For the last online reflection, I have decided to reflect on the book "A Thousand Splendid Suns" written by Khaled Hosseini.
The book is about Mariam who grows up outside Herat, a small city in Afghanistan. She lives with her mom in a small cottage and she is not familiar with the world on the outside. Before Mariam's birth her mom Nana, was a housekeeper for a rich businessman in Herat named Jalil but then Jalil impregnates Nana and Nana got a Harami (bastard child). Jalil helped to build the small cottage outside town and visit Mariam every Thursday even though he is a very busy man. Jalil has three new wives and nine legitimate children. Nana is a bitter woman and she is frequently reminding Mariam of her father's abandonment, and is still upset that Jalil placed the blame on her as if he had no part in their affair. However, Mariam's love for Jalil does not diminish, she dreams of getting to stay with him and be loved as he loves all his other children. But in a world in which they lived in that would have been impossible.
It's fascinating to read a book that gives the whole emotional register a spin. My eyes teared up many times while I was reading the book and once again it got me thinking about how unfair the world is. When I was five years old my parents still called me "little princess". When Mariam was five years old her mother called her a “harami”.
Mariam's story unfolds in 1960 in Afghanistan but her life story is as important now as then. The wars in Afghanistan continues. The Taliban drives millions of people from their homes and occupied the country and the rest of the world just watching
In December 2015 my family took in two orphaned Afghani refugees who had journeyed through many countries after having been displaced by all the violence.
One of the orphans lost his parents on the journey when their group was raided by the Taliban.
Another one's parents disappeared when they were forced to get onto separate ships and were never again reunited.
This is a frightfully sad world we are living in right now when we look beyond our borders and cushioned lives.
I hope when you read this, you look at your own life and remember to feel grateful for the blessings and opportunities that your nation and your God has provided you with. How you decide to live your life and the attitude you carry about your current circumstances is your choice.
Will you complain about what's wrong and what's missing? Will you complain how your government is not providing enough for you to live comfortably? Or will you decide every morning to feel grateful and remember your life is blessed? Will you allow yourself to feel compelled to make a positive difference in the lives of others? Will you ponder how you can live a purposeful life that serves and benefits others around you? The choice is yours.