Some Observations for the Holy Month

The holy month is just around the corner. Literally at the corner in fact. 3-4 days away now. And given the temperature rise that takes place in our personalities in general and the way the actual temperatures are going I think we must take stock of things before hand to ensure that we actually live up to the most basic creed of this holy month. It is an ideal time to learn patience, peace, self-control and acceptance. The patience to not just go through the day without food and water. But patience in our dealings as humans with other people as well. In our understanding of other people. In managing our tempers and moods and attitudes. Peace with knowing who you are, peace with the situation and circumstances around you and in your particular world. Peace in achieving spirituality. Peace through spiritually getting closer to our Almighty Allah. Self-control on all forms of temptations. From food to all those addictions to habits and behaviors which are negative or not exactly good. And acceptance of others. Of who they are. Of the fact that not everyone is the same.

From this point on let’s try and be on our best behavior from all aspects for Ramadan and maybe continue those behaviors going forward in life as well.

  1. Remember – We are all human

We are all but humans created by the same Almighty. However we are all not the same and yes some people make errors – in work, judgement and simple day to day tasks. Let’s remember that being human means to err. Let’s not lose our cool on those mistakes made by people no matter how irritating they may seem. Breathe in and don’t let it get to you. People aren’t robots and maybe some people can’t perform to their possible levels during Ramadan. Or well some people are genuinely more error prone but not due to any lack of effort. That’s unfortunately who they are. So maybe instead of losing your cool try and helping. You might just point out something they have been doing or approaching wrong.

  1. Fasting isn’t just about no eating and drinking

It isn’t just about not eating and drinking during the day. It’s also about practicing good behaviors and interactions with people. It’s also about your good manners as a human being overall. Not being rude to people unnecessarily. Not just trying to be aggressive in an effort to establish yourself as a dominant personality and showing your well I don’t know perhaps position of power. Not having ulterior motives. Not back biting. Not gossiping. Not getting into everyone’s business. Not spreading everyone’s business to everyone when everyone is not even concerned. No dramatics.

  1. Live and let live

First and foremost everyone isn’t a follower of Islam. There are people who follow other faiths. And it is not in their religion to be fasting. So they are eating and drinking. You should not have a problem with that. PATIENCE AND ACCEPTANCE. Ok there are people who follow Islam as well and who do not fast. AGAIN – YOU should not have a problem with that. PATIENCE and ACCEPTANCE. Maybe they have health issues which does not allow them to fast or they are currently unwell or in a situation where they cannot fast. Or maybe it was an off day. Or maybe they don’t fast. It is between them and Allah. As long as they are not coming and interfering with you fasting or actually trying to make you not fast then it shouldn’t concern you. Judgement is not for humans. It is for Allah. Yes we may advise – but not judge. And this is not just for Ramadan and fasting. Everyone has their own way of living and approaching life. Their own priorities and their own goals in life. They have their own worries and struggles and happiness moments and achievements. Their own way of celebration and their own way of dealing with stress and grief. People go through circumstances which change their personality. Some people have a change in lifestyle when they have a change in their life – new place, new job, getting married etc. Different things. People evolve and grow. Its ok. As long as whatever is happening isn’t coming and actually harming you physically or getting in the way of your being able to live happily and do your things and duties of life in peace – then it is not your problem. Don’t go out of your way to make it a problem. Live and let live. And be ok with things.

  1. Explore a healthier lifestyle

It might not sound like something that can happen in Ramadan especially given how we are a culture which is big on grand iftars and grand sehris and as a nation love our food. But tell you what – Ramadan is actually a very good month to develop certain habits and routines. You can actually develop a better nutritional balance during this month as long as you are disciplined about it. Choose healthy foods over the jalebis and samosas. One offs are all good but focus on the greens and the fruits and the good proteins made in a good way. You can with discipline get your body used to this eating habit. And this eating habit will definitely help you in the long run. Avoid all the junk as much as possible and stick to as much organic as possible. Oh and home food is king during Ramadan. At all costs avoid the All you can eat Iftar buffets. Please. They are a waste of money and time and health. Also the best time to break habits which you might want to. And addictions if any.

  1. Dates are not just for symbolism and tradition

Dates are actually packed with a lot of energy. They are a good source of various vitamins and minerals. Its a good source of energy, sugar and fiber. Essential minerals such as calcium, iron, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, magnesium and zinc are found in dates. It also contains vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, vitamin A and vitamin K. So don’t think it is just a tradition for Ramadan or symbolic. There is lots of good in eating dates as can be read above!

  1. Plan a work out, sport or exercise just before or a little after Iftar

I am sure some of you already do this. And some of you are raising your eyebrows saying ‘is he mad! In this heat in Roza’. Granted on the face of it that may be a valid observation. But it is tried and tested. Rest it out during the middle of the day after your school/college or work. And just before Iftar hit the track/gym or field of sport. It will do wonders. You will realize that some latent energy will come through for you and just reaching home and freshening up in time for Iftar will be a great way to make sure you have a balanced iftar also and not over do it. At least that works for me. For those who don’t fancy this can always take the night work out option after Iftar.

7. Be as charitable as you can and help the needy

I can’t stress on this enough. People are needy and poor out there. They are suffering and are facing challenges on a daily basis. Help out as much as you can. Switch on the charitable side of your personality and never turn it off. Help children who are being deprived of their childhood eat meals. Distribute as many iftar as possible. Help people not just through money and food – but in any way possible. This is one of the best ways to appease Allah and also to attain a sense of spirituality and inner peace for yourself. And also for your after life. Help people to eventually help yourself. A few hundreds everyday will not affect your wallet. I am talking to the affluent ones here or in the very least people who have some privileges in their lifestyles. Distribute help this month and beyond. Donate to a charity. Spread the word. Physically help out with tasks if necessary. Aid those who are of special needs perhaps. Or those who are medically not doing well. There are many ways you can do this and must.

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Judgement

Humans have a tendency to pass judgement almost instantly on people, situations, events or circumstances without taking all factors into consideration. A person’s action at a point in time are judged without looking deeper into what led to the action or the circumstances behind the same. An event without understanding the external and internal factors revolving around it – this is of course barring all natural or very obvious events. A statement. A mindset. An act. Behavior. Different things but all resulting in a natural tendency for a person to pass judgement. Or an opinion. Without taking into consideration all things or all factors.

This is a tendency that at least I have come to realize lies within most people. Maybe not applicable to one person for all situations but that one person would have judged something or someone at some point without getting into the details. Labelled them also perhaps. And then the label itself serves to be the point of judgement for others. An example, mundane example, a restaurant experience for someone might have been bad resulting in a critical review being posted online. The review going viral and the restaurant in question gaining the label of a place having questionable service or product. While in actuality the case might have been a one off or a bad day. Or a new place going through teething issues.

But that was a mundane example. And one which might not hit home with people a lot. Let’s take another example. A person’s behavior.  People might be having a bad run of days. Or they might be going through a difficult patch in life. Or maybe they are just born that way. I am not saying that a person’s negative behavior is immediately required for us to think of a reason for them to be that way. Perhaps for some people that is not the case. That’s their personality as it has been molded since birth by the environment around them and their upbringing. For some it might have been some experiences which have changed them. For some it might not actually be who they are but a consequence of what they are perhaps going through at a certain point or period in life.

Everyone has their own set of problems or challenges that they are facing in life. Some deal with them with remarkable ease, strength and poise. Some fare on an average level and manage to survive out the other end. Others find it difficult perhaps. And this also can vary form point to point or situation to situation. Not necessarily written in stone as a trend for someone to be the same always. Some people buckle after having to go through something of the other again and again. Some buckle after facing something of absolute enormity for the first time in life after having a pretty protected and otherwise near perfect life. Some have a system to get through things. Some don’t. We are all humans after all and every person is different to every other person and hence has differing attributes and differing perspectives towards each experience. Things which on paper may be same are not necessarily be the same in actuality for people. Every experience, every relationship, every feeling is different just as every person and every human is different to others. There are commonalities here and there. But never entirely the same.

One person has not gone through experiences that you have not and similarly you have gone through experiences they have not. We shouldn’t judge people. We should always try to examine the entire information set that we possibly can and even then discount for the fact that we still don’t know everything. Live and let live. Don’t judge. Always keep an open heart and mind. Stay calm and approach things with calm. Stress kills (something I also really need to learn). Giving stress also is just as bad. One must always learn to stay positive. Especially towards people. It will help a long way in life.

As is a usual trend in my blog posts – I am not sure if this will make much sense to people. I hope it does.