Tuesday, February 13

N. Awesomeness

So I think this guy who works at the Purple Onion has total neural awesomeness-- df. awesome neurochemical action in his synapses. I think I'm jealous.

I went in after class to get some jasmine tea and my favorite soup ever--their chicken wildrice. The guy taking my order asked if I wanted a cup or a bowl, and convinced that the quantity in the difference between the two shouldn't really affect whether or not I'm satiated, I ordered a cup. This other guy came up to the register and said that it has bacon.

Dude. Floored. I had no idea. And as I sat near a window and drank my tea with the alternative, broccoli cheddar soup, I thought, "Dude, that kid had nothing to gain from helping me. As an employee, he might have even risked losing an order--perhaps I would just be disappointed and not order any soup, which I was very tempted to do. But then I felt bad--despite a distaste for broccoli and a growing fear of cheeses, I thought the least I could do to show my gratitude was order something else. But still, the kid, himself, gained nothing and did take a risk. What drives people like that? For Muslims, it makes sense: If you know something is bad for your fellow Muslim, or for anyone, for that matter, it is encumbent upon you to do what's in your power to prevent it or help that person. But we believe in a system of accountability, rewards and punishments. I'm not so sure this kid was Muslim, though he obviously was able to identify me as one and was aware that my belief system forbids pork-related things."

Altruism is so often argued as being a paradox because people who do engage in altruistic behavior gain positive feelings as a result--not necessarily "I'm a good person," but simple pleasure (satisfaction?) from doing the act. Personally, I don't care about seeking a state of absolute altruism if that, in fact, would mean behaving selflessly while maintaining a state of misery, or any non-positive feeling. It's stupid and really not worth all the "cognitive effort" people tend to invest in the matter. "Do good." Or at least, "Do no harm," right? It shouldn't get as complicated as we tend to make these basic ideas.

As for fear of cheeses, which, as of now, will be part of this post, I must write about this curious problem that continues to perplex me. First, I stopped eating most kinds of non-zabiha beef (not specifically prepared as proscribed in the Sunna/Shari`ah nor explicitly "in the Name of Allah"), as I kept getting skin reactions from them. I interpreted it as a small push (motivation?) from Allah for me to try going zabiha, which shouldn't be too difficult as I most unfortunately happen to be a carbs person. In the past few months, every time I've had any kind of pizza, I've begun to find similar skin irritation. I nearly pealed the skin off my forearms yesterday--and it was one slice with plain cheese. How am I supposed to participate in the Great American Culture (GAC, from this day forth) if I can't eat cheese? And what is Allah conveying? (Guidance and Enlightenment, two of the many voids in my life :( )

After much contemplation and introspection, I'm very dissatisfied to conclude that it's just a sign that I need to stop with the cheeses--it's not the only source of calcium I can have, and it's probably been disproportionately represented in my diet. Allah would want me to understand this, right? But Al Hamdulillah, at least I still have my sugars.

Al Hamdulillah :D

Note: If you are not overwhelmed with nostalgia by the photo, you clearly have not truly participated in the GAC.

1 comment:

littlefish said...

random acts of kindness make my day :).