Monday, August 14, 2017

The fabulous life of... a believer!

Recently another reader sent me a furious email asking why I promote Christianity in all my blog posts. As a Hindu, she was upset she was being forced to read through my references to Christianity in my Manna for your Soul posts. 

Well, I could have told her not to read my posts if she doesn't like it but I didn't. 

As a writer, my readers mean a lot to me. Whether they love it or hate it, they are my fans!

But I felt she had half a point there. 

My Manna for your Soul series has plenty of references to the Bible, and I am unapologetic for it. I don't follow any particular school of church thought and personally, I hate religions. 

That said, I think religions are the biggest scams in human history. 

It is one of those things that we have used to divide large populations of people into more manageable slices of followers that would listen to every command and instruction our religious leaders set.

Take any sacred scripture for instance. 

  • They all address us as friends. All of them ask us to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against our soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.
  • Nearly every Scripture teach you to worship your God zealously, not resting day or night. 
  • No matter how much you've sinned, God can turn things around and make you as beautiful as light through a stained glass window.
  • Walk worthy of the purpose you were made for.  Bearing with each other with patience and love. It is said 'perfect love drives out fear and paranoia'.
  • Don't partake with those who are unfair and cruel. And speak up against injustice. But if you have been a victim, take heart. God is more than capable of avenging you.
  • In nearly every scripture, from Islam to Buddhism, Hindus to Pagans their god(s) have a 1000 names.
  • We are all rushing after peace. We all crave for peace that surpasses all understanding. Yet, we all struggle with disappointment, anxiety, fear, and hatred.
  • We love our parents even when they aren't perfect or all powerful, yet we doubt if God will listen or even answer our prayers. Even so, there are many among us who have the faith that can move mountains.
  • We are all taught/encouraged/coaxed/indoctrinated to be the ambassadors of our faiths. We are also told to respect diversity and other faiths in almost the same breath.
  • We don't mind it if our elders choose the rod but when an unexplained circumstance/tragedy strikes, we lose faith and question the divine. We doubt if our God took a nap while on the job.
  • We all have a wonder-filled account of godly men and women who have walked this earth. 
I could go on forever, but what I am really trying to say is - It doesn't matter what the name of your God is. It doesn't matter which religion your parents followed.

What matters is this -

  • Even when you feel an all encompassing darkness within you, can you say a kind and uplifting word to someone who is down as well?
  • Even when you are starving, are you willing to share your meal with someone needy?
  • Even when you winning, are you humble enough to look around you and encourage those who aren't?
  • Even when it seems like you have everything, are you invested in the lives of those who don't.
Our lives were a joint venture by billions of gods. Our lives are purpose-filled.
Our experiences weren't an accident. Each of them was planned to the last second. 
So are our destinies.
Our lives are a living testament to how the same divine energy that created endless space limitless universes can still create and sustain something as puny yet incredibly unique as you and me.

Being a believer is more important to me than being a Christian or a Hindu.

Being a believer is not all fluffy carpet and aromatic scents. 
Being a believer involves battling through depression and insecurity. 
Being a believer doesn't mean you'll live a fabulous life. 

On the contrary, being a believer means you'll go through all the pitfalls and agonies of a normal life and still understand it's just one day closer to being forever with your heavenly parent. 

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

What Men Want

A very popular juvenile joke tells us that women are unpredictable and their needs are endless and all men want is limited. It's a funny illustration where there is a massive book of What Women Want and a tiny 1-page book for What Men Want. 
Apparently, all men want is sex and beer. 

I want to set the record right because there are so many things a man wants.

Men need validation for everything and from everyone that matters to them. 

They need people in their life to respect and recognize them for the work they do. They crave to be acknowledged and respected. And it shouldn't just be handed to them. They want to be seen to have earned that respect (from people who matter). And suitably renumerated for it.

In relationships, women need to feel the 
love, men need to be reaffirmed of it. Simply put, men need constant reassurance and encouragement in the same way you'd need mile-markers and signposts when navigating to a destination. Men want to know for sure that he is The One, and the Only One in her life. 

From time to time, most men need their egos stroked. Let's face it, they are chivalrous, kind, considerate, and supportive. They need other men (and their women) to respect their authority/abilities. They want to be worthy of their love and trust. Most men need to feel a purpose in their lives. While he loves giving endlessly, he resents being taken for granted (read 'being taken as an ATM when in need'). They also resent being pigeonholed into stereotypes molded by media. 
Most men will put their needs aside for the woman they love and care for. It isn't a sacrifice and isn't always because they want to get into her pants, but an intimate act of infinite love and a cognitive sign of how much he loves her.

Men love symmetry. We are problem-solvers and pattern-seekers. We love it when our women allow us to love and care for them. Nothing soothes us more than the satisfaction of being there for each other. Nothing draws us to her more than the feeling of safety and emotionally security in a well-balanced relationship. 

While he would choose a lady who is physically well-endowed, his passion and love for her would grow only if she is intelligent, feminine, playful, confident yet grounded. Contrary to popular perception, men won't tolerate women who are weak and docile. Damsels in distress are fairy tale fluff. We are attracted to strong, independent and emotionally stable women who inspire us because she has great things going on her own life. We want a woman who has her own purpose other than being in a relationship. We are aroused by women who have a natural aura about herself. We are intrigued by women with a strong personality with a dash of naughty. We want our lady to have her firm head on her capable shoulders. We love it when she lets us our space when we need it. 

Men aren't verbally articulate. Which is where they fail when they have to communicate their needs from a relationship. Give him a paragraph of code, and he'll spot the bug, but when it comes to explaining the 'Why' of our emotions, we are lost for words. While some (except Alan Harper and Ross Geller) fear commitment, most fear the vulnerability of being 'exposed'. But if he chooses to be vulnerable, then that is the highest level of commitment he can express and he expects his lady to reciprocate. We expect our women to express their needs and expectations clearly. Men can't process words the way women can and for this reason, men are repulsed when a lady talks him through things believing that in the multitude of honeyed words she is winning him. Don't evaluate us by our words, but by the measure of our actions. Similarly, it isn't what you say that attracts us. It is who you are within that pulls us to you.  

Not all men are lovers of fellatio. Many are generous givers. 

Not all men love violent porn and video games. Many are tender and passionate lovers to their partners and have a lot more creative pass-times. 
Many men hate violent aggression and cringe at the thought of hurting another human being. 
Not all men are skirt-chasers and beer-lovers. So many respect women and are teetotallers. 
So, as you see, we just want to be understood, respected, rewarded and recognized for what we do and who we are. Both at home, with women in our life, and at the workplace. 

And for all these reasons and more (much like how women aren't complicated), men have layers to their personality and are intriguing yet easy to understand. 

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