Monday, November 21, 2011

Scents And Sensibility


When the Monday morning post starts off with a pic of toilet roll, you just know the week has gone to shit before it even started.
Not just any toilet roll.
This is that premium variety of 3-ply scented toilet roll.
Seriously, who's using scented toilet-roll? I get the 3-ply thing, but scented? Why? What for?
You're wiping your butt with it, not wrapping wedding gifts in it, for crying out loud!
How stupid and naive must you be to believe that toilet roll which is Fruit Basket scented is going to make your butt smell like an orchard or an aisle in Fruit & Veg City?

Which brings me to my next rant.
Opinions.
We all know that everybody has them. We all know that everybody has the right to exercise them.
How about if we all respected each others right to voice them? Honestly people, it's gotten to the point where we believe the only opinion which one is allowed to have and voice, is our own. If anybody disagrees with what we have to say, we declare war and want to see blood.
What total crap! What kind of sick society must we live in when someone is too afraid to voice an opposing viewpoint for fear of being lambasted? Yet we want to call ourselves educated and western, living in a democracy? How foolish have we become to silence debate simply because we don't accept someone else's point of view?

This happened to me twice this weekend.
The first time was when a friend near beheaded me for having voiced a sporting opinion which he disagreed with. Out went the right to respectfully disagree, in came the battering ram & armour. Of course he was rather silent when my point was proven less than 24 hours later.

The next occasion was earlier this morning.
I watched a show on SABC2 titled "Muslim Identity".
I thought the content was thought provoking and inspiring. I found the guests to be objective and progressive in their thinking. With religion being such a complex and diverse topic, it would be near impossible to showcase every single viewpoint. The Bible has more than one version. The Holy Quraan has just one. Yet the Muslim world knows and understands that in the final days, there will be 73 different sects or variations of this one simple religion. How then could the producers cater for every single possible variation of just one Holy Book, taking into consideration that each group believed themselves to be the chosen ones?

Having said that, I found it interesting that for such an inspiring program, there were groups within the community who completely lost sight of the bigger picture and focused solely on their egos. Religious leaders and elders have done much in our communities to foster brotherhood and a sense of belonging, but they must be the first to admit that this brotherhood and belonging was the exclusive domain of their own people. There's a reason why non-Indians who came into the fold of Islam felt ostracized by the Indian community at large. Saying that this is not true is as insulting as telling a black person that they misunderstood Apartheid. You cannot assume to understand what others have had to endure, if you yourself have never been in that position.
So it was with a saddened heart that I watched our religious leaders & elders chastise the efforts of a few scholars simply because they felt that sufficient credit hadn't been bestowed their way.
What say them of humility and pride? What say the good book of those very same virtues?

Instead of seizing upon the opportunity to begin earnest dialogue to address the obvious social problems highlighted in the documentary, these men of cloth and their merry band of zealots chose to become that which they preach to be despised by God himself.
If I decided to feed the poor by offering them cake instead of bread, would you honestly criticize me for my actions instead of assisting by offering bread as well?
I would rather you roll up your sleeves and join me, then stand on the side and bark ridicule at my efforts.

I think the problem is partly due to the fact that religious leaders, and this is true of every religion, hate being questioned or having their authority challenged. With the advent of the internet, it has made it rather difficult for them to be the bastions of scripture, Quraanic verse and 'hadith' as we call it in Arabic.
Assuming our religious leaders are never wrong is as dangerous as likening them to faultless beings. You know what became of faultless beings back in the day, right? They were idolized and ultimately worshipped for their lack of faults. Imagine if people today had this view of some of our .... Oh wait!

Anyways, I guess what I'm saying is that we have our holy book and teachings as guides to help us become better human beings. How about we start applying the practical aspects to being better human beings before we decide to dissect the scripture, Quraanic verse and hadith looking for faults within others?
"Let him who has not sinned cast the first stone."

I wait with baited breath for bigots and zealots to berate and castigate me for having quoted from the Bible instead of the Quraan.

Oh woe is me....