This year it felt like Ramadan really crept up on me. I mean I’ve known for months that it was starting in mid-July and it’s going to be ridiculously hard with the long days, crazy heat and all, but something about it just didn’t quite register. I guess it’s because I didn’t really take the time to stop and think about the impact of Ramadan. There’s more to it than just not eating or drinking from sunrise to sunset. Ramadan is supposed to be the time where we can start over. It’s supposed to be a chance to change ourselves and hopefully for the better. It’s a big motivation too because this is the month when Muslims realize how much power they have. Think about it.
We willingly abstain from eating or drinking for about 18 hours (this year at least), we don’t swear, we try not to get angry or start fights with others, some choose not to listen to music, etc. Not only that we consciously force ourselves to start good habits and to keep track of what our bad habits are so that we can change them. And all of a sudden we realize that there is nobody actually forcing us to do any of this. There’s no one there to keep you in check or stop you from eating. It’s all you.
What’s that line from Akeelah and the Bee? “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?”
I’ve never seen the movie, but that line sums up how I feel about Ramadan. And the whole idea of Ramadan and fasting for a month gives me the strength to strive to be a better person for the rest of the year. Because I can be.
Ramadan Mubarak to all my fellow Muslims!