religion

Le déni

location: elkhart, indiana

“Time takes all and gives all.”
Giordano Bruno

Denying the truth doesn’t change the facts about life and the circumstances we find ourselves in. You can learn a lot from your past and the choices you made when you aren’t so busy denying each and every one of them. But in life we have a horrible thing called “fear” and fear often permeates through every choice we make because of our incessant need to not be alone, to not live out a history, or live an ideal that promises happiness if we compromise ourselves. Yet, that is not how life works. Cowards always avoid difficulty and choose denial to steer through situations that are less than what they perceived for themselves. Such spineless attitudes that stem from a rose-colored perception is a sign of disbelief and broken faith. God help those who cannot help themselves.

Image Credit: Martinsky on Tumblr

Do The Potters of the World Escape Karma?

Mr Potter

Galatians 6:7 – “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about life’s relationships and karma. There are some really mean, heartless people out there. They manage to use you, step on you, take advantage of your feelings, bully you into a corner, throw you under a bus, and all of it for the sake of their own selfish gain. Sure, cruel and cutting remarks are shared everyday in our world, but 99 percent of the time, we’re hurt by the ones we know and love. And unfortunately, these injuries run deeper than expected and are more painful because the person who is the source of love suddenly betrays that affection and promise, either intentionally or otherwise. (Though in this case, fear of abandonment and family history.)

I have been hurt by people like this—two walking oddities (only one of whom I care for and love) that I appropriately bid as Tom and Daisy (Fitzgerald’s tragic characters from The Great Gatsby). We know the story of Tom and Daisy, egocentric beings, living away from others, who tread the path of shallow rug sweepers. They do what they want and manage to get what they want. But this isn’t about the two of them. This is more about the divine—the Universe and God.

Do you recall Mr. Potter from It’s a Wonderful Life? He was incredibly cruel. Treated everyone most heartlessly and with contempt. Lately, during nights of crying and reflection, I think about Mr. Potter. Mr. Potter, somewhat infamous for being the heartless villain of the film, gets away with all the horrible actions he made by the end of the film. While lovable, sweet and kind George Bailey goes on an epiphany quest with Clarence Oddbody, Mr. Potter keeps the money Uncle Billy lost, and rats him out for fraud to the bank examiner. Of course, everything works out for George but the karmic reactions of Mr. Potter go unseen, which makes you wonder…

Did he get away with it? Does he ever get away with it? Actually, the question I want to ask is, do the Mr. (and Miss) Potters of the world get away with the wrongs they commit? Some nights I feel like they do. I have seen plenty of people in my time get away with being mean, cruel and heartless to others. As a matter of fact, we see it every day in the workplace, politics, social settings, etc. And it’s not fair. While laying in bed tonight, staring at the ceiling as the lights of cars make their way through the blinds, the thought crosses my mind that Mr. (and Miss) Potter are going to get away with hurting others because they’ve become smart. They’ve become the apt pupil when it comes to manipulating a circumstance for their own gain. And they’ve learned this from watching others, quietly, shyly and let’s be honest, not everyone has a happy ending like George Bailey.

While I’m mentally stronger than others I know, I still feel pain in my heart from past situations. The pain is never going to leave as I truly believe our scars are a defining part of us and the most important part of us. They teach us things, they show us our real worth and prove to us how settling is for losers. But karma, whether good or bad is something that I know exists. I’ve seen it complement my faith as to when I do good things in the universe, good things come back. And thankfully, with the path I’ve been treading, God has graced me with kindness and love. And I still see it because I’ve chosen to live that way since letting go of Tom and Daisy in some physical sense.

But it makes me wonder about the bad people in life. The Toms and Daisys, and Mr. Potters. The hurtful people. The ones who betray your trust and heart. Do they ever get what they deserve? Why do the Mr. (and Miss) Potters of the world get away with hurting others, breaking their hearts and turning their backs? I know life isn’t fair, but karma. Does it exist for such beings? It doesn’t seem to and it makes me wonder if they’ll ever outsmart karma as they have with so many others.

Do the Potters of the world truly get away with it?

Whisper Words of Wisdom: Don’t Let It Be

Always stand up for the rights of others. Always speak up against hateful rhetoric. Never stay silent on what or who you know is wrong in their thinking. Choose your relationships wisely—think twice and don’t let someone’s lack of empathy and understanding cloud your honest judgment. In all my years, I have learned my friends and acquaintances make up who I am and through this knowledge, I have learned the circles we create are a direct reflection of who we are at the end of the day. Don’t let anyone’s lack of ethics, morality and faulty judgment be a reflection of you. (Again, think twice.)

As a nation and a world, we have a moral obligation to one another to be kind, to be understanding and most of all, to defend the rights of those in the minority who are unfairly treated. I saw this quote a few days ago and ever since, have been thinking about something my best friend, B told me a few years ago before entering law enforcement on the night of my birthday: “Never be afraid to speak up for yourself and your loved ones.” The world can be ugly and people can be downright mean towards others, not caring for anyone’s thoughts but their own whether through racism, homophobia, xenophobia, gender inequality, etc. But there is good and that overpowers the bad—always. Whatever happens, never stay silent on things that you know aren’t true, whether they’re about you, a race, a religion, a class of people, etc.

In keeping with MLK and all three Holy Books (the Bible, the Quran and the Torah), we were taught to love thy neighbor, stand up for others and speak out on injustice. If you choose to stay silent, what is left of your integrity? What is left to believe in the hope of empathy for mankind? What has happened to our tolerance? What has happened to all the love? 

Letter from the Editor: Love with Reckless Abandon

LFTE - V02

With the holidays approaching and another significant year ending, it’s hard to believe we will be starting afresh in just a few short days. From tragedies here at home and overseas, to a humanitarian crisis, to threats, disease, the rise of hate speech against minorities and of course, the insane politics of circus performers—the world has seen hard times in 2015.

This past year taught me so much about who I am to my friends, my family, and the world around me. While I haven’t discovered my life’s personal purpose and have plenty of path to tread, I have realized and recognized the profound effects of what it means to love without bounds.

In all fairness and honesty, I had my heart broken this year by someone I will always love despite their own shortcomings and cowardice. And as cliché as it sounds, being with this person for the past six years actually proved more about my strength than his.

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Remembering Faith, Hope and Love

Notre Dame - Grotto

1 Corinthians 3:13: “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these three is love.”

After the events that took place in Paris, I wanted to share a photograph I took (accompanied by a Bible verse) from my visit to the University of Notre Dame. With a world mourning and deeply saddened by the tragedy, it was beautiful to know that the university opened up its Grotto for students, faculty, staff, and visitors to pray the rosary in solidarity this past Saturday after the last home game for the Fighting Irish.

Photo taken by Tania Hussain at the Grotto of our Lady of Lourdes (University of Notre Dame)

Movie Review: The Adjustment Bureau

It is said that each man is the architect of his own fate as he dreams of his destiny, without fear and yearns to make it a reality for when the time is right. However, we are guided through life with the notion that we have our own decisions to make, tinkering with the thought of choices and freewill. But is freewill a misconception? Is our fate already predetermined?

George Nolfi’s directorial debut The Adjustment Bureau dabbles with the concept that there is only an appearance of freewill and that all of life’s major choices are predetermined by a higher authority and the path they’ve chosen for us. Nolfi, who also wrote the screenplay loosely based on Phillip K. Dick’s short story, “The Adjustment Team”, dives deep into the age old debate of freewill vs. fate with a fresh spin on the philosophies of life and theology, with regards to fate, destiny, chance and the greater picture of our very being.

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