Asking questions has always been part of learning for me, and I’m sure it has been for many of you as well. We did not come into this world knowing everything.
Yes, asking questions is one of the important steps of learning - but, finding the answer is also very important. When we get an answer for a question we have been curious about, it helps us avoid assumptions and stops us from believing stereotypes.
If someone asks me a question, it is very important for me to answer politely so I can teach people who are different from me. I believe I can change someone with my kindness, no matter how rude the person is. Answering questions is not only about the explanation - it is also about presenting who I am as a person.
Two years ago, I had a friend who came to my apartment to do her homework - she didn’t have Wi-Fi in her apartment so I allowed her to come and use mine. We were friends for almost two years. One day, she was in my living room and came up with a very strange question that shocked me: “So with all the news about Islam and terrorists, am I risking my life by coming here to your apartment?” I managed to answer her with kindness, explaining that anything she sees in the media about what terrorists are doing does not represent me.
Today, we are still friends. Although her question was very rude, I was glad that she asked. What if she never asked me and just believed I was a terrorist and one day might kill her?
Brothers and Sisters, let's be positive. Let’s present our culture and religion in a positive way. Let’s celebrate the diversity we have here and make our community a better place for all.
Kindness will always win.