Archive | September 2012

The World can be a Better Place

“Without respect for people of different races or ethnicities or religions, how can we have a peaceful and harmonious society or world? And without a harmonious society, how can there be the necessary economic development and atmosphere conducive to spiritual happiness and self-realization?” Jagad Guru
After the recent events around the blasphemous film (which I have not seen) depicting the Prophet Muhammad (SAW), I found it necessary to share my thoughts and feelings.
(Please note that this is entirely my opinion)

So, I like a silver car, you like red, I prefer white bread, you prefer brown. I’m an evening person, you’re a morning person. These are the kind of differences that we have as people and need to accept it. And we do, most of the time anyway. So why is it so much more difficult when it comes to accepting the beliefs, religion, way of life, faith, (whatever you want to call it) of others?
Religion can be a touchy subject, a taboo. However, the fact that it is taboo needs to be addressed. Belief, whether in religion or science, is a concept that should be respected and admired in us as humans, not something used as a tool for persecution.
As a woman of Islamic faith, born into a marriage of interfaith, (where my dad’s born Muslim, and my mum reverted to Islam from Hinduism), I feel that I have gained something that not many people have, and that is exposure.
I have had the freedom of being able to practice my religion, but at the same time be exposed to other religions as a result of having family and friends with other beliefs. If I have to single out one valuable lesson that I’ve learned from my parents; it would have to be respect! Respect for others beliefs, culture, traditions and race.

We must begin to reach common ground, where we can all believe as we wish without fear of discrimination. There is no justification for trying to oppress any religion or lack of religion, for that matter. A lack of religion is another aspect of the issue that needs addressing. There is nothing wrong with a lack of religion, just as there is nothing wrong with believing in any religion. The only wrong in the equation is the intolerance between belief systems.

In a perfect world, we would all have the freedom to believe as we wished or not at all, if that was our choice. To grow closer to that ideal, we have to make the first step and stop our discrimination of other beliefs, so they can grow in their tolerance of us in turn. This wouldn’t be easy, but it’s vital. The religious must stop trying to prove that their belief is the only way, while the ones who don’t believe in much must stop trying to prove that religion is a lie.
Why is it so difficult for us to reach a common ground? Religion should be something worth respecting and valuing, not a tool for mockery.
How can we expect tolerance of our faith when we cannot be tolerant of the faith of others? Tolerance is a two-way street; we cannot expect to change or fix anything when all we do is demand respect for our views.
This unfortunately is one of those issues that are not going away anytime soon. Perhaps one day, we will all be able to live in this world in peace and harmony.

I believe that the world can be a better place.

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Increase your quality of Life

It helps to know what ‘quality of life’ means to you. It’s an intensely personal question. Your vision of quality may differ from that of mine, and that’s what makes the world such an intriguing beast. We’re fascinating in our differences.

I may value connections, authenticity and adventure; dream of kids, a thriving business, founding a charity, and you might be driven by success, learning and independence; you won’t be complete until you hit CEO and make Forbes list.
I have decided to put down the things that I think can increase any life;

1. Spend time with your thoughts. Call it what you want, meditation, time out, whatever. I think it’s important to take time to reflect as this helps to put things into perspective.

2. Learn something new. I’m not saying go learn a new language (which isn’t a bad idea), but read up on something that you wouldn’t normally read, and share this with someone, (trust me, your brain will thank you) and give yourself an instant confidence boost!

3. Leave the routine. Even for just a minute a day. (And that’s coming straight from a Routine QUEEN!) Truth be told, when I do break out of it, it feels really good! (It’s still hard to bend the “rules” though).

4. Spend time outside. This is something I love to do, although I don’t  I get to do it as much as I would like to. I personally feel that this simple act instantly reduces stress.

5. Give yourself. Mentor, contribute, practice random acts of kindness, express gratitude. Give your time, be fully present for your family, change the world. There are a million ways to give of yourself. Do it big, do it small, just do it.  It’s one of the most positive equations in the world: You give of your time or resources, which improves someone’s quality of life, which makes you feel needed and valuable, which in turn improves your quality of life. We’re all better off.  Magic.

6. Connect with people. We are social beings. Pay special attention to your family, your partner, your friends, and your colleagues.  Explore and strengthen your connection to a Higher Power.  And be open enough to enjoy the spontaneous connections that come from making a new friend at the gym or sharing a witty remark with stranger at the supermarket.  Genuine curiosity and kindness are an amazing way to foster connections.

7. Celebrate. We all need a healthy dose of play in our lives. this fuels our creativity and feeds our spirits. Celebrating is a wonderful way to share love. Celebrate with traditions, with heartfelt compliments, with notes in lunch bags, with surprises, with big evenings out, or with cozy evenings in.

8. Recognize what makes you happy. Reflect on the parts of your day that bring you real satisfaction. Everyone is working towards something, but what makes you happy now? Try to incorporate more of what made you happy yesterday into today.

9. Love yourself. Treat your body with respect and care. Help yourself age well by staying flexible, protecting your skin from sun and exercising your mind.  Most importantly, sleep well.

10. DO NOT STRESS!

images: Google.com

A warm welcome to Spring

Spring is finally here! After a long and cold winter, I couldn’t be happier. Spring is one of my very favourite seasons! I am so excited for all of the lovely things that spring brings and so here are the top 10 things I love about spring…

1. A good old braai – As a South African, there is nothing better than sitting around braai

 

 

 

2.Picnics

3. Green grass and spring blossoms

 

 

 

4. Dining Outdoors

5. Fresh food markets

 

 

6. Late evenings and early mornings

 

 

 

7. Outdoor activities (whether it’s a run, hike, morning on the greens, there’s very little outdoorsy things that I don’t enjoy)

8. Flea markets – It somehow feels so much better browsing flea markets in warmer weather.

 

 

 

 

9. Chirpy birds – There’s no sweeter sound to the ear than a chirping bird at the crack of dawn

10. The whole feeling of RENEWAL, REJUVENATION and HOPE!

What do you enjoy about spring?

images: google.com