Thinking of Respect on a Summer’s Day

By Hakim Abdul-Ali 

This summer season so far has been one where it’s been somewhat hard to describe in mere terms of simplistic expressions. It’s really been something unexpected and thought-provoking in many norms.

You see, it’s been raining a lot off and on where I live in the coastal Charleston,  South Carolina, area locally called the Lowcountry. Carolina rain in the summer bothers a lot of folk but, for me, it’s a natural earthly splendor.

I’ve always loved the rain since I was young because I think, ideally speaking, it has always suited my nature. I’m a loner type of sort, and the majestic precipitation brought about by rainfall has always made me feel very humble and respectful of the weather and the various other marvelous creations of the Creator Alone.

Whenever it rains, I think of the awesomeness of the merciful elements that the Most High Alone reveals and displays and makes them useful for all of His creations in the cosmos to benefit from, no matter who they are or where they reside. So, when I think of rainy times, I strangely think of being humbly respectful in a time and space where being at peace is a premium virtue.

I offer that knowing fully well that this nation of ours is in an overall literal funk about so many complex things from stagnant politics and immigration to unbearable crime and affordable health care and this list, seemingly, goes on and on into eternity.

It, sometimes, can make any sane mind tire of the apparent relentless transparencies and coy full motives of some elected officials and others.

With so much racial divisions and political upheavals taking place throughout the global universe, I can see why mutual respect for one another is an absent virtue from the hearts, mind and souls of many patriotic-minded beings, whoever they are. Respect, as a real entity, seems to be as far from the average being’s mindset as Mars is from Pluto.

Take for instance, the one-year anniversary of what tragically took place in last year in Charlottesville, Virginia, which was celebrated a few days ago, and I wonder, as I write, whether the country, en masse, really gets or absorb anything from it.

Sometimes, I wonder as it appears that the country is divided as it always was in some sectors, except for the folks who are cashing in on some other folks’ continued miseries, struggles, heartaches and sufferings.

Look at the rampant killings that are still going on in urban hot spots like Philadelphia, Chicago and various other continual neglected hotspots around this land like crazy as a tuned out segment of America is concerned only about an aged player’s golf game. I wonder, again, when will the respect for the important things of life for all like reverence for living surface once more in the America of promissory political speeches.

Being real and upfront, I’m a Muslim, and you may be a Christian, while others may label themselves Jewish, Rastafarian, Sikh, or Buddhist, etc., but where is the respect that we should have for each other as created beings of the Most High Alone? On an isolated rainy summer’s day, I asked myself that question, as I now seriously pose it to you. Please think before you respond.

Listen, the living process in this phase of existence is all that we have, and it’s a ordeal on many inhabitants of the “hue-man” family, especially people of color, to just survive daily. That may not apply to a certain group of well-to-do, elite and fortunate folk, but there’s a humongous cadre of struggling folk of all ethnicities who are catching pure hell on earth just trying to remain alive.

These scuffling universal ethnic brothers and sisters of ours are the ones who may have no voice to explain their sorrows and woes because to them they feel forgotten, neglected and disrespected.

The rain, falling in my world of existence last week, made me reflect on God’s reasoning for allowing it to fall when it did, and also why some folk are tested the way that they are, including me and you. Think!

I said it before that the rainfall is respectfully soothing to me, and it, oddly, helps me reflect on all of the suffering in “hue-manity” who need more abundant heartfelt, respect shown toward them. In summer, I make that remark to you, just as I would in the winter, spring and fall of our lives also.

Life is getting shorter by each fleeting moment, and I believe that it shouldn’t be taken as a lark of existence. No, it so precious until we must respect everything that is in existence from protecting the helpless animals to safeguarding the distant ozone to respecting our nearest “hue-man” brother or sister of creation.

We need to educate ourselves about so many fundamental things of common decency until there’s not enough time to get the message across to one and all. My column today only serves as a personal wake up call message to myself (and to you) to let’s be a little bit more aware of the fact that respect is a two-prong process – “you’ve got to give it in order to receive it.”

 My parents instilled that in me, and they were right because that teaching never gets old or wears itself thin. Some young folks, who seem to act like they know it all, need to learn that before they get old. Life is about continual learning.

It’s a life skill tutorial that many of these so-called hip-hop souls need to learn and teach their kids. Remember, too, that “what goes around, comes around,” and that lesson is something old folks can teach young folks a thing or two about from hard-earned experience before it’s too late.

I don’t intend for this to be a preachy type missive, but rather one that is an esteemed communiqué reminding you that everyone who you meet is due mutual respect and honor. Extending that courtesy to all will help us come together as a people and a community.

The world is more than “me, myself and I,” and the quicker we all learn that and what respect really entails, the better we all in this nation and the rest of the world will become for it.” Remember that respect is a two-way street.

 As a daily spiritual thinker and striver, I’m constantly challenged to try to understand the magnificence of each moment in time and space that’s afforded me with a greater respect that’s due to the Creator Alone in every facet of my understanding.

Maybe, that’s why whenever I see rain on any occasion, I’m humbled to recognize that it’s a sign of bringing change to nature on one level or another for the better.

If nature is the ultimate love song, and it is, then why can’t the lot of us, as “hue-mans,” recognize the transcendent beauty in sharing peace and having respect peace for all through the lenses of wishing for our fellow ethnic beings of “hue-manity” what we wish for ourselves?

For today and alway, that’s, “As I See It.”


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