Saturday, May 28, 2011

Hidden beauty

Funny that we, limited beings, could spend a lifetime looking for goodness in life. We could easily spend every day and every night, every hour and every minute regretting its absence. We could pray every morning and every evening for it to come to us. We could do all that, even though we know it's here by our side, all around us. It has always been here. It has never left. But for us, limited beings, it is easier to ignore the goodness since we take it for granted.

For us, it is easier to perceive all the negativity in our life and assimilate it as our own. We get a bittersweet joy from thinking that our life is plagued with problems, even when those problems might not exist and we create an image on them in our mind: Our lives are hard, our lives are boring, our lives are lonely, our lives are empty. This or that person does not accept us as we are, this or that group does not listen to us, someone does not like us, someone rejected us, someone laughed at us and we dare caring about them. We are not smart enough, we are not pretty enough, we are not good enough. Life is full of hardship... All these ideas take precedence over all the goodness in our lives.

The truth is, goodness is all around us. We have physical goodness in staying healthy, waking up tucked into a warm bed to the light of another day, enjoying a warm shower with clean water and beautiful scents, dressing clean clothes, breathing the fresh air, and perceiving our world by seeing, touching, smelling, tasting and hearing what surrounds us. We get goodness out of the people that care for us, who listen to our thoughts, who are interested in our well being. We have to spiritual goodness in connecting to our soul and to the universe where we live. There is goodness in everything. We just choose to ignore it.

The secret is that goodness, just like anything else in life, comes in small amounts at a time. Sometimes it slaps us in our face, yet it remains unnoticed to our limited senses. We discard it thinking that there is always something better waiting for us, because goodness is not good enough for us: I deserve a better partner, I deserve a better job, I deserve a better house, I deserve better food and better clothes. If you really do, concentrate on that and when the time is due, it will come into your life. But we live in the present, we live in the here and in the now, and for all the goodness that is here and now with us, we should be grateful.

So be grateful for every little piece of goodness in your life. It is a gift to you.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

The end of Osama, the joy of a nation?

Osama Bin Laden is dead. That is the news that shook the world last Sunday, when the U.S. president, Barack Obama, made a public appearance to inform the world about the end of Osama Bin Laden. The announcement spread around the world in no time, and very soon the images of happy Americans celebrating the killing of Osama were available on the mass media.

With all that in scene, I couldn't help but to have a flashback to September 11, 2001. The image of the World Trade Center in New York falling down before the unbelieving eyes of the world, while a group of people in the Gaza Strip and West Bank rejoicing reappeared in my mind. The view of people singing, dancing, baking cakes and eating sweets to celebrate the death and destruction of civilians elsewhere was frankly disgusting. How could people cheer such a coward act?

Back to 2011. The tables are turned around. While in Gaza a spokesman of Hamas condemned the killing of the "holy warrior" (sic) Osama Bin Laden, thousands of Americans poured into the streets to show their joy and excitement about Bin Laden's death. Despite my repulsion towards Osama Bin Laden and all that he represents, I found the celebrations to be ironically resemblant to those Palestinian celebrations of 2001. Why would the death of an individual be celebrated in such a way? Does his death make up for the damage made to the families of those lost during the different terrorist attacks orchestrated by Bin Laden and his organization? Will this end the threat that terrorism has posed against the world in the last decades? Unlikely.

The elimination of Osama Bin Laden is indeed a hit against terrorism, and should be a reminder that no terror leader is untouchable. But it should not be a matter of joyful celebration: It should be tribute to those victims who lost their lives in acts of terrorism, a bit of the justice that is long due to them.