I am from Pakistan, I offer peace. Happy 4th of July!!!

It was my first day in Colorado, US, for the Unreasonable Institute. The beginning of a beautiful day, sun hadn't gained it full power and thus the sky was clear with patches of white floating... I perhaps never had seen anything as beautiful as this, the green of Boulder with the blue of sky reminded me of how perfect Nature is.... I had gone for a long walk. Coming back I didn't have to worry about time and was walking slowly. Up the road, back to the Unreasonable Institute where all of the wonderful fellows from around the world stayed together.

As usual I was wearing my traditional shalwar qameez with scarf wrapped around my hair... I was walking with deep satisfaction, taking in all the beauty of the nature, until... I started feeling awkward. my hands clutched my bag tightly, my eyes promised not to look up... Some people were walking up the street, American people. I had no other choice but to pass through them... I know I have heard wrong... I kept telling myself I have heard wrong of people disliking diversity and especially hating Pakistani culture.. I knew they were going to do something.... or say something... or probably laugh.... feeling oddly weak my pace started to slow down... either this way or that, I had to walk past these people... and thus we approached each other, my eyes down, my heart beating loudly and my feet denying further steps and these people approaching more closer, closer, until they were shoulder to shoulder with me, and then...each of them chanted, good morning! oh you look nice! have a great day!:)..... I felt ashamed of myself.

From that day on, till today, that makes a month of staying in America... I have seen respect, love, and smiles in return to my differences, I represented Pakistan the whole month of June in the Unreasonable Institute, where ever I went in Colorado, in Tennessee, meeting hundreds of people, I gained love in return.... and thus I decided to offer the same, respect to Americans, love and peace to every single person I come across on 4th of July, I decided to represent America and spreading the message of love by wearing American attire and walking down to people to personally tell everyone how thankful I am to be here.

Just this morning of 4th of July, I woke up with a mission, and dressed in a big gown with colors of US flag and a cow boy hat with neckerchief. It was perfect. The long walk started just after lunch, I needed my strength:) and taking along my beautiful friend+room mate Maria with me, we headed down to down the street first to have a cappuccino (I had waited till this day to try what it is:). "Are you really going to do it", Maria asked smiling, "yeah why not", I said and there a lady coming down the street toward our way, coming closer, I smiled with gratitude and chanted my first: HAPPY 4TH OF JULY! she was in thoughts at first, shocked second, smiled later and laughing waved with happiness and said, "happy 4th of July to you too"!!! I couldn't have been more proud. I told this to 13 more people walking across the street all of them waving and smiling, some laughing and wishing a great day. my heart was filled with happiness and yet it was only the beginning..

We walked inside a few shops to greet people, having chances to speak further then the greetings, I told them I was from Pakistan and offered peace and love to everyone in America because we all know humans speak one language before all and that's the "language of love". With misty eyes some of them hugged me, some shook hands, I got blessings, and took pictures and I think there wouldn't have been a day like this when I felt such strong connections with people even I didnt knew them.

I found out Cappuccino is actually coffee with foam on it, oh well I thought as Maria and I started walking to the Pearl street. Which is the main busy and most amazing place in Boulder where I can greet about hundreds of people all together. Soon it was huge masses of people walking across streets I sensed we are there. I felt my heart take leaps of joy, approaching the first person there who was offering ice cream samples I tasted mango ice cream and told him about my mission for today, he was happier then ever, waved to us for a long time until we disappeared in the crowds of people, watching street performers, children playing, elderly people sitting and talking, In short it was all HUMAN, every single one of them with a desperate need to give and get love.

People saw me walking, some waved, some smiled and some approached me themselves before I did. It was all overwhelming.... about more then 80 people who have smiled and greeted back, I had simply washed away perhaps years of sadness in me as the deep feeling of happiness made my heart warm with each smile that came across from people. I chased kids, took pictures with them, some got scared and others clapped... I wasnt able to hide my tears when their parents waved back when we walked away...

"You are a blessing", one of the old ladies said sitting along with 5 others on a bench, gave me warm hugs as I shared my mission... more then 100 people now. I saw people wearing flags on their shoulders, ran to them, wished them and saw them being really happy... I waved to street performers, approached many and took pictures and shared my mission. Some times passing people I didnt have to say anything at all, it was just smiles, warm beautiful smiles, from older people, from small kids, from mothers and fathers, from everyone and it said: you offer love, we offer love.

More then 150 people by now... about hours of greeting everyone, sharing the connections, love and the pure sense of belonging. I felt filled with emotions, the happiness that at first was just within me, flowed through the crowds of people that were there.... Now as I and Maria made our way back home a bunch of people waved from behind, smiling and yes feeling the love that I felt towards everyone~ +++++++

I keep learning from people, from every single being, because each one of us comes with unique identity and that when shared becomes a source of energy to live and a reason to celebrate. The more I learn about humans, the more I want to show my gratitute and respect to the differences which unite us all.

I am from Pakistan, I offer peace. HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!!!