#Gratitude & #eid |133
A successful fast is worth celebrating. And, even if we didn’t directly participate, we should be grateful for those who did.
I’ve been on three deployments to predominantly Islamic countries. I was a part of the Army’s initial invasion into Iraq. I did a second deployment to Iraq ending in 2006. I’ve also served in Afghanistan.
My interaction with the cultures in Iraq was limited. It was mostly confined to observations while driving and interactions at whatever local bazaar was set up nearby.
In Afghanistan I served as part of a team of advisors to an Afghan Army Unit. It was a stressful deployment. It had its rewards. Working as closely as we did it also taught me a lot about other cultures. These memories are a part of who I am.
In order to discuss eid I’m going to step out of my comfort zone and talk about someone else’s beliefs. If I get any of my facts wrong, please leave a comment below. My intent is not to judge, but to share my perspective.
There’s a lot of folks who choose to lash out when they’re scared. Who’ve created false impressions based on the unknown, but if God measures use on our humility shouldn’t we do the same with our fellow man?
One way I find people to follow on Twitter is to search for the word gratitude. So I’m off looking for more people who are expressing their gratitude and I find a large number of people expressing their gratitude for Eid. So, what is Eid?
Eid is the feast at the end of the month of Ramadan. Ramadan is a holy month that commemorates history and connects all who participate through a shared experience. One of the most visible parts of that shared experience is the daily fast.
It’s a beautiful expression of humility. For the entire month practitioners choose to avoid food or drink during daylight hours. After the sun sets they break their fast with family each night. When the month is over there is a large gathering of friends and community to commemorate then end of the fast. This gathering and celebration is a feast known as eid.
I’ve been highly impressed by those who are expressing their gratitude using the phrase Eid Mubarak. The phrase means blessed eid.
I’ve shared before that when we take in food, we allowing it to become a part of ourselves. It gets absorbed into who we are. It becomes what gives us energy and lets us create good memories.
Fun fact, even though I say the month of Ramadan, Ramadan is both exactly and approximately month. Did you now that everything in our lives that exists thanks to algebra has its origins in Ramadan?
Ramadan is based on the lunar calendar, knowing when it starts and when it ends was important. The lunar calendar doesn’t always jive with the Gregorian calendar we use today or the setting/rising of the sun. So, it’ both approximately and precisely accurate. Algebra is a style of mathematics that allowed the lunar calendar to be more accurately calculated in order to predict Ramadan’s start and end.
I bring this up because when I was in Afghanistan we would talk about when did it start and end. The folks I was working with helped me understand that while it is calculated, it’s also up to the discretion of the local Imam.
There is a lot of symbolism in all of this. We are part of defined systems, but our choices help us respect the boundaries of those systems. Choosing to respect the same boundaries as others allows us to connect with others in ways that are more deep and meaningful.
There’s a very good chance, that as this gets published eid will be underway or nearly over. I want to wish all of those who practice a blessed eid. I can’t connect on the level of those who fasted during Ramadan, but I’m grateful for your example and discipline.
Like I said earlier on Twitter, While we don’t share the same practices I believe we share the same God who smiles at His children for their prayers for others and loves each one. I’ve enjoyed the blessings of respecting others gratitude and adding their joy to my recipe.
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Finally in a world where you can choose to be anything, why not choose to be grateful?
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