Humbled and Jumbled

By: Rhonda Nemri

The one thing I constantly tell myself is to not keep track of all the good I do, or show people what good I have done for them.

I think the word humble is thrown around way too much, that it is losing its pure definition. People tend to think they are humble, and this is great. But what does it actually mean to be humble? Can humble people also have bad intentions with other people? Can humble people treat others with disrespect? Are humble people only humble in certain instances, where it benefits them?

I consider myself to be humble. However, I wasn’t always so humble. In my early teens and early 20’s, I actually didn’t embrace who I was as a person. I constantly compared my life with others. I didn’t like my upbringing. I didn’t even associate myself as a Middle Easterner. But as I started going to college, I began to meet people who were not me. I met different races and ethnicity. The more I was around people who weren’t me, I was beginning to embrace my culture a lot more. Then I started experiencing trauma with people in my family dying. It was to the point from 2005-2014 we have lost people close to us. One of them being my father. These experiences made me appreciate life just a little more. But this writing isn’t about death. It is more about being humble and genuine about it.

The reason I bring this up is because I consider myself to be a fairly decent person, especially to others. I am self-aware to the point that I know when I am crossing the line, and when I need to apologize. Some people don’t want to come to terms when they are wrong. They believe it shows a side of weakness. I even believe that I am this way because I tend to want peace in my life. Even when people don’t deserve to receive my goodness, I still give them a piece of it. I am working through this right now on whether I should limit my goodness to others. It is not a form of being bad, it is more of helping myself have sanity, and remove the burden of always trying to make others feel good. I love making people feel good and bring their self-esteem up, but not when it’s getting in the way of my mental health.

Back to my first statement about not counting or keeping track of all the good I do. Sometimes when dealing with not so level headed people, they tend to push you to start recapping all that you have done for them, just to confirm if it is worth continuing being generous to them. People will live their lives being good in certain instances, but never really  a good person all around. I at times start thinking, “what if I start treating people the way they have treated me”. I am not talking about the ones that are good to me. I am speaking about the ones who are just there, and taking advantage of me.

I know some people know my personality enough to control my behavior towards them. It is like they know I will eventually crack down, and let them have their way. So they act outrageous, and feel they have no consequences, because I give them a free pass. But I am sure this will be changing soon. To the point where I will still be a good person, but not let people slide, and stomp all over me.

There are people in this world that walk around angry about how certain people treat them, but they are the same. They get so upset when someone is rude to them, or doesn’t respect them. Yet they are the same. If people would just follow their own advice, or follow the certain life quotes that they tend to post on social media; they would be okay humans.

We all have the ability to have goodness in our lives. But we are too misguided or distracted by the things that have no importance. Maybe it does have some importance to you to some extent, but it is short term. We tend to want success, but not work hard for it. Money of all things has been the cause for our turmoil and sadness. We are NOT humble human beings if we can’t even for a split second share our wealth, even if it is just a little bit. We all define wealth in different ways, however being rich in life is not only through money. Be rich with love, respect, happiness, compassion, consideration, etc. The list can be as long as you want.

With strangers I don’t tend to take to heart how they treat me, so I look more at the people in my life that I care about. However, I do care how I treat strangers as well. We should not be so centered on just family and close friends. There are people out there in this world that actually need you. Even if you don’t see it. How many times have you met a stranger, and spoke to them for just a moment, and realized you have much more in common with them, than you do with the people you call blood or best friends? I have met people randomly, even in a grocery store line that have shown me more compassion, than the people who call me a friend.

Just remember when you die, you don’t take all those goodies you bought. That nice car, watch, or house doesn’t get buried with you. But what does get buried with you is you, and the person you were to people. If you have just a month to live, what would you do? How would you spend your last days?

No matter what, I know I can still remain to be a good person. We are not perfect human beings. We never will be. But we can be decent humans walking this earth, and paving the way for the generations to come after us. This sounds cliche, but so what!? Why is it becoming easier to be ungenerous, disrespectful, and greedy?

Don’t count all your good, and share with the world what you have given, but know your self-worth and do not let people walk all over you. Be humble!

 

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Do They Know?

baba

 

Do they know? Do they feel? Do they wonder? Do they see? Do they expect? Do they have hope? Do they still love? These questions all surround one explicit idea, and inevitable part of our lives. The dying.

How hard it must be to come to reality that you will not get better. How terrifying it must be to know there is a chance you will one day take your last breath unexpectedly. Just that small ounce of hope they have. That look they give you that they have given up.

The most petrifying look you can see in their eyes. Would they still be here if they would have tried a little harder, or was this it? It was that last look you gave that you may not return home. The sickness that made you weaker. The sickness that took your strength. The sickness that made you doubt. The sickness that made you cry. The sickness that made you lose yourself. The sickness that left your family within darkness. The sickness that took you away. The difficulties to look before your last days. The difficulties it has been to accept, but regardless move forward. You were smart, and you didn’t kid yourself. You knew. You felt. You accepted it, without us knowing you did. You tried to be stronger, but it took over you. The last days of your life were the most difficult, because it was supposed to be the road to your recovery. But instead it was to a dark, and unsettling road. It was your destiny. It was your story coming to an end, but your memory to an eternal life.

Your eyes had darkness, your heart of gold.
Your sounds of love, your feelings of old.
You whispered in my ear, you are strong.
I looked to your eyes, and hymned your song.
The song of strength. The song of your life.
Despite your end, we still stand.
Never forget you, as we still hold your hand.
Your memories are forever ours.
As each one of us were your stars.
A father we loved together with those days.
Together as a family we made our ways.
As we still remember in our lives.
We think of you still standing by our side.

In Loving Memory of My Father July 26, 1960-June 8th, 2013

Don’t Let the “Good” Fool You

By Rhonda Nemri

I have come to realize over and over that the people you deal with will not always portray who you are as a person. That just because you are nice and considerate, does not mean they will be too. I have this conversation with people many times about genuine good people versus people who do good things, but are not always genuinely good. It is very irritating when meeting people, and always wondering are they really who they say they are. We can ask them what are some of your pet peeves, and they may respond…”rude people”, “mean people”, “liars”, “cheaters”, “inconsiderate people”, so on and so forth. Yet, they portray these types of negative characteristics on a daily basis. I’m nowhere near a perfect person, but I do believe I have a decent approach to how to treat people, even when they do not deserve to be treated well. Being a good person means not expecting people to constantly say you are good, and not constantly trying to convince others you are a good person. You can say you are nice and considerate person, but can you show for it?

I’ve met many people who tried to convince me of the person they are, yet they don’t truly fit the description they have set out for themselves. It is just a cover up to fully be accepted. Bad people exist in this world. Some know it, some don’t. I’ve come to write about this topic because it is becoming more apparent to me that people are self-centered, and tend to do things for themselves only. Now, doing something for yourself is not bad, but you have to stop and think to yourself, that there are people in your lives that deserve to be treated well.
Do not ever tell an inconsiderate person your feelings, or what hurts you in life. They do not listen to these words. They hear it, but they do not truly grasp it. This just makes you get emotionally hurt when you tell someone your feelings, when really they were not listening. You expect them to treat you differently when you tell them what you do not like. A considerate person would take what you say, and use it to their advantage to be a good person to you instead of turning things around on you.

Overall, the point is that life is not always pleasant, and it is not always on your side. We will meet people who belong in our lives, and we will meet people who will be in our lives for a short time and leave. Learning to let go the grudge of a bad person is hard, but what I always say is if you treat me bad, I won’t treat you bad, this is your ultimate choice to do so. But if you do treat me bad, I will make sure you know that I do not belong in your life, whether at all, or barely.

How The Middle Eastern Culture Can Be Toxic

By: Rhonda Nemri

Now I know some people will take this to offense, and say “how could you say this?” Or that I am not prideful of my culture. If that’s your first instinct about this, then you’ve already proven my title. However, there are many ways in the Arab culture that people depend on because it is “safe”, and a better excuse for getting away with their hostile behavior. I will explain what “culture” does to people, and how it affects our society; mainly the Arab community. The list will predominately focus on the Arab/Middle Eastern Culture, but can relate to the general idea of culture.

1. Culture is established by a group of people’s norms, and their own perceptions of life, and something that usually sticks with them for a lifetime.
2. Culture brings people together, and creates traditions that can be passed on to generations.
3. Culture allows you to identify with a group/race.
4. Culture is something good, but when taken too far, it can actually create toxicity among family, friends, co-workers, etc.
5. Saying “this is how it is supposed to be” is based off of what someone created to be the norm. Therefore basing everything you do in your life a norm that you only live by because someone else told you this is how it is supposed to be.
6. Culture makes people become hostile towards those who do not fully abide or engage in cultural norms.
7. Culture puts a timeframe for when to be married, when to have children, and requirements on whom you should be with/shouldn’t be with.
8. Culture creates an identity crisis. Arab/Middle Eastern culture versus other cultures can cause one to conflict between being authentic versus being what someone else wants.
9. Culture creates a sense of fear for living authentically. The constant thought that people are monitoring your behavior, and being worried of what other people think of you.
10. Culture makes people believe that because specific norms have been around for so long, that they are correct or acceptable.
11. Culture has created strict tendencies and traditions that have been the cause for separating family units, or has hindered the quality of life.
12. Culture has repeatedly made women to be the lesser equal. Invoking certain lifestyles, do this and don’t do that, limiting career opportunities, etc. As well as creating standards for men to be and act a certain way to appear masculine.
13. Culture for Middle Easterners has been a reciprocated understanding between several religious faiths. (Examples: Christians/Catholics and Muslims). Thus prohibiting many ideas, and new values from different men and women.
14. Culture does not allow mistakes, because your reputation is a representation of your family, and is always accounted for. If you make mistakes, then the people in your family also live through repercussions. People then bad mouth, or speak badly about each other.
15. Culture makes religious people focus more on cultural values, than religious values. This can be detrimental for those who try to live through their religion as Godly-like beings.
16. Lastly, Culture would be something great if people allowed each other to live freely, and not have to live for other people.

Final thoughts:

If we would see the negativity of our culture and become more positive we would be happy individuals. Stop paying attention to other people, and grow as an individual. Making someone suffer because of what you think is right, does not make you right. It’s bad enough we have to live to see the Middle East falling apart because of control, power, and greed. So why do this to the people who you call your family, friend, acquaintance, or someone you vaguely know. Give each other a chance to live life, and a chance to know them before you let culture dictate your every move in your life. Culture is important to have, but not to make you hostile towards humans.