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Is it necessary?(DW#20)

When we are inundated with so many messages, specially in group chats and on social media, we have to learn to ignore what is not helpful.

There are times however, when it is wise to respond to messages that are not true or helpful.

If we receive something even as part of a group that makes no sense or is obviously false, it is tempting to avoid a response thinking that it does not concern us.

But here is the thing: each time we are receiving or hearing a message that is not true, there is a good chance that our silence will be deemed approval.

This is a time to speak up if you know something to be untrue or not credible.

If it is a group chat situation, it is best to message the person privately and request that they correct the information. This gives them a chance to save face rather than face the possible embarrassment of being called out in the group.

When we hold ourselves and our friends to a high standard of communication with truth and integrity, we can improve the cyber...

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Is it Inspiring?(DW#19)

Regular inspiration is great at keeping us motivated and on purpose. When we hear or read something that articulates and resonates with our felt values it helps to realign our actions with what we believe to be true.

Inspiration, however, works best in small doses. To add meaning and value to life, we need to pause, reflect and let the message sink in. When we are receiving and sending several messages at a time, it ends up reducing the value of each message and does not allow for the essential step of absorbing the message, actually letting it inspire us rather than simply clogging up our inbox.

So the next time we are tempted to pass on several inspiring quotes or messages, let us remind ourselves of the power of wisdom in small doses ;)

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Is it helpful?(DW#18)

Even if the messages past the first test of veracity, we must pause a moment to ask if it is helpful?

It is good to remind ourselves that if we don't have anything to say, it is perfectly acceptable to be silent. If we cannot add anything to the conversation, let us practice noticing our desire to fill up what feels like an uncomfortable silence. We can notice this feeling of the need to engage and not act upon it.

Our words are so much powerful when they are spoken intentionally and not just to fill the silence. The same is true for our messages.

Questions to ask to determine whether it is helpful:

  • Does it add to someone knowledge?
  • Does it inspire them in some way?
  • Will it bring a smile to their face?
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Is it true?(DW#17)

It would seem to be an obvious statement that in order to live our best selves, we must speak the truth.

Yet, with the advent of WhatsApp, how many of us take a moment to check the veracity of something we are forwarding?

Anything that comes from our mouth, our email or our desk is part of the conversation that we contribute to this world.

Moreover, whatever conversation emanates from our mouths, our computers and our devices has the potential to build our credibility or to damage it.

This is why it is so important to take a moment to verify whatever message you are about to spread.

The ease of pressing the send button makes it imperative that we are intentional about taking a moment before hitting send.

Let us not a be part of the vicious cycle that continues to spread false information. Let us pause for a second, do a quick verification before hitting send.

It is not that difficult. Here are a few questions to help:

  • Does it make sense? Does it even sound like it might be true?
  • If...
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Practice mindful messaging(DW#16)

Don't you just love instant messaging like WhatsApp? It has revolutionized the way we communicate. It is easy, oh so convenient and so easy to pass messages back and forth.

What many of us are experiencing though, is that the speed and easy of instant messaging may not always be such a good thing.

The fact that it is so quick and so easy makes it particularly challenging to communicate consciously.

Instant messaging platforms like WhatsApp are in fact, the perfect medium to communicate without care or thought, encouraging us to hit send or forward before our thinking mind has had a chance to use any filter at all.

Have you ever regretted pressing the send or forward without taking a moment to consider your response? I know I have!

Given that so many of us engage in this method of communication, mostly without reflection, it may be a good idea to consider using WhatsApp mindfully.

The first step is to become aware of your relationship with instant messaging, both as a receiver and...

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How do you take feedback?(DW#15)

There is a quote from Imam Hussain (as) which says:

"One who reveals your faults to you like a mirror is your true friend, and one who flatters you and covers up your faults is your enemy."

It is hard to accept feedback isn’t it? But it is the only way we can learn how we show up for other people in the world. A friend who loves us enough to tell us the uncomfortable truth about ourselves is precious. In the absence of feedback, we can spend a long time (sometimes a VERY long time!) doing what is not serving us and being unaware of it.

The next time someone offers you the gift of correction, accept it with gratitude.

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Repeat the stories of bravery(DW#14)

Have you seen how the Holocaust is kept alive? Our Jewish brothers have done a remarkable job in keeping the memories of the injustice alive as well as the stories of heroism and bravery.

This is extremely valuable because if people let the memory of injustice fade, it is easier for tyrants to carry it out again. Recollections of bravery and resisting oppression play a very important role in bringing communities together in their shared history and encourage those that have not lived through the oppression to take a stand and not let history repeat itself.

Resilient communities learn from their history. They never forget.

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Day of Ashura(DW#13)

Hussain ibn Ali was a 7th century revolutionary leader who made the ultimate sacrifice for social justice in the face of corruption and tyranny. He gave everything he had, including his life, for the stand for social justice and against oppression. The events of Ashura continue to inspire millions of Muslims all over the world even today.

To learn about Hussain and the history of Ashura, please visit https://whoishussain.org

And here is an inspiring talk about how Hussain (as) stands as an inspiration for ALL Muslims

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The bully, the bullied and the bystander(DW#12)

family parenting Oct 10, 2016

This phrase is used often in anti-bullying seminars to explain to parents and children that witnessing an act of aggression or violence and standing by, ‘doing nothing’ is not, in fact passive. Onlookers or bystanders are found way beyond the playground. Bystanders are those people who slow down to look at a traffic accident, but don’t stop to offer assistance, the people who watch an argument on the street, and the crowd that gathers to watch a playground fight. They are the audience that engages in the spectacle, and watches as a drama unfolds, standing on the sidelines and perhaps passing commentary. They might even say things like, “tsk, tsk. What bad behavior” and nod their heads in judgment and disgust without actually doing anything to stop the situation.

Witnesses to bullying and other acts of aggression, violence or oppression who stand by and and do not take a stand actually contribute significantly to what takes place. ‘Doing...

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Find A Hero(DW#11)

Whether it is politicians, gun toting maniacs killing children randomly, power hungry egomaniacs defrauding people of their life savings, or terrorists killing innocents, wreaking havoc and destruction, it is hard to escape the feeling that the standard for ‘human’ behavior is sinking lower by the day. It is very difficult not to feel despair at the lack of basic morality, compassion, integrity, empathy and justice that appears to be so prevalent in the world today.

It is easy to focus on the villains – they are all over the news and the media.

What needs much more intentionality is to look for the heroes. Those who are silently lighting candles rather than blaming the darkness (or looting in the dark) are easy to miss. They seldom make headline news.

And yet it is the heroes that we need more than ever today. Heroes that live their values with integrity, stand for justice and are a force for good on this planet. Heroes that renew our faith in humanity and stand as...

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