As the year winds down, I have given myself a few days away from meetings, people and have given myself rest. Although, with this much time at my hands, I am more restless than ever, eager for the new year to begin and to continue on this wonderful journey one would just call life. I am not sure what else to call it.

Duty bound with family, Studies, Paraa activities, the odd socialising event, the constant catch up with people, updates and re-takes. Re-evaluations and re-developments. Changing and going forward while reflecting back with lessons learnt. Perhaps the duties don’t come in order, it feels more like Paraa, Studies and then family.
As much as I might like to disregard it, the family has been the most important element that has been keeping me going, adding members to the family, re-connecting with old members of the family and continually building the existing relationships. Its not adding to the Paraa family, not adding to the university or the social or personal, but rather to the universal family. Perhaps, this idea that the world is full of people, all equal, all deserving and undeserving as each other, no boundaries should exist, whether geographical or social, whether race or creed, and as we continue to grow as a race of human beings, we are seeing the obvious failures of the human race.

As I continue to grow and develop more and focused idea’s on my own truth, I reflect that my truth can only exist if it resonates with the universal truth – as subjective and abstract as that sounds- and the teachings and guidance of others that have followed this path. I make no distinction in creed and accept that there is but a flaw in the human being to absorb and create rules that are not in rational or logic with truth, and it is tough to reflect on this because it seems there are far more rules than there are people, each country has its own, each town has its own, each family has its own, each religion has its own, each political party has its own.. you get the gist of it all. How can you go forward? Without either abolishing rules that are inconsistent with truth, or create rules that are consistent with truth? It’s a very complex dilemma, that requires deep personal questions to be asked, and is the beginning of many deep philosophical texts.

What I wanted to reflect on, as 2011 winds down, is this ability in us to learn, to grow and continue growing. The way to do this is, for me, very simple. Take risks, make mistakes, self-reflect. This is not a race and there are no winners as there are no losers. The commodification of truth, of gratitude, of faith and believe in divine, has meant many think there is a shortcut to life, that one can cheat death, that the personal is disconnected to the whole, that we can go on hating our neighbour because we go to prayers and give our due respects in our spiritual space. Gratitude and being thankful are very powerful tools that as human beings, we should make full use of, we should always reflect on the things we are grateful for. There are few things we can take with us or leave behind, a trail of gratitude can take a person a long way.

I am not a business man, nor, do I think I am an entrepreneur of any description. I know little about how money can be generated quickly and efficiently and put to good use. But there is a huge lesson to be learnt there. Perhaps my life’s biggest lesson, for I am against the idea of accumulation of personal wealth, has started already. As Paraa develops slowly, organically, and struggles to take shape and form and give its voice and we look towards starting the first project on the ground, we forever question what it is we are trying to lead here, what exactly are we trying to accomplish? Justice? Equality? Freedom? Rights? And how far do we need to go before we can actually say we have achieved any of those ambitions?

So we put an idea onto the table, does it mean that idea is perfect? No. And I think, ultimately, that has been another big lesson this year, that sometimes, the idea wont go according to plan, and that improvisation, changing and chopping and re-development need to take place. Being strong enough to lead, even when the shepherd doesn’t know where the better field is, is perhaps idiocy, its perhaps better to stop, reflect and ask for help, but if there is nobody to help, what does the shepherd do? Does he continue walking blindly and hope? That is the only thing that he can do, for if he stops, he has no opportunity to learn and make the mistake. And sometimes, leading blindly is important, but only, and only, if all the other avenues have yielded no positive result.

For me, lessons to take to 2012 are quite simple: Be honest, take risks, make mistakes, self-reflect, ask questions – the sillier the better and be ambitious. These lessons are personal, but tie in with everything that I do, whether its studies, Paraa, or family and friends.

I think giving myself the last few days off has given me some time to gather my thoughts. There is a lot in there bursting at the seams, and I can only say that as I continue reading and digest my thoughts over the year, I will add a few more to the blog. It has been an immensely challenging year, perhaps, the craziest year to date, and it can only grow from here.

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