No one should be fearful for existing.
With the overshadowing of horrifying atrocities around the world in my family and friends’ celebration for the holy month of Ramadan and the deeply problematic American issue of race bias and violence towards black people, I feel sadness as I have thought about and processed these injustices. These injustices have hit me to the core because they affect my family, friends and people I care for.
Black lives matter. And President Obama says it best, “So, when people say ‘black lives matter,’ it doesn’t mean ‘blue lives’ don’t matter, it just means all lives matter. But right now, the big concern is the fact that data shows black folks are more vulnerable to these kinds of incidents.” This is true for Alston Sterling, Philando Castile and the many black people who have to tragically serve as a reminder.
I am incredibly thankful for the people on my social media news feed spreading light and hope on very troubling issues. I am hopeful by using our voices we can demand social and judicial changes. But we have so much education and action to be done.
Moving forward, I want our community and world in becoming a safe and better place. Here are meaningful assortments of videos, websites, articles I highly recommend in educating ourselves and others on becoming more respectful human beings to one another:
Why Are We Still Talking About Racism? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NwdJj8InkNc
23 Everyday Actions Punishable by Death if You’re Black in America
Test Yourself for Hidden Bias http://www.tolerance.org/activity/test-yourself-hidden-bias
Black Lives Matter http://blacklivesmatter.com/
Contacting Your Congressman or woman for judicial change: http://www.contactingthecongress.org/
Asian Americans Pen Powerful Open Letter to Their Families about Why Black Lives Matter
Gilbert Chesteron, an English writer, once said “When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.”
This past weekend has been especially rough and challenging to fathom what has happened in Orlando. These events are tragic and heartless. To sum up in one word: inhumane. It shakes me to the core that this happened so close to home. It is a devastating reality.
To heal, we have to find some light within the darkness. The lightness I find is that all these people were celebrating and living their lives until the horror occurred. Whether it was a devoted musician connecting with her fans after a show or a group of friends celebrating pride, all of these people were living their best lives.
Highs and lows in life is inevitable, it’s all part of the roller coaster of life. But through the highs and lows, the balance comes with gratitude. And this is something I have consciously been practicing everyday. Gratitude to me is uncovering the goodness out of a bad situation, and the affirmation of what pleasant moment you are experiencing.
Over the weekend, I also had the worst migraine and nausea of my life. It crippled me so much that I could not even sit up without collapsing and vomiting everything I consumed. Breaking out in cold sweat with a fever, my body was sending a SOS. During those runs to the toilet and the routine of eating something with the fleeting hope of keeping it down, I told myself that I have to take better care of my body. I wished I paused to appreciate more of the little things I have taken advantage of unconsciously. In those moments:
- I missed the ability to drink water
- I missed the ability to sit up straightly
- I missed the ability to look at something without feeling like the room was spinning
- I missed the ability to think clearly without feeling the pressure in my head
- I missed the ability of getting out of bed with ease
Now, I sit here with my glass of water and bowl of rice. It makes me so grateful that I have the simple pleasure of having the ability to eat normally again. To think clearly again. To have hope that I am in a better state to carry on with my plans and obligations for tomorrow. I look at all these tiny grains of rice in my bowl and I’m comforted. I’m comforted that all these tiny little pieces make up one whole meal for me to nourish my body. I’m comforted that it only takes little pieces to make something or someone feel whole again.
Reader – I hope you find and carry your grain or grains of gratitude to fill you up in this tragic and beautiful life.
I’d love to hear from you on what you’re grateful for. Let’s allow to remind ourselves that there is so much goodness worth acknowledging. I’m grateful to have this platform to express my thoughts and connect with people like yourself. Thank you.