March 28, 2013

There is a Drastic Need For Empathy In All of Us

Poverty is a sad reality.  This truth makes my heart break because I can't eliminate it as an individual.  I think it is possible at least in some level if all the governments in the world collaborate and help each other without any expectations to get anything back in return.  We all know that this problem of poverty impacts billions of people around the world.  There are many people living under the poverty line even in developed North American countries because of circumstances.

Exposing our children to know this truth at a young age is important so they learn to appreciate the things they have and sometimes take for granted; it is also a good reminder for us as well.  TIFF Kids Film Festival from April 9th to 21st will have films and features such as Children of Kabul that I think we should take our children to watch.  

Children of Kabul is a documentary film recommended for children age 11 to 13.  This film shows the situation and tragedy of four children in the war-torn streets of Afghanistan that are going through child labour.  

I watched this film with my children, even though they are under the recommended age, because I wanted to talk to them about other people's lives around the world and how some children have no choice.  We all felt sad when we watched this film.  I think this feeling of empathy is important to encourage in all of us and it is a good idea to start teaching our children this from a young age so they appreciate everything in life and hopefully not take their blessings for granted.  

I too feel sad that I can't do as much as I want to help all those in need, but asking God to help and helping in every way possible is something I can do.  As part of my religion, Islam we are encouraged to feel this empathy by fasting in the month of Ramadan (the 9th month in the Islamic calendar) so we know how people that are needy feel, which will encourage us to sympathize and help.  Trusting God makes it possible to do these pillars of the religion, although it may seem to someone not observing the fast as though it is difficult.  It is also obligatory for Muslims to give a percentage of our income and other charities to those in need and help out.  

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There will be a Global Poverty Project Live Below The Line from April 29 to May 3rd, held in Canada to eradicate extreme poverty for people who are living off of $1.75/day for all their needs.  This project challenges its participants to spend only $1.75 a day on food and drink for 5 days, which will give a glimpse into the lives of people who have no choice and live in extreme poverty. 

I think if we all think of others and encourage each other to empathize, we will all be able to help in some way to better someone else's life within our own communities or in other places in the world.

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  1. So true dear.Very thoughtful and informative.I also wish every Individual understands and obeys the concept of Zakat.

  2. A very touching post. thanks for sharing


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