The Gears


Gears 733723995_70fc3a3df1 In observing the inner workings of a clock, you could deduce that work was accomplished by witnessing the electron output of the battery and the mechanism of the gears. You could essentially come to the same conclusion if you were to simply stare at the clock face and watch as the hands are propelled around the circumference. But if you were to just see the time at 12 hour intervals and were only able to observe the outward appearance of the clock, being blind to the internal workings and the intermediary positions of the minute and hour hands, it would be impossible for you to see that anything was being done at all. In fact if you were to observe this day after day at exact 12 hour intervals, you would assume that the clock was broken, the mechanism was shoddy and the battery was dead. No work. No movement and no purpose. No value to you. Useless.

Simply by putting limitations on when or how you are allowed to see something or someone can completely destroy perceptionyour ability to perceive effectiveness or ‘greatness,’ or for that matter, mediocrity. If, every time I saw an individual, they were on their way to a business meeting (dressed to impress, in their Armani suit and a new haircut), my only perception of them would coalesce with that image of them. “This person is sharp, professional, and on point all the time.” But, if your only interaction with me was on the rainy day after a major exam that I had failed after having been given a speeding ticket while wearing the only clean clothes I had left before dry cleaning (i.e. hippie rainbow t-shirt my niece made for me and ‘John Stockton’ gym shorts), you would absolutely assume the worst in me.

What is the point of this very obvious and cliché understanding of ‘don’t judge a book by its cover?’1004simpsonsWell, most of everybody here in this wonderful country of ours has had little to no exposure to the concept of Islam. In fact, the only snippets they may have ever gotten were from the likes of my boy, Rush Limbaugh and his deranged spawn, the Fox News crew. The average American’s perception of Islam is a montage of the ‘cyclic 12 hour’ slant they get from constantly seeing big, brown boys with blood soaked beards with barrels abound (there is a taste of some Shakespearian alliteration baby). But seriously, if the only image they ever get is one of flogged women, burning effigy and violent riots topped of with an Allah-u-Akbar, how do we expect them to think any differently? It is actually not fair to presume that people will investigate further than from their couch on the tube because that is what people have time for.

There is a light at the end of this tunnel. Why I write this post today: Every one of us here represents this religion with every interaction, with every eye-to-eye conversation and with every word that drivels out of our mouths. We become the ‘filler’ between Osama and Saddam. We can be the moments in time between the 12 hour interval snap shot they get of the ‘broken clock’ they see on the news and read about in the newspaper. The smile you give, the door you hold open and the litter you return to the trash can become what people remember and relate to the belief in your heart. The prayer in public followed by the warm handshake paints the rest of the blank canvas they have of what it is we believe the world should be like. Our successes, achieved fairly and honestly, become the predominant  representation of our people. We suddenly become the gears that make this clock function so that all may see the greatness of the impetus that moves us.

hans_franzHope this PUMPS YOU UP!

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~ by Yousaf on May 11, 2009.

2 Responses to “The Gears”

  1. Wonderful post!! I agree with you on everything you said. However, if I may, I would like to stress a certain point, being that I spend most of my time on Campus when I’m not home. I think the ultimate goal of this is that these sorts of changes ought to be implemented on a group level. It must obviously begin on an individual level. However, looking at it from a Non-Muslim’s perception, the harm inflicted from Muslim guys and girls sitting together on Campus terraces sharing one big Hookah will outweigh the positives of one or even a couple of people acting in the way that pleases Allah.

    So I just hope that people will change themselves so that they may be “the moments in time between the 12 hour interval snap shot they get of the ‘broken clock’”, but at the same time it is our responsibility to share this message with our fellow brothers and sisters inshallah. Keep up the good writing Brotha!

  2. Very eloquent post, MashaAllah 🙂 Keep on truckin! haha…

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