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Happy Shavuot – article at http://foundationforpluralism.blogspot.com
A blessed Memorial day, if you get a chance, visit any cemetery and pray for those who have left a better world for us. I will write an article if I get a chance, as I have written over the years. Remember, the usage of the phrase - "Happy Memorial day " is wrong, its a day of reflection.
Don’t let your bias make you unjust, after all it is your issue.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Love is a wireless connection between two individuals.
There is no rhyme or reason to it.
The master Indian Urdu poet Ghalib had said,
love is a beautiful flame that it is neither creatable
nor destroyable, not can it be initiated or put out.
Fact or Emotion?
When you buy a car, a house, clothes or whatever,
what dominates the decision, fact or emotion?
Can facts override the emotion or vice-versa?
It is different each time, but usually emotion rules.
Emotion is that which connects, it is wireless.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
July 6th, 2009:- I was in a plane the other day sitting next to a 70 year old lady reading a book on how to get out of a Mormon Church. I asked her about the book and she said, she was a born again Christian and would live for Jesus who gave his blood.
It beats me to witness individuals like her. A few insecure individuals from different denominations of Christianity gang up on Mormon church and give a fatwa that Mormons are not Christians, an act Jesus would have spoken against. The same goes with a few Muslim individuals who love to declare Ahmadiyya as non-Muslims, which is absolutely against the principles of Islam; to judge. The Jewish individuals are not behind either they call them self-hating Jews. It is in every religious group with no exception.
Being a Pluralist (that is respecting and honoring every which way one appreciates the creator) I asked her what in particular that she did not like about other faiths? - Without batting an eye, she said "don't like them other religions messing up my country". I asked her to help me understand that.
She was trying to wiggle out of that, instead she caught me scrolling my cell phone and said in a stern voice "The pilot said to turn off all the electronic equipment and I don't want the plane be blown up, you better turn the phone off" I complied instantly.
Then a few minutes later, the pilot announced, something I had never heard before "to pull the window shades down". Promptly the window shades were going down on my side of the plane and the lady looks at me, and reluctantly pulls the shade half way down. A few seconds later while we were taxiing on the runway, the announcement came to keep the seat belts on until the plane comes to a full halt. She had already taken off her seat belt and now she looks at me with guilt and I put my hand on my fastened seat belt - and she instantly pulls the seat belt and pretends to fasten it, but leaves it un-fastened under her book. I did not say a word and just observed, aren't the people who claim to be conservative are simply a show off?
I was wondering what would she have done, if I had said I was a Muslim.
I have found most of the NEOCONS; the men and women who have no tolerance for others, and their insecurity falsely seeks the wrong actions like annihilating those whom they disagree with and the word dialogue is not in their vocabulary. They also wrongfully label themselves as conservatives, if only they know that they are bigots, they may think about changing, I hope they do.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Our happiness is independent of what happens out there, indeed it is dependent on how we react to good, bad and ugly events. We can let external situations turn us upside down and tear us apart, or not give them the power to mess with us. No one can make me or you happy but ourselves, the responsibility is our own to be happy.
Certainly Family and Friends are our catalysts!
Linda at 5:20pm July 9
I wish I could be that way. It's very difficult - nearly impossible for me to enjoy life while others are suffering. I have never been able to detach myself that way.
Linda thanks for sharing your thoughts. Let me share a few examples of thinking differently;
i) A customer is unhappy about the service and makes the call - the receptionist gets the brunt. Second call is same - it affects the mood of the receptionist - now when the third call is answered - should the receptionist yell at the caller? Does the caller who has no idea what the receptionist is going through deserve that? What if the caller is calling to say good things? The idea is each relationship and person is different, as adults, we should not pass on the negative things, we have to stop with each person.
ii) Bill Clinton was elected to be the President, he had a job to do and he did it very well despite the humiliation and interrogation he had to go through daily - he did not carry the personal turmoil to his job as a president. That is an adult like attitude he took.
iii) When some one is suffering, we need to be a source of strength and hope for them. We cannot drain ourselves, when we do that we cannot do any good to any one. We cannot deplete ourselves as it drowns every one, we need to uplift others and in turn it uplifts us and gives us strenght.Mohsin, my growing up included thinking about everything . My Grandfather, always wanted us to go to funerals - he said, it will bring out a better person in you. I am glad we did follow his advice
One of the biggest lessons I have learned in my life, after nearly 56 years of living is to learn to "receive"; i.e., when people appreciate you, compliment you, offer help and want to do things for you, gracefully you acknowledge and accept it. It is one of the most difficult things to do, but you think you must, it is one of the equations of life- when you give, you must receive it as well to keep that balance in life.
Thanks to Dorothy,she told me; in order to give, and continue to give, you have to replenish with receiving energy, if not you will drain out.
Ideally, the amount of goodness you deliver must be matched by the amount of goodness you receive - but bulk of the goodness received is self generated - the goodness recreates the energy within.
When I think of the role of religion in this - every faith teaches the same essence; to take care of your family, neighbors and community. Giving charity is taught in every religious system. Prophet Muhammad had said, even smiling genuinely is a form of charity. You shouldn't even know who you are helping, lest they be embarrassed in your presence or even favor you in situations where you are wrong. Lord Krishna says in Bhagvad Gita, when you give, don't expect a return, as it deflates the genuine spirit of giving.
Share your tradition about giving and receving.
Friday, July 3, 2009
This was one of the most happiest moments of my life and I am so thrilled that most of the friends and family members could attend and share their blessings with the couple.
Reception pictures Professionally taken:
Wedding Pictures by my Camera: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikeghouse/sets/72157618797747822/show/
Wedding pictures featured in by Dallas Wedding Planner
Some of the pictures prior to marriage
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Thinking today about the relationships with Women friends. To signify the purity of relationship, in the Indian Culture, we call her "sister", and essentially that is what it is; a brother and sister to be there for each other. The spouses usually join in the friendship circle. Whereas in the American culture, the idea of a sister is not common yet!
I have nurturing and comfortable relationships with many a women, although the sister word sounds odd, my women friends can be comfortablly called sisters. What is your experience?
Indeed, the people from the Subcontinent; India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka, regardless of their religion are taught to call friends of their parents as Uncles and Aunties. It is extremely rare for any one to call them otherwise.
India celebrates Rakhi - a festival to honor sister. On this day, any female that ties a thread on a man's wrist, signifies that she takes him as her brother and brother returns the honor with a gift of acceptance. I have several Rakhi sisters and they are all dear to me. It has nothing to do with religion, but to honor sisters. Legend goes back ... Read Moreto the times of Krishna, and also has examples of Muslim Kings. A woman ties the thread in the wrist of Aurangzeb who in turn drops his enemity towards the girls brother, as the Rakhi brother becomes a protector of the sister. There are many songs honoring sisters ...
Just wanted to share the biggest lesson my Dad taught me was to be free from Prejudice. In a time when caste system (India in 50's and 60's) was prevalent, where the "untouchables" were not allowed in homes... My mom made tea and we shared the tea in the same cups and ate the food in the same plates inside our homes. We sat on the same mat (floor covering).
No one was ever looked down by my parents. And whenever there were clashes between the communities over silly things...they pointed to the individuals causing it and offered an alternative that could prevent a repeat, but they never blamed a group. ... Read More
I am greatful to them for freeing me from bias and thank God, my kids are free from it and they are on a similar mission.
We have a lot of work to do to free the society from bias and prejudices. We have come a long way, and far more to go.
Martin Luther King liberated us from a huge burden of racial bias, and now we need movies and forums to raise awareness of the very basic American value ; Life and respect for others life. The murder of Abortion Doctor was a shame... We need to rope in our religious leaders to bring about a gradual and sustainable change.... Read More
We have to learn to Live and Let live and accept the otherness of other, and as individuals we need to continue to stoke the american values of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.
Treatment of any human being with less than full dignity shrinks the spirit of goodness within each one of us, the way the African Americans were treated "whites only" was a moral drain on the psyche of the society. MLK lifted that burden off us by taking a courageous stand against what it appeared to be the norm of the society, that others didn't dare to speak out. The singular goal he pursued was worth living and he gave his life for it. I express my gratitude to him for liberating us from such in-human and ir-religious attitudes.