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!🙂

Love, Aging, And Everything In Between

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(Photo credits: Flickr)

We are special species. The human race is resilient in the face of adversity,  we come up with interesting concepts about love, aging, and survival. I love the way Jamais Cascio puts it, ”resilience is all about being able to overcome the unexpected. Sustainability is about survival. The goal of resilience is to thrive.”

I couldn’t agree more. We can thrive when all hopes seem lost, the secret to an ageless, carefree life is contentment with who you are. People with disembodied image of themselves tend to continually conflicts with life.

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                                                                       (Lines of wisdom)

 When everything seems to go pear-shaped, humanity always has a way of making things better. Yes, sometimes, we fail dismally, however, that has never stopped humanity. I believe in humanity, I believe in love and I am a forever optimist that things can always get better.

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                                                            (I love The Hope In Her Eyes)

Valentine shouldn’t be about love only, I reckon it should also be about hope, faith, and perseverance.

Hope for the parents of a six-year-old girl afflicted with cancer that she would get better with the right treatment, faith that a job seeker would get a befitting job and his life wouldn’t be a constant struggle, and perseverance in the face of overwhelming defeat. Never giving up because there would be a time, when a breakthrough actually looms beside defeat.

22055347934_0ca6270d9a_o (2)                                                                  (I love his carefree smile)

I believe in humanity, do you?

I’ll leave you guys with this simple quote by Kushandwizdom, ”faith makes all things possible, hope makes all things work and love makes all things beautiful.”

I hope your lives would be filled with faith, hope, and love.

Have a wonderful Valentine.🙂

Much love always!
🙂

A Time To Love

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(Photo credit: Flickr)

‘Christmas is the perfect time to celebrate the love of God and family and to create memories that will last forever. Jesus is God’s perfect, indescribable gift. The amazing thing is that not only are we able to receive this gift, but we are able to share it with others on Christmas and every other day of the year.’

Joel Osteen

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(I love the Lake District!)

‘Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.’

Norman Vincent Peale

The spirit of Christmas is the spirit of love and of generosity and of goodness. It illuminates the picture window of the soul, and we look out upon the world’s busy life and become more interested in people than in things.

Thomas S. Monson

Reading these quotes reminded me of the real meaning of Christmas. It’s a time of love, a time to share, and a time to have fun. Some people aren’t so lucky to be surrounded by loved ones this Christmas but we could help in our own way by donating money, food supplies to charities like the Salvation army and spread the spirit of love wherever we find ourselves.

From my end here, I wish every one of you a merry Christmas and a happy new year! If you don’t celebrate Christmas, happy holidays!

Much love, always.🙂

On Humanity And Idiosyncrasies

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(My ideal place to be now!)

“Man surprised me most about humanity. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money.
Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.” Dalai Lama

If we continually observe the world, it’s really filled with sad news, war, war, and war! Yet in the midst of the seemingly absurd, grotesque, insane, and obscene, we have to carry on living.

My husband and I were having one of our ‘philosophical chats’ when he quoted Dalai Lama, it hit me like a sledgehammer; am I working too hard?

However, after a brief soul-searching I came to this verdict: I love life, I really enjoy living even when I’m working hard and juggling multiple responsibilities with kids screaming for my attention, countless office deadlines and uncooperative plots ( my novels and several other manuscripts I’m working on).

I am absolutely certain that I enjoy my idiosyncratic attitude to living because life has no part two, there are no dress rehearsals or a delete button. We take what we have, use it wisely and hope for the best, and I think we ought to strive to find joy in life in any way we can.

December is a month of frenzy cum feverish spending, planning, office parties. Why not pause for a while, enjoy the snow-capped mountains, (if there’s one in your vicinity), the fake reindeer, and annoying Christmas jingles that normally grated on your nerves.

I intend to, I hope you’ll all enjoy everyday living.

Have a fantastic weekend friends!

Much love, always.🙂