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Insist on kindness this Ramadan

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It was the first day of Ramadan, May 17. I started fasting at 4:30am. No water or food until sundown at 8:18pm. That morning, at 11:30am, almost lunch hour, my boss leaned against my desk chatting and eating Rainier cherries. He's a delightful character. He meant no harm or insult, and I have no need for him to change just because I'm not eating for 16 hours.

I am an observant Muslim, a minority in a local culture of alcohol and pork. I'm the one who scours the menu to avoid ubiquitous bacon and queries the waiter, could the chef make that piccata without wine? There's no hardship in it for me; it's a choice I make because I feel so enriched by the practice of my faith. I'm a California girl who made a lifestyle change in her 50s, and found peace in prayer and moderation.

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. One goal during the 30 days of fasting is to rekindle one's relationship to God through service and remembrance of the needy. Acts of kindness are a great goal anytime. The Interfaith Council of Sonoma County Muslim support campaign, Of One Soul, invites all Sonoma County on Sunday, June 10, to join a day of fasting—a lot or not. Definitely join by doing good works. We call it Insist on Kindness. Meet up with us or do it on your own.

If you know a project needing volunteers, let us know. So far we're serving the homeless, helping the St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store and meeting for breakfast at King Falafel in Sebastopol.

Check out Insist on Kindness on Facebook, or email info@interfaithsonoma.org.

Aisha Morgan lives in Rohnert Park and has worked in K-12 education since 1980.

Open Mic is a weekly feature in the 'Bohemian.' We welcome your contribution. To have your topical essay of 350 words considered for publication, write openmic@bohemian.com.

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