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Ramadan: On Us and Empathy

24 April 20

24 April 2020 marks the beginning of Ramadan when Muslims across the country and everywhere in the world would not only abstain from food and drink but also focus on a spiritual plane. As we observe self-reform, our abstention from desires may help us remember blessings of life we take for granted.

Especially during these trying times when people suffer from and die of the coronavirus disease. People are worried about the safety and security of themselves, of their families. People lose jobs even when they should not and many end up experiencing economic hardship. This is especially every one underprivileged, the low-income families, everyone earning minimum wage or even less, and the unemployed.

May all of us, in our own positions of power, no matter how small or especially big it is, reach out to help. May we open doors of blessing to others, rather than close them. This is the time for us to pause, self-reflect, and remember what we have done yesterday and take responsibility.

Ramadan should not only be a devotion through words but commitment through actions. We could express gratitude, we could seek forgiveness, but what we all need now is to help the needy.

They are not far. They could be those you see on TV or read on your smartphones but some are around you; the bread seller on the bike you hear almost every day, the housemaids who make your bed, the garbage collectors who keep your residential area clean, the delivery guy who works three jobs to make ends meet, the cashiers who arrange everyone's grocery, the street food vendors you might have never noticed, the parking lot attendants who is someone's father, and the security officer who wants to buy lebaran gifts for his grandchildren. They are people around us. They are not that far.

Milestone wishes you four weeks of blessings this Ramadan. May this holy month teach us to pray sincerely and treat others respectfully.