In focusing on my everyday life I find that I can unconsciously tune out the world around me. Maybe I don’t check my e-mails or my Facebook page for a day or two, or don’t watch the news on TV. I am not trying to be ignorant of what’s going on locally and globally, it just happens. But I wonder sometimes if I am subconsciously tuning out. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t feel good to “forget” about the suffering of others for a little while. Why does it feel good? Because when it comes to the suffering of others, whether it’s family or a complete stranger; I feel it. It hurts. And what hurts the most is the feeling that I can’t do anything about it. I can pray, I can protest, write letters to Congress, etc; but I can’t stop it. I can’t make it go away. My magic wand just doesn’t work.
As I type this, I’m thinking about the uprisings in Syria. The famine in Somalia. Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan… And to bring it all back to my own backyard, how about the rising murder rate in New Orleans? It’s enough to make anyone close up shop on the world. After all, my cup is already full, I have my own self and my family to care for and worry about.But I always go back to the suffering of the world. Why? Because I feel that is what Allah wants me to do, wants us all to do. Even if all I do is pray, think, and worry, I’m doing something. I’m staying engaged with the world that Allah created and I am staying connected with His Creation. Allah created us to know one another, or at least to try. To care for and about each other, even if we’ve never actually met. Our compassion will never match that of Allah’s, and we can’t do anything without His Will, but if we care, if we feel that pain in our hearts, that pain that we can’t ease, then maybe we are doing all that Allah wants us to do.
Ambata is a native New Orleanian and mother to a two year old son. She is currently working on a master’s degree in English Literature. She has just started blogging at MORmama.