Tuesday, September 7, 2010

I choose to be Muhibbah. (#loveburnsbrighter)

I read about people burning churches, and people throwing red paint onto a mosque. I read about people burning cowheads at a Hindu temple, and churches burning Qurans. I read about hurting people rebelling. I read about people forgetting to love one another, forgetting to respect each other's sacred space, each other's religion. I read these awful, horrible, things and I weep for humanity.

What have we come to?

How did we forget? How did we come to this? How did we come to just blatantly disrespect our neighbors, our friends, our people?

What can I do?

How can I help?

Can I even make a difference?

Because I look around, and I see my friends. My neighbors. My people from a country I now call home and a country I called home for a long time. I look around and I see so many genuine, beautiful people. I look around and I see the stories, the culture that weaves it way through and creates such beautiful tapestry in this thing we call life.

I look around, and I think, surely, this dream of 1Malaysia is possible. I look around and I think, surely, this dream of a peaceful America with it's melting pot is possible.

I look around and I think, surely, surely there is something I can do.

Practice tolerance.

Practice holding back judgement.

Practice the appreciation for a different culture.

Practice respect for someone else's religion, someone else's God, someone else's sacred space and book.

Practice all this even as I hold tight to my faith, to my beliefs. Practice and know in my heart the values that I prescribe to, from a religious standpoint, from a humanity standpoint.

Because I have so much left to learn.

Because I have learned so much.

From people different than me.

From people of a different color and of a different religion.

I have also learned tolerance, and kindness, and gentleness from a religion other mine.

And I've been accused of being idealistic, I've been accused of being naive.

I've been accused, but yet I still believe.

I believe.

and this has reinforced in me lessons from my mama,

to always kill with kindness.

Or like someone else awesome's mama once taught me that

"no matter what someone else does, I still have the choice to act with sincerity and authenticity."

because when I see my friends, I don't see black or white or yellow or brown.

I don't see Muslim, or Hindu, or Buddhist, or Christian.

I don't feel the need to shove my beliefs down their throat and I appreciate that they don't try to either.

Because they are so much more than that.

I just see my friends.

And I want to believe that I can live in a world that we can all live happily together.

That we can always be friends.

That our "muhibbah" group will always be muhibbah regardless of our religious practices.

Because see, when they bleed, their blood is red too.

I am fiercely loyal, and when you hurt my friends, you hurt me too.

Please stop hurting us.


I choose to be Muhibbah.

I choose respect.

I choose to live in harmony.

"We must become the change we want to see."
-Mahatma Gandhi