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Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh, my dear brothers and sisters.
I read in a newspaper article a few years ago that a child dies from hunger around the world every 5 seconds (a child just died in the time it took me to write that sentence…Allah knows best). It’s knowing these statistics that pushes me to ensure my sons fully understand every aspect of the Ramadhan experience.
Jack Welch used to ask his staff this question,’ How good can you be?’ during his (successful) stint at G.E. I have a firm conviction that my sons are now ready to accept the challenge of seeing how good they can be so I have prepared a series of activities to push them to their best khalifah potential this Ramadhan.
Number 1: Commiting their Ramadhan Resolutions. They have to choose the best of between 3-5 things/ habits/ behavior they want and know they can accomplish in Ramadhan.
Number 2: Planning for their Ramadhan Resolutions. They have to ensure everything they need to achieve their resolutions are prepared and organised.
Number 3: Watching famine video ‘Appreciate food’ [Reaganchan] on YouTube.
Number 4: Start a food bank jar. Spend less than budgeted daily food expenses and put the balance in the jar. Send money to World Food Programme after Ramadhan. http://www.wfp.org/how-to-help
Number 5: Prepare boys to continue resolutions even AFTER Ramadhan is over and talk to them about moderation and humility during Eid’ul fitri celebrations i.e. not forget people are still starving all around the world and to not expect duit raya from people (Hmm…I think I’m going to start a campaign to ban duit raya this Eid- an unnecessary and hurtful cultural practice).
My parenting style has been severely criticized before but I’ve always pushed forward with it because I am convinced my children’s true khalifah potential can only shine forth when I create challenging hurdles for them. I once said to a mother,’ It’s okey to push your daughter to doing more than she expects she can do.’ You see, I worked with her daughter and I saw how she successfully accomplished challenge after challenge that she was given. There was pride in her eyes when she realised her khalifah potential. I am reminded of ‘The girl who silenced the world for 5 minutes’. You can watch her on YouTube. I’ve include the first part of her speech below:
We are a group of twelve and thirteen-year-olds from Canada trying to make a difference: Vanessa Suttie, Morgan Geisler, Michelle Quigg and me.
We raised all the money ourselves to come six thousand miles to tell you adults you must change your ways. Coming here today, I have no hidden agenda. I am fighting for my future.
Losing my future is not like losing an election or a few points on the stock market. I am here to speak for all generations to come.
I am here to speak on behalf of the starving children around the world whose cries go unheard.
How will our children know the immense potential that is within them if we, as their guardians, do not provide them with the tools and opportunities to discover their potential..? I want to be just like the father of ‘The girl who silenced the world for 5 minutes’ who always says to her, “You are what you do, not what you say.” I want to be the person who empowers children with their khalifah potential. I want to be the one who helps these same children become the Transforming Generation. Insha’Allah.