Generosity is more for me than having so many liquid assets that I have no choice but to be generous and give to charities in order to live an exravagant life style.
I tend to be a controlling little Hitler whenever I am in a position to offer some of my money or other valuables to those people used to doing .scraping along not livijng from month to month--for them that would be slumming with that Forbes crowd--metapjorically speaking.
My sense of self and belief in purpose becomes muddled when I am assigned duties and must take charge of financial grunt work like paying a phone bill or picking up the dry cleaning. Once upon a time, I had been been asked to piece together a summer arts program from litle more than pocket money. When that project ended I, the night beore our Friday fire sale, I called 9-11, the US emergency number.
First I flushed two ounces of hoochie coochie just in case. I suppose if I were a cop and someone who looked like and acted like me called the emergency number for some much neeeded best rest, I would search high and low for a pistol, shotgun, two ounces of hoochie choochie.
I was taken to the fourth wing of a hospital The ones that lock from ouitside. I checked in, was lucky to get my own room, and slept from 9 Saturday morning untik noon on Sunday,
I have hardly ever belonged to a community, but when I settle into one where I and my never-as-significant to me as she deserves fall head over heels in love with TV trays, pot roasts and mashed potatoes eaten during 60 minutes on CBS.
We are proud of ourselves as Americans whenever we obtain leadership rankd in a post-modern, nihilistic, intellectually vapid but well meaning universe.
We all want it all before we come to the ends of our roads. And we could have it all if it was not for the heart's need to see itself more than an equal. Charity and selflessness too often arise like the tempertaure on the years first hot summer night. It isn't there when we aren't looking for it. But when we find out that it has arrived, we become stockpilers of desires and gas tank topping off lone wolves. We have to think about number one, sometimes, no?
Life become half a heart beat. It is a thub without a dub. We lose interest in developing luxuriously admired characters.
From the command and control centers of our unflappable religions--which by the way is not even a distant cousin of of philosophy, we receive gentler ways too feel entitled to more than our fair shares.
Have you ever flown to the Arabian Gulf in the economy class cabins which are filled with strong backs and diry fingernails? sub-continental laborers? Pakistanis, Indians. Sudanese? Sri Lankans?
Their Jungian collectively shared histories memories of bread lines, and how they stood for hours in the mobs. They stood, they waited--standing and waiting, pushing and shoving, waiting in the blistering sun waiting and worrying whether or not the charity organizations will have enough bread for all. But sometimes the villages and suburbs Mumbai gluttonized ahead of you. . If you don't get bread and some veggies fot the family, for your family today it's because you didn't think. You dicked around. And certainly city news paper wrestlers arrive aead of you, early enough to stampede their way through the famished sea of thin brown bodies (all endowed with big handsome white teth)
Question my loving, rahman raheem Rabie, why did you give the poorest and hungriest people in your sublime domain the best teeth leftb them litle chew on?
My flight hit the air plane touches down; the wheels hit the tarmac and squeal like rats in a movie. in the movie. The engines have not yet been back thrustered and the craft is speeding down the runway at 200 miles on hour. You may or may not know it ay the time, but you beat death again.
The flight attendants pick up speaker phone and they tell the faminites stuffed in rows 6ABC through rows 30 ABC to please remain seated until the plane comes to a complete stop. In addition, while she is reminding the unlerned air travel passengers of this, they have already bolted from their seats and pushed people away to get their overhead luggage. The flight attendants form a riot squad and like police holding shields, parrying and thrusting batons, they move down the aisle to push aggressively the small, impoverished brown ones back into their seats. The brown faces are now fearful more out of a Pavlovian response to authority. They think to themselves, I don't own land, I pay protction money to the street gangs to in Lucknow just to keep my daughter pure, I owe my recruiter my first six months salary , when I finally get a holiday and go back to Lucknow, the baby will cry if I try to hold her. She will be walking and learning to squat behind a bush on her own. And now this! A white woman touches me; she pushes me into my seat. There may be other indignities in life, but right now, I cannot think of one. (Moreover, I never got my vegetarian meal once at the gate, one hundred men wearing ill-fitting sweatshop made sports clothes (soon they will be wearing blue jump suits) stand, push and shove and finally have their overhead luggage. They cram themselves up to the First class curtain where a male flight attendant is usually standing, nervously holding onto a can of mace in his pockets. First class and Business class must leave first and have a bit of a head start to passport control.
The brown men standing close, penises crushing up against bums. I stay seated, thumbing through my Esquire. I am the last off the plane. However, I know how to get to immigration. I run up stairs, not bewitched by my first site of an elevator or moving sidewalk and often the contractors’ mandoobs are waiting to muster together the work force that will work 5 1/2 days a week for the next three years, earning around 40 KD a month (about 125 US)
Eventually we all arrive at the immigration windows and form a queue that snakes around labyrinthine crowd control ropes as we slowly advance to the tin Kuwaiti boy who has "the stamp" We advance slowly because embarkation cards weren't filled out properly.
I get my kicks from these experiences whenever I see the 3 foot 9 inch Bangla Deshi house cleaners stuck in the crowds. They stand in line pushed forwards and backwards, probably being felt up as well, death fear freezes their faces. There have been rumors of rape in the Kuwaiti homes, but I have met more Kuwaitis since I have been back than the first time I was here. Having an exotic looking tri-lingual Farsi spouse has gotten me into homes and diwaniyas.
Until I was invited into the stately family palace compounds, I listened to and believed al the rumors that those poor girls work 25/7, sleep under kitchen tables, and are routinely sexually abused by some Al Joozah, drunken Jedi, are teenage sons. It happens. Bu then, it snowed in the UAE last year and Bush got re-elected. The rare incidental strangeness of this world. There is a food chain. You can always find one shoe on a highway that confirms the wilderness of a civilized world.
I could carry an elephant gun to keep my little universe motion Instead, on occasions I use what could be mistaken for generosity. In the airport lines waiting to get passport stamps, I keep an eye out for the mortified Bangla Deshi khedemas, the housekeepers and cooks. I tell them, "Sister, in these country women go first--and I gesture towards the front of the line. I keep it up until communication of some sort is established and the receiver understands the message. They leave their places--usually at the end of the long immigration queue, and furtively push forward; waving thanks to me discreetly, (we should not even be making contact).
Maybe it is not a selfless act. Maybe I like to see the men get heated up because not just any someone has gone to the front of line ahead of them. It was an illiterate woman whose husband has bailed and who won't see her children for three years--Grandma usually watches over them (What is the immigration officers run out of ink? Hearts break. Nevertheless, I am left with a warm and charitable spirit.
Later in the middle of the night when the sins of my decadent pas march around my darkened room like those broomsticks in Fantasia, I reflect on my good deeds.
But then I'm shallow( though I fake otherwise because I have a head full of one liners on just about every subject challenging mankind. Yes, yes, sometimes I can "be d'man.”
Therefore, it does not have to hit me hard to reach the deepest level of self-admiration. Agape. Selfless love for all things given to us by Allah including the clay that formed my body and the breath of life he put into my lungs. My good deed for them day is the only thing I have to connect me to the universe, to the stars and moons and to the rich soil that grows my potatoes and the orchards that give me my apple a day.