Tick Tock Tick Tock

Siddiq Ather – 12th Grade, Islamic Foundation School, Villa Park, IL

It starts with a tick, tock, tick, tock, tick, tock, and stop. Time flies by as we walk through our lives, and people start to cry when the stock market dives; people say goodbye to soldiers going off to live or die. An honorable cause, but they don’t know why. Sometimes we don’t even know why. Why did the taxes just rise? Is there a reason or should we be surprised.  Some politicians are on a mission for truth and justice, a solution for problems and predicaments, and a venue to discuss this and that. Others hold up the red tape at the nape of our heroes halting their progress and feigning it’s a cape. Rhetoric alone cannot atone for mistakes that roam and solutions postponed by a filibuster.

Bills are passed and bills are rejected. Still our heroes remain stead fast, and unaffected; our hero says, “The people have spoken, my promise of representation will not be broken, and if you don’t believe me, look at this token of democracy, I’m talking about me. I have been elected, and now serve as the people’s eyes, ears, and hands; my will is their command. If you don’t understand, open your ears to society’s band.   It is society’s demands which we are here to address. I must confess that I am not the best man for the job, but I was chosen by the people; I will do the best I can to unfold our citizens’ plans, and construct their voices into constitutional collages of quintessential rules and regulations. My job is to condense the contemplations of my bosses, every citizen I represent, and present them as a manifestation of the will of the people patiently waiting for a stamp of approval.”

I listened to my hero and gazed in awe at his truth and sincerity. My simplistic dream then fell apart to reveal that my hero had not been a man at all. My hero was actually the heroic men and women representing us in congress. I further contemplated to decipher who then were the villains that our great hero had spoken of. The answer left me completely perplexed and refuted even my most well assembled postulations. The villains were the same as the heroes, how could this be? The answer was not who, but when. It appeared that the difference was that our heroes arose when our representatives heard and acted upon the will of the people and for the benefit of the people, while the villains arose when our representatives ignored the will of the people and failed to act to benefit them. Our representatives seem to be much like a microcosm of our selves, prone to mistakes; what makes some rise above others as heroes is their aptness to accept mistakes, fix them, and ascend to bigger and better things. I feel the former statement to be but the tip of the iceberg in what occurs in senate of Illinois and other congressional bodies of legislation and government. Although some may pass these bodies aside as mundane and gray, they fail to see the power, hope, and cataclysmic confrontations which occur on a daily basis do not let the guise of black suits and ties fool you; these men are the warriors of the vox populi. The chance to enter a battlefield of such a high and honorable level would leave me speechless. The chance to learn by firsthand experience how our democratic process occurs, how the voice of the people is transformed into the enforcement of laws, would be a highly insightful experience, especially being a Muslim American.

Some may ask why being a Muslim American would increase the vitality of such an experience. Every so often eras ebb and flow, new Americans rise up for their rights and, in doing so, bring something to the nation “in order to form a more perfect union.”The First were the colonists of America, then the European immigrants, then African Americans and Slaves, then Asian Americans, and Hispanics.  Now the time has come for a new group of Americans to create a legacy, that group is the group of Muslim Americans. It is time for us to exercise our rights as citizens and take a more active stance in the realm of government and administration. All the while, we will also bring our piece of the pie, put our ten cents in, and bring what we have to offer “in order to form a more perfect union.” What our nation needs most in this day and age is a representative who understands the responsibility that comes with democratic representation and the diplomacy of dealing with a global community; what better person for such a position than someone whose very faith has held that ideal since its start and has followers from around the world as well as a history of truth, civil rights, justice, freedom, and liberty.