I believe that tolerance is very important. It is the very fabric of a civilized society. Without tolerance, there’s no way for different groups of people to get along with each other. We must all respect each other’s differences. We may not agree, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t find some way to all get along with each other, and coexist. We are all different. No one is the same as everyone else.

I have severe cerebral palsy, and I use a power wheelchair to get around. Several years ago, it was quite common for young children to approach me, and ask me why I am in a wheelchair. Once, a little boy approached me, and said, “what’s wrong with you?”. I explained to the little boy that nothing is wrong with me. I am just different that’s all. I explained to him that I was born that way, and the wheelchair is how I get around. Many people that I tell the story to say, that I should’ve told him that it was none of his business. However, I always explain to people what my condition is if they ask me. I feel it’s my responsibility to educate them about disabled people. Certainly, it was rude for him to ask that way, but he wanted to know, and if I didn’t tell him, who would? We come into this world believing that everyone is just like we are, and we have to learn that there are people in this world who are not like us, and there’s nothing wrong with being different from other people. That is one of the most important lessons that we learn. However, unfortunately, many people do not learn this lesson. I truly believe that for every ignorant person in this world, there’s another person who knows better, but who feels that it’s not his or her responsibility to enlighten other people. If we want the world to change, then we need to be that person who takes the time to educate others, and doesn’t say that it’s not his responsibility.

Aasif Mandvi has created a great new web series called Halal in the Family. It is a situation comedy about a Muslim American family. Each of the episodes highlights a different struggle faced by the family in dealing with others attitudes toward their faith. Negative attitudes toward Muslims is at an all-time high. This show is a tool to combat anti-Muslim bias. The Islamic faith has been much maligned recently, and I would like to do something to change that. Won’t you please join me in taking a stand against hatred, and bigotry? With your help, I think that we can make a difference, and make the world a better place. Please click the link below, and consider making a contribution to this most worthy cause. Thank you!