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A Cup of Snow

January 27, 2012 7 comments

As I type this, snow is gracefully covering the landscape, as if the city is covering up with a white blanket. Some 8 degrees below zero, Halifax looks pretty much like any other North American city, with some tiny, negligible differences. But yes, sitting here, sipping Tim Hortons’ coffee on Spring Garden Rd and watching people freeze to death outside as they wait for the bus is both therapeutic and spiritual.

People, under so much clothes, jackets and coats, look the same. I could barely tell the difference between them. Although, I still don’t get the girls who wear earmuffs, scarf, gloves, coat and snow boots, but got a skirt or shorts on. It baffles me.
Still, regardless of the small differences, I can’t tell the Canadian from the immigrant; socio-economic profiling suddenly becomes meaningless. If snow isn’t telling us something here then there’s not much hope for humanity.
I mean, the thing about a place like this where there are many second and third generation immigrants is that it makes it harder for me, someone from a place where ethnic and racial profiling is as normal as burping after a meal (not nice, but normal), to look at an Asian-looking man or woman (for example) and not expect them to have a heavy accent.
On my way to downtown Halifax, I had a nice chat with the bus driver, who looked Asian but spoke with a heavy American accent. Like Owen Wilson. So I was thinking, is it wrong to expect people to talk in a certain way or to dress in a certain fashion just by their looks? If you are not sure whether you are guilty of profiling people, just pay attention to how you decide where to sit the moment you get on a bus.

Snow is painting the city white. Everyone is under layers of clothes. Everyone is holding a cup of coffee. Even people’s physique and structure becomes a little tricky. So the only obvious truth is how tall or short they are. I appreciate snow that way. Reminding me that nothing matters but attitude.
I don’t know these people, and they have no clue who I am or where I come from. When asked, sometimes I say Kuwait, sometimes I say Jamaica, and it wouldn’t make the slightest difference to their attitude towards me.

Dr. Love

April 12, 2011 2 comments

I love this man. I’m in love, I think, with everything that has to do with the 7o’s. I think if I ever wanted to go back in time, I’d really want to be in the States in the 70’s. Don’t ask me what it is, though, because I feel exactly the opposite about the 80’s! It could be the weed and magic mushrooms that makes the difference ; )
Anyway, it was in a speech class I took when I was introduced to this man’s videos, Dr. Leo Buscaglia (pronounced Buus-kaalya). Our professor told us he was going to show us a couple of videos for a guy who would have without a single doubt failed ANY speech class! Simply because this Buscaglia guy spit a lot, shouted a lot, and had excessive and often distracting movements. A speaker should, according to Speech 101, be clear and calm – at least.

We had a in-class viewing, and based on what our professor said, I was expecting this guy to shout, his arms flailing, and jump up and down the podium in excitement; one who’d be more distracting than anything else. He was exactly that and more. Heck, I was blown away. This guy was better than ANY speaker I’ve ever seen or heard! He was captivating!
He seemed to wholeheartedly believe in what he said that he convinced me on spot. He spoke of love as if it were the only truth there is in the world. I mean, even though I could tell right away that this was a man who must have seen dark hours; he must have been through quite some difficult times and probably had a broken heart at one point in his life. You could see it right there in his eyes.

But in the same time, he seemed to be overwhelmed with joy and love! He seemed so beyond silly differences of race, ethnicity, nationality, politics, religion, money and other divisive issues. The one thing he truly represented was his humanity.
Boy was I captivated by this man. I asked our professor for the DVD’s, and after an hour of convincing, he finally agreed. On the condition that if I ever lose or damage  them I’d have to wash his car at campus until graduation. I agreed.
I took those DVD’s, copied them, and returned the originals the following day. Since then, I’ve been hooked on Dr. Love. Yes at times we lose track, and we get bitter, but that’s okay! It’s healthy to feel lost every now and then. Feeling lost only means we’re hungry for inspiration. Dr. Leo “Love” Buscaglia is right there to guide you! All the more reason for me to love the 70’s, really…

Categories: Silent Spirits

Opium: Part Two

September 5, 2010 Leave a comment


Religion is as old as man. That, of course, does not prove anything. But it does say that we humans have a tendency to believe in greater beings that are omniscient and all-powerful. Religion, as mentioned in part one, is simply a set of codes or instructions that tell people how to deal with issues in their day-to-day lives. Much like the set of rules and regulations found and applied by us humans that regulate all kinds of issues, from social life to education to criminal law to business. These rules, regardless of the author (or creator, let’s not get touchy here), are made to safeguard order and peace.  So it is good to at least acknowledge that religion is not bad as an idea.

I could swear I hear someone saying that religion is the source of terrorism. Which is absurd because religion, like everything else in life, is a double-edged sword. I mean, if Teletubbies have enemies, I wouldn’t be surprised if religion did. So I’m not bothered by people who think obliterating religion is the answer to solving world problems. The problem is even if religion gets out of the picture, we still have political parties, ethnic and racial issues, economic and financial differences.. the list may not be long but they’re enough to keep six billion people busy.

Thought and philosophy outlive people and surpass the confines of materialist agendas. There are still Pagans around, for the love of God! You know, god of war, god of peace, god of sea, god of sleep, god of crops, god of chocolate chip waffles & yogurt ice cream. It’s beautiful.
And so movements to abolish religion are just as useless as trying to convince the GOP and Democrats to “think outside the box”. Come to think of it, why do so many people want to abolish religion? Is it that they hate the idea of God so much or that they just hate religion itself? But then, is it about God at all? Is it taking it too far to think that God has been benched when it comes to religion? If this IS about religion itself, it’s one thing. But if it is about God, then it’s a totally different issue. Yes, religion has the power to create brick-headed people who would kill fellow believers for the sake of… well… for nothing, really! Yet, there are those would kill a fellow human because he’s black, white, brown, Asian, or because they’re from up North or farther South, or maybe because they speak or look funny. Name them what you wish, Ku Klux Klan, Skin Heads, street gangs, Mafia, Al-Qaeda, etc. It’s the same issue, different perspectives. I bet Oswald didn’t take out Kennedy for religious reasons either

It’s why the new world order refocused the efforts of mega powers to exporting philosophy. Forget Afghanistan and Iraq, those were inevitable and had to take place one way or another. They were old contracts that needed to be terminated for the new program to take place. Soldiers and guns is not the face of war anymore, that is so 60’s. Rather, it is the sitcoms, movies, cartoons, fashion shows, and reality TV that are here to stay. It’s the ideas and concepts behind these products that come in full disguise, much like the Trojan Horse. THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is Opium of the Masses, and not religion. In fact, they’ve become religion in their own right.
I don’t wish to sound like a conspiracy theorist, even though I do sound like one no matter how hard I try not to, but the facts are straight. Religion is not saying the modern life style is evil or TV shows are wicked (well… some religious people do!), but religion says you may adopt a modern life style and watch whatever TV show you want while bearing in mind that they are messages that need to be analyzed, interpreted and understood. I, for one, liked some concepts in Sex and the City, but ultimately understood that they’re saying sleeping around with various people from all over is not really a bad thing; it’s “freedom of choice”… Ouch!

So there are worse things than religion, and terrorism is not a copyright or a trademark of religion. But the question that still stands is this: where is God in the midst of all of this?

Categories: Silent Spirits

Opium: Part One

September 2, 2010 4 comments

Karl Marx stated the obvious; I’d like to think that he just found a surprisingly new way to say it. To say that religion is the opium of the masses is blasphemous, because religion certainly is much more than just opium.

Religion, any religion, is so much more than a sedative drug. It’s like saying iPads are just a craze to pass time, which is an understatement of what anyone could do with an iPad. Religion can be the answer to real life problems, since religion is ultimately the way a person chooses to live. It is the set of codes that a follower of a faith abides by in order to achieve unity with the universe.

But wait a second.. many of us think that is a load of bull! Why, certainly because it’s near impossible to achieve. Unless you’re a monk with a shiny bald head wearing a 20-meter long cloth wrapped around yourself from head to toe while meditating on top of a foggy mountain in absolute tranquility with the sound of nothing but the low-velocity spring wind brushing against your ears and the warmth of the sun gently expanding the molecules of the top of your skin-head (see how I achieved a run-on?).
Truth is: we can’t achieve unity with the universe because of our worldly and mundane commitments that cloud our third-eye’s perception. One has to detach themselves from all material things to be able to elevate to higher spiritual status; much like a hot air balloon that will not gain altitude unless weight is detached (but if you are a monk, don’t sell your Ferrari).

Now, if achieving the one goal religion came here to accomplish is, for lack of better words, critically unachievable, what do we do with religion? What is the use of it? If we didn’t know any better, we’d be repeating what Marx said. Is religion really just a leash? Is it what makes us go about everyday like robots without wanting to think “outside the box” (atheists love that term, by the way).

Religion, as I said earlier, is here to tackle a much bigger problem than making people go to sleep. Or worse, make people kill each other. It’s funny how some people accuse religion of causing much misery and be completely oblivious to the fact that their politics and money-driven agendas are creating equal disasters.
Though I’m a non-liberal believer, not orthodox, just non-liberal, I would not take sides in the subject of religion vs. the world. Religion ceased to be for the masses. It is not the opium of the masses any longer. And in line with Hewlett Packard‘s philosophy I would say that “religion is personal again”.

Religion is a thought. An idea. A How-to manual, if you may, on how to tackle issues according to experts. What thought you choose is up to you. And by choosing, you need to be ready to live up to the instructions within. In this sense, Atheism is a religion.
In retrospect, what is communism anyway? Isn’t it exploiting power and abusing the people while wanting to make them believe it’s for their own good? Oh dear now I sound like a naive ignorant fool. But that’s okay, because what can be said of one ideology can certainly be said of the other. You just can’t find the corner in a round room, can you?

So religion is here to stay. Civilizations come, civilizations go. Dynasties get born. Dynasties crumble and die. But religion, as a thought, will remain with whoever chooses to embrace it. It’s why faiths never expire. I believe that religion represents the inner nature of a person. In the sense that just because somebody is Christian, it does not mean that they are Christian. Just as many followers of Islam are NOT Muslims. Religion is not a name tag. It is everything you need to know about why you exist, and not why others shouldn’t.

Not saying religion is always the answer. But I’m saying reconsider religion as a viable solution to many of our dilemmas.

Categories: Silent Spirits

Run, Ramadan, Run!

August 11, 2010 Leave a comment

To all the people who appreciate spiritual values and respect traditions as well as commandments that take us to a new level of tolerance and self-discipline

Ramadan Kareem

Categories: Silent Spirits