We’re proud to introduce our newest staff member, Ayesha Mahomed, who will be helping us with our marketing and scheduling operations. For her first assignment, we asked her to tell us why she cares…
I am the type of person who strives to live my life through goodness. Let me tell you why.
Two summers ago I was on vacation in New York City with my family when we stopped for a quick lunch in a busy Times Square burger joint. New York being New York, there was not a lot of space in the restaurant to begin with, but they still managed to pack the floor with tables, chairs and customers.
The five of us had just been squeezed into a tiny booth by a window and ordered our drinks when a man walked in. I watched from my seat as he spoke with a waitress, asked if he could cash in a coupon that he had for a free dessert. The waitress told him that he could only get a free dessert if he paid for a meal first. Based on his physical appearance, the man could most certainly not do so – he was homeless.
I kept watching as the man, thoroughly disappointed, just stood there. He looked so lost, as if he had nowhere to go. That moment could have lasted for hours. This man just standing in the middle of a packed restaurant at lunch hour in one of the wealthiest cities in the world — and he couldn’t even get a bite to eat. A moment later, he made his way out of the restaurant and out of my life.
To this day, that has been my biggest regret, not having done something for that man. I look back on those five minutes as a time when I had thoroughly disappointed myself. I know that there was something that I could have done to make that man’s day better. I could have bought him a meal, which would’ve had very little strain on me personally, but would’ve made a big impact in his life. I could’ve done something, but I didn’t, and it has haunted me ever since.
The core of my belief system centers around the idea that being a good, respectful person and contributing to humankind in a positive way is the essence of humanity. When taken at face value, the virtue of respect has two general applications: the respect we give to others and the respect we reserve for ourselves. In order to live a life of goodness, it’s imperative to put others first, because humans are ultimately driven by selfish desires. If we divert these desires to the wellbeing of mankind, we give ourselves the ability to conquer anything that is thrown our way.
To give someone respect means to truly value their existence and who they are as a human being. An essential part of being considered a good person is giving importance to the lives of others, whether that’s to a close friend or complete stranger. Every living thing on this earth — plants, animals, bacteria, humans — has intrinsic value (not in a monetary sense).
In biology we are taught about the circle of life, the hierarchy of all living species and how each living thing affects the life of another. A simple bacterium has the ability to end a human life, something that humans truly respect. Humans have always been astounded by the abilities that these tiny microorganisms have, look no further than the research completed to understand them.
If we are left in awe by the abilities that simple bacterium holds, then when it comes to humankind our respect should multiply tenfold. Humans have an obligation to treat all living things, especially people, with equal respect and importance because we are fundamentally all the same; all born from the wombs of our mothers and all destined to die.
It does not make a difference, whether we were rich or poor, famous or irrelevant, Arabian or American — we are all human. And we owe it to ourselves, and everyone and everything that lives, to give people the respect that they deserve. We have an obligation to treat the commonwealth of mankind with kind hearts.
“…We owe it to ourselves, and everyone and everything that lives, to give people the respect that they deserve. We have an obligation to treat the commonwealth of mankind with kind hearts…”
This obligation is one that is central to human nature, and one that stems beyond simply treating people with respect and kindness — it’s one of giving back. As stated before, at the core all humans are the same and I firmly believe that the circumstances into which we are born are completely happenstance. I was born into an upper-middle class family in a civil and modern nation, while another 18-year-old girl may have been born into an impoverished family in a civil and modern nation, or another 18-year-old girl may have been born into a family in a corrupt and war-torn nation.
I consider myself extremely lucky and privileged to have been born into a family that was able to go above and beyond just providing for my basic needs. To be afforded so many great opportunities in my life, one of those being the opportunity to work for The Call KC, has been a wonderful blessing. I truly respect the circumstances under which I have lived. Due to the fact that I’ve been so privileged, I feel obliged to help those who haven’t been.
Kids don’t choose to be born into situations where they’re abused, don’t have enough to eat or can’t afford to go to college. This is just the hand they were dealt. On the other hand, some people are born into better circumstances, but make bad decisions. Either way, I believe that because I have been blessed to have the life that I do, it’s my obligation to help those that are not as privileged. Which is why last November, when my dad and I were in Kansas City eating dinner on the plaza, I bought a homeless man a large bowl of soup. I wasn’t going to miss the same opportunity I had two years earlier.
Since then, I’ve been on a mission to do the most I can for the people around me regardless of how much it may cost me physically, emotionally and financially. That’s what The Call KC offers me, the ability to reach out to as many people as I possibly can and to help facilitate the mission of others who have the same passion as me — the passion to make a difference.