Does it have yogurt…or not? 06/26/16 I.Azhar Subedar Florida is truly a unique place. Attracting over 60+ million tourists and visitors every year; what’s so captivating? Cities like Miami, Orlando, and Tampa are where Trends are born, dreams come true, and life is both Work and Play. It’s often only when the unexpected happens, we find the moment for reflection and come to focus with determination to visualize a future that is normal. June 12th 2016, 15 days ago, we saw ourselves as a community seeking answers when the unexpected hit at the Orlando Shooting. Let me ask you a simple question, what do the LGBTQ, Muslims, Latino and African communities all have in common? Hint: It is not that they all are a minority, it’s not that they are looked upon differently, it certainly isn’t that they all are facing an upward climb towards recognition in societies of the 21st century.THEY all are humans. Humanity. People. All just looking for a little space to breathe and live. But, the sad truth is that they are too occupied in proving they are humans to those who demonize them, explaining who they are to those who taunt them, running in fear from those who threaten them, that they can’t live a life of their own. These were my words in the wake of this tragedy:

I spent the last two days with the victims families and it’s a somber reminder of how much more work we need to continue to do. We can’t give in and we cannot give up. We cannot let a few instill fear in our hearts and take keep us from being who we are: Humans. We’e going to come out even stronger, not because that’s what Orlando does, not because we’re Floridians, not because we’re Americans, but because we’re human beings. And the day we start functioning humans into categories and sects” are you Latino, Hispanic, Asian? Caucasian, African? Are you Muslim, Christian, Jew, Buddhist? If you are Muslim, are you Sunni, Shia, Ahmadiyya, Isma If you’re Christian, Baptist or Lutheran or Presbyterian or Catholic? If you’re a Jew, are you a liberal Jew or a conservative Jew? STOP IT. Are you straight, are you gay, are you transsexual, are you bisexual, are you lesbian? Let every human being be a human being! And let’s all stand for humanity as human beings! We are one, undivided, and no one will divide us!

The message is simple, but it’s up to each individual person to decide what to do next… If we want to move forward as one, the recipe is simple:

  1. Accept everyone for who they are
  2. Join hands with Trust
  3. Live in a Harmony

If no action is taken, then excuses are a dime a dozen. Excuses leading away from these three points may come in many forms and questions like:


…and you know where I’m going. I remember when I was young, I had a phobia of yogurt. Whenever I was a guest at a relative’s house, I’d ask whether the food had yogurt in it or not. One day my uncle got so upset with my paranoia, he stuffed a spoon in my mouth. “Does it taste good?” He asked. “…yes” I mumbled. “So then stop asking always about the ingredients and taste the dish to see if you like it.” And there it was. If we continue asking questions to what we can’t see in our minds, while overlooking what we experience by interacting together in the present, we’ve lost sight of being human. IAS


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