February 27, 2013

Brawn or brain

Are people solutions or are ideas solutions? Our lives in a democracy must be led by ideas and ideals. Gone are the days when strong men led human beings as just strong men by brawn rather than by brain. Such situations were characterized by power and privilege where the leaders led by charisma, character or cruelty. In the tables turned in times of democracy where we the people are in the lead, brawn cannot be the fuel that propels a society. It must be philosophy and ideals that must be the vehicle of our propulsion. But we the people who hold the reigns must be aware that we indeed hold the reigns. It’s not an opportunity to sell that power to the brawn again for people to be corralled like cattle. If that enlightened thought is beyond us, hope of a better tomorrow is surely out of our reach.

February 24, 2013

Being aware

In this world of form we are constantly buffeted by the attractions of materialism -- things. This is the outside world that we are immersed in during this short sojourn in this world. We have to pass on some day and that is as sure as the sunrise tomorrow. But as we live our life of form from day to day we tend to forget that we have a spiritual entity also embedded within ourselves. Life is always a balance between these two aspects of our being. 

Now about awareness! We all know that to live meaningfully requires that sense of awareness. However the awareness that we are mostly concerned with is that of the world of form - the outside world. We seek to know and be informed about what is happening on the other side of the world, in far off galaxies of the universe, or down in the depths of our oceans, and of the terrestrial effects of global warming that will wreak havoc on this earth if we don't watch out in our avaricious actions, and so on. All this is fine for daily living and for us to project ourselves as informed individuals. They say information is power and that is what we do to gain control of our Dhuniya.  But what we forget often is that the true power of our being comes from an awareness of knowing our inner selves. Of this unfortunately, most of us are unaware. This is the other end of the continuum where we must see ourselves as spiritual beings rather than human beings. We are better spiritual beings when we are better aware of our strengths and weaknesses on the inside - the insecurities we harbor in the depth of our subconscious and their origins, what fears make us retract into ourselves and make us antisocial, what jealousies and anger rise to the surface when our ego cannot have its way. All this relates to understanding ourselves. But this understanding can only happen when we can find the time to reflect in silence because the busy mind that is concerned with the world of form can never grasp the supernatural - that universal mind or super-awareness that we call God. We can only touch that warmth of His love when we seek to spend time in silence, away from the busy traffic of our mind. That is perhaps the wisdom behind prayer - for us Muslims - to reflect five times a day in silence and in proximity - shoulder to shoulder -- with those of our same sensibilities, imbibing the totality of the positive aura generated by all these spirits that are similar to ours within this physical yet spiritual space of the mosque. Those moments make us feel as one - for this is the spirit stirring to be felt by the otherwise insensitive minds that quickly revert to the Dhuniya as soon as we are out and about in our homes and workplaces. 

So can we actively begin to become more aware on the inside? That way we become a more tolerant society? For when we begin to notice and confront the imps and monsters inside of us we will attempt to subdue them and in the process discover that all of humanity is truly one – and the awareness that hurting another person is tantamount to hurting oneself.

February 22, 2013

Can we clean up Male City?

Today Friday, all Friday mornings are good for walking as it takes a while for Male city to wake up and the streets are quite walkable -- at least devoid of the zipping cycles that might just take away my elbow to the doctor. But believe me I think I have to call up the Mayor to say they have to buck up on keeping our city clean. The littering seems to be getting ever worse. Not a spot without trash! and the drains where the cover is broken -- and that, in so many places -- one can mistake these for trash bins -- packed with pet bottles, wrappers and plastic bags filled with God knows what! and of course the ubiquitous red spit. I tell you it's pathetic our state of this physical environment. -- perhaps those of us old enough can see the difference! Where do we begin to clean up. Some may say at the top. But I say it's the elected council. Guys, don't do this to us when we give you so much of our tax money. Its just not fair is it?  This is our city, and you are not setting an example to the youth and children observing all this as their heroes (grown-ups) litter the street with impunity. And they learn fast from us. Mind you cigarette wielding pedestrians too crush their filter butts on to these same pavements -- as if the new tobacco legislation was a thing to be laughed at. What a pity in our land of democracy! 

Those officials of the government who ply about in their cars may not observe with the pedestrian's eye perhaps! So why would our youth care? And this was right there evident in action during my walk. I saw a young lady with a nice buruqa and colorful well fitting rest of attire tear open a supari packet and after lazily dumping the content into her painted mouth then looked around a couple of times to drop that empty sachet on to the street -- of course to be lost in a myriad such sachets also strewn about her. That's just it. When I asked her politely how she can consider doing this inconsiderate deed to her own environment, I only received a blank look and then before I could move on to supply her with some environmental advice, she stepped into a taxi that stopped by and quickly disappeared from the scene - glad perhaps of getting rid of this nosy old guy!! So what should we do my friends to save our city -- to make it a healthy Male? 

February 17, 2013

This should not be happening!

Whats going on? Our country seems ready to implode with anger and vehemence being spewed at each other in the name of democracy when it gives us a golden opportunity to come together rather than divide ourselves. Let's not look to others to solve our problems. Only WE ourselves can. Isn't that what it means to be an independent nation? What has 50 years of "modern" education given us? Mere banked up information or self -awareness? We need more of the latter, and that comes from connecting with our hearts rather than with our heads. It's not a matter of rationality, it's a lack of heart -- caring for each other -- and to ourselves as a nation.