As blessed as we are, we sometimes ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? You may not even acknowledge the question but I know for many, it lays low in the back of your mind as you go about your daily work. Today I am asking you to face this question. Today I want you to acknowledge all that you are. When you claim your greatness, you aren’t just doing this for yourself. You are doing this for your community and more importantly, for your children. Because as you let your own light shine, you give others permission to do the same. As you are liberated from your own fear, your beautiful presence liberates others to be all they can be as well.
One way we shine this light for our children is by taking them o Pakistan during their youth years. They are the most talented individuals who have adopted the best of both worlds. They learned by observing their parents help others, working hard to not only raise their children but help fund their families back home and not to mention establishing various healthcare facilities to manage medical needs provided to the undeserved rural areas of Pakistan.
Our children have a sense of Thinking Globally and Acting Locally. They do understand the importance of this as well.
Being raised in America as the only brown girl in a small town of Illinois, where people had never heard of Pakistan was not a very joyous experience. Not being able to celebrate Christmas, explaining why Santa doesn’t come to my chimney, and not being allowed to dress like an American was quite an awkward situation for myself.
Yet I was just different. I wasn’t considered dangerous.
I compare my children with my own childhood and ask myself, who has it better? My children who live in a world where the words Muslim, Pakistan, ad Islam are a household name related to terrorist or the childhood where i was “the unknown”?
Actually both worlds of these two generations were good and bad. It’s all about what we do with any given situation. We can’t change the past but we can change what is going on today for or children.
LOCAL communities where non Muslims will be exposed to our passionate personalities. We are still unknowns. I believe if people know us personally, their judgement will subside. We can make a difference by letting our light shine where everyone can see us, how brilliant, fabulous, talented, caring, and generous we are. When we let our light shine locally, we give permission for others to do the same.
Think globally act locally. I believe that the measure of a person’s life is the affect they have on others. Consider the measure of the effect you have made on your children. If you were to apply even a fraction of this effect on your local community, you could make a world of difference for even one person who doesn’t have that guidance in his or her life.
Our playing small locally does not serve the world. As Greg Mortenson said in his book, Three Cups of Tea. There is a big difference between a handout and a helping. One is a charity and the other is a friendship. I personally believe charity often develops into a habit. But friendship develops into an investment, an investment for a brighter future for us all.
This might sound harsh, but I believe you are lying to yourself if you say you love God and you don’t love your neighbor. How can you love God whom you do not see, if you do not love your neighbor whom you see, whom you touch, with whom you live?
I encourage you all to go out and give a helping hand. Being involved with your children’s school is not enough. For example, becoming a member of your local American Medical alliance, helping the police officers collect toys for tots, another option would be to help out at the polling booths during election time. These are great examples of a “helping hand”.
THINK GLOBAL AND ACT LOCAL. We have the power to change our world.
Hajra Shani Kazi
APPNA Alliance President 2013