There are times when you meet strangers on the road who have such uplifting attitude that makes you feel good about everything. This man had so much positive energy around him that I actually enjoyed taking his portrait the most. When I showed him his photo he responded back with a Smile and said “Chardhi Kala” :)
Chardhi Kala is a concept in Sikhism that refers to a mental state of optimism and joy. It is the state of mind in which a person has no negative emotions like fear, jealousy or enmity. Instead the mind is full of positive feelings including joy, satisfaction and self-dignity.
“When you are washing the dishes, washing the dishes must be the most important thing in your life. Just as when you are drinking tea, drinking tea must be the most important thing in your life. Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the whole world revolves—slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future. Live the actual moment. Only this actual moment is life.”
“But does anyone truly believe in the world that they hold in themselves. We as humans tend to make a habit of believing someone else is as beautiful and as important as the sky, how when you look at it you can not fault it. But when we look at ourselves, the mind that our bodies occupies, we don't look up and admire ourselves, we look down and see all our flaws.
I think we forget that we need dirt, we need soil, without it wouldn't grow, we need it to stay alive because even our faults hold a purpose.
We have purpose.”
How about some a canon rewrite that starts with a street-kid Tessa? A less cute and fluffy version of Punk Tessa.
Tessa Gray was a poor kid. She knew her way around the darker corners of New York City. She carried a knife in her boot and another in her pocket. Her brother dealt drugs and Tessa kept the math on his deals while telling him over and over again that he needed to get out of that life. When he disappeared to London, chasing the score of a life time, she told herself she wouldn’t follow him. It was only a month and a half before his pleading text messages and slew of London pictures finally led her to tell him if he could find the money for a plane ticket, she would use it.
With a clockwork angel slung around her neck and everything she owned packed into a single carry on bag, she left behind New York City with a pang in her chest. Her aunt died while Tessa was still in high school and with no one to take them in, she and Nate had slipped through the cracks in the social system. She wondered sometimes what would have happened if she had put her foot down and demanded they go to the meeting with the social worker but she hadn’t. She had let Nate convince her that running away at 15 was a better choice than foster care. He was already 18, he wouldn’t have been able to go with her and his business deals would have not only made him unfit to be her guardian but probably would have landed him in jail if anyone went looking.
She stepped off the plane at Heathrow to be met by a pair of women in jewel toned business suits and a sign with “Theresa Gray” printed on it in neat letters. She should have walked by them. Should have just run. Headed off into the city. It was safer on her own. But she had introduced herself instead.
max:Well, let's see. I discovered I had superpowers 3 days ago. I saved you, I dunno how many times while losing my humanity in the process. The world went insane. I was captured and drugged by Mr. Jefferson. And finally, I jumped into a freaking tornado as I saw my life flash before my eyes within those last moments.
I have sat in philosophy seminars where it was asserted that I should be left to die on a desert island if the choice was between saving me and saving an arbitrary non-disabled person. I have been told it would be wrong for me to have my biological children because of my disability. I have been told that, while it isn’t bad for me to exist, it would’ve been better if my mother could’ve had a non-disabled child instead. I’ve even been told that it would’ve been better, had she known, for my mother to have an abortion and try again in hopes of conceiving a non-disabled child. I have been told that it is obvious that my life is less valuable when compared to the lives of arbitrary non-disabled people. And these things weren’t said as the conclusions of careful, extended argument. They were casual assertions. They were the kind of thing you skip over without pause because it’s the uncontroversial part of your talk.
Now, of course, no one has said these things to me specifically. They haven’t said “Hey, Elizabeth Barnes, this is what we think about you!” But they’ve said them about disabled people in general, and I’m a disabled person. Even just thinking about statements like these, as I write this, I feel so much – sadness, rage, and more than a little shame. It’s an odd thing, a hard thing, to try to take these emotions and turn them into interesting philosophy and careful arguments. My first reaction isn’t to sit down and come up with carefully crafted counterexamples for why the views I find so disgusting are false. My first reaction is to want to punch the people that say these things in the face. (Or maybe shut myself in my room and cry. Or maybe both. It depends on the day.) It’s a strange thing – an almost unnatural thing – to construct careful, analytically rigorous arguments for the value of your own life, or for the bare intelligibility of the claims made by an entire civil rights movement.
Elizabeth Barnes, “Confessions of a Bitter Cripple,” Philosop-her (x)
Through the fields of scars and wounds Shining with dim light of non-existence
What tranquility! What sweet peace! What inward serenity! What supreme felicity and earnest of bliss! To reach beyond the web of spiritual deceit That mankind has been weaving for millennia And face the most horrible truth of all
Every single dream shattered, trampled and lost Every single word silenced for ever, and evermore
Descent, regress into prime, hideous, beautiful nothingness
To conclude, it’s worth considering that when scientists want to create human life in a lab, they don’t plead ignorance about when life begins. On the contrary, they know exactly when it begins, for they aim to replicate not an individual at 3 or 6 months’ development, but rather they aim to replicate the moment of fertilization. They aren’t satisfied with a sperm or egg by themselves, but they are satisfied with a one-celled embryo.
So why is it that when scientists, or others, wish to destroy human life, they claim to not know when it begins? Perhaps it’s because we don’t want to know when life begins. Because if we admit life begins at fertilization, then we have to admit our society is committing and permitting the greatest human rights violation in the history of the world when we allow for the destruction of the youngest of our kind.