Monday, September 24, 2012

Look beyond the surface.

There are moments in your life when someone does something for you that is so touching and heartfelt that it makes you stop and think, wow this world can truly be an amazing place, if you just look a little deeper. One of these moments happened to me yesterday evening.

I was at Kyle's basketball game and after the match was over Kyle came out of the locker room carrying a package. When I went over to greet him he said, "This is for you, from Sambou's wife, Charafa." Sambou is another player on his team and his wife wasn't at the game. I was excited to see what was inside, Charafa is an amazing cook, she basically fed Kyle while I was still in New York, making him meals and making sure he was taken care of. Just from that you can see that Charafa is a very kind, thoughtful person.

Once we got situated in the car I began to open the package, on top was a letter, a letter that has changed my life for the better. Charafa is Muslim and wrote how sad she thinks it is that Muslims hate Americans and vice versa. She went on to say that maybe if both parties looked a little deeper and got to know someone who was either Muslim or American that their views and hate would change. She mentioned how much she has enjoyed getting to know me and that she looks forward to another season together. At this point, tears were welling up in my eyes, when I continued to read, that because of what was going on in the world as of late, her goal this week was to bake American cookies. In the package were the cookies she baked, she asked that Kyle and I try them and let her know how she could improve them.

The amazing cookies Charafa made. 

I looked over to Kyle and I shook my head, I read him the letter and after we just looked at each other. I knew he was thinking exactly what I was thinking, we immediately felt awful for anytime in our lives that we've made ignorant assumptions because of the way someone has looked or what religion they follow. Charafa was right, maybe if you just get to know someone of an opposite race, creed or color that your opinions might change. I know mine have.

 Last year I had the privilege of joining Charafa and some of the other WAGs (Wives and Girlfriends of Athletes) for dinner at Charafa's house. I was a little intimidated before I entered the house, here I was an American girl, who didn't speak French joining a group of French women for dinner. That intimidation quickly disappeared when I entered the house and everyone welcomed me, even though I didn't know everything they were talking about, it was just like a dinner party with my girlfriends back home, gossiping, talking about celebrities, weddings, family. Which made me realize that even though from the outside our cultures seem so different, that when you take a closer look it is more similar then you think.

I've come to the conclusion and as cliche as it sounds, you can't judge a book by it's cover, you must look deeper, I think you'll surprise yourself on what you might learn.

I am going to leave you with a quote that gives me goosebumps every time I watch this movie. I know I have shared this quote before but there is obviously a reason for that. It's from the movie, Love Actually, it's delivered by Hugh Grant who plays the Prime Minister of England. It's one of those quotes that makes you think, as I hope this post has.


Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion's starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don't see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often, it's not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it's always there - fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge - they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I've got a sneaking suspicion... love actually is all around. 
-Love Actually

 By the way, Charafa's cookies were absolutely amazing, they made Kyle and I feel like we had a piece of home with us. I tell everyone that she needs to be on Top Chef!


Amy said...

Dear Meg,
Your post made me cry...really ! Wouah !What you've writen and shared with us is just a wonderful lesson of life. I've learnt a lot by reading you. You know what: I'm a CSP fan and as I go to the game every week I did of course noticed our players'wives and girlfriends. I have to admit that at first sight, although she looked very nice and smiling, I, among others, thought that Sambou's wife may be in a way apart of the others, leading a life quite different from ours...
My god's just so wrong ! The generosity and openhandness of this woman is just incredible ! I was really moved reading how mindful she was towards Kyle when you were away !
So great from you and her to be so clever and open-minded in this so often intolerant world.
Here is a sunshine in this rainy day in Limoges (lol)...very warm and hopeful !Kind of things which makes everyday lighter and worth.
Wish you the best...

Anonymous said...

I had chills reading this. Thank you for sharing, Meg!

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