Lake Matheson, New Zealand
Lake Matheson, New Zealand
Most importantly: you’re stronger than you think.
“Everyone has flaws. No one can judge me until they get to know me. I’ve been through a lot. I’m about to turn 28. I’ve been on my own since I was 16. I’ve been kind of homeless for a long time. I was incarcerated for almost three years.”
“Car chase. On my birthday. I made the moves and everything. It was like a movie. So I’ve been through a lot. Right now I’m at a transitional house, like a group home. I live in a room by myself. And I work at a dry cleaner. That’s about it.”
“How did you become homeless so young?”
“My mother kicked me out of the house. I was being a bad boy, I was coming home late, I was smoking weed. It’s their house, so if you don’t go by their rules and regulations, eventually they’re going to kick you out. I went to my cousin’s house and lived with him for a while. I went to a shelter when I was 17. Then I rented a room, then I was in a program, then got incarcerated on and off for two and a half years, then I lived with my mother for a little bit, then got into this group home where I live now.”
“What’s the next step?”
“They’re trying to give me independent housing. I’m waiting for that. I have somewhat of a mental disability; I’m bipolar. It’s not that serious, but I’ve been to psychiatric units. My struggle kind of messed with me mentally. Being homeless messes with you. You start to act differently. You don’t care about life. You think you’re hopeless. But there’s hope. You just have to keep a positive attitude and move forward.”
“Do you regret anything you’ve done, or do you think you’ve learned from it?”
“I don’t regret anything. It’s part of destiny. You go through it and you learn from it. You can either stay where you are and keep doing the same thing or you try to get better. These are my experiences. They’ve made me who I am today. I’m not proud or arrogant, but everything happens for a reason. I actually converted to Islam in jail. I used to be gang affiliated, but I changed my life for the better. So you’re going to write all this?”
"Yes. Do you mind?"
"No, but I would like you to include religion in there because there is a misconception about Islam. People think Islam is about violence. It’s not. It’s about peace and equality, and trying to do good and help people. The people who do violent things in the name of Islam go against it. It says in the Quran that if you kill one person, it’s the same as killing humanity. I became more of a humble person, more of a people person; I became more relaxed, more patient, more grateful. I know I was bad, but the worst people can become the best people.”
SubhanAllah, the tree in sujood :)
Chocolate Hills, Bohol, Philippines
Coast of Maine, USA
The Banyan or Banian tree is an epiphyte which means the plant growing from other plant. Banyan is the national tree of India.
Ya Allah, if this is what beautiful is on this earth, I can’t imagine how beautiful it is going to be in Paradise! <3
PHOTOGRAPH: It is as beautiful as it is rare. A frost flower is created on autumn or early winter mornings when ice in extremely thin layers is pushed out from the stems of plants or occasionally wood. This extrusion creates wonderful patterns which curl and fold into gorgeous frozen petioles giving this phenomenon both its name and its appearance.
If we reflect well enough, we’d be surprised as to how Allah SWT has answered (most of) our prayers all this time. They just came in a form that we didn’t expect it to be. How Wise is He! SubhanAllah..