Sunday, 2 December 2012

Respect for the living



 Memories are both happy and painful. Remembrance allows us to indulge in the happy times and also to wallow in self-pity. Our memories seem to store the bad stuff more than the good. When we fill our minds  with negative images from our past then our vision becomes clouded and we withdraw from the joy of life.
Humans have got it wrong when we revere the dead. People who die become glorified and rightly so in some heroic cases but what about the glory of life? How do we celebrate it if we heap pressure upon pressure on ourselves when we should be enjoying the whole breathing experience?

When men go to war, it’s seen as courageous so we remember their sacrifice. The returnees come back to their families with damaged bodies and minds. The latter is the hardest to cure and poses a serious threat to healthy family life.

Memoriam to life
I don’t dwell on my past too much as there’s pain and very few pleasures. When I was young I threw away much of my opportunities as the adults around me didn’t show me any respect so I came to treat myself in disrespectful ways. I courted bad company, married and divorced it. I don’t look back because I prefer to look forwards.

People die….it’s a natural law. It’s hard to lose someone you love but it’s even harder to be a good loser. You always hurt the people closest to you but you immortalize them in your heart at death. It’s easy to dwell on the good points of a dead person but more challenging to dwell on them whilst their walking around.

People mess up during their lives…that’s natural law too. Who can live a completely virtuous and wholesome life? Perhaps a saint but most of them have feet of clay too. Many a saint has led a debauched lifestyle before turning to piety.

When I see people lighting candles for the dead, it makes me uncomfortable. The hypocrisy hits me more than anything else when I recall how these people were thought of when they were in living…..sometimes hardly at all.

The relationship between dead parents and their living children is a fragile one. When parents are ailing, they seem to want to their children around but, in their youth, children were dismissed – seen but not heard. There are a minority of parents who have got this parenting thing right and they accept that their children cannot be around for them.

I am life
“Life does not tarry with yesterday,” Kahlil Gibran reminds us and our children are like “ living arrows”. That clearly implies that once, as parental archers we take aim, then we can’t guarantee seeing where the arrow lands. Children are not boomerangs so don’t expect to see them once they start chasing their dreams.

This is a call to respect life, while it is with us. Respect each person, plant, flower even when you don’t agree with them. It’s hard but it’s the way of peace and if want some in your heart then you’ll have to swallow your baggage.

To respect life is to leave it alone.  To respect yourself, say “no” – many times, over and over, as there are people who don’t accept that word from you. Life goes on and life is what you make of it…in each moment. Honour the pain of your past and look towards a bright future. Draw a line under your past and renew yourself and others.

You can’t make life good for another person when they don’t want it. The veil of ignorance cannot be torn down by you. Let them that haters hate but you will not share that death.
Life and me are one!
Respect yourself above all since your life is about you and no one sees it as you do.

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