By Sheikh Idris Watts
Chapter 4: Bestowing Dignity
The most essential human necessity is dignity. When you rob someone of their dignity, you are robbing him of his will to live. Your foremost mission in life is to confer dignity on all of God’s creatures.
Children humiliate one another; fight, argue, scream, and much worse, so they need to be made aware of how essential dignity is, both for themselves and for others.
You can literally change the life of a person by bestowing dignity, and you can change your own life by behaving with dignity.
The way to gauge someone’s morality is to see how they treat people that they don’t need.
No-one must be made to feel inferior.
The children should be expected to greet the guests as they come in the door and make them feel welcome. A simple hello is not enough. They should be able to look the guest in the eye, to really see him, and to recognize something that is uniquely his.
Words can create people. When you smile at someone, or tell them how good they look, or ask about their day, you are conferring dignity. When you listen to them you are conferring dignity. Unfortunately, most of us tend to confer dignity based on some imaginary measure of value.
The people from whom you expect the least are often the ones with the most to offer.
When a man is reduced to asking, he has lost his dignity. None of us should be reduced to that and so when someone begs, either give him something or say a good word at least.
If you can dignify someone, they may shape up their lives. They will feel as if they have betrayed their dignity.
Chapter 5: Honouring the Feminine
Man’s approach to life is very linear, direct and goal orientated. Women are a circle: less direct, gentler, more open to the world around them, inclined toward circles of family and relationships. Our gender, then, very much determines our approach to life and this is why we complement one another so much. The linear approach is too rigid and the woman comes into and makes a man’s life more flexible. Life is about balance between the two approaches of life.
A woman elevates and redeems a man. She makes him enjoy life, slow down, delight in his children, and seek less goal-oriented pursuits. “A man who has found a woman has found goodness.”
Women that put on too much make-up are overselling themselves. They don’t need to sell themselves. Women have real feminine dignity which shows in every aspect of their demeanour: in their softness, gentle disposition, and maturity. They should not become hard like men. The external should never be more important than the internal. Form is not greater than substance. If you are strong on the inside, you don’t need to show fake strength on the outside.
Divorce comes about in most cases due to a man who does not cherish the feminine. They take for granted all that their wives do for them and then the wife, as a result, becomes hard toward him and no longer loves him.
Too many men today refuse to get in touch with their softer side. They won’t talk about pain, or about feelings or failure, or about the things that really count, because they are afraid to appear weak. They think people will look at them as failures. So they hold everything inside, giving their emotions no outlet, and their feelings gnaw at them and destroy their lives. The first thing to be destroyed is their marriage. These men do not allow their wives to act as nurturers, which is their natural role. A woman cannot nurture a man who is unable to show emotion.
A man will naturally feel attraction to other women but the fact that he rejects those thoughts, goes home and chooses his wife over others is what makes his love for her so special. It puts life back into their relationship. Love is not meant to be static. It is designed to be constantly refreshed.
A woman does not want, necessarily, love from a husband because she can get that from others such as her parents. What she really wants is to be chosen. He has chosen her over others. This is why a man honours a woman.
Women need men because they have raw energy and can get things achieved. But male aggression, although necessary, if unchecked, becomes brutal. The feminine neutralizes this aggression and makes it more refined. This paves the way for transcendence. Women are naturally more spiritual than men. Women are healers.
Nobody makes movies about men who help their children with their homework, or who take out the garbage without being asked. We measure success today by our professional standing and the money in our accounts, not by the quality of our relationships.
The father and mother are the sun and moon for the child. The father brings life to the home, which illuminates the mother and makes her feel cherished and loved. From the light, together, they produce the joy in a home.
Irreconcilable differences in a marriage means that the attraction the two people once shared has been lost and all they are left with are the differences. That is what happens to many marriages: they stop choosing their partner.
You must always respect women and there is no room for those who put women down and call them names or make snide comments about them.
Chapter 6: Forgiveness
A child who doesn’t learn to forgive is a child who lives in a prison of his own making. Resentment, hostility, and anger have turned him into a prisoner. When we forgive, we are doing it first and foremost for ourselves.
You have to forgive people for their mistakes and move forward. To be angry and unforgiving only makes you hold onto the pain. Anger is a terrible thing. It robs a home of peace. It destroys marriages and ruins lives.
If your child is angry with you, you need to deal with it. You need to face the child. You need to figure out what is wrong. You must not let it fester. Volatility seems to be a standard these days and the happy home a thing of the past from an earlier gentler era. There is no television show selling us a happy marriage. Do you remember the Brady Bunch? They were always smiling and happy. We see that today as ridiculous. Does that mean it is wrong? No, rather, we see it as farfetched and unrealistic and that is very scary. Now we have the Simpsons to represent the model family!
You have to absorb the pain of the past and figure out how to filter it through your system and heal the wounds in your system so that they do not pass on to your own children. The great fear is that you will do as was done to you. You have to do something in order that they will never suffer what you did. You can’t control what others do to your children but you can control what you do to them. One cannot raise children in chaos and volatility. They have to see an example of loving parents and a well-ordered home.
You will be surprised how many homes are subjected to yelling and it is a horrendously destructive nature. The home must be a place where you can internalize peace. Then the children will be able to handle whatever life throws at them in the years to come.
There is no excuse for a parent to lose their temper and raise their voices.
Children don’t talk about truly important feelings. They internalise them and they get angry and distance themselves from you and the rest of the family.
Mistakes will be made but the family need to talk about them, when they cause each other pain. If they don’t talk about it, you can’t address it and by addressing it, we all can become better people.
Parents need to work on tone and delivery when addressing the children.
God can forgive you for wrongs done to Him such as blasphemy but He won’t forgive you for pain you cause others until you seek forgiveness from them.
You mustn’t judge people for what they do but by how far they have come. Not by the destination, but by the journey.
You can’t be fully human if you don’t learn forgiveness. Seeking forgiveness is about making the offender feel better and about restabilising the connection and by preventing the poison from ruining our hearts and turning them to stone. An unforgiving heart is a heavy one. When you don’t forgive, you become bitter and the feelings fester, affecting you more than it affects them. When you forgive, you truly free yourself.