Happy Birthday to my sister Zita today! I am grateful to you and to all of my siblings. Thank you for being a regular reader of "Habitual Gratitude" for nearly five years. Thank you for your ongoing support and your contributions to our large and growing family.
Read Zita's guest post from December, 2015 here.
I appreciate my blood relatives, and I also appreciate humankind, both those I know and those I only encounter briefly.
Yesterday I had the wonderful opportunity to watch a performance of the play "Unveiled" by Rohina Malik. It is described this way:
Unveiled: A One Woman Play
by Rohina Malik
Racism. Hate crimes. Love. Islam. Culture. Language. Life.
Five Muslim women in a post-9/11 world serve tea and uncover what lies beneath the veil in this critically acclaimed one-woman show.
I saw a performance of "Unveiled" by students from Washburn High School, located in Minneapolis. Thank you to all who helped bring the play to the school I work at. Watch it on YouTube here. Five females and a male acted out true stories. They ran the gamut of emotions from hope-filled and feisty to devastating loss and intolerance. Thank you to all!
I was left with many thoughts, but primarily the simple idea of the dignity of each person, regardless of race, religion, views, attire. It is an idea we seriously need to carry with us in these divisive times with too much hate and closed-mindedness.
The Muslim girls who acted in the play face real and daily comments like "terrorist" or "go home" simply because they wear the hajib, the veil of their faith that symbolizes modesty and privacy.
How sad! How intolerant!
One young woman, in a Q and A after the performance, left us all with some profound advice. When asked how we can help break down walls and hate, her response was so simple, so true. "Smile and say hello."
Human compassion starts right there. It starts right here. Respectfully acknowledging another person and their right to be safe and peacefully coexist with others.
I will practice this simple gesture today. Smiling and saying hello isn't just showing compassion, it is showing mindfulness. I am noticing those around me, which means I am not just stuck in my own head and thoughts.