The law of attraction is more than New-Age nonsense

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Our thoughts manifest our reality.’

This idea has roots in ancient practices and spiritual teachings. The law of attraction is a belief that positive or negative thoughts attract positive or negative experiences into a person’s life.

The $40 billion-dollar personal development industry is based on the idea that we have the power to move past our life circumstances and reshape our reality. …


Why religion must change with the times

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This week, the Vatican came out with a statement characterizing gay unions as ‘sins’ that cannot be ‘blessed by God’. It led to jubilation among many conservatives and outrage and disappointment among progressives. For me, it validated my choice to leave the oppressive arms of religion.

The Church decreed that gay unions were not ‘part of God’s plan’.

If that’s the case, why create gay people? God is meant to be omnipotent and all-powerful, after all. And it’s quite arrogant for any human being — ecclesiastical or not, to assume unassailable authority on ‘God’s plan’.

The Church characterized gay sex as ‘intrinsically disordered’.

Because as far as the Church is concerned, we have made no progress in the last nearly…


Why are TV shows with rampant sexism so popular with women?

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‘Bridgerton’ dropped on Netflix on Christmas Day last year. In a couple of months, it became the most-watched series on Netflix. ‘Bridgerton’ is a historical romance based on Julia Quinn’s books, set in early nineteenth-century England.

I wasn’t immune from the hype. I watched it — although I found the gratuitous sex scenes tiresome, despite the eye-candy lead actor. I loved the diversity of the series, which showed black people in royal roles including a duke and the queen herself. …


Think about a failure as a lesson instead

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Weare hardwired to avoid failure. We keep ourselves from pursuing our dreams to avoid the pain of failure. We stay far away from the edge and the beautiful abyss below full of possibility because we cannot bear to scrape our knees.

But what is ‘failure’ anyway? If something doesn’t work out as planned, have we really failed?

The ‘failure’ of your marriage

If you were happily married for years and then grew apart, does it really count as ‘failure’? You built a life, maybe had a family, built enduring assets, and impacted a community together.

People change with time. Our needs evolve. Sometimes, two people…


But all leaders are guilty of hiring people that look like us

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A year ago, I joined forces with two of my colleagues to interview potential candidates for our respective teams. All three of us are Vice Presidents at a big bank. We put out a posting and organized a panel interview.

Panel interviews can prevent bias in hiring, as long as each leader is an independent thinker, and doesn’t fall prey to groupthink. You also walk away with a more balanced view of the candidates — three heads are better than one.

All three of us leaders had unique viewpoints and worldviews that we freely expressed in the workplace. We had…


The perils of being a woman

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When I was a teenaged girl living in Pakistan, my parents did not have any money to buy me a car and hire me a driver. Driving myself was out of the question due to security concerns. We didn’t live in a fancy neighborhood. At the time, seemingly naive young girls independently operating vehicles naturally had a target on their backs. And so, to retain my independence, I had to take buses.

Taking a public bus in Pakistan is a noisy, sweat-soaked sensory experience.

Buses are dangerously overloaded with people squished together inside with no room to even lift your arm. …


Or doing whatever else makes you feel human

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In the early days of the pandemic, we were all fueled with purpose.

We were on a mission, mutually fighting a war. We were motivated and energized. Working from home was a novelty and we went at it with energetic vigor.

I talked to friends and colleagues that fateful March a full year ago now; almost everyone felt we would be back at work by the summer.

People were viewing work-from-home as a semi-holiday and a great excuse to do the job in their pajamas while eating cake in the middle of the day.

A month in, the Regional President at my company announced that it was likely we wouldn’t return until Christmas…


No, your gay son will not change with the love of a good woman

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A casual acquaintance, Mir, mentioned that he was dating. At first, I was happy for him — why wouldn’t I be?

But Mir didn’t seem enthused about it. He wasn’t dating for pleasure. He was doing it specifically for the purpose of marriage.

That’s not necessarily odd. After all, isn’t that the ultimate purpose of most people’s dating endeavors? To find someone they can eventually get down on one knee for, someone they can anchor with a ring, someone to enrich the rest of their lives?

When I talked to Mir further, I discovered that he was approaching dating clinically…


All is fair when your life and future are at stake

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A friend is a Dean at a business school that hires a lot of international students. Gender diversity is a core focus for the school. Historically, it has been challenging to recruit women, although ethnic diversity runs rampant with lots of starry-eyed hopefuls from different countries arriving to build better lives in North America.

Although the school has made some strides in recruiting women, there is still a gap when it comes to visible minority women, notably South Asian women. I recall a similar trend from when I went to business school twelve years ago. …


Starving for weeks, wishing for cancer, coveting bones — when we lead privileged lives, we must self-sabotage

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Trigger Warning: this article contains descriptions of disordered eating, and unhealthy eating disorder behaviors that may not be suitable for all readers. Fearless community, please read with care.

Throughout my life, I’ve had an uncomfortable relationship with food. At an early age, I learned to eat out of boredom and to avoid negative emotions.

I was the only person I knew who could eat nine full-sized Snickers bars in the space of a half-hour — with my head buried in a book and my mind transported to another world. Because I was overweight, my mother banned me from eating potato…

HS Burney

Immigrant sharing stories about the beauty and beastliness of culture. I write personal stories and reflections on diversity, and women and minority experiences

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