By: May Rostom
What better month to get right and help people than the holy month of Ramadan? As troubled Arabs that have some sort of identity crisis, we’ve been drifting further from God each passing day. Well, this month is the month of forgiveness and the only month you can actually get yourself back on track with minimum effort. Here are 10 simple things to try for a better you and a better society:
1. Talk to God: instead of BBMing our friends for at least 6 hours a day, let’s talk to God for 10 minutes a day. It could be in the form of praying or just plain and simple talk, try it you’ll feel relieved. In the end, there’s no better listener and word won’t get out.
2. Help someone: anyone. A lot of people around us need help. Whether it’s the blind man crossing the street, the old lady carrying her groceries, your mum loaded with house work, or even a poor man asking for money; always lend someone a hand, you never know when you’ll need one.
3. Share: sharing isn’t just for Facebook. Share your food with your neighbor, your car with someone who needs a ride, your time at a shelter, or even your old clothes with the less fortunate. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, keep that in mind.
4. Read: I know the book of God isn’t exactly “Eat, Pray, Love” but if you read 4 pages after each sala, by the end of Ramadan you would’ve read the whole book. Remember, what’s more important than reading the Quraan, is understanding it and taking interest in what it says.
5. Smile: spread love, you never know who could be breaking down and waiting for you to cheer them up. A simple smile to someone you don’t necessarily know (and I’m not encouraging flirtatious, hair-flipping smiles at the hot boy at the gym) will uplift their mood almost instantly.
6. Be useful: donations don’t have to be just money. You can donate your time at a shelter or an orphanage to help teach less fortunate kids something useful. There must be at least one subject you’re good at that you can pass on to someone else. You can also help plant fruitful trees in your neighborhood, hand out ice-water bottles to traffic police, paint a discolored wall in your area, or compliment the garbage collector on how important his job is.
7. Feed someone: carry dates in your bag and hand them out at Eftar time. On a much bigger scale, help cook meals and pack food bags to be sent to poor villages in your area. It’s great to feed someone in Ramadan, but it’s 10 times greater if you do that all year long.
8. Keep your mouth shut: That kind of applies all year round. If you have something nice to say about someone say it, if you don’t be quiet.
9. Hold your horses: easy on the F-word. Not just because Eftar time came and you’ve broken your fast means you’ll be swearing at every person you see till the next morning. Words are very powerful, use them correctly.
10. Share this article :or any article that helps people understand that good behavior is just a gesture away and should be all year round rather than 1/12th of a year.
Think outside the box, help people, talk to God, and just create an over-all better life for those who surround you. At the end of the day, what goes around comes back around.