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Live To Inspire: The Power of Four Words

By Layla Abbas

Do you ever wonder what it takes to be an inspiration? You do not have to necessarily be famous or have money to inspire someone. It takes little words, few actions, and zero money to have a lasting affect on another human being.

After writing three blogs, I think it is an appropriate time for me to share a personal story that has really inspired me to write about people who achieve positive things in their lifetime. I was in fifth grade when a remark was said to me from a boy in my class that would forever change me. It was four words that brought tears to my eyes and caused me to question the sincerity of others around me. Those words were, “Shut up you terrorist.” It was in that moment that I realized the power of four words.

I was innocently having a normal conversation with a friend, when this derogatory comment surfaced randomly. At first I was not quite sure what to think. I was filled with embarrassment, as others looked at me with concern. I started to question my beliefs and hated telling people what religion I associated with, all because of one boy who carelessly used his words. I remember being ashamed and wondering what did I do that was deserving of being called a terrorist?

​I became filled with a kind of detest that I did not even know was possible. Everyone around me seemed to be Christian and I was not. Why couldn’t I be like the rest? I started questioning why I was made out to seem like the bad guy when I did no harm. It took years for me to cope with the hurt his words brought me, but I realized he was just a boy with little knowledge about the beauty of religion.

We are composed of a world filled with different ethnicity’s from all over the world. How boring would it be if we all agreed and had the same beliefs? The amount of religions brewing in our world is unique and we must take this time to appreciate everyone’s background for the goodness of it. We must refrain from judging people’s religions, despite what might be said about it. A human being can follow a religion that may have had a bad history, but who are we to act like they are bad humans because of it? Look around, the multitude of different backgrounds is astonishing and beautiful in its own way.

With time, this boy inspired me. As shocking as it is, his racial comments filled me with a new kind of determination. A determination to embrace my cultural and be proud of who I live for. His words meant nothing, as I knew who I was as a person. I definitely was not going to be labeled for something I was not.

You can be your own kind of inspiration. In order to be an inspiration, simply achieve remarkable things. Don’t change your ways because of outside influence. It is okay to celebrate yourself, we do achieve some pretty great things. I would like to thank that boy in my fifth grade class for showing me that being yourself is the best thing you can do. My name is Layla Abbas and I am proud to be a Muslim.

“Love all and you will be loved.”

أحب كل و سيتم أحببتك

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