Monday, August 16, 2010
Flooding in Pakistan
Ramadan is particularly significant this year. As I watch footage of the worst floods in history ravage my home country, Pakistan, I cannot help but think about divine timing. The most important goal of fasting during Ramadan is to instill a deep empathy for those less fortunate. And nothing will make you stop and reflect more than abstaining from food and water from sunrise to sunset. Come 1 p.m., when my stomach is growling and I have a dull headache from missing my morning coffee, I can't help but pause and think that there are millions people who are in this situation, not by choice but by circumstance, day after day. And that number just grew in the aftermath of the floods in Pakistan.
It saddens me deeply to know that many of those people will not even have access to one meal a day to break their fast. And I think about how fortunate I am that fasting is a choice. That avoiding my daily Starbucks is the biggest ordeal of my day. That throughout the day, I know that I have the luxury of eating a giant meal at night. Many people, whether in Pakistan or elsewhere, are simply not that lucky.
As my country of birth faces one of the biggest natural disasters in history, I hope you will consider putting your political views aside and donating to the relief effort. Because really, when you look at the pictures of children drinking dirty water, mothers holding babies above their heads to keep them safe, and people wading through chest-high water, their precious few belongings perched precariously on their head, you can't help but realize this isn't a political situation but rather, a humanitarian one.
So, hold out on the daily Starbucks run, bring your lunch this week, and skip your manicure. Donate that money to one of the great organizations involved in the relief effort. Remember, we could all use the good karma and the good wishes of someone we've helped.
... and more at the US Department of State
Photographs from The Boston Globe