Category Archives: Oh my Philosophy

Travelling thoughts.

I am a big fan of explosm.net and I’ve been viewing their comics ever since the first one came out in 2005. Today’s comic was one that awe-struck me. First, here’s the comic:

What’s weird is the conversation that had occurred a day earlier with my friend at a local cafe.

*Sitting next to each other smoking argeeleh and watching the TV that’s on MBC 4*

*The program goes to adverts and the “Kinder Bueno” ad comes up*

In the ad, the child is imitating his older brother’s every move and at the end of the advert, they’re sitting on the same couch when the child takes a “Kinder Bueno” out of shirt pocket and the older brother asks for a piece and the child hands it to him.

As I sat there, the old “Twix” commercial scans through my cortex really quickly.

Shadi: “Do you notice how different this commercial is from the Twix one?”

Friend: “How so?”

Shadi: “Well basically, Twix teaches you to be a selfish asshole while Bueno teaches us that sharing is caring.”

*Pause as friend scratches his head*

Shadi: “God damn fucking subliminal messaging.”

Seriously? Out of the billions of thoughts for a comic strip, explosm.net steals the joke right out of my head on the same exact day? Weird, no?

Which makes me wonder, is it mere coincidence or does everything happen for a reason?

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Filed under Caricature, Life, Myself & I, Oh my Philosophy, Random thoughts

The Big Picture

We come into this world just as we leave it, a very few of us remembered for centuries to come, by millions of people, while the majority pass unannounced, their presence acknowledged by a petty few [relative to the millions]. Unfortunately, the rotation of life’s gears favors the fittest, the strongest, those that shone; leaving the mere man a distant memory to be remembered only by a loved one: a relative, a wife, a husband, a brother etc..

I was taught as a child that we are all equal, willing to trade places with any one at any time, because it wouldn’t matter, but it did. The perfect bubble of existence popped by the images portrayed in the every day wandering of my town’s streets. We’re in the twenty first century, but yet we seem to be moving in any direction but the correct one. We grow greedy by the second, devouring the main principles that were supposed to shape the community, that perfect community of love, care and unity. A community destroyed by no one but us.

Look at us, look at what we’ve become. We create mini-communities, our safe zones, that we hide in, refusing to let that which is different in; looking down upon one another. We judge, we stereotype, we’re the very hypocrites we despise, yet we continue believing that we’re correct. The human brain is designed to build “effective theories“, a way to explain something without going into the intricate details of it all. The same way I stop asking “How did the world come to existence?” and build an effective theory, be it “God” or “The Big Bang”, we create our own theories in every day living. We create them, to justify without asking why or how. They’re created in Physics, to help us simplify that which is impossible to explain, like how the law of gravity came to existence; but I’m ashamed to say our theories are the total opposite.

Our effective theories take place to justify why we stop giving, stop doing, stop asking. We stop asking ourselves why we’re here, convinced that we need to live life day by day until it’s taken from us, and then what? We fulfill our desires not wondering how it’s going to make a change, or how I can fulfill someone else’s desire.

I ramble, because I am tired of what I’ve been seeing lately. We’re getting closer to a meaningless existence, because we stop asking the essential questions. I’m not asking you to find an answer, you probably never will, but I’m asking you to never stop asking, exploring. Aleister Crowley once said: “I have never grown out of the infantile belief that the universe was made for me to suck.” We should find joy in the continual aim to grow, to exist with purpose, yet we seem to be doing it all wrong.

I see people spending their time talking, typing, signing petitions, copy pasting articles on the fad of “social media”, dubbing themselves “experts”. A link, an RT on Twitter or an article is merely a reflection of what someone else has come to think, what someone else  has analyzed and written down. We constantly want to quote the experts, build views based on the words of “professionals”, and we gobble up their garbage whether it’s what we really believe or not. Not every person who writes a book, scribbles text onto paper or speaks in front of a camera is an “expert”, just like you would ask for a second opinion after your first gynecology appointment, why do we not seek answers from all over?

I’m upset over a bunch of stuff, so I’ve created a mumbo jumbo of complaints all put in a paragraph that’s most likely incomprehensible, but I’m not going to edit it. I’m not trying to attack anyone, nor am I asking to build a statue for every man to restore “equality” [if that ever existed], but I want to see the day when we all strive to lead the flock, when we get rid of fads and be genuine in our approach to life. We are individuals, individuality means distinction, so each one of us is special, if we allow ourselves to be.

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The power of a positive mind

The power of a positive mind teaches self-fulfillment, the acceptance of who you are at any one time. Look at yourself at this point in time, forget the past and forget what you aspire to be; this is who you are. You are not a human, you are a soul disguised as a human being carrying out your daily chores. You are a soul, a free form of energy, floating in the atmosphere of power, subsided by nothing but your ego. Your ego is your most powerful enemy. An entity unlike no other, it masks your authenticity. Call it fear, pride, vanity; call it what you will call it, it will enslave you either/or.

Being positive is not about unicorns and rainbows, pooping butterflies or winning the lottery. Being positive is about having the ability to say: “I am happy.” Regardless of where you are, what you own, who you know and where you go; being positive is a state of reality. You often wonder if you’re happy, what happiness means, how do you achieve it. We look for answers beyond ourselves because we believe what we want is something intangible. “I’m going to travel to *insert ostentatious name of domination* because nothing I want is here.” Bullshit will travel with you, it’s not offered by one place of residence and omitted from another. You can live in the middle of the desert or on the plains of the Dominican Republic and still be as happy as a child who receives a lollipop when he’s been frantically begging for candy. Being positive is a state of mind, if you don’t have it, build it.

I hate following rules, following agendas, following a series of steps but somehow the human race has conformed to the fallacy of regulation so I will adopt this misconception for the greater good. I do not intend to spill out a list of demands, a guideline if you may say, to the means to reach happiness but I will place a few points that have always gotten me through the roughest of times. I am no preacher, no saint, no God and no philosopher but I am a simpleton who believes he can change the word. Call me a dreamer but I know that I am happy because of how I live my life.

1. There is no secret to happiness.

It’s true, there is no secret to achieving happiness, you just work hard at it. I don’t mean you have to work hard to get to that point called “happiness”, because that point does not exist. To me, happiness is sustaining a balance of the four identities of your own personal being: Emotionally, Physically, Psychologically & Energy-bound. Your own perception of happiness is the best and only real way to smile from the inside, out.

2. Your energy is for you to control.

Imagine your energy as a container filled with a unstable material. At any one point the substance may become volatile, evaporate into thin air, lessening the volume. At another point your energy might overflow, react, top it’s maximum level and eventually become too much to handle. The balance of your energy is a song played best solo. Adopt your own path to the renewal of your energy container. How? Again, that’s for you to find out. People, books, other people’s experiences can only help you so much, you have to figure out what makes you tick, what tops up and what empties your container of energy.

3. Never be afraid to vent.

Venting is a normal human experience, a politically correct term for “bitching”; we all do it and we all feel better, a load lifted off our shoulder. We don’t actually abolish the problem, but bottling up is not our better option. Bitching doesn’t bring any negative energy into your life, neither does it make you a negative person. Getting rid of the clutter in your brain, rearranging the garbage to make the shit look better. You’re just bringing order to chaos, if that makes any sense to you. Vent, bitch, let it out, but never wait for a solution. The solution is yours to figure out, the other side is only a means to listen, not offer solutions. [This is if you’re on the other side of the phone.]

4. If something’s not right, drop it.

You’re playing with a tennis ball, tossing it up and down. The tennis ball catches on fire by means of Satan’s evil magic, and you drop the ball, play with it no more. It’s as simple as that, if something hurts you, let it go. By hurt, I encompass everything from a person you can’t get over, to a friend who stabbed you in the back and right down to the jerk who cuts you off in traffic. Each and every person or event that causes you the least bit of an energy imbalance towards negativity, is not worth spending more energy on. Your energy container is turning volatile [Wala3at el 6ase] and you’re expending more energy in the wrong direction. Always channel your energy into that of which the return is good, great or null. Never into something that will put you down.

5. You are only as strong as you tell yourself you are.

Motivation is a self-extinguishing fire. A fire that dies out when you don’t feed it, or feed it inappropriately. Do not feed your motivation vanity, it will not flourish. Do not feed your motivation lies, it will only last it so long. Feed your motivation more motivation, build your fire from a stick and keep throwing in sticks till you’re up to a bonfire. “You are only as strong as you tell yourself you are.” Try it, wake up every single day, take a deep breath and tell yourself: “I am strong.” Tell yourself: “I am happy.” You are the strongest person, regardless of whether a stronger person is standing right next to you. I burst my ego bubble when I figured out that I am always going to find someone smarter and stronger than I am. You, compared to no body but yourself, are number one.

6. Do not be afraid of being alone.

Enjoying the company of yourself is a gift, an ability not all of us possess. When you learn to accept that you can have dinner on your own, go out by yourself, take yourself out then you have achieved an essential part of happiness. Believing that you need someone there to be happy or have fun, is believing that you are not complete. No one completes you, that’s a Disney fallacy portrayed by rolling credits after a “They lived happily ever after” marquee. You are complete, because you are one. One is a complete, well rounded number. Two is a pair, a couple, so you’re only complete if you can become one. Here’s an exercise I’ve come to love: Once a month, or week, whatever sounds more sane to you, take yourself out to dinner and a movie. Treat yourself, let your soul take out your body and have a wonderful time. Don’t be afraid of people staring at the “man eating alone” or the “woman watching a movie by herself”, for in reality, the above two acts are not supposed to involve other people. I visit a restaurant to eat, not chat, that’s my only purpose. I don’t need a partner at the movies, the irony in shushing a loose whisper after you chatter the initial trailers away with your buddy. Being alone is accepting that you are happy with yourself, nothing is needed to complete you.

I’m not trying to lecture anybody. Half of those who started reading this article pressed the magic “X” half way through it because it was too “long and philosophical”. I’m not preaching nor offering happiness, I’m trying to share a piece of my mind, my two cents on my personal experience of being happy.

Always smile, work in teams and always learn to accept criticism, it’s the only thing that builds your character, be it positive or negative. The second you learn to turn the negative into positive, you learn to take life as it’s supposed to be, sweet and simple.

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Filed under Life, Myself & I, Oh my Philosophy

Oh My Philosophy – Debate I

This post is not really a post, it’s more of a continuation to an online debate that occurred between me and a few of my followers on twitter. Namely @AmoonaM @AymanKhateeb @ZMasri @abuyazan & @ysmousa. The argument started when @abuyazan posted this link, showing the Israeli soldiers that were captured during the international water attack on the Mavi Marmara that occurred last week.The news details how the soldiers shed tears and one cried so hard that he pissed his own pants (not evident in the pictures).

[I stress on the international water attack so that everyone else who reads this and wants in on the debate understands that I am totally apposed and totally supportive of the humanitarian flotilla aid to try to break the siege on Gaza. I have been tweeting since day 1 of the tweet and still do till this day. I was there when we successfully made #Flotilla trend and I was there to support the latest vessel, the Rachel Corrie, as well.]

I was personally outraged by the article, not because it showed Israeli soldiers in anguish, but because it glorified what a bunch of activists with sticks and slingshots did to trained commandos. Little do we understand who these people are. To some of us, they are nothing but the enemy. To others, they are Jews, with little concern for what Judaism entails. They’re soldiers, trained specialists, physical human beings with a job: shoot to kill.

I happen to be friends with as many nationalities as I can, always curious to find out what goes on in the world, always curious to hear perceptions from different angles. One perception that has really changed the way I look at the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is my extensive friendship with Arab 48s. In our country they’re mostly hated, shunned in our country as Israelis and shunned in Israel as Arabs. They’re stuck in the middle, not allowed to travel to Syria or Lebanon, with barely anything more than the fact they stayed while we left our land. Our extensive hang outs with, let me be honest, usually a liter of Vodka, let’s out the truth of all conversations. I learned that being an Israeli means you’re forced to join the army right after high school. You graduate, 18 years of age, thrown into the most brutal of jobs.

Here is where my debate with the tweeps started. I was against the fact of the photos being published with the title they had, because we’re just as biased as they are when they put their news up. What is glorified as the “Piss on your pants you cowardly Jew.” in our newspaper would translate into “Brave soldier horrendously attacked by activists terrorists.” It’s all a game of political media, and we’re too narrow-minded to get that neither our news or their news will solve this problem. They’re barbaric actions of invading our ships were reciprocated by our barbaric news title. I’m not saying we did the same, nor anywhere near the same magnitude, but we’re always a step behind. The very reason we spit on our Arab governments and call them worthless is because we will always behind a step, 2 step, 100 steps behind.

I shall quote myself from the debate, when I said: “We do not choose where we are born: into what nation, religion or time.” The randomness of where I grow up, what religion I uptake and what environment I’m surrounded by is as chaotic as the odds that I might be an Israeli soldier carrying a gun. Who are you to tell me who I am because you grew up a Muslim in a nation where you learned that Palestine belongs to us and not the Jews. Now compare that to what an Israeli boy will learn, starting with King Solomon’s temple and leading to their right to own our land. According to The Torah, the Jews first holy temple was built right under the dome of the rock. Now tell me how I can be a young Jewish boy and not grow up to want to fight for “my country”?

You are patriotic, just as he is. Whether you believe that his opinions are false or not, you cannot expect to throw your idealism at him and have him take the action you want. You cannot expect him to throw arms and not shoot at you. You cannot expect him to not join the army, one of the most beneficial things an Israeli boy can do. He gets whatever job he wants, the best of benefits, and money to feed his family, in return for serving his army. When the shit hits the fan, and he’s standing in front of his “opposition” with an M16, you expect him to throw it and say “No, I won’t kill because it’s wrong?”

That’s just one side of a six-sided dice, the other being options or the lack there of. How do you know what financial conditions these people are in? Do you really believe that all Israelis have money because their government does? How many stories have you heard of soldiers who enlist solely for the purpose of providing money to a family that can’t live properly. Poverty reigns in all nations, not just ours. I will quote myself again from the Twitter debate: “The game of life could have put you there, and you would have to shoot that gun.” If you were to born into a Jewish family, indoctrinated with all the Zionist bureaucracy that we see today and you had the obligation of joining the armed forces, put in a situation of life or death, or let’s say shooting your gun or going to jail, could you really tell me you’d die or go to jail? The majority of you will be outraged right about now and say “I was taught never to kill” and I was taught never to lie but I do, don’t I? I was taught never to cheat, but I did that too. What makes you so special, sitting in the comfort of your own home, in front of a $1,000 laptop? What gives you the right to say that you’d rather die than fight. Let me give you an M16 right now, and tell me what you would do. Let me lock you up in a room with a bunch of angry activists pounding you with 30 pounds of steel bars and tell me what you would do? Would you stand tall and take the hits, or would you bleed and piss your fucking pants?

Do not tell me you know what a 19 year old Israeli soldier feel like when he goes to war, driven by a lunatic, chaotic government such as Israel. Do not tell me you would place down your weapon when you’re having the shit beat out of you. Do not tell me you only feel for martyrs of Palestine, for is not a human life worth anything be it Israeli? I’m tagged for life by my nationality? Or the actions I take be I put into a position that requires I use force? Do not laugh or ridicule those who pissed their pants in the Mavi Maramara, cry for those 19 activists that got shot in the head. Don’t tell me, those are the same soldiers that shot them! No, it’s not my issue and that was not what we were debating. We were debating the political side of things vs. the humanitarian side.

“I am an Israeli soldier, forced to go to war and shoot for a cause that I may or may not support, to feed my family or continue my education or otherwise. I am an Israeli soldier who pissed his pants when I was beat up by angry activists when I attacked their ship. I am an Israeli soldier, but at the end of the day I am a human being.”

You should not ridicule another human life, for you don’t know yourself to know your enemy. You do not know what the terrorist bomber who runs out in the name of Allah and puts on a straight face feels like. The likes of their leaders hide away in a red-carpet office building making their life decisions for them. No soldier enjoys going to war, and that is a fact that you can’t get past. You want to ridicule something, ridicule a picture of Netenyahu carrying a gun and pissing his pants when he gets his ass kicked. The people you ridicule are not the pawns, for in the game of chess they will all be wiped out. It’s checkmate, when you trap the King, not when you kill a pawn. I feel sorry for the crying soldier, maybe not as sorry as my Palestinian or Turkish martyrs, who fought for my cause, but I feel sorry that his luck landed him in a spot for people like you to ridicule.

Those of you who debated me should all change your names from “activists” to “optimists”, for your judgment is clouded by the passion you have for Palestine. I share the same passion, yet I know that our way of thinking will never get us ahead, never solve our problems and never break the siege on Gaza.

Long live the resistance, and bless the souls of those who passed away to fight a humanitarian cause. A humanitarian cause my friends, means everyone who got killed or wounded should be treated as a human being, not a Zionist nor a soldier.

That’s just my two cents, maybe because my (soon to arrive) doctor’s oath I’m going to be reciting will entail:

Preserve the strength of my body and of my soul that they ever be ready to cheerfully help and support rich and poor, good and bad, enemy as well as friend.

Now you may start the debate :).


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Filed under Oh my Philosophy, Religion, Saving the world, The fight for Palestine

My inner child – Writing V

My inner child enjoys music. The tapping beats of a percussion solo. The sweet melodic rhythm an acoustic gibson creates. The harsh riffs of my Ibanez. The enchanting jazz solos of the likes of B.B. King. All tasteful notes that ring in my ear.

I sat online yesterday, trying to find something to play on my electric. Finally, I remembered this song a friend suggested a while ago, for a band called “Iron & Wine”. The guitar playing is basically repetitive, although it took me a half hour to learn it just right. What really got me going were the lyrics. Never have so few lyrics made me interpret a song in 3,000 possible ways.

A boy with a coin he found in the weeds
With bullets and pages of trade magazines
Close to a car that flipped on the turn
When God left the ground to circle the world

A girl with a bird she found in the snow
Then flew up her gown and that’s how she knows
If God made her eyes for crying at birth
Then left the ground to circle the earth

A boy with a coin he crammed in his jeans
Then making a wish he tossed in the sea
Walked to a town that all of us burn
When God left the ground to circle the world

[Link to the song]

My interpretation of the song spans on life & death. Pretty white dresses, wishing wells and ocean views. The delivery room of a hospital, the balance of the world. Does anybody watch over us? Is all what we have, all what we go through written? Do we have the luxury of free will? All questions going through my mind.

What’s your interpretation of the song?

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Filed under Oh my Philosophy, Struggling with the unknown

My inner child – Writing IV

My inner child is the title to my last 3 posts for a reason. I started out believing that my inner child was the little boy who wanted to know everything, wanted to explore the world. The little boy who wanted to know how the ice-cream he enjoys is made, how my digestive system breaks it down to produce my love handles and how the man behind the counter could spend 365 days a year scooping up a ball of strawberry-flavored to place on my cone.

I came to realize, starting last week, after the enormous amount of stress from my exams and problems scattered here and there, that my inner child is also something else. My inner child is the little boy who’s scared when the room goes dark, when his mom travels away and he’s stuck in a house by himself. My inner child is the purest of hearts, betrayed by the cunning wolf to steal his lunch basket. My inner child is the most idiotic of them all, the one who believes life comes in an assortment of rainbows, unicorns and butterflies.

For what are we but children, mere children who walk on Earth. What are we but the embryos of an ever evolving and ever developing world. Cocoons that need years to grow into butterflies, but most of us emerge with no magic dust on our wings, to fall flat on your face. Others are swiped off the Earth as worms, by chirping early birds who first get their game. Who are we to not fear what we don’t know, to not be scared of a world that is not what it seems to be.

“I do not fear anything but God.” A statement that ticks me off, really makes my blood boil. You should be scared of what you don’t know, and before you fear nothing but God, take a good look around you and figure out what you do not know. I always used to be naive, as a child, thinking I’d always know everything. Times have changed, and what we know now is but the teachings of a school boy, a young ignorant child who first learns the colors of the rainbow, not knowing that what you see is mere junk to the colors that exist.

We all should be scared of everything around us. We should all fear the dark, the light, the sky and the oceans below. We should fear our neighbors, our friends, our enemies.

The little boy, the child, the potential senior citizen should mostly fear himself, for without fear of yourself, you will never appreciate what or who you are. You will never appreciate your maker, your destroyer and the path you are on. Fear yourself to ask yourself more, to figure out more about what goes on in your brain, your mind and your body. Ask yourself, who am I? Fear not that you will perish, but that you will perish not knowing who you are.

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Filed under Myself & I, Oh my Philosophy, Personal, Struggling with the unknown

My inner child – Writing III

I’ve been going to the ER a lot lately, learning everything from how to suture patients, to Glasgow-Coma scales, to how to handle situations under pressure. We had a patient fall dead last night, when I was there after 2 AM. He came in with a cardiac arrhythmia and didn’t respond to shock. It wasn’t the first time I see a patient drop dead in front of me, but for some reason it made me think of how little appreciation we give to life.

Look around you, let the closest person to your heart pop into your head. Now imagine him dropping dead right in front of you, or in the room next to you. Imagine his very existence wiped from the universe. His soul begins to disintegrate into thin air. His body lunch for our friendly earth worm. His mind shot into a trance of, wait, nothingness? He’s supposed to float around waiting for the armageddon? Seriously?

We take our friendships, our relationships and our very own existence for granted every single day. I’m not talking about what we’re blessed with and I don’t want you to google Somalia. I want you to look inside of you and ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Who am I?
  2. Why am I here?
  3. What does being alive mean?
  4. Do you believe in a God?
  5. When you die, what happens to you?

Many of you will struggle from question number 1, and realize that many of us do not know our own self. Some of you will have no problem answering who you are, but will fall short of the answer to why you’re here. Why are we all here? Our purpose, be it constructive or destructive, means what?

When you’ve passed those questions, ask yourself what’s going to happen when you exist no more. Can you imagine your inner self, the person reading this, not being able to sleep on your bed, walk to the supermarket, or even use a laptop. Can you imagine your ability to exist be taken away from you? Do you truly believe you’re going to die and become a pile of patience to a road to paradise? A place where everything you need is handed to you on a silver platter? Or do you believe God, the almighty lover of human kind, is going to burn the fuck out of your skin and bones because you chose to disagree with a few of “his” 10 commandments?

How often do we get the chance to discover ourselves, on our own. Meditate into a world of the unknown, seeking our true purpose. We are not droids sent to work, eat and get fat waiting for the day that atherosclerosis clogs up a major artery and we drop dead, we are more than that. I don’t think I’m going to die and then wait 1,000 years while my energy, my soul floats around aimlessly killing time by doing nothing at all. If that’s the case then we’re all going to suffer really bad before we meet his holiness.

When was the last time you thought about what you did, who you are or what your purpose in this life is? If you haven’t try answering the above 5 questions properly. Tell me down in the comments what you answered, I’d love to know.

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Filed under Oh my Philosophy, Struggling with the unknown