Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Latest Read and Pondering

My latest read is Lipstick Jihad, which I’ve had for a bit but recently just picked up to continue reading.

It’s about an Iranian raised in America who returns to Iran as an American. An interesting read because the time period and location are things I can relate to; however, I struggle with the identity crisis. The more and more I learn the more I realize how important identity whether it’s religious, ethnical, cultural or otherwise is to people. I’m not entirely sure why that’s important. I suppose if I have to identify myself, I’d say that I am a creation of the greatest Creator……..I am a human.

I wonder in the big scheme of things what does it matter where I come from (cultural background), what does it matter what my religious affiliation, what does it matter where my ancestors derived from, what does it matter my gender, what does any of this matter? Why is so much in this life weighed on some if not all these factors?

I love this snippet from Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, “If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die?” I pull these specific words because I think they ring true for all humans. I don’t think one nation, culture, religion, ethnicity, gender, etc., is except from these very real words. More importantly, being human is so beautifully simple, but as humans we make our lives so incredibly difficult. Why?

14 comments:

Fatima said...

I studied The Merchant of Venice for A-Level English Literature :) And Shylock's speech was my favourite bit in the whole play. It echoes on such a human level that that speech can be taken out of that scene and said in so many contexts of life where injustice prevails. Its so simple yet tugs at your heart as a human. It tugs at my heart anyway :) x

dusk till dawn said...

ibeebarbie,
what a title? its just like ur (journey of life)
i think indentity is what ur parents given u. we all human and got feelings, but how we been brought up and educated got to do alot with it, its a path we all travel through it.if the earth was all flat we do not need to fall on our faces!!!!! if we all speak the same lingo then we can see that we can all live in peace and harmony,
its very difficuilt topic u put up.
thinking through has brought u up to this , welldone

ibeebarbie said...

Salam Fatima,

Absolutely 100% I agree with you on the tugging of the heart strings. Very very simple words and few at best, but ever so profound and moving at the core of our existence.

ibeebarbie said...

Salam Dusk Till Dawn,

Thank you! I appreciate your insight and agree the world would be a much more harmonious and peaceful environment if it weren't for our (yes PH I'm going to say it) egos.

The Lost Libyano said...

wonder in the big scheme of things what does it matter where I come from (cultural background), what does it matter what my religious affiliation, what does it matter where my ancestors derived from, what does it matter my gender, what does any of this matter?

Well in my opinion you gender, cultural, or ethnic background doesnt matter, as far as religouse affiliation, the fact that you wonder about it's importance show's that you obviosly either are ignorant of what ever it is you "belong to" or you do not belive in it.

Why do people who do not belive in the teachings and truths of a certain religion affiliate with it? I have always wondered. Its like saying I am a communist, but I dont belive in communism, pretty silly if you ask me, but thats just me.:)


Take Care's and Good Luck on you Journey in your life, I hope u find peace, and purpose.

Romana said...

"but as humans we make our lives so incredibly difficult. Why? "

because ibee, it goes back to how u are raised to live your life, how society sometimes dicates some ppl to give up their hopes and simply go with the flow of others...

ethics change, views change, your perception of values change sometimes as time goes by... i guess ppl simply dont keep track of their life, and simply change with those changes, not giving themselves the option of exploring within themselves and deciding whether this change is good for them or not... resulting to them hating and complicating their lives...

there are so many forms of us, human beings, its just some forget they are human along the way

Happymoi said...

I do feel that part of the reason why people are always in search of their identity is because as humans we have the need to belong. Belonging is esstential in our growth process. You could say that im a human, therefore i belong to the human race but that is never enough.

For me, having lived in 4 different countries with various religions and cultural backgrounds,it was hard for me to say im this or that in terms of defining myself with a culture or country because i wasnt big on either.... my parents installed in us that there is one thing that is constent in our lives that is our faith.... it was like a comfort for me to know that regardless where i was that i was a muslim...that being a muslim made me belong to whichever country i was in.. It gave me a sense of belonging to every country i was in, because i was truly that....many of you may argue well you are a libyan, true im and im proud of being one but there is alot about the libyan life that i dont know/understand, or digust easily even though i love libya sooooooooooo much but still there are lots of things i dont know about libya...
There is a need for us to have a certain identity to go on in this life...but that doesnt mean we have the right to undermine others....i have respect for all faiths,for all people, yet i have choosen a path for me. I have chosen to be a muslim, and in that i found happiness...

i totaly agree that it would be better if we focus on being humans,but reality is we each need that sense of belonging...and somehow we find comfort in finding that.

Safia speaks said...

That is exactly what I´ve tried to tell people every time I get the question "Where are you from?" - sigh!

ibeebarbie said...

Salam The Lost Libyano,
Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to comment.

For me personally, I still believe that each of us is a created being by the one and only Creator. My faith in God is very alive and real. For there is no other I desire to love or please more than God. There is no other whose opinion of me means more. After all, in the end, all that matters is how obedient and how well did we please and serve God.

However, often times I see the co-mingling of ethnical, cultural, and even gender influences that affect the aspect of “religion”, thus obliterating the beautiful truth as God has graciously bestowed upon us. It seems so simple to worship one God and love one another, but for our egos that just doesn’t seem to be enough.

Again, thank you for taking the time to share your insight, alhamdullilah. May you be blessed always.

ibeebarbie said...

Salam Romana,
Thank you for taking the time to post such a well thought out comment, alhamdullilah. I absolutely agree with you that through the shuffle, the ebb and flow, the shifting of the tides humans forget they are humans and that they are surrounded by other humans. Moreover, I believe you were absolutely dead on when you stated that people tend to absorb the influences of their surroundings, accepting it as their own, but perhaps never really looking inside to see if it’s what they truly believe, thus resulting in their lives becoming complicated and conflicted.

ibeebarbie said...

Salam Happymoi,
Thank you for sharing your heartfelt opinion, as always it’s greatly appreciated.

I agree with humans wanting and feeling the need to belong; however, I wonder if it isn’t the ego that somehow whispers “belonging isn’t enough---we are more important or special than that. We are…………” Because then, although we belong, we are still “different” because of our affiliations with either cultural, ethnical, gender or religion define us as such.

This was so well stated “There is a need for us to have a certain identity to go on in this life...but that doesn’t mean we have the right to undermine others....I have respect for all faiths, for all people, yet I have chosen a path for me. I have chosen to be a Muslim, and in that I found happiness...” that I don’t’ know if I could have said it better myself.

ibeebarbie said...

Salam Safia Speaks,
Thank you for stopping by! I’m sure at times it must feel exhausting trying to explain the same thing to everyone. So, in an attempt to humor people with an explanation what do you tell them? :-) I know you have an unbelievable gifting for language and a great sense of humor, so know your creativeness surely comes up with something interesting.

Safia speaks said...

Well, I usually tell them I took bus no. X from my home to the place we are standing and talking. That´s where I come from. When in a bad mood "I come from hell and are looking for you."

Sometimes I tell them (when Arab): "If born 100 years ago we would all have been Turks." - sometimes provoking them by adding: "And who knows in 100 years or so we might all be Israelis, if nothing gets done very soon!"

Or sometimes I am tired, merely saying: "Anee men alwatan al3arabi alkabeer.", getting weird looks in return.

But usually people insist on knowing and then I´ll have to explain my complicated family relations, explaining this and that. Soooo tiring...

ibeebarbie said...

LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL@When in a bad mood "I come from hell and are looking for you." Fabulous!!!!