A child in a field in Iran // Photo by Mrym Prhm

A Brief Look at Contentment and Motivation from Different Perspectives

In Western culture people sometimes tend to think of contentment as a synonym for complacency, as an erosion of self-improvement and motivation. Ambition becomes a vehicle through which we reach the final destination of our goals and dreams. After the goal is attained contentment naturally arises and provides a sense of feeling complete.

Or so it is reasoned.

Chasing contentment can be taken to extremes. To get a view of these two extremes, we can note the meeting between Alexander the Great and the philosopher Diogenes. Alexander said if Diogenes asked him for anything — just anything in the world…


An eye on the past and an eye on the present

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In a previous post I briefly explored Robert Jones’ White Too Long, a book that examines the deep cultural roots of white supremacy in American Christianity. The white evangelical’s invitation to have “a personal relationship with Jesus” focused on individual salvation while blurring the institutional background that supports and perpetuates racism. The rest of the book tackles a broad range of topics, such as Confederate monuments and symbols inside and outside the church, white Christian terrorism, and the different scriptural interpretations in both black and white Christian communities. In each chapter the author gives a few personal anecdotes about his…


The Great Wall of China // Photo by Joshua Webb

Whether you are a recent American graduate looking for work or an American frustrated with the high cost of living in America, you should consider working overseas. I have done it myself, and, speaking from experience, I highly recommend it for certain people. While there are pros and cons to every step we take in life, I would like to focus on the benefits of working overseas.

Low Cost of Living

If you are tired of living paycheck to paycheck in America, then you should consider working overseas. Some surveys estimate over 70% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. During the COVID-19 pandemic that…


What a personal relationship with Jesus means

Photo from pixabay.com

When browsing the library I like to start with the new books in front of the counter. Lo and behold there was Robert Jones’ White Too Long, an over two hundred page evaluation of the legacy of white supremacy in American Christianity. I licked my lips, checked it out, and prepared myself for what should prove to be an uncomfortable read for many white evangelical Christians in the South if they ever even bother to pick it up. The author is the founder of PRRI (the Public Religion Research Institute), which “explores and illuminates America’s changing cultural, religious, and political…


How three states are approaching this

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Across America remote workers are being lured away from the nation’s largest metropolitan cities. Some cities have been doing this for well over a year now, seeking to stop the increasing yearly exodus of its educated population, whereas others have started doing this as a result of COVID-19 and a need to inject their communities with more cash. As more and more workers go digital, will they choose to make their home elsewhere? While we consider this question, let’s consider three places looking for remote workers.

Tulsa Remote

Initially started in 2018 before the pandemic, Tulsa Remote offers $10,000 over a period…


Photo by Mrym Prhm

A Reflection

Similar to how we may take continental drift for granted, we may take little acts of kindness for granted too since these movements through space and time are so subtle and small. Worst of all we may become incognizant of their existence even though they are happening all around us. It is important to take notice of them, for they are seeds of kindness planted into the soil of our being. Why neglect these seeds? After the years go by, our inner landscape could potentially become a nourishing garden for others and ourselves.

Meeting Cáiyì

There is an elderly woman I know…


Two Muslim women talking // Photo by Mrym Prhm

On the Subject of Wife Beating

Introduction

“How do you treat women?”

“You treat them well, don’t you?”

“You don’t require women to cover their faces, do you?”

“You don’t beat women, do you?”

Maybe you have heard questions like these before when getting to know someone for the first time because you are a Muslim or are in some way associated with Islam. Maybe you have heard them from a first date. Maybe you have heard them from a colleague. Maybe you will hear them in the future. The common assumption behind variations of these questions is this: Islam treats women poorly, so anything associated with…


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“We are traversing darkness, where is the Khidr of the Path?
If not be here, the fire of deprivation will our worth destroy.”
-Hafiz

Every would-be apprentice must find her mentor. Some are temporary mentors and others are lifelong mentors; some mentors are encountered face-to-face and others are encountered intangibly through books; some mentors should be avoided at all costs and other mentors should be sought out fervently. Not only are mentors strictly for recent college graduates or current students, but they are mines of wisdom for learners of all ages.

In the Qur’an Moses encounters a mysterious individual named…


An image of the Qur’an // Image from pixabay.com

Rumi is known as one of the top best-selling poets in America and Britain. This seems paradoxical in America where Muslims are viewed in a much more negative light than other religious groups, especially by Evangelicals.¹ He lived and died a Muslim during the Middle Ages and quotes or alludes to over five hundred verses of the Qur’an in his masterpiece — the Masnavi.² He remains unmistakably Muslim, yet this phenomenon — the ability to garner so much interest in his poetry within an atmosphere that often remains suspicious and sometimes downright hostile to anything associated with Islam — is…


Image from pixabay.com

let’s play cactus buffalo
her long hair the breeze sighs in; her plump lips the sunlight holds onto
all things ask for her to grow

little warriors are creeping low,
eyeing their target — her faceless doll draped in navy blue
let’s play cactus buffalo

the shooters release their arrows
and the ringleader sings songs of the legendary deeds of the Sioux
all things ask for him to grow

after a direct hit, he transforms into a raging buffalo
the little warriors he runs off to pursue
let’s play cactus buffalo

“cactus buffalo is for boys only,” they say, “so…

Joshua

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