I have always been driven to do the right and decent thing. And my standards are seldom self-serving. I often find myself having to go against my own wishes and desires, against some of my own internal predispositions even, to do what appears to me right and decent by the “traditional” if not “universal” standards for these things, albeit filtered through my personal experiences. After all, ignoring my desires and wishes is one thing, but I cannot ignore the dictates of reason conscience.
Perhaps, we are all like that. But I am driven, obsessed, to the point where my relation with the present is tenuous at best. I am past-propelled and future-driven. I cannot build a rapport with today. I cannot see the now, just what has been and what will be. I live my life torn between nostalgia and longing, between yesterday and tomorrow, bereft of an anchor. Well, almost. Had it not been for Khawla and the kids, I would be insane, and perhaps even dead.
I may not be so right being so obsessed about doing what is right, or what feels right, but that’s who I am at the heart of me, and for all the shortcomings that do come of out that, I have to accept who I am and go on living. The pursuit of happiness is not necessarily my goal, though I do stumble upon it occasionally, and I do find it indeed as it many say it would be, both beautiful and fleeting. Perhaps, this is why my relation with the present is also fleeting – it is not always so beautiful and alluring. Tomorrow could often be expected to be better.
For a liberal Arab, I can only live and feed on this hope.