Money: the root of all evil?

Hi!

It is another week and I am glad to be able to share with you all another blog. Over the weekend I was reading and I couldn’t help but share with you all a few excerpts from Ayn Rand’s book. Due to my busy schedule during the week I try to do as much reading as I can during the weekend and to be honest it is like a tonic for my brain. Without further ado; I present “money the root of all evil”.

So you think money is the root of all evil? Have you ever asked yourself what is the root of money? Money is a tool of exchange, which can’t exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them. Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value. Money is not the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears or of the looters, who take it from you by force. Money is made possible only by men who produce. Is this what you consider evil? ”

The set up to this quote is a statement by a lady to a renowned industrialist who may or may not have been lavish in his ways or exploitative. Her statement is more of a personal attack on his character than it is about money. He is able to however give some thought-provoking answers about the real nature or quality of money. As we go on I’ll try to expand where necessary. In actuality, his statements are blunt and need very little explanation.

When you accept payment for your effort, you do so only on the conviction that you’ll exchange it for product or effort of others. It is not the moochers or looters who give value to money. Not an ocean of tears nor all the guns in the world can transform those pieces of paper in your wallet into the bread you will need to survive tomorrow. Those pieces of paper which should have been gold, are a token of honor- your claim upon the energy of those who produce. Your wallet is your statement of hope that somewhere in the world around you there are men who will not default on that moral principle which is the root of money. Is this what you consider evil?

Money is explained in the light that it actually is; a means of fair and conscientious exchange. This exchange can be of goods or services. Without money in its physical form which some people despise as evil, there won’t be a fair and consistent way to measure and exchange and that is why looters and moochers are referenced in the first paragraph. The possession of money in a wallet or bank account is also nothing but fair hope that wherever you are in the world, you can get people to maintain a consistent manner of approach when it comes to serving you or been served. This is so because money on its own doesn’t really have an effect until it is tied to its basic function; as a tool of exchange.

Have you ever looked for the root of production? Take a look at an electric generator and dare tell yourself that it was created by the muscular effort of unthinking brutes. Try to grow a seed of wheat without the knowledge left to you by men who had to discover it for the first time. Try to obtain food by means of nothing but physical motions – and you’ll learn that man’s mind is the root of all the goods produced and of all the wealth that has ever existed on earth.”

If the root of money is for exchange and that exchange is based on production then is production evil? Production is based on need or necessity and as long as there are needs, there is production and as long as these needs are met by goods and services produced, one will require a fair means for them to be exchanged.

“”But you say that money is made by the strong at the expense of the weak? What strength do you mean? It is not the strength of guns and muscles. Wealth is the product of man’s capacity to think. Then is money made by the man who invents a motor at the expense of those who did not invent it? Is money made by the intelligent at the expense of the fools? By the able at the expense of the incompetent? By the ambitious at the expense of the lazy? Money is made before it can be looted or mooched – made by the effort of every honest man, each to the extent of his own ability. An honest man is one who knows that he can’t consume more than he has produced.”

This paragraph sort of silences claims of people who feel they are disenfranchised by “rich industrialist” who seem to make all the money. I do understand that there need to be regulations in terms of taxes, and regulations as to what practices are allowed to ensure for sustainable development. This is however not the bone of contention. Here the paradigm is clear; if you have an ingenious mind that can solve a huge problem and alleviate people’s suffering, you will get rewarded for it. That reward will translate into money and it doesn’t matter how strong or weak you are. Bottom line is no one should blame a man for being rich because he was able to create a product or a service. Using one’s mind to create wealth is not a form of oppression.

The last line in this paragraph concludes by saying an honest man is one who knows he can’t consume more than he has produced. This line syncs perfectly well with a famous verse from the Upanishads; “Everything animate or inanimate in this world is controlled and owned by the Lord, and one should only take what is one’s quota remembering to whom everything belongs.” It is worthy to note that the speaker or character in this book is an industrialist who has no inclination towards religion whatsoever however we can see that at least his definition of an honest man aligns with that of scriptures thousands of years old.

To trade by money is the code of the men of good will. Money rests on the axiom that every man is the owner of his mind and his effort. Money allows no power to prescribe the value of your effort except the voluntary power of the man willing to trade you his effort in return.

This is very self-explanatory, if I may add anything to this it would be the fact that without money as a means of exchange, vices like oppression, theft, and slavery which all oppose the very concept of voluntary exchange, will continue to this day.

There is so much to share on this topic and I hope I can make a second part so that it is not too long a read. Till next week, read, share and follow for more.

Emptiness

Hi
It’s a pleasure to be able to share with you all today. I hope you all are faring well. Last weekend was doubly special as I was able to visit my long seen friends, participate in a festival and also dedicate a post to my Father for Father’s day.
This week I was at sea as to what to share with you all and I so decided why not talk a bit about internal vacuums or feelings of emptiness.
At some point in time or another, we all might have had the feeling of emptiness or just a vacuum that we can’t seem to fill up. The reason why people feel this way can be very different depending on the person, upbringing, family, friends, social and spiritual circle, etc. This feeling of emptiness or vacuum can very well degenerate into depression and sometimes suicide. So what can we do to stop these thoughts and feeling in their tracks before we go downhill? Is there an immediate trigger for these feelings? Is it occasional for some and frequent for others? What is the best way to address this at the core? All these and more is what I am hoping to share today.
Yesterday I was reading a book by Ayn Rand and one of the characters in her book Atlas Shrugged; Mr. Rearden, a successful industrialist, a businessman is depicted experiencing this same feeling of emptiness. I am about one-fourth through the book so whatever I am sharing now is my immediate perception of what this character is going through as I read.
Mr. Rearden is a very busy industrialist in the Iron business, owns a furnace where he smelts the iron and he even invents a special type of iron alloy.
His wife and family criticize him for being too absorbed in his work but enjoy the privileges that his fortune offers. His brother is lazy and doesn’t want to take responsibility for his actions and his wife isn’t the best to have intellectual conversations with.
He is described as arrogant and demanding but his line of business isn’t for the meek. He gets into a relationship with a very intelligent lady by the name Dagny and she becomes his mistress. In one of the excerpts he mentions on the way to dinner with her that for once in his life, his wealth seemed to have some meaning, because he was with her.
Now for those of you who might have read the book, I know your interpretations may very well differ from mine and I respect that however, this is what I sort of deduced. Mr. Rearden has made so much money in his life and one could say he felt empty because he didn’t pay attention to his family life. This could very well be the case and to this, I say balance is the keyword. What is the point of accumulating so much money for your family if you are never there with them to enjoy it?
This is not the case of Mr. Rearden because he makes a statement to his mistress on a dinner night, stating how rich people come to classy places to find fulfillment and fun instead of being that themselves. So he gets the point that whatever you are trying to fill up your internal emptiness with has to also come from within.
Even though his relationship with his mistress is highly sexual, they both seem to connect more on a mental level than just physically. She picks his brain in a good way and he admires the fact that she doesn’t need him but allows herself to express that so that they both share a mutual feeling of being needed.
This post is not to support having a mistress in any way but to shed some light on the extent to which people go to find solace. We all need to connect deeply with something or we will connect with just about anything. If we are not rooted or grounded then we are prone to sway more. When the heart is devoid of love it seeks replacements, and people find this in many strange places. Some find that fill in their work and become so engrossed that nothing else exists, some find it in drinking and end up as alcoholics, some find it in a mistress and have to deal with the headaches and so on. The idea though is to find something that fills us and takes care of the vacuum so that we never have to seek an artificial fill again.
Some people take to spirituality in order to better understand themselves and connect to something deeper than the physical.
Until and unless we have a higher taste it is difficult to give up a lower taste. Similarly until and unless we connect with something that is whole in itself we will always be lacking because everything else is dependent on another thing. Thus we are caught in a circle of dependency that we cannot escape from.
We all must connect to something or someone deeper than the physical. The question is to what or whom? I’ll like to get some feedback as to how you all deal with feelings of void or emptiness and what is your preferred method of connecting to a deeper place.
Till next week read, share and follow for more.

Fathers Day

Hi!

It’s great sharing with you all yet another blog this week. I had an amazing weekend participating in a festival about four hours away from my state. The drive was smooth and just catching up old friends and acquaintances in my former place of work was really great. It was nothing my love and positive energy. Personally, I feel like I needed to have this weekend off after a long week of work. It is good to always take some time off to rejuvenate and refocus our body, mind, and soul.

Yesterday Sunday 16th was Fathers day; at least here in the States, and I couldn’t share my thoughts on my Father because it wasn’t the day to post my blog. Thus I am sharing this today. The last time I wrote about my Mum, I was seriously trying not to talk about my Father. It is usually difficult for me to speak about one without referencing the other. They both have contributed to the Man I have become and I am immensely grateful to them. Today the spotlight is on my Father and I shall try in some way to talk about his many qualities. I feel like to describe my Father in a one-page dissertation is to discredit his numerous qualities, nevertheless, try I must.

My father is a visionary, resourceful, dynamic, intelligent, a goal getter, and an amazing teacher. These are but a few words that come to my mind first hand. Now if I may try to describe his qualities I can say that if there is one particular quality that I cannot but overlook is that he is growth oriented. My Dad will always challenge himself to be better and bigger than he was. To him, “good” is mediocre, better is “good” and being the best is okay. Anytime I felt I had done or achieved something “far out” he was always there to ask me “but what about the next step”? Why be second best? Why be small? Go big or don’t go? Now I know some of my readers might feel but isn’t this like over-endeavoring? The interesting part is my Dad will never push anyone he wasn’t responsible for or anyone who wasn’t under his tutelage.

He had a slogan, “If you live with me, people should be able to tell just by your actions, that you got some sort of training from me”. I have carried this like a chain around my neck, so much so that people are subtly “scared” of things I achieve because I remind them day in day out of my Father. I recount on numerous incidences when someone would offend me and we had to present the issue to my Father, he never took sides with me even when I was clearly in the right. One day I asked him “why do you always chastise me even when these people are the ones in the wrong”. His response was ” You are my son and will always be with me however if I chastise these people who I am training they can leave and this is not good”.

His philosophy was I was always the one who needed to work on myself and anyone else who I had an issue with was right. As tough as this was and still is, it has only made me better because I am constantly being pushed to be better. Today we have the opposite because Parents feel they have to “protect” their kids by telling them that everyone else is wrong and they are right. Growing up as a kid, and having the kind of discipline I got I had made sure that from elementary school all the way to graduating from the University not once did my Dad or Mum have to visit my school because of a misdemeanor. My Dad will always say “remember the son of whom you are”. So I would rather be a rascal at home and deal with the consequences than be one outside and bring shame to my Parents.

My Father has taught me a lot of things from spirituality to morality, self-esteem to public speaking (I feel and people who have heard him speak will agree that he is an orator), and even Chess. Yes, he taught me how to play Chess, even though I always win him at it. I have a saying that if I write and you read it, it is difficult not to be convinced, my Dad is the opposite. He’ll say “all I have to do is talk and I can convince anyone”. I have seen my Dad do things and achieve feats that even multi-millionaires cannot achieve with all their wealth. His strategy is; think it, feel it, will it, materialize it. If he can imagine it in his mind, he can make it happen. Till this day I feel like if there is anything I’ll like to “inherit” from him, it will be his brain. If I can add my Dad’s brain to mine and my Mum’s I’ll be a demigod. People reading this might feel this is some far out exaggeration but those who know them personally will definitely agree that my parent’s brain put together is a force to reckon with.

Now one may wonder but my father is human and must have some faults. Yes, he does, if he didn’t he’ll be God and he is not. However, he is one person who teaches not just from his strengths but from his weakness. My Dad has said to me on numerous occasions; you are just like me when I was your age. Don’t make the same mistakes I made. Avoid this, do this better and don’t repeat this! So even his weakness were strong learning curves for me. I remember once while in Asia, I was speaking with someone and during the discussion, I had quoted my Father so much without being aware and the person I was talking to couldn’t help but notice and said: ” your father has really impacted you”!

To be honest I feel trying to write about him is an injustice because there is so much I am going to miss out and I won’t be able to really show you his worth. I know there is so much more I need to learn in this lifetime and I pray that he is blessed with good health and long life so I can learn more. I shall close this dissertation about him with a few words of wisdom from him. These are more like sutras, or proverbs or idioms. You can write an entire book from each one.

  • Do not add to the irrationality of a situation by acting irrationally.
  • Most things in this world won’t make sense under proper scrutiny, don’t waste your time trying to prove it.
  • Remember the Son of whom you are.
  • If you don’t know where you are going, at least remember where you are coming from.
  • Don’t pray for your enemies to die, pray for them to have good health and long life to see what you have become.
  • Live within your means.
  • For the part that you like, you must accept the whole.

I can go on and on, however, in order to keep this within a readable length I’ll take a pause here. Till next week, read, share and follow my blog for more.

 

 

Home; a safe haven or hell.

Hi!

I am actually ecstatic sharing with you all another blog this week. The response to my last blog was really amazing. I wasn’t expecting it to get so many views but I guess the topic is one we all are skeptical to talk about because of the times in which we live. Nonetheless, it was a joyful experience sharing and I appreciate the support always. So this week I felt hey why not continue on the rollercoaster. Share something that will pick at the mind and intellect of those who read it.

Since I spoke about Gender roles last week, naturally the transition will be to talk about the space in which these genders live in. The house we rent and share is just a house if certain elements are missing. Ever heard of the phrase; home sweet home! Well, it didn’t say “house sweet house”, because a house and a home are two different dynamics. One is the physical enclosure in which the other thrives. One may argue that well since a home is non-existent without the physical space called a house, then home is nothing really but a house with people in it. To this thought I beg to differ, animals habit in some really interesting spaces in Nature and to be honest, it is their home. Have you ever seen a tailor bird build its nest? Amazing piece of craftsmanship and art. However, as beautiful and intricate as the nest may be, it is not complete until the female tailorbird is sought, and comes to lay her eggs there.

In essence, if a house is not filled with joy, laughter, peace, love, kids, family, etc, it is difficult to describe it as a home per se. The physical space has to have some attributes that enable us to enjoy the homely feeling, otherwise, we get the opposite. This is where the sacred science of Vastu or Fend-Shui comes in. I have been fortunate enough to study some documents and books on Vastu Sastra or the science of living spaces and I can tell you for a fact that our houses have a lot more influence on us than we really know.   Many of us might have either seen, heard or even experienced moving into a new house and its one bad event after another. The car breaks down, everyone falls ill back to back, debts accrue endlessly and no matter how much we try nothing seems to work. Then you take a month vacation and it seems like everything is on pause and then as soon as you get back “home” the saga continues.

Some people are fortunate enough to decipher the sequence and even try to trace why things are happening. Then we decide to move to a new place to try for another opportunity and things start to change for the better. I know I might have to do another blog to extensively explain some aspects of Vastu or Feng-shui, but in the interim, it is worthy to note that our living spaces are like a bigger reflection of ourselves. In order for balance and tranquility to be met, some areas of the house should be always blocked, some areas always open, some areas should have entrances and some areas should not. Our bedrooms where we spend a lot of our time should be designed in a way to help us relax and grow, our living room and other spaces should also radiate energy in a way that they assist us in the endeavor we are trying to perform.

When we ignore all of this and just build for the sake of building we violate the “building codes” of nature. Just like every city has a building regulation, Nature has universal building regulations. For those who might be skeptics to this science, at least you’ll agree with me that there must have been one time in your life when you have walked into the house of a friend or somewhere and just said to yourself “something is really off about this place”, and other times when you walk into a place and just felt so much peace that you were intune with yourself. That “feeling” my friends is not just a feeling but real science. A notch further is coming home from work and having to deal with these energies. For those of us who have regular jobs, you’ll agree with me that after a long day at work, one looks forward to coming home to some peace, love, and tranquility.  Now imagine living in a space that has adverse effects on you and your partner and one of you is always triggered.

Let me give a vivid example to help you grasp this idea. There are certain rooms in a house that have negative effects based on who sleeps in it. The room in the NorthWest is considered better for the head of the family and if you have a guest in such a room, they might overstay their welcome lol. This is because it is a space that gives dominance and stability. Likewise, imagine living a house with many negative faults as per Nature’s building regulation and at the same time living with a partner that makes your life tough. Double hell I’ll say! You come home and the house has its effects on you, you feel twice as worked up even though you just had a hectic day at work, and just when you try to unwind you have a nagging wife or overbearing husband. Scenarios like this have pushed many people out of their homes to find some peace and solace.

The mind can only stay so long without peace and love! The house has to be made into a home so that it can radiate Love, Peace and positive vibes from proper Vastu. So ask yourself, is my house a safe haven or hell? How do I feel when I am on my way back home? Am I excited or just going through the motions? Do I feel relaxed when I am back home or it feels just like work? Is my partner assisting in making our house a HOME? Am I assisting in making our house a HOME? Many really good people with wonderful hearts have been “pushed” out of their own homes because they just can’t find peace and love in it. Let us try to do better! I sincerely hope that I can shed more light on the science of spaces soon, in order to give my readers a better understanding of how this works and to assist you all.

Till next week, I remain your loving friend and well-wisher. Read, share and follow for more.

Gender roles and Society

Hi!

It’s a pleasure to be able to share with you all yet another blog this week. This week I felt I share something a little bit secular. I want to share my thoughts more in a manner of internal dialogue and discussion as opposed to a thesis or dissertation standpoint. There are many views and opinions on gender roles today; some are viewed as archaic, some as modern and some as probably too futuristic. The common denominator to all three is that they are based on people’s opinion and everyone seems to have one these days.

We also live in times when people get triggered by almost anything, and if it is possible I feel people will get triggered by someone else just existing. What am I driving at exactly? My point is at the end of the day we all have to do what works best for us without causing discomfort to other people or living beings. Gender roles have a very huge impact on our society and for some reason whether we accept it or not there are positive impacts from each model. The “application” of these roles can be pinpointed effectively in a traditional Man-Woman relationship. So let’s have a quick look at this model; simply put the Man is the breadwinner, he provides, protects and professes his love and care for his female partner and family by seeing that they have all they need. He works and the Lady takes care of their home and kids.

The second model which is the modern model (I have given them these names for ease of description), is what we have more of these days. The Man and Woman are both providers, they both share the duties in the home and they are both working professionals.

Last but not least is the futuristic model (which is slowly gaining ground now), where no one is “expected” to do anything designated to a gender and everyone does what they can to help the relationship, so, for example, a Man who earns less than his wife could decide to stay at home full time to take care of the kids while the woman is the one working and providing. So far I haven’t spoken about the pros and cons of the three models so that we have a general idea and no bias before reading through all of them.

Pros and Cons of the traditional model: let’s look at the pros first; the woman is always protected as she doesn’t have to deal with job stress or sexual harassment at work. She is able to be a teacher for kids who have her full attention and undivided time since she’s at home with them in their formative and first years. The Man is rest assured knowing that his wife is at peace and the chances of her being exploited by people or a job are next to nothing. An extrapolation of this model will be to set up a venture that she can run from home if she expresses boredom etc.

The cons; the lady might feel like she’s not allowed to pursue a career and as such this might lead to feelings of frustration. If the Man loses his job, the family is hit for the period it takes him to get a new one. Surviving on one income these days might be tough especially if the couple does not live within their means.

Pros and Cons of the modern model; As per the pros, there is double income which means leverage to do more within the home, if one person suffers a job loss there is some cushion from the other partner’s income pending when things are solved, each partner has the chance to pursue a career they like, etc. House chores are shared and this can make the load easier.

For the cons; there is little or no time left after a hectic day to spend with each other, they both return from work exhausted and neither can really offer the other support emotionally because they are both drained. Work decisions can supersede a home decision especially if money is involved, and this may cause a rift in the relationship as a partner might feel their opinion is not being respected. Usually, each partner is more answerable to their work “boss” rather than to their partners. For example, a Man might want his wife to do one thing but if the boss gives a work order that contradicts it she might lean more towards it because that’s where she gets her income. Kids are sent off to daycares at a very early age and miss the chance of being around their parents in their formative years. The lady is exposed to sexual harassment either at work or simply in her commute. Feminity and poise become something a woman has to wear and take off like makeup because at work she has to be “aggressive” and “competitive” with her male counterparts. Usually this “aggression and competition” doesn’t limit to the workplace, after a while it becomes second nature and it creeps into the home, creating subtle competition with one’s spouse.

Eating at home becomes inconsistent since they both return tired from work and there tends to be more of a lean towards eating out. This is usually more expensive and unhealthy as it is difficult to track the hygiene or dietary standards of a meal cooked outside. Fulfilling financial obligations towards kids because a priority placed over nurturing and mentoring with love and care. I guess this should suffice for now.

Pros and Cons of the futuristic model; This model is quite similar to the modern model in pros however an additional positive is that no one is stereotyped into doing something just because of their gender.

The cons; there is a lot of confusion and disturbance in the balance of society and I’ll explain how. The Man is expected to open doors, pull out the seat in a restaurant, handle the check after an outing, protect the lady, stand up and offer his place on public transportation if a lady steps in and there is no place for her to sit; these and more are the traits of a traditional model. In the futuristic model, this doesn’t exist, mostly because feminists say that gender roles try to show the superiority of one gender over another, “so what a Man can do a woman can do better”. So “some Men” as a response to that now refuse to do all that is listed above and say that well women can do it too since there are no gender roles.

So now on a date, you see a Man will ask the lady to pay for their meal, he won’t open any doors for her, forget about him pulling out a seat, even if a pregnant lady has to stand for a 15 mins bus ride, Men now refuse to give up their seats. The most degrading on is the golden rule “never hit a Woman, even if she hits you”. Now Men are seen hitting ladies who hit them back because there is no expectation of how a Man should act since we are all equal, so the argument is if you hit me I’ll hit you back.

This, of course, has infuriated many Ladies who feel that chivalry is lost in Men. Those of the futuristic model, still want Men to act as in the traditional model, but allow women to act as in the Modern model. This is where the confusion and imbalance to the society come in. At this point, my readers may feel that it seems like I lean more to the traditional model or the modern model, however that is not the objective of this blog. My objective is to offer some food for thought and allow my readers to formulate their own hypothesis, theory, observation, tests and conclusion (in no particular order). Look at the society as we know it now and as it was before and ask deep non-sentimental questions about the state of our progress so far.

I hope this sheds some light on this topic and I’ll greatly appreciate it if you all gave your comments. Till next week, read, share and follow for more.

Passion meets Dedication

Hello readers,

I hope you all are having a great holiday today. Happy Memorial day! I’ll like to use this medium to say that we are grateful to all those who lost their lives while serving this country. To serve one’s country is a noble deed, however when one dies serving it is indeed honorable. Every society has four classes of Men and the Administrative class includes the Military; so they are are a very important part of the society. For there to be a balance in a society these four classes have to be present and aware of their responsibilities. Those who are in the Administrative order have to protect and run the society, the Priestly class give direction to the Administrative class and help them remain focused by teaching them to be virtuous, the Mercantile class are those who engage in business and they are in charge of commerce, and last but not least are the working class who support all other three classes.

Not everyone is cut out to be a Military officer because not only does it require certain physical attributes but also the mindset of a warrior. A lot of people would love to serve the country in that way however their physical conditioning usually does not allow them to do so. Hence it is very commendable when we get those who have both the willingness and the physical ability to serve the nation in that capacity. In the same light, my blog today sort of streams of the same perspective, and I just wanted to shed some light on the correlation between passion and dedication. Many people have something they are passionate about and they will swear it is all they want to do or have. However when it comes to making the necessary adjustments then they fall short.

We may have seen this at some point in time in our lives or even been in that situation where we say we want to do something but lack the discipline to follow it through. So the question usually is why? To be honest, there isn’t one clear cut answer for this question. However, if there is one we can harp on today it will be the factor of dedication. When dedication meets passion then success is achievable, just like when opportunity meets preparation success is guaranteed. Dedication to our craft, job, work, or talent goes beyond the externals of it. It is one thing to say we are dedicated to something we hold dear but it is another thing when we are actually dedicated. I usually say that when we are truly dedicated to our passion, we don’t have to tell people we are dedicated, people will tell others that we are dedicated.

For one to be successful at any passion, the level of dedication has to rise through certain levels; from ordinary to a level of obsession. Those who truly succeed at any endeavor become somewhat “obsessed” about it. They see nothing but that passion, they “eat it, sleep it, dream it, do it, until they achieve it”. That is why I say it is a stage of obsession. In all fairness, if you are not at the point where “all” you think about is your passion, then permit me to say your dedication to it is partial. I know many people will beg to differ and ask me where does “balance” come in if one is operating at that level. Well, my response is that when we are trying to achieve or pursue a passion, we are not in balance initially. This is due to the fact that we are trying to achieve or do something that is an integral part of us hence we are passionate about it. So how can we truly be “balanced or equipoised” when an integral part of our balance is not met yet?

Sounds a little confusing right? Allow me to illustrate with an example; say you are hungry and you crave Pasta. You can very well eat any other type of food and it will satiate your hunger but the craving for pasta will always be there and until you have pasta that craving won’t be satisfied. So, in this case, pasta is the “passion” while trying to make, cook or get pasta is the dedication. When we eat something else in the interim while we can’t get pasta, that may seem like “balance” because it does address a need which is the fact that we are no longer hungry, however, we are still “hungry for pasta”, so the satisfaction or “balance” is only part. Unfortunately, this is what most of us do! We can’t get pasta so we lose our dedication to it.

Yes, sometimes we may not be able to get pasta, so in life, we improvise and try spaghetti instead. The idea is that if we run up on a wall on the way to fulfilling our passion, we don’t change the goal we adapt and change the route to getting there. When we are able to find alternative routes just like a GPS does when we take the wrong turn then we are dedicated to our passion. In fact, speaking of GPS I am yet to see a GPS shut down just because the driver took a wrong turn. As soon as it notices you are off track, it immediately reroutes and tries to get you to your destination no matter how long it might take. In some cases, it will even show you a few options of routes that are quicker. Now if we could all take a leaf from the GPS and try to apply the same energy and strategy to our passions, we will achieve a lot more than we can imagine.

If at the end of the day all this sounds too confusing to note then please remember theses; focus on your passion, give it time, don’t lose focus, change the route not the goal, dedicate yourself so much so that you don’t need to tell people about your passion because just by seeing you or being around you, they can tell.

Hope this helps someone redefine their dedication. Happy Memorial Day!

Read, share and follow for more.

In Deep

Hi

It’s a pleasure to be able to share with you all yet another blog today. I hope you all are faring well. Last week we all celebrated Mother’s day and I must say the blog I wrote was one of the easiest one I have written so far. For those of you who missed it, please read it here.

This week I felt I share something a little different. Every now and then I’ll share a prayer, usually styled like poetry. I share these prayers not as a way to try to force my theistic beliefs on my readers or claim to be holier than thou, but as my way of saying that my progress in life has all been due to the mercy and grace of God. Without further ado, I give you all IN DEEP.

Dear Lord, I am making contact today as I do daily to say thank you first and foremost! The last couple of months have been trying, interesting and above all an opportunity to connect deeply with you. I am IN DEEP, and I just want to know which way to go. I am in deep when it comes to my daily struggles with life and I want to know which way to go so I can be a better devotee and person. I am in deep when it comes to my interactions with other people and I want to know which way to go so I can be a better example for others to follow. I am in deep when it comes to matters of the heart and I want to know which way to go so that my very existence radiates unconditional love; one that reminds people to love and serve you. Lord, do help me overcome these.

Dear Lord, I am making contact today as I do daily to say forgive me for my offenses! The last couple of months have been trying, interesting and above all an opportunity to connect with you deeply. I am in deep when it comes to praying to you inattentively. I call on your names and ask you to engage me in your service but my mind already has me engaged. It takes me everywhere it wants and all I do is follow. Every now and then I try to resist and sometimes I win but most times it does. I am in deep when it comes to not relishing the sweetness of calling upon you. I still find “other sweetness” in things that are material and temporary. I can only hope that you put some iota of taste in my heart. Lord, do help me overcome these.

Dear Lord, I am making contact today as I do daily to say forgive me for my offenses! The last couple of months have been trying, interesting and above all an opportunity to connect with you deeply. I am in deep when it comes to not spending time reading about your glories. I spend more time reading mundane pieces of literature with the hope of being erudite and scholarly. However, I forget that you are the source of all erudition and that by knowing you there is nothing left to know. The time I spend in speculative discussions and arguments I could very well use in studying more about you, but I choose to do otherwise. Help me Lord to refocus my priorities.

Dear Lord, I am making contact today as I do daily to say forgive me for my offenses! The last couple of months have been trying, interesting and above all an opportunity to connect with you deeply. I am in deep when it comes to identifying with my body and its by-products. I still think I am in control and in my own way, I try to lord over the material energy. I still think that the things around me are meant for my gratification instead of seeing them as facilities given to me to serve you. I claim to be aware of the principle of dovetailing things in your service but to be honest I do not have a clear understanding of how this works. Lord help me overcome this shortcoming.

Dear Lord, I am making contact today as I do daily to say forgive me for my offenses! The last couple of months have been trying, interesting and above all an opportunity to connect with you deeply. I am in deep when it comes to not showing adequate compassion to those who are ignorant of you. In my own way, I feel I am trying to get them to know you but I guess my ways lack the soft and magical touch of my spiritual mentor. I am in deep when it comes to using my spiritual standards as a yardstick to measure the seriousness of others. Even though I do realize that I may have some edge over others due to my own years of practice, I think it is high time I let others be the judge of their own spiritual progress. Lord, do help me overcome these.

Dear Lord, I am making contact today as I do daily to say forgive me for my offenses! The last couple of months have been trying, interesting and above all an opportunity to connect with you deeply. I am in deep when it comes to dealing with my subtle and gross shortcomings. I have faults which may not be very visible however like every human being I am far from perfect. I have been good at sorting out those flaws which are visible and sweeping under the carpet those I feel are “tiny grains.” Every day I wake up knowing how much visible progress I have made and how much progress I need to make that no one sees. I feel the real progress needed is that which no one sees because that is the one that you see. In my dark moments, only you and I know what my real struggles are. Lord, do help me overcome these.

Dear Lord, I am making contact today as I do daily to say forgive me for my offenses! The last couple of months have been trying, interesting and above all an opportunity to connect with you deeply. Help me for without you I am helpless, give me strength for with you I am weak. Your grace is sufficient for me.

 

 

Mothers 2

Hello!

Happy belated Mother’s day! Yesterday was Mother’s day (at least in the States), and I know some countries celebrate a week after the US, nevertheless, one thing is certain we all love and adore our Mothers. Last year I wrote a blog about Mothers and those of you who are interested can read it here. The approach was semi-reflective and semi-philosophical. Today I want to do something totally different.

The role of a Mother in our lives, in the society, in spirituality, and as a person, in general, cannot be overemphasized.  Most of us are who we are today because of our Mothers. This is the person we will spend most of our early lives with and in fact she is the first person we meet and know when we come into this world. When I close my eyes and I think of my Mother, I see many people forged into one person. A warrior, an expert Chef, an orator, a master planner, an Economist, a Doctor, a Designer, an event planner, a regional secretary, a leader, a superhero, and I can go on and on. This is only a partial list and I hope to update it as time goes on. lol

There have been times in my life when I have hit “dead ends” and literarily no “light at the end of the tunnel” and I knew that if only I can see her at the end of the tunnel, that was all the light I needed. Externally I am a tough guy, rugged and focused. I owe much of this to my Parents for sure, however since I am writing in honor of Mothers today, I hope my Dad doesn’t get jealous as I mention that I got a lot of survival instinct from Mum. My Dad has taught me how to survive in a different way and on Fathers day I hope I can do justice to explaining that. Today we have many people who want to become Mothers but who have very little clue what it truly means to become one. Yes, I may never know what it means to be a Mother because I am in a Male body, but I know one thing for sure, a Mother is like the Sun, when you see it you know it. You also don’t have to see the Sun in order to confirm it is daybreak. You just know!

When I am lost and confused I pray, think and try to focus more on the things I need to do. When I am confused and need direction with things in my life, I turn to my Father for light. His light may be too bright to see and sometimes “heavy” to carry but I know it is what I need to do. In the past as a much younger adult, I’ll break my head about how to make this work, because I wasn’t using all the help at my disposition. Then I figured out a way to help myself; my Mum. She had a way to help me see the light with shades on. So for example, if the lesson I had to learn in life was to lift twenty bricks and walk for 2 hours. My Dad will supply this information but Mum had a way of making me do it. She’ll say you have to lift these bricks for sure, there is no way around it, however, try to see how you can lift it with minimal fatigue.

There have been times when I have dropped some of “my bricks” in life and it all looked dark, but as I mentioned earlier I knew that once I could speak with my Mum (and Dad of course), I could most certainly figure it out. It’s either I have to make new bricks( Dad’s approach) or gather all the broken bricks and use them as fillers for my foundation (Mum’s approach). I hear a lot of people say they have Intelligent parents and I admire their expression. In my case when I say my parents are intelligent, trust me it is not a way of being nice or kind to them, it is not a way of being polite, it is not a way of making them look good, but just plain and simple TRUTH. They are so intelligent that there is no way to BS them in any way form or fashion, they see right through it. This is one of the many factors that has helped me in life.

I know that no matter how hard I may try to BS myself, they will see right through it and tell me as it is. Today I see many Parents trying to be “friends” with their kids and it is all good. My Parents are probably the only people I can call real friends in my life because they see me as I am, know me for who I was, is and will be and they never “sugar-coat” anything to please me. In today’s words they may be called “hard, old-school, tough, etc”, but they know they are my parents FIRST and then my friends. That line has never been blurred. I apologize that I should be talking about just my Mother today but it is so difficult to speak about one without mentioning the other. If there is any one thing I want to really achieve in life, it is to make them proud and happy and say “yes that is my Son”. Nothing else really matters.

If I succeed in becoming a great Son to them, then automatically I will be a great Father to my own kids, I’ll be a great husband to my wife, I’ll be a great leader in my workplace and I’ll be a great devotee of God. One factor to rule them all. ( I coined that from Lord of the rings by the way lol). I cannot really understand the sacrifices my Mother may have made for me, and I may never truly understand her own journey in life that shaped her into the Woman that she is, but I do understand that her presence in my life has shaped me into who I am today. I must admit that I do not always “get it” when my parents guide me but I can promise you that I always do my best to make sure I don’t fall too far off track. There is a phrase that people use to express the rarity and efficiency of things; “they don’t make them like this anymore”. I can say that phrase has never been truer in the case of my Mum (and Parents).

-“Yo! (as my mum fondly calls me), remember the son of who you are!”
– “If you don’t know where you are going, at least remember where you came from”
– “You are free to act as you wish and follow your mind but be ready to bear the consequence of your actions”.
– “As you lay your bed so you lie on it”
– “It is a done deal”
– “Hope and Focus”

These are some of the many sutras(proverbs/adages) that she says to me. The beauty of these one line sentences is that I can literally write an essay on each one. They are deep and packed with immense wisdom. Even my Father will sometimes tease her saying “Hima! can’t you speak without all these proverbs”. Mum is deep and once my Dad told me something and I can never forget this. He said; “You know there are times when I am in a tight situation and I need advice and your mum has never failed with a good one. She is very good at it”. Now knowing my Dad to be the person who leads and gives advice to people, it just made me really appreciate my Mum more.

I am trying to keep this short and sweet but as you can see, my parents greatly influenced me. My success comes from God, my parents and my spiritual mentor, and my setbacks are totally mine. Life is whatever I make of it and that much they make me realize every day. I love you mum and I pray that God in his infinite mercy bless, guide and protect you. May he grant you long life plus the satisfaction to see me reach positive heights that we cannot even imagine.

Have a great week folks! Till next week, read, share and follow for more.

Milestones

Hello!

It’s a pleasure being able to share with you all yet another blog this week. Last week came with its own unique lessons and experiences and I am grateful because we either win or learn. As we learn we grow better and our experiences help us create new paths in life. I’ll like to apologize for being two days late on my post, I have no excuses. work has been taking most of my time nevertheless I’ll try my best to be regular.

This week I’ll like to harp on milestones in life and achievements generally. Over the weekend I was at the graduation ceremony of a god-sister and there was a lot of wonderful moments that occurred. Family and friends were there to support and cheer her on and as expected a lot of words of advice and encouragement was shared too. At that moment during the little party, we had in her honor I took down a few mental notes which I am now expounding. Milestones in life are a great thing to look forward to as they help us keep the goal in focus. They also help us see how far we have come and how far we need to go. So let’s say someone has the goal of becoming a Doctor when they do achieve it, it becomes a milestone in their life. As beautiful as milestones can be we need to remember that if we focus too much on the goal, we miss the experience.

In as much as the milestone is important the experiences we gather on the way is what makes the journey special and not so much the destination. So using the same example, our experience from elementary school to high school to college will be the life changer we have to go through. Getting the degree that says we are now certified to be a medical practitioner is for sure a great moment however it is the years of study, exams, pain, tears, frustration, friends, adversary, etc that we gather from elementary school to college that makes the milestone a huge one. When we look back and see how far we have come and all those who have supported us in one way or another and how much they have invested in us, we really appreciate the milestone in a better way.

The second part of achieving milestones in life is the stage of actually utilizing them as tools. So in the case of my god-sister, now she has to go into the work field and secure a job and then put herself in a space where she can practice. This is the part where everyone gave words of advice and encouragement. We all know that once we have achieved a huge milestone in life, we have done but one part of a series of events. So as with the example above, now we have to secure a job and become efficient at it. In that field and space, we will have a different set of experiences, a different set of friends, goals, objectives and all these interplays in ways that help us either grow or regress. During our schooling years, we choose an association that helps us become better students and help us get better grades, similarly in the second phase of work we have to choose an association that inspires us to become better and more efficient at what we do at work.

Moreso, as we continue to devote ourselves to achieving various milestones in life we need to ask ourselves if the “why” is great enough to see us through. The “why” behind our milestones enable us to pay attention to the experience in the journey rather than being too centered on the end product. In the after party of my god-sister, there were a few pieces of advice that kept resonating with me and I felt I should share them here. No matter the of milestone we are trying to achieve we must remember that we cannot achieve them “alone”. No man is an island! Whenever we think we have achieved anything alone we must remember that there are many people who have devoted their time and sacrificed things to help us get to where we are on our journey. We need to be grateful for them and always remember that to go fast in life one should journey alone but to go far one should journey in good company.

Second, whenever we are faced with challenges from life or the world generally and we seem to doubt our own judgment, we should always remember that words of elders are words of wisdom. Our current generation has very little to no regard for older folks and often times refer to them as being “old school” or not in “vogue”. What we fail to understand is that the years of experience that our elders have is priceless. To be able to tap into that wealth of knowledge is a fortune we should never take for granted.

Third, hard work will do the work but it should never substitute our higher self. What do I mean? I know some of my readers may not believe in God and I feel everyone is entitled to their opinion. Nonetheless, the spirit is always superior to matter and thus if all we do and our milestones are just to help us satisfy our basic materialistic tendencies then we lose sight of being able to connect on a deeper level. When Matter is the focus, then a building is nothing but brick and mortar. When Spirit is added, it could be a house of prayer, communion, fellowship or a home. Similarly when our objectives and milestones are subject to only material timelines then we fail to see the experience from a holistic perspective.

Finally, as we strive to set, reach or even achieve more milestones we should take time out to reconnect with ourselves. Goals and milestones that are not in sync with who we really are, will eventually frustrate us. These are a few realizations I felt I should share with you all from my weekend experience. I hope it helps someone out there.

Till next week, read, share, and follow for more.

 

Just do it! pt. 2

Hello!

How are you guys faring? It’s been another learning week for me and as usual, I am here to share with you all some insights, and thoughts. Last week I gave an introduction into my current transition and I promised to continue this week. For those of you who might have missed the first part, please find it here. It’ll help you follow up this second part.

Without further ado, let’s dive in!

If there is one thing you’ll need when making a huge life decision such as moving, it is PATIENCE. I say this upfront because as you make any transition you definitely come with a game plan and that plan should be as fluid a possible to accommodate unforeseen changes and events. If your plan is “too rigid” you’ll end up stuck, frustrated and mostly angry with yourself. Having a fluid plan doesn’t necessarily mean compromising your goals and objective. It just means being conscious enough to know that life is a dynamic and not static and to the degree that we realize this, to that degree we are centered. This is not just some sermon to sound “woke” or realized but a real call to help those of you who are planning to make a change or in the process of doing so. 

When we set out and were finally on the road making the drive to a new chapter in our lives, trust me the next emotion that kicks in is some apprehension or “FEAR”. The mind starts playing tricks on you because it is leaving something it is familiar with for the unknown. It could be from light to heavy apprehension; the light will be a little nostalgia of where you are leaving, memories, etc. That is somewhat easier to deal with. The heavy part is when whenever something goes wrong in your plans (which happens), your mind tells you it is because you left what you were used to for something unknown. Then your mind tries to start blaming you for your decision and then you begin to feel sorry for yourself and if you are not able to check this; you might end up reconsidering going back to what you were used to.

Now, whatever it is that made you feel you needed to make a JUMP,  I say stick with it. If it was so wonderful then you’ll never have contemplated that move. This requires discipline, focus, and perseverance. You have to constantly ask yourself, “how much do I really want this?” Until you want that goal like you need air, you may not have the discipline to stick with it.

During our drive, we made a few gas stops in addition to bathroom breaks, stretching, and food. Deep down we knew this was the move we always wanted to make and the sense of inner peace that we felt was all the assurance we needed. As we drove we spoke of the unknown we were trying to embrace and all that would come with it. We contacted the accommodation we had reserved and finally, we had completed the first part of this process; the drive. We unpacked our vehicle and refreshed ourselves by taking full showers. This enabled us to not only feel clean after such a long trip but to also enable our bodies to relax. Water has a very therapeutic effect on the body. After that we got some food and then got some rest. The next day we knew we had work to do. I had interviews lined up and so did my partner and I must say we kinda hit the ground running. In the midst of this, we also tried to get a feel of where we were.

My Partner and I have a little inside joke we use to “judge” an area we live in. We’ll say if we can find a good Indian Vegetarian restaurant, a good pizza spot and a good grocery store with Indian spices then we are good to go. In a couple of days we found all three, and not only did it give us some assurance that we were in a good place but it also made us feel like we were not from so far away after all.

While all this was going on, I must say we were having our fair share of “setbacks, not so good moments, tensed feelings from uncertainty, adaptation to change, etc”. Nevertheless, we just kept saying, we had to stick with it and see it through. As I speak with you we are still trying to “settle in” and our God-family here has been of immense support and to them, we are eternally grateful. So some of you may ask; what if I make a big move that isn’t necessarily a relocation, how can I incorporate the element of a god-family support system? Or what if I move to a place where I do not have any God-family? Well, my response to that is, whatever the details of your big move are, you should try to “remove yourself” from it from time to time otherwise it will consume you. What do I mean by this?  Sometimes during this process, I am the one who is anxious that things aren’t going as planned and sometimes my partner is. 

However, we both try to remind the other when either of us is in such a situation that it’s okay and all will be fine soon. Basically just being a support system for one another. Now does this happen every time, No! So there are days when we both feel the same way and I have to remind myself of the goal and “the WHY“. Once these two factors align then the little setbacks are somewhat easier to deal with. Take time out to appreciate the little things in nature that we take for granted like; a nice sunny day, music, family, etc. These will help you feel centered. Now last but not least, stress is something that will come up whenever you are in a transition. Now people deal with stress differently however no matter what you do, you do not want to “bottle up your stress”, it comes out worse.

Mantra meditation is my go-to method and I have been doing this for years and I can say for a fact that it really does work. I know some of you may have other methods that work for you such as taking walks, painting music, etc. At the end of the day, we all need to find a positive outlet for de-stressing.

Till next week read, share and follow for more.