Letter 18 – Khadijah’s Fourth Birthday Message
Khadijah, today our family had the privilege of watching you begin your fifth year in this world as you turned four years of age. Feeling your excitement and happiness is something that no one can take from your mother and me, and your older sister and younger brother (even though he managed to get you and your mother kicked out of the movie theatre half way through the movie you went to see). The few toys and gifts that you received will fade from your memory, only to be briefly revived later in life through a photo or two, but I wrote several specific words on your birthday card that I want to briefly discuss in this letter.
Family. Do not ever forget to put your family first in this world. The five of us will only be together for a limited time and each day we are together is a gift. Yes, there will be times when you disagree and get frustrated with your brother and older sister, but in this world family is the one area of trust that you can never allow to become deteriorated regardless of the area. Many families in this society break up and there are many cases of parents who put their individual wants and desires before their families. This is a sad phenomenon. Loyalty to family is vital, and loyalty to your children, to include any sacrifice, is a human responsibility that has, in many modern cases, been forgotten. Your mother created you, carried you in her protecting and nourishing womb, taught you your earliest lessons in education and cared for you each day. You owe it to her to care for her and protect her in her old age. For my part, you owe your father the oath that you will always learn from and help your older sister and look after, provide advice and protect your little brother to the best of your ability. There is no excuse for negligence in this matter. I charge your brother and sister with the same oaths toward you. There should never be a split between you three siblings no matter the miles or the differences at hand.
God. I don’t think that it will be a secret to you that your father has studied organized religion and religious history in-depth and, due to the various historical discrepancies and hypocrisies, stands opposed to organized religion as it is a control mechanism for the fearful and uneducated. At the same time, your father is a monotheist who believes in a higher power and a higher structure that from a human perspective is incomprehensible. The wonders of the world are simply too magnificent to be a random reaction based off an explosion of matter or non-matter. No man has died and returned to verify anything that organized religion teaches, and the authors of scripture are unknown (outside of the Quran which was memorized by early Muslims, but brings up another debatable discussion of New Testament teachings mixed into the teaching of early Islam). You must choose your own ideology concerning God or religion during your path through life, but I encourage you to study and apply critical thought instead of sheepishly ingesting what is blindly told to you by so-called religious leaders. Some of the greatest corruption on the planet occurs within organized religion, and some of the greatest devils in the world hide behind religion. I give awe to God, as sometimes I think how if one minute factor had gone differently during certain events in my life, that you and your brother would not exist. I am unable to even image a world without you, your sister and your brother. And I give all thanks to God for you children and your mother.
Dedication. Whatever goals develop within your life experience, you must dedicate yourself to them if you want to achieve them. With dedication, anything is possible especially with someone that possesses your intelligence level. Yes, you are only four…but I can see the intelligence level in your DNA and in your behavior. I can also see stubbornness, which if channeled in a positive manner can become a very powerful characteristic. Dedication will span almost everything in life, from dedication to your family to dedication to self, as well as your pursuits in life. Many people make the mistake of taking this life as simple recreation instead of working hard to build great things and achieving positive accomplishments, regardless of the size of those positive accomplishments. Do not wander idly through your years.
Goals. Goals are vital, whether short-term or long-term. Your short term goals will help you reach and surpass your long term goals. I would advise you to develop the process of always keeping short-term goals in front of you while pursuing long-term goals. At the time of this letter, you are still very young….but eventually you will begin to develop passions. I will tell you from experience that you can become great at anything if you plan properly, set goals and dedicate yourself to accomplishing your planned goals. When you look around within the pursuit fields of your selections and see those that are better, more educated, faster, stronger, more experienced or whatever….ask yourself “why not me”? Keep in mind that capital will always play a part in your pursuits, as there will always be those with more capital that can invest more economically into pursuits than you might be able to….but dedication to your goals and consistent work ethics can counter that advantage. Anything is possible for you and that is the honest truth. It is not simply a cliche. You can do anything that you set your mind and goals toward.
Ethics and Morals. Ethics and morals are important, young princess. The world you live in has continuously seen ethical and moral degradation in each decade since I was born. Many people have no morals or ethics in dealing with each other, and many people in this nation have been indoctrinated to worship at the altar of greed, hatred, lust and ultra-individualism. Stay detached from these idol-worshippers and their baseless dramas, as these devils will only detour you from positive advancement and you will become morally corrupted the longer you associate with them. Deal honestly and respectfully with those that are honest and respectful to you, and keep your distance from those whose priorities are materialistic and individual in nature. Do not be lazy or idol. Work consistently and productively in order to become a woman that can be relied upon, but do not lower your ethics or morals on behalf of someone who is only concerned with regenerating profits or chasing individualism. You must learn to be a student of the human element, and in this manner a person who becomes accurate in reading people’s true characters. Remember, people are never going to show you who they really are upon meeting them. You have to read them through their words and actions to decipher what type of person they truly are, and this process takes much longer than a few simple encounters.
Self-Reliance. Self-Reliance is one of the most important areas for discussion. Build yourself into a strong woman, with education and strong ethics, and a woman that does not have to rely on anyone, especially a husband or benefactor. While I hope that you find a quality husband and father one day (in the far away future), remember what I stated previously in that society has degenerated each decade for almost a half-century now and there is no telling what society will resemble in two or three decades. Every day on the news there are reports of abusive husbands beating their wives, emotionally weak husbands murdering their wives, girlfriends or entire families and then killing themselves. There is more emotional instability behind men than might be assumed. There are also many, many deadbeat men in this world that have no ethics, no vision and no plan for advancement, and when placed in an ultra-capitalistic society can easily become isolated from productivity. By establishing yourself as a self-reliant woman, you will never find yourself dependent on anyone who might place you in a dangerous or a negative position, nor a destructive position. Expect the best out of yourself and humanity, but always prepare yourself for worst case scenarios. I wish you happiness and I truly hope you can find a husband and start a family with as much happiness, love and respect as your mother and I currently enjoy, but not everything in life is like the princess storybooks and you must become self-reliant in order to prevent dependence. Being forced to depend on another person, regardless of who it is, limits your freedom of choices in life and your causes restraints on life options. Ensure that when you engage in a relationship in this world that it is, and always remains, an equal partnership based on mutual respect and shared goals. Television romances, without strong foundations, can only last so long and men that are overly individualistic are often victims of their base individual desires and fears, physically and emotionally.
Strength. This is not a world for the weak. Train yourself to be strong mentally, physically and emotionally. Again, education and history will make you strong mentally and protect you from falsehoods and misconceptions. My advice to you if that once you begin educating yourself that you never cease to continuously read and study faucets of history or current events, even if it is two pages a day. I feel such shame when I witness people that remain engulfed in meaningless video games or reality television shows about meaningless foolery. Physical strength will allow you to protect yourself, along with proper weapons training which I plan to provide you and your older sister with. Too many women are attacked in this world by scoundrels or devils, and you must always watch your surroundings and be sociologically aware of your surroundings. Of course, most sexual assaults are implemented by perpetrators that the victims know or are associated with. I have warned your older sister multiple times that if she ever drinks alcohol when she is older, that she better stay away from hard liquor and drink moderately because for a female to drink and black out (pass out), she is leaving herself vulnerable to be raped or worse. It is not an easy topic for discussion, but a topic that I would be a foolish father not to discuss. You must also be strong and disciplined emotionally, which I believe you will certainly become. This is not to say that you can’t have emotions, as human emotions are one of the incredible factors of humanity and the human element. At the same time, in this society, you should not wear your emotions on your sleeve or on your face where they are easily readable, nor should you ever let emotions dictate your actions without first thinking heavily on the situation and rationally analyzing your options. When your emotions are obvious to everyone, your enemy or competition will be able to see and understand when you are flustered or frustrated, sad or giddy. It is sad to say this, but in a society filled with ultra-individualism and individual enslavement to base desires….it is highly recommended to guard yourself emotionally and keep others guessing your mindset and/or emotional state until those people have earned your trust. Do not give others an advantage in taking advantage of you or your position. Interestingly enough, in an ultra-individualist society…if you remain stoic while watching and listening, those around you will generally tell (or display to) you everything that you will need to know in order to understand whether that person is righteous, moral and genuine…or whether they are devilish or a mindless sheep. You have natural strength and potential in all three areas, but your mother and I must properly train you in mastering your emotions. Emotions placed in the proper context can be an extremely positive attribute that drives you to accomplish great things in your life, but they can also debilitate you or cause you to act irrationally. If God wills it, you will be properly taught by your mother and me. If not….this is why I began writing these letters in the first place, may they someday reach you.
Planning. Plan properly in everything you do, whether this is economically, academically, professionally or socially. There is much more of a percentage chance for success with a plan in place, which is coupled by the categories of goals and self-discipline, than simply winging your pursuits and hoping everything falls into place randomly. A single random act might occur, but 11 random acts will more than likely not occur. No great woman simply showed up at NASA or the WNBA, or became a university professor or a leader, who did not strategically plan her short term and long term goals and dedicate herself to those pursuits using strong work ethics.
Modesty. There is nothing attractive about an immodest woman, but todays so-called entertainment industry has succeeded in mass marketing and producing glamorous images of so-called feminism that have women all across the nation walking around half-naked, calling each other bitches, fighting like savage animals other nothing, and twerking their asses for chump change. Modesty is a quality that is irreplaceable in a woman, a daughter, a sister and a mother. I can only reflect back to the category of self-reliance, known as self-worth, when I speak on modesty. Women who rely solely on their bodies, physical looks or sex appeal will eventually get old and wither. Beautiful flowers are beautiful for only so long before the everlasting circle of life occurs, so develop great qualities within yourself that will substantiate your mind, soul and body for an entire life. A human Barbie doll with no knowledge and the inability to thinking critically is a horrible thing after beauty fades, and the skin hardens and the body sags. There is nothing more pathetic than a hollow-minded man or woman…..nothing. Build your knowledge every day and establish yourself as a great woman of value, both in your young beautiful days and later in your final decades, to those around you and your future family (if God will it). By building your mind, you will never allow yourself to just be valued for your flesh.
Confidence. Be confident, young lady. There is no reason to ever under-estimate yourself. Will you be perfect in this world? Not even close. You will stumbled, fall and fail on more than one occasion. It is what you do in those periods of challenge that will evolve you into the woman that you will become. Again, do not wear your emotions on your sleeve. Should people attack you verbally or socially, remain tacit and attack back sharper with a confidence of invulnerability. While their shots may hurt, never show it and retaliate in like manner. Ultra-individualists are often the most insecure people there are, and you will most often see them in packs because they fear standing on their own. I have watched your older sister walk into volleyball gyms across the United States with no fear on her face, while other players (trying to hide their fear and insecurities) travel in packs. I give her respect for that, and you should talk to her about that someday because it took her time and effort to develop her confidence to a point where she no longer cared what others thought. It was not an easy road, and it will never be an easy road….but once you understand exactly how strong you are, and who you are, and you develop self-confidence, negative and base individuals will never be able to infiltrate your mindset or fluster your pursuits. In the United States, while anti-bullying seems to be the current trend, there will also be females that will attempt to resort to social attacks and even violence (most of the time in packs, because they are too insecure to come at you one on one). Your father doesn’t not support meaningless violence, but like Malcolm X….I support violence under self-defense against anyone who attempts to endanger your person or your family. May you never find yourself in such a position, and may you always be able to deal directly with others in a civilized manner, but prepare yourself in the case that you do. Carry yourself with humility, modesty and confidence. When you fail or make mistakes, learn from them and enhance your confidence with those experiences for the future.
Respect. It is proper to always treat people with respect, and to disassociate yourself from those who do not give you the respect you deserve. Remember that respect is an earned commodity, never given. When it comes to family, you will always respect your family. I do not ever want to ever hear about you disrespecting your mother or raising a hand against her. It is your responsibility to give respect to your mother and siblings, and conduct yourself in such strong manner in this world that people have no choice but to show you respect.
Education. I will only talk briefly on education here, because I touched on it briefly in a previous paragraph. Whether formal or informal, it is most beneficial to be engaged in continuous learning throughout your life. If someday you have children, you must be educated enough to pass knowledge to them as I am trying to do for you, your sister and your brother. Education, whether formal or informal, enhances a person’s mental and social capabilities, and strengthens their substance as a civilized human being.
Understanding. Understand where you came from, who you are and what is truly important. Understand where your mother and father came from. Never forget the paths that have led you to where you currently stand in life. I am confident that you will be a thinker, as I see your thinking and rationalizing at your current young age. May God protect you and guide you. I will hold you, and play with you, and let you climb on me for as long as I can before you grow into a woman and engage in this beautiful, amazing, but brutal world.