A third-culture kid (TCK / 3CK) or trans-culture kid is "someone who, as a child, has spent a significant period of time in one or more cultures other than his or her own, thus integrating elements of those cultures and their own birth culture, into a third culture."


Sunday, September 9, 2012

Love and Marriage (Sinatra Is Not Here)

I celebrated my emancipation from two and a half months of a left foot wrapped up in various different casts designed by Ontario’s finest, attending a wedding last weekend. Mouki was my first friend in my University of Ottawa days and quickly became one of my best friends. The bountiful universe always finds a way of providing. I had the sincere pleasure of meeting his fiancée over two years ago - his match made in heaven – one fine Canada Day as my lovely wife and I fled Toronto’s G-20 week’s high-octane activities. It was truly a shame my cameo appearance on the big day was rather brief due to my convalescence, an air boot and my two favourite crutches following me around since June 24, 2012, restricting my movement, but I was honoured to witness the blessed union of two gentle and wonderful souls.

Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Abdilahi

The joyous ceremony was held in a peaceful garden filled with their family and friends, under a cozy late summer sun, the afternoon of September 1, 2012. The handsome groom and beautiful bride stood with that spark in their eyes before their guests supporting their commitment through their attendance. It is impossible to detach yourself from your own experience having taken the plunge, which sets in motion a cascade of flashbacks reminding you of your own moment standing at the altar. You can never forget that look in your better half’s gaze confirming that the future is and will be amazing. Just the thought of sharing an entire life with that person in front of you is the most comforting feeling ever. The most concise and accurate definition of this commitment, whether it be religious, civil or any other form of permanent union, could not have been better defined than what the justice of the peace leading the proceedings said in just four words: love, faith, trust and respect.

Virgil coined the timeless expression, “Love conquers all.” It is the foundation for successful relationships enabling a couple to transcend negatives that are materialised through individual expectations. My sister-in-law once mentioned, “The key to marriage is to never stop dating” and her system is still working after a decade of tying the knot. This is one of my favourite quotes on maintaining a healthy and loving relationship with your partner. The love that brings two people together is the purest feeling that comes about naturally and can hardly be expressed into words. You just know it is there. Expectations you place on each other and others, even on those outside of your holy union, can lead knock you off your path and descend into self-destruction. What we have in common as human beings is that we are not in control of entirely everything and the sooner we can realize this, we can live a fuller life. We have a restricted strangle hold on some situations while we attempt to forward our agendas yet we cannot fully materialise many desires that are interdependent on external circumstances, such as the free will of other people. True love has no expectations, except for love itself.

My father-in-law shared his key advice on preserving a constructive marriage on the day of my wedding, singling out that the most important is to give. I absolutely concur with him and I take this concept further, recommending that the best gift to one another aside from keeping the love going is faith, trust and respect. Without the heart feeling what it feels naturally, these three cannot coexist. Faith is a strong belief in your partner and their belief system, based on a spiritual apprehension rather than requiring material proof. Some find it impossible to believe in anything that is not tangible. Trust can be defined as essentially believing in the reliability of another person knowing that what he or she is doing is for the best of “us,” relieving the old guard of what is “mine” and what is “yours.” Last but not least, respect is a feeling of deep admiration for someone elicited by the abilities, qualities or achievements as they face success and hardships for the sake of the common relationship. These four fully nurtured and balanced can guide you to glory through the toughest of circumstances.

The wedding bands, the promise of a union

The wedding band you wear once the relationship is officially recognized symbolizes these four ingredients perfectly. The ring has neither beginning nor end, entailing that the union is eternal, as is your commitment to honouring these principles for as long as you both shall live. “Till death do you part,” as is customarily expressed in these ceremonies. There are plenty of ups and downs and, at any given moment, these highs or lows can appear endless. Your belief in each other is essential. Remember all the small things, as eventually these accumulate into a heavy positive when weighed on a balance, proving Virgil’s point. This is the light at the end of the tunnel on the road to overcome the tragic, make you stronger and fully enjoy the good times as a true gift from an abundant universe together. If you want something you have to work hard for it and the reward is a long, happy life. Remember, it is no longer “you” and “I.”

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