“For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you…”
“To be wounded by your own understanding of love; and to bleed willingly and joyfully.”
“On a journey the leader of the group is their servant.”
The first two lines are from the grand, immortal work of the Prophet, by the quintessential Lebanese poetic master, Khalil Gibran. The third is from that other Prophet, the one who is remembered, honored, and celebrated today, the Prophet Muhammed. Love and servanthood made immense and sweeping, by two giants that graced this transient world of ours, through the eternal shadows left by their illustrious presences, that still illuminate to this day, and for ages to come.
All the great faiths speak of humbling servanthood, and the Prophet Muhammed was no exception in his sublime presence and leadership of that pantheon. In fact, he was in the forefront of the messages that speak to giving of self, of one’s gifts, of all the love and charity that one may be capable of and to be found in the searching of the heart. If only there was greater dedication to looking, if only through more insistent praying, and if only there was genuine interest in following the powerful, unmatched teachings so gracefully enshrined, and which touches the heart, if not the very soul of our frail existences.
On this auspicious moment of reflecting upon and celebrating of the occasion of the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday, so many provocative issues, searching questionings, take root, emerge slowly, and then spread wings in troubled flight. For what do the peoples of this country live? In a society that proliferates with numerous houses of worship, and many men of God, what characterizes the existence of those claiming to be believing, adhering followers? What is it that distills at the soul and then stirs it into rippling?
For here we are, in the totality of endlessly torturous times, wounding and piercing blows thoughtlessly inflicted, and the continuing, deep-seated and terrible barbarities that are the essences of a fitful, nightmarish existence, which speaks of a shallow, if not empty godlessness. We attend pray and celebrate religiously on a national basis, yet there is so much of the devil that seeps into discourse, exchange, vision, and present and future. What and where are those values that combine to help us conquer our boisterous daily universe, our pathetic, childlike squabbles that make the infantile of one and of all, while our multitude of gifts lie fallow and go abegging?
The men from the Middle East, who conquered their times, their environments, and their contemporaries, through the winning of hearts, and by virtue of their impeccable natures, left for us Guyanese, on this day of celebration, a lush, incomparable record from which to absorb, to learn, and then to grow. Yet growing has been furthest from our minds, the most unreachable of vistas that elude, because of the slipperiness of our own serpentine silhouettes. When the sinuous predominates, then there is only coiling and gathering for launching of the spitting, arcing venoms that poison air around and over our heads, that corrode soil and environment under our feet, and that pollute and make radioactive the very breath that gives power to every word and sentiment uttered.
For when those words and sentiments-so much reflective of the pronounced passions that roil and rage and wrench-then to whither can there be the paltriest of progressions? When all we see and embrace and live for is mastery over adversary, now transformed into unforgivable archenemy? It is from this savaging milieu that our brotherly messages of this recognizing and that identifying and the overall embracing leap forward in the heedless hypocrisies of men past the point of caring, so consumed are they with their own selves and their own visions. They are stirring, encouraging, and deeply moving. And then there is the usual moving on too, as public duty has been done, and thus there is only energy and interest in resorting to the usual. It would be the usual that profanes the gifts we have received, the honors we bestow in thanksgiving, the games that we play. The Prophet(s) taught us. The learnings are still to come.
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