This is intended to be a rumination on the state of my world only. You can go elsewhere if you're looking to win an argument. Peace.
This year has been a strange and mystifying one so far. We hear about deaths and freak accidents all the time, right? But is it just me, or has everything been eerily weird?
People with very public personas have died suddenly, or been hurt badly. In our private lives, we have lost, to sudden and unexpected deaths, a number of friends dear as well as not so near. Friends and relatives have hurt themselves in odd and freakish accidents. Planes have been malfunctioning. To top it all off, tabloids wasting your money passing off speculation, unbridled gossip and voyeuristic gawking and wagging of heads and fingers, as journalism.
You no doubt have heard of the sad passing of Yasmin Ahmad. We have lost a great Malaysian who saw no difference between any of us, a great humanitarian who believed in the good in people. Hubby Boo was very affected by her passing and has since expressed his grief in his own way.
It stung him and I both to learn of the disgusting article in a tabloid today. Similarly, rumours run rampant about MJ and the circumstances of his life and death and children.
But seriously, you, dear reader, yes, you. Ask yourself this: besides the titillating aspects of fantastical speculative journalism, does it really matter to you, all that stuff you might unintentionally or willingly read? Did your family stop fighting? Did your car bills start paying themselves? Did your sick parent or child miraculously heal when you gave your money in support of the cheap thrills those publications offer? If you have a deep need to believe the sanctity of these articles, if they matter more to you than the people in your real life, then you have avoidance issues, my friend. Or your life is seriously empty.
I understand there is a need, both for private individuals, and for the public as a mass, to go through a process in order to "deal with" a person's death. I for one have been newly enthralled by MJ's works and character. And yet six months ago I wouldn't have known what he was up to. Death has an effect on people - and maybe it's my age, or that I'm a mother of growing children, or that the internet has made information so accessible - but I see myself being engrossed with the MIchael Jackson I have re-conceived in my mind, after his death. Is it a coping mechanism, is it about me trying to make sense of feeling deep loss, even though he was a stranger, or maybe a reflection over my own life and achievements? I could go on about that, but it is not the point to my story here.
The point is, that what we choose to believe of those who have left us, is made good by our good intentions, and by our respect for not only the dead, but those who survived them.
So please, if you have any shred of humanity in you, do not think badly of people who, despite their weaknesses, their past or their actions, despite their very humanity, rose above lowly expectations to live a life that changed others, helped others, and opened up others' eyes and hearts to godly things like compassion, love, honour and dignity.
Most of all, do not judge people in your hearts when all you have to go on are scraps of scandal from the pens of men and women who have poverty and cruelty in their souls and trash in their heads. Isn't it funny how so many religions denounce the act of gossiping, and backbiting? It ranks more or less as evil as murder, if I am not mistaken. I always used to wonder why such a small thing, which most of us are naturally inclined to do socially, could carry so much weight as a sin.
Now I know why - it hurts. Not only does it hurt the victim of gossip, but the family, then friends, then the community and eventually society. For example, if we keep getting the message that it's okay to deride the dead in the name of "investigative" journalism, then one day, we will find that it is the norm. And our intent to honour the dead - well, that will be lost on an individual and societal level. We'll be no better than animals.
Shame on those who purport to reveal the "facts" when all they are doing is chasing after money, robbing human beings of their dignity, and at the same time flushing their souls down the toilet. If you know those people, I hope you feel provoked by their shameful actions to turn to tell them the truth about themselves: they're bottomfeeders.
Please everyone, take special care of yourselves and don't let the mindlessness of everyday living stop you from living thoughtfully and making good moral choices every moment of the day. We have to be vigilant to keep ourselves safe from immorality disguised as information.
To the families and friends of the dearly departed, my condolences are all I can offer, for you may not even know me. However I do feel for your loss and I lament at the state of things. I also, selfishly, have turned inward and wonder about my own legacy. I hope dearly that I am not, nor ever will be, one of those bottomfeeders and that I keep enough of my wits about me to know when I might make a mistake. I wish I had a gram of the bravery and honesty people like Yasmin Ahmad and Michael Jackson had, with which they changed their communities.
Bless those who have been hurt or are weaker than us.
Bless the souls of the departed.
Bless those who are blind and cannot see their mistakes.
Bless the innocent, who might not recognise a lie.
Bless the ignorant, that they may choose to open their eyes.
Bless the gifted, that they might stand being different.
Bless the lonely, that they might see that they can just ask for love. It will come.
Bless the mothers and fathers, who might treat the children they chose to bear, with care, for they are godly gifts.
Bless the haters, who only have a fear they might not find the love they seek.
Bless the selfless, that they may not be plagued by guilt or pain, because they shine to the heavens.
Bless you the reader, that you might feel safe at home, feel loved and be true to yourself.
Bless our family, we are all we have.
Bless Hubby Boo, that he may recognise that the pain will pass and will make him strong.
Bless Baby 1 and Baby 2 that they may never lose their desire to learn, give, laugh and love. Amin.