[Blogged first at FB]
I have not written anything in months, but today just seemed like it.
Let’s start with a few observations. Shall we?
1. Just yesterday, I was following Aya’s story in Humans of New York. Brandon is posting a 11 part story of this Syrian refugee, whose VISA was rejected by the US government. They are looking to sign a petition to get Aya to the US soil.
One of the comments requested more details before signing the petition. No guess on what happened next (spiteful remarks!). HONY is one of the goodness pages on FB, there is plenty of positivity and love. Yet few of them, despite their best interests, chose to roll in the mud.
When someone genuinely has a question, address it. If we don’t believe in the goodness of the world, who will?
2. If you ask me why I got a dog, I would say no precise reason whatsoever. In retrospect, I can see how this too has helped in my learning. Unless we are a part of something, unless we live in close quarters, unless we desire to learn, grow and be open, awareness in true sense of the word, will elude us.
Having Phoebe in my life, I have come to understand not only animals better, but ourselves. You would be surprised to know how certain people, out of too much love for the animal kingdom, disregard fellow humans, while certain humans disregard animals and other fellow creatures, simply because they are wildly different to us.
Why do we have to argue if animals are better or humans? Why does our love have to be exclusive?
3. Several people known and unknown to us, lost their homes and lives in Chennai floods. We definitely had a lot of astonishing support from each other, even as media and politicians were letting its people down. That aside, even at a difficult time such as this, few groups advocated their candidacy.
DMK and ADMK feud, political gimmicks, fans of various actors discussing who is more philanthropic, how the spirit of Chennai mattered, how RSS helped several victims, how a Muslim helped a Hindu and so forth.
My question: If we were in Hyderabad, Australia or Pakistan, would we still not help? Why does region/religion/sect have to matter anyway?
4. Speaking of politicians, we have people like Donald Trump and Rahul Gandhi looking to run candidacy. Who again disrupt lives by bringing out differences!
“Let’s not allow Muslims in the country” says one, while the other bellows, “The supposedly secular country gives the minority no rights, vote for me, I assure a better life”
What kind of leader does that? You’re supposed to bridge the gap, not widen it.
5. Then of course the intolerance debate: is India really intolerant? Aamir Khan gets his hashtags. Not to forget the hit and run case with Salman hashtags.
Why do we have to be patrons of our heroes in all and sundry, waging war of words? Why do we have to be rigid?
As an Aamir Khan fan myself, I was a bit baffled that someone of his stature felt unsafe. But then, it is upto us to come to conclusions by being open to the two sides of the story.
Embrace, be polite, be willing to understand and resolve.
For instance, my best friend believes passionately in patriotism, and wonders why I don’t call myself a patriot. It is not because I don’t love my country. It is because I love everything else too.
Sometimes we just have to agree to disagree, and decide what’s more important.
6. As for the home turf hungama, there is a lot of Muddenahalli and Puttaparthi tug of wars in the Sai circle. Much to my surprise, I find fellow brothers and sisters fighting.
This is beyond the realm of cognitive bantering anyway. Why indulge in one?
Just because, I agree or don’t agree with something… Just because, I understand or don’t understand something… I am not planning to hate. Nothing is worth hate. I am going to love ‘em, any which way. Period.
As for what I believe in, I’m not planning to get into any discussion whatsoever. Simply because, it doesn’t matter.
If you come to think about it, all of this is about –
What is true? What is false? Who is right? Who is wrong? Where do I belong? Where does he/she fit in? The world is looking like Hunger Games. Hungry for power – position – rightness – survival. Based on our questions and our resultant answers, we support or deny, most times vehemently.
Result: We let our differences win over our latent oneness. If you have ever followed my posts, you will notice I have talked about belongingness, oneness, or spirituality sometimes, for lack of a better word. What a load of BS right!
I am not sure if there is one good word to explain that pristine connection that all of us have with each other. They are labels after all.
Take me for example. I am a woman. I am a Hindu. I am a Tam Brahm. I am an Indian. I am a Saiyan. I am a daughter. I am a wife. I am a pet parent. I am a friend. I am a disciple. I am, and will be so many more. So what? How am I in any way different to an Israeli man or my atheist friend? I am not. None of us are.
It’s time to let go of our labels. We are not it.
“It’s not who WE are that holds US back, it’s who WE think WE’re not.”
In the here and now, we need to choose. What do we want to be? How are we going to define ourselves? By region, religion, gender?
Is that all we are: a product of our circumstances?
Or should the circumstances be a product of who we are?
The next time we are in conflict, can we resolve to ponder – “Where are they coming from? Why are they saying what they are saying?” It is always a good place to start, isn’t it?
Because we can, we will love. Because the world needs it, we will empathize. Because we need to grow, we will seek to learn.
Then someday, not far from now, we will experience that oneness as an experiential reality. That you and I are neither these labels. That you and I are neither the body nor the mind nor the intellect.
That you and I are the ekam (one). That you and I are the sat (truth). That you and I are called in different names, and manifested in different forms.
That you and I are the world as we know it to be. ❤
Be well and Sayonara.
Updated to add: After I published this post, a friend shared a video by Prince ea, which nails my sentiments so well. Thank you Prince ea for all that you do!