Tuesday, April 17, 2007

A Simple Reflection...

by: Nasir Al-Amin
I wrote this to a friend today and thought I would share it….

I think the best intentions and initiatives that address the plight of marginalized populations both domestically and abroad originate in the heart. And like in any relationship with the heart, the turning of the heart towards an individual or issues is a connection that could be instantaneous or gradual, but that connection—a station of the heart, which motivates one to love for humanity that which one love for oneself—is the aim. One of the responsibilities that comes with reaching and/or aspiring for this station of the heart, is to create an atmosphere and/or environments that will nurture that connection for others—so that this desire for the best for all is contagious. That’s actualized through the facilitation of presentations, workshops, downtime during meetings, and random conversations on the subway or at a dinner with the waiter/waitress.

One never knows what will be their moment of awakening, nor does one know what it will be for someone else, as I was oblivious to the magnitude and meaning behind my encounter with a little 5 year old street girl I bumped into in Mercato (a bustling market in Ethiopia). This girl was the spark that created ALIF. When I reflect on it now, this initiative to send 50 orphans and vulnerable children to school (the Hiwot Campaign) is merely a response to that “accidental” meeting with the 5 year-old child laborer in Ethiopia. That was my moment of turning, my awakening!

So yes, people will say to you that you are just one person and that’s true. However, the beauty in this whole process is that neither you nor the one that makes that statement knows the beauty inside that one child you will serve and what that encounter will awaken in you.

In difficulty I find solace in the following:
"Past the seeker as he prayed
came the crippled and the beggar and the beaten.
And seeing them... he cried
"Great God, how is it that a loving creator
can see such things and yet do nothing about them?"
God said "I did do something. I made you."
(Sufi Teaching)

Nasir Al-Amin

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