This is my second Christmas in Texas without friends or family and without any of the tons of decorations that usually graced my home at this time of year. For the last couple weeks I have on occasion been caught feeling sorry for myself despite the knowledge that every bit of my current situation is of my own making and choice. I even realized yesterday that I’d ordered pizza three times in the last two weeks (something I NEVER do) just to avoid grocery shopping and being around holiday revelers.
But in the same manner I attempt to teach my clients I got up this morning determined to turn around my attitude and pull a win from the day.
I recently met an amazing young man from Iraq that I’d been attempting to interview, but the timing just never seemed to line up. It then occurred to me that as a Muslim he, like myself, might not have plans for the holiday. He consented to be interviewed and what transpired was hands down the most personally enriching Christmas I’ve had as well as an amazing affirmation of the continued potential good in humanity no matter where someone hails from.
When I say he taught me the meaning of Christmas what I mean specifically is that if you get to the last few moments of the excerpt what you hear is a man who embodies forgiveness, acceptance and love for all people. In a phrase common to the holiday “Peace and goodwill to all”.
Rather than attempt to describe Mustafa in my own failing words I’m instead going to let him tell his story…
This is an excerpt but the entire interview is available upon request and you will learn more about Mustafa and his story in my upcoming book.