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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A Son’s Milestone Birthday…

Some favorite lines of mine from poems about sons are from A Soldiers Prayer for his Son by Gen Douglas MacArthur and Abraham Lincoln’s My Son…both these poems are poignantly definitive and have always resonated with Prayers for Children as also the prayer that I have been able to truly help my Children walk through life with the inner strength and integrity to do the right thing…knowing that nobody is going to know you did it or not! These cherished lines are from a treasured poem plaque my eldest once gave me
…sometimes when I think of Mom
I think of what she Took
She took a child and taught it how
To live this life with pride
She took the hands that longed to hold…
Her child and not let go
Used them to push her child along
The way to thrive and grow….

My two elder Children are celebrating what we now call…’milestone’ birthdays this year…my eldest son celebrates his today…and even though for me all their days are such…my thoughts go back to search…recall…review…tear over…reminiscence…with awe and a deeply felt sense of pure happiness at the wonder that has been my life as my children’s mother! This journey has been one of such incredibly powerful experiences in all aspects of my being…that it is by far my life’s greatest joy and blessing and gives me a sense of ‘non pareil’ accomplishment…and although I do believe that ‘having a child is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body’…often in far away lands…my children are all truly the joyous mainstays of my life…

Seeing this beloved son of mine live his life in a matrix of the search for excellence in all he does has been a learning experience for me too…his focus…commitment…hard work…humility…strength…choices…faith….accompanied by a compassionate and loving heart…has made mine sing so very  often…seeing some of his goals coming to fruition, specially now at such an opportune time in his life, makes my heart swell with pride and thankfulness…above all, his gentle concern…care…and love for all of us has truly been the icing on the cake…Khalil Gibran 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…I feel so very thankful to the Good Lord that you have understood this Usman…and pray you will always work to being the best that the Good Lord meant for you to be…believeing that the ultimate Wisdom of God is greater than ours and that we have to trust Him to guide and help us…Amen!

Happy Birthday Son…I feel so very blessed to have a son like you and in the language of your generation…you rock my world…

Goodbyes…

Is it just me or are our children always saying Goodbye to fly off to distant shores! And again…is it just me or do we never get used to this? The tug at your heart at seeing them leave ‘home’ certainly never gets easier…I used to think and hope that it would get easier with time…it does not…you just learn to handle it better! In this ‘ Global Village’ we live in, this migrational trend is a commonplace scenario and in my part of the world, we are the first generation to experience the huge scale of this migratory phenomena in our ‘global village’ world…this is another ‘fact of life’ we have to get used to…it is not easy!

My first child got married and left home for the other side of the world almost eighteen years ago…seems a lifetime ago! I was overwhelmed by conflicting emotions and having my younger two still with me was a blessing! The beginnings of the ’empty nest’ syndrome had been initiated! Admittedly having children still at home made it easier…but easy is relative! When my second child left home, he was physically nearer and trips back home from college were more frequent…it was not easy…it was not getting easier! When my youngest left…the cycle of the ’empty nest’ syndrome was complete and I forced myself to constantly remember the words a dear friend had said to me ‘imagine how you would feel if you could not afford them these opportunities’! It was not easy…but I tried to keep this in mind and thanked the Good Lord for the blessing of Faith and the strength therein, amongst His innumerable other blessings! It was not always easy…it still isn’t!

Now, with their choices of residence in foreign climes…the children and theirs come and go…the joy of their comings is often equal to the heavy heart at their leaving! The realization that this pain is part and parcel of the fabric of motherhood has now been accepted…the conscious acknowledgement of the Good Lord’s generosity in all these ‘comings and goings’ is a constant! The prayer for their happiness…well being…safety…resilience…is ongoing…as is the prayer that their worlds are always blessed with good health, joy, peace and plenty…as well as the prayer that our collective memories of times spent together are always vivid with the colors of love and happiness so bright that irrespective of the layers of time, they will always come up blazingly vivid in their recollection of the ties of love and connectivity to family and ‘home’!

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…

Living the Fairy Tale…

A Royal Wedding…a truly global and memorable day…an event of this sort and magnitude has once again shown all the cynics out there, that, admit it or not, this sort of pure, unadulterated…joyful and joyous…interest…attraction…connection with the pomp and pageantry that is Monarchy…the Royal rich and famous…and more than that, the hope and dreams it represents and inspires, is as relevant today… as ever…maybe more so today because of the need to find simple and clear beauty…joy…love, in this world we are slowly trying to dehumanize of such maudlin stuff!

Wedding vows…a daily ceremony and occurrence of fairly monumental daily numbers across the Globe…takes on this obsessive voyeuristic aspect because it touches a chord deep down…of wanting to believe…and has drawn an incredible international audience…across borders and divides…taking on the hearts of young and old…royal and commoners! You really have to be cynic of huge proportions not to have been taken in by the atmosphere of happiness…good cheer…positive emanations and exhilarations of global prayers for the young couple…

Does this mean that in this increasingly painful and strife torn world of ours… with all the emphasis on state of the art breaking edge technology…consuming consumerism…dog eat dog race to the next big degree…number…vehicle…abode…holiday…handbag…what really brings us out in unimaginable droves, is to see two young people in love, pledge to each other the oldest of troths…with millions of hopes and prayers for the success of their union…and seal it with a kiss…or two…

There is no denying the British are past masters at this sort of thing…and presented the entire proceedings to the world with the preciseness of clockwork proportions…I believe the only thing that was off in this incredible operation was a forty second time lag when the bride set off for Westminster Abbey. Combine this with ancient traditional pageantry and the modern touches brought about by the modern young couple themselves…apparent feelings of love and bonhomie…with a crescendo moment of a worldwide gasp of wonder and joy at glimpsing the wedding dress…a perfect breath-taker of timeless grace and beauty…we witnessed a real life Fairy Tale! 

What comes to the fore here is the realization that basic human feelings of well wishes…prayers…hopes…dreams…aspirations for the happiness of another being is at our core…however well we try to disguise it…and sometimes, a fairy tale wedding is what is needed to take over our hearts…and for fleeting moment in time, help renew our faith in Camelot and the Good Lord’s grace…

Bidding Farewell to a dear Aunt…

Life is more accurately measured by the lives you touch rather than the things you acquire…we give significance to our lives by valuing the lives of others…kindness in giving creates love…the love we give away is the only love we keep…all these encapsulate my Aunt, however, one is still left feeling as if, it has not really all been said…she and another of her siblings, a dear late Uncle, were the family’s sweethearts…the ones that just always brought a smile to your lips when talked about…a gentle and rare breed…

Aunts are a double blessing…they love like mothers and act like friends…I feel specially blessed to have been touched by this double dose of blessings, her beautiful spirit and the positive meaning she gave to goodness…things often just felt nicer when shared with her…love is a gift whose worth cannot be measured except by the heart and she had her own very special and unique way of making you feel extra special…our large family, often spanning four generations at a time, all have their own precious memories of her…some so uniquely hers, that we all chuckle whenever one of us brings them up, because we can all so relate to them on our own personal wavelengths…

To lovingly reminiscence about her kindness…humaneness…naïveté…her artless comments…her ingenuous wonder…her definitive quality of giving love has been easy and comforting…sharing an onslaught of remembrances has been heartwarming whilst Celebrating Memories and lives no longer with us…it is said that every exit has an entry somewhere…the prayer is for the Good Lord to be her help and guide in this last journey, as in her life…

Celebrating Memories…

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…

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