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Sunday, February 17, 2013

"Image is everything, right?'

"Dare to love yourself, as if you were a rainbow
 with gold at both ends."
                        Aberjhani, "The river of winged dreams."

  One of the traditions of my Iranian friends as they prepare for the celebration of Nowruz, the Persian new year, is shopping for new clothes. Spring is just around the corner and its time for new beginnings and one of those new beginnings is expanding one's wardrobe!
 My dear friend Atefe, who lives in Tehran, excitedly left her home one day to go shopping at the local clothing store. While browsing around in the clothing store, she noticed Iranian security forces confronting the store owner. Later on she discovered that the security forces had found that the store owner was in violation of the Islamic dress code. She had failed to put hijabs on all of the mannequins and had to do so immediately or be arrested.
It is Islamic law in Iran for all women to be veiled when they go out publicly. If they fail to comply they can be fined and or arrested. But what a minute!! Help me out, please! Is there not a distinction between human beings and mannequins? What is a mannequin? A mannequin is a lifeless form of plastic representing a human being that is used to display the latest fashions in store windows!
Oh, I get it now!
The Islamic regime would prefer that all Iranians be just like mannequins. Mannequins don't speak or talk back or protest or whine or complain. These lifeless plastic forms wear whatever you put on them without a complaint and stand in a window all day.
It seems that image is everything according to Iranian law. Iranians are supposed to obey without complaint and wear what they are told much like the mannequins in the clothing store windows.
The sad reality to this "image is everything" scenario is that it reduces human beings to lifeless forms without hearts or souls. Human beings cannot exist under these conditions. They quickly lose all self worth and self esteem and that's exact what false religion does. It robs people of all meaning and purpose in life and reduces them to puppets on string.
God didn't create us as lifeless forms or puppets on a string. He created us with great value and worth and gave us a heart to discover the beauty of life that surrounds us. He breathed into our souls love, purpose and creativity to shine like the brilliant colors of the rainbow and to make a difference in a world of suffering and pain.
 Our lives wont shine very brightly if we are reduced to the morbid and depressing existence of mannequins in the store window.
But, image is everything, right?