#126 - LIFE ACCORDING TO AHMAD
A prayer offered by Antonio Banderas' character, Ahmad ibn Fadlan, in the movie "The 13th Warrior".
--I have squandered my days with plans of many things – this was not among them.
--But, at this moment, I beg only to live the next few minutes well.
For all we ought to have thought, but have not thought;
All we ought to have said, but have not said;
All we ought to have done, but have not done;
--I pray thee, God, for forgiveness.
My partner, who does not admit to being very religious, was always fascinated by this prayer.
Although I also liked it, it was Stephanie who caused me to look at it in a critical light.
This past Yule, I had the prayer done in calligraphy and framed for her.
(Thanks, Kathy. It looks awesome.)
What fascinates me is that Ahmad does not ask forgiveness for anything that he has done.
Although Christianity does have the concept of sins by commision and sins by ommision (and I assume other religions would have such as well), the stress in today's society, one must admit, is on commision.
To commit an immoral act - that marks you as a "sinner", or (in secular terms) a "bad person".
To take something that is not yours, to hit someone, especially someone helpless, simply to vent your anger or frustration.
Those are obvious wrongs.
At least, to me they are obvious.
However, when you leave this world, how will your life stack up in terms of what you did not do?
The kindness you did not offer?
The support you did not give?
The intervention you did not make?
Reminds me of the (disputed) quote by Edmund Burke: "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
I will make it through this life with a very short list of things I regret doing.
It is humbling to think of the number of things I will regret not doing.
04 April 2012 AD
04 April 52 JHE