In the aftermath of the not-guilty verdict in the trial of George Zimmerman, I have tried to offer and elicit analysis of the legal, historical and political meaning of the case and its outcome. But in this case, the political is deeply personal. I have experienced the killing of Trayvon Martin, this trial, and this verdict as a political scientist and television host.
Sometimes when I am bored or I just want to exercise my mind, I google random stuff. Now, for the past few weeks, I have been reading Paulo Coelho and he talks a lot about love and he got me thinking about it. So I googled “what is love?” Did you know that what is love was the most searched query on Google in 2012? Well, I learned that in the article that I am going to discuss. I believe that the article published by The Guardian sums things up. It discusses five theories:
From the physicist point of view:
“Love is chemistry” says Jim Al-Khalili. I found it interesting when he stated that from an evolutionary perspective, love can be viewed as a survival tool.
From the psychotherapists point of view
Philippa Perry argues that “Love has many guises” She talks about Philia, Ludus,Pragma,etc… But obviously, I liked that she mentioned Philautia which is self-love and she mentions that it is not as selfish as it sounds: “As Aristotle discovered and as any psychotherapists will tell you, in order to care for others you need to be able to care about yourself.”
From the Philosopher point of view:
Julian Baggini says that “Love is a passionate commitment.” I don’t know about you but I am exhausted just reading that definition, love sounds like a lot of work in philosophy. But I liked the fact that he says that we nurture and develop love.
From a Romantic novelist point of view:
Jojo Moyes says that “Love drives all great stories” … And I agree…
From a religious point of view:
Catherine Wybourne, a Benedictine nun states that “love is free but yet binds us.” I think I agree with this much more although there is truth in all other four theories. Catherine Wybourne states that: “ Love’s the one thing that can never hurt anyone, although it may cost dearly.”
“Nothing is mysterious, no human relation. Except love.” Susan Sontag
Now since my inspiration was Paulo Coelho, I want to share one of my favorite quotes from him: “Love is an untamed force. When we try to control it, it destroys us. When we try to imprison it, it enslaves us. When we try to understand it, it leaves us feeling lost and confused.”
What do you think?
When I started blogging, I named my page “Raya’s growing happy” because I thought “since I am working on it, I am growing happy.”
Then I learned so much through reading and writing. I found that if I believe in the quote “happiness is a way of travel not a destination” then I need to find a way to be happy with what I have now, in the present. So I named it “Raya is Happy.”
Now this is the most challenging part, especially when you feel like everything and every one that you ever care about is out to sink you deep into darkness… It is exhausting fighting with one’s self and it doesn’t become second nature just because you want it. In my case, I spent 22 years of my life thinking horrible, horrible things about myself. And when I learned that I have to take a stand against myself, I thought “huh! that’ll be easy… I can convince myself to put myself first.” But then I realize that
- if I put others first for 22 years and it’s become second nature to a point where I don’t think I can live without people who treat me like a dirt bag…
- It will not take me 2 years to train myself back to a point where it becomes second nature to put myself first and say that I am worth every good thing that comes my way…
- So the take away message here is to never give up… why? Because I am worth it!
I graduated this past January and I started applying for jobs months before I graduated, through hurricane Sandy and all, yet I still am not a full time employee. On days like today: I waited for 2 hours only to be told that I don’t have experience and I received another rejection letter. In addition to all that, I had to deal with a whole lot of stress… And I won’t lie, I had my short period of “God why? why me?” but then I took the train, and this young man came in with a little boy in a stroller, he is homeless, sick, no food to eat and he is a single dad. I asked myself if I really have the right to sulk right now and the answer is evident right? So here goes my little poem…
Air in my lungs,
“lub dub” melody of my heart
warmth of my blood
Afro on my head
images through my sight,
family around me – although always bickering
Friends that care
Strangers that smile
life around me
Enough to bathe,
Enough to eat,
Enough to drink,
Enough to walk,
Enough to smile,
Enough to say God I thank you for this…
Hope in a brighter tomorrow,
Hope in Love,
Hope in happiness…
Happiness is today
Do I want more? Yes! but do I have enough? Yes!
You are not conceived yet but I already love you and I am already mothering you…
When you are my little girl,
My sweet and innocent girl, I want you to remember this
I will set the bars high, I will push you hard, But I will always be
Proud of you because you will keep your head high
you will look at yourself in the mirror and see God’s beautiful creature
you will remember that mama’s got your back
And no one can make you feel any less than my little princess
Now don’t get me wrong, I won’t be a perfect mother. I won’t always remember to tell you all this
that is why I am writing you this letter.
I know that when you are born, I will be too busy worrying about a roof over your head, a quality education for you,
a good healthcare and most importantly, enough resources available for you to be nothing and I repeat nothing but a child
And when you reach puberty, I suspect that I will argue with you
chances are we won’t see eye to eye because I am already “old school” now and it won’t get any better
But through the silence and the distance, I want you to remember
that mommy loves you and she will always be there for you
you see, you and I are together for better for worst
And so when you fall for the wrong guy, I will take you in my arms and we will eat ice cream together
We will trash talk about guys and even plan revenge schemes
When you meet that guy that makes you smile like a silly girl, the guy that will be genuine enough to make you believe everything he says, I doubt you will ask me “mommy can I sleep with him?” but if you do, I hope that I will tell you: “Baby if it feels right, you can never go wrong but protect yourself”
Protect yourself from diseases, better be safe than sorry
protect yourself because people will come and go in your life
And you cannot take them for granted honey, so protect yourself…
But through it all, remember this baby. Please remember this because it is very important.
People will treat you the way you let them treat you. So have standards and stick to them.
And after you’ve grown and moved on, I have no doubt that I’ll be proud of you
and you’ll be a phenomenal woman, I know you will, because I’ll raise you.
You will not repeat my mistakes because I will teach you to make the right decisions for yourself but to also live and make mistakes and learn from your mistakes. Everything will not be perfect but you will manage better than I do because I will teach you to plan for gray area.
As a woman, as a beautiful woman and as my daughter, remember this…
People will watch you for every mistake you make, you will never be good enough for them,
I have a feeling that I will sound like you will never be good enough for me either, if I do, please forgive me!
Darling, put yourself first. I promise to remember to ask you in every situation whether you are happy or not…
Because, that is all that I will care about at the end of the day.
When in doubt, call on God… Repeat Psalms 23 and the serenity prayer
they will give you the warmth that I might not be able to give you
And the tenacity that no supplement can provide you
Baby, what even I cannot do, he can… So keep him close by.
Be proud! Apologize to no one for wanting to be happy and stay true to your principles.
Your health is not just physical, it is mental and spiritual
So nurture your body, your soul and your brain.
Finally, I will remind you, and I know you won’t always like it when I say it but baby remember that
I LOVE YOU
Hello my fellow readers!
“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment” Buddha
I decided to start 2013 with this quote because 2012 has been a challenging year but hey! We made it. I did all my introspection the last week of 2012. Yes! I did take big steps and I stumbled multiple times. There were times I felt like superwoman, there were times I cried while striving and there were times when I just threw in my towels and moved on. But I am proud that I did not dwell in there.
Do I have dreams? Don’t we all? I dream of peace around the world. Peace and love among people. Equality among all races… But I won’t spend the whole year dreaming, I will focus my mind on the present moment.
In the present moment, I am content. I got a lot going on and the world is not crumbling around me so I am grateful. One advice that I intend to take very seriously this year is to start every day with a goal and end my day with gratitude.
What about you? how do you plan on dealing with 2013?
The time has come: there are less than 24 hours until Americans cast their votes for the next president. In preparation for Election Day, we've compiled a list of five things you need to remember before heading to the polls tomorrow. Keep this list in mind to make tomorrow a smooth and hassle-free experience.
Find your polling location.
To avoid going to the wrong location and having to cast a provisional ballot, visit…