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….

Cost of personal freedom and happiness….

Is the opposite of happiness…unhappiness? What about…simple pleasures…joys…overcoming fears…relief…challenges…contentment..interests…excitement…inner peace? Is paying the price for doing it your way worth more than paying a price for living someone else’s life ? Dare we be different to what society…people…family…peers…expect us to be, and in that pursuit be…happy…content…at peace…lead a happy life?

In this age of instant gratification…instant expectations…instant communication…being yourself…unique…marching to your own drum roll, invites a lot of raised eyebrows and skepticism . There seems to be a one-for-all yard stick for a life of fun…happiness…the good life! This, more often than not, is now a made-to-order, across the board, modern…enlightened…superimposed lifestyle…and it is being adhered to by an increasing number of people…

Forgotten are values…norms…expectations…lifestyles of yore…We seem now to be marching to a universal…modern…alien, but blindly accepted…value system with it’s own codes of enjoyment. Not falling into this  “norm” invites a less than approving acceptance …

A favorite writer, Paulo Coelho says…Dare to be different. You are unique, and you have to accept you as you are, instead of trying to repeat other people’s destinies or patterns. Insanity is to behave like someone that you are not. Normality is the capacity to express your feelings. From the moment that you don’t fear to share your heart, you are a free person.

In effect…staying true to yourself…whatever that means or may be…irrespective of social disapproval…in spite of a superimposed code of conduct…marching to your own drum roll based on values, behavioral codes, ethics, tenets you believe in…this is the path of learning to be true to yourself…taking responsibility for the celebration of life…

The Lotus Eaters…

This mythical lore has held a fascinating hold on our imagination…it appears that the subject is rooted in lore and hence we don’t give it much traction in the real world. But…like all lores of myth, the basis of this too is rooted in reality…and as prevalent today as ever before…

This comes home to me with greater force when I visit certain parts of the world where half the population is literally…under wraps! I am the last person to criticize choice of dress or life style but…the key word here is…choice! Choices are, as we all know, based on family…cultural…educational…environmental influences. It is only much later when we understand the silent, often mind numbing influence of these on our lives that we decide whether to maintain them…out of choice…apathy…thought and reflection…ease…or change them, again, out of choice, and take the path less trodden by exploring paths and life choices that are not always easy to maintain or…acceptable in the main…

A fact we often find hard to accept is, that we all do, in the main, follow a herd mentality…be it in dress…behavior…life style…codes of conduct! Which brings me back to the Lotus Eaters mentality, more apparent in some societies, relatively less in others…but prevalent in all societies. It is often a silent, insidious part of life as a whole…and we can go through life without so much as acknowledging its pervasive influence and just swim with the flow. This is done naturally in the course of things…without much thought or reflection to the contrary, rather with a sense of unthinking and careless acceptance that I find hard to come to terms with. Is this just a sense of apathy…a sense of cultural brainwashing…a reaction to suppressed cultural desires…a sense or illusion of not having the strength…confidence…faith…guts…desire to rock the boat…or is it simply a mindless…numbing…apathetic…trance like easy way out of swimming against the current…