How to Keep Your Faith in Humanity

We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory will swell when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature. – Abraham Lincoln

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I felt so passionate making this piece. I was reading too much news during this election cycle, and getting bogged down by the hateful rhetoric (cough*Trump).

I decided to turn off the news and keep the faith. Faith in love. Faith in humanity. Faith in our better angels. Faith because we’re all made up of the same stuff (star dust)!

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Faith on the easel

At the same time, I learned more about the hijab, which got me thinking about women and power.

The top Muslim-American researcher at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, Dalia Mogahed, appeared on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah:

Trevor: Do people ever accuse you of being oppressed because of your dress?

Dalia: All the time, all the time.

Trevor: Are you oppressed? Why do you dress the way you dress?

Dalia: It is such a good question, I was hoping you would ask me that! And here’s why I dress the way I dress – the main reason is I never have to have a bad hair day. (laughter)

But there are some secondary reasons… because it’s an act of devotion to God. This is, as i understand my faith, a commandment that I should follow. When you look at surveys, that’s why the vast majority of woman who wear hijabs, say – they do it as an act of devotion – not because anyone forces them.

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Faith, in process

I just want to ask you another question though, I know you’re the guy asking me, but when we talk about oppression, I think the concept is really important and interesting, because oppression means the taking away of power. And what hijab does is it basically privatizes woman’s sexuality.

So what are we saying when we say that by privatizing a woman’s sexuality, we’re oppressing her? What does that mean, and what is that saying about the source of a woman’s power?

Trevor: We’re saying that a woman is only strong if she’s sexy in public?

Dalia: Yeah!

Trevor: Did I get it?

Dalia: Yeah!

Where lies our power? In our exposed skin and hair? Or our voice, our compassion, and our daily choices?

Food for thought. But this I know – we all are one. And our power can also be found when we remember that.

Here’s a speedy peek as I paint Faith:


♥ ~ Meghan Oona

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