Tag Archives: endurance

Why the World Loves New York

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NEW DELHI — I remember so well the first time I visited New York. I was 13, and though I had been to America once before, New York had deliberately been kept from me. The name alone conjured an adult world of glamour and excitement, the mythic New York of the 1980s: Andy Warhol and Studio 54. “It’s not a place for children,” my mother said firmly.

And my God, was she right! Within moments of our arrival in Manhattan, the gay pride parade started. It was not then the tame, corporate affair it is now. It was a bacchanal. There were not one, but two parades, and we were swept up — myself, my mother and her friend, a longtime New Yorker — in the unofficial one heading down Fifth Avenue. It was a roistering river of humanity, half in leather, half nude. Unruly regiments, hair blue, pink and green, went past, covered in glitter, tattoos and fairy dust.

For a sheltered teenager from India, who had never so much as seen an exposed breast in real life, let alone a set of pierced genitals, it was all deeply shocking, and deeply exhilarating. It was 1994. The AIDS epidemic raged and gay rights were a distant dream; the parade was full of the spirit of revolution.

I did not know at the time that I would later return to the city for the very same freedoms that were being fought for in the street that day. What I do know is that the Delhi prude in me died that June afternoon. I watched my mother’s friend, a tall statuesque woman, stride casually into a restroom. When a big, burly man tried to point out that it was the men’s toilet, she said, “So? This is New York!”

It’s hard not to think of that time now. Most of the eight people killed in the terrorist attack in Lower Manhattan on Tuesday were foreigners visiting New York. One group, especially — five friends from Argentina celebrating the 30th anniversary of their high school graduation — had been planning their trip for years. They were part of a great unorganized commonwealth of people, out in the world, whose imagination New York has captured. It is heartbreaking to think that those for whom the dream of New York is most alluring should be the victims of so vivid a nightmare.

I now live for part of the year in New York. My husband is here, and the city is my adoptive home. We who are fortunate enough to complain of delayed trains, traffic and astronomical rent often forget the power of the city as a symbol in the world beyond. I lived for years, on the outside, hankering after New York. I had spent one magical year here after college, living as a lodger in the Bowery loft of the feminist writer Kate Millet. I was here for the great blackout of 2003, when people poured joyously into the streets, and underwear parties broke out in bars.

In youth, it is easy to mistake New York as a sphere of license. But, as I got older, the city acquired a deeper meaning. I was here when my father, a politician in Pakistan, was the victim of a terrorist attack, killed in 2011 by his own bodyguard for defending a Christian woman accused of blasphemy. The next day, a cold January morning, I trudged past the small hillocks of begrimed ice that had formed on the curb, and bought a copy of this newspaper at a deli at Avenue A and Third Street. A picture of my father’s killer was on the front page.

I left New York a day later and did not return for years.

But, all the time that I was away, the city came more and more to seem like a sanctuary. The freedoms that had seemed superficial turned out to have a more profound meaning: New York was where I would return when a populist demagogue took power in India. New York was where I would marry, and live freely, with a tall white man from Tennessee. New York was where I would feel insulated when a populist demagogue took power in America.

The Austrian writer Stefan Zweig was in New York a hundred years ago, as his own world of the Austro-Hungarian Empire was on the eve of ruin. He saw “foaming cascades of light in Times Square” and marveled at the city’s “captivating nocturnal beauty.” One thing that struck Zweig, a Jew who would die by his own hand in 1942 as Nazi night fell over Europe, was this: “No one asked about my nationality, my religion, my origin,” he wrote in his memoir. “But there was work waiting for people to do it, and that was all that counted.”

This is the New York that endures, and this is the New York that was attacked on a bright blue Halloween afternoon.

Aatish Taseer (@aatishtaseer) is a contributing opinion writer and the author, most recently, of the novel “The Way Things Were.”

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10 Reasons Why You Should Never Give Up

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1. HEAVEN Has A Plan For You

You were brought into this world for a divine reason. You have been placed here on earth by Heaven to help others and to learn about your life’s purpose. Before you were even born, Heaven mapped out a plan for you that you are meant to fulfill. All the people you have met, the challenges you have faced, and the opportunity that has come has been selected for you to learn grow and experience life to the fullest.

2. You Are Never Alone

As you walk through life, know that you are never alone. Walking silently next to you are your Angels, Spirit Guide, and Loved ones that have passed on. They are your support team in Heaven, encouraging you to take the next step and to keep pushing forward no matter what. They believe in you, and will send you signs along the way to remind you that they are nearby. You can talk to them at any time and they will be there ready to listen. Do you feel their presence?

3. You are being shown a learning experience by Heaven.

Each challenge you are faced with is meant to be a learning experience designed for you to overcome, and to help you grow stronger. Know that Heaven would never let you take on something that you cannot handle. If Heaven leads you to it, Heaven will lead you through it. At the end of the day, it’s the struggles, challenges and life lessons that shape who we are, and teach us the most about life. Look at some of the challenges that you are being faced with. What can you do to grow and move past them? How can you change your life for the better? Heaven will often ‘test’ us by leading us through the same situation or challenge over and over and over again until we decide to change. Once you do, your whole life becomes so much easier, and positive energy and opportunity starts to flow in.

4. After a hurricane comes a rainbow

Heaven wants you to know that there is light even in the darkest of places. Nothing is ever permanent. Life is constant and ever changing. Even death is not permanent instead it is a transition that takes us to the paradise where our family awaits us. Know that no matter how challenging a situation might seem now, in the end, it will all make sense to you and is all part of your soul’s evolution. Take a moment to think about the past, and how the challenges of yesterday created a better tomorrow. That is Heavens reasoning, your eyes are being opened to the future so that you can grow, prosper, and be happy.

5. New opportunity awaits you.

There is enough room in the universe for everyone. Stay motivated and keep your eye on the future. Opportunity is all around you, and it is never too late to take control of your life or to pursue new opportunity. Think of each day as a gift that you have been given with new surprises to unlock. Heaven wants to remind you that whatever you put your mind to, you can accomplish. Thoughts are actually waves of energy that can manifest and attract what you are thinking of. That being said; keep your thoughts positive and your intuition set for the future. Let Heaven and the universe direct you to the steps to start your next chapter. It is unwritten and waiting for you!

6. You are growing spiritually

The more you learn, the more you grow. The more time you spend here on earth, the more you learn about yourself. You learn about your strengths that will help you and your weaknesses that you can improve upon for the better. Spirituality is about being the best person that you can be while getting back in touch with your soul. If you are feeling out of control or off balance, dig deep into your spirituality. You can use your faith as a crutch to lean on and spend time reconnecting with nature and the outdoors. Take a moment to open your door and look around. All the things you see the birds, the bees, the trees, the floors were placed here for you to enjoy and take advantage of. Heaven placed these things here to remind you of all the beauty life has to offer.

7. You are discovering a new support system.

As you move through life, you will meet new people who will help you along your life’s journey. Some will walk with you and help you, and others will be pulled to fulfill their own destiny. Keep walking forward and know that Heaven will provide to you the people who will help you. Sometimes people leave our life so that others can come in and lead us the rest of the way. Know in your heart that Heaven will provide you the best path to take. Listen to the advice of others and the guidance that they are giving you. The hardest thing is trying to do everything yourself, know that it’s okay to have a support system and let others in. Sometimes it’s when we let our guard down that everything just seems to get better.

8. You are stronger than you think you are.

If you have made it this far, you can make it the rest of the way! Sometimes life gets tough but its how you pick yourself up and carry on that is the real blessing. You have been given the strength that you need to move forward from any situation. No matter how hard or challenging a situation may seem, take a moment to remind yourself that you are strong. When life gets overwhelming go back to the drawing board and create a life’s plan. Make a promise to yourself that you will put yourself first and do whatever it takes to find happiness. In Heaven’s eyes you are the most important person in this world. When you feel you have come to a crossroad, ask Heaven and your Angels to lead you the rest of the way.

9. You have the power to manifest.

Heaven is listening to your thoughts, needs and desires. They want you to be happy, to achieve greatness, and find peace. The journey to happiness and success begins with a strong mindset and determination. When you make up your mind and put all your intention on something, Heaven and the Universe pays attention and will help you. Heaven will lead you to the steps to take but it’s up to you to go where you are being lead without fear. Each night before you go to bed, tell your Angels and the Universe what you want to achieve, or what you want in life. This is part of the ‘Law of Attraction’ and it will help your soul on the journey of fulfilling your dreams!

10. The future is much brighter than you think.

There is always something good that comes out of each day, even the days you may think are bad. Always choose to look for the silver lining. When you reach the other side, everything you have been through will all be explained, and you will see Heavens divine reason. Their message to you is never give up. Put your hand over your heart and feel your heart beating. The beating you feel is your life’s purpose and Heaven reassuring you that there is a reason you are alive. Live fearlessly through each day, and know that the future is BRIGHT! Forgive often, laugh loud and smile, that is the key to Happiness!