After a turbulent, emotionally charged 2015, I reflect on how I chose to show up in this world.
In a world aching for security, how did I – a mother of three, a Canadian and a Muslim – shape a more compassionate, better-educated community?
My small and humble contribution was made through something each of you, the readers and writers of the letters to the editor, see value in: words.
Perhaps I haven’t been 100 per cent successful in opening minds, teaching facts and throwing light on issues. A recent letter by L. Wright (Closer look at refugees, Dec. 16 letters.) reminded me that not every effort I make will create a difference within everyone. The concerns voiced in his/her letter are ones I addressed directly in response to another of their letters five years ago. I am sorry to know that.
So, why do I keep writing and speaking about cultural bridge-building? I do it because for every one person who chooses not to see a new perspective, there are several more who do. Too many people have told me that what I share with them has given them understanding and a real connection to the human beings in their community, and globally. Too many people for me to just give up.
We each have this power to affect change through the words we speak and write. The question is – how do we use this power? Responsibly. Backed up by an education garnered by stepping out of our comfort zones and talking to people who have real-world experience with issues you are concerned about.
To each of you using your words responsibly, thank you. I have enjoyed your letters and you have given me hope and faith when I have needed it most. And I hope you will continue in 2016, as I will, to speak up and show up.
Taslim Jaffer, Surrey