Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Wisdom of Age

An old picture of my Grandma and I.
Being young is not just a period of development. As my youth progressed, I was constantly reminded of values such as respect and disrespect with experiences that would define my life. One experience I particularly recall was with my grandma. My grandma suffered from Parkinson’s when I was five. I helped her walk to the bathroom and also put on her shoes. I wasn’t only five, I was simply five. Being five has its wisdoms, which makes it special, just like being any other age. The cherishment of life resides in one’s experiences during their aging. Our elders are the ones whom we share these experiences with. These combinations of ages create occurrences that one benefits from throughout their life.

Growing older, I have become forgetful. Every age has its unique wisdoms, and being an adolescent, I continue to have many instances which I learn from. My dad was laid off from his job in October of 2009, and got into a severe accident the same day. He’s been unemployed for 2 years, and he has kidney cancer as well. He recently bought a new car, and got into a car accident a week later due to poor weather conditions. As these problems arise, I feel like our family has gotten it the worst. I don’t feel secure with my surrounding any more. I try to be successful, going into the future, but constant pessimistic thoughts infiltrate my brain. The other day my cousin, Raheela, was looking at my family’s old picture album. She saw a photo of my Dad sitting and smiling, with his long hair flowing in his face. She asked, “You look so young and happy. What has happened to you now?” He didn’t reply. In fact, he began to snore, as Raheela realized he was sleeping. My Dad isn’t the same energized and enthusiastic person anymore. He’s old, and I have to understand that I will be old one day too.

Imagining my future is a scary but beautiful thing. My grandma taught me manners; my parents taught me expression, but who will teach me next? I’m turning into an adult quicker than a pen hits a paper. I ask myself, “If I’m challenged with situations now, what challenges still await me?” My parents know that they are getting old, and they constantly remind me that I will have to be wise in the future. My Dad tells me, “Knowledge talks, wisdom listens”. If that’s the truth, then I hope the people I want to listen to, live forever.

-That's the TFAT.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

What if...

He can't go to sleep on a Sunday night because of the dread in his stomach that he has to wake up in less than 3 hours for another day of being bullied in his school. Bullied by kids who don't understand what it's like to be autistic. He comes home with a new bruise every time, and obliviously tells his mother that he's okay- when he really is hurting inside. He doesn't understand why his friends nicknamed him "Loner", when they're really making fun of how he always sits at the table all the way in the back of the lunchroom, where no one else sits. He goes along with the name, and takes it as a joke. His teachers call him stupid and everyone in the classroom laughs, so does he. They beat him up because the way he talks with a lisp annoys them, and he doesn't defend himself because he doesn't want to be suspended. He lives his life everyday with no one to support him, and no one to know his goals in life to motivate him to achieve them. His name is written in the bathroom stalls saying "Loner's a Fag".

What if he was your brother?

She wears a hijab (a scarf) because she is Muslim and is faithful in her religion. The guys in her school make fun of her and some call her "sweaty-head". She has considered taking off her scarf every time, but she repeatedly tells herself to not fall into society's trap. She is herself, and is unique- something that every other girl at her college doesn't understand. Nobody talks to her because she's different, and everyone gives her stares. She only has one intent- graduating college and becoming a successful lawyer. She gets even more awkward stares when she is all covered up and its over 100 degrees Fahrenheit outside. The only reason she is covered up is because she appreciates modesty and doesn't want men to stare at her only with the intent of sex.

What if she was your sister?

He comes home from work at 10PM and wakes up for work at 4AM. His day consists of driving 70 miles to his job, where he works at a steel mill performing heavy-duty work like iron-making, product rolling, etc. He gets paid $55,000 and his wife doesn't work. He has two unappreciative kids of which take his money only to spend on drug and alcohol behind his back. He only wants to create a better future for his kids financially and mentally. He believes his kids are loyal, and tells all his brothers about them. If he figured out, he would be heartbroken to a point that he would feel his life is worthless.

What if he was your father?

She did everything she could for her children, although she didn't receive any appreciation from her kids- well, except on Mother's Day of course. She was a stay at home mother, but now she stays at a mental rehabilitation facility. The only time her kids cared about her was after she got into the severe car accident that resulted in brain damage and memory loss. Her husband ditched her and found a new wife, who the kids manage to love. The kids don't care, they actually love their step-mother more than their real mom because she allows them to go outside past curfew. The mother only has nurses to look after her at the rehab center now.

What if she was your mother?

Each of these are true stories reflecting real experiences of real people. We are so arrogant at times that we only begin to care for people when somebody points out our wrongs.

Take a minute to step out of your life, out of your arrogance. Look at the way you treat others. The saddest form of regret you could have is never taking this moment to realize how harsh you can be. 

What if it was you?

-That's the TFAT.