Got up this morning with one thing in mind, and that’s getting our young boy Noah ready for his first day at high school.In the process of going through this memorable day, I was reminiscing on the day when older son Max was going through the same thing. I was overwhelmed with pride and honour in the quality of kids that my wife and I have been blessed with.
Eventually, we managed to get into the car and make our way to school. Whilst on the way there, I was telling him about bullying. Basically warning him about being a bully and being bullied. He said to me, “Dad, I will never be a bully. You’ve raised me better than that. And if someone tries to bully me, I will go straight to the teachers or my big brother”. With a little chuckle, I said “the teachers will do just fine”. That made me feel extremely proud of him. On the radio, the ABC reporter was talking about Donald Trump and Noah said “he’s a big bully”. I responded with “that sums him up spot on boy”.
Anyway, as I drop him off, he gives me a fist pump followed by a Shaka hand wave. I took that as ‘Go now before you embarrass me’. LOL.
On my way to work, and thinking about my wife and my boys, I was entrenched with a euphoric feeling of love, pride and happiness. A sense of belonging, if that makes sense. To retain this feeling, I turned on the music that my eldest son had been playing in the car. It was Lebanese Dabkeh music (traditional Lebanese music which people perform the cultural dance too in the Middle-East). Admittedly I had the volume up but not high enough to disturb anyone.
I get to set of lights only to be blasted with these words (please excuse the language);
“Oi… Oi… Oi you f*ckwit.” I turned to him and put the volume down and said “sorry mate”… He said “don’t f*cken call me mate you Mossy. Turn that f*cken Quran shit off. This is Australia and you’re not welcomed here you piece of f*cken Arab Muslim shit. Pauline Hanson will f*cken get rid of all of you soon – camel jockeys”.
I was silent and stunned. Couldn’t answer him. It was as though my tongue was knotted up in a twist that couldn’t be undone. All the sense of joy and happiness had vanished within seconds. I burst into tears as I momentarily lost the sentimental value of today and the day Max started high school. Couldn’t move and couldn’t drive. Just shocked at the level of hostility thrown at me.
I managed to drive off and pulled over at the next service station to gather myself. I reflected on the situation and said, “this is how effing stupid these people are”. I was playing a song and not the Quran. It’s like the opposite ends of a spectrum. I remembered what my late father told me only to find solace in it.
He said; “Stay true to yourself. Remain the impeccable human that you are. Love everyone unconditionally. Never allow hate into your heart. Always remember your heritage and culture. Keep your faith strong. Keep your friends close but keep yourself closer to those who hate you so you can change them. Keep your heart and arms wide open. There’s plenty of room for everyone.”
So before I took off, I wrote a text message to both my boys and sent them the same lessons my father taught me.
I am certain that they will keep his legacy moving forward.
I turned off the music and put the Quran on. And I played it loudly too. Played it with pride as this experience increased my faith even more.
To the person that showed his true colours, if you ever come across this post, know that I will gladly and happily meet with you to talk to you. Share myself with you. Show you who I am. Share my stories with you, especially on my upbringing both in Lebanon and Australia. Show you a glimpse of the hardship that I’ve endured back home and how this great country has changed things for me. Demonstrate to you that I am more patriotic than you will ever be. I am certain that I will be able to change you to become a gentleman. One that prefers love over hate. One that will believe in and live a life of coexistence with others. Give me the chance and I will fulfil.
I forgive you for tarnishing my blessed experience pertaining to my kids. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault.