It's Ramadan and for me and muslims alike, we have been fasting. It's not been easy, but it does get easier and it's definitely rewarding.
Here are a few things that this month has taught me - some are random but definitely worth mentioning!
1. I cannot make samosas - Now, hold your horses, I can, ahem, cook them. What I mean is actually making that triangle shape...mine just doesn't work, the edges don't meet and there are holes! But never fear, I've heard you get better with practise.
2. Patience - Fasting really reinforces that notion of patience because we have to 'let go' for a time of so many things we think is impossible to live without, like food and water! This isn't only things like food and water, it goes further to include things such as manners. For example because the month has been described as a month of reflection, when you are speaking with someone and they annoy you, whilst fasting, you are more aware of what you are saying because of what ramadan means. So rather than putting that person in their place, like you would normally do, you think before you speak! We should really do this anyway, but because it's ramadan we are extra aware of things like this and then try to become and stay a better person throughout the rest of the year.
3. Thankfulness - I've realised that we have so much to be thankful for. This laptop I'm using to write this post on, the money I saved to buy it, the hours I worked to save for it, my job, - none of it would be possible without help. And what I'm describing to you is material, but it goes further because we have our health, strength, senses, legs, families, beds, shelter....the list is endless. So stay thankful. It also helps us to remain humble people and realise the importance of helping others - we don't know the situation other people face. So lets say thank you and alhamdulillah more often!
4. Life goes on - So there I am sitting at the desk helping a customer whilst at the same time, there is a thunderstorm in my stomach. And here it is, I may be hungry for a short time, but that doesn't mean the world stops for me. In the same way, there are people going hungry, like people who actually have no choice but to stay hungry, and still we live our lives. This really isn't meant to be in a horrible way, what I'm trying to say is that we keep doing the things we do, living whilst there are really people out there - and 'out there' doesn't just mean other countries, but also your own country, the city you live in - who are homeless, hungry, poor, have lost their families and homes, yet we carry on with our lives as if it's all the same. We have to stop and think about this, seriously.
5. Be less judgemental.
6. And lastly, there are some amazing people out there! Ramadan is a month where we reflect upon ourselves, and in doing this, it often brings out the good in people. It's about self-improvement.
But most of all, it makes me realise that we don't have to behave like this only for ramadan - we should constantly seek to improve ourselves and ramadan is the beginning of that!
So everyone, muslim or non-muslim, lets take something good from all of this. Pick something good and make it a part of your life. It's one small step that can lead to many more. It doesn't have to be something huge and can include things such as:
- smiling often,
- saying thank you,
- holding the door open for someone,
- volunteering to help
- picking a dangerous object from a path and moving it out of harms way,
- donate books to a school, shop or library,
- donate old clothes to charity,
- contribute to a charity - even if its only a penny - and if you can't give money, simply promoting it could be your form of contribution because through you, someone else might donate!
See what I mean, we don't have to go out of our way to make this happen. Lets keep it simple.