By Mike Ghouse
www.CenterforPluralism.com | The Ghouse Diary.com
Gratitude, repentance, and forgiveness are the most important elements in restoring one’s life and sustaining one’s tranquility and happiness.
On this father’s day, I will be dedicating half an hour to reflect on my father; M. Abdul Rahman. He is one of my mentors, and an affectionate and caring father who opened many windows of knowledge for me. I will also spend moments reflecting and honoring Mr. Everett Blauvelt, my father figure who was instrumental in giving me a start in these United States.
An individual who expresses his gratitude to those who gave him a break in life, who were his or her role model, protector, defender and a cheer leader, will always lives a happier life.
My heart goes out to those who did not have a good relationship with their fathers. Despite their abusive fathers, they have survived, and they can give that affection to their off springs and others. Father’s day is a difficult day for them, while others are cherishing their fathers; they are struggling with mixed feelings to the feelings of hate. It’s not easy, and there is no quick fix to it, other than reflecting on it, and taking the responsibility to your own life. Life is given to each one of us as a trust, and at least we can live up to it.
If you are the one, I urge you to make a sincere effort in forgiving your father, it releases you from the pain, not forgiving them keeps you in eternal resentment and grief, and takes away your moments of from your life. You can be a good parent to your kids or be a big brother or a friend to others and fulfill what is missing in your life.
If I am a pluralist today, and if I respect the otherness of others and have no prejudice towards others, it was my father’s teaching; living by example. his stand on equality in thoughts, acts and talks makes a whole lot of sense.
If you are one of the parents who teach your children to look down on people other than your own kind, you are essentially running a sewer in their body system and messing them up for a life time. It would be difficult for them to live with people who are different than them. You can save your child from misery, by learning to respect the otherness of others and accepting the God given uniqueness of each one of his creation. You can look up www.CenterforPluralism.com for the courses and programs to open your heart and mind towards fellow beings.
My parents told us (me and my siblings) that we are all one family, from Adam and Eve and that we will have differences and have to learn to live with each other. They often quoted the verse from Quran, to respect the otherness of others.
I miss them both today. I also appreciate my friends who are father figures to me – DD Maini, Bill Matthews and Dr. Harbans Lal.
Life is all about expressions and completing transactions. Every emotion, thought, action or a change creates a new debt or a favor that needs to be re-balanced. Obviously we cannot reciprocate the favors in full, but we have been able to do that with a thank you in the most simplistic way and that is good enough.
My father is my hero and opened the doors of wisdom to us. Pluralism indeed runs in my family. He taught one of the biggest lessons of my life in social cohesiveness and dealing with extremism that I continue to reflect in my talks, acts and write ups.
He treated all of us kids with dignity and I am pleased I got to be disciplined at least once in my life. I guess I replicated that with my children to the point my kids would actually say, Dad, you should have disciplined us. I did not see the need for it. I am fine and they are fine too. I gave them the cold shoulder that my father had given me to straighten me out, and it worked both ways, although my daughter was a tough cookie, she would not budge.
I was about ten years old and watched a man fall off his bicycle with his big bag of rice and was struggling to get back on it, and I wasn’t going to help him, instead I was laughing at him. I saw my father about 100 feet away and the way he sped towards me, which got me frightened for the first time, I dashed inside the home and a few minutes later after helping the guy, he came in dashing… I climbed on top of the paddy bags in a corner of the house, I thought he could not get me there, so he goes outside and plucks a long branch off the mulberry tree and gives me a few good ones. “My son will never do that” after that conditioning, I have developed the habit of stopping for everyone who needs help. I dare not watch and not do something about it.
To those who have not had a father or had a negative experience, God has offered guidance through the instrument of forgiveness to release you from the pain. Just do it. I will be happy to be a big brother or even a father figure in the moment of your need. It’s an open offer to call me at (214) 325-1916, let’s keep it to 5 minutes.
God bless us all, Amen!
Dr. Mike Ghouse is a community consultant, social scientist, thinker, writer, news maker, Interfaith Wedding officiant, and a speaker on Pluralism, Interfaith, Islam, politics, terrorism, human rights, India, Israel-Palestine, motivation, and foreign policy. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. All his writings are at: www.TheGhousediary.com