Dear Mothers

Dear Mothers,
Please forgive us children who do not understand
That You offer only a helping hand.
A hand that has the strength to hold up the sky
and we reject you and we make you cry…
Please forgive us…

I have seen the love of mothers, of all mothers
with a love unmatched, unfathomable, unconditional.
A mothers love is love in its truest and purest form
given to all her beloved children.
You show love how love should be.

How cursed am I that God fashioned me into a man
for i shall never know the joys of being a mother.

The joys of carrying within me the life of another.
The joys of holding in my arms the life that has come
from within me.

The joys of having two souls occupy my body.
But I shall never know these joys as anything other than a witness,
a witness to the most beautiful thing in existence.
The Love shared between mother and child.

Kahlil Gibran said that Your children are not your own.

Yes, your children are indeed not your own,
They are the children of this world.
And Dear Mothers,
Although you may not have given birth to me,
You are my mother too –
all mothers to all children.

Dear Mothers,
We grow up believing you are invincible,
infallible and immortal – nothing can hurt our mother
because she is strong, the strongest being we know.
And yet, we forget that you are human too
and time will oneday take you from us
too soon… it will always be too soon.

And while you live in this mortal world
you nurture us, you feed us, you love us
and the moment we can do these things without you
Dear Mother, we forget you and all you have done for us.
We strive for “freedom and Independence”
We want to “make our own decisions”
We curse you and cast you away…

and yet, you never stop loving us.
Your love defines the word “Unconditional”
for in your every heartbeat we hear the rhythm
say, “No matter what you do, I will always love you!”
..da-dum…da-dum…da-dum…………………………

We have never stopped to think of the pain of our Mothers,
Who have children grow up to be ungrateful and uncaring,
and when their child hurts another, the mother sits crying
as if it was her fault the child was the cause of another’s dying.
We know that no Mother brings up their child to be murderers,
just as no mother brings up their child to be murdered…

We think we feel pain.
When we bruise our knees and hurt our elbows, mama kissed it better.
When we ‘grow-up’ we’re ‘too old’ for our mothers love because
no one could ever know our pain and our pain is great,
We curse you for always trying to help for it is the nature
of love to want to ease the pain of the object of love –
who loves more truly than a mother loving her child?
Yet we charge you for interfering.
“Leave me alone!”
“Stay out of my life!”
Never will we ever say such words we would do anything to be able to swallow.

But nothing compares to a mothers love
and nothing compares to a mothers pain.
To be unappreciated by ones own children,
or worse rejected and cursed…

What hurts more than a C-Section Birthing Dead Babies?

Thank God for not fashioning me into a woman
for I shall never know such pain as that of a mother.

My Dear Mothers,
I’m sorry, I’m so sorry.
Please forgive me,
I love you,
Thank you.

Presentation at Cape Town PHP Meetup Group on Efficiency in a Development Environment

Last night, 17th November 2015, I had the honor of speaking alongside Sarah Nicholson at the Cape Town PHP Meetup Group on the topic of ‘Efficiency in a Development Environment‘.

The evening was wonderfully organised by Shaun Morrow, who sets up these events in the PHP community in Cape Town as a wonderful way of giving back. Continue reading “Presentation at Cape Town PHP Meetup Group on Efficiency in a Development Environment”

Lessons learned from an examined life – Part 1

In Plato’s Apology, which is a recollection of speeches of Socrates at his trial, he quotes Socrates for having said:

ὁ ἀνεξέταστος βίος οὐ βιωτὸς ἀνθρώπῳ
Vita nec scrutata vita nequam est.
“An unexamined life is not worth living.”

Socrates would have much rather given up his life than given up philosophy – and his wish was granted. While I still live, I would like to take the opportunity to reflect on some of the greatest lessons that have helped me live a fuller life – this will be written in parts. Lets begin.

1. Slow down to go further.

This is something I learned in practice whilst running, which can be applied to the rest of life, and has been for me. The world is working so hard to get more things done in less time, everything wants to be sped up. We have so many tools for alarms, for reminders, for time keeping. There is never enough time in a day.

Whilst running I learned this important lesson that if I wanted to go further the best way to do that was to slow down… you do this often enough, consistent enough, and you will find that your body learns and adapts and you can go further and further every time. Haste makes waste, as the old adage says.

I used to put a lot of effort into running a certain amount of kilometres in a certain amount of time. I was quite consistent and it quite consistently took a lot of the energy out of me. One day I decided that I would just listen to music and run slower instead of trying to make ‘time’. It was the best run I had. I enjoyed the beautiful scenery. I got to take in the sights around me, the dogs playing, the kids in the park, the beautiful blue sky and the setting sun. When I was done and checked my time, I was only 6 minutes longer than my previous consistent time – 6 minutes extra that gave me joy and I was barely tired. Slow down to go further.

2. Postponement is the greatest waste of life.

The things we regret the most in life are not the things we have done but the things we haven’t. While I am in my early-mid twenties, I look upon teenagers and little kids and wish that I did more when I was their age and had more time, less responsibilities, and higher energy levels. The trouble with doing this is that someone older is looking at me and wishing they did more when they were in their twenties.

Not doing the things that would bring us joy while we still have the ability to do it is the greatest waste of life, not doing the things we wanted to when we could is the greatest regret of the dying.

Do the things you love, do them often.

3. This above all: to thine own self be true.

These immortal words as said by Polonius in Hamlet have been part of my greatest source of contentment – my Eudaimonia as described by the greeks. We so often go through life trying to sacrifice who we are to please others, to keep the peace, or to be liked – all this ever brings us is suffering or displeasure.

What is the point pleasing someone else by causing suffering to oneself? What is the point in ‘keeping the peace’ when doing so creates an inner battle? What is the point being someone that others would like when we don’t love who that makes us?

Deathbeds and graves are built for one – let that be a place you go to having lived a life you are proud of. There is no one that its worth being untrue to yourself for – not your parents, your siblings, your spouse, your lover, your kids, or your friends. You alone will live with who you are, you alone will die with who you’ve been.

For many years I was false to myself in order to be accepted by others, and to be liked. Changing this and being true to myself has costed me most of the people I believed were my friends. It hurt, but it is amongst some of the best things I did for myself. These people who left my life simply vacated a position that would be better filled by someone who would love and appreciate who I really am not whom they wish me to be.

4. Question Everything.

Everyone has their own version of the world. Each version is made up of each persons own perceptual biases and self-inflicted limits. When presented with something in life that should be seen as an accepted truth, ask yourself if there is sufficient evidence to believe it before you make it part of your own reality (this does not apply to the laws of the universe though, the universe is how it is whether or not you believe it).

Questioning everything has allowed me the freedom to be true to myself and to actually know who I am. It has freed me from the shackles of other peoples limiting beliefs and ideas about the world. It has free me from indoctrination and allowed me to lose my religion. It has allowed me to judge what is right and wrong for myself without the delusions of others offering their own flavours into the mix.

5. This too shall pass.

The Romans would say this in good times and in bad. Everything is temporary. Understanding this allows us to not get too attached to good times and to happiness as well as to not be too affected by bad times – This too shall pass.

When I was younger and something would bother me, my brother would tell me:

“If you worry, you die. If you don’t worry, you still die. Why worry?”

In the grand scheme of things, whatever is getting you down today will not affect you in a week, month, or a year from now. In fact, it will grow you. This is an exciting way to view adversity, each new turmoil of today is shaping the beautiful you of tomorrow.

6. Let go of expectation.

Expectations are limits you set to life.

Letting go of expectations opens you are to fuller version of life without the limits you set on it. If you give someone a gift and expect reciprocity, you may get joy from the giving of the gift but will be disappointed if it is not returned – remove the expectation and all you have is the joy of your gifting. In relationships, if we remove all expectations from the beloved to behave in a certain way in relation to us we will have no disappointment if they act differently – we are left with all their little acts and gestures of kindness giving us immense joy.

Most disappointment arises from expectations that are not met. Little happiness is gained from matched expectations.

 

The Egg – A short story by Andy Weir

You were on your way home when you died.

It was a car accident. Nothing particularly remarkable, but fatal nonetheless. You left behind a wife and two children. It was a painless death. The EMTs tried their best to save you, but to no avail. Your body was so utterly shattered you were better off, trust me.

And that’s when you met me.

“What… what happened?” You asked. “Where am I?”

“You died,” I said, matter-of-factly. No point in mincing words. Continue reading “The Egg – A short story by Andy Weir”

On Love

“If you love a flower, don’t pick it up.
Because if you pick it up it dies and it ceases to be what you love.
So if you love a flower, let it be.
Love is not about possession.
Love is about appreciation.”
― Osho

Love has been the topic of poets, philosophers, and writers since time immemorial. I do not claim to have the answer to one of the oldest questions – but, I do have some thoughts on it which I will share. Continue reading “On Love”