I can humanize, or de-humanize…

Blue Flower

“I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather. I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration; I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis is escalated or de-escalated, and a person is humanized or de-humanized. If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming.”

~ Haim Ginott (school teacher, child psychologist, psychotherapist, and author of Teacher and Child: A book for Parents and Teachers)

Love All and Hate None

love-for-all-hatred-for-none

Love all and hate none.
Mere talk of peace will avail you naught.
Mere talk of God and religion will not take you far.
Bring out all of the latent powers of your being,
and reveal the full magnificance
of your immnortal self.
Be surcharged with peace and joy,
and scatter them wherever you are,
and wherever you go.
Be a blazing fire of truth.
Be a beauteous blossom of love.
And be a soothing balm of peace.                                                                                                                                                                         With your spiritual light,
dispel the darkness of ignorance.
Dissolve the clouds of discord and war.
And spread goodwill, peace and harmony among the people.
Never seek any help, charity or favours
from anybody except God.
Never go to the court of kings.
But bever refuse to bless and help the needy and poor,
the widow and the orphan, if they come to your door.
This is your mission, to serve the people …
Carry it out dutifully and courageously,
so that I, as you Pir-o-Murshid,
may not be ashamed of any shortcomings on your part
before the Almighty God and our holy predecessors
in the Sufi order on the Day of judgement.

Sermon attributed to Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti (delivered to his disciples just one month prior to his death)

What Have You Done With Your Eyes

The Spanish poet, Antonio Machado, said that if we pay attention exclusively to the inner world, it will dissolve; if we pay attention exclusively to the outer world, it will dissolve.  To create art, we have to stitch together both the inner and outer worlds.  How to do that?  Machado concludes, “Well, we could always use our eyes.” Islamic Amulet as Eye

One of his earliest memories, which he published among his notebooks, was this:

“I’d like to tell you the most important thing that ever happened to me.  One day when I was still quite young, my mother and I went out walking.  I had a piece of sugar cane in my hand, I remember – it was in Seville, in some vanished Christmas season.  Just ahead of us were another mother and child – he had a stick of sugar cane too.  I was sure mine was bigger – I knew it was!  Even so, I asked my mother – because children always ask questions they already know the answer to: ‘Mine’s bigger, isn’t it?’  And she said, ‘No, my boy, it’s not.  What have you done with your eyes?’  I’ve been asking myself that question ever since.”

~ Antonio Machado