Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Love, life and Ramadan

This morning as I was getting ready for work, it occurred to me that life, and even more specifically, love, is a lot like Ramadan. Or at least it should be....

There is so much we want in life, and most of us want it RIGHT NOW! When the desire happens, we want the fulfillment. It could be a new car, a bigger house, a new outfit or a better job.

In love, we have an idea of the kind of relationship we want, and maybe even the person with whom we want it.

Our society tells us we have the right to "Right Now!". Instant food, instant approval on car loans, instant make-overs, instant information downloads. We get impatient waiting even a few minutes, and Madison Avenue reinforces that hurry-up attitude with ever faster and faster everything.

I always thought I had good self control. Now I am thinking maybe not.

From Ramadan, I am learning to control my desires. To postpone what I want (or maybe even believe I need) until the right time. I am learning to deal with temptation and wait patiently (ok, sometimes patiently!) for what I want.

And I am reaping the benefits. The sweetness of the dates, and the cold smoothness of the milk as I break the fast each night is like nothing I've ever experienced.

The food has not changed.

I have.

And I hope I can carry this experience into the rest of my life.

The value of a long awaited purchase. The fruit of a patiently saved balance in my bank account, instead of the fleeting joy of a spur of the moment purchase. A vacation planned months in advance, allowing me to savour each day as it grows closer.

And above all, the sweetness of love when it is the right time, instead of right now or when I think it ought to be time.

Ramadan is about lessons. I knew that from the start. I only hope that when the season is over and there is no reason to control my hunger or thirst each day, the lessons will stay with me.

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