We are free

We are free.

We are free to do harm or not.
We are free to lie or tell the truth, to say hurtful words or remain silent.
We are free to steal or not, to kill or not, to respect or not.

This freedom has nothing to do with books or constitutions or laws, nor with place or culture or religion. It has nothing to do with individual rights either, nor anything established.

We were born free to chose our behavior.
Every day, every time we make a decision on what to do or say, we are free to chose harm or love.

We are free.
It is an immense privilege.

Kenza.

God

“Mama, what is God?

– Put your hand here. Do you feel your heart beating?

– Yes, I do.

– Are you plugged into something?

– No.

– Well, God is what makes your heart beat.”

Inspiration: a conversation with my ten year old son. 

I seldom discuss

I seldom discuss. I used to with almost everyone, now it is very rare.

To discuss a topic means that one is open; that there is harmony between the ones holding a discussion, a harmony based on respect. Every discussion no matter how banal a subject may appear, engages the mind and hence must be honest. By exchanging ideas, one enters into confidence and reveals himself. And I repeat, no matter the subject matter.

To discuss, one should thus be present, fully present, aware of the other, his gestures and eyes and voice, his degree of attention and his thoughts. But it has to be both ways, otherwise the limits that so often isolate a person from another strengthen rather than wither.

Without candidness on all parts, our words run into mud, stall and little of their meaning gets through. If the heart is not open, there will be no current and there will be no light. Each will remain alone with his ideas and opinions, and little would have actually been achieved on the path of knowledge or wisdom.

As I said, the subject that is being discussed has no impact on the process because honesty and openness should always prevail. If you are exchanging ideas on how to make the best omelet, do so. Listen to the other, learn, explain. If you are discussing a political or a social issue, do so as well. We are in control of our words and we must make the effort to listen, to establish a real exchange. Convincing the other is never the aim of a discussion. Rather a discussion is an exchange. If one changes his mind, fine; if not, fine as well; at least both communicated and there was real human contact.

I have so often felt alone during a discussion, and I do not enjoy the sound of my own voice echoing in the void. So now, I do not discuss anymore and retreat in silence. It takes a most special person to get me to actually discuss a subject, and I am grateful to have a few of those in my life.

Kenza.

Peace

These days, peace has a general definition based on a negative. Take anyone at random and ask what peace is, and they will tell you that it is the absence of war, the opposite of strife.

Peace is thus seen as something beyond us, something that has to do with the “grand scheme of things” rather than our everyday life.

This understanding influences greatly how we think, how we speak and how we act.

I find that increasingly, people become annoyed and too often resort to agressiveness as their first reaction when faced with something they dislike —be it being stuck in traffic, waiting in line, not getting an immediate answer to a message, or anything that goes against what they had expected.

The reaction can go from cursing internally (I personally see that as self-inflicted harm) and blaming others, to straight out shouting.

A mix in various degrees of (1) impatience; (2) an exaggerated sense of self, in other words a lack of humility; and (3) the idea that living means imposing oneself on the world, are some of the causes that lead to such reactions.

Where am I heading with this you may ask?

I am heading towards peace. Yes, peace, salam, shalom, paz, мир(mir)—say it in whatever language you chose.

Peace is the ability to react in a gentle way to any situation, be it annoying or not.

Peace is not the ability to control or eliminate anything, be it anger or impatience or war.

Peace is not a state of mind.

Peace itself is an act.

Peace is positive and purposeful.

Peace is humility. It is patience and it is kindness.

Peace is filled with the potential for love and is itself a product of love.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.” John 14:27.

Kenza.

Caveat: in some parts of the world I had the privilege to visit or to live, agressiveness, even in its mildest form, was very rare and politeness, and hence respect, generally prevailed. 

Inspiration: peace, and the persistent inability to understand much of the world.