EYES VS. HEART

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In the eyes of a innocent child, tens of thousands of peoples are fleeing from their homes with loss in their eyes and pain in their bodies.

But in the heart of an innocent child, they see planes and trucks flying and driving to save one another from displacement and war.

In the eyes of a child, animals of the past are gone and more are becoming extinct, ones they will never get to see. The bees and the butterflies that we all once enjoyed as kids.

But in the heart of a child, gardens and forests are grown and protected with farms and people working to sustain one another in sharing of fresh fruits and exploring beauties of this magical earth.

In the eyes of a child, homelessness exists and inequality is becoming a norm in their eyes as they walk by the abandoned and stare into stores full of riches.

But in the heart of a child, all people deserve the basics and the ill are not punished for their weakness, love is spread to each other in a communal system. No one is left behind, and no one is under cruel judgment.

The child sees a world of disastrous consumption and disparity, but the child feels a world of beautiful community and sustainability.

Where is our world headed, in the eyes of the innocent child or in the heart of the child?

– Laila Re

My opinion on world peace or lack thereof.

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The United States, so-called purveyors of peace and beacon of hope, has been at war almost continually since 1776, “in the past 236 years, the US has been fighting some type of conflict for 214 years or about 90% of the time.” The US is in trillions of dollars in debt and still remains the military superpower of the world. Its military budget is over $597 billion dollars, that is as much as the next top 14 countries funding put together.

At this moment, the US is “bombing Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Syria, Somalia, and possibly others.” That is at least 6 countries that the US is at war with, and it is costing trillions of dollars in borrowed money besides the millions of innocent civilians killed. All of these wars are for superpower interests and it is making the world more dangerous. The UNHCR says “65.3 million people, or one person in 113, were displaced from their homes by conflict and persecution in 2015…[it is] the highest level ever recorded and representing immense human suffering” Our global beliefs of the world fed by mainstream news is evidently based on ignorance and lies. Everything, unfortunately, is not fine and the current US presidential candidates – Clinton or Trump – is one sign of many that it is inherently corrupt.

Humanity is working towards a dead-end and a doomed fate because of this profit- driven lifestyle, which is clearly not sustainable for this planet. All 8 billion of us can’t have the “American dream” of a 4 bedroom house, 2 cars and 2 kids with steak dinner for all 4 family members . There is not enough space or natural resources for that kind of living. The earth is 70% water and less than 20% land. And only 2.5% of that water is fresh water for over 7.4 billion of us humans to use. We cannot afford to be wasteful and over-consuming.

I believe our priorities are totally self-destructive and pure madness. Is this the type of political, cultural and economic system that the world looks up to and believes in? Because this is only a recipe for disaster.

A quote I read today was “popularity is not a indication of quality.” Only because the American way of life dominates many nations, it does not mean its the best system. Popularity can be created by propaganda, force or limitation of options.

20th century wars were much more horrific and deadly in numbers but the quality of life in the 21st century continues to be worsening. Global inequality statistics state that “the richest 20 percent accounts for three-quarters of world income.” There are also over 40,000 species on the Endangered Species List which means our planets biodiversity is only declining. Biodiversity is critical for the Earth to remain alive since everything relies on one another. The Amazon rainforest also continues to decline due to de-forestation. I guess trees or oxygen is not on our global priority list either? Malcolm X once said, “Show me a capitalist and I will show you a blood-sucker.”

We are all being assimilated into this global western economy and culture that is evidently not sustainable, peaceful or healthy for us or the planet. The power of love for each other, the planet and the future is only weakening. So when will we, as individuals, take our power back to change direction? Or is human nature not intelligent or strong enough for creating lasting world peace?

I am trying not to be pessimistic but the results speak for itself on the current condition of humanity and this planet. This is about being logical and realistic. Are we that dependant on or brainwashed to this crazy system that we cant think long-term anymore? Short-term thinking is the death of our planet because profit-seeking without considering long-term implications is what is hurting us. We hear people chanting on the streets “people over profits” for a reason during social justice protests.

As the Native saying goes: “when the last tree has been cut down, the last fish caught, the last river poisoned, only then will we realize that one cannot eat money.”

There is endless forms of distractions or escapes in our society to keep us chasing the wrong things. However, we can never physically escape this planet. NASA, even with its annual $19 billion dollar funding, cannot save or transport us out of Earth when all we have left to eat is money.

What would your ideal, alternative society look like? What are the obstacles of and solutions for world peace?

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My philosophy on writing and why I write.

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As an Afghan muslim woman displaced when I was a toddler from my native land due to patriarchal and hegemonic wars, writing is more than just an art for consumption.

It is a journey into yourself to peacefully and creatively heal, defend and battle. It is an art that seeks justice from a world that had you eternally lost and cut off from your sacred land and ancestors. It is to thrive spiritually when your homeland has been a war-zone your entire life and its news of tragedies follows you everywhere. It is to write in a world that would rather think for you and assimilate you into blind, ignorant submission of a deeply racist, sexist, perpetually warring and capitalist world. Writing is about taking back your power by telling your own stories. When it comes to American history of social control, enslaved racialized people were not allowed to read or write; they would secretly teach each other literacy.

Writing is tapping into your own memories – the good, the bad and the ugly. As well as tapping into the depths of your soul for that eternal world that society ignored or devalued. It is about finding the essence of who you are before society institutionalized you through schooling for the next 12 years of your life. It is about recovering all the hurt, untold stories or questions within you that you did not have the time or ability to resolve. It is about re-claiming your life, history and identity.

It is the world of imagination and creating something out of nothing. It is thinking not only out of the box but destroying that box to share with the world your own unique message. It is the unwritten words that God inscribed within you through your dreams and visions. It is something that no one can take from you…because its written in the stars. The more you write, the closer you get to God, to yourself, and to the eternal world of your ancestors.

Writing like any art, with a social-justice focus, is a magic of its own – the deeper you get into it, the more battles you’ll find and win. Writing is a rebellion against a society that wants you to conform and consume in a econonomic system that is not sustainable for our planet. Writing is a weapon against oppression you live externally and internally – a way to combat the junk beliefs you act on and internalized. Besides a political fight, it is a free and safe therapy, creative outlet or medicine for ones everyday life issues.

Writing is real work that takes time, effort, skill and thought. Writers should be valued like any other respected profession. It is more than sharing information or entertainment but a defence and a shield — it is what makes the world go round through powerful and timeless songs like”One Love by Bob Marley” and “Changes by 2pac”; as well as poems like “Still I Rise from Maya Angelou” and “The Revolution Will Not be Televised by Gil Scott-Heron.”  This is why art is dangerous and why popular culture is so tightly controlled – it can empower the masses and break down walls. It is an eternal weapon passed on to you that makes your purpose immortal. As 21-year old Fred Hampton said, before being murdered by the FBI and Chicago Police, “you can kill the revolutionary but you can never kill the revolution.”

Writing is creating beauty in your life and making a positive difference in a world that needs healing and for the future generations to know the truth of the past. Writer Toni Morrison said “I wrote my first novel because I wanted to read it.” So as the saying goes: create what you want to see in the world. And that is what I intend to do.

This is my philosophy on writing and why I write.

Therefore, an important question to ask yourself before you start your journey of writing is: what is your philosophy as a writer and why do you write?

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If you would like to financially support my work/writing, click here to donate via PayPal.

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