by Fariha Wajid
This article was originally published on Simply Everything and More:
You see, I know I said my blog would be about “simply everything and more,” but there is so much I don’t cover. So many thoughts, so many rants, so many dreams, so many questions that I just don’t write about. Is it because some topics are sensitive and I’m not sure how people will react? Is it because this blog is professional and somethings just don’t belong here? Is it because somethings are better left unsaid?
The truth is, I don’t know. I just stick to my comfortable areas of discussion and I think that’s fine, but one thing has been bugging me. It isn’t about design, fashion, photography, or my usual blog post subjects.
It’s about humanity.
I don’t know why I haven’t written about how much my heart aches every time I log on to Facebook and see posts about the number of children/women/men/people dying around the world everyday. Have I no heart? Have I no soul? Or is it because maybe I just don’t know how to put these thoughts into words.
Here it goes.
See, when I first checked the “Bachelor of Architecture” box on my college application for my degree, I’m not going to lie, I thought I was going to save the world through design. Then, slowly, I realized that I could help people live BETTER through design, but I might not be able to SAVE the whole world. I could be a little PIECE of that dream, because the truth is, my part won’t do ALL the work. Other people are needed. People with fresh skills and talents. People with dreams and ambitions, but most importantly, people with hearts that ache when they see the state of the world.
People who take a second to reflect.
I am so very far from being perfect and I’m really not doing enough of my part to achieve that dream of saving the world, but I wish I could tell everyone around the world – from whatever religion and ethnicity – suffering from pain, hunger, fear, danger, sorrow, and loss…that I look up to you.
I look up to you for your patience, for your endurance, for your faith, and for your hope. Everyday I wonder how you’re able to live in such fear and stress, when I just have the stress of a person with food, shelter, and a good education. I wonder how we sit here wasting food, when you search for our leftovers to eat amid the strife that keeps you from eating. I wonder how it must feel to raise your children among the dangerous circumstances you live in, when we sit here wondering which private school is better for our future kids. I wonder how you still manage to pray while you’re experiencing such hardships, when we sit here missing or delaying prayer since we’re so lost in all the wonderful worldly things we have. I wonder how God will reward you immensely for all you have endured and how we will have no reason for being as ungrateful as we are.
For those who don’t know, I’m sometimes known to be overly empathetic by my friends and family. They say it can be unhealthy if you get so lost in the negative aspects of the world we live in and ignore the positives. This is true, but I really think we need to put ourselves in other people’s shoes sometimes to realize how fortunate we really are.
Am I ranting? Maybe. But really, it doesn’t matter what religion you follow. It doesn’t matter what your ethnicity is. I don’t care if you have donated money to the many good causes around the world or not, but at least donate your time to reflect, to ponder about how grateful we should be for the clean food and water, for the safety, for our education, for our loved ones, for our health, for the ability to even read this post wherever we’re sitting right now.
Some of you might be wondering where this random rant is coming from. It’s coming from seeing the news, from seeing the videos, from hearing first-hand experiences of people both near and far, from just realizing that I feel extremely blessed right now. Yes, I’m Muslim and yes, it’s Ramadan, which is intended to be a month of reflection, but you don’t need to be a part of a certain religion or ethnicity or political background to reflect.
You just need to be human.
Fariha Abdul Wajid is an Architecture student at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) in Chicago and an intern at the Department of Architecture and Design at The Art Institute of Chicago. She is also an avid photographer and blogger.