Diana, the people's princess, is dead and buried. Her sudden death has created a numbing shock. The abrupt end of her much chronicled life has left a huge gap. Her tragic death has produced its share of questions and theories. The usual conspiracy theories have been produced. Some have even said she was deliberately killed though no one takes that seriously. As with any unexpected celebrity death, preposterous ideas and suggestions abound. The question remain, however: Who or what killed Diana?
I think her unfortunate dance with death, as the English expression goes, began on the day of her engagement to Prince Charles.
Here was a girl from the quiet English countryside propelled suddenly into a limelight she was not accustomed to. Added to that was an almost 15-year age difference. Age may sometimes be of no consequence, as many married couples would attest, but when the age difference was combined with her warmth versus her husband's cool aloofness, trouble was definitely brewing. Neglected at home, loved and adored by the general public in Britain and abroad, Diana, "the people's princess", suffered from a personality disorder which made her look for friends and comfort elsewhere.
She came from a broken home - her parents were divorced when she was young - and she then entered the extraordinary world of the highest level of British Royalty when she became engaged to Prince Charles. As her marriage of 15 years played itself out, the fairy tale ending everybody was hoping for dissolved, and a sad tale of misunderstanding, loneliness, and depression stood in its place. The divorce was inevitable, particularly once their mutual infidelities been publicly confessed.
An official and mechanical divorce stripped her of her royal title and made her a single woman, the focus of attention of a picture-hungry British press. Hordes of photographers, known as the "paparazzi", hounded her. And when she accepted an invitation from Dodi Al-Fayed the paparazzi were also there. On land, in the air and on sea the clicking of cameras and the flashing of bulbs, it seemed, were the only sounds and lights she could see and hear.
The paparazzi are a persistent lot and they made life miserable for her. Not so long ago, she said she wanted to escape from England in order to be away from the paparazzi. However, she herself knew the desire was a futile one - her elder son, Prince William, was to be King and he must be in England. As a loving mother, she could not live apart from him. She was trapped. And the paparazzi knew it - and they stalked her constantly.
No one can bear to lead life under such a microscope. For Diana, it was mental torture which she managed to escape from only in death.
I am glad that the media in the Arab world is what it is and there are no paparazzi around. This has saved everyone a lot of trouble and heart aches, and for many others it has given them peace of mind. I am sure you know what I mean.
Remember: Life is valuable and we have to make the best of it by the means available to us.
Mother Teresa, the world famous social worker, died the night of Princess Diana's funeral. The world media was focused on Diana but found time to switch over to the life of this noble 87-year-old woman whose personal dedication and faith gave real dignity and a sense of worth to the unprivileged and deprived the world over. Mother Teresa was an object lesson in how much can be achieved if we have the real determination to do so.
Her message and her mission knew no boundaries. For her the world was always a global village. She was a champion of the poor and though poor herself by choice, she enriched the hearts of all those she came in contact with.
I have always maintained that there are two kinds of people on earth. Those who, if they live or die, make no difference to anyone or anything. And those who, when dead, create a void which is hard to fill. Their actions on this earth help change lives and make impacts. Death, of course, is a reality but it is our actions before it that allow us to be judged in this world. One need not have a universal impact like Mother Teresa. If our actions somehow improve the lot of our neighbors and those near and dear to us, we will illustrate, have lived with a purpose. Not all of us can bask in media attention but at least we can have the satisfaction of knowing that in some lives we have made a difference for the better.
Both Princess Diana and Mother Teresa will be viewed not for their status in worldly terms but for what they offered to others. That is the way I believe our time on earth ought to be judged.
In a materialistic world both Diana and Mother Teresa symbolized goodness and the spirit of giving. And that is why the world mourns for them.