share some thoughts

Thursday, June 30, 2005

be positive!!

My question is.. where is our social conscience?

Most of the people of this world have adopted a very passive “it’s none of my business” attitude, which is frankly driving the world down the drain.

If we see someone doing something wrong,…. Shouldn’t we do or at least say something? Whether this something is affecting us directly or not?

If it doesn’t today, it might tomorrow.

I hear a lot of people saying , well it’s none of my business, or yeah it’s wrong bu what are we gonna do about it? Or “saying something won’t really change anything. My word is not gonna change the world.” Or the famous “people won’t like me if I preach them” although the last is not said out loud.

Come on, do your part!! If every one does their part , things will change.

Imagine if the norm is that anyone who does something wrong would be reproached, scolded or reacted to from anybody who knows his deed?
Nobody would do anything wrong so easily anymore, and if they do they will hide it. This applies from the smallest of children to the biggest of nations!!

Here is an example:
A friend of mine was telling me yesterday that she gets so angry at work because of all the things that are done wring there, but she wouldn’t say anything because she said nobody would tolerate her.
She told me that for ex. She saw a nurse at work dumping the rest of a drinking bottle of water out of the window for no good reason. She told her that this is waste and 7aram. Fresh water is a problem as it is in Egypt. And the nurse did not take it well.

I told her, imagine if everybody else who saw her said the same thing like you, she wouldn’t be able to do it, nor be upset.

Nobody said speaking up for the rights in this world is easy, but like everything good in life, we have to work for it. So what if you are not super popular among some people who want to persist in doing whatever they are doing. You would be popular with yourself, God and anyone who appreciates the good and right in this world.

If you know someone is doing something you know is wrong, and you never show it, advise them, or react, then excuse me I am sorry to say you are a hypocrite to your values and self, and not doing the person who is doing the act any favors. ( and of course you are not helping the wronged)

Not reacting to someone who does something wrong would just encourage them, and more, they would never feel they did anything wrong; everyone loves me anyway, so I can’t be a bad guy; that is what he/she would think.

After a while an “everyone is doing it” attitude is gonna start and so on and so on and we all know how this goes.

Of course, there is a way to do it. We can tell someone something without necessarily being offensive, preaching or condescending. Constructive criticism goes a long way. Nevertheless, if someone is being really evil or bad especially if they are hurtful to someone else, I say I would not be careful with my way to as not to offend him. Let him be uncomfortable!! (this last is my personal opinion, might be wrong or non-constructive, but it is how I feel).

God has ordered us to be positive and speak up for the right and just. One of our characteristics as an Islamic nation in quran is el 2amr be el ma3rouf we el nahy 3an el monkar, which means claiming and ordering what is right and good, and reproaching the wrong.

Also there is a hadith that means to say who sees a wrong, let him change it with his hand, if he can not, then by his tongue, if he can not then by his heart, and that is the weakest of the faith. This has given us the leeway pardoning if we are going to be hurt if we speak up (and I don’t mean by hurt someone rolling their eyes at you, I mean really hurt.) and God knows what is in our hearts and will judge justly when we really can and can’t do something.

So why not be positive and speak up for the just and right?

Sometimes I dream and wonder;
What would this world be like if everyone spoke up for the right?

I bet it would be a great place to live!!!!

Monday, June 27, 2005

i was having this discussion with a friend and we didn't get anywhere;

if you are in a community of people and a member (X) of the community does something very hurtful and unjust to someone esle (Y) and causes him/her alot of pain and damage.

(X) has done nothing to you personally, and is in fact nice to you. (Y) is (X)'s victim and suffering.

what are we supposed to do concerning (X)

1. nothing, he hurt (Y) not me, so why should i change myattitude
2. talk to (X) and tell him what he did is wrong
3. deal with (X) as we would deal with an un nice person even though he did nothing to us
4. other ,... (i am open to your suggestions)

Saturday, June 25, 2005

telling children about God

I have decided to try to learn about how to properly tell children about God. I was put in a very awkward situation yesterday

A little girl of eight years ( a neighbour of ours), came over to sit with us for a while. Wanting to entertain her, I played cards a bit and then thought of telling her some of the stories of the prophets briefly. Kids usually like stories. So I started telling her about Noah and Jonah and of course as kids do, she started innocently asking questions.

At first answering them was easy, then bit by bit, the questions led to other questions to other questions!!! Then came the questions of : what is God like? Does he have eyes like us? How does he see us? Where is he? And stuff like that.

You know, the awkward questions that you have to be prepared to answer eloquently the first time as these things stick to kids’ minds. I personally don’t remember how I was first told about God. I just grew up knowing of him the same as I knew of my name and family without remembering anyone introducing them.

I have experience talking to kids about God through my nephews, and I thought it was easy. The older is 11 years old, and he is already at the point that he inherently knows and understands. The other is only 4 and here is a interesting phenomenon that a friend of mine also noticed in her own kids. Kids so young are so understanding of this as if they know. They don’t ask these questions. It is enough for me to say something like, God likes us to do this, or wouldn’t like us to do that, to have an effect. When something good happens I say we have to thank God because he gave us all the good things in life. He incredibly responds very well to this, more than if I say your dad will be angry or so. He actually recognizes God as the absolute authority above all. Amazing!!

I explained about heaven before and he is very excited about it, and he keeps asking what is there? Are there sweets and chocolates and stuff? It is so refreshing the innocence. Well enough about my nephew or I will go on forever.

Well it was explained to me that this is normal actually. Each human being is given the instinct of knowing God inside them. They have it when born but sometimes as they grow older it gets overshadowed by other things. Instinct is sharpest in the very young. I think this instinct is what led a lot of people along the ages to look for a God,, whether they find Allah, or are misled to others, people always need to know there is God. Even atheists sometimes at the times of extreme incidents (ex. Drowning, earthquakes etc) tend to turn to God.

Anyway, I guess these two examples (my nephews) made me think that it is not difficult talking to kids. But with an 8 year old, it is quite tricky. I felt very embarrassed trying to tell her as briefly as possibly and then trying to change the subject because I was scared to mess up!!

I sure have to learn before I have kids of my own.

Monday, June 20, 2005

beauty and the beast

this is an article by dave Barry (who i love to read) which caught my eye by the title, as it is related to my previous post (fairy tales). lets see a guy's point of view

(This classic Dave Barry column was originally published on Feb. 1, 1998.)

If you're a man, at some point a woman will ask you how she looks.
''How do I look?'' she'll ask.

You must be careful how you answer this question. The best technique is to form an honest yet sensitive opinion, then collapse on the floor with some kind of fatal seizure. Trust me, this is the easiest way out. Because you will never come up with the right answer.

The problem is that women generally do not think of their looks in the same way that men do. Most men form an opinion of how they look in seventh grade, and they stick to it for the rest of their lives. Some men form the opinion that they are irresistible stud muffins, and they do not change this opinion even when their faces sag and their noses bloat to the size of eggplants and their eyebrows grow together to form what appears to be a giant forehead-dwelling tropical caterpillar.
Most men, I believe, think of themselves as average-looking. Men will think this even if their faces cause heart failure in cattle at a range of 300 yards. Being average does not bother them; average is fine, for men. This is why men never ask anybody how they look. Their primary form of beauty care is to shave themselves, which is essentially the same form of beauty care that they give to their lawns.
If, at the end of his four-minute daily beauty regimen, a man has managed to wipe most of the shaving cream out of his hair and is not bleeding too badly, he feels that he has done all he can, so he stops thinking about his appearance and devotes his mind to more critical issues, such as the Super Bowl.
Women do not look at themselves this way. If I had to express, in three words, what I believe most women think about their appearance, those words would be: ''not good enough.'' No matter how attractive a woman may appear to be to others, when she looks at herself in the mirror, she thinks: woof.
She thinks that at any moment a municipal animal-control officer is going to throw a net over her and haul her off to the shelter.
Why do women have such low self-esteem? There are many complex psychological and societal reasons, by which I mean Barbie. Girls grow up playing with a doll proportioned such that, if it were a human, it would be seven feet tall and weigh 81 pounds, of which 53 pounds would be bosoms.

This is a difficult appearance standard to live up to, especially when you contrast it with the standard set for little boys by their dolls ... excuse me, by their action figures. Most of the action figures that my son played with when he was little were hideous-looking. For example, he was very fond of an action figure (part of the He-Man series) called ''Buzz-Off,'' who was part human, part flying insect. Buzz-Off was not a looker. But he was extremely self-confident. You could not imagine Buzz-Off saying to the other action figures: ``Do you think these wings make my hips look big?''

But women grow up thinking they need to look like Barbie, which for most women is impossible, although there is a multibillion-dollar beauty industry devoted to convincing women that they must try. I once saw an Oprah show wherein supermodel Cindy Crawford dispensed makeup tips to the studio audience. Cindy had all these middle-aged women applying beauty products to their faces; she stressed how important it was to apply them in a certain way, using the tips of their fingers. All the woman dutifully did this, even though it was obvious to any sane observer that, no matter how carefully they applied these products, they would never look remotely like Cindy Crawford, who is some kind of genetic mutation.

I'm not saying that men are superior. I'm just saying that you're not going to get a group of middle-aged men to sit in a room and apply cosmetics to themselves under the instruction of Brad Pitt, in hopes of looking more like him. Men would realize that this task was pointless and demeaning. They would find some way to bolster their self-esteem that did not require looking like Brad Pitt. They would say to Brad: ``Oh YEAH? Well what do you know about LAWN CARE, pretty boy?''
Of course, many women will argue that the reason they become obsessed with trying to look like Cindy Crawford is that men, being as shallow as a drop of spit, WANT women to look that way. To which I have two responses:

1. Hey, just because WE'RE idiots, that doesn't mean YOU have to be; and

2. Men don't even notice 97 percent of the beauty efforts you make anyway. Take fingernails. The average woman spends 5,000 hours per year worrying about her fingernails; I have never once, in more than 40 years of listening to men talk about women, heard a man say, ''She has a nice set of fingernails!'' Many men would not notice if a woman had upward of four hands.

Anyway, to get back to my original point: If you're a man, and a woman asks you how she looks, you're in big trouble. Obviously, you can't say she looks bad. But you also can't say that she looks great, because she'll think you're lying, because she has spent countless hours, with the help of the multibillion-dollar beauty industry, obsessing about the differences between herself and Cindy Crawford. Also, she suspects that you're not qualified to judge anybody's appearance. This is because you have shaving cream in your hair.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Fairy Tales

We always complain from the superficiality of people (at least I do). A lot of people now are so obsessed by looks, to the extent that it overshadows the importance of the beauty within.

It has gotten to a point where a lot of teenage girls want to have plastic surgery to look perfect or like someone they like!

So, is being superficial a bad thing?

Well, we all admire beauty and esthetics, what makes us superficial is if that is our main concern.

It can be bad I think, because it can make someone of a good heart and morals of less value than someone who may be more beautiful in appearance but is cruel, mean or worse.

The difference between us and animals is that we have a brain, morals and emotions, which can change the way we perceive something/someone.

For ex., you might meet someone of modest beauty but with a beautiful personality that we feel by time that they are more beautiful. (vice versa is also true)

So why are we so superficial?


Media and movies have brain washed us into thinking that a certain look is beautiful. Everyone wants to be that look.

What happened to beauty is within the eye of the beholder?

This brainwash has roots going back to our childhood.
Look at some of the fairytales that we have been brought up to….

Sleeping beauty: she was asleep, he knows nothing about her except her looks!! And he is in love?? How superficial is that.?

Same goes for snow white, Cinderella and many others.
Also the man, he has to be prince charming. Handsome, rich and on a white horse.

Even beauty and the beast, and the frog and the princess, they had to be transformed to handsome princes for a truly happy ending!!!

How many people actually fit that?

People spend years of their life looking for their beautiful princess/ prince charming, till they sober up (sometimes the hard way) to that this might not be what they really want.
I saw Shrek I and II and I really liked the idea. It shows they actually chose to be ogres rather than being beautiful in appearance.!!!

The movie actually inspired some of this post. The fairy Godmother is the evil one in the movie who is trying to push the superficial brainwash for greedy purposes.

Btw, if u haven’t seen it u should. It is not just for kids, honest.

There is also a good movie I saw “shallow Hal” and “the truth about cats and dogs” that address this issue.
Thank God the brain wash might be a bit less , at least for our children.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

teach how to think?

is it ever too late to change the way your mind works? i guess not, but we have to be exposed to different intellectual stimuli to work our brain in different ways

alot of kids in school and college tend to just memorize the stuff, squeeze the info in for the exam, after which it doesn't matter where it goes.

i won't lie, i had done it a few times myself in the past when cramming before exams, and then i come out after a month of the exams with a clean slate (no real lingering info).

i am sure there are ways to get the best out of your kids/students' brains' abilities, but it takes commitment from your as well as the kids' side

sometimes i try to emphasize apoint in a way to make the kids understand it and why it is like this instead of just knowing it as it is. alot of times the kids (especially the topgrader ones) are veryhappy with this, but alot of them give me thislook that said : "can you just get it over with, what is the bottom line info that we are supposed to know?"

it is sometimes very frustrating. it takes patience to teach. but when something gets through it is usually worth it.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

where does the time go?

where does the time go? that is a statement that i always say. these last 3 months i have also said thngs like "what have i done this last month?" oh my it has just flown by, sometimes i am very busy during my day, and am not bored at all then when someone asks me why aren't you doing so and so? what have you been doing? i find that there is nothing much i can say

the problem is that i don't manage my time properly. ie. if i have spare time ( which i do), i don't do anything worthwhile. the net for instance, takes up hours of my time!!! and in the end i can't say it is in anything too important

i think time is too precious to waste like this. i have only one life to live, and it should be spent doing something worthwhile.

i got a book about time management from a used bookstore and found the copyright 1978!!! but i think the concepts still apply (beats not having any management at all!!)

well, i think having a journal could be useful to keep track of where all the time goes

also, if i have free time, i think the best thing to do is do something worthwhile for our afterlife. doing good deeds i mean. we concentrate so much about maintaining this life we forget about later.

i wish i can actually do that, but from experience it is easier done when it is done with someone else. it keeps you committed to the cause. we are going to be asked about our life and time and how we spent it after all.

Monday, June 06, 2005

well this is my first entry in my blog. i've always written things down to help me analyze my thoughts and to ponder on them , now i can share it with someone else. that is great. someitmes there are things that are so clear that you would not see except when someone points it out to you . taking your own opinion most of the time can get you in to trouble. sharing is good, i wish i did more of it in the past