Great Minds are Young

It’s been almost 3 long long years since I updated this blog! I, however, have been visiting it very frequently, reading all posts over and over again, remembering the great minds I had the chance to meet, teach, inspire and empower (hoping they still remember me), and fighting a growing desire to reactivate it.

In truth, I stopped writing here on purpose, and sometimes even thought of deactivating my blog, because its purpose existed no more. It was meant to celebrate the talents and skills of the great young minds I encountered when I was a teacher and lost contact with when I started my own business. It might not seem like a valid convincing reason, but this blog was never about me, it has always been about them… Without their input, their talents, their minds, and their creativity it will struggle to survive defeating its own purpose.

But despite all that, I was never able to shut it down! The emotional connection I have with it is particularly tremendous. When I’m here I feel like skimming through an old family album filled with great memories and beautiful people. Every time I talk about it or read its content I feel nostalgic, proud, happy but also sad. I miss it a lot, I miss the passion that drove me to start it, I miss the strong belief I had in the young minds, I miss the enthusiasm and creativity of those I taught and inspired me. I miss the great sense of achievement and pride I had when succeeding in making someone believe in his or her talent and potential, and eventually draw, snap, paint, write or develop something… I miss me 5 years ago.

Tonight, like a lot of other late nights at the office, I needed to disconnect from the corporate world, so I logged in here and started reading my favorite posts and visiting my students’ work. But unlike any other night, I felt an irresistible urge to write again and revive this space that has always been a safe peaceful haven to me. I felt like writing to all those I believed in and all those I will believe in. I felt like writing for myself, for them, and for nobody at all…

Tonight, I decided that I will keep visiting, start writing again and reconnect to an old me that, despite its big resemblance to the current me, fills me with a lot of peace, energy, determination and passion. All very much needed at the moment😉

It feels great to be back… Good night, and see you soon!

I have always wondered how people get repeatedly ‘fooled’ by the exact same person, the exact same way, and manage to have the exact same astonishment and disappointment every single time! And what’s even more amazing (and frustrating for that matter) is that they never have a tiny doubt of what was going on until very very late!! The amount of hurt and misery they go through every single time is tremendous,  the state of shock is great, the reaction is violent, the ‘big’ decisions are firm, yet the exact same history repeats itself, over and over!!

(I am of course not referring to love relationships in particular, though they might be included)

Could it be love? A ‘good heart’? A ‘Spell’?!

(I’d say neither!!)

Assuming that when being crazily in love, one tends to be easily fooled by the sweet words and gestures of his beloved one despite any bitter reality he may be going through, and to positively justify any negative behavior or action from his partner (or son, or friend, etc.). And when things go really wrong, and in the name of their great love or bond, he lives in a great state of denial pretending their relation is stronger and small ‘bumps’ will go away when “people” cease to intervene or “foreign interventions” cease to exist, or simply when the sky is brighter…

And… Assuming that when one has a ‘good heart’ and a goodwill he tends to be always positive, fearing to doubt people’s intentions and always focusing on the good version of the story. He tends to trust people and believe whatever story they sell him, until he can buy no more…

And… Assuming we’re living in a fairy world and that “magic” actually exists, and that when under a spell, one can’t really control his behavior and rationalize, for only the wishes of his bewitcher are to be executed…

Assuming all the above, one may (or may not) understand people falling in for other (same) people’s bad intentions and actions more than once, but I just can’t understand how they manage to be equally shocked, hurt and disappointed every single time!

Any thoughts regarding this mystery/misery?

Interference in other’s business and personal life is an invasion of the other’s private space.

I Agree.

Watching someone drowning or ruining their life without being able to interfere is an invasion of all rules of humanity, compassion and care.

I Agree.

Tough dilemma!!

Respecting others’ “mature” decisions and freedom of making choices and embracing life the way they see it right is characteristic of any decent respectable human being, but it becomes a conscience burden when your ethics, beliefs, and principles contradict with those of the people you care about, and find no way to make a point or impose your opinion where, hypothetically, you have no right to do so. (Assuming you’re totally right, but anyway it wouldn’t be a dilemma if you were not 100% sure you were right (even if you’re not!!))

It is indeed extremely hard to find yourself helpless when you know you can help…

I just can’t seem to understand how life is always accused to be unfair when most people seem to be indifferent to all what’s happening around them, throwing away every last bit of compassion, solidarity, charity and humanity they ever had, if they had any…

Poverty, sickness and death in absolute are not unfair. Despite their painful nature, they can all be surmounted and dealt with should we have best of all a healthy surrounding. Life is not unfair; what’s truly unfair is how people treat “life” in every human they encounter, even the closest to them…

What’s unfair is poor kids not being able to go to school because there is not enough space nor enough education in public schools!

What’s unfair is poor people dying because they have no cash and no support!

What’s unfair  is teenage girls being forced to get married to lift some weight off their care takers’ shoulders!

What’s unfair is kids losing one or both parents only to find they lost all their present and future with them!

What’s unfair is 10% of the population having what could have spared the lives and dignities of the other 90%

What is unfair is being indifferent to and totally uninvolved in what could be fair to others!

What is totally unfair is to blame it on life when life should blame it on you!

Think about it!

There is quite a big difference between being successful and actually shining! As much as success is relative and at many instances subjective, shining can rarely be disputable and is mainly driven and caused by some magical qualities, namely passion, persistence, consistency, enthusiasm, empathy, and kindness …

Shining, in my opinion, is way beyond being just successful. Shining is inspirational, contagious, and energizing. Neither position, nor money, nor phony respect and obedience gained through power can define real success. In fact, true success keeps the person’s feet stiff on the ground yet agile when following an opportunity or a dream, his head in the sky yet humbly bent to the achievements of others, his eyes on the horizon yet vividly watching over his surrounding, and his heart as big as the world…

For me, no one can be successful in isolation from his surroundings. I can only be successful through the success of everyone around me, no matter my or their size, power or influence. Success can only be real when it makes its beholder and those surrounding him shine inside out!

In one of his amazing lectures, Benjamin Zander said “I have a definition of success. For me, it’s very simple. It’s not about wealth and fame and power. It’s about how many shining eyes I have around me”. I couldn’t agree more! I can only feel my worth as a mother, a teacher, a friend or a manager when the eyes of the people around me shine! And there is no way I could do that if my own eyes do not truly shine!

15-year-old Nada Al Dash is celebrating today a valuable heritage embraced by a particularly old building she felt connection with the moment she noticed. All she could see from its cracked walls and weary condition is authenticity and beauty.

Here’s a drawing of that building she would like to share with us! Enjoy!

Image

 

A calm yet strong personality, a sharp mind, and a great heart; that’s 15-year-old Egyptian Salma Ahmad, one of my special students who never ceased to exceed my expectations, leaving a big mark in my heart and mind!

Tonight, I would like to share with you one of Salma’s lovely creations; a poem she wrote this summer about “Human Nature”

Enjoy!

Human nature

I marvel how nature could ever find space

For so many strange contrasts in one human face

There’s thought and no thought, and there’s paleness and bloom

And bustle and sluggishness, pleasure and gloom.

There’s weakness, and strength both redundant and vain;

Such strength as, if ever affliction and pain

Could pierce through a temper that’s soft to disease,

Would be rational peace—a philosopher’s ease.

There’s indifference, alike when he fails or succeeds,

And full attention ten times as much as there are needs;

Pride where there’s no envy, there’s so much of joy;

And mildness, and spirit both forward and coy.

There’s freedom, and sometimes a diffident stare

Of shame scarcely seeming to know that she’s there,

There’s virtue, the title it surely may claim,

Yet wants heaven to know what is to be worthy the name.

This picture from nature may seem to depart,

Yet Man would at once run away with your heart;

And I for five centuries right gladly would be

Such an odd, such a kind happy creature as he.


  • Chantal Chahine Assaad: Thank you Areej! It means the world to me! keep in touch dear <3
  • Areej Darwish: I am so glad to see that you have been back on this blog. Memories are rushing back, when I opened to see your new blog post, memories that have been
  • Chantal Chahine Assaad: Jude!!! I miss you sooo much! Your words mean the world to me; they gave back to this blog its very purpose and gave me a unique feeling of pride and
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