I should start this article off by introducing myself. I am a 20 years old, Muslim medical student. And yes, I just did emphasise on my religion. I’d like to add that my religion is never something I point out to people. It is very often that people wish me Happy DIviali or Happy Saint Anne, and although I do correct them, it is something I do not mind. I want to point out that I was raised Mauritius, a multi cultural society, and as a result I do identify myself with my religion more than with my race. But I’d also like to point out that, before anything, I am a human, just like you and everyone else. I identify myself with humanity first, with one of God’s creation, that deserves respect just like any of God’s other creation. I do appreciate the fact that many Muslims are raised in different manners and have different ways of identifying themselves, but I am certain that a vast majority of us would have no problem identifying ourselves as God’s children, first and foremost.
So now, I’ll come to the reason of me writing this article. Social networks, now, are a major platform for spreading ideas and allowing people with the same beliefs and ideology to have a common ground to meet up on. It’s not a new concept. What did shock me though, was a particular page that one of my friends “liked” that I stumbled across. It was evidently grossly against Islam, like it indicated with its title. She liked another page which was against Jesus. And yes, I fully agree with freedom of speech and freedom of belief, but I don’t agree on freedom of hate. That friend of mine, having grown up in a country where Islam is the 2nd most prominent religion and Christianity the 3rd, and having lived like siblings with each other during our teenage years, I was in utter shock by the fact that she was proud of her hate against particular religions/races. Of course, some people still have a very “media-based” opinion on Islam as a religion which would explain a lot of the hate being propagated.
So, I sat back for a while. Yes, the attacks hurt my ego and my belief. I was hurt by the fact that some people so blatantly misunderstand whole religions and therefore wasted so much of their time spreading hate about them. So I started reflecting. I started to imagine the people who have to deal with hate speech every day. The homosexuals, the oppressed minorities, the “different” ones who do not necessarily fit in a certain group. I put myself through the hate. I read all the hateful comments and posts. I was blessed to never have been subjected to such blatant hate directly up until now so I cannot imagine what it is like to have those hate remarks thrown at you. To have those remarks thrown at you in the school hallway, the bus, the super market – to have those hateful remarks that people judge you by, become the way you identify yourself. To have people stare at you for whom you are.
Hate can be such a pitiful thing. Resorting to hate only leads to a waste of one’s time and energy and plays a major role in decreasing victim’s self confidence. Whether it is love for the same gender, or believing in a God or even deciding to dress up in a certain way – all of that should not lead to hate. Lack of understanding of something should lead to curiosity but not to hate. It should lead to something productive. You’re against women’s abuse? Great. Start a movement protecting EVERY woman on the planet, because you cannot honestly tell me that woman from only one religious belief or country gets oppressed. You don’t believe in homosexuality? Good, be a heterosexual. You don’t believe in hate? Then don’t resort to it.
We preach and talk so much about diversity. We wonder in the fact that the world is now a global village that we are all a part of. At the end of the day, aren’t we all the same inside? Or are some of us darker on the inside because of all the hate and hypocrisy we carry around with us? We sign petitions saying we are for Equal rights, but when we see a transsexual walking on the road, we cross the street at soon as we can. We call ourselves pacifist but still sleep pretty soundly at night even though thousands of people are dying daily because of wars. It is easy to be against something, to spread hate about it. It is much easier to find flaws in people that it is to find what is good in the world, and stick by that – and propagate that message.
It is also much easier to change yourself so that you can fit in a certain group. You should not though. Do not ever compromise who you are for the people who can’t accept you for what you believe in, which should be love and compassion.
So now, if you ask me what the point of my article is, I wouldn’t know what to answer. I initially wanted to write something that people would relate to, because everyone can somehow relate to hate. It is much easier to preach hate than love. Hate is angry and you can spread hate without a clear mind. Love is harder. Love requires a clearer mind, a strong mind set and a very strong will. Preach love for the things you do love. Preaching hate only results in angst, and God knows the world can do without it.
Photo by Ashley Gilbertson/VII Photo
At MSF’s cholera treatment clinic in the Carrefour area of Port-au-Prince, the head doctor, who comes from Ghana, treated this emergency patient on Wednesday. People continue to deal with this deadly disease that first appeared in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. The photographer said: “It’s inspiring, though, knowing that every single person in the hospitalization ward will survive because they’re receiving medical attention. It’s been some time since I’ve worked with MSF, and I forgot how much I respect the organization and how moved I am by their work.”
Photo by Jacob Zocherman
These two women in the maternity ward of Bria hospital in Central African Republic have just had miscarriages. One of them must recover on the floor because there are so few beds in so few health facilities in the area. This photo was taken shortly before MSF opened an emergency project in Bria.
Next time, we’ll know better. We’ll dream better. We’ll dream higher. We’ll aim better. We’ll be better.
Next time, I’ll be everything I can’t be now. Next time, I’ll be everything.
But for this time, we’ll be ourselves. We’ll dream of ordinary things. We’ll dream of laughs coming from our tummies and dream of days filled with sunlight. We’ll aim for success and we’ll aim for love. We’ll aim for what we know to be possible. We’ll aim. We’ll fight. We’ll be enough.
Next time, you’ll show me the way. You’ll guide me to being a better me. But that’s for next time. This time, we’ll just smile at each other when we meet by the road, we’ll sigh inside for the time long past gone. And we’ll walk away, knowing that we were enough. Just never enough for each other.
We’ll stare into the emptiness of what we have become. And smile at the nothingness, smile for the time long gone by. We’ll be happy inside. We’ll be happy.
Next time, you’ll have it all. Next time, the tears won’t exist. But for this time, we’ll look at each other through clearer eyes and reminisce on the laughs gone by. We’ll laugh for the sake of laughing. And maybe we’ll fake caring for the sake of it.
Next time, things will be better. But then, next time will never come.
Next time… Next time… La prochaine fois, je t’aimerai de tout mon coeur, mais d’abord, Il faut que j’apprenne à m’aimer
The monotony, it’s going to kill me. I know. It;s the enemy of all things. Monotony.
Dearest, understand my feeling. Understand how my heart beats when you come close. Understand how I wish you knew things. Understand that I wish.
The greatest of all creations is the one who can differentiate from right and wrong and act on it. But why does this hurt so? Why does it hurt so to watch you walk away? Why does it hurt so knowing that this will never be ours?
The monotony, I’m going to need saving. I need to see the light. I need to feel. Feel. Feel.
Tell me, do you see it in my eyes? Do you feel it too? Or is just my imagination? Is it me or is it you? I feel like the desert we’re in is pouring with rain, and I am so lost because the desert doesn’t usually see rain, does it?
The water pouring on me is so astoundingly strong. How could I ever handle not walking with you? How could I ever handle watching the horizon fade from everything to nothing?
But tell me, do the stars fascinate you the same way they fascinate me? Because I’ve seen you look. Not at stars, but I’ve seen you look. I’ve seen you observe. I’ve heard you hesitate before you say something. I’ve felt your confidence from all sides of me.
Then why, why, why does this hurt? Why does it make me feel suffocated? Why is it that when I am not with you, I feel like I can’t breathe? Why is it that you mean so much? When clearly, I’m just one drop of your rain.