Shahriar Shahriari

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Message of the Month

February, 2004

Guided by the Heart

Recently Iranian women have been receiving world-class recognition, and overturning all stereotypes, whether generated by friendly or hostile media. First the Nobel Peace Prize, and now an Oscar nomination, both of which are direct contradiction of the typical images that we have been fed by propaganda.

Yet politics aside, I have been thinking about the common points of these two very different awards.

Other than the obvious external points, there is something else that these two women have in common. They are both in love.

They are both in love with their professions, and find a very comfortable home there. They are also in love with other people, and bring their gifts to others.

Perhaps it is strange to think that a lawyer loves to bring her gift of being an advocate to the people, and depending on your political views, you may or may not agree with her kind of advocacy. And perhaps it is also strange to think that an actress loves to bring her gift of acting to others, give them food for thought, perhaps joy, or perhaps a chance to be beside themselves for a little while. And depending on your views about the film industry you may or may not agree with her kind of acting.

But when one is in love with what she does, she is not looking for reward or recognition. She is not trying to prove to others how good she can be. She is simply immersed in her endeavor, and loses herself in the act. She is brought to the moment, and responds to everything that lives in that moment.

Her reward is her ability to be involved with what she loves. The action is the reward. And at that level, the action is also the reason for being performed. No justification is needed, because she is in the flow.

When she follows the guidance of her heart, in spite of the challenges and difficulties, in the face of opposition and negativity, and with total disregard for the jealous and the dark-hearted, she is devoted to being herself. Being her own self is the reason for being herself. And doing her own thing, bringing her own unique gift to the world is the reason for the doing. It is the most human thing she can do.

Ironically, it is only when she does not need the reward or recognition, only when she is happy doing the thing, regardless of the commendation or condemnation of the world, only then will she find that ample rewards and world-class recognition will be showered upon her.

And if it is not, then it is not. She is still just as happy being her own unique individual self.

As a side note, they say things happen in 3ís. I am anxiously waiting for the third world-class surprise from an Iranian woman.

© Shahriar Shahriari
Los Angeles, CA
February 2004

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