It all started when I watched Invictus last week [really worth seeing] and realized that Mandella was a great thinker, South Africa looks amazing and I had to read the poem which the movie is named after because it was so inspirational which led me onto a search of more inspirational texts.
I am the daughter of Earth and Water,
And the nursling of the Sky;
I pass through the pores of the ocean and shores;
I change, but I cannot die.
For after the rain when with never a stain
The pavilion of Heaven is bare,
And the winds and sunbeams with their convex gleams
Build up the blue dome of air,
I silently laugh at my own cenotaph,
And out of the caverns of rain,
Like a child from the womb, like a ghost from the tomb,
I arise and unbuild it again.
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man my son!
And last but definitely not least my own personal favorite:
Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Strive to be happy.
Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952
Yes, I am so thrilled that it is Thursday finally, not that weekends matter much to me anymore. But, Thursday is pizza night, movie night and also just a wonderful day. It is also the night I don’t turn on the alarm clock for the next day. It is also the first Thursday in November. I love Novembers and I love Thursdays! Here is some stuff you can do:
This is a very personal post. I have chosen to talk about the most amazing women that I have come to learn from and love very much in my family. The women in my family from both my maternal and paternal side are exceptional. They are strong in spirit and are a treasure trove of wisdom. A single post can not begin to explain how much I value these women.
My great grandmother [maternal]: This is the only woman on this list that I have never met. She died before my parents even got married but from the stories I’ve heard she was an exceptional lady. She was well read and very intellectual. Until the day she died, she would read books and magazines so that she could stay up to date. When one of her sons wanted to become a pilot against his father’s wishes she financed his education from her own inheritance. Her most famous quote as always quoted by my mother is “Mafish fa2r, fi 2elet ra2y” which in English is best translated as “There is no poverty only lack of opinion or thought”.
My own grandmother [maternal]: She is also a very intellectual woman who loves staying up to date. She once called me to ask what facebook was all about and wanted to see it after reading about the April 6th strikes. She asks all of us what we do exactly at our jobs and is very interested in what each one of us is doing in our lives. She is one of the best people to go to for advice because she is level headed and can keep a secret. She is trustworthy and honest every time. She had her own atelier and designed fashion when she was younger and then moved on to helping my grandfather run his farm after she closed her shop and then eventually ran her own landscaping and nursery business when she was past her sixties. She has to take care of my grandfather who is very sick while she herself is in her seventies and has already changed a hip. Artificial hip or not she is still the family dynamo and never complains or grumbles. She is an inspiration to all of us.
My mother’s uncle’s wife number 1: Another exceptional lady who until this day will gift every new born baby in the family with 2 hand crocheted jackets and a pair of booties. Let me tell you that these jackets are so cool that I have been begging for one my size for years and I think the best thing I was looking forward for while I was pregnant was these jackets. She is not in the best of health but she still goes to the club to walk and until she was in her sixties she would go to her aerobics class.
My mother’s uncle’s wife number 2: A different uncle that is, just so that you don’t think one uncle had two wives. This woman has a very interesting saying about women and work. She says that every woman has to work or have a job, be that a job outside the home or one inside. The woman who works at home, need always have her hands busy. She had a tough and bumpy life and is also old but definitely very young in spirit. She will entertain you with inspirational stories, recipes and marital advice that is priceless. She never complains even though she has been crippled by old age but she always smiles, laughs and never complains. She has managed to raise not one but three very successful and amazing daughters who are a source of pride to her and everyone who knows them.
My grandmother [paternal side]: This woman buried her husband and two sons yet was never bitter or hysterical. She died shortly after my father died and I personally think it was his death who broke her heart, he was her youngest and the one closest to her heart. I was named after the Jasmine tree they had in the garden and my father would pick flowers for her. My father’s family is not a family of many words or open emotions yet they are all kind, generous and very giving people. Just looking at how she raised them you would have to think she was a great woman. She too was a very sick woman but would always joke and laugh with us because that is just how she rolled. She would give us money and tell us to go treat ourselves for no reason and would love to ask about school and stuff. She never ever said a mean word about anyone all of her life and always prayed that she would need no one not even her children, not because she didn’t think they would be there but because she did not want to be a burden and her favorite prayer to all of us was “Rabena ye7abeb feeko 5al2o” which translates to “May Allah make his creatures love you”. She would say that every time she saw us, because she knew the value of love, she did not pray that we became rich or powerful, but loved.
Friday is the day of fives but I am sure that this legacy lives on in the later generation of my mother too. My own mother is my role model and probably my hero. She has done everything in her life to make me and my sister happy and successful. She has been there for us every step of the way and she still is. My aunt does the same for her sons and she has raised two lovely, amazing, successful and very interesting boys. My generation too I hope will inherit this legacy of amazing women. I see my cousins too are following in those footsteps as wives, mothers, sisters, daughters and women. My sister is amazing too.
I am proud of all of them, not because they are my own flesh and blood, but because they are a true source of pride. Nothing beats the ability to look at them and watch them glow and grow everyday, getting past every obstacle and emerging stronger and more successful than the one before.