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The Divided States of America

 

United…is now an apparent meaningless word.  United once as a nation under one God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all…is now divided, broken and fragmented; arguing whose God is the superior or right one and redefining justice based on fears and prejudgments or prejudices.  What does it take to get past our differences or to respect and learn from our differences?

Why has the new tactic of “digging heels deep into the ground, pouting and not cooperating until I get my way” sound so manipulative and juvenile?  Could it be that it is manipulative and juvenile?   What happened to the “Win-Win” concept where after sharing points of view and realizing that none were complete or acceptable by both parties in the interaction, a third option that picked the best of the two points of view was constructed in order to solve a problem and move forward.  Has conflict resolution been delegated to theory or someone other than those in conflict? Extremes create polarities and the common ground of negotiating to resolve issues and stay centered seems to be a lost art or science.

The power struggles continue and “power over” versus “power with” reigns. It is becoming entrenched into the psyche as an acceptable modus operand, yet it has served only to waste precious irretrievable time and create deeper wounds and troubles.

If you cannot afford to fix the roof when the first leak appears, and the roof subsequently begins to cave in, it seems obvious we would have to spend more than the original needed to fix the leak just to offset and divert the greater calamity on the way, since it was neglected at the onset. “Prevention” was obviously not the operant mode, but rather waiting for the “crisis” to occur before acting.

Effective and successful administration and management of any enterprise from the personal management of home and family to the global issues of economics and governance styles begin with good foresight and planning.  Anything short of this contributes to ineffectiveness and failure. And if the vision and planning are gridlocked due to poor communication and lack of good will to solve issues, then we are indeed “cutting our nose to spite our face”.  Which mature, reasonable and empowered adult resorts to these tactics?  It appears none of these descriptors fit many of those tasked to set the policy of this country into its path of success.

Could it be we have to redefine success?  Could it be that a country that evolves must find new solutions rather than old ones? If we are to evolve and transform ourselves and by consequence our world, would it stand to reason that we rise up to the occasion of cooperating and working together?  Can we really live with the extreme polarities and expect a peaceful coexistence or can we “rise up and unite” and perhaps once more be the United States of America?

As we plunge forward, we must pull together and help ourselves “get there” or else, we will end up divided and falling…then we will be vulnerable to other forceful powers in the world that are not about all the things that make this country unique and the leader in the global picture.

This is a metaphor for all of our personal lives…a house divided ends up falling.

French Philospher, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955) once said… “everything that rises must converge” (from his 1942 essay, “the New Spirit”). As we approach Thanksgiving Day with gratitude for everything we live and enjoy, let us remember it is up to us to put many things aside to make gratitude the salient feature of the day. Possibly it could be the salient feature with which we live our lives each day.  For in gratitude, anger dissipates, and in courage (encouragement) fear dissolves and in love and care we can stand united. United, is now restored to an apparent meaningful word.

I am in peace and gratitude for the freedom to write and have an opinion. Namaste.   Happy Thanksgiving to those in The United States of America and to the other 15 countries who honor me by reading this blog, thank you. I am grateful for your time and attention. You edify me.

 

Maria Hilda Pinon, author of The Willows of Corona, a novel, and Candles in the Dark…poems to grieve, hope and love again.

www.mariahildapinon.com

 

 

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The Common Ground

 

Once upon a time, there were no stories about us.  Each of us came into being somewhere in the world. Life was breathed upon us at some point in our development.  And before our gender differentiated into male or female, we were generic human beings growing.  We then differentiated into respective males or females in the womb.  Alas some ready and some not, we were born somewhere in the world. 

Those before us had experience in the world and they had learned how to navigate it and survive to the best of their ability. They took on roles assigned or chosen in order to participate in life and meet its demands.  They formed groups of different interests to perform different functions for the good of all and they taught us how to be humans in that group.  They tried to understand life and human beings and the greater powers bigger than themselves. They gave us a legacy by teaching us how to express ourselves and get along with each other and understand the world through the eyes of their cultural story.

They celebrated and they cried. They laughed and worked. They rested and fought.  They had special foods and drinks, special music with unique instruments.  They utilized a language to communicate.  They loved each other and cared for each other.  They did not know about any other part of the world, only theirs. They had a cultural story they could identify with and become united at many levels. These were powerful cultural stories that gave each of us a unique formation that includes a belief system. But now we have arguments about who has a better story.  

All human beings have needs… anywhere in the world. No one is exempt. This is not unique to anyone being. We all have the need to eat, rest, breathe (physiological needs) and we all have the need to feel safe in the world. We want to feel good about ourselves and feel we belong.  When we are assured of all these, we become more aware of our need to transcend and go beyond ourselves and we can serve others and leave our mark in the world in selfless ways (Maslow’s hierarchy of needs).  Some human beings never get past satisfying their physiological needs and they often are collectively in countries we deem as “third worlds” or a lesser designation. And those who know about transcendence do not forget those behind and fight for them so they too can know what it is like to transcend and be the most we can all be.

We were given intelligence and talents that are unique to us and not equal to each other. We saw how good it is to cultivate the intelligence and develop our talents to use not just for our benefit but for the service of all if we choose and thus advance the world forward at all levels. Our contributions are unique.

 The politics and economics of each country either support our development or can stymie the potential with either their short sighted vision or no vision at all for each of us. We are either valued or devalued. We are dehumanized or of human worth.

Suddenly our cultural story becomes the divide between us and we justify actions that widen the divide between us individually or as a country. We let the story get in the way, we hide behind the story and we forget our humanity.  We forget the common ground we are all on and we fight over whose story is right or better.  We lose respect for each other based on these cultural stories. We forget that we all were given the breath of life by the same being. In this we are one.

 We fail to get past all that is different and miss each other at the core of our being. We fail to meet on our common ground and the power struggles begin.  There are winners and losers, the weaker or stronger, richer or poorer, smarter or less bright, powerful or powerless, haves and have-nots, important or non grata, all designs to create divisions and justify the power brokers influence and delegate and designate lots in life subject to the control of the powers that be.  We lose each other in the struggle; we lose ourselves in the struggle and forget our own origin…before our time on earth. 

We have a world divided, we have countries divided pitted against each other. How will we ever evolve when we choose to be polarized? The universe is ready to lift off and rise to higher consciousness and only those who can see beyond themselves, those who can get past the politics and economics of our times, those who can see beyond the differences and the divides will transform from within to rise to higher consciousness.

Martin Buber (1878-1965) Jewish philosopher and theologian once said in his book, I and Thou (Ich und Du) that human existence may be defined by the way in which we engage in dialogue with each other, with the world and with God (highest being, power). We are all part of the whole and we enter relationships of reciprocity and mutuality. Each relationship opens up a window to the ultimate and eternal Thou.

We are in this world together and our actions do impact each other. Let us meet on the common ground of our humanity infused first with the spirit that gave us life and that unites us all. Let us meet on common ground.

Mother Teresa of Calcutta always greeted each person with hands folded and a bow and would say NAMSTE, a deep spiritual greeting that means: the divine spirit in me recognizes the divine spirit in you.

Let us meet on the common ground….NAMASTE.

 

Maria Hilda Pinon, author of The Willows of Corona, a novel, and Candles in the Dark…poems to grieve, hope and love again.

www.mariahildapinon.com

 

 

What Meaning? What Vibes?

What meaning of yours do you want understood? What vibrations do you emit with your words? Why am I talking? Why are you talking?  Just for fun, to share, educate, vent, aggrieve, because you can’t stop, need to be heard, don’t like silence, need attention???? Only we know why we talk.

But most would agree that the whole point of communicating with anyone is not just to get words across, but to have our meaning understood.  So how do we effectively get someone to understand our meaning?  The plain truth is that if no one understands what you mean to say, all the words have been in vain. 

Just this word “meaning”, means something to everyone with slight variations so that when we hear or see the word meaning, we get a picture in our mind. Unless the other party has the same picture in their mind as yours, there is a great chance of misunderstanding and hence miscommunication. So for good communication we must get our meaning across. 

And one great way to know if they have gotten our meaning is to ask the other person? Or of course, the other person can ask. “What did you mean by that?”  In all cases one cannot assume that images will be conjured up in others’ minds that are like the ones in our mind since most of us are not mind readers. But as we strive to get meaning across, we need to have a greater awareness of the choice of words we use and their energetic patterns.

In an era of savvy words used to create realities, it is wise to notice the words we choose and the images they connote to clearly get our meaning across, but as we choose these words let us also enter the awareness that words have a vibration quality that can lift and empower.  

In his book, Power vs. Force, David R. Hawkins lists words and their energetic impact or vibration quality created.  Words have a high or low energy pattern.  For instance, using abundant versus excessive, determined rather than stubborn, empathetic over pitying, giving versus taking. The higher patterns have a positive impact on others in lasting ways.

Those of us desiring to add to the positive impact of an evolving consciousness will be greatly surprised at how much difference the choice of words can make.  Having awareness in order to add empowering words to our vocabulary, as we choose our words to share our meaning in our communication is a very inexpensive yet highly rewarding exercise.  It is a unique contribution as we choose to evolve to higher consciousness. The very essence of life in this universe is consciousness. Energy patterns of specific frequencies or vibrations are cast into the universe when we author words and by their ripple effect will come back to us.   What meaning? What vibes?  

Maria Hilda Pinon, author of The Willows of Corona, a novel, and Candles in the Dark…poems to grieve, hope and love again.

www.mariahildapinon.com

 

Who’s Will?

Who’s will? Few would argue we have a free will guided by our belief or value system. Yet many exercise it and then hope “God’s Will”, will be done even if their will is not aligned with their notion of what we think God’s will desires in the world. It is as if God’s will has nothing to do with ours.

Have you ever noticed how silent God is?  Divine intervention is not on a scheduled program based on how “good or bad” we are as most of us have discovered. We cannot be passive either and leave it all to God.  We are expected to do our part which is the one we control and leave the rest to God…or someone else’s will? Indeed, there are the other individuals we share this world with that also exercise a free will and this will intersects with the circumstances that impact us and our life. And then there is divine intervention somewhere in the mix as an external force divorced from our actions? 

Recognizing our will and the fact that we exercise it based on our belief system is the awareness that will allow us to examine our beliefs and see if they are aligned with the “highest order of good for ourselves and others”.  This “highest order of good for ourselves and others” may approximate God’s will.  We do not have to be theologians to ascertain this.  All we need to explore is our desires that surface for those we claim to love.

Imagining all the good we want for someone we care for and love (that includes ourselves), helps us extend to the realization that this might be what God wants for all of us.  If we agree that the highest form of energy is love and that love stretches us out of our comfort zone and pushes us to extend outward and be the best and in fact transforms us to higher levels, then it follows that this love impulse may be the God living in us, since God is love.  Thus any action aligned with love (love defined as wanting the best for our self and others) is aligned with God.  Our actions will either be a reflection of God’s will that desires the best for each of us or incongruent with this desire.

We all have a free will and it is up to us to examine what we believe since it guides our actions.  Do our beliefs include only our welfare or do they extend to want the best for all others as well? Are our beliefs congruent with our free will that takes action or are we just lip service and empty words? Certainly what is best for each is not a cookie cutter formula, but unique to what is the next step for our growth and development in all aspects of our being (physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, and psychological).

So whose life is it anyway?  What will is defining it?  Whose will is reflected in our actions? We need to take responsibility for our actions, stop blaming others or God for how we each choose that works against the best for each of us and align our free wills with the highest good.  Let’s give God a break and take responsibility for reflecting love through us and our actions. This love found in each of us that is a mere nuance of God’s constant love.

I can assure you that if I walk out in the middle of a busy intersection without paying attention to the traffic, God’s divine will won’t dispatch an angel to swoop me up from the jam I got myself into…I will probably get hit by a car driven by a driver, who may or may not be paying attention to my thoughtless action.  It may be we are expected to cooperate with each other and align our joint wills for our mutual good not just solely for the good of one or a few we like, but the good of all.  We are co-creators with each other and our God.  Who’s will?

Maria Hilda Pinon, author of The Willows of Corona, a novel, and Candles in the Dark…poems to grieve, hope and love again.

www.mariahildapinon.com

Up and Coming and Going Nowhere

Up and coming and going nowhere!  Hype, Hype, Hype!  This seems to be how we get attention in a worldwide competition for someone’s time to notice our “brand”. The accounts do not have to be true, just sensational! And what senses should be awakened are those that lure you to feeling good or better.  Ah! To be human is to seek pleasure and avoid pain.  And yet, if we fall for the trap, we soon find that following all the feel goods eventually leads to the pain of empty. What a conundrum also known as a vicious cycle. This can lead to building a character seeking pursuits and indulgences that are merely self-serving.

So should we do the reverse and seek pain?  That would make us a masochist.  Yet being sensitive and empathetic requires we be capable and willing to be touched by someone’s pain to tap into our compassionate self. The compassionate self then reaches out to lend a helping hand to those less fortunate.  And if we follow this path, we soon find that extending outside of ourselves leads to feeling good and a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment and even meaning in an otherwise, lured and veneered world. This good feeling tends to linger and build good character. It nurtures caring for each other.

Those of us living in a first world country can often get desensitized to the larger world where there is a greater majority of individuals lacking than living in surplus. It is easy to get used to our comforts and stop imagining how the plight of others is unending and most often an uphill struggle just to get physical needs met of food, water, clean air, and shelter. When catastrophe’s strike anywhere in the world, we mobilize efforts to stabilize people’s lives. Yet when stabilized, many return to the same struggles of lack.

In a perfect world, all would have equal access to all things that can help each one of us to be the best we can be and contribute our developed talents and skills to build a better world. In an imperfect world, things are lopsided and only each of us can contribute to make a difference. No matter where we live we can look around and find one person less fortunate than ourselves.

Next time we are confronted with the choice to extend ourselves outward toward another or to be self-serving seeking only personal gratification in the pursuit of indulgences, extend a hand to make a difference in someone’s life.  Teach someone a skill, be a listening ear, share a meal, dress someone up, put a smile on someone’s face by sharing yours. A daily practice of this by each of us would lift the world and the possibility of evolving to a higher consciousness becomes a closer reality.

It is not up to world leaders whether in politics, education, government, religion etc to make this happen. They can certainly take a lead and be a model, but it truly is up to each of us.

It is easy to be “up and coming and going nowhere” in the end if we seek only to better our individual circumstances.  Practicing to reach out will foster an “up and coming going somewhere”  type of individuals who can lift the world one person at a time…  Let us see past the “Hype! Hype! Hype!” and the “up and coming going nowhere” path.

Maria Hilda Pinon, author of The Willows of Corona, a novel, and Candles in the Dark…poems to grieve, hope and love again.

www.mariahildapinon.com

Do I Really Count?

 

How many times do we feel discounted?  We say something and are ignored. We write something and are ignored. We do something and are ignored. It is human to want recognition and to feel counted.  The truth is that speaking up assertively is a statement that says to everyone “I Count” independent of what words are spoken by us. The very act itself is empowering.

No change can ever happen unless we take action in some direction.  Many of us taking the same action can create momentum. If you want to feel the power of really counting… use the opportunity given to you to cast your ballot. Every time you cast your ballot, you will feel empowered and really appreciate all the freedom most of us have if we are living in free countries. 

When one thinks about how many do not have this privilege and often go to extremes to be heard in their displeasure of the leadership in place, one can only become more sensitized to the great gift we have to cast our ballots. Yet, so many take this for granted and do not cast their ballots. There are institutions such as many religious ones, where our voice is not included in selecting leadership. We are not invited to vote for the leadership. But in our free countries where there is democracy in practice, we have a standing invitation to participate in the process.

Despite all the ills of our often imbalanced systems, through casting a ballot corrections can be made. Feel the power of your gift and privilege. Exercise your right to cast a ballot free from duress. We do count. We really do count.

Whatever the outcome is of any voting, the winner may or may not be our choice. It may feel disappointing, but what always matters is that YOU count and YOU took action and did YOUR part in the process. YOU voiced your opinion when YOU cast your ballot. That is power.  USE IT. No great change can come about unless we take action. If we are to heal the world, if we are to move and evolve it to higher consciousness, then the discipline of participation and speaking up to count is an exercise we must not take for granted.

It was a great sense of pride that I felt when I cast my first ballot at 18. It was no different today as a seasoned voter. I also felt great admiration for the many who volunteer their time in an often thankless and tedious labor at the polls; I felt great respect for all those who dare to want to serve as leaders for they get subjected to merciless scrutiny and ridicule. I felt great appreciation for the process that allows my vote to be counted, maybe an imperfect process, but yet, we are free to improve it. I felt sad that so many in the world do not know this joy.  Most of all I felt so proud to exercise my right to vote in the most influential country in the world. If you can vote, exercise your power. You will not regret it. Do I really count?  You know I do and so do you. 

I

Maria Hilda Pinon, author of The Willows of Corona, a novel, and Candles in the Dark…poems to grieve, hope and love again.

www.mariahildapinon.com

 

 

New Thinking?

 

“The problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.”  Albert Einstein

Have you ever noticed your thinking? Have you ever noticed your thoughts?  It is said that we are capable of thinking about 60,000 thoughts a day…and 50,000 are yesterday’s thoughts!   So where do we get the first thoughts and how do we change our thoughts or rather get to a new level of thinking?

How our thoughts got into our head can be traced to anything, from our parents, reading, peers, television etc, etc….But how they got there is not as important as why we still have them there.  Obviously we repeat our thoughts to ourselves over and over and over and over…everyday!

So can we really blame anyone but ourselves for holding any thought past the moment it transacted and registered through our brain?

It is amazing that when we expand our thinking, we experience things differently.  You can talk all day about your feelings and it is important to vent them and process them, but I have noticed that when we can connect the thought to the feeling and explore, process, and even challenge the thought…it can really curtail feelings. And our welfare improves.

If I think that no one likes me and feel saddened by it, even get depressed by this thought, then the minute I challenge it and change it to “not everyone likes me and that’s okay, that is the way life is” and believe this, then I will not be as upset. 

Let us pay attention to our thoughts, our thinking, often called “self-talk” and be brave enough to challenge it if it does not serve us well.  After all new thinking helps solve and alleviate problems or situations.  Old thinking may have created the problems or situations and will hold them in place as long as we do not arrive at new thinking. How about some NEW THINKING?

Maria Hilda Pinon, author of The Willows of Corona, a novel, and Candles in the Dark…poems to grieve, hope and love again.

www.mariahildapinon.com

 

Perceptions…all OURS  (Part Two)

Perceptions…all OURS. Isn’t there a reality we all can agree on?  We obviously have perceptions that color reality and unless we all have the same one, there will be differences. Whether you are the only one with a perception or a million share your perception it is still a perception.

By definition, perception is our conception of our internal or external world. There are many definitions that also include giving meaning, interpreting and understanding as part of how perception is defined.  But I will limit the definition to the conceptions we have, for starters.  The meaning and interpretation of what we perceive are a separate aspect and these can change and do comprise our understanding of things, but our perceptions will always begin and be limited by the apparatus/equipment doing the intake of information and that we cannot structurally change although we do make functional adaptations.

For example, a dog’s ear can hear pitches the human ear cannot and we do not have a dogs ear so we will not be able to hear what a dog hears and thus perceive sound differently than the dog. The fruit fly’s vision is different to human vision due to the kind of eye it has and we cannot see how the fruit fly sees.  So if we stick to our human apparatus/equipment as the one that ultimately limits our perception, then we can begin to appreciate what we can control and what we cannot control in our perceptions. We have been clever enough to make adaptations to our apparatus to enhance functional capacity, such as eyeglasses or microscopes to improve eyesight or hearing aids for heightened auditory capacity and microphones to make our voice louder, but our natural apparatus has limits.

Our brain apparatus has the capacity to only pay proper attention to a certain number of stimulus (we do not control this aspect)  and the rest get put on the back burner. For instance if you notice your surroundings, you cannot grasp it all at once.  You will see there are more things to note than you can note.  This has to do with how our brain functions and the structural and functional aspects of the senses we are using (we cannot control) not our intelligence. I do not have eyes behind my back so I cannot see the entire scope of what surrounds me. Thus the intake begins with the capacity of the apparatus.

So clear on the limitations of our apparatus, then let us move forward to the other aspects we can change and control.

The next thing that greatly impacts how and what we perceive is our attention. This willful act of attention is often  overlooked when people talk about perceptions.   Whereas, I have five senses physically, I may or may not engage all of them and may or may not engage them to full capacity and that will impact what I perceive.  Our perception range is greater than our ability to what we can pay attention.  What WE pay attention to in the vast selection of stimulus WE can control.  So we know there are sounds out there, that we tune out, things behind us we cannot see etc. etc. and we get to pick what we tune in or out.

The attention, meaning and interpretation we give to what we perceive, is the changeable part.  It is in this arena where conflicts or problems are brewing and why they can be negotiated or illuminated with more information and education and best yet solved.  We though, have to own this part of perception and call it totally our own.

So now between our human apparatus form to glean perception and our attention that selects, we begin to see how perception is so unique to us.  Then our human need to make sense of all this stimulus interprets based on past knowledge or experience and further gives meaning to it all also based on knowledge or experience which all come from the PAST.

If we begin to understand this, we can really be better ambassadors in this world and practice more respect and diplomacy toward other beings when we feel threatened by differences. It is indeed another view, we all have one and no one has the total view on anything.  We can begin to let go of the need to be right and argue our way through things, let go of our defensiveness, we can learn from each other, teach each other.  We can actually begin to understand this inevitable difference as functioning human beings and improve how we communicate to avoid misunderstandings and conflict and build better relationships in the world. And everything is about relationship in this life, our relationship to others, ourselves, things, and the highest power (God).

If there is anything we can change is our perceptions and isn’t this a powerful gift and tool we own?  PERCEPTION…ALL OURS.

Maria Hilda Pinon, author of The Willows of Corona, a novel, and Candles in the Dark…poems to grieve, hope and love again.

www.mariahildapinon.com

One Event, Two Stories, Facts, PERCEPTION, all ours.

Part One

Sunday afternoon, two women come into Harrods of Knightsbridge for afternoon tea.  They find their way to the Georgian Room on the fourth floor.

Seated, after waiting for a few minutes, one woman gets up to go the ladies room. The other woman orders two Earl Grey pots of tea and the high tea selections of food. The Crystal chandelier, the floral arrangement mid room and the automatic piano add to the ambiance.

Shortly, the waiter brings the tea and food and they begin to chat. Within a few minutes two women dressed in long black attire with their heads covered with black veils pass by and get seated. They have dark eyes, olive skin. Four dressed like them are waiting for a table. A table behind the two women has eight seated around the table. They begin to notice more arrivals and more tables with the women dressed in black. They all have dark eyes, olive skin, some are tall, others are younger, some with more makeup. They also notice over three tables with only men seated around them. Each table seats eight. They all have dark eyes, olive skin, some are tall, others younger, some with moustaches.  They continue to observe and count the tables with individuals dressed like the women and resembling the looks of the men.  Over 14 tables are occupied by these individuals, 10 tables are empty and 3-4 tables have other guests with different nationalities, non Arab of course.

Four light colored skin men dressed in beige suits pass by turning to all sides. Each has a coiled wire behind their left ear. Soon another suited man passes by with the same coil behind the left ear and also looking in all directions.

There is one woman dressed in the same long attire and veil but hers is lilac in color.

Fewer tables with individuals dressed in attire that does not call attention are occupied.  The faces of all the individuals have unique and changing expressions. There is movement of people around the restaurant including the waiters, guests, and men dressed in suits with coiled wires behind their left ears.

The waiter comes to the table and one of the women asks “What is going on?” The waiter replies.

What do you think is going on?

STORY ONE

It was a cloudy Sunday afternoon, a bit ominous with a chill announcing a change in the autumn season fast approaching. A visitor to London takes the resident daughter to High Tea at the famous Queen’s store, Harrods of Knightsbridge. It is perfect for this kind of fare.  The Georgian room on the fourth floor is opened later than usual. Today it is opened and serving tea until 7 p.m. They are asked to wait until a table is secured for them. They are escorted to their table.

The mother leaves to go the Ladies Room, while the daughter orders Earl Grey tea to go with the tea service. When the mother returns, the tea service has been set at the table with fine linen cloth. They begin to delight in conversation and the beautiful array of tea sandwiches, scones and sweets. Rose petal  and raspberry jam sit alongside the dish with the clotted cream.

Suddenly as the mother looks up to notice the grandness of the room, two Arab women dressed in their traditional black long gowns and veils pass by.  They have dark eyes who do not make eye contact, olive skin and dark black demarcated brows and lipstick on their lips.

She takes note that there are four others waiting to be seated. She turns to look behind her and notices a table of eight women all dressed in the same black robes and veil.  They all have dark eyes and do not make eye contact, olive skin, and dark brows They comment about the Arab lifestyle and how women are treated and how harems and multiple wives are acceptable if given the same lifestyle.  They comment on whether they are related.

The mother notices that there are three other tables with Arab men sitting around also having High Tea fare, but with other drinks on the table.   None are eating out of the tiered tea food service. All have dark eyes and hair, with olive skin, some taller than others, some younger, some with moustaches.  Some are texting on their cell phones and looking beyond those at their own table.

More tables are noted with women dressed in black attire with veils. There is one woman dressed in the same attire with a veil but her color is lilac.  There are more tables with Arabs than with non Arabs at the restaurant. It is noteworthy that there are a total of 14 tables filled with Arabs, 10 tables are empty and about 3 0r 4 have other nationalities. None smile or have eye contact with the rest. The tables ,now empty, reflect it is getting later in the afternoon past high tea time.

The crystal chandelier, the huge fresh floral arrangement mid room and the backdrop of piano music, pale against the signs of possible tensions.

Four English or American men dressed in beige suits with the coiled ear piece that guards or secret service men use pass by slowly, each looking in all directions without moving their heads. Another security man dressed the same follows and does the same thing.  He is talking into a mouthpiece that is barely visible.

The women start getting preoccupied.  They notice other non Arab guests looking preoccupied but pretending not to be.  Immediately, the mother and daughter try to have nonchalant conversations of an exit plan of safety. They talk about the recent uprisings in the Arab world and how social media and texting supported the success of the takeovers. The mother talks about her new phone and the new alarm that goes off when there are weather warnings and the phone becomes unusable until one confirms and accepts the “alert signal.”  They talk about government tracking for security reasons. The resident daughter states she is unaware of the new technology in the phones.

The two try to smile at the women who do not respond.  The Arab women take their purses and some get up. The waiter finally comes to the table and the mother asks.  “Is something going on, we just saw security pass by and things feel tense.” The waiter replies.

What do you thinks is going on?

STORY TWO

It was a perfect afternoon for High Tea in London. The weather was a bit chilly even though the sun was still out. The feel of autumn was in the air.

The young daughter knew her mother who was visiting London loved High Tea at Harrods. They walked in with confidence, having been there each year for the past twenty years, knowing they would go to the Georgian room on the fourth floor.  Having no reservations, they were thrilled they were seated in less than five minutes.

The young waiter from Guadalajara, took the order of Earl Grey and tea sandwiches, scones and sweets from the young daughter,  while the mother went to the recently renovated powder room.  There was an excitement about being at Harrods again.  The crystal chandelier sparkled, the immense fresh floral arrangement of hydrangeas and iris’s in a stunning pewter vase  sat on a table mid room adding to the elegance of the room and the invisible piano man tickling the ivories in lieu of the traditional harpist complemented the not forgotten charm of High Tea at the Queen’s Store.

Two beautiful women dressed in traditional Arabian clothes, the abaya and shayla, passed elegantly by in their long black gowns. The veil wrapping their head made their dark round eyes and stunning black brows stand out against their olive skin.  Their lips were colored in red.  They looked around the room and noticed there were four more women equally beautiful waiting to be seated, while a table of eight behind them was graced with more of the beauties. There were three other tables with men only.  The black, stunning eyes and hair with their olive skin reminded the mother of Omar Sharif. Some were older and taller, perhaps all related. They sat apart from the women true to their traditions they thought. They looked past their table as far as their eyes could see  There were 14 tables filled with these lovelies and their counterparts and about 10 now empty and about 3-4 with other nationalities. One dressed in a noticeably different color than the rest. Her color of clothes was lilac.  She had never seen so many beautiful Arabian women all in the same room.

There were other tables with non-Arabian guests, including theirs. They were non distinctive by comparison. They noticed how the men had Perrier at their tables and had very trendy mobile phones on hand. The men were not eating the tea fare, but were chatting among themselves while the women drank their tea. They wondered if High Tea was something they too had in their country with all the globalization and diversity of cultures everywhere.

Four mid age white, men dressed in beige suits walked through the dining room, each wearing a communication device behind their left ear as when they are trying to coordinate security. They all looked around with their eyes without much head movement trying to be discreet.  After the four left the dining area another man, looking like the chief of security came through and did the same thing.  Other guests were looking around the room.  Something of importance was to happen.

Both the mother and the daughter looked at each other with excitement. The waiter came to the table and the mother asked. “What is going on?” He replied.

What do you thinks is going on?

Here are the facts:

The waiter replied, “This is an annual affair.  Many from the Arab countries who are of course wealthy come to spend Ramadan in London.  It is over now and they will return back to their countries soon. But, they all come to High Tea and this is why we stay open even later than usual serving High Teas.  Today, though the Prince of the Arab country is here in the room with us.  You see he is sitting over there.

These are his security guards not Harrods security guards. Things are monitored from cameras for the store.  You rarely see security walking around the restaurant.  These families come every year for a change of weather and pace. The women are beautiful aren’t they?”

to be continued:

Maria Hilda Pinon, author of The Willows of Corona, a novel, and Candles in the Dark…poems to grieve, hope and love again.

www.mariahildapinon.com

Credit for you or who? Credit where Credit is due.

Do you give credit to whom it is due or do you take credit even if it is not due you?  Secretly the desire for glory can drive some habits that keep us small inside.  We often use the phrase…”s/he wants all the “sun” or can’ t share the spotlight.

But how much credit, how much time shall we give those who have earned or achieved something?  Have you ever paid attention to yourself and what you do or say when someone is sharing something of theirs? Do you even listen or is it patronizing listening?  Does your own unacknowledged desire to have some “sun” make you underhanded and you off handedly change the subject, quickly interrupt, not really listen, or look bored or hijack the moment to give yourself glory for something or pretend you were instrumental in their achievement behind their back?  This is not an uncommon experience if we are honest and observe behaviors, yet one we can do something about if we really want to grow and move to a higher consciousness that allows each of us to be our best self.

Acknowledgment and gratitude are the antidotes.

Acknowledgment that these demeaning behaviors are lying layered underneath the facade of being happy for someone’s achievement or success is a step in the right direction. Taking ownership of these behaviors gives them light and gives us credit for being honest. In surfacing these, they will no longer control us from under the facade, and by acknowledging these behaviors exist in us, this allows us to have a choice. This awareness will thwart them from  automatically showing up and by being unaware  keep us small or show us up as small.  Afterwards if we realize it, we feel bad about what we did or did not do. The challenge once brought to awareness is to then identify what triggers this so that you can preempt this behavior.

It is amazing to see how great it feels to truly acknowledge someone and their efforts or achievements. It opens your heart and makes it bigger with generosity.

Gratitude is the second antidote. In gratitude we can truly appreciate someone else’s contribution to the world and give real credit.  Anyone who has ever achieved anything in this world knows it takes effort, resolve, discipline, talent, intelligence, desire, and a host of wonderful attributes. Gratitude would allow us to be thrilled to know someone who can teach us to strengthen our own attributes for contributing to this world.

It is really a sign of how big you are inside, when you can give someone full credit for what is due them and just glow in their delight as you give them some of your light.  Be a light in the world, yours and others, the more light we give, the higher the consciousness we can achieve…

Give credit where credit is due, and begin by giving credit to yourself for reading this and considering this information as a step in the right direction of contributing to the next evolution that begins with yourself. Credit for you or who? Credit where credit is due.

Maria Hilda Pinon, author of The Willows of Corona, a novel, and Candles in the Dark…poems to grieve, hope and love again.

www.mariahildapinon.com