Certain world events have made me question our need to have things. When hearing about those who have lost their material belongings during the Beirut blasts, I stopped and wondered about our quest for ownership in this world. Concepts like possessing, having, and accumulating belongings repelled me with a little more intensity. Where does it all go, eventually? The war between a bourgeoise’s lust for aesthetic luxuries and an ascetic’s aspiration for minimalist living rages on inside me, but a clear winner is beginning to emerge these days. As we get older, we value relationships, generosity, kindness and community, and it is the memories of these experiences that keep us rich inside, not our possessions. Why has society put so much value on having and less on being, one wonders? In half a second, it can all disintegrate and all you really want to know is if your loved ones made it alive, and safe. Profoundly grateful that those we know and love living in Beirut, remain intact, some marginally more than others. Heartfelt condolences for those who were less lucky.
There’s not much I can add about what happened in Beirut that hasn’t already been said and dissected by countless other media pundits, social observers, political commentators et al. A prayer for the beautiful people of a magnificent city, who deserve so much more than all that they have endured in these decades of turbulence. For those who want to help, you can go to ICRC’s website here https://www.icrc.org/en/donate/lebanon.
Meanwhile, reading this piece about what the displaced do for the displaced, might help remind us again of what it means, to live with some meaning.