Sunday, August 26, 2007

Internal Blindness: The Source of Individual and Global Imbalance

Internal Blindness: The Source of Individual and Global Imbalance
By: Nasir Al-Amin

It was once conveyed to me that it is not the eye that grows blind, but the heart. After reflecting on recent domestic and international affairs, I found myself saturated with two opposing feelings: one a sense of gratitude and the other, a feeling of discomfort. Specifically, I’m grateful for my present physical and material state as I woke up this morning in a tranquil state, void of concerns about food, clothing, shelter or my physical security; yet I also feel a sense of discomfort and/or inner agitation.

One reality that globalization has crystallized, is that we are all citizens of a global community, and therefore what occurs in one part of the world will either directly or indirectly affect us all. Unfortunately, in our international community we have millions of men, women and children suffering through unspeakable conditions. In our community, women desperate to feed their children are forced to engage in prostitution. We live in an era that has seen our adolescent, teenage boys and girls calling the streets their home and selling anything including their bodies to survive. Conspicuous consumption, greed, materialism, and nihilism have inundated humanity and reduced our diverse and beautiful cultures, belief systems and personal aspirations to a “me-first” mentality, which blinds the heart from seeing and feeling the daily suffering that transpires in our community. This blinding of the heart, what I refer to as internal blindness, thwarts our individual and collective efforts to alleviate the suffering that occurs in what we affectionately refer to as humanity.

If for a moment we can accept this premise of internal blindness, then I further assert that at the core of internal blindness, is a dichotomy between humanity’s inner beliefs and outward actions. It is that dichotomy and/or contradiction that leads to such unacceptable conditions for humanity’s marginalized and underserved. I know at a micro level, personally what I believe, my values, ethics and creed are not always reflected in my actions hence, fostering a state of imbalance between my creed and actions. Subsequently, that imbalance has hampered my spiritual and intellectual growth, and thus abates and undermines my capacity to serve humanity. On a macro level, this simple equation of internal and external equilibrium, a balance between creed and action, is a vital component to alleviating the inhumane conditions that some segments of our community face. Therefore, is it plausible that the first step on the path of healing humanity is individual balance?

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