Tell me about this so called “haal” of yours

The alarm screams at a typical 7:30am and I grudgingly roll over to turn it off. Before I even sit up in bed, I make a mental checklist of the things on my to-do list. Shower, breakfast, class, lunch, work, staff meeting, grocery shop, dinner, homework, call mom, more homework, and maybe if I’m lucky, get some time to breath.

The sad thing is, this is a slow day for me- actually, for most of us.

When we do have a minute of free time to socialize, we more often than not get asked the routine “how are you?” Our response? “I’m well. You?” Even when we really are not at all “well.” In our culture, this interaction has become a common curtesy, few people TRULY care- and so one’s response is a common curtesy- not wanting to burden others with our struggles.

What if we, as a community, stopped settling for that? What if we strived for REAL human connection? What if we simply CARED?

Author Krista Tippett argues that our busyness has become a disease. She claims that it is “spiritually destructive to our health and wellbeing. It saps up our ability to be fully present with those we love most and keeps us from forming the kind of community we desperately crave.”

Luckily for us, we have built a culture that is relentless in ridding disease as soon as it makes itself known. We have the power to RID ourselves of this destructive disease or rather “dis-ease,” as Tippert puts it.

Seeing as though this reading came from a course about genocide, there must be a connection. Perhaps burdening ourselves with constant busyness and neglecting time for real relationships, we are becoming desensitized to the world around us. Perhaps if we took the time to listen to how someone really is, our hearts would break for other’s stories. Perhaps if we simply cared enough to care, we could work to prevent a little brokenness in our world.

At the end of the reading, Tippert writes about the custom of asking “how is your haal (heart)?” in Muslim cultures. Not how is your to-do list this week, or how is your work load, how is your HEART? How is the organ that is vital to your survival? How is the part of you that should break for injustice and yearn for relationships?

Speaking for myself, I could use a little heart-to-heart every now and then; I think we all could.





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