Reflect and choose to live well
SHE woke up, offered her morning prayers, fed the baby, changed her diaper, made breakfast for herself and husband, then drove off with her husband to drop their baby girl at his mother's home.
Hours later, the couple lay dead in their hired black SUV after a ferocious gun battle with the police. Martyrdom was their goal. Killing 14 innocent people at a Christmas party would send them direct to heaven, they believed. But what about the six-month-old daughter that Tashfeen Malik loved?
The nursery crib, the baby oil, the magenta pink bath tub and stuffed toys will never again be touched by the mother with a pretty face and an eye for detail and decor - the purple floral shower curtains with matching bath mats, all those cleaning detergents, sanitisers and air fresheners; the pots of money-plants and cactus sitting on the kitchen counter and the dining table; pink rose bed sheets with the reclining pillows will never be used again by the occupants of the house.
How did they sleep on the last night of their lives - knowing they would get up in the morning, kill as many people as they possibly could and meet their Maker themselves.
Nobody returns from the other side to tell us what happens once you cross over. Only death-like silence.
The most heart-wrenching sight is a pair of silver booties with red bows that the mother will never again see her baby girl wear. All Tashfeen's and Farook's tomorrows have gone.
The young couple lived the American dream, yet they chose death over life. Dead before seeing their daughter's tomorrows. Saira Khan, Farook's sister and her husband, Farhan Khan, plan to adopt the orphaned baby to provide her "a stable upbringing", says the aunt.
"For the time being, we want her to enjoy her innocence. You know, we don't want her to know everything, but I think eventually she will find out probably on her own."
TIME TO REFLECT
No more tomorrows for many of the Muslims arriving in America, according to Republican presidential front runner Donald Trump, who calls the couple-turned terrorists "animals". Saner voices call Mr Trump a "fascist". Senator Bernie Sanders says: "Demagogues throughout our history have attempted to divide us (Americans) based on race, gender or country of origin… we are a weak nation when we allow racism and xenophobia to divide us." That may be so; still Mr Trump's bigotry succeeds in most Americans fearing Muslims.
The world is indeed in a flux. But how we live is our individual choice.
With 10 days left to a brand new year, whether one is just stepping outside in the world to earn a livelihood or lost in the magic of love for the spouse and kids or going through a mid-life crisis with greying hair and telltale wrinkles or walking towards the sunset years readying for tomorrows spent in retirement, this is the time to pause, review the fleeting year and prepare to turn the page to a new chapter headlined "Life".
Think good thoughts and good things will surely follow. This advice came from Wayne Dyer in his book Your Erroneous Zone way back in 1976.
Overnight it became an instant international bestseller. For those who remember spending leisurely hours in bookstores surely must recall the blue cover with the smiling face of the author who came to be known as "father of motivation".
Forty years later, Dr Dyer continues to inspire us with his books and words. "Take the last five minutes of your day and put your attention on everything that you would like to attract into your life: 'I am well. I am healed. I am in perfect health. I am abundant. I am happy.' Say those things to yourself. Then you'll marinate for eight hours and you'll awaken and you'll begin to attract the things that are in your subconscious mind."
Leaving behind all his tomorrows, one day in late August this year, the 75-year-old sage passed away having suffered from blood cancer for years. His ashes scattered at sea. "Wayne Dyer's image appears in the ocean after his ashes are spread there. Can you see his face?" tweeted his family members as they scattered the ashes.
Miracles come in moments, be ready and willing, Wayne Dyer would say.
MAKING OWN MEMORIES
The reality, most of you will point out, is different. And I agree. We live today in a world where breaking news every nanosecond is like a flash mob in our minds taking instant hold of our faculties. And most breaking news, mind you, is bad news.
Joy rarely comes out of the blue. Health, money matters, family issues, career zigzags and a host of unpleasant gyrations settle in, seldom to leave us worry free. We are physically and mentally challenged. "Every day is all there is," most of us believe.
In such a vapid scenario that life deals us, how is it possible to enjoy a few moments of crystal serenity, where our dreams dwell and emotions continue to be born each day?
You can read, hear or watch many "'feel-good" men and women promising awareness of the most fleeting of life's wonders. But do they really mean what they say? No. The whole bunch of such soothsayers has gotten rich at our expense.
The relationship between them and us is purely transactional. They want you to buy their books, videos and online courses. Here's one good doctor who advises us to "grab your mirror" and see your face. To follow next, according to him is: You'll discover that everything you want can be yours when you align how you feel about yourself with what you hope to attract in your life.
Make your own memories for better tomorrows. That is what is recorded on the heart is not Instagram-able to be shared on social media.
DAWN/ASIA NEWS NETWORK