Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The gentle giants of a bygone era

This post has been sitting in draft mode from the day I read Maddy's tribute and realized that the world of blogging has changed for me yet again. To me, Abraham Tharakan belonged to a bygone era so much different from the one that my children is facing. I may have tasted a bit of it but time allows none to tarry.

Abraham Tharakan did not tarry but gracefully bridged the generation gap and wrote ever so splendidly until he bid good bye. He wrote on diverse subjects and made each post informative and interesting. While reading about Deepika Pallikal, I remembered him yet again and now realize that his post on her was prophetic. She is the first female Indian to make it to the semifinals of the squash event. 

Not sure what prompted him to post this obituary. But here was a man who had seen this world and specially India, change before his very eyes. And today when the nation celebrates ISRO's success, I am sure he would have celebrated it in his own unique way on his blog.

My only regret is that I was irregular in keeping up with his posts since I myself became irregular on this space. I cherish and value the reminder he left on my blog but will always regret for not having taken up his gentle reminder.

We will miss you dear soul.

Monday, August 11, 2014

The Greatest Commandment

Majority of the tribe and scribes in the Middle East can identify with the passages from one book or collection of passages; a Christian like me calls it the Old Testament while the rest differently. It is from this book the greatest commandment of all emerges:

“‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment.

And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these”

Religion is once again giving me goose bumps and it sure looks crazy to quote from it at this point. But then as everyone knows, religion can also be a tool to manipulate and to basically make people cooperate by making them feel different from the rest. And over the years men has perfected this art and especially in this age that provides them with sophisticated technology to aid them in this task. Religion gives many the powers to control what they cannot otherwise.

Now how are humans from each religion different?

1. The blood which runs in each is red in color.

2. The anatomy of a human is: a pair of legs, hands, eyes, ears that helps them touch, feel, hear, and basically know the world and its wonders.

3. One laughs when one is happy and cries when sad.

4. Everyone wants to be loved and accepted for what he/she is.

5. Nothing but food suffices when one is hungry and nothing but water when one is thirsty.

6. The minute one ceases to breathe, he/she dies.

I pointed out the similarities since it is a futile to attempt to do otherwise and I am very sure it is a challenge which no expert in this world has successfully undertaken.

And how do differences emerge? This takes us to the commandments that I first quoted and mainly the second one: love your neighbor as yourself. How easy it is to read but how difficult to implement! Hence let me once again quote the following text that I chanced to read from a religious site. Let me refrain from giving the link and also hope that the author forgives me for plagiarizing.

The one common denominator to all of your experiences with difficult people is you. In my case, it is me. People we call “difficult” are really people who we consciously or subconsciously identify as being “different”. Different from who? Different from us, of course!

We implicitly assume we are the standard of reference by which all other persons must be judged. To the extent that someone differs from us in any way, they could become a candidate for our scrupulous examination. They may or may not pass our “test”, based on our standards, and of course, we are the sole judge. Just remember that the other person has reserved a similar right to judge you by their standards, and may have concluded that you are a difficult person to live with.

When we understand that “difficult” means “different”, and we accept that God made us individually with different fingerprints and different DNA peculiarities, we are ready to focus less on the differences between us and more on the similarities that unite us.

Times are difficult but it can be made easy only if we focus on the similarities that human beings share in this world and focus less on the differences that humans have thrust upon themselves under the guise of religion.

Peace is what majority wants but it is this same peace that a few wants to take away for their own selfish wants. 

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