I get hypertension whenever I wander onto the news feeds of our starlets of social media. That’s probably because, reading their shares and forwards, I soon conclude that I can only be a turncoat, so completely cut off from this thing we call community. But the truth of the matter is that I have never been, and have never been allowed to be, a part of that community.
I am no different now from the billy-no-mates I was in school, alienated both from the cool kids and the nerds, who took to wandering round and round in circles while going nowhere at all. I live far out on the furthest periphery, forever the contrarian, probing into every controversy only to find just an empty shell.
Even twenty-three years ago, in those early days of faith, one of my friends nicknamed me Abu Dharr, though I would never dare to compare myself to a man as great and pious as him. Far from it, for I have always been wayward in nature, whereas he was one of the best of the best.
But the faith of Abu Dharr gives me hope. Yes, despite the ache in my chest that bites whenever I wander out amongst the activists and leaders of opinion, and the inner consternation which rebukes me, I am reminded of that great man who walked alone and died alone, who was praised by the best of men himself.
It is okay to walk alone, even if the masses condemn you.