“My country is the world, and my religion is to do good.”

It was the afternoon on the weekend; weather was quite sunny yet cold! A very good time to cuddle up in your comforter and have a nap – yes! I was having my afternoon nap!!!

“Spend the afternoon. You can't take it with you.” ~ Annie Dillard

Suddenly my sleep was disturbed by two ladies in the neighborhood talking and I remember by paying attention to there chat, I heard something like this –
“I wanted to clarify since the name of Pakistani people is so ruined, I want to tell you that we are not like that, and we are nice people!”

“Be nice to people on your way up because you’ll meet them on your way down.” ~ Jimmy Durante

This sentence made me curious and I went to my front door when I heard a knock on my door. Looking at the perfect opportunity, I opened the door and I saw my neighbor wishing me for Diwali and then I see this lady – who smiled at me and said – ‘Hi, am Nadia. I just live near by and new to US. I thought I might introduce myself to you all and make some friends.”
I felt very nice and felt it was very nice of her to take that initial step, when she mentioned its only been 3 months that we have come here from Pakistan, (while she was saying the country name she had a slight fear on her face as well…wondering about my reaction)! As usual my curiosity, I asked her where in Pakistan and she said Islamabad!
And then she started on and on about her, her stay in Pakistan and how her children are happy to find friends around here!

“The best vitamin for making friends: B1”

The lady seemed educated and well versed but the fear with which she is living that she is from Pakistan and people think all Pakistanis are bad, was something which was bothering me! I told her – “I happen to have some of best friends from Pakistan and believe me, I don’t know about Pakistan and India but I do know that in this part of the world we don’t make any discrimination about people and the country they belong!!!”
I was glad I was able to give her that comfort level but the whole evening went in the thought of – why she had to give explanation on how she and her family is? Why?

Isn’t it’s the person who can be good or bad and that can be of any country, religion, caste or gender!!!?

“To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible” ~ St. Thomas Aquinas

I felt bad for the lady and wanted her to think positive and need not raise her kids with these thoughts as the kids will also think and react in the similar manner when they deal with there friends in the school!

I personally feel it’s the people themselves who represent their individual characteristics and not any country!

I can see a friend in Nadia already and hence I look for opportunity to talk to her and be friends with her.

“In order to get beyond racism, we must first take account of race. There is no other way. And in order to treat some persons equally, we must treat them differently.” ~ Harry A. Blackmun


Comments

pria said…
Dawn,

Love this post and its all about connecting and communicating the differences.

Be nice to people on your way up because you’ll meet them on your way down.” ~ Jimmy Durante

- Everybody shud read these lines coz its the truth.
Keshi said…
I love that Vitamin B1 quote...superb!

Keshi.
krystyna said…
We need and loking for Peace, but Peace is. Peace is if we love each other. We all are God's creatures.
Your post is so inspiring and educational for some people.
krystyna said…
“I happen to have some of best friends from Pakistan and believe me, I don’t know about Pakistan and India but I do know that in this part of the world we don’t make any discrimination about people and the country they belong!!!” -
love this.

Best to you!
Art said…
Love it. You always use such great quotes! And that title is priceless. Amen!
MM said…
Tis happens to be one of ur best posts as yet!
Wow!
:)
Deepak Gopi said…
I personally feel it’s the people themselves who represent their individual characteristics and not any country!

I agree with you
thank you for the greetings
Sophie said…
wonderful read
Masd said…
Well I have found and made friends on net without making any attempt to assert or nullify my Pakistani credentials. Be your own friend and the world will be yours. Leave those people aside who see yourself as just Pakistani or Indians because they don't deserve your friendship.
Manish said…
Bharat Pak mein log ek pre mindset ke sath rah rah kar bade huye hain. Par jab we doosre mulq pahuchte hain to pare hain ki kuch khas farq nahin na culture mein na jubaan mein to ye deevarein khud ba khud dheeklin ho jati hain.
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Kalyan said…
Wonderful thoughts..it was lovely reading...very nice!
Sobi said…
I had a lot of prejudices about Pakistan and Pakistanis when i left India for the first time and reached Dubai. I worked in Dubai for 4 years as a Lecturer / Trainer....
Am so proud and happy to acknowledge, that the love and respect i got most was from my Pakistani students who varied from teenage students to Financial Controllers and Project Managers, which helped me change all my preconceived notions about nations,caste creed and race ...

Humans all over the world are the same ... they respond and reciprocate to warmth and goodness everywhere .... :-)
Ustad ji, one of my very good net buddy is adnan, he is from karachi, differences between me and adnan can be counted on finger tips
a) we are in different countries
b) we have different religious faiths
and thats all
may b more if i go by by some hardliner political and fundamentalist and ++ kind of ppl, but we have too many things in common, we both love urdu, we both love bird watching :P, we both love coding, we both spent all the time with our laptops, oh yes he is more religious than I am but then I am not religious at all.
We keep ranting about this crab mentality we have in south asian part of the globe, we fight each other for petty reasons and give world a reason to believe that we are bad.
Shiva said…
Very thoughtful post and more than it, your actions meant a lot. Hat's off to you.

Personally, I have always envisioned a unified sub-continet and not a separate india-pakistan. Together, the coutry can achieve more. May, it I'm being an utopian, but it's not an impossibility. May be the politicians should let it happen.

I have had the opportunity to have worked with ( though virtually) atleast 4 Pakistanis and a couple of operators and they have only been very helpful, brilliant and nice. Not only as person but even as collective being, they have been woderful. Politicians from both the sides are to be blamed and not the individual or the country.

Awaiting a poetntial travel opportunity to Pak in Dec2007. Hope it materializes!!
krystyna said…
I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving!
Anonymous said…
Happy Thanksgiving to you Dawn:) Waiting for ur next post.
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