Here In Paradise…

                                                                                    (Photo credit: Flickr)

On Friday, March 10th, 2017, it was precisely 7.25 in the morning as I walked up the steps of Westminster Station en-route my office. I walked briskly, mentally calculating ‘my-to-do-list’ for the day and then like an image out of a disaster movie, I saw two people, a man and a woman. The man was hovering over the woman, his lips quivering, his gait was like a man under the influence of alcohol, he tried to move away from the woman and almost fell. My gaze turned to the woman, her pale face had obviously borne the brunt of living on the street. Her face was lined with weariness, her eyes devoid of happiness.

I stopped in my tracks.

I didn’t know if I should offer money, or simply give a hug. People pushed past me, a man swore under his breath, but it was loud enough for me to hear the words. I fidget with my bag and moved out of the way, my heart broke into a thousand pieces as I watched them.

The man and the woman were oblivious of my presence, and sadly, I turned away.

Here in paradise, (at least that could be the thoughts of millions of people in other parts of the world) we shouldn’t have homeless people. Throughout the day, I couldn’t concentrate on anything. There was something about that couple, they may as well be working in one of the imposing offices in Whitehall, or maybe, as tourists keen to see where most decisions in the UK were made.

Centerpoint is a charity here in the UK helping homeless young people but what about middle age people, old men and women? I have a passion for the homeless, although I’ve read that some do make themselves ‘intentionally homeless,’ but still, I couldn’t expunge their image out of my mind.

I did some further research and realised that there are many homeless charities all around us. Below are some of the charities in London:

There’s also West London YMCA, they  provide the same services as most of the organisations I’ve listed above. I think if we live in paradise, we should be able to do more for people less fortunate than we are (I know, we’re not all millionaires but we could always volunteer at a homeless shelter). I will volunteer at some of these wonderful charities doing such wonderful jobs, changing people’s lives.

If you’re living in other parts of the world, it wouldn’t hurt to give money to a beggar you see on the street or a homeless person. Some of you reading this may think, ‘well, she’s so naïve, most of these folks are drug addicts and rapists… maybe murderers.’

Maybe, some of them are, but some aren’t. Life’s just dealt them a hard hand.

Maybe Phil Collin’s song, ‘Another Day In Paradise’ would be a great way to finish this article.

I hope you’ll all enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Much love to you friends, always!

🙂 🙂

 

 

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Strange Times Versus Eudaimonia

 

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(Photo credit: Flickr)

‘These are strange times. Reason, which once combated faith and seemed to have conquered it, now has to look to faith to save it from dissolution.”

Well, should I write, Happy New Year? I think so because this is my first article for the New Year, yet the world has gone through and is still going through strange times. There was the story of a madman who insisted he must rule for a billion years (former Gambian President, Yahya Jammeh) and now we have a President of the free-world who insisted on building walls, and causing as much division as he wanted.

These are strange times indeed.

However, I’ll rather go along the Hannah Arendt line, which was self-explanatory:

”The ultimate end of human acts is eudaimonia, happiness in the sense of living well, which all men desire; all acts are but different means chosen to arrive at it.”

I guess we might as well pursue that which makes us happy.  2017 is a year I want to pursue a wellness of spirit, soul, and body, and I hope you can all come to a place of wholeness too.

I hope you’ll all have a wonderful weekend.

Much love, always! 🙂 🙂

Treasured Links

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(Now this little girl’s what I call a treasured Link. Photo credit: Flickr)

”The truth is that we can learn to condition our minds, bodies, and emotions to link pain or pleasure to whatever we choose. By changing what we link pain and pleasure to, we will instantly change our behaviours.”

Tony Robbins

Our pursuit of wealth (or survival as my dad called it) in life is ridiculously overshadowed by things that ought to be more valuable to us like family, friends, and scheduled times to reflect and truly enjoy life. We work all day, some of us are doing two jobs to make ends meet and that doesn’t really mean we would have enough. The only thing certain in life is time, and at a point, that would also end.

Time is certainly cruel. It flies by quickly and before we know it, the tangible things left are links. But some of us destroy those links, how, you may ask? By what we choose to link our minds and memories to.

If a poor man chooses to link his memories to struggles, he may find it difficult to actually overcome poverty. And if a rich guy links his mind to his wealth, he would lose himself in the pool of his assets, and everything else would pale into insignificance. Basically, everything still boils down to our choice and perception in life.

So friends, link wisely! 🙂

Grasmere lake with autumn colours and reflections, Lake District, Cumbria, England

          Grasmere lake with autumn colours and reflections, Lake District, Cumbria, England

I haven’t been able to write an article for a while because of certain projects I’ve been involved in, which would be wrapped up soon in the first quarter of next year, God willing. I know I’ve missed a lot of awesome posts. I’ve begun the pleasurable journey of visiting as many blogs as time would allow, I can’t wait to read to my heart’s content.

I hope you’ll all have a Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year. Hopefully, I would write one or two articles before the end of this year. Live free and enjoy every bit of your moment on this part of heaven.

Much love to you all! 🙂

 

 

 

 

The Ugly Side…

 

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”The most beautiful as well as the most ugly inclinations of man are not part of a fixed biologically given human nature, but result from the social process which creates man.” Erich Fromm

Recent events in the world are enough to sum up the fact that humanity’s ugly side appears to be dominant. We are very quick to tear apart than build, we hate anything that remotely differs from our way of thinking. We want to love but find that so difficult, rather it’s easy to be suspicious, have zero empathy and yes, we find a safe haven in hatred.

James Carroll got it right when he wrote, ”we cloak ourselves in cold indifference to the unnecessary suffering of others, even when we caused it.”

Hatred brings out our ugly side when we hide behind our knowledge of what’s right and wrong. We believe our lives are somehow a priority compared to others and when we’re not having things going our way, we’re quick to complain, bemoaning our fallen state.

We’re also beautiful creatures, that is when we want to be. Imagine doctors risking lives and limbs to save Ebola-stricken victims in a remote village in Africa or people pooling resources together to save Syrian refugees from the freezing sea. That, is the beauty of human nature just to mention a few.

However, we all have ugly sides, if not, why do we have laws trying to curtail our nastiness from spiralling out of control?

I penned this article shortly after the Nice truck massacre, somehow I couldn’t publish it but it’s still relevant today. Most of the time,  it’s very difficult to comprehend when such tragedies occur, like the killings of African-Americans by rogue white police officers or the killings of thousands by the so called Isis’s mad soldiers or the time when Lord Gen Jeffery Amherst, British Commander-in-Chief of America wrote to Col. H. Bouquet to use Biological weapons (small pox laden blankets) in July 1763 against Native American Indians. He wrote, “You will do well to try to inoculate the Indians by means of blankets, as well as to try every other method that can serve to extirpate this execrable race.” Hitler wanted to wipe out the Jews and subject the world to his madness. In the end, I think our lives shouldn’t be mapped out based on such events no matter how sad.

Humanity is renowned for fortitude in the face of extreme violence. Hitler was keen to turn the world into a huge wasteland, but he failed, even though, in the process, millions lost their lives. The incredible thing I’ve realised is this, our ugliness and monstrosity would not prevail over the beauty and love inherent in us (this is where free-will comes in). That’s contradictory but it’s the truth. As Daniel Goleman wrote, ”societies can be sunk by the weight of ugliness.”

There’s real hatred in the world, just check social media where some segment of humanity compares others as inferior to them. It’s heartbreaking but over the millennia, it’s been part of the history of mankind, the pervading hatred, the palpable feeling of helplessness experienced by slaves which brought the brutal book, ‘The Heart Of Darkness ,’ written by Joseph Conrad to mind. More than ten million people had died in the Congo in the 19th and early 20th century under the rule of the notorious Belgian King, Leopold II. The Congo had been plundered and its inhabitants killed with ruthless efficiency. It’s one of the greatest acts of mass murder in human history. That’s humanity’s ugliness at its height. According to a review on Amazon, ”Conrad makes it painfully clear that the heart of darkness can reside within us all,” how sad!

Unfortunately, the killings in Congo is still ongoing, according to an article written by Owen Jones in the Guardian Newspaper on 6 March 2015, he lamented, ” African lives did not matter enough: a death toll of up to 6 million would surely not have been tolerated elsewhere. For the West, it is a country of little strategic importance.”

Overall, I still believe that our ugly sides can be tamed, maybe I’m wrong?

This article is open to debate, let me know what you think.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend wherever you are in the world!

Much love, always. 🙂

 

Alien

 

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   (Photo Credit: Flickr)

Recently, I had a splinter of wood embedded inside my middle finger. Initially, the pain was excruciating, but after a while, I scarcely noticed the alien inside my finger. I guessed it slowly became a part of me. It was a slow process, it didn’t happen immediately, but soon enough, it ceased to be an alien. I’d accepted that splinter of wood as part of me, it mingled with my flesh, it attached itself to my blood, and if I did nothing to remove it, it would be immovable, static.

It would have found a home.

That’s the same with attitude. I don’t believe that people are naturally born nasty. They cultivated that nastiness over time. That’s why I love children, they are so innocent but incredibly impressionable. It’s an open secret that children who grew up in homes where swear words were spoken repeatedly wouldn’t find anything wrong with it.

 

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Life is complex, and most things happen when we least expected. We can slowly turn into a monster, if we don’t check ourselves and gauge our lives with this mantra, ‘how would I feel if someone did that to me?’

My middle name is Alexandra, which means helper of men or humanity. I love people, naturally, I try to see the good in people, so you can imagine my horror when I found out that I’d hurt someone, although it wasn’t deliberate. I was mortified, and I moved swiftly by apologising. Have I been hurt by others? Countless times! But I wouldn’t for the life of me expect someone to apologise to me because life doesn’t work out that way.

At one point or another in our lives, we may have inadvertently imbibed alien attitudes, the great news is, we can remove that stranger from our lives if we wanted to do that. I travel on the tube to work everyday, and I’ve witnessed horrible behaviours from other commuters; and I’d also been exposed to a huge amount of love.

I’m a humanist, I believe in people. I hope anyone reading this believes in people too, because that’s one of the ways we can make our world a better place to live!

NB:

I have to apologise for not updating my website/blog for a while. I’ve recently accepted a job offer which is incredibly satisfying but utterly time-consuming. I’ve mastered my daily routine now, and I would be visiting more blogs and writing more posts often. I’ve missed all of you, and as time permits, I would be visiting and reading your awesome posts soon.

I love you all, and please, stay safe!

Love, always! 🙂

Time, That Ageless Riddle…

 

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(Photo credit: Flickr)

My father loved time, he once told me that the most precious thing we could ever waste in life is time. He implored me to spend my time wisely on worthy causes, on things that give joy to me as a person, and I’ve adhered to his advice, as a result, my life is rich and fulfilling. When he passed away two years ago, his words still echo in my mind, and now I realised why he valued time so much.

Time is, and will always be a riddle. We can’t own it but we can use it wisely. How are you spending your time? Are you spending it in love? Or in anguish, hatred and discontentment?  Are you filling your days with laughter or sorrow? As we age, we reflect on days gone by, in the midst of our reflections, let’s be mindful of our time, and I think we would live it well.

 

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Finley Peter Dunne had a saying that, ‘the past always looks better than it was. It’s only pleasant because it isn’t there.’ I disagreed with his assertion. In the past, my dad lives, in the present, he’s gone. I’ve made peace with that because he’s safe with God, however, there are moments I still want to kiss his cheeks and hear him call my name. Time claimed my dad, as it would claim us at one time or another.

I love how Horace Mann puts it, ”Lost-yesterday, somewhere between sunrise and sunset, two golden hours, each set with sixty diamond minutes. No reward is offered, for they are gone forever.” My dad left this earthly realm when I least expected, however, he left me with wisdom beyond my years.

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Today, I watched a new documentary by Morgan Freeman called ‘The Story Of God.’ Freeman explored the afterlife and why human beings are keen to be immortal. To me, my dad is immortal, he lives on in my breath, my thoughts and my actions. He lives on in the memories of those men and women that aren’t even related to him, and I guess when we positively touch the lives of others, we would live on in their memories whether we are alive or dead.

Our time in this part of heaven is limited, we can’t help it but we can make our lives count by being selfless and loving.

Still thinking of you Peter Nelson… Adieu, dad!

My Dad

I hope everyone would have a wonderful week ahead!

Much love, always. 🙂

The Irrefutable Light…

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”We are told to let our light shine, and if it does, we won’t need to tell anybody it does. Lighthouses don’t fire cannons to call to attention their shinning – they just shine.” Dwight L. Moody

What Jesus did and is still doing for humanity is simple. He became our light, he simply allowed himself to align with our frailty, weakness, and mortality and when he did that, we became one with Him when we believe. Jesus is the irrefutable sacrifice, the ultimate hope of eternity. In Him, we have the hope that even though our time in this world is limited, our joy in heaven is limitless.

The international rock star and social activist, Bono’s song about Yahweh capture my mood in this beautiful season, his quote on Christ was spot on. Please watch if you’ve got the time.

”But with Christ, we have access in a one-to-one relationship, for, as in the Old Testament, it was more one of worship and awe, a vertical relationship. The New Testament, on the other hand, we look across at a Jesus who looks familiar, horizontal. The Combination is what makes the Cross.” Bono

I love this song below, it sent me down memory lane.

”Outside of the cross of Jesus Christ, there is no hope in this world. That cross and resurrection at the core of the Gospel is the only hope for humanity. Wherever you go, ask God for wisdom on how to get that Gospel in, even in the toughest situations of life.” Ravi Zacharias.

Jesus is our hope in this world of sin and imperfection. Let Him be your friend, He’s already mine!

I hope all my Christian friends would have a wonderful Easter, Jesus lives! And to my non-Christian friends, I love you still, have  a fantastic holiday!

Much love, always! 🙂