Sunday, July 29, 2007

Capitalist Democracy

The manner in which America spreads democracy is a manner that suites her very well. America spreads her democracy through capitalist means and ideologies. Any democracy that America spreads must serve her own interests and any democracy that doesn't must be crushed. This is the capitalist way, to accept market players that server the interest of an organization and to crush the competition. America only accepts a majority that accepts America. A truly original means of spreading the seeds of democracy and capitalism simultaneously.

Monday, July 16, 2007

2 Boys 2 Thoughts

On my way to football, while heading towards my garage I was munching on an apple. I looked for somewhere to throw the remains after I was done eating it. As is usual in the streets of Cairo there were no bins, and the only one that was available was tied to a pole and its bottom hinged downwards making it like a basketball hoop that cannot contain anything. I moved towards it and I saw a little boy moving at the same time, as I looked at the dysfunctional bin, I saw the boy fixing the bottom by attaching a hook that should hold the bottom in place. The cute little boy looked very worn down and he looked like a mechanic, with an air of grease and oil about him. I was very pleasantly surprised by his gesture, he had nothing to throw in, but the image of all the garbage underneath the bin provoked him to do something about that. I also felt sorry cause this good gesture is what we will definitely kill in him if he continues to live in this country.

On my way back from football I saw a young family. Young man, young wife and a little boy walking along side. He stretched out his hand to hold his mother's and she refused and gave him a slap to the shoulder as well as a very aggressive look. The boy looked very disappointed and his eyes were so meek pleading his mom to hold his hand, but to no avail. I'm not sure what could have happened to make the mother react this way and I won't judge. All I will say is that moment seemed like a moment of utter cruelty. I cannot judge because with those we love we have those moments. We have this air of cruelty and disregard when it comes to those we supposedly love most. We pass through moments like these when we hurt those closest to us and if a snapshot were taken we'd recognize the extreme cruelty we display to our loved ones that we dare not bestow upon strangers.

It's very easy to be cruel to people we're close to and sometimes love really is blind, it blinds us from seeing who we've become and how we take others for granted. It is on the account of caring and loving that we give ourselves rights to mistreat those close to us. Any stranger on the street would have smiled to that kid at that moment rather than slap him across the shoulder, but the mother didn't. That's why I think it's better if we sometimes treat each other as strangers.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Hisham

Hisham is a friend of mine who I've known for 12 years. We lived together and went to college together and have been very close ever since we met. There are so many things we did together and so many jokes and situations that have developed between us; there was a real kinship. A few months back he disappeared. He didn't disappear from the face of the earth, he just ignored my calls, my SMS, blocked me on msn, had his mother tell me he wasn't home and basically just decided to cut me off completely for no reason.

You can tell I was very upset by the whole matter and I could have drove to his house or work and confronted him or done something of that sort, but I didn't. In the very end the problem with friendship is that it's like an AND gate, both parties have to be willing to continue this friendship. Turns out later that he cut all of his friends off. It got me wondering, what can make a man make that dramatic switch, cut all his friends off and just start something new.

People are sometimes driven to the very end of their capacities and they break. I wonder if that's what happened to Hisham. He was going through a very rough time before this incident and it seems that he was thinking of escape for quite some time. Is this a legitimate escape or is it just denial, I can never tell. I've been told by someone that everyone has their own circumstances and that I should be more understanding. Lately I haven't been understanding at all. I've been a bit more egocentric and more worried about myself than others. Like this whole affair, I thought about Hisham acting like a girl, only a girl would not answer calls and escape confrontation. Perhaps that's part of the reason why I didn't force a confrontation, because he's not a girl I'm pursuing or interested in. Girls in general have their own way of dealing with things that are not common to men. Men can talk to each other and confront each other and just cuss all night at each other before such evasive actions. Girls can be more problematic and expect you to understand them without them having to explain. I think the least you owe to a friend whether you're a boy or a girl is an explanation.

Anyway, I can't be sure what drove Hisham crazy. I'm not even sure if he has gone crazy but he's still at his work, talking to people and that is an indication he has some level of sanity. One time a friend of ours came from Saudi Arabia and I told him this scenario, he was convinced that I had done something wrong. He called Hisham and when he picked up, he and acted very natural and friendly during the call, but after it was over, Hisham never picked up again; another friend cut off.

I've always knew that people can snap. Even me. The reason why I say even me isn't because I'm any better, but because it may be hard for a person to admit that he can lose his mind one day. I’m usually not easily shocked, cool headed, rational, a realist and can keep my head; I don't know what would drive me to snap, but I'm sure there's something that can, that's why I can expect it for others.

Hisham has always been a kind, good natured guy who you can sometimes trample over. He was very forgiving and slightly innocent and his kindness gave the impression he was a bit naïve. Along the road, some life changing events have happened that made him realize that he was actually losing by being kind, good natured and forgiving. I suppose that's what he wanted to change and did not want any of the old guard to be around to remind him of who he was. I think he was pushed around and silent far too much and then he exploded, or imploded not sure which. In any case, he decided to start anew and go towards a new and improved state.

My reaction now is different. I knew the old person in him, and I was that person's friend, in a way, that person is still in there and I have to wish him the best of luck even after having forfeited my friendship. I realize that people snap.

The hardest question was, do I let go, or do I hold it against him. It's tough cause both are strengths and both are things I can do. Letting go has a few drawbacks, and one of them is that you're viewed as a weak character, but in effect it's the best thing for anyone to do. Letting go is the key to a better life for anyone. It's being resilient in the face of calamity and being the better person and being the happier person when nothing negative resides in your heart. Letting go is also the key to not snapping. If you can't let go, you'll snap. I think that most people hold on too dearly for things that they can't get, and that's why they snap, because of expectations held on to with much more vigor can pull you down till you break.

I choose not to hold a grudge and that dims my shiny 'strong' qualities. I've been harsh and strong for so many times, and I don't need to prove it anymore and I don't need it to shine anymore. What I need now is to be able to let go and not let things affect me. Forgiveness is very powerful because its strength lies in the ability to liberate one self from negative feelings. But one thing remains… it may be easy to forgive but it is very hard to forget.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Evil and Free Will

Some people say that God doesn’t exist because of how much evil there is in the world. That God would allow so much evil to dominate, proves that there is no God, or at the very least that God is not good.

I find this argument somewhat logical when inspected in isolation, but when integrated with any other element of reality it fails miserably. One such element is free will. The trouble is that if we choose a God that will not allow any evil to happen, then we cancel out free will. Canceling out free will is canceling the existence of morality itself. For if God controlled everything, what then is the point of morality or even choice? If good and evil do not exist, how can we say that evil has prevailed?

But we all know that we choose. We think of temptations and succumb to some of them and resist some of them; we feel good and bad about our choices and we change our choices at every fork in the road as a result of our experience.

So let’s take free will as a premise. If we have free will, then we have the choice to be good or evil. The world was designed to sustain itself and in that design, there is cause and effect. If we choose to be evil, then evil will come, and if we choose to be good, sometimes we can fight off a bit of that evil. If we believe in free will, then we have to believe that the world can produce so much evil.

What I’m saying is not a proof that God exists, but I’m just pointing out that this argument can by no means disprove that God exists because it is has the one element that can obliterate any argument, contradiction.