Naveed NajamBeauty is an abstract concept, and mankind is as close to coming up with a definition for it as we are to actually establishing just what the meaning of life truly is.  Regardless of our uncertainty, we continue to water our “beautiful” roses so they can fill the world with their mysterious attractive colors and sweet scented fragrances.   Although I am of Middle Eastern decent, being born and raised in America has given me many opportunities to observe the traditions of many other ethnicities.  Thus, I developed an appreciation for all types of individuals. I learned that regardless of their size, shape, or color, like a rose, if given proper care, abstract beauty can be found within any person.

The traditions I learned through my family are almost based entirely on religion.  More specifically, religion is my guide to understanding morals.  I am Muslim living in America and both of my parents are from Pakistan.  I go to a mosque every Friday to pray alongside countless other Muslims.  I have a younger cousin named Muhammad, and another named Osama.  Imagine if I sat next to you on an airplane, would you feel afraid?  If you were to answer yes, I would not blame you, nor would you be alone in harboring such feelings.  Growing up in America as a Muslim, I was given the unique experience of occasionally being the subject of discrimination and hate.  I learned to not take offence to such notions and rather to educate people around me in hope of increasing the unity in the world.

Naveed Najam1My family away from home is found at my karate dojo.  The culture there is based upon putting forth your best effort and bettering yourself as a martial artist.  There are five traits we always strive to uphold within ourselves: modesty, perseverance, self-control, indomitable spirit, and etiquette.  These statues help shape my view of the world.  When I learn about the adversity students face, I feel obligated to help them in some way, and thus my purpose in this world is reinforced.

My experiences with various cultures have led me to establishing my ultimate goal, which is helping people.  Whether they are battling adversity, ignorance, or simply need extra support I feel that all humans have responsibilities to one another.  When we acknowledge this responsibility to one another, “beautiful” rose gardens will flourish across even the most barren of deserts.

Comments (1)

  1. Tanner Swanson


    I found a deep sense of modesty within your post. It speaks volumes to accept the ignorance of others as a legitimate feeling given their incorrect understanding of the object of their bigotry.
    As a white male growing up in the US, I have had the advantage of facing virtually no adversity, and in fact at times I have been acutely aware of my contributing towards the adversity of others. Simple acts such as unwittingly feeling more anxiety around those of other ethnicities, situations such as the plane scenario you mention and others have all occurred in my life at one time or another. It is difficult because even being aware of such weaknesses, which I believe I very much am as I work in an international internship program, does not always abet the issue. To feel such ignorant biases subconsciously bubbling up into my conduct is discouraging in that it reveals the deep rooted nature of these issues. I admire your peace and efforts to extend that to others.

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