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afeefa zakiAbout “the woman most people have a hard time believing is old enough to be my mother”, Zaki Barzinji writes:

Here are 15 out of 15 million things she taught me:

1 – “Hate” is almost never a necessary word to use. From “I hate you” to “I hate onions”, hold your tongue and soften your heart.

2 – There are times when you must be shamelessly idealistic, cynics be damned.

3 – Ray Bradbury, Imam Ali, Lao Tzu, Carl Sagan, Ghandi, and Bob Dylan are all perfectly acceptable teachers for a 2nd grader.

4 – When your child asks you “why?”, the proper answer is always “why do YOU think?”

5 – Spirituality is an ever flowing river, not a stagnant isolated puddle.

6 – The more you see of the world, the more you will feel at home.

7 – PBS is really the only TV station worth watching

8 – There are people in as much need in your own backyard as there are thousands of miles away.

9 – When a child (or grown-up) throws a tantrum, sometimes the most potent neutralizer is a hug, not a slap.

10 – Unabashed cheesiness can be far more awesome than ironic snark.

11 – Some traditions should be kept, some should be discarded, and some should be created.

12 – Doubt is to be celebrated on the path to knowledge, not shunned as a step towards going astray.

13 – No one can ever truly despise you if you open yourself up enough to be understood.

14 – You are never alone in this world as long as you have family.

15 – A heart full of love and an ear prone to listening are the most powerful weapons in your arsenal for waging peace.

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