I had the most interesting and probably the longest correspondence (see Comment section) with a fellow blogger whom I had the wonderful fortune of getting to know recently. His writings, lifetime work and thoughts contain so much truth, wisdom and clarity as to deserve your time and attention. Sharon
The true measure of an individual is how he treats a person who can do him absolutely no good. ~ Ann Landers
Character is a blend of acquired habits and original patterns of behaviour originating from a core of identity or ‘seed’ that contains the blueprint of our life. It is the program that initiates the spontaneous unfolding of your life – whether that unfolding is a harmonious spiral of growth or an ungracious struggle.
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A really interesting exchange, amazing to hear the impact of your time spent in Afghanistan, not somewhere that gets good things said about it often these days. What we hear about it is always so impersonal and doesn’t reflect the goodness of real people and their lives. Somehow the culture that has developed in a lot of the world is one where so much of people really are becomes hidden and pushed down.
Thought provoking …
My dear Nancy, thank you so much for being part of this exchange and taking time to read through our long correspondence. The media in focusing on the war on terror has in my opinion done a great injustice to a country, a culture and a people far more complex beyond the burqa and Islamist fanatics.
By presenting Afghanistan through such a narrow viewpoint, it is understandable if the rest of the world feels separated and alienated from the world of the Afghans. I too arrived in Kabul with absolutely no frame of reference beyond what I had read from popular novels of that time (which did no help to the average Afghan I might add) and what was constantly flashed on the news.
And how very far from the truth of what I thought I had understood about these grim-faced, stoic people clad behind the blue shroud and men in medieval turbans and bushy beards! The average Afghan has no clue about the war on terror, their chief concern being basic survival, employment of some sort and being able to provide a decent life for their children.
Ultimately, the rest of the world needs to come to recognise that Afghans are just fathers, mothers, husbands, wives, sons and daughters of the earth. They weep in sorrow for the loss of lives and bloodshed, they suffer from much poverty. Yet, they are also the most eager to laugh and to hope and to give. Their human dignity is one of the highest I have seen – such gems in the midst of such bleakness.
Thank you for taking such an interest in this issue which concerns us all even if it be worlds away. My warmest greetings to you and your family, Sharon
Many thanks for sharing this Sharon, I was curious to know more about Afghanistan. I have always been curious and attracted somehow. I was surprised to know there had been great and flourishing Buddhist cultures there as well as a culture that promoted universalism of religions. I can really understand what you are describing and I would really love to meet those people. It was a similar feeling when I reached Hanoi: I looked around and asked myself: a war? The only thing we know about Vietnam in the West is that there has been a war there. but where is it – I asked myself? It was just about a happy people, determined to make the most of life – although there also it is a struggle to live. Many thanks for sharing that and before you tell us more in a next post, I will go and read those you wrote already. With pure love, f
Dear Sharon, so many thanks for introducing me to your family of friends! Feel very touched by it. Yes, it was a very interesting exchange and I was very interest to hear about your experience in Afghanistan – not exactly the kind of feedback we hear in the news those days; but who believes the news anyway! And yes swift soul (I like your nickname very much!) people and their feelings and aspirations seem to be the last thing that interests the media.
I can definitely understand your experience Sharon and comments about the afghans’ knowledge about matters of the heart and friendship and loyalty. Yet, Mona asked me yesterday when I shared your thoughts – what about women then? What was your experience? You know the language so well! Truly grateful to be connected. With pure brotherly love.
I started writing you a reply which included statistics of domestic violence in Afghanistan, Peru, Nicaragua and Papua New Guinea as comparables. Then I stopped. I don’t have any simplified and pat answers (at least thoughts that won’t take you an entire day to read!! :D) to a much more complex issue of the status of women in Afghanistan.
Suffice to say I do not want to downplay the situation of women in any country where they are subjected to violence, oppressed in any form or driven to self-immolation. All I can tell Mona is that from my own observations and subjective perception, I was very surprised to note that the majority of Afghan women I saw and met were strong and vibrant personalities. The woman (especially the matriach of the home) is a revered figure in all Afghan households.
My warmest greetings to Mona and please thank her on my behalf for her interest in a people and a subject very close to my heart. My hope is that we can see beyond the information that trickles in through a very segmented and oftentimes distorted view of the world portrayed by the media.
So much blessings to you! I just saw the photo of your magnificent mountain. What a great place to sit and soak in the world! Warmest appreciation, Sharon
Thanks, greetings and blessings conveyed! Mona is now exploring your blog and you may see her gaze through the transparency of your pages … I am not surprised by what you share about afghan women although I got impressed by the media propaganda – despite the fact that I really do not trust them … We live in such an increasingly manipulated reality nowadays … and for my magnificent mountain, it is also increasingly invaded by the medias and chips … load and disrespectful tourists everywhere Sharon … but yes, it is an extraordinary place where sky, heart and sun merge in a single dimension of light, mist and dust every evening. Makes you feel you are not in the world anymore. With warm and pure love as I learned to say in Hanoi, f
You provide such wonderful food for thought, Sharon! I was just over at Self Awareness for a while and did find those words to be very interesting and inspiring. Thank you for sharing!
My dear Robin Jean! I’m glad to be able to share with you the thoughts and words from Self-Awareness for Change. So good to hear that you are connected and do take time to check out some of the earlier posts there too. I have found each one of them excellent. Hope all is well in your world. It gets so light now that we’re all still up and about merrily when we should all be in bed! Much love from the Land of the Midnight Sun, Sharon
Hello, my friend of the Midnight Sun! I think of you each night as I get to bed too late. 😉
But, I witnessed a glorious red moon rising last night, and that was a rare and wonderful sight. I’m sure that you have some wonderul evening color there, as the daylight stretches into the late hours.
What an extraordinary exchange…thank you so much for sharing, my friend. Beautiful re-blog…
Dearest Angela, thank you for your careful reading of each of my posts and comments. You have made me feel very cherished. I hope you will find time to also go over to Self-Awareness for Change and discover for yourself first hand what this extraordinary writer has to say. I’m sure you will be immeasurably blessed. I wish you a wonderful day and how was the blueberry coffee? 😀 Always, Shaz
Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful new (to me) blog with your readers! And the commentary between the two of you was beautiful and insightful as well. Here I thought I’d visit a bit while I finish my morning tea before getting out to the garden and have happily ended up with much reading and learning and insightful soul-searching! Thank you dear shining Light, again, for brightening my world! And for the introduction to an amazingly wise blogger out in this big beautiful world. Warm hugs, Gina
Dearest Gina! You have left me some of the most heartwarming messages! I am deeply touched that you took the time from your beautiful morning to read this exchange of thoughts. Your heart is so full of sincere love for the beautiful diversity and richness of the world we live in. It gives me much joy to be able to share some of the works of Self-Awareness for Change here. I highly recommend you to visit and read through his entire collection of posts. I know you will be deeply blessed as I have been. With much love and gratitude for all that you do each day…Sharon
hello, just a quick note: i’ve nominated you for the reader appreciation award (you can read it here: http://wsj2day.com/2012/06/04/reader-appreciation-award/) if that is you so choose to accept it
Hello there!! Thank you so much for this lovely unexpected surprise! I appreciate it so very much. Thank you for the lovely photos you put out each day. Your accompanying quotes me smile! 😀 Sharon
you’re very welcome and thank you!
Fantastic! I was shocked when the lion moved. 😉
I know … it does sometimes!!
Hey guys, I went and stared and stared at the lion until my eyes crossed but the lion was as still as a stone! I’ll let you know if I manage to see him move! Have a roaring good day 😀 Sharon
Well … you haven’t looked well enough then … he usually smiles especially when someone with such loving vibs visit! He has character after all! ok, try again, maybe you just need to engage him more – click on the picture to do it …
Good morning dearest Sharon, it seems the lion has not moved … yet. Just set your pointer on its nose and give a good click and watch – you may have seen this video before but anyway … the lion is moving! Love, joy and wisdom for the day!
And a wonderful morning to you too Frederic from a very sunny and lovely Finland! Temperature today +16C. I’ve been out to the woods to see the wildflowers and some old friends The Ents 😀
As for the moving lion, I indeed managed to crack the code and got to watch this incredible heartmelting video! It brought tears to see such obvious love and bond between this huge, playful yet gentle creature and his human friends.
I had to get my boys to watch it too and we went to read up more about this amazing friendship. It brought much happy excitement and quiet contemplation after. One little boy has been asking me now for two days if we could have our own Christian the Lion at home…:D THANK YOU so much!!! (I’m so glad I asked, even if I did feel a little foolish afterwards for having stared…hehe!) Oh, and I met Mona!!
Ah! I am very happy you met! Yes, I also had moist eyes first time I saw christian the lion and his human friends. I just hope I didn’t put you in trouble and that you won’t have to get a lion for next Christmas … Mona is very happy that she met you and has the same feeling as I had when I met you and some others from the wordpress fellowship: that of being connected to the real family: not the one who necessarily lives under the same roof but that of the heart and spirit. Pure love to yourself, your husband and your little boys. Who are the Ents? the trees?
So heartwarming. I read this during the morning and am ready to fight through the day! Thank you. I love your blog and will continue to read your posts.