By Hakim Abdul-Ali
Many topics surrounding things that I write about or comment on as a columnist have come about as a result of my coming in contact with a diverse and interesting amalgam of “hue-mans.” All this exposure has made me keen to listening to their highs, qualms, cares, reservations and lows of life.
Some of these folk I’ve known for some time and I legitimately call them buddies. And others are merely casual acquaintances who I’ve only met for the first time or known for a short period.
They all have taught me so much in so many varied norms of perceptions until I could never thank them enough for sharing their stories with me. And, before I proceed, please know that all of these occurrences have not been what you might describe as peaches and cream because they certainly have not been like that.
As I reflect on these stimulating experiences and what they have added to my educational, social and spiritual developments over the years, I now realize how much I’ve grown mentally. I’ve also come to value the importance of the role that considerate reflection plays in guiding one’s destinies.
While looking at the various worldly living standards of today, from the shining palaces of the global elite to the deprived shanties of the impoverished, I see looming trouble ahead. Along with rampant corporate and political greed on the part of the well-to-do to the disparaging absence of positive hopefulness on the minds of the world’s neglected and maligned folk, there’s surely trouble in paradise and something has to give.
In looking at these local, national and worldly dilemmas, maybe we all need to reflect on some very pertinent issues, concerns and matters that are hovering over our patriotic landscapes. Sadly, if we objectively reflect and look at what’s really ailing the world-at-large, we’d observe that the main problem is further spurred on and exacerbated by a disconnect from one’s misaligned spiritual link to the Creator Alone.
I feel that the connection between knowing one’s true created purpose in life is inextricably tied to knowing that she or he was first created by a force greater than them. Just acknowledging that unspoiled phenomena should be a daily required reflective activity for the wise believers in God Alone’s uniqueness.
By reflecting on the Oneness of the Creator Alone, it refuels a believer’s sense of purpose in living in today’s worldly chaos with peace within himself/herself, nature and the rest of “hue-manity.” It takes a spiritually reflective believer and a disciplined thinker to understand that.
It’s to be remembered that one must never forget that the fragility of each second that is extended to one and all now is not guaranteed that the next moment will be graciously bestowed upon him or her. Again, understanding that life in this world, and awaiting death, are God Alone created vestiges, and they are pragmatic realities that the living among us should always reflect upon and never forget.
As a created brother of color living in this potentially great country, I’m forever drawn to the remembrance of the millions of enslaved and tortured Afrikans, who were stolen from the world’s Motherland and what they endured has never left my psyches. No it hasn’t, and whenever I start to think about complaining about anything, I step back and I remember the real, under reported and under hyped Black Holocaust of the Middle Passage involving Afrikans from the Motherland.
“Black Lives Do Matter,” and I’ve come to know that life is what you make it. I also know that the living experience, from birth to death, is the ultimate engaging voyage, a spiritual journey that I believe some absent-minded souls never fully grasped until it’s too late. Do you grasp what I just said?
As a Black man, believing in the Creator Alone and no other, I sense that the Afrikan religious traditions and cultural realities may be and are marginalized by colonial “his-storians,” institutional bigots and systematic politicians. But l’ll always remember what my known and unknown ancestors experienced and how they were viewed as second class sub”hue-mans,”a stain that still lingers in my reflective soul.
Knowing this and being forever “our-storically” reflective, always keeps me in “A Time to Reflect” sentimentality. So, with each new passing second in life, I’ve come to realize how special each moment that has been extended to me really, really is, and that’s why I give only praises to the Creator Alone.
When all this happens, I’m forever eternally thankful to the Most High Alone for being able to have been given another opportunity to appreciate the beauty of the living experience. I’m in a continual battle to do this constantly, even where racial intolerance exists because. after all, “this is still America.”
The essence of reflecting and trying to be a positive minded being in today’s worlds of conflicting discriminatory turmoil is a definitive challenge to every so-called ethnic minority living here in the USA from Vermont to Oregon and all points in between. Still, I know that the living process is a sacred realm of the here and now, even with all of the myriad of injustices galore that have taken place in my and most folk of color’s lives, yet, I can resolutely say that “I’ve been blessed.”
I must add, “All praises are due to the Most High Alone,” and that’s why I have to reflect on God Alone’s blessings to me and others in all of our worlds of existences. In troubled times, serious spiritual reflection is good for all aware souls of the universe who know how precious and fragile each moment in time and space truly is. Do you?
Wise philosophers have said that “life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forward.” That’s the way its been for me as I’ve personally come to realize the stupendous virtues of learning from all of the experiences in my life which I’ve encountered thus far.
Living in such complex times as we are and do is a ruminative adventure in itself. I’ve been told that modern day thinkers say to “reflect upon your present blessings of which every man has many and not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some” is a sign of tremendous intelligence.
Can you relate to that simplistic philosophy, or do you have a different philosophical outlook about reflecting on your personal life’s inner and outer orbits? Think before you respond, and know that we, not-so-politely, need to be brought down to earth in assessing and processing the trials of our lives life which have been and are presently taking place.
That why always savoring “A Time to Reflect” is a much needed spiritual process to be able to think, but don’t forget to absorb what you’re processing? Remember that there are signs in everything. For today and always, that’s, “As I See It.”