The way post Ramadan 2019 played out, the decision to no longer give up social media this month was made a long time ago. I don’t think any of you would accuse me of arrogance when, in our current state of affairs, I had to think about what I actually have left to give up. Sports, going to the movies, going for a nice sit down lunch with friends, personal vacations, all off the table.
So what am I sacrificing?
Blind faith, is something that was burned out of me as a teenager. Even the best of us are still human beings in the end. Having the power of a job, an organization, a government, or yes, even a religion seems to speed up the corruption, in my experience. My general tactic in life has been to bypass the quick ‘don’t believe that, that motherfucker is lying’ statement, and let people build their own bad reputation. It’s been very satisfying. Never in my life would I imagine that on the biggest stage possible, with thousands dying, that so many would seemingly walk into being exploited. But it’s not all blind faith is it? We’re all also getting a hard lesson in how far some people will ride the lie in their own self interest. There may be fear of going against the grain, maybe some embarrassment; just not enough to do the right thing. As a history buff, this also isn’t terribly surprising as much as it is disappointing.
When I found peace, I fell in love. I’ll never forget what life was like before I had peace. A major part of protecting my peace has been, at times, underplaying my intellect, deflecting where I stand politically, intentionally making the choice to not draw ‘too much’ attention to myself. Being ‘Bruce Wayne’ if you will. (There’s a strong argument that these are also tactics to survive being black and Muslim in America, but we’ll save that for another time.)
But, as I alluded to in the beginning, I’ve turned a corner. If I’m truly trying to represent in my lifetime as my historical mentors represented in theirs, then I feel we’ve reached the part of the Malik Aziz story where my actions have to demonstrate, not ‘blind faith’, but complete faith that Allah will protect me from anyone or anything that does not serve me or my calling.
You know of Malcolm’s influence, I can’t say now that I’ll be verbalizing my internal self confidence non stop like a young Ali. I can’t say I won’t be either. Time will tell.