Ramadan: A Call to Reflection

Kevin D. Jordan, EdD

Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Excellence and Chief Diversity Officer

Not being Muslim does not preclude me from participating in the reflective nature of one of the most revered seasons of the Islamic faith. Ramadan is a period of devotion, fasting, charity, and self-accountability. The reflective nature of this season encourages self-discipline, self-control, sacrifice, and empathy exampled through generosity and compulsory charity.

Unfortunately, we are living through challenging times of injustice and a demonstrative show of wanton incivility. The pandemic has revealed the need for humanity to bind together and address its undesirable side.  For me, critical and introspective reflection is the starting point of change. The act of reflection invites us to move toward the praxis of humanness as our humanity is what binds us together.  One need not be of a particular faith to appreciate becoming a devotee of reflection. Being a devotee of reflection does not coerce an individual to adhere to a system of dogma, but in my opinion, adhere to a system of belief that is common to all humanity – the qualities, actions, and values of temperance, sacrifice, justice, love, goodness, and peace to highlight a few.  

This season which is sacred to Islam, in principle is sacred to me as a practitioner of humanity. Reflection, to paraphrase the Danish philosopher, Kierkegaard, is an opportunity to understand life backwards; but live it forwards.

As I reflect, then live my life forward, mindfulness dictates that my reflection must be transformed to action. I start with being respectful of our Farmingdale State College community members that are observing this month of spiritual awareness and reformation.

I’m wondering, how many readers of my humble thoughts will join me in a period of reflection that we may be encouraged to become active participants in preserving the sanctity of life! Here’s to making this world a better host for all humanity…

I remain a loyal partner,