The Kindness of Strangers.

July 4th, 2015, 5pm

On a hot summer day, when the heat of Houston was at its height and everyone was celebrating the fourth July, hundreds of people, all fasting for the month of Ramadan1, stood together as a loving community; as brothers and sisters, helping each other gain a generous experience. Together we stacked up good deeds and packed food for the homeless.

Once in a while I think about the blessings that Allah2 has given me. I think about all of the things I have—-from a comfortable bed to sleep on, to the pencils that remain untouched at the bottom of our family library. The bigger picture yearned at me to give back. Some people are not as lucky as you & I. There are the less fortunate. Everyone has a story to tell. Only, I was lucky enough to end up with a decent laptop and the chance to share my own stories on this site. Some people do not have access to this privilege.

It was my chance during such an oh-so blessed month to exercise my patience and teach myself that not everything is about me. The world is much bigger than just me.

There was a large assembly line. Everyone was busy bustling through the narrow working area and helping around. Some people put peanut butter on toast, some people applied the jelly, others bagged sandwiches in zip-locks; there were those who bagged water, airheads Xtremes, bananas, apples, and crackers. At the end of the line, there were people who added printed messages in the bags with large smiley faces on them. And see, this is what gives me hope that the world is not a completely cruel place. This will instill hope in the homeless and lonely people who walk the streets. They’ll say, “I remember those people who helped me live another day. Maybe it wasn’t enough to last me months, but at least I know that people think of me. That I am not alone.”

On this day, when American independence was being celebrated and fireworks lit up the sky, I knew that it was also a celebration of togetherness, dependence on each other, and community. Our hearts lit up with the sky as we ooh and ahhed at its wondrous picture on such a noble day.

And maybe if we all give back once in a while, everything around us, our whole world, would become more complex and lovable. Be it a genuine smile, a free slice of pizza, a pack of chalks to some little kid in the park—-do something kind today. Give something away.

”I have always depended on the kindness of strangers” —-A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) by Tennessee Williams

  1. The month in which Muslims (people who follow the religion of Islam) fast from dawn to sunset everyday, refraining from food, drink, backstabbing, fighting, lying, cheating, disrespecting your parents and elders, and other sinful acts. You may be wondering; isn’t it hard? Well, no real change in character comes easily. Change comes from learning, patience, and practicing good habits. And that my friend, is not easy. 

  2. The translation of “God” in Arabic 

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Hedaya Kelani

lover of arts. warrior. princess. poet. dreamer.

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