I struggle with this on an on-going basis, we are sooooo busy in our work lives, and running from on activity to another with the kids, if you have them, or running from place to place with your social network, that it all seems like work and then……..
ISNA rolls into town. I didn’t order ISNA for dinner – pick-up or delivery. If I had wanted to go to a conference I would booked tickets to Chicago, it would be like a family vacation, but not ISNA in my town.
Now I have to load up, halt work, stop networking, deadlines all around we, to drive, park, metro, parking lots, conference food or the nearby restaurant (China Town), then drive, unpark, metro it home to do it all over again, or rent a hotel as if I am going somewhere and taking a vacation-which I am not…..taking a vacation to downtown DC, subhannallah, I live here!
And to top it all off, it’s the July 4th weekend. Free fire works on the Potomac (in some families like mine – a tradition). If I spoke like this I could say, “For crying out loud, how is it ISNA weekend in DC?”.
Well it is and I think you owe it to your family and friends to show up, at least for Saturday and then you’re hooked. After you see so many friends and like-family folks. In the crowd just like Mecca. Seeing the Muslims in their finest hour walking nobly down the street eating ice cream or just walking. To see just how well we are feeling in America….not just doing, but feeling validated by our own presence. Wow or Subhannallah!
All that and I still didn’t say anything about the lectures, workshops and seminars….that’s because I didn’t want to take my wife and kids to the bazaar. My wife and I believe that these events like a mini-hajj have had a powerful effect on the positive socialization and worldview our children.