Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Tolerance

I have been struggling recently with the word "Tolerance". How can you tolerate people and everything that makes them special? I think that the operative words could be "understanding" and "respect."

That way, we do not limit ourselves into falsely believing that we are tolerating people for the sake of appearances. Respect and understanding means that we have a choice to accept that every single human being is different to us, but we do not have to change to become them.

It opens us up, however, to possibilities and the ability to explore their differences with an open mind, kindness and dignity.

Someone recently told me that they accept diversity..I asked them how? Their answer spoke volumes... "I tolerate the people that I interact with!"..

This conversation has been bugging me. It is not unusual to hear someone say that they tolerate someone, a circumstance, a behaviour, a culture, a religion etc..but why was it so disturbing to hear it now?

Maybe, my awareness has changed or my consciousness is different, but it actually pissed me off. Why do we as human beings, profess to tolerate some one, if we do not like that person. Is it because we not have the guts to stand up and say it out loud or has society deemed it more appeasing to circumstances not to rock the boat by "tolerating" people or situations.

Where is it written in this world..that we have to like every single person we meet? We can stop being hypocrites and walking on egg shells now. It is time to say things clearly, stand up for what is right and speak with integrity. Doing the right thing even when people are not looking.

Whatever happened to the Mind Power and Positive thinking guys who say that you attract to you the type of people you want to surround yourself with..and to run from negativity.. Never lower your standards to fit in with the crowd who expect less from life than you..Think positively and stand up to tyranny is the latest.

How then do we do it with a clear mind filled with integrity, if we blatantly and quite happily say that we tolerate people who are different in some way or the other.

We are all born as babies, who are literally spoon fed our sustenance, our way of thinking, our beliefs, our religion, our language, our thoughts, our ways of being..In other words, we are all born innocent of anything..a clear slate, waiting to be programmed.

The fact that we are all born that way should count for something. We should all acknowledge gratitude for being born innocent, then accept that we were given a life filled with amazing experiences based on our upbringing.

We should then continue that gratitude for the fact that we were taught a language and religion (a set of guidelines) or not, a sense of culture, tradition, idiosyncracies, an education, and a brain to think for ourselves. All of these experiences can either limit us or grows us.

How then, if we were ALL born with a clean slate did we get to the point of believing that we are superior to others based on our different experiences. Should we not be harnessing the very essence of these different, mind challenging, unusual and thought provoking experiences and sharing it with each other instead of saying that we tolerate each other based on these very uniquenesses.

Just because I pray or not, in the same way as you, does not mean that my life is limited in abundance, flowing with love or lacks laughter. Just because, I do not speak English in the way you believe it correct does not give you the right to say that you tolerate my nuances and incorrect use of the language. Just because I do not act, behave, prance, dance or celebrate life the way you do, does not make me any less as a human being..

Maybe, just maybe, if you look closely, you could laugh at the mis-pronunciation and ask me how I would say it in my own language and learn from me. Maybe, just maybe, you could lower your judgements and attend my celebrations, delight in my exquisite cuisine, dance my mad dance, love and laugh the way we do..to understand and respect me in the way I wish to respected.

Maybe, just maybe, you could change the word tolerate to respect and thereby find a common ground of understanding that can only help us to grow together in a powerful team of unique strengths that can absolve most weaknesses. Because maybe, just maybe, my thought patterns being so different, may bring an amazingly different wisdom to the world that will help to heal, rather than destroy.

It is incredible to relieve yourself of the burden of having to tolerate people. If you do not like someone, maybe your beliefs or values do not resonate with them. So choose not to spend time with them, but that does not mean that you have to tolerate them. Everyone is searching for the elusive respect deserving of them.

Many people do not give it. It costs nothing and everything. Yes, it is earned, but at the same time, if you feel that you deserve it, but do not give it, does not mean anything when people respect you through fear or because you deemed it appropriate based on your position or status. They just might be tolerating you too.

My thoughts on this subject? Be true to yourself and the people around. Start embracing change, it is so refreshing. Open up and let people into your life and remove the barriers that are preventing you from experiencing the true person and not the facade you see everyday. There is an incredible depth to everyone you see. If you take the time to actually listen, explore and join them on this fabulous journey called life!

Here's to less judgement and more understanding..

"At the level of Respect, All people are Equal!" Brian and Arthie Moore

Arthie Moore

Sunday, June 3, 2012

I recently had the good fortune to cook on the Expresso Show live on SABC 3.

I was asked to cook a Butter chicken recipe, which I created and sent through immediately. It was tons of fun and exciting but totally different to what I expected. Eish, I have new found respect for Chefs who cook live.. :)

So for all of my awesome friends and family who wanted the original recipe that I had created for the show, here it is! enjoy..

Butter Chicken Recipe

Served with Basmati Rice, Sambals and Pappaddums
2kg/tray chicken pieces with bone
4 Cardammom pods
2 Cinnamon sticks
1 tablespoon - Crushed ginger and garlic
3 bay leaf
Half a teaspoon of Cumin.
200g Butter ( I won’t use all of it)
3 tablespoons of Butter Ghee (essential)
Tandoori paste (4 tablespoons)
1 whole onion chopped (does not matter how you chop it)
1 tomato grated - Normally the skin is left after grating..throw it away.
1 teaspoon Salt  and Pepper (adjust according to taste)
2 tablespoons of Mixed curry powder
1 teaspoon of Garam masala
1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
1 cup of yoghurt
250ml of fresh cream
1 cup of frozen peas (optional)
Coriander  to garnish.

Method:
Score the chicken. Marinate the chicken with salt, pepper, ginger, garlic, tandoori paste, then pour over the yoghurt and allow to rest for 20 minutes.

Heat a casserole pot, put in the butter ghee and half the butter. Add the onions and the cumin, allow to cook for a few minutes, then add the garam masala, turmeric powder and mixed masala. Allow the curry powder to cook for a few minutes then add the grated tomato. Add the bay leaves, cardamom pods and cinnamon sticks and the chicken with the marinade. Stir and allow all the ingredients to mix properly, cover and let it cook over medium heat.  
It normally takes about 20 minutes depending on how much chicken you are using.

To finish, add the fresh cream, adjust seasoning ( add peas in if you like at this stage and switch off the heat) and put the remainder of the butter.  Give it one last stir. Garnish with coriander and serve.

 Side Dishes will consist of the following:
Sambals:

One onion chopped into tiny squares
One tomato chopped finely into squares
2 – 3 chillies
Coriander to garnish
Lemon juice
Fine salt

Mix the chopped onion, tomato and chillies and coriander together and season with fine salt and lemon juice.

Pappadums:
Can be fried in a frying pan with a little Sunflower oil. This takes a few seconds and has to be done at the end.

Basmati Rice
Cook Basmati rice as normal and serve as a side dish.

ps..for those of you who want to watch the recording..here is the link:

Butter Chicken Recipe