Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sometimes

O how I wish the rose smelled different sometimes....
O how I wish the sun looked different sometimes,
And did so the dew drops,
And the colors of the rainbow.

In the grip of Everything there is an untold story,
A freshness in crisp dried leaves,
and the budding leaves...
A grace hidden in the still waters,
And the flowing streams....

There are things we can change,
and some we cannot,
It's only wise to accept,
the very riddles of Life,
are mysteries within itself....
9/27/11
Photo by google

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Clash Within Ourselves

We all fight demons that are seated deep within us that drive us mad. This struggle is an on-going ordeal. The Mind is a battlefield where Reason clashes with Passion, Emotions, Truth, Falsehood, and even one's own-self.

At the end, the triumphant white flag bearer must also be you and not your demon. Everyone goes through periods wondering how to defeat their demon that constantly nibbles at them and tries to dethrone them. In the kingdom of sanity, the power lies with YOU. There are no fixed rules and methods to clash with the mighty titan but since these are your demons, only you can usurp the demonic authority not allowing to rob your happiness and peace anymore.

The world is a cruel place of business where competition, envy, inequality and injustice play out boldly. But the world is also a place of refuge for ones that choose to stand upright. Some struggles are beyond our control and despite trying a zillion different ways to combat the situation, it cannot be made correct, or better. That is when faith kicks in. One must believe that some things are beyond their control, and power. When your struggle cannot achieve the desired outcome, you should continue trying. When you reach a point when you cannot do anymore, gladly let it go for it was never meant to be the way you wanted it. Let God or whatever you believe in, take over the rest. Be content that YOU tried; and that you did your best several times.

But will the Mind let you rest? Certainly not....The Fear, the Problem will become a fresh addition to your existing army of demons. So what are the answers? Many and then probably none. Every person is different and so are their situations. What works for one person may not work for another. But you should try not to let these demons ruin your beautiful mind. Talk to trusted friends, siblings or parents or God. You will be sent help and love.

Remember, some things just cannot be changed despite trying throughout your life. Just let go, leaving it to God to handle. This message is for a friend: It's better to accept the fact that you are not appreciated, than to insist yourself to someone who never sees your worth.....

I have made peace with my demons. They may pop up occasionally but I brush them aside. I know my worth....

photo by enlightenedmarketing

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Fear and Hatred After 9/11

The psychological effects and the cost of 9/11 is huge and it still continues to grow....Here is an article that I am pasting as it aptly addresses some concerns.

By S. Amjad Hussein
"Ten years ago a bunch of terrorists flew commercial airplanes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and triggered a process that continues to extract a heavy toll in the form of blood and treasure. On that fateful day, thousands of innocent people, including a few hundred Muslims, died. As the dust settled, American Muslims found themselves besieged, vulnerable, and unwanted in this country even though they had nothing to do with al-Qaeda or 9/11 atrocities.

As American citizens, we Muslims are increasingly subjected to unprecedented scrutiny when we travel by air, our bank accounts can be probed at will, and our conversations are recorded and our telephones are tapped for the flimsiest of reasons. A Muslim name, a foreign accent, or a native dress rings alarm bells in the minds of our fellow citizens.

A wave of Islamophobia is sweeping our country that demonizes all Muslims. We are portrayed as unpatriotic, potential terrorists, and fifth columnists.
In the past 10 years things have changed for the worst. Soon after Sept. 11, 2001, two-thirds of American people had a good impression of Islam. Over the years, however, those numbers have been eroding.
Last year, at the height of the Park51 (the proposed Islamic Cultural Center two blocks from Ground Zero) controversy, the unfavorable rating rose to 55 percent, according to a poll by the Economist magazine. Another poll, released by Time magazine in August, 2010, showed that 43 percent of Americans hold unfavorable views of Muslims and 25 percent think U.S. Muslims are not patriotic.
The inevitable question is: Why?

The reasons are many. The most important and foremost is the inflammatory and incendiary rhetoric emanating from some Protestant pulpits, political demagogues, and right-wing conservative organizations and media. They work in concert to malign and tar not only the terrorists but also everyone who is a Muslim.
Clothed in patriotic tones and armed with out-of-context passages from the Qur'an and selected history, these purveyors of hate demonize the entire edifice of religion and more than 1 billion Muslims.
Given the psychological vulnerability of most Americans in the post-9/11 world, this paranoid narrative becomes convincing. Take for example a DVD titled Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West that was widely distributed free of charge a few years ago.

Prior to the 2008 presidential elections, Clarion Fund, an obscure tax-exempt organization registered in New York, distributed the inflammatory video by mass mailing and as newspaper advertisement supplements. It takes selected clips of anti-West diatribe by some Arab speakers and scenes of violence from Arab media and intersperses them with footage from the Nazi era. The inference is clear.
And then there was the controversy about building an Islamic Cultural Center two blocks from Ground Zero.
Not many people realized that a functioning Islamic Cultural Center is on the site already. Given the sensitivity of people about Ground Zero, one could understand the opposition.
But putting up a fierce fight to stop a mosque construction in rural Tennessee?

Last year in Murfreesboro, Tenn., the local Muslim community purchased 15 acres to build an Islamic center. Local people filed a lawsuit to stop the construction. The bogey of sharia law was brought up and it was claimed that Islam is not a religion and thus does not have constitutional protection.
It was apparent that most of the people who had brought the lawsuit had no contact with local Muslims. In the sordid court spectacle, one could hear the echoes of the Jim Crow era. Eventually the court dismissed the case and allowed the construction to proceed. The victory, however, was hollow because no construction company has been willing to take on the project.

The hatred against Islam and Muslims spewed by some of the American clergy, politicians, and bloggers has had effect not only here in the United States but also beyond our borders.
The massacre of 77 people, mostly children and young adult, at the hands of a cold-blooded zealot in Norway a few months ago is one such example. According to the lengthy manifesto posted on the Internet by the alleged killer, Anders Behring Breivik, he was influenced by the incendiary anti-Muslim rhetoric emanating from Web sites such as jihadwatch.com and the political and religious right wing in this country.
American history is replete with periods when religious and ethnic minorities suffered at the hands of a self-righteous majority. In the 19th century, Protestant preachers led mobs to attack Catholics.
At one time or another, Jews, Italians, Irish, Polish, and Japanese had to endure such bigotry. Even today, Catholic bashing is rather common on the Internet.
Michele Bachmann, a contender for the Republican nomination for president in 2012, attends a church that openly says the Pope is the anti-christ.

As an aside, while more than half of U.S. population has a negative view of Muslims, individually as religious groups they have no love lost among them. According to the Time magazine poll I quoted above, 29 percent of Americans hold negative views of Mormons, 17 percent of Catholics, 13 percent of Jews, and 13 percent of Protestants.

I have no doubt sanity will prevail in the end. The latter-day Know-Nothing Nativist Party and its torch bearers, the William Boykins, Sean Hannitys, Glenn Becks, Pat Robertsons, and the like, are but a transient phenomenon, just as the firebrand preachers of yore who led mobs to attack Catholics and other minorities were. History will remember them not for spreading Christian love but for poisoning the well.
Muslims are here to stay, just as others before them. They have added something special and precious to the mosaic of this great country. To forcefully tear that piece off, as some people would like to do, does nothing but deface the entire tapestry we call America the beautiful."
Dr. S. Amjad Hussain is a retired Toledo surgeon whose column appears every other week in The Blade. Contact him at: aghaji@bex.net.

** A link to the original article:
http://www.toledoblade.com/S-Amjad-Hussain/2011/09/11/Followers-of-Islam-sujected-to-decade-of-unfair-treatment.html
photo by masjids.in

Saturday, September 10, 2011

9/11: A Difficult Day to Re-live

I witnessed the tragic event live from the 23rd floor of the building I worked in. It was at an angle where we clearly saw the gaping hole in the first tower; the fire, the suffocating smoke, the papers flying out, the glistening glass pieces falling and eventually people jumping out. It was brutal and I never watch tv around this time for rekindling the hurt, the sorrow and the horror I witnessed first hand. It was a day where all you heard was police sirens, sirens of Fire trucks and then complete pin-drop silence.... That's when the towers fell. People were dumbstruck, confused, dazed by what had happened. For days we were silent and just let our tears speak.....

There were familiar faces one would see everyday while going to work. Even though one would never communicate, the silent nod and smile would convey tons. But many of those familiar faces were gone after 9/11. For days and months one heard stories of search, rescue, loss, and then burial in absentia. For a year we went to funerals that were held by grieved family and friends who eventually gave up the hopes of finding their loved ones alive or in one piece after a full year, the hardest thing to do.
I used to go to ground zero and just watch the ruins, trying to make sense of why this modern day barbarism could happen. I read messages scribbled by people on the scaffold-wall at ground zero which served as a temporary memorial. I read messages of Hope and grief chalked on the ground in the nearby Union Square Park which was serving as another memorial and a place where flocks of people posted pictures of loved ones with contact numbers. The park was very crowded....I saw people frantically searching for loved ones in all the hospitals, hospices, friends' homes hoping to find their loved one injured but alive. I heard stories from people narrating their 'narrow escape' and new lease on life. I continue reading stories of sacrifices made by the firefighters, the police-men that entered the towers and never came out alive again. The sacrifices made by ordinary people on that day and beyond are boundless. It makes me love NY forever.
This hurt continues to live in us especially those that saw it and experienced it in some way. It is a day I wish never existed. It is a time I wish I could skip forward and never have to re-live the experience.
God bless the departed souls. May God give courage to all those that suffered and continue suffering.... 

Photo by frumforum

Thursday, September 8, 2011

My Son's First Day of School

6th September 2011 was my son's first day of school. Officially he now has embarked on the long journey of schooling/education making it his first major milestone. While he remained enthusiastic about it, I was anxious. I couldn't sleep the night before he started and had bouts of anxiety while he lay peacefully by my side. I had flashbacks of him being born till him jumping and playing in the present day.

I started missing him weeks before he even started  and thus stopped doing my extra-curricular activities to spend more time with him. Friends queried why I wasn't on Facebook or blogging and my reply was that I needed more time with my kids.

We never knew how our own parents felt when we started school but clearly remember our own first day of school. It's only when we have our own kids that we get to experience this new conjoined feeling of fear and faith seeing them off to school. I lose my son for part of the day but I know he is learning things that are the tools of shaping his future.

I tried hard to hold back tears as the line of kids started making their way towards their classrooms. I kept watching the disappearing line when all of a sudden my son pops out his head and gets out of league just to say, "momma I love you and miss you..." and then blows a kiss.

I love him and miss him every minute but I also want him to succeed in every challenge of Life with God by his side and my love wrapped around him. Like a friend has said, "Spend more time with your kids before they vanish into adults..."