Valentine

no magic

nothing to conjure

pain follows

any intent to injure

yet we do

over and over again

look away

after causing pain

wake up

talk about coffee and toast

remain suspicious

make plans for valentine’s dinner with duck roast

~

all magic

so much to conjure

pain follows not

when there is no intent to injure

when we choose to love

over and over again

never look away

after causing pain

it is beautiful to wake up

talk about coffee and toast

have the courage to love again

celebrate valentine’s on the west coast

making time

to play on the beach

follow butterflies

out of reach

look up at the black night sky

to catch a glimpse of falling white snowflakes

always making time for a loved one

dark hot chocolate and mini cupcakes

to pause

to smile

to reach out

for your valentine always go the extra mile

 

 

 

 

 

Tend

 

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to get to the true story

i tend to look at people in the eye

drown in their narratives

laugh with them and sometimes sigh

hear them out

with curiosity to know

how life has unfolded

where they really want to go

listening to my fellow humans

clarifies my own story

changes my perspectives

my path to glory

i tend to think

kindness rocks

life too short

to not make time for moonlit walks

you will get the true story

if you look me in the eye

drown in my words

your feelings why hide?

 

Photo credit: http://www.holmeslibrary.org/blog/event/summer-craft-night-2/kindness-rock/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Conversation with Prof. Muhammad Yunus

 

 

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In 1991, when I was a Social Work student at Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai, I remember reading about the Grameen Bank. It was the first time I had heard about microcredit. Today, I had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with Prof. Yunus during his visit to SFU, in Vancouver. Prof. Yunus shared his experiences with microcredit, his thoughts on the impact of capitalism on our society and ideas for a new economic system.

What was most inspiring for me was the fact that Prof. Yunus did not just focus on the problems, he came up with potential solutions and made a difference in the lives of millions. My main take away from today, “We need a new economic system that unleashes altruism as a creative force just as powerful as self-interest”.

I have just started to read Prof. Yunus’s latest book, A WORLD OF THREE ZEROS – The New Economics of Zero Poverty, Zero Unemployment, and Zero Net Carbon Emissions. It is a must read!

Story is important

Life is Sharing

“Story is important to us as human beings—it connects us to each other, the past, enriches our present and moves us toward the future.” —Medhi Walerski

I remember when I was a child, the highlight at the end of the day was often going to bed and having my father or mother tell me about their day and then, a story. The way they said it and the way they highlighted certain parts was fascinating.

When I worked as a social worker, the best part of my day was when clients opened up and shared their stories. Their stories were about love, loss, abuse, struggles, hopes and dreams. Through their story telling, I was able to often get insights about their life, their choices and their hope that one day life would be different. At the end of it all, I always had a better understanding of the person and the meaning of their story.

In order for stories to connect and enrich us, we need to feel empathy for others and have mutual respect. For that, I think we need to first be fully present in our own shoes and have self-respect. Then, listening with the intent to understand, comes easy (in our personal and professional lives). Very few people can do this because most of us find it easier to talk rather than listen. I came across someone recently who can really listen – Abubakar Khan – a young man who wants to listen, understand and share stories about people from all walks of life. I had the pleasure of sharing my story with him recently on The Chosen Khan program. In the process, I got to listen to his story.

Do we have time for telling our stories? When stories are told, do we care to really listen?

 

 Photo: Alan Levine (Life is Sharing, part of a Cleveland mural, the full saying was “Life is sharing a park bench”) https://www.flickr.com

Conveyor

one word

two meanings

one thought

many feelings

simple message

complicated

caring query

deleted

look out

for the job of a conveyor

to help people

just understand the other

mother and son

father and daughter

why does one say no

to a life of love and laughter

run from oneself

and the other

choose to be a cruel stranger

when one could be a gentle lover

one word

two meanings

one thought

many feelings

 

 

 

 

The Smallest Act of Kindness

I love the words of His Highness the Dalai Lama, “There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophies. My brain and my heart are my temples; my philosophy is kindness”. I have been following the World Economic Forum at Davos that brought world leaders, celebrities, media experts and others together to talk about serious issues that fracture our society and somehow prevent humanity from collectively experiencing life in a positive way. I was quite fascinated by Shah Rukh Khan’s interview. It got me thinking about how different people go about choosing a cause and making a difference. In SRK’s case – he shares he decided to work with acid attack victims in India (majority are women) and started the Meer Foundation to help make a difference, a real difference. At the end of the day, there are so many wicked social problems. The longer it takes to address them, another generation gets adversely impacted. Imagine a world, where each of us strive to reach out, be kind and make a positive difference, with what we have, now. As Oscar Wilde said, “The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention”. 

 

Silhouette

i turn my head

a little to the side

the flash goes on

i don’t hide

i like my silhoutte

lines and dark ink

i search for colours

in the black ink

for life

is more than black and white

the debate goes on

if plato got chora right

for now

lines and dark ink

silhouttes

that make us think

ask questions

about humanity

go beyond tolerance

can you see the beauty in diversity?