Proud to be Different

Remember the day we were at the airport in Spain, you said ‘Pooky, if all restaurants are Halal, then we do not need to look for restaurants that difficult. Don’t you think that’s good?’ We were travelling to Spain and restaurant choice become one big topic to our group, because some people are Muslims but some are not. Personally I did not really care much about food, but I know to some people, trying the signature dishes there was a very important part of traveling and food restrictions become a problem.

I heard your question upon your lips, but I was not responsive. I gave the confused look, or maybe my signature blank face and made people wonder whether I hear you. I did, I really did hear you, but I was confused by myself, because a thousand thoughts rushed into my brain.

Some of my immediate replies are, ‘yea, that’s good, I support gay rights and all countries should allow gay marriage. Because all animals have dignity and respect just like humans, and to minimise the pain of all animals. Hang on… that means we all have to become vegetarians, as killing them for the satisfaction of our taste buds are not acceptable. You know, killing them in a way that is not painful according to what you told me, is still no respect to animals that are living in this world’

Now, you see how crazy your idea is. They are all good, but at this moment, we all have the choice, to eat what you prefer. You and your Muslims friends have chosen to eat only Halal food, so there is less pain in the world and at the same time you can enjoy meat. I appreciate what you do. If that’s your right choice, keep it up. But you have to be aware, that’s your choice, not all people have to agree with what you do. Buddhists will say we should all eat vegetables, for the same cause: to reduce pain of this world. But my Buddhist friends did not say that. Why? They are aware that’s their personal choice. (Oh sorry, I forget you didn’t choose to be Muslim, but you still choose to eat Halal food, right?)

The moment you choose to follow what you believe as right, you should have known you are doing something special, something different from the norm, for a good cause. As you are determined to be different, you should have already prepared to face difficulties that will come upon.

Be proud of it, be proud to be different. And be proud to face difficulties as you chose to be different. What you do, will educate others.

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