Thank you Sami Shaban
for reminding me of how lucky I am to have had diverse friends all of my life. Many of these friends sought me out when I didn't do anything to particularly deserve their friendship. All I did was accept it. Your spirit of forgiveness and mission to give Muslims in America a good name brought a tear to my eye, reminding me that if everyone acted like me, thought like me, looked like me, lived like me.....I'd DIE of boredom and there would be a deadening staleness to the world.
My first such friend was American Indian and we were in the First Grade. I need to preface this by saying my father was very prejudiced and told me awful things about scalping and how they could not be trusted. I was shy as a child and a bit cautious around others anyway, not to mention what I was being told at home. For some reason this little girl decided she liked me. I can remember seeing her run towards me, smiling, happy that she found me on the playground. At first I was afraid of her, but soon enjoyed having a happy friend who just wanted to be with me. What more could you want as a 6 year old when the bell rings for recess? Unfortunately she moved the next year and I can never tell her what she means to me.
So on the eve of a Holiday Season that seems so slanted towards one religion in our country (Chritianity or the almighty Dollar?). I want to be hopeful that we can stop the thinking and fear that divides us. Why don't we strive to look at differences and see them as an opportunity to learn from each other and grow as people. Let's not see a persons race, religion, sexual orientation, social and economic status as a threat to us and close our hearts and minds to them if they differ from ourselves. If I had, I would have shut out some of the best and most true friends and people I have known in my life, not to mention a great deal of joy.
So to Mr. Shaban, If you can make your life's purpose giving Muslims a good name in this country, I want my life's purpose to make my family and community a place where you don't have to have such a purpose.
Unfortunately in this forum (my blog) I have the feeling I'll be "preaching to the choir".