The gravel road wounded higher and higher into the mountains—its broken surface unending—an injustice even to the hardiest of 4×4 vehicles. Our rear-wheel drive Volkswagen Kombis showed the stalwart medal they were made of, as we steered with caution to avoid the dragon-tooth rocky protrusions that paved the mountain road. Our progress was so painful and precarious, that no dust trail was left behind the vehicles.
I met a thirty-something gentleman last year who arrived in North America five years ago. We conversed in English—his fifth language. He was born in the Middle East, and grew up with Kurdish, Arabic and Farsi. Ten years ago he moved to Cyprus and mastered Greek. When he crossed the Atlantic, he conquered the Queen’s tongue.
What I found most intriguing about the man, was his remark when we parted ways, “You know what I’m going to learn next, sir? Spanish and French.”
There was no doubt in my mind that he would do exactly that.
Reflecting on the lives we live, the question remains—how can we look at it with new eyes?
Are we able to look beyond the obvious, the mere physical objects that our eyes, optic nerves, and visual cortexes—our brains, register? For many of us, even that is a haze. We are too busy with our manicured, über-managed lives to notice. And if we do notice, do we register—does it impact us at all?
When we look at life—what do we see?
Have we become so busy, so numb that we slide through our daily existence, go through the motions, in automatic mode—registering little, seeing even less, and fail to be inspired—emotionally blind?
The first time!
Everything in our lives has a first time—from the day we were born till our last breath, there will be ‘first times.’
Abuse blossoms in silence. That is why it thrives.
Why are we surprised when people stand up and speak out to end abuse? Is it because so few do?
When you walk past a bookstore, do you ever feel this overwhelming compulsion to go inside? Oh, only to browse and enjoy the ambience, vowing not to buy anything.
I do, almost every time. I have an even greater weakness toward old second-hand bookstores.
It was only a white lie.
And with that admission, we believe we can walk out a free man. Even if it was a blatant falsehood—an open deception. We just shrug our shoulders and go on with our lives. How often don’t we justify our actions, inactions or distortions of the truth, as necessary—we had no option, we claim. After all, the society we life in today, by en large sanctions it. It is deemed a necessary evil, and we, as a collective, oblige—opting for not knowing, or, we participate in it.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Easy for me to say. I don’t know anything about your life.
Which is true. Once you get home from work, put your feet up to catch your breath, made supper, took the kids to their sporting activities, checked their homework, put them to bed, caught up with friends on Facebook, checked your emails, watched season nine of your favorite show, (You deserve some downtime, don’t you?) it’s past your bedtime. You’re dead on your legs. And, it’s almost midnight.
Read more? Forget it. All you need then is sleep.
And what’s your sad excuse?
Mine is I always believed I was too busy to write a book. I had no time. And, I had never done it before. People wouldn’t read my stuff I believed—they wouldn’t like my writing. There are so many lies we tell ourselves for remaining put, for procrastinating, for not committing. Granted, many are valid reasons—but they all remain just that: excuses.