29 Ramadan 2013: Media

Because today we live in a society in which spurious realities are manufactured by the media, by governments, by big corporations, by religious groups, political groups… So I ask, in my writing, What is real? – Philip K. Dick

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Media in this case, is what we generally refer to as “excessive talk in one or more views” including discussions and talks by people through social media and mobile avenues. Although it has many benefits, one cannot help but observe, feel and even reflect on the potential negative effects this can have on different levels of society.

In this Ramadan, we ask god to protect and forgive us from blindness followed by responsible use of social media and mobile applications which takes into account that even “typed” words, “marketing” and “news” will be accounted for in our inventory of good / bad actions and words taken in life.

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28 Ramadan 2013: Accounts

Until the great mass of the people shall be filled with the sense of responsibility for each other’s welfare, social justice can never be attained. – Helen Keller

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If one took a moment to reflect, we would see that the idea that we all go back after our short lives to be accounted for the good and bad that we have done, is in itself, social justice on earth.

Imagine if all people thought twice before hurting others, or committing a crime, or simply taking into account not only themselves, but their families, neighborhood and extended society in every action they took, for what seems good to one may be destructive to others.

As we reflect on this, during possibly the day before the last day of Ramadan 2013, we ask god to bless us with ability to see the consequences of our own actions not only on ourselves but also on others.

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27 Ramadan 2013: Hope

We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope. – Martin Luther King, Jr.

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We have a very short post today … a post about hope …

… for ourselves in that we continue to improve in seeking “serenity, courage and wisdom”

… for others in that we continue to aid, and not be a barrier, in their own improvement in seeking “serenity, courage and wisdom”

… for all that we find what it is we are seeking in these last few precious nights in this blessed month

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26 Ramadan 2013: Glad Tidings

Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters. – Albert Einstein

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Glad tidings to the truthful …  glad tidings to those who are true to themselves and others.

We do not actually have the right to give glad tidings to anyone for we do not control anything in life, including the start and end of it. However, we have been given guidance through God’s holy books that give stories of those who were honest and truthful to themselves and others. In most stories, these people are ridiculed, made fun of, mocked and teased because of insecurities or fears or secrets others wanted to hide behind. In all stories, the truthful ones emerged a winners both in life and hereafter.

Today, we aim to uplift those who live truth, first setting themselves free of chains of the past, dishonesty and followship, then gaining knowledge to validate and understand the truth, and later living it without judging others, until one day all is revealed.

Joy to those who have been bullied in school and in life …

Joy to those who have stood firmly on the truth while others make fun of them …

Joy to those who have not been supported in their career or choices in life …

Joy to those who are rarely celebrated by others for their success.

And sad it is, for those who may never see truth even if presented to them on a silver plate or worse, sad it is for those who have seen truth and rejected it.

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25 Ramadan 2013: Talents

When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me. – Erma Bombeck

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The quote above is one of ‘surrender’ – ‘thanks’ – ‘action’ – ‘reality’.

Surrender: A set of talents has been given to each of us by god and our goal is to surrender to this set, finding and perfecting it.

“everything you gave me”

Thanks: We are thankful for these talents by using them.

“I used everything”

Action: Leaving talent without being put to good use is laziness.

“Hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left”

Reality: We all go back to god to be accounted for all we did; rejoicing if we find good.

“When I stand before God at the end of my life”

In these blessed last few nights, we ask god to help us find our talents, be of service to others with these talents, find the energy to continue to serve in building and improving the earth we were given, preparing for the day that god will ask us about what we did and did not do.

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24 Ramadan 2013: Charity

A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it is not open. – Frank Zappa

RL24The ‘principle of charity’ is an interesting concept. It is one that basically forces one to assume rationality at the root of any statement or concept made by others. Originating from the study of philosophy, its purpose is to take into account varying perspectives to expand thought and analysis.

We believe that applying the principle of charity more generally is worth a try. Too many of us get stuck in one thought or perspective thinking that it is right progressing to believe that no one has the right to have an opposing perspective and even worse, to mistakenly reprimand or judge others.

Again, another one of those exercises we are hoping to give a try and to share with you our experience in five days or so.

On this odd Ramadan night (25), we wish you all an evening full of blessings, connection and joy.

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23 Ramadan 2013: In the midst of

There is not enough darkness in all the world to put out the light of even one small candle. – Robert Alden

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Chaos, disorder, confusion … whether temporary or permanent, whether as time or place, can be tough to accept and more tough to react to. Most, including ourselves, would usually attribute such times or places to negativity leading us to think and emerse ourselves in a harsh cycle of pessimism.

Yet … there are others out there who amongst such times and places find positivity and more importantly … do good or seek what is already good and make it better giving themselves and others much hope.

Today’s post was inspired by a regular man who we do not know but whose story has come through. This man, has risen to surpass all human expectations, as in the middle of extreme poverty, hunger, sickness and homelessness of his people who have been forced to flee their homes, works day and night to serve others for humanitarian reasons feeding, carrying, aiding the hungry, sick and poor reminding us of many stories of people of such goodness who have also risen up to help people in the midst of even greater disasters.

This story inspired us to seek help from god in these blessed nights to start recognising goodness and deciding to make the good better instead of wallowing in unnecessary negativity losing opportunities to make time count.

 

22 Ramadan 2013: Genetics

I hold that a strongly marked personality can influence descendants for generations. – Beatrix Potter

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Today we ask, do you believe that behaviors and traits can be passed down generations?

Looking around, we see families with generations full of wisdom. Others, full of agony. Generations full of love, envy, faith, etc…. Take each potential positive or negative character trait, and you would find that one or more could flow through generations. Having said that though, one could not generalise (see 18 Ramadan) and there are always “exceptions”, so is it chance?

We may not be able to say it is absolutely true or not, but we do think that there is some truth in that one person can influence many … one person could influence organisations, teams and similarly, a person could influence a whole generation to be better, it just takes courage to see.

Actually, a prime example is Abraham peace and blessings be upon him who through him, came generations of pious and wise offspring and prophets.

In this blessed month, we ask god to let us aim to become the best in action and best in deeds both at personal and family levels where family, is a gift that is unappreciated until one doesn’t have one.

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21 Ramadan 2013: Worth a Thought

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We do not claim to know or not know anything, but as we spend the last 10 days of this blessed month in fast, prayer, and supplication … we also spend it in shopping for gifts and new clothes for the upcoming Eid celebration.

As we visited the malls, we were inspired to share this quote to lift the veil of unconsciousness giving ourselves an opportunity to reflect and feedback our experience by the end of the month similar to our entries in Ramadan 6 and Ramadan 13.

We have to create culture, don’t watch TV, don’t read magazines, don’t even listen to NPR. Create your own roadshow. The nexus of space and time where you are now is the most immediate sector of your universe, and if you’re worrying about Michael Jackson or Bill Clinton or somebody else, then you are disempowered, you’re giving it all away to icons, icons which are maintained by an electronic media so that you want to dress like X or have lips like Y. This is shit-brained, this kind of thinking. That is all cultural diversion, and what is real is you and your friends and your associations, your highs, your orgasms, your hopes, your plans, your fears. And we are told ‘no’, we’re unimportant, we’re peripheral. ‘Get a degree, get a job, get a this, get a that.’ And then you’re a player, you don’t want to even play in that game. You want to reclaim your mind and get it out of the hands of the cultural engineers who want to turn you into a half-baked moron consuming all this trash that’s being manufactured out of the bones of a dying world. -Terence McKenna

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20 Ramadan 2013: Essence of Equality

Once the realization is accepted that even between the closest human beings infinite distances continue, a wonderful living side by side can grow, if they succeed in loving the distance between them which makes it possible for each to see the other whole against the sky. – Rainer Maria Rilke

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Can we see each other in a different light? Can we see each other in light of difference? Can we see each other with the understanding that no matter what state of health, wealth and status, others are in, we are all exactly the same?

We are all human beings born into this world and will leave this world with nothing but our bodies and our deeds; the same for the rich and poor, the healthy and the sick, the young and old, the owner and the employee, the white and black, … all levels.

In these last 10 days of the blessed month, may god grant us the ability to love for the sake of it and be loved with equality as the essence of this love.

As God almighty said:

“O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female and made you into nations and tribes that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise each other). Verily the most honored of you in the sight of Allah (i.e. god) is (he who is) the most righteous of you” (49:13)

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