|God is one..|
I had a doctor once who was an atheist. This doctor like to jab me and my beliefs. He used to schedule my appointments deliberately on Saturdays, so I would have to call the receptionist and explain why, because of my religion that wouldn't work. Anyhow, one day, I read in the paper that his brother had died. So I make a condolence call.
After the way he treated you?. "In this job," the Reb said,"you don't retaliate."
So I go to his house, and he sees me. I can tell he is upset. I tell him I am sorry for his loss. And he says, with an angry face, "I envy you."
Why do you envy me ?
"Because when you lose someone you love, you can curse God. You can tell. You can blame him. You can demand to know why. But I don't believe in God. I'm a doctor. And I couldn't help my brother."
He was near tears. "Who do I blame?" he kept asking me. " There is no God. I can only blame myself."
That , he said , softly,is a terrible self-indictment."
Worse than an unanswered prayer?
"Oh yes. It is far more comforting to think God listens and said no, than to think that nobody's out there."
Forgive me for writing about "Have a little Faith " by Mitch Albom before talking about "City of Djinns" by William Darymple, which I read first. Its just that I am little lazy and writing about City of Djinns would take more effort :)
Mitch Albom, another of my favorite writer whose novels I simply adore, has come up with yet another thought provoking, soul stirring non fiction book which helps you rekindle your belief, hope that something supreme is there who is guiding you forever.
Ok not being spiritual :) I will just touch the main points that he highlighted which makes it another of his must read books.
Mitch, like in Tuesdays with Morrie, is asked by his ailing 82-year old hometown Rabbi(Jew priest) to deliver his eulogy. Eulogy is the speech that you give at ones funeral , talking about his good character, achievements and how he will be missed.
Mitch is stunned when the person whom he describes as the Man next to God, from whom he used to run away at every instance possible. asks him to do his eulogy. Thus starts a series of close meeting , interviews where they discuss about various aspects of lives.
Parallely he threads the story of his current town's Christian pastor , Henry,who had a dark past. The man was a criminal ,drug peddler and had served jail term for man - slaughter which he incidentally din't do. He narrates how Henry was given numerous chances to be a good person and everytime he faltered until the day came when he was about to be killed and he beg God to save and in return offered his life in his service. Thus on being saved , he devoted rest of his life in service of fellow human beings. He helped the homeless stay in a broken church where he preached them, served what little food he could manage, provide them what meagre facilities he could afford to fight the terrible cold of America. But despite all this he never lost hope and always motivated and helped others irrespective of their caste, creed or background.
When people including Mitch had apprehensions about him because of his terrible past , he said these lines which were so beautiful "You knew me , you knew that person I was but you don't know the person I want to become.", which tells us that sometimes we judge people because of their past when we just need to respect them for their present.
With due respect to Christianity and Judaism, I always had an impression that Christianity and Judaism is all about making communities i.e. belonging to a particular church or temple, following customs of a particular group and thats why I am always apprehensive of visiting a church as once a Pastor on seeing me there starting preaching me and dragging me to join their church. So I always thought with this tendency they can be no good. But in this book the Rabbi mentions certain instances when because if these closely knit communities people are provided the much needed financial and more so over moral support when they needed it the most. They were more of an extended family.
They talk about many topics like rituals. Rabbi says that rituals followed from generation to generation is what keeps one connected. Gives one the feeling of belonging to some thing.
He mentions that being happy is all about being contented and the you die a second death when you are forgotten thats why we all want to do something in our life so that people remember us , years after we have died.
When being asked about why marriage or in other words commitment is necessary, he tells that without being on the other side you cannot experience the beautiful things the other side has to offer.
The best part about the Reb (Mitch's name to the Rabbi) was that he din't try to give false logic or unconvincing motivation. When being asked why bad things happen to good people , without trying to unduly convince the other person ,he simply says he doesn't know.
When his daughter died at the age of 4, he like a normal person cursed God and got angry with him.
He talks about how necessary it is to say the things while you have time even if it is saying sorry to someone.
A man buried his wife, he was standing at her gravesite with the Reb. "I loved her", he whispered. "I mean I really loved her". The man broke down. "And I almost told her that once". Nothing haunts like the things we always don't say.
The best part was when he talks about various faiths and how a faith that teaches that its the only faith thats true is the most wrong faith in the whole world.
The following story , I don't remember if it was from this same book or I read somewhere else at the same time while I was reading this book, but this is one story that truly describes how all faith are true and they are complementary to each other.
Once in a city inhabited by all blind people, a news spread that an elephant is going to pass nearby the city the next day. So the people selected three people to go and find out how does he look like. So next day three blind people reached the spot and soon the elephant arrived . The first one touched his ear and found it to be like a big fan, always swinging, the second one touched his leg and found it like pillar , strong and cylindrical. and the last one touched his trunk and found it like a huge pipe. So each of them went back and reported their version of elephant. Each din't believe others version and were quite adamant that the description they gave was the correct one. Thats true of each religion. Each one of them are true in what they say but neither expect that what they have seen is just a part of it nor they are open to accept what the other person is saying.
Although this book talks of faith and Judaism and Christianity in particular but in no way it is making a statement rather like Mitch's previous work this one too makes you think , makes you question the things happening in your life and help you find answer to those.