The Blessings of My Defined Benefit Pension: A Solution  for Women, Blacks and Latinos; Two Names of Allah (SWT); Self-Evident Truths; Advice Given to All Hiltons; One Size Does Not Fit All; Unfinished Umrah Business Brings Me Back to Medinah;  Reel of December 2020 Umrah; Photos of That Umrah and Next Trip 

I am daily grateful for the pension received monthly from the Marin County Employee’s Retirement Association. I received the following information in an email sent from the National Institute on Retirement Security. 

new report from the National Institute on Retirement Security (NIRS) and the UC Berkeley Labor Center finds that defined benefit pensions play a critical role in delivering adequate retirement income for older Americans while providing a key buffer against economic hardship for women, Blacks, Latinos, and those without a four-year college degree. The report also finds that the wealth value of lifetime pension income, particularly from public pensions, is distributed more equitably by race and gender than other private financial assets, thereby narrowing the wealth gap among older families.

Received this at the same time, discovering the following names of Allah wereAre Al-Kareem, Al-Akram: The Most Gracious, the Most Bountiful. This meaning was provided:  Al-Kareem is the one who gives his slaves and benefits them immensely , the One who bestows blessings on his slaves even before they becomes deserving of them and the One who gives without measure and without being asked, Al-Akram is the Most Bountiful whose generosity is matchless. 

Of course, and evidently, those names speak to my retired benefit pension plan.  I have benefitted immensely from my defined benefit pension. It was a blessing that was bestowed upon me even before I became deserving. There was a strong secular and evil movement to demolish defined benefit pensions about twelve years ago. I was most public and active: researching, attending conferences, writing, speaking out, explaining the economic benefits to the uninformed. This active prior role places me on the rosters of NIRS publications explaining the receipt of the recent email.  Allah (SWT) requires his slaves to put in effort, not merely pray for good outcomes. I was doing that even before I was officially of  the Islamic Faith. My faith allows me to believe that Allah (SWT) designed defined pensions, ensured that I qualified, wrote the prenuptial agreements which ensured that I would be the sole beneficiary, provides wisdom and investment acumen to the administrators of the fund etc. etc etc. These beliefs make me happy and thankful to Allah (SWT). Such beliefs hurt no one, I am absolutely free to hold these beliefs as self evident. 

The typical and usual expression is holding truths as self evident. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Thomas Jefferson, U.S. Constitution. 

“Self-evident means you don’t really even have to think about it. It has to be true. The truths of mathematics, for example, are often thought of as self-evident. One plus one equals two.”

I shall now share a rather amusing story concerning my retirement income. When I die if I am married, my husband is 55 years old and we have been married for two years, the lucky guy gets 60% of my retirement income for the rest of his life. Many urged me never to mention that to men, as their greed would motivate marriage. Never was I worried as I have a history of attracting multi-billionaires. (One later declared bankruptcy, come to think of it. The other removed from the line of succession.) Not realizing this, Triple C, a concierge at the ill-fated Trump Hotel in Vancouver had a great suggestion. 

He: Alexis, you will need a food taster. I will serve in that capacity. 

Me: You make me laugh! The guy will love me so much he will not want to poison me. And I would be eating every meal with you. No thanks. 

Wonder what happened to CCC – he was a Trump Hotel employee, which was bad enough but then along came covid. Perhaps he got a job somewhere being a stand up comedian, he was very funny. 

It is at this moment Tuesday. Most prayers have been offered, only Isha remains. I am very tired, fell asleep, waking for Magreb. I had realized that I was in desperate need of the peace and healing powers of in Medinah because I have been frayed at the edges. Frayed at the edges used to describe someone’s mood when they are feeling worried, upset, or annoyed: My final days in Canada, next the daily troublesome annoyances  at the Riyadh Hilton left me worried, upset and annoyed. I am succeeding in putting all of that behind me. This wondrous hotel is like a womb, comforting, warm and safe.The contrasts between the two occur on a daily basis, but to discuss them in any detail takes me back to the Riyadh Hilton and its horrors. 

It seems the moment to confess to having a bad habit, perhaps a sin. I overthink, analyze what went wrong. You shall be privy to my thinking, then I can let it go. The Hilton is a world wide chain of hotels. Individual hotels have no autonomy, whatsoever. One size is supposed to fit all..The idiom one-size-fits-all describes an item, situation, or policy designed to accommodate a large amount of people. Something that is one-size-fits-all will not be an exact fit and is not tailored for every circumstance, but it will suffice. 

Wikipedia, as usual, has something to say:  “One size fits all” is a description for a product that would fit in all instances. The term has been extended to mean one style or procedure would fit in all related applications. It is an alternative for “Not everyone fits the mold.”[1][2] It has been in use for over five decades.

Individual Hiltons desperate need autonomy. . Autonomy does have several meanings. One: the right or condition of self-government. The second:  freedom from external control or influence; independence. This advice should be taken by the Riyadh Hilton. “There is no one-size-fits-all approach to management. You have to tailor your management style and the management toolbox to the audience that you have and what you’re trying to accomplish. You have to create those messages in an easy-to-understand, non-complex way.”  Do I think they will listen to this? Heed it? ( Heed, a verb means pay attention to; take notice of ) Will they change their wicked ways? Nope. 

Therefore, I am giving up on the Riyadh Hilton. But I put in effort, spotted the problem, wrote about it. The rest is up to somebody, or something. It is extremely doubtful that Allah (SWT) will intervene. Perhaps Paris Hilton could be called upon.  I guess not. Looked her up. She got married and has a son. How typically Hilton – she had the son by a surrogate, so somebody else had to do the dirty work, the labor pains and all. 

It is definitely the moment to speak of other things. I will offer a reel, summarizing my Umrah. Most people assume that I am now in Medinah for my Umrah. 

Me: No. My Umrah took place in December 2020. It was flawed. It was of great comfort to read that if one’s intention is to perform a perfect Umrah, then even if it was not possible, the blessings will be bestowed.  

Three photos taken outside the Prophet’s Mosque will illustrate this. All three photos are taken outside. At my own expense the young evil Umrah Mecca Umrah guide accompanied me to Medinah. The eJourney tour guide had proven himself to be utterly unreliable, I mistakenly trusted Khadiji. We arrived in Medinah, came to our hotel. Soon it was prayer time and we hastened to the gates of the Prophet’s Mosque. I attempted to enter the mosque. 

She: No, no it is Harem. Women cannot pray in the mosque. 

Me: Really? That is why these women and children are here outside? 

She: Yes. I will get you stool so you can sit to pray. 

After prayer a little boy began crying, I went to comfort him. Two photos were taken. He did cheer up. I do have a way with children, I comfort them, they cease crying. I did not have children. Neither did the Prophet’s beloved wife Aisha. (More about her later.) 

I returned to Medinah in July 2023 for many reasons, there was so much unfinished business. This journey found me not only inside the Prophet’s Mosque but allowed into to the most holy of places, Rawdah. A photo of myself and the women who accompanied me that day is also shown. 

Unfinished business is something that a person needs to deal with or work on something that has not yet been done, dealt with, or completed. “Psychologist Fritz Perls, founder of Gestalt Therapy, spoke of “unfinished business.” He was referring not to the bills we need to pay or the purchases we need to make, but to the experiences we need to process.” I am blessed to be here, because of what is known as the the Zeigarnik effect.  “This is a phenomena, that according to Zeigarnik’s research, an unfinished task will remain prominent in our minds because we know that we have left it incomplete. Zeigarnik explained that each task uncompleted produces a form of psychological tension.”  

Returning completed the task. I now have peace of mind. I spoke of inner peace in my September 7, 2023 blog. I include a short excerpt. 

“The Australian Journal of Islamic Studies speaks of peace.

Not only does Islam mean peace, but it also has a strong affiliation with inner peace through the tranquillity and peace it offers as a result of internalising the Islamic faith.” 

Do not be lazy, read the entire blog. Most of it Is quite amusing. As I said to AK in a text yesterday. 

He: In Allah we trust. 

Me: Yes!! Not baboons! (Included a GIF of a baboon) 

He: (Many laughing emoji) 

Me: Must mix humour with religion. It is necessary. 

He: True that!!