Archive for April, 2012

Not By Choice…

“Not by choice, but by circumstances.”

 These were the words of a man whom I talked to. He approached me as I was walking out of Barnes and Noble bookstore, one Saturday afternoon. He bore a timid smile on his face, and was kind of hesitant to talk. But perhaps because of a dire need of some dollar change, he summoned all the courage he can muster, flushed his male ego down the drain, to ask…wait! to beg…if I can spare him some dollars for food. He said he is homeless and has no job. I looked at him straight in the eye, and asked why he doesn’t have a home, why he doesn’t have a job. The words that came through: “ma’am, it is not by choice but by circumstances.”  Whether he was telling the truth or not, at that point in time my brain did not even get the chance to process. Those words were more than enough to instinctively made me fish out some dollar bills from my purse, and handed to him. With a grateful smile, he said “thank you.” I just nod my head, and walked towards the parking lot. As I was driving home, those words kept repeating in my brain. I was slapped on the face with reality. How many of us are so lucky, and how many out there are not?

A job.

The reason why we have food on the table, why we are able to send our kids to school, why we can pay our bills, why we have a roof above our head, and why we are able to buy the things we need and the things we want.

If when and if by an unfortunate strike of bad luck that we lose our job, and if we live by paycheck to paycheck, how many? Two, three, maybe the most is four paychecks away and we will be walking with this man, (or many more like him), on the road of uncertainty. This is the sad reality.



Love and Peace

How many times a day do we think about ourselves? I, Me, Myself?Blame it to human nature; blame it to an old adage: “loving yourself is the greatest love of all”; rationalize that in order to give love, you have to love yourself first. The truth is, love has to start from somewhere. If it is love to oneself, then so be it. But let it overflow, let it trickle down…share it…give it. The basic feeling that paves the way to giving, are acceptance and love. Accept any person as who they are and love them without condition. Huh!  Pretty tough indoctrination, should I  say? But here’s the fact…Regardless of who we are: age and sexuality is not a factor; social and economic standing has no bearing; nationality, political  and religious affiliation does not equate,  as we relatively and collectively share the love we feel  in our hearts, to others. Eyebrows down, please!

In  one of her interviews/speeches,   Queen Rania of Jordan, shared so many ideas and personal point of views. I admired her  spontaneity, wisdom, and ability to communicate her thoughts about so many things, especially about human feelings and humanity as a whole.
Here are some of her thoughts (I may be paraphrasing here).
“Whatever we look like, wherever we live, however we pray, we respond to human suffering as human beings.”
” We shed the same tear, and our tears wouldn’t have been distinguishable because, whether who we are,  we have the same way of loving. The voice of the heart needs no translation. The way we feel is exactly the same.”
“We have to show up in our lives as ourselves, no matter what role we play or whatever title we carry.”
So very true, and I agree. Do you?
Every day, we hear talks about Peace.
In the 1960’s during the Woodstock Hippie generation,  we hear the famous slogan: “Make Love, Not War”, and somehow it got glued to the minds of the future  generations. War has been fought, and so many lives were lost, to achieve peace. Law enforcers and peace keepers all over the world work 24 hours 7 days a week, putting their lives at stake to maintain peace. Icons like Mother Theresa of Calcutta, Mohandas Gandhi, and  Martin Luther King, Jr. showed selflessness and love for peace , in a broader and wider spectrum of it’s true meaning. But, is this enough? You and I know that it’s not it. The sad reality is, the world is still so volatile and unsecured.
This might be an idealistic and ambitious analogy, but it is really simple: think of every single individual. If each and every one of us share the love we feel in our hearts, and let compassion dwell within ourselves, it will then be a precursor to a peace process. Let us give love not only on Christmas day (as the song goes); and let us not just say Peace be with you. Think about it… not as an option but rather,  a conviction to make this world a better and a safe place to live.

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