Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people. - Eleanor Roosevelt



Thursday, May 26, 2011

Trapped.

I'm in Houston, staying with my brother and his family for a few days. They have just moved into a new apartment.

This apartment is spacious, with three bedrooms, two bathrooms and hardwood floors. I really like it. I also like the fact that this apartment is located in a building that has an actual state of the art gym and equally fancy pool. It even has a theater and a game room, if you like that sort of thing.

Why am I going on about my brother's new habitat? Well, because, simply put, I am trapped inside this apartment. Today, at least.

An apartment building with such cool things inside is also a place that needs protecting. So much protecting, apparently, that only two sets of keys and security clearance remote controls are given per household. To move through the building, you have to use your security clearance tools, which are all out and about at the moment.

Hence, I'm trapped.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Nature and the Sea

I went to the beach Sunday, and it was so windy, that people were flying kites on the shore. I don't go to the beach to fly kites. Moreover, I don't like kites, and I certainly don't like wind. I go to the beach to swim, and despite the high tide making violent waves crash onto the shore, I went in. I let the waves, big and high, crash over me, slap me around and even throw me down. A lot of people were doing just that; standing in water just deep enough to come up to the chest and just letting the sea try to kick them out.

I've never been one to like anything that, at least in theory, defies Nature. I respect Nature so much, I don't dare look it in the eye. I don't even put away my coats and sweaters until Memorial Day weekend. But that Sunday, I tell you, I was determined to feel saltwater on my skin, so I lifted my humble gaze and stared a force of Nature straight in the eye. The power it had over me, now that I think about it, was enough to be fatal if it so decided, but it let me get up each time it knocked me down. Knowing that humbles me even further.

I was watching the evening news three days later, when a news item talked about the high winds and high tides in the same waters I had braved and even learned to body surf in just days before. The waves had crashed over someone else, but did not let him get back up like they did me.

Nature. The Sea. I've finally grasped the meaning behind that faraway look in the eyes of seafarers. It is a look that says "I'm waiting for the tide."

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I'm featured.

Well, it's not so much me that's being featured as much as my writing. I wrote a piece that was inspired by a headline by NPR, who of late are doing a few things here and there that aren't making me happy. It was that headline that served as a springboard for the piece you can now read at Intrepid Media.

The Mistake that Rained on Egypt's Parade is the name of the piece, and it talks about the unfortunate assault that Lara Logan suffered while covering the celebrations in Tahrir Square on February 11. I mostly talk about how this incident tainted the happy moment in Egyptian and Arab history. I actually wasn't sure it was such a good piece and wondered if it was a little unfocused, but I suppose I might've been wrong.

In advance, thanks for reading!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

On maturity.


            Maturity is an elusive thing, much like purity. As we grow up, we are expected to be mature; some of us aiming to be just that, while others avoid it as if it were an illness. Some of us even believe that maturity comes packaged with advancing age.
            I must confess that I at least hoped that maturity came packaged with advancing age, because nowhere in my head was there a serious thought that equaled “it’s time for me to become mature,” around the time when my age seemed conducive to this condition.
           There are many different thoughts and opinions on what constitutes maturity. Some say that it’s responsibility, others say that it’s independence, others say it’s how you deal with people on an emotional level, while others say that it’s parenthood…the list goes on and on of what maturity means to different people.
            Aside from my opening statement that maturity is elusive and the many other things I feel are maturity, I would like to add my own idea of what equals this much-labored after virtue:
            Maturity is knowing that, ultimately, you will always be just a little bit immature.

Monday, February 7, 2011

My trouble with atheists.

            I can’t seem to come to a full understanding of the psychological makeup of folks who label themselves “atheists”. Maybe you’ve run into such folk and know why I am perplexed, and maybe you’ve never had such an encounter and need me to elaborate.
            Atheists, for information-in-passing purposes, are those who do not believe in the existence of a deity, God. What perplexes me is not the fact that they do not believe in God, but rather how hostile they get toward someone who does believe in God, unprovoked.
            A year or two ago I found myself witnessing a one-sided heated debate with an atheist friend. I don’t even remember what it was I said that ruffled her feathers, but she branched out from “I don’t believe in God,” to a full-on explanation to support the validity of her disbelief in a greater being. I heard about how evolution has been observed in scientific labs, how science is responsible for everything, how there is no substantial evidence to prove that there is a God. I remained silent and listened to this woman participate in a one-sided debate with herself and simply shrugged at the end and said “I respect your opinion, and thank you for sharing it, but as you know, I do not subscribe to your way of thinking.”
            This, for some reason, ruffled her feathers even more and extended the conversation for longer than I would ever want any conversation to last that brings forward differing opinions. Still, at the end, I was still what I was at the beginning: a believer. Never once during that whole conversation did I feel the need to provide reasons or proof that what I believe is really the way things are, and never once did my feathers get ruffled. I was simply listening, accepting her and her beliefs of disbelief, and filed it away under “things about friend X that further define her personality.”
            A few days after that encounter, I was sitting with another friend, Y, who is not an atheist, and told her about friend X getting all bent out of shape and going on and on to present a case against the existence of God. Friend Y was as cool as I was and simply said “If she was convinced, she wouldn’t get so bent out of shape.”
            I can’t say if friend Y’s statement is one that holds water, but I do know this: I believe in God. I have faith that there is a God, therefore, I never feel the need to defend my belief, because that is what faith is all about. Faith is something even an atheist can have, in which case it would be faith in the idea that there is no God, no explanation required.
            The other perplexing trouble I find with atheists is the fact that they think that anyone who believes in God is on a mission to convert them, and so whether the person they’re dealing with is that kind of person or not, they have the same hostile, defensive and offensive response. They begin to dismiss the person, disrespecting what they believe in and totally undermine anything the person says, not listening to a word without scoffing.
            In the end, I feel that I have yet to run into a truly open-minded atheist who has faith in what he/she believes, who represents his/her folk in a good light.  
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