Tame the rioter within

Written by Suraj Shah.

I believe London is ready to tame the rioter within.

London’s blazin’, London’s streets gone crazy,
There’s only madness and mayhem about.
Why do these fierce Londoners riot and loot,
What makes them scream and shout?

It turns out that London merely reflects you and I,
We must go deep within to discover the true cause.
When we find the reason that London’s been looted,
Bet you half-a-penny it’ll be worth a grand applause.

What is it that we’re looking for, in our day to day,
What is it that we’re striving for and why?
It’s time now for that moment of truth to reveal itself,
Now ask yourself: “Are we living a smacking big lie?”

Put yourself for a moment in the rioter’s shoes,
Why did they trash, smash, loot and steal?
Damaging and claiming what was not theirs,
Thinking that this will bring them to an even keel.

What was the cause of their anger, the root of their greed,
Rising of their ego, and dodging what is true?
Had they simply forgotten who they are at their core?
Perhaps they are not so different from me and you.

You see, we all have a rioter, buried deep inside,
Bringing about mass mayhem yet trying to hide,
Causing so much friction in our day to day lives,
Many ups and downs, like the rise and fall of the tide.

Not content with what we have, so we go out to get more,
Things don’t go our way, so we shout and we cause hurt,
Desperately wanting to be seen, screaming out “I am here!”,
Trying to dodge the truth, so we cover each other with dirt.

It’s time to claim back the power from the rioter within,
Look directly in the eye and say “I ain’t doin’ this no more.”
Living the simple path of friendship, joy, care and calm,
From this moment forward I’m only working from my core.

Can we do it, I ask, can we transform our foundation?
Can we be better, act better and shed our old skin?
I know we can be calmer, certainly have more care,
I believe London is ready to tame the rioter within.

The ultimate mark of friendship

Written by Suraj Shah.

compassionate, straightforward, centred, fearless… a true friend.

They come, they go.
What makes the ultimate friend?

Takes me to true happiness.
That is the ultimate friend.

Points out my faults.
That is the ultimate friend.

Warns of the obstacles.
That is the ultimate friend.

Harbours no spite.
That is the ultimate friend.

Like a mother.
That is the ultimate friend.

Rises above the situations.
That is the ultimate friend.

Reminds me of impermanence.
That is the ultimate friend.

In birth, old age, death.
That is the ultimate friend.

(Photo courtesy of glassblower)

Brian Haw – purposefully stubborn to end innocent deaths

Written by Suraj Shah.

Love, Peace, Justice, Stop killing my kids.

For 10 years, peace campaigner Brian Haw sat firm in Parliament Square, helping London’s people, politicians and the global community at large increase awareness about the hundreds of people dying every day in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, killed as a result of greed, deluded fear and ignorance.

Brian didn’t want to stay away from his family for so long (his wife eventually divorced him), but he remained at his tent in Parliament Square, nomatter how much physical abuse he had to endure from drunks and thugs, endless harrassment from the police, or eviction attempts by Westminster Council.

Keen observers from around the world would film and photograph Brian and would ask how he slept. “Badly…”, he would respond, “how would you sleep if 200 babies were dying every day?” They fussed over how he ate (mostly chips and sugar-loaded coffee bought by people who visited him or were passing by). When he talked, he sounded tired… tired of people not taking responsibility for the inhumanness of their fellow man. (source: The Economist)

Regardless of how he slept, how he ate, how tired and worn he was, he would not move from his campaign spot in Parliament Square. However, in March 2011, a high court ruling by London’s mayor forced him to move his camp to the pavement. A few months later, Brian Haw died in Germany where he was receiving medical treatment for lung cancer.

In a tribute to the peace campaigner, a member of parliament noted: “Brian Haw’s 10 years of 24/7 protest in all weather against the futile wars in Iraq / Helmund deserves the nation’s thanks and admiration.”

Brian had lived in Worcestershire with his wife Kay and seven children before starting his protest in Parliament Square. he had said the children of Iraq and other countries were “every bit as valuable and worthy of love as my precious wife and children.” He added: “I want to go back to my own kids and look them in the face again, knowing that I’ve done all I can to try and save the children of Iraq and other countries who are dying because of my government’s unjust, amoral, fear – and money-driven policies.”

Can we take lessons of love, compassion, and firm resolution from Brian’s life? Can we see the world’s children as our own? How far do the qualities of friendship and compassion extend for each of us? What are we willing to do to speak on behalf of those facing violence and death due to our own ignorance?

(Photo courtesy of David Martyn Hunt)