Try to walk daily, whenever and wherever possible.
It noticeably eases the tension in the body, the stress in the mind and the pressure in the heart~
In a way we are all responsible for each other
It is normal to think that one is not liable for a wrongdoing at the hands of another
It is normal to seek an apology from the wrongdoer or punish that particular one and not accept an apology from any other
Thus becoming cause for strict labelling of the victim and the wrongdoer
And yet, are we not responsible for each other?
What if we all felt sorry for a wrong deed done at the hands of one
Instead of feeling sorry for the victim of one?
What if we extended a sincere apology to the one who suffered at the hands of another
Instead of victimising the one who has already suffered?
What if instead of carrying candles to commemorate the wrongdoing at the hands of one to the other,
We sat with candles in circles seeking an apology and reflecting on how we missed out on watching each other's back that one slipped into doing something that ended up hurting another?
What if we transformed our sympathy into actively demonstrated empathy and focussed on seeing our own responsibility and seeking forgiveness first within and then without rather than fanning the flames of strife, rage and revenge?
How would a community demonstrate a scenario such as this?
What would be the outcomes of acts such as these?
Will it help in curbing the dual cycle of perpetrator and victim?
Will it help in seeing a better tomorrow?
There are two kinds of letting be:
Letting be, without a sense of involvement with that being
Letting be, alongwith a sense of involvement with that being
The former becomes cause for distance and makes hearts turn cold over time
While the latter sparks cause for closeness while building up a familiar warmth
The former becomes cause for accusation
The latter becomes cause for celebration
The former only torments and tires
The latter only encourages and admires
The former only kills
The latter only enlivens
of letting be
Which of these do you see
When reflecting upon how others let you be
Which of these do you see
When seeing how you let others be
They say nothing is black and white
Well then, when letting be
Let more and more of our moments be
Full of warmth and generosity
Every Moment is made up of Time, Space and People.
Time, as a result of collective mindset and
Space, as a result of collective occupation of
People, who are made up of dreams, fears, values and loves.
Know the People, and Know your Moments.
Know the kinds of Moments you wish to create and choose your People accordingly.
To know the People, know your self.
For the longest time in my life or I can safely say 'always',
I strongly believed in the good residing inside every person and strove to always seek to find and focus on that.
The benefit of doubt I held for people was the good in them, irrespective of anything.
The benefit of doubt I hold for people now though, seems to have transfigured into noticing the evil residing in every person.
It's a thought that's been wording itself as the title suggests since about a week now.
And here I am, exploring what it means and where it leaves me.
I hope that someday the benefit of doubt I can hold for people can say 'it is what it is' without needing the labels of good or evil and I know it is possible because for a brief moment of a period that I spent doing nothing but reflect, it came naturally to me to see things thus.
Now though, as I see myself getting more and more entwined in the affairs of the world, I also sense in me the other side wanting to be known and held so here I am, trying to ease myself with this discovery.
As I learn to behold the kernels of "evil" in others and acknowledging them, I learn also to see them reflected in me and how they arise in moments of various permutations and combinations of time and space.
I know not where I am going with all of this but I hope to continue to work on being a better person, something I sense myself degrading in, faintly yet steadily.
Given the responsibilities I feel more ready to hold than ever, there is always a part of me that senses a better way to do it all, the sense that had me cop out of the norm in the first place.
I don't really see myself exploring it as I perhaps should have, religiously, as all thinkers and inventors may have done because a large part of me yearns to stay connected and be one with the all and the energy that it takes to do that leaves not much to otherwise creatively exploit.
I ramble on.
The reassuring thing is that I'm sailing unknown waters again and with all the turbulence it brings, I hope, to above all continue to see the magic in life and the thoroughly spunky infused way the universe shows up now and then, helping me stay afloat in a life that may otherwise be cause for easy delirium. Or maybe not? Haha, I'll save that doubt for another time.
For now, as the knots within unwind a bit and ease up a little, a voice within roars forth- Brrrring it on!
Hello dearest super lovely super gorgeous beings on earth (whether you believe it or not, you ARE gorgeous AND awesome irrespective of anything),
This post is about an amazing conversation that occurred on a platform I feel lucky to have been a part of- the Empower People group. We have a whatsapp group where multiple things are discussed and shared and amongst them all, just today the Founder Shafiqur Rahman Khan shared some gruesome news which sparked a conversation full of insight and wisdom. I feel inspired to share it with as many as would seek to know and so, here goes, for you (you, who seek to delve into the intricacies of being on earth and discovering the nectar of life and create a living worth our time here on this leetle planet floating within the magnanimous loving folds of the Universe. I digress. So go on and read up about what brought in all the excitement and enthusiasm!):
(Note: Wherever required, I have translated the bits that were in Hindi and have left comments in italics for any missing link for a fuller context. I have also taken the liberty to rearrange the order of conversation a bit for better legibility and order of Q-A relatability.)
*Two news articles shared by EP Founder*
SRK (Founder) (Referring to one article): 5 year old brutalised and murdered in Uklana of Hisar. Wooden stick inserted in her private part. (Article headline highlighted repetition of Nirbhaya case)
SRK(Referring to another article): This news is about a autistic child who killed his mother and sister.
In another news, Supreme court advised wife to behave properly and look after husband. All we can do is slap ourselves.
C (Member 1): Bhai, can't we do anything?
R (Member 2): Everyone's losing it.
SRK: Everyone is a potential criminal so only solution is by engagement and making people able to "feel for the other".
It is a long process and we all need to pause and reflect on our thoughts.
R: Very true.
C: Can't Supreme Court declare anyone who rapes a girl under 18 to be hanged to death??
R: Castration for the rapists 🤔🤔 irrespective of age, for a certain period only because that can again be misused over time 🤔🤔
SRK: I have no smiley to respond to this
SRK: I don't think having empathy or "Feeling for the other" will allow such Hanging or Castration.
Rape is not desire of sex its mental cruelty. How can we say cruelty is bad by acting out another kind of cruelty?
R: Hmm you're right but its like an epidemic now
SRK: Not only this, hate is on the rise. All kinds of cruelty is on the high.
Some of our friends refused to participate in the candle march in Hisar because of caste conflict. By this, we can measure their level of hate. They are not bad people, but still.
So there is no simple solution to deal with these cruelties.
C: Bhai, how can we stop this??
R: How does one inspire another to feel for others?
Everytime such news arises, it only creates a revolting feeling and definitely more anger and hatred in people.
How do we manouver around this?
SRK: People deserve community, a place to be with. Hate comes from isolation. So all we need to do is engage people. Make them able to be in community.
C: Where does caste come from?
People must know that rape is a crime and people must know that what is wrong, is wrong.. There is no question of caste in the whole picture and it shouldn't even be brought into the whole picture. No matter which caste the girl is from, she must get justice and the perpetrators must be punished.
R: Caste comes in where people treat people as "others", maybe not even human.
Despite having friends and knowing people from different religions or castes, somehow people still carry blinders towards those religions and castes on the whole, overriding their own experience and letting the media tell them what they should think and feel.
SRK: Yes, because of fear.
Community is not always caste. Community is communes, groups of people. We are a community on Whatsapp.
We will have to move ahead taking prevention and after-care hand-in-hand.
Okay one day we shall have a discussion on Community.
And on that note dear friends, the conversation came to a relieving end leaving me super inspired and excited for the possibilities that lay ahead of us in face of multiple challenges that we face today on the whole. Please feel free to share your views. I would love to hear more from your thoughts on possible ways ahead and how we can all come together to make life worth our time on earth (*)
Super honoured to have the opportunity to glean from such amazing wisdom filled leaders. We need more like 'em don't you think?!
Appended two days later:
And hearteningly, that wasn't where it ended! Other members pitched in with their insights in all enthusiasm thus revealing so many more aspects of this scenario and shining a light over the wide possibilities when it comes to tackling such issues. Read on to glean from their wisdom and observation:
👏👏👏👏👏👏 To everyone
We cannot say caste is not a part of rape. It is a feeling of superiority and inferiority, power, "putting someone in place", anger, frustration, sense of inadequacy, low self esteem, damaged self image that lead to such crimes. Most of the criminals are delusional.
And we should stop victimizing the victim and demonizing the offender. I am not saying go and hug the offender and don't defend yourself. I feel as a society, we somewhere should understand that rape, murder, etc. i.e. crime is an event. The society wears the "chashma" of crime and looks at the parties involved as "offender" and "victim".
"To feel for others" - we constantly need to tell ourselves to feel for others and then it would become a habit eventually. Ensure that you share the positivity and change without any filter. That did it for me.
Reiterating that these are my opinions on the matter. Please feel free to criticize.
S: 100% agreed, victim and offenders are not the only parties involved in a crime but larger society too. I prefer the word "community" which is also party to each crime.
E (Member 4): Hey! Super interesting conversation! I just want to share two experiences:
1. Last summer I was in USA. There is a context of rising of white supremacism over there (neo-nazism, racism, against migrants etc etc etc) so we decided to do a story about that and we interviewed a former white supremacy leader who escaped the movement and is trying now, with his experience and knowledge, to help others to get out of it too. So his main idea for that was that people hate others because they dont know them.
He thinks that everyone needs 3 things to feel complete: a Purpose, a Community and an Identity, and when any of it is missed, people become vulnerable and become an easy target for movements of hate.
Hate is always focussed on the ones who are different, the "others". So what he tries to do, is to face for example a white supremacist who hates black people, with a black person. Getting to know the "other" helps people to understand that we are not that different and even if we are different in race, religion, caste or nationality, we have more in common than what differentiates us. And he knows this works because it worked even for himself: being the leader of one of the biggest neonazis groups in USA, he started to meet with people that he HATES and he starting to rethink his own convictions.
2. Few weeks ago I was in a conference with the daughter of a UK politician who was killed by IRA (IRA was a terrorist group who demanded the independence of IRLANDA from UK) and the former member of the IRA who had killed this woman's father.
They went through a very hard process when they met, but now they tell about their own experiences for trying to help in the resolution of conflicts and building peace. Their main point was about "Humanizing the other".
The woman could start to understand the man's position when he stopped to be "a faceless fear" and came to be "a real human" and then the man shared that the father's woman was not a personal target, but the target was what he represented (UK government) and when he met the woman, he started to realize that the man he had killed was "a real human being".
A: Wow, Humanizing
It all comes to that. I remember how Shafiq ji had mentioned about the social identities that represent us rather than ourselves.
S: Okay one more interesting thing
One of our client (beneficiary) asked me- 'What is Love Jihad?' I described everything to him. He was shocked to learn about it because inter-religious marriages are very common in his community 😅 He is tribal and said he has Muslim and Hindu relatives 😅 and he is practicing Christianity 😃😃
Des mera ranrezi babu
And you know I'm really keen to visit his Village
A: Me too
Ay (Member 5): (In reference to A's input) Great, yes the matter is way more complex than good and bad. Even though a victim is a victim, no doubt about that.
Spot on! (Referring to Point 1 shared by E) Totally agree
It’s great to include the perpetrator/offender as part of the solution
Great to see that it’s not only about 2 dimensions of bad/good but an understanding of the complexity of the matter. This complexity is indeed part of the solution.
Many a times when discussing about gender inequality, the speech is just focused on empowering women, which of course is essential. But in the narrative, men’s role should be included as part of the change. I feel there is something similar with abuse and trafficking, even though I personally not know much about those.
So yeah, that's where we are for now. I'm pretty excited to see what further inputs may come, if they may :D
From home to away and away to home
Many moments of homeliness come a-greetin'
An experience that has recurred from time to time
Bringing to notice that Community,
In all the spaces in between the nodes that we define
In all the people that we meet o'er tiny leetle insignificant moments or so we opine~
The Mobile Service Provider
The Vegetable Seller
The Banana Seller
The Bus Driver
The Iron Press Fellow
The Many Others that fill those insignificant moments with something priceless-
A feeling of homeliness
It may not really begin there
Yet as we recur moment to moment
A familiarity builds in
For more than just a job or a chore-
A space for a silent pact of friendship
That glimmers through warm greetings
Through generosity in giving
Through smiles unbidden,
As we participate in a seemingly insignificant daily chore-
Making that daily chore, a daily gift-
Of yet another greeting of unspoken friendship-
A friendship where we connect with that cord-
A cord that connects us all in the weave of humanity-
A weave that breathes warmth and freshness-
As it nestles in the care of the Universe~
Maybe not as we would imagine
Maybe not as a singular collective, that can be indicated at once with a point of a finger that there- That's where I belong!
But a multi-centered collective, that could not be counted, or even pointed at, at once, for quick and easy simple sharing, but one, that can be counted on in all the spaces in-between~
The faces change, the places change
But the Spirit,
It never fades
It never fails
It always remains
Ever by your side
In the here and the now.
When tyranny makes itself known
Through a voice that is your own
Know that it's time to stop that crud
Time to nip it in the bud
Know that it's time for a pause
Time to be quiet again
Time for listening in
Time to be with nature again
Know that it's time to reconnect with self
Time to remember you ain't the boss
Time to recollect you're in friendship with all of cosmos
And time to make space
For the love and magic of grace
This is the time to apply a brake
Time to give yourself a break
Time to give time for that, which is needed
Lest you be carried off in a current unwanted
Only to then be left with moments bitter
An outcome quite natural, of overflowing litter
So it's time to be quiet again
Time to reconnect and regain
That which seems to have been forgotten
That which in lieu of tyranny lies forsaken
Time to drop the weapons and surrender
Surrender to that seemingly elusive sense of wonder ~*~
Climbing up the stairs
Seeing danger 1 and 2
Entering the room
And there lurks danger 3
Laying a trap
Having planned their rap
To counter the sinking feeling
Waiting for the moment
A second of break
To the safety net
And the drama begins
Kindness and friendliness turning sour
Assumptions and treachery near and far
Drunk on fame and power
Playing their little game unfair
Oblivious of the viciousness of their acts
They bulldoze on
Running over life
High and blind on their ego
Unlistening and unmindful
They think they won the game
Influencing around with their fake smiles and tears
They think their pressure got them through
But they missed the point
Missed the fact that there's a law out there
Beyond the clutches of their little minds manipulative
A power that'll someday let its presence be known
The day that they won't know what got to them
The day they will remember
They made a mistake
Messing around with people's hearts
That day I hope they find it in them
To listen and acknowledge the spark in them
That drives their life in reality
And then give it space to thrive~
That day I hope they begin to connect
And build bonds with love
Instead of controlling with fear
A shift that's difficult but made easy when connected by love
That day I hope they find it in them
To open their eyes to the beauty of life
And let love supersede the baseless fears they harbor
To let light shine upon the beauty lying latent within~
Until then, we can only pray and hope
For they wouldn't listen at all
And meanwhile I hope I find it in me
To make space in my heart to be kind to them irrespective of it all~
As knots form in the nethers
And in fear do tighten the muscles and the nerves
One struggles to breathe, despite a healthy heart a-beating
And in apprehension, do waver the senses
The light seems distant as I fall into despair
'I don't want to go back there!' cries a plaintive voice
And as I watch in dismay,
She rolls back into that dark cavern that she came from
Sobbing with broken breaths
She evades looking up
For fear of seeing the Demons
Those she thought she had long escaped
And she sobs harder
Until breaths grow tighter
And she cries out for solace
A light shines blue upon her bodice
'Oh! But where does it come from!' thought she
Only to realise-
That the light shone from within
Emboldened by the presence of her good old friend,
She looked up at last
Only to discover the Sun shining down at her
And the breeze swooping down to caress her
With birds and animals alike showing up to embrace her
And she smiled
Releasing all her woes
Happy to be among friends again
Give it to K
I know not what they mean anymore
All I know is nothing is reliable but K
What might feel great today may turn sour tomorrow
What might seem evil today may turn acceptable tomorrow
This world is a shifting maze of delusions