My Wish for You This Week Vol. 19: Pour Yourself Out for Humanity

Occasionally on Mondays, I like to share a photo or two or a short video from my camera roll and a wish for others (and myself) for the week ahead. Since I know that not everyone uses Instagram, I also post them on the Optimistic Anthropology blog because the wishes often focus on themes we’re committed to in our work here - growing our sense of possibility, the power of changing mindsets and reflection, and of course observing the world, it’s beauty, and it’s challenges.  You can also check out previous wishes here.

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I read something on this week from Bernice King, CEO of The King Center that inspired my wish for you this week: Pour yourself out for humanity. Love is working for a world that engages every human being with dignity. On Sunday night, my parents and I joined nearly 500 people of all ages, colors, and religions for an interfaith vigil at the Islamic Center of North East Valley (ICNEV) in Scottsdale, AZ for the victims of the Christchurch terrorist attacks. Many people may not know that Greater Phoenix is home to a relatively large Muslim population, many of whom are immigrants and refugees from countries that were targeted by the current presidential administration’s travel ban. ICNEV opened their doors to people of all faiths on Sunday with incredible generosity and warmth and love and fearlessness. In the face of an act of extreme violence, their community poured itself out for humanity. And it was moving to see people of all ages, colors, and religions - Muslims, Jews, Christians of many denominations, Sikhs and those who are religious and spiritual in other ways, or not at all, come together in mourning and solidarity and engaging one another with dignity. Speakers from many religious institutions, local elected leaders, law enforcement, and even two Kiwis who live locally spoke to the crowd with Arabic, Hebrew, Spanish, and Maori integrated into the talks. The themes of sadness, the desire to build our connections and relationships were common. The call for political action, holding our leaders accountable for Islamaphobia and xenophobia and dismantling white supremacy were less common, but were spoken as well. After nearly two hours, we shared a moment of silence as our electric candles shown across the room. But, the final invitation feels even more profound. As the ICNEV members moved to their mosque for evening prayer, they invited anyone who wasn’t Muslim to stay and observe. I took this photo in January 2017 when I visited the oldest mosque on Male, the capital of the Maldives. Those are colorful prayer rugs. #optimisticanthro #mywishforyou #theyareus #vigil #arizona #az #scottsdale #icnev #islam #mosque #maldives #male #endwhitesupremacy

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Let me know what you think about this wish or share your own in the comments below or on Instagram where my handle is @AKGold11