If my brain was a pile of stacked files, there wouldn’t be much found within the file labeled “what I do
know.” How can you really know anything? This is a question that we, as humans who live in search of explanations (for the accidents and coincidences that fill our daily lives), often
stumble upon. I once put all my faith in facts; I perceived facts as the gateway to worldly truths. Yet, the population of theories and experimental data are burgeoning exponentially, and
with each passing day, a new fact is replacing an old one. Truths become falsehoods, and what have long been considered fallacies are now esteemed as a scientist’s
There is one thing I do know better than anyone else: I know me. I know this goofy-looking, obnoxiously loud,
at-times ignorant, oddball of a creature that is Ali Tufail (yes, pronounced to-FAIL) Khan. I also know family, or at least, some semblance of one. I know friends; I know
teachers who surpass the dictionary definition of what makes up a “teacher;” I know the people in my life that long to be considered far more than ordinary acquaintances. Oh, and how could I
forget, I know the validity of my pets. I question every single aspect of this life I’m living, but I don’t question the aforementioned people. I spend hours on end pondering why
something has happened to me, or what reason a poet has for a syntactical choice in a simple stanza of poetry, but I don’t question the many loves of my life.
And there you have it - love is the answer to this question. Through love, this inexplicable, undeniable, ever-present
emotion that sucks you in (and has the power to alter your world, as some clichés say), I know truth. For so long now, I’ve been considered emotional. I cry and laugh and shine in joy and
fall into the depth of despair. Yet, emotion is my strength. I know what is true when I feel that object, that thing to be true. All questions of why, where, what, and how seem to
dissipate into thin air when I feel the validity of something. No questions remain, no doubt forms a shadowy, gray cloud above my head; what does remain is the object, standing besides love,
truth, and a ray of God’s light.
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