Dear Santa: Can I build a snowman with you? Thought composed December 22nd 2014
As I close my eyes and drift away to a land where there is love, health, peace, and blessings. I wanted to take the time to think and reflect. As my mind wonders to the time of wearing a blue kameez (shirt) a white salwaar (pants), with the red ribbons braided in my hair. The school uniform. Clutching a green book bag. As we walked a mile or so to the all girls school in Azad Kashmir, Pakistan. I think I was about 9 or 10. I am trying to remember the specifics. I loved walking those paths, sun beaming, beautiful lush lands, blue skies, juxtaposed with the poor conditions of the living of others, seeing the poor, dire poverty. There was also a sense of joy of learning, and a sadness that seeing those who are less fortunate than others, yet still content, happy.
Fast forward, as I write these thoughts, memory, lane. I have to say I am grateful for this experience, as it gave my eyes, eyes of learning. To be able to walk in the shoes of others. This is what sympathy and empathy are all about. There is so much value to the human experience. I am connecting my thoughts to those day as my parents (U.K) would cook a Christmas meal, and invite our family members over. Actually to this day, my parents cook meals for the family, sisters older now, who have their own little families. The tradition continues. This is also the beauty of being brought up in a family that embraces all. While my parents and family are Muslims, this does not mean that they don't believe that all should be loved. As I moved away, life happenings. I continue to share the teaching of love for all. It does not matter what faith you practice, if it does not include the love for all, then I ask: what is the founding principle of this faith? Religions, faiths ask us to love all. They do not teach, hate. They preach love.
I'm not an extremist or Jihadist. I am totally against this movement. Actually all of my family is. Maybe these groups have a lack of education, or are they bribed, given money to carry out acts of terror? Or do they fall into the trap of wrong crowds? Or even misinterpreting the teachings of the Quran? Whatever it is my thoughts are not developed fully enough to talk about the Jihadist's movement. Yet, I will go back to the topic of inclusion. Once again: I ask: if religion, or any type of spiritual teaching does not include loving others, then what good is the teaching?
For example: Any one, and all walks of life can walk into a Church. If someone is falling into bad habits, decides to go to church. It does not mean that religious leaders will be agreeable, it will mean that they are wanting to help and support these individuals. Everyone needs to feel loved and cared for. It is a necessity. These thoughts are nicely supported through Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Even the Atheist who does not believe in a God per say, has a belief. A belief that there is no God. And this does not mean that they do not need to feel loved and supported. These thoughts can also be transferred to the LGBTQ community as well. Everyone has a spiritual aspect to them.
In the Western hemispheres we are conditioned as individualistic societies. Being independent is good. Yes it is good to be independent, feeling a sense of strength. But this does not mean that we don't need to feel loved and supported by others. A certain amount of interdependence is healthy. All humans no matter what we believe have the same basic needs.
My thoughts are connected to the day of the Mawlid. This is a holy day where Muslims celebrate the birth of the Prophet. These celebrations last for 12 days., similar to the 12 days of Christmas. The holy night fell exactly upon the day of the Christmas tree lighting this year. My mind is always baffled when certain holidays, or different faiths fall upon the same days. This also happened on September 11 2016. When the world remembered the terrorist attack that took place in the USA. This was also the day of Eid Ul Adha. The sacrifice of Abraham is celebrated at the end of the Hajj pilgrimage. We can never forget the atrocities and hurts of the families that were affected. It takes heart and courage to do so. Maybe it is not religion that is tearing us apart. Maybe these divine signs are telling us humans that it is not God, or a divine being that is the cause of these plots. It is human beings who have strayed. who have strayed to the paths of division, greed, hate. Another thought to consider is that Rosh Hashanah fell upon the same day as the 1st day of Ashura, which is the begining of the Islamic New Year.
If we want to construct a brighter future, and a hope for the children of today and tomorrow, it is the duty of the world leaders, and the ones who possess the power to begin to think to work together. Rather that straying bonds, ripping hearts apart. We must begin to think: How can we work together? Live together safely? All faith based practices should be honored. We can do this from an internal or external intention. These are the very practices that keep tradition alive, that keep the practice of the faith's alive.
Dedication: These thoughts are dedicated to Fred Cuellar, thank you always for your Christmas countdowns. And to all beings, love united. My thoughts to share with love & kindness! :)
Our thoughts, to invite and inspire. With Love & kindness. :)