Pride and Prejudice! 1

For Sunday March 24th 2013

Between Us Only!

Pride and Prejudice!

Or My Poor ‘African Cousin’!

  • The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong Mahatma Gandhi
  • Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them!Bruce Lee
  • The successful man will profit from his mistakes and try again in a different wayDale Carnegie

A Introduction

According to Wikipedia, Pride and Prejudice is a novel by Jane Austen, first published in 1813. The story follows the main character Elizabeth Bennet as she deals with issues of manners, upbringing, morality, education, and marriage in the society of the landed gentry of early 19th century England. Elizabeth is the second of five daughters of a country gentleman living near the fictional town of Meryton in Hertfordshire, near London. “Pride and Prejudice is also about that thing that all great novels consider – the search for self.

One day Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi stole a little money from his father’s pocket. He trembled to pick his father’s pocket. But he realized it was a great crime. This realization did not allow him to rest in peace. He became restless. His conscience pricked him. It was too much to bear. So, he decided that he should never steal anything from anybody under any circumstances. He did not stop at that.

Pride-Prejudice

Image Pride and Prejudice.

He wrote a letter of confession admitting his mistake and swore that he would never resort to stealing. But he was not bold enough to give the letter to his father. So, he put it in his pocket secretly. The father was so much moved by the confession that he instantly forgave self-correction, Gandhi became Mahatma Gandhi. So, let us learn to admit the mistakes done by us knowingly or unknowingly, and also to try not to commit the same mistake in our life time.

B The Story

I do not know about you but in my life’s time I have done some real big mistakes and errors in judgement in my life – but nothing is compared to when one is a young child and as a teenager. Some mistakes we may have regretted immediately afterwards – and others it took us a long time to admit – after fighting our own guilt and conscience – and we regret to the end of our lives even! I read this Snoopy character cartoon of ‘Make one mistake – and you will regret for the rest of your life!

African Woman 1

Image – African Woman

People like us from parents and grandparents that went to Africa cannot discount or deny the links to that distant land – even in family and relatives connections. Our parents and (great) grandparents went to Africa in dhows – and many decided to settle there after the dark part of our history in autocracy and persecution – and supported by those that preached freedom and democracy in more as rhetoric and falsehood than in reality – so long as ‘their interests’ are served – they do not care or feel for anybody else. It is only when there is ‘threat and or infringement’ that they dare to step in to ‘preserve and protect’ their own interests and well being only!

African Woman 2

Image African Woman

I had one of my late Uncles who spoke fluent Swahili – but he was embarrassed and feeling shameful that he did – and had even been to Africa – and that even one of his own sons had married a local girl – and got children too – his grandchildren. Of course he was more attuned to his children that were more near his own choices of in arranged marriages than the rebel prodigical son! I found this irony very much disturbing and upsetting – because it looked to me like that ostrich with head in the ground approach of life’s aspects.

He is not alone – there are many others just like him – in that you look the other way – and expect the whole world in this internet global age to do the same! As Obama had said – Those days are long gone! We need to wake up to the realization and truth only. That is why I always say – in Oman we have a great thing going – and to do the right correct ethical and right thing – even if eventually and belatedly sometimes! Now having preached and in rhetoric practice – I need to admit this part of my life’s history. In talking about myself – hopefully others will learn too – and some hopefully may even copy and emulate in the process!

African Woman 3

Image – African Women

As a young boy of about 8 years old – our late grandfather direct from Manah – had married a local girl there in that distant land. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder – and there is no colour, race, creed, nationality or ethnicity in love – truthfully and honestly speaking here! So whether we like it or not – we are related directly to the offsprings – even if they may look differently to us! Our father at the time was very rich and powerful – and he had the colonial District Commissioner as ‘his personal friend and protector’. I said about all these things before!

As you can guess – coming from a rich family – and you had just to say it – and your wish was given to you! I remembered when my late father had asked me – if I wanted anything gift in particular – and I told him that I wanted a horse! I meant a real live horse – but the poor man gave us a riding horse alright – but made of steel – and wheels! So being pampered and getting whatever we wanted as kids – our heads were in the clouds – spoilt and pompous – and looking down on other kids lesser fortunate than us. Including this poor girl from the family too! It was Eid day and the whole family had met in our late father’s rich house – and there were all of us there – including invited guests from outside!

So this poor girl wanted to ride my bicycle – and selfish me did not allow her to do so! But I allowed others – and that was the worst mean part of me – in prejudices! Pride and prejudice! She is one year older than me! We made amends few years ago – when I kneeled down and apologised to her what I did to her as a young boy.

Please pray for her too – because she needs your prayers too! Because she is very sick – and the message came in last Wednesday. She had insisted that I be informed – and I pray for her! And she …. has forgiven me – because she did instead ride the truck – that I bought for her husband’s business far later in life!

What more can I say? Take Care!

By Majid Al Suleimany

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Family Relationships! – By Majid Al Suleimany Reply

For Sunday August 19, 2012

 My Website – www.majidall.com

Between Us Only!

Family Relationships!

The person who severs the bond of kinship (family) will not enter ParadiseThe Hadith – Sahih Al Bukhari

Family is just accident. They don’t mean to get on your nerves. They don’t even mean to be your family, they just areMarsha Norman

A family is a place where minds come in contact with one anotherBuddha.

Families are forever, and have always wondered if the slogan was meant as a promise or a threatBrady Udall

All happy families resemble one another, but each unhappy family is unhappy in its own wayLeo Tolstoy

Last week my article – Respect Your Parents – went very well. It is still there in my above website.

 

A long time a good family sent me the following – which I will share with you today on this Happy Day of Eid. He sent me this with the advent and arrival of my first twin girls. He meant well. He just said – Quote – 

If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn . . .
If a child lives with hostility, he learns to fight . . .
If a child lives with fear, he learns to be apprehensive . . .
If a child lives with pity, he learns to feel sorry for himself . . .
If a child lives with ridicule, he learns to be shy . . .
If a child lives with jealousy, he learns to feel envy . . .
If a child lives with shame, he learns to feel guilty …

BUT

If a child lives with tolerance, he learns to be patient . . .
If a child lives with encouragement, he learns to be confident . . .
If a child lives with praise, he learns to be appreciative . . .
If a child lives with acceptance, he learns to love . .
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves…
If a child lives with honesty, he learns what truth is . . .
If a child lives with fairness, he learns justice . . .
If children live with recognition, they learn to have a goal.
If children live with sharing, they learn to be generous.
If a child lives with security, he learns to have faith in himself and those about him . . .
If a child lives with friendliness, he learns the world is a nice place in which to live – unquote.

Long time ago when our late Father was still alive, in our usual Friday family get-together – there were the usual now and then usual disagreements. Like in most times – the source and issue at stake was just minor and significant – where the best course of action was ‘to agree to disagree’ – and move on! But like I always say – After Offices – Family is where people most misbehave – and the worst of people, their nature and their character and personality come out!

So poor dad was saying to me – If your Mother and I are gone – you are supposed to be the de facto  head of this family – whether you like it or not – and whether you are rich or not – whether you are powerful and influential or not – and whether you are still respected and esteemed or not. It just does not make any difference or change to the situation – but you will still be that head. It is like if your nose smells – but you cannot cut it – because the loser is you. That smelling nose are some of the family members – or the ‘black sheep’ of the family in slang terms!

It is not an easy task for you – but the most important thing is to maintain respect and control more by persuasion and diplomacy and tact – rather than wanting to impose yourself on others – and your views, outlooks, focuses – and whatever else!

People will challenge you – people will try to upset and annoy you – people will try to bring you down – to disgrace and embarrass you – but you must still maintain a cool presence of mind – and try your level best to maintain as a leader by examples and demonstration in life – not empty words – but being real, practical and realistic!

Show by example and in demonstrative guidance and leadership – not by trying short term and quick measures that will only backfire – turn a bad situation more worse – and make you as The Loser – rather than The Winner! My father was not that much educated – but was a very wise man indeed! Sadly my father had passed away before he could see me his son writing!

I was watching this film in Al Jazeera TV which should inspire us all! The film is titled – Beirut Buenos Aires Beirut. An Argentinian woman (Graciela) woman goes in search of her Lebanese heritage and ends up uniting two families from two different worlds.

Graciela is a 37-year-old Argentinian woman of Lebanese descent living in Buenos Aires. Before her great-aunt died, she told Graciela a family secret. Her father [Mohammed], Lebanese by birth, did not die in Argentina. He left his family and returned to Lebanon. Angry at his departure, his wife and children cut off communication with him,” Graciela explains.

One of the last things they heard of Mohammed is that he married again and might have had more children in Lebanon. My great-aunt gave me a box with letters and photos that she had kept …. Some had never been read. Somebody once said that a letter always arrives at its destination,” Graciela says.

“When I saw the letters, I felt they had been left as a legacy. And I wanted to know more about my family history. Who was Mohammed? Why did he come to live in Argentina? Why did he return to Lebanon? Are there any relatives of mine on the other side of the world?”

 Graciela decided to look further into Mohammed’s life and started to retrace his story – from his initial arrival in Buenos Aires and his life in Argentina as an immigrant, to his return to Lebanon.

“I discovered Arab immigrants to Argentina were not as welcome as Europeans. Arab immigration was large, but discreet, because it has always faced intolerance and discrimination,” she says.

In search of Mohammed’s Lebanese family and in order to learn details of Mohammed’s life and her own roots, she travels to Lebanon to trace the threads of a personal story that unfolds as she delves deeper into her family’s past and a different culture.

And finally, after 50 years of separation, she is the catalyst for two families from two different worlds to reunite

Please do take the time and efforts on this Eid to be together with the family – and the relatives – the friends. Please do not forget to keep in touch and in contact with also those in home towns and villages – and those abroad too!

Eid Mubarak Greetings. Please take extra care and precaution – in driving – and please visit my upgraded and new website – www.bethesafedriver.com and let us pray for all those in wars and troubles – and cannot celebrate and be together as Family this time!

Take Care!

By Majid Al Suleimany