Via Basel: Winter Blues, and a Plea
Growing Weary, by Diana Lemieux
Forget the pandemic, the sickness of loved ones, and the personal setbacks. Yes, they’re difficult, but I can deal with them, and adjust, as many are doing, some more successfully than others. What really bothers me is the epidemic proliferation of hatred, anger, and pure selfishness. It is not limited to specific localities or segments of society, age, race, or class, etc…. It’s ubiquitous. Of course, it’s easy to point to white supremacists or inner city thugs, but the dis-ease is far more pervasive and common among so-called “average normal” citizens. My concern is not the “extremes” but the “main streams.”
As in many illnesses, the diagnosis is easier than the treatment. I certainly don’t have the magic pill for the malady. I am sad and weary; therefore I will focus on loving, giving, and resting at this time.
I will love because I’m tired of the hating, shaming, and criticizing within me, and all around me. Because unconditional love is the perfect antidote.
I will give because I need less and have more than most, and can’t take it with me anyway.
I will rest because my reserves are low and need to be replenished. Besides, it feels good at my age.
I’m done. I yield the balance of my time to you, dear reader. Make wise use of it.
Addendum: A few hours after I wrote this post came the announcement of the death of the beloved Vietnamese monk, poet, mindfulness teacher, and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh. I dedicate this post to his memory, and may his teachings and actions inspire us all towards inner and global peace.
Thich Nhat Hanh Obituary at NPR
Basel Al-Aswad, father of EIL founder Christopher Al-Aswad, is a yogi trapped in an Orthopedic Surgeon’s body. His loves in life include reading, writing, hiking, enjoying nature, meditation, and spending time with his large Iraqi family, and now, semi-retired, he is exploring new avenues in medicine, education, public speaking, and social engagement.
Winter Light, by Diana Lemieux
Beautifully put. Love can overcome all. Negative emotions lead to suffering
Basel, your words have a real poetry to them this month; there is beauty and depth in this winter we are sharing. I SO would prefer spring or summer or fall but this cold and dark does make me tune in with clarity, looking and longing for hints of spring. I like your dedication to love and give and rest in this season. Let us remind each other that spring always does come, and it will this time too. Meanwhile, let us seek the feeling of hope because it is everywhere even if our eyes can’t glimpse it at first. This season can train our eyes to recognize the signs of its presence and approach. As a friend of mine says, in the meantime, let us “plot goodness”.
Basel…your poignant post aptly acknowledges my thoughts and feelings on a daily basis. I, too, am done! I choose love over hate any day and yes, the external energies that wreak havoc within our society is far from the personal responsibilities that we all have within our means to master self-control, especially when all else around us is so out of control. It’s about clarifying our vision, what gets in the way of our vision and what reinforces our vision. My bottom line is asking each day, “who do I want to be in this world and I manifest my response accordingly. As always, thank you.
So timely. Thank you for giving voice to this. I’m so bleeping tired of the politics, the vaxx/non-vaxx debates, all of it. It’s good to be reminded of what’s truly important. The day of Thich Nhat Hanh’s death a friend sent this quote: “The seed of suffering in you may be strong, but don’t wait until you have no more suffering before allowing yourself to be happy.” -THICH NHAT HANH
Thanks all for your comments. So glad it resonated with you. Basel