Kindness trumps intelligence.

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Jeff Bezos recounted a story where he was taught a lesson by his grandfather. You can read the story here or watch it here but the gist of it is, he was being a clever young man when he happened to use his wit in a harmful way. His grandfathers words to him were:

“Jeff, one day you’ll understand that it’s harder to be kind than clever.”

For three days now those words have haunted me. Every now and then you read or hear something that rattles your bones or stops you dead in your tracks. Upon hearing those words, I took one of those deep sighs like when someone smacks you a good one in the thorax. My heart felt heavy and breathing slowed right down as I put myself on trial.

How often I let my intellect beat my forbearance, overcome my mercy or hold hostage my kindness only for it to be let loose like a rabid dog gnawing at someone else’s inability to retort back or playing a silly tit for tat should they be a worthy adversary.

I felt so bad for all the fights I’ve had, verbally or electronically.

It daunted upon me how rotten we are as humans, using ‘gifts’ as Jeff calls them to our detriment. Using intelligence to put someone else down, using intelligence to garner a favourable position even though it may not be honourable or imbued with integrity.

Why do we place so much emphasis on intelligence and so little on kindness? Would you rather a spouse or partner that could prove the sky is pink to you with philosophical rants ad nauseam or would you prefer a person shrouded in kindness and mercy? Is intelligence really that attractive when put in that light?

How many a husband or wife have used their intelligence to cut through the marital fabric, the carefully evolved tapestry of love between a couple that has survived the ages?

How many a daughter has spoken ill of her mother because she doesn’t fit into her social construct of what it means to be a woman, forgetting the kindness and patience her mother afforded her as she developed and was allowed the freedom to develop into the person she now arrogantly displays to the world as sophisticated and powerful?

How many a father has shattered the dreams of his son when he longed to build things with his hands when instead he was forced into a field he bore no passion towards.

The examples can pour on forever, but the take home message is, put yourself on trial and think about the things you’ve said to win an argument, to appear cool, intelligent, gather attention or rise to a position by using your intelligence and your gifts in a negative way then account yourself and make amends. Apologise, return the rights of the person, seek forgiveness, vow to change, apply yourself by the maxim of ‘Unless you have nothing good to say, then remain silent’. In the words of the noble Prophet Muhammad,

“Be kind, for whenever kindness becomes part of something, it beautifies it. Whenever it is taken from something, it leaves it tarnished.”

I’ve watched oldie a few times and I still get pleasure out of it every time.

The life dilemma

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There’s a conundrum concocting in the cauldron,

It’s the most real and visceral recipe known to man.

It makes takes life and supercharges it,

Gives it an overdose of steroids,

Rocket boosters even.

Nothing on earth makes you feel more alive than death.

Perhaps why the Prophet reminded us to make much remembrance of the destroyer of pleasures.

That conundrum brews a mighty stew,

Burns the belly of the beast,

But it’s hard to digest.

On writing.

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Franz Kafka said to his adoring Fiance

You once said that you would like to sit beside me while I write. Listen, in that case I could not write at all. For writing means revealing oneself to excess; that utmost of self-revelation and surrender, in which a human being, when involved with others, would feel he was losing himself, and from which, therefore, he will always shrink as long as he is in his right mind. That is why one can never be alone enough when one writes, why there can never be enough silence around one when one writes, why even night is not night enough.

Yes, this true! I agree wholeheartedly with him. Any writer that needs an audience to complete his work is a show pony, not a stallion of the desert of words.

Why didn’t you

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Photo Credit: http://karezoid.deviantart.com/

 

Why didn’t You create me deaf so I would not hear Your calling?

Why didn’t You create me blind so that I would not see Your blessings?

Why didn’t You create me without a nose so when I pass through Your fields I could not smell the blossoms?

Why didn’t You create me without hands so I could not help others?

Why didn’t You create me without feet so I could not traverse Your land?

Why didn’t You create me without senses so I couldn’t taste Your honey?

Say the ignorant, say the ingrates, say the deniers.

Had You not created me with anything other than one sense or limb alone,

The sole purpose would be so that I may use it to find You.

-ME

Rumble

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What is that?
That rumble that I hear inside is not hunger for food.
Fear fighting courage, courage fighting fear and being nothing more than a powerless spectator.
The unfamiliar feeling of being out of control.
God letting me know who’s boss.
Forgive me for my ego.
I’m just getting older,
I’m just growing up.
That rumble is hunger for You.
-ME

Terrorists or fashionistas?

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Photo credit : http://briedisk.com

Once upon a time,  say 5 years ago, if you sported this beard, you were a terrorist, harassed at work, made fun of in the street and automatically stereotyped.
Nowadays, even the least hetro of males sport them for fashion. Add some tats, some clever photography and you’re a model.
Sorry guys, you guys ain’t got shit on Muslims who’ve worn them casually and with conviction for 1450 years and are the most widely regarded beard wearers of all time.

Noise Fein

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Image credit: Flickr/Photo Monkey

 

When the noise becomes too much

Come with me and I’ll show you how to walk amongst the tombstones of silence.

I’ll guide you through the mist of unfamiliarity

As you struggle to recognise your inner most thoughts

Not by chance is your soul a corpse

By your own hand you bludgeoned it

As you feined for noise.

-ME