room to ponder whilst acknowledging His grace. The ‘receiving’ is so random…regular…across the board…be it a last minute preferred seat allocation on an air journey…a shoe size for that shoe you must have…finding the perfect present for the loved one who has everything…a dining reservation opening up at that impossible to-get-restaurant…temperate weather for al-fresco entertainment…that unexpected but desired visit,call…love and friendships that make the heart sing…sleep in times of stress…the son,daughter,nephew,niece getting into the university,course,job they were wanting…an urgent dispensation regarding the health of near and dear ones…solace in the comfort zone of family…prayer for length of days for your near and dear…the list is wide ranging and stretches from the trivial to the life changing and is endless…spanning a life and…a life time…

When it is all given readily….magnanimously…repeatedly…we often think…we should have asked for something bigger…something more important…just…more…forgetting that at that point of time, that was obviously what was the most important and needed…which brings home the sad fact that we are very often ungrateful and demonstrate a real lack of grace and humility in the ‘asking’ and the ‘receiving’…

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… 

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