The following talk by Deeyah Khan is one I’ve listened to twice, and I still can’t fully grasp it’s profound impact and meaning.
This talk brought me back a few years.
Can you remember the days before responsibilities were heaped upon you, either by choice or by someone else?
It’s hard in some respects, easier in others, right?!
For me, watching Star Wars, Episode 4, A New Hope, jettisons me back to my 7 year old self when life consisted of hard questions to answer like, who would my sister get to be when we played with our action figures, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, or Princess Leia, and what would I get to be?
For some reason that cinematic backdrop just makes it easier for me to remember myself with alot less years under and around (lol) my belt, so to speak.
I bring this up today, Day 15, the 15th full day of our president’s term, because Ms. Khan’s talk above, made me go back to where I was at 7 years old, and think about how it must have been to be someone else growing up in Norway with brown skin, female with a Muslim name, and a Muslim culture.
Her childhood was obviously nothing like mine, but, despite that, all of us having been young can certainly sympathize with her in what it must have felt like to endure what she had to endure from those adults and kids in and outside her culture.
I am hoping that you might be able to sympathize with Ms. Khan today after listening to her talk.
I was struck by how Ms Khan chose love instead of hate, peace instead of violence, courage instead of fear, when she easily could have gone the other way.
I was also struck by how she still reaches out to these young people, these very same folks who, let’s be honest, could very well try to hurt her, to tell their forgotten stories.
And Ms. Khan tells it with a sense of solidarity with these people who have chosen a different path than her.
Ms. Khan tells stories from the countries that we don’t want to talk about.
Stories from people we don’t want to put a human face on.
It’s too hard.
It’s much easier to make these people who wear black veils, and speak in a language other than our own, and do unspeakable acts of violence towards their fellow human beings into pure evil, large monsters, dark demons, etc.
I am not condoning these acts of brutality.
I am simply asking us to try and really come to an agreement as to why it happens.
Not to just simply label the terrorists on our planet as monsters and feel smug in our own livelihoods.
It’s very difficult.
I’m not pretending it’s easy.
I struggle with it myself.
I think this talk may help.
In my mind, there is no mystery in where evil comes from on our pale blue dot.
I believe it comes from people acting out in fear and hatred to ‘the other’, the ‘not like me’ person, the animal, the infidel, the heathen, the whore, the you fill in the next ad infinitum insult to our common heritage as human beings.
It comes from you and I not practicing love and kindness towards ourselves first, and then each other, and then our planet.
The evil comes from us everyday.
But I also believe it can stop.
It can stop today, and it can stop with you and me.
You and I can take a small personal stand today to stop violence and fear and hatred towards ourselves first.
Then, once we’ve taken that stand, we can move on toward taking another toward stopping violence and fear towards others.
May we all rise above the hatred and the bitterness today.
May we all choose love today.
I hope this talk from Ms. Khan might help you start moving toward love and kindness, as it’s helping me do the same.
I still struggle.
I’m no where close to ‘there’.
I think I always will struggle.
But it’s in the struggle where the real learning happens, right?!
As always, thanks for stopping by.