A lighter shade of pale

‘Never’ and ‘always’ are absolutes. We do not live in a world of black on white. Rather, we experience realities in infinite shades of grey.

Nor do we uniformly perceive, live or interpret the same experience. In fact there is probably no such thing as ‘the same experience’ since experiences are inherently personal. How objective is ‘reality’? Take, for example, the attempt by a flotilla to deliver goods to Gaza through international waters that was intercepted by the Israeli forces. What is the reality of the situation for Palestinians, the Israelis and the world community? To say that the perspective of one nation is unfounded is as racist and intolerant as another nation taking the approach that the end justifies the means. But where does the balance lie?

It was once written that World War II was the war to end all wars. Has it? Have we beaten swords into plough-shares but are producing guns instead? The rise of the European Union from the ashes of war, and not the war itself, is what contributed to decades’ long peace and stability at least in member states. It is positive action that breeds more positive action or reaction. Negative ones, on the other hand … history is so replete with examples that I do not have to elaborate on this point. Good or bad actions are not circumstantial; they come from the energy within us.

Within this context I wish to draw some maxims that breed positive change in a world that is otherwise perpetually divided and underpinned by individual or collective wounds:

1. Give. And when you do, challenge yourself to give more. When you give do not expect anything in return and you will be cultivating providence beyond justice;

2. Impart knowledge. Like many good things in life, knowledge when shared multiplies;

3. In charity, seek to empower and you will also be nourishing dignity;

4. When wounded do not hate because you will hurt yourself and those around you even more. There is no such thing as positive or negative energy. You choose whether to put energy to good or bad use. There is only so much energy that we have …. Always seek to put it to positive use;

5. Practice patience and perseverance;

6. Never judge but do not be afraid to question;

7. Some things we believe because we understand, whereas others we understand because we believe. There is only so much that a mortal mind can question;

8. Humility bears no relationship to belittlement. Humility is “knowing and embracing one’s calling”. It is also the strongest weapon against self-conceit;

9. Challenges exist to overcome them. But it is important to learn when to push, when to pull and when it is time to let go;

10. Your inner being needs nourishment. A daily ‘quiet time’ is a source of both strength, enlightenment and recalibration.

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