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!

Dubai…

Joy can be a little chaotic…and often such fun in the process! The last couple of weeks have been just this…a blessing that has been enjoyed to the hilt! As always, it is the ‘being together’ with your family of loved ones that makes it so…to be celebrating this time together in a city that has taken the world by storm in more ways than one…as well as left the world’s imagination reeling at it’s mind boggling transition…achievements…success…status…slide…and now a slow but determined path back…is as always, a lot of fun and good times…

Time spent enjoying the hospitality of dear friends…gasps of wonder at the incredible architectural wonder of a mosque with few parallels…a breathtaking ride up to the viewing tower of the world’s tallest building…gourmet eating experiences…the meeting up with kin in foreign lands, a charm of it’s own…the anxiety of a dear nephew’s experience with surgery and pride at his handling thereof…joy of seeing another in the process of settling into a new life…missing yet another very dear nephew badly…meeting up with friends with whom time spent apart has no relevance…hurried forays into fabulous shopping centers…leisurely sheesha indulgences…late nights spent connecting with loved ones…a memory bank nearing overflow…

Yes…joy can be a little chaotic! Coming back home to a third world city after premier cities of the world can be a bit of a downer…sadly more so since my home city was once known as the Paris of the East…now, coming back to a city beset with issues of malfunction is like diving headlong into a pool of heartbreaking pain…the sudden surge of adrenalin turns to one of heartache for what once was…should have been…could be still…if only this city of over twenty million decides to stand up and be counted in positive and functioning ways rather than just lamenting over what we have been brought to! After having said and felt that…the joy of being really and truly home, is still incomparable…irrespective of where home is…

The dots that connect…

My granddaughter read my last post and said with a reluctant air of disappointment…but it is mostly about mum! Children have this precious gift of saying it like it is…not hiding their feelings…no camouflaging…no masking…which is a refreshing…upfront…laying it on the line…an oft much needed breath of fresh air in this world of ours, when we often say one thing…mean another…posture…whilst inwardly flinching…lay it on thickly…well aware of the hypocrisy of it all…

Yes…being in my daughter’s home does beam the focus more on her…my first born…but what I have to get my very dear first born grandchild to understand is…that every relationship has it’s own special place…and the emphasis…focus…accent on any one, does not in the least take away from the other! This does however, more often than not, need the experience of age and years to fully comprehend…letting this understanding and realization wash over you without leaving any residue of an unintentional slight!

Spending time with my grandchildren is a blessing…a gift that I feel strongly about. Physical distances have put us in parts of the world that does not always give me the opportunity or chance to be more of a part of their world and I feel I have lost out on having been part of the process of their growing and formative years…our changed and changing lifestyles…relocations to different climes and lands…just pure and simply more insular and distant homesteads…have led to these changed and evolving relationships…that deprive and divest us all, of the love…care…interaction…time…happiness and dare I say…wisdom…that elders of families have imparted over the years…in more communal type of family environments…

The relationship with grandparents is a very special bond…those of us who have had the privilege and good fortune to have been closely favored by this bond…understand that we have been fortunate and blessed…and so this time that I have together with my grandchildren has to be used optimally…snatching every moment together in the very rushed and incredibly busy work schedule children these days are wont to have…making sure they understand and believe their all-important place in a grandparent’s heart and life…to make them totally secure in the knowledge of their place in the circle of life and love, one I believe is further boosted and supported by the fact that they are truly…the dots that connect one generation to another…

A favorite passage from the Bible for A precious Granddaughter

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

A precious Granddaughter…

From a little girl so very small…how and when did you get so tall?

This line fits my granddaughter, my first born’s first born, to a tee, as she now towers over both of us! It is her 16th birthday today…thoughts of where and how the time flew by come rushing in, as also a host of wonderful…precious…joyous…memorable….memories of this journey…

My first grandchild…a beautiful baby whom I was loath to set down…in spite of endless comments of how I was spoiling her…the joy and wonder of holding her for the first time…the miracle of creation leaving you awestruck at it’s infinite grace and mercy…the smiles that melted your heart…the wonder of hearing her first take your name…the joy of dressing her up…seeing her grow, sometimes all too fast…carrying innumerable pictures of her and being the painfully proverbial proud grandmother…precious memories of playing together…sharing secrets…late night whisperings…pride at her warmth, thoughtfulness and love…delight at her laughter and special charm…blissfully understanding that grandchildren are truly the dots that connect the lines from generation to generation…

The sense of completion…at seeing my daughter fulfilling all her roles with so much…patience…tenderness…wisdom…love and ease…coming full circle in the deep love that is channeled from my child to hers…comes with the prayer to see it continue through ensuing generations…with gratitude for this blessing…because daughters and granddaughters are blessings from above…to cherish and love…and dare I say…compensations from God for growing old! The prayer is that my young granddaughter on the threshold of a different stage in life, will be able to dream all her dreams…make worthy goals of them…and make a difference…nurture strenght of spirit…compassion and a sense of right…take kindly the counsel of experience…and know that this comes with much love and prayers on her special day, to celebrate the gift of “her” to us…above all to always remember that…

                         What we are is God’s gift to us…

                         What we make of ourself is our Gift to God…

When you thought I wasn’t looking…

I returned ‘home’ a couple of days ago…our family home where I now live alone…and as always, the first…unconscious…spontaneous expectation…is to see my parents there…waiting for me…but that was a long time ago now! A flood of memories…happy…blessed…joyous…filled with laughter and comfort come rushing in uninvited…before reality steps in and the journey of life continues!

This poem is so apt for my parents as for so many others…I was blessed to have had their unselfish…unflinching…unconditional love, care and understanding…it is dedicated to them…with the prayer that my children too will discover that this heartfelt poem is a celebration of the beautiful bond we share together…reminiscence about the little things in life…think that this was written for them and me as a reflection of the content of our hearts…

Finding and reading this poem at this particular time seems coincidental…but there are no coincidences…only the Good Lord’s love and grace in our time of need…

When you thought I wasn’t looking

You hung my first painting on the refrigerator

And I wanted to paint another.

When you thought I wasn’t looking

You fed a stray cat

And I thought it was good to be kind to animals.

When you thought I wasn’t looking

You baked a birthday cake just for me

And I knew that little things were special things.

When you thought I wasn’t looking

You said a prayer

And I believed there was a God that I could always talk to.

When you thought I wasn’t looking

You kissed me good-night

And I felt loved.

When you thought I wasn’t looking

I saw tears come from your eyes

And I learned that sometimes things hurt—

But that it’s alright to cry.

When you thought I wasn’t looking

You smiled

And it made me want to look that pretty too.

When you thought I wasn’t looking

You cared

And I wanted to be everything I could be.

When you thought I wasn’t looking—

I looked . . .

And wanted to say thanks

For all those things you did

When you thought I wasn’t looking.

Mary Rita Schilke Korzan.

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…

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