I remember hearing on Dr. Phil that when a person shows anger they’re actually at their weakest.

And that anger and sadness are often symptoms of a more basic emotion: fear.

I don’t know about all that, I just know that I often have to balance how much news of the world’s events I take in, in order to preserve my own composure.

Like many people, tragedy hits me pretty hard.

Especially children’s suffering. Guess it’s the maternal instinct in me. When I think of the situation in Syria, Myanmar, the refugees and migrants making their way to Europe and the brutal and hostile reception they’re receiving, I can’t help but think of my own children and my grandchildren, hold them closer, and thank God that we’re not in that situation.

And it makes me feel guilty that we have so much.

And when I see the callous indifference of major corporations to the effects they have on ordinary working people, like in the case of the pipeline they want to cross into North Dakota, it gets me pretty riled up.

Had lunch with a dear friend yesterday who always reads my blogposts and she said that my last blogpost came across as ‘angry’.

Immediately I thought, “Oh dear! I can’t afford to be angry!”

Angry and Muslim doesn’t go well in this day and age.

We Muslims have to be ‘admirable’. We have to be noble in the face of suffering.

We have to be patient.

And yet the Canadian in me wants to tell it like it is, unfiltered, which is what I did with my last post.

There are countless beautiful people (of all colors) who have reached out and spoken out against injustice of all kinds.

There is a hadith I love that goes: Speak the truth even if it is against yourself.

And that’s what I try to live my life by.

When I was talking to my friend and she said I sounded so angry, I thought to myself, No, not really angry. Sad.

Even writing this I have tears in my eyes. There is so much wickedness in the world!

And my heart bleeds for those who are oppressed.

I’ve always in particular been sympathetic to the plight of the Native community.

With the Dakota access pipeline struggle that’s happening right now, and the lack of major coverage on the news channels…it feels so overwhelming!

And when I was expressing that in my last post it must have come across as anger, but no, it’s not anger as much as frustration and sadness.

Such are the limitations of the written word that you cannot always tell the tone of my speech by what I’m writing and I’m way too lazy to use a lot of emojis to clarify, although that probably would be prudent.

I started reading a book by member of parliament Charlie Angus called Children of the Broken Treaty.

It is very well written and documents that we Canadians have nothing to feel smug about in terms of the treatment of our native community. We claim to be a tolerant and enlightened country, especially with regards to how America treated their natives, and yet the disenfranchisement continues, and despite all the calls for action, the native community in Canada continues to face blockades to development and the enjoyment of a standard of living that I, as an immigrant, take for granted. Something as simple as clean water!!!! And proper schools!!! Are things that native communities long for!

When I first began reading the book, some of the anecdotes of the suffering of native children on the residential schools were so horrible that I couldn’t stop crying.

I felt like curling up into a ball and just closing my eyes!

And then I spoke to a television producer lady that I’ve known for quite a while and she said that the book shouldn’t be considered as depressing. It’s a call to action. And then she said something that really changed the way I looked at it all. She said it’s not like the onus is on any one person to change things all on their own.

And it was like a light bulb went off.

Who do I think I am? Did I really think it’s up to me to fix the world’s problems???

Only me???

Who do I think I am?

And it was very reassuring.

Because if these issues make me feel so moved, then that means, other people will feel exactly the same way.

I am certainly not the only one who is sympathetic to the suffering of the native community! There are loads of other people working much harder for much longer than I on these issues!

So my role in this is simple. It’s to call others. To use whatever skills I’ve acquired as a writer, to spread the knowledge of what I’ve learned and motivate others to do something too.

It’s with the action of many that these things can change.

People are not always willfully cruel.

They are busy. And they don’t know, like I didn’t know.

If you want justice, you have to stand up and ask for it.

And keep asking for it. Like with the #NoDAPL movement.

Patience and perseverance.

One step in front of the other, keep going.

And it reminds me of another hadith where the Prophet (peace be upon him) said that God loves actions that even if they are small, they are done consistently.

I’m paraphrasing.

So it’s meant drying my tears, rolling up my sleeves, and getting to the task at hand without any grandiose expectations of what one single person can accomplish.

We’re all in this together.