Tag Archives: humanity

More Human

I am usually overly excited around this time of the year. Thanksgiving Turkey dinners, UAE National Day celebrations, Christmas in Beirut, Wham! on repeat, Micheal Buble overdose, a new year with Mr. Love, December is a mashup of all my favorite things combined, except this year, I am fearing it.

Stereotyping, hatred and atrocity have plagued our lives and our world this year. Hence, as excited as I intend to be this December, a part of me fears what is to happen to the world amidst all the Holiday cheers.

We owe our world more tolerance, more empathy, more compassion, more solidarity.

We owe our world more love. Please start today #WhatMakesUsHuman


More Being

I love this video.

Women speaking from the heart, reminiscing about their youth, the to-DON’T-do lists they wish they had, the goodnight kisses and the dancing they wish they indulged in.

These wise women argue that the most important thing to us as human beings should be “being” instead of doing. I couldn’t agree more #LetGo


In Retrospect

They’re miraculous, the realizations you make once you detach and give your own self some space. I’ve just celebrated turning a year wiser, in a little piece of land in the heart of Sri Lanka, and being here reiterates what continues to matter and make sense to me most.

Self-worth hits you flat in the face the minute you lay foot on this ground. While we often tend to lose sight of equality when we hire “caregivers” for our households, (because yes they do serve us but no they are not our servants), they tend to treat their peers, their tourists, their family, the same on their land and in their own households; genuinely, generously, respectfully and kindly.

- in the heart of Galle -

– in the heart of Galle –

They’ve gifted me, a stranger to them, papayas from their gardens, curry leaves from their trees, king coconuts and avocados of their own. They’ve made me floral necklaces because I said a simple “thank you”.

I am quite frankly stunned with the goodness that is instilled in their hearts, despite of the poverty and lack of opportunities that surround them. And you know what? They are happy. They are content because they know what matters. They’re not smitten by the world of Glitz. Instead, they cling onto their legacy, their culture, their values- which are all founded on kindness and empathy.

I love being here. I love that Galle’s citizens have unintentionally injected so much love and gratitude into my heart, at a time when the entire world seems to be lacking both. Also I love being here with him. He makes me whole.


A radical notion

I think all of me just fell a little more in love with all of John Legend.

Turns out he not only sings love, he commits to love.

His Commencement speech at the University of Pennsylvania few days ago was phenomenal – Highlights below.

“The reason I’m here, the reason I’ve had such a wonderful journey so far, is that I’ve found love. Yes, love. We were all made to love. And I’ve found that we live our best lives, we are at our most successful, not simply because we’re smarter than everyone else, or because we hustle harder. Not because we become millionaires more quickly. The key to success, the key to happiness, is opening your mind and your heart to love. Spending your time doing things you love and with people you love.

“And it turns out that love requires that level of commitment from you. Half-doing it is not doing it right. You have to go all in. And yes, your personal relationships require that too.”

“I’ve already talked about the power of love in your work and your personal lives. But I also want to talk about how love changes the world. There are 7 billion other people out there. 7 billion strangers. I want you to consider what it means to love them too. What does it mean to love people we don’t know, to see the value in every single person’s life? Think about that. It’s a pretty radical notion. It means your daughter or son, your neighbor’s daughter or son and the daughters and sons of people who live thousands of miles away, all deserve the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It means we let go of fear and see each other’s humanity. It means we don’t see Trayvon Martin as a walking stereotype, a weaponized human. We see him as a boy who deserves the chance to grow into a man, even if he makes boyish mistakes along the way. It means American lives don’t count more than Iraqi lives. It means we see a young Palestinian kid not as a future security threat or demographic challenge, but as a future father, mother and lover. It means that the nearly 300 kidnapped girls in Nigeria aren’t just their problem. They’re “our” girls too. It’s actually quite a challenge to love humankind in this way.”

“If you’re committed to loving in public, it requires you opening your eyes to injustice, to see the world through the eyes of another. This is not a passive activity. You have to read. You have to travel to other neighborhoods, other parts of the world. You may have to get your hands dirty. You have to allow people to love you, and you have to love them back.”

John loves love. I too do.


Glee

It doesn’t take much to startle me. Waking up to an empty house. Walking solo in the dark. Forgetting to water my orchid. Losing sight of Darwish. I never thought I’d find happiness to be alarming though; I think I’ve defined an equation of happiness that is quite new to me, and I feel like it’s a big deal. There’s an abundance of thoughts constantly floating then getting dissected and over-analyzed in my head, pertaining to how and when was happiness so modestly attainable.

Funnily enough, I signed up for the #100happydays challenge only few months back in an attempt to remind myself of life’s simple pleasures, and now, as I look at where I stand, it’s a happiness bonanza. And I panic! I’m a Virgo. I panic!! This, nonethetless, is a clear testament to the unfortunate case of human nature , if I want to speak the truth: we’re scared when things are going down the drain, but we’re even more scared when things seem to be going well. We get anxious when life is smooth. We’re not used to it. We’re not used to a world with no trouble.

So this morning, I am thankful.. and I am be-friending my inner glee, one step at a time. And on that note, I’ll leave you to surrender to this little gem right here. Scott Bradlee’s a pure genius!

 


I’ve got the Holiday Hippos!

I just turned my out-of-office reply on (yey), and I am about to head home for two weeks. On my to-do list (apart from high flying on a bicyle) is indulging in doing things I love this Christmas (aka digging into mama’s food, for two weeks nonstop!). Also, I’d like to share my Happy Hippos and my Hersheys (or healthier versions of that) over the holidays with those who need them more than I do. It’s a little thing that makes a big difference (please do the same!)

P.S: Holiday Calories don’t count!

Mona Xmas Card