Ah, this is what I needed.
For some reason, this year hasn’t felt quite as much like Ramadan as previous years. I have definitely changed my behavior, but that feeling isn’t as strong as it usually is. I think a huge part is that it has been almost a week, and we only really had one family iftar. For the past two years, I have spent the first days fasting with my extended family. Two years ago my cousins were visiting from out of town. Last year we all broke our first fast together at our weekly Sunday Qur’an class. This year, every day except one has been just me, my sister, and my parents.
Of course I value spending a meal with my nuclear family very much, because I know several people who aren’t able to, but for me, part of Ramadan, and really every holiday and special time of year, is spending time with my extended family. My dad’s siblings. My mom’s cousins. Breaking fast surrounded by loved ones is something I cherish so much, and I have really missed that in this first week.
But alhamdulillah today I got it. The local da’wah center started a weekly Tuesday Iftar Series for the month of Ramadan, and today was the first session. I was able to have iftar with so many people I love. My aunts, my uncles, our family friends, and just other really good people from our community. I have always felt so out of place being one of the few kids at these events, but now I’m finally getting old enough where I can talk to all of these people as peers. And they are all such good people. There isn’t any other way to describe them. I reconnected with old loved ones, but also met several new people whom I can’t wait to see again next week, inshaAllah.
All communities have their issues and their moments, but here and there you find little pockets of beauty, and this group is one of them.
So… I don’t have a quote for you today, but I do have something else. In the spirit of talking about good people and kindness to those in need that I touched on a couple of days ago, I want to share a video I stumbled upon recently. Definitely one of those restoring faith in humanity videos. In what was supposed to be a staged social experiment video, this guy came across a man who exhibits the kindness and selflessness that I wish I had in myself and that our community of humanity could definitely use more of.