Happy holidays and Merry Christmas to everyone, and in addition to good health, I wish everyone this: empathy. THe capacity to understand the feelings of other sentinent beings.
People think I am some sort of Iranian ultra-nationalist or even a paid agent of the Iranian regime when in fact this blog and my activism, such as it is, is not some sort of agenda I am being compensated for in any way. No. In fact quite the reverse this has caused me all sorts of grief. I just don't want to see anyone suffer or die for bullshit reasons, or any reason at all, to the extent that I can do anything about it, and this blog is all I have to offer.
So here's my wish to you all: to love your enemies, and try to find a place in your heart for them, no matter what, because ultimately countries and politics and everything else is just artificial; we're all just visitors to this state of being, and everything that seems so important and imminent today will pass and will be nothing more than a footnote in history (if that.)
One of my favorite writers is Douglas Adams. He passed away a few years ago. Amongst his writing, my favorite was his idea of an Empathy Weapon: a gun that didn't shoot bullets, but instead it caused the shooter to experience life from the point of view of the target. He called it the Point of View Gun (except that it was useless in the hands of women -- since they were already women.)
What a marvelous invention! But in fact I think we're all born with this "weapon", men or women. We just need to learn to use it more often.
So allow me this bit of nationalism by quoting a Persian poet named Saadi and his poem from 800 years ago, which also is engraved at the entrance of the United Nations building:
Bani aadam aazaye yek digarandke dar aafarinesh ze yek gooharand
cho ozvi be dard aavarad roozegaar
degar ozvhaa raa namaanad gharaar
to kaz mehnate digaraan bi ghami
nashaayad ke naamat nahand aadami
The Descendants of Adam are limbs of each other, created of one Essence.
When the calamity of time affects one limb, the other limbs cannot remain at rest.
If thou hast no sympathy for the troubles of others
Thou art unworthy to be called by the name of a Human.
And that is what I wish everyone, including myself, to aspire to in the coming year.
Or to quote another Persian poet Attar: This too shall pass.
This post is dedicated to my grandmother, Rashideh Naraghi, who passed away at the age of 97 in Tehran, Iran.