The Wonders Of A Diary

Below is my polished personal response to Maya Angelou’s “Still I Rise.” A lot of it is very personal and actually originates from my actual diary entries from 5th grade, and it represents a major obstacle/learning experience from my life.

Prompt: What is your opinion on the idea that our beliefs are influenced by the actions of others?


August 27th, 2011

Dear Diary:

The first day back to school was the same as always. The same as every other day. I walked into school with a hoodie too big for me, so I could hide myself from the horrors. I got into class and took a seat at the very back, in the far corner. The teachers once again put on their facade of excitement and joy, I could tell. Once the teachers started to take attendance, my heart began to pound, as it is “tradition” to stand and walk to the front of the class when your name is called. 8 names away. 5 names away. Oh, how I hoped there would be a fire drill. 3 names away. 2 names away. I frantically began to pray that my name would accidentally be skipped. But it wasn’t. “Muhammad Tariq” the teacher called. Slowly I crawled out of my seat and mumbled “Here.” As I walked up to the front of the class, I turned my head slightly, and saw the same eyes as last year. Those eyes. Those hatred filled eyes. Why did they hate me? What did I ever do to them? Be born a Muslim? But regardless of my fear, I walked up to the front and was welcomed by the teacher. Even as I went back, I could see the same eyes glaring at me. As I took my seat, the teacher welcomed us again and began to inform us about this year’s topics, rules, duties, etc. After that introduction it was like 4th grade had never ended. The same people, the same teaching methods, the same school. The only difference was our tormentor. I prayed so I could at least have a few days of peace. I just wish that sometimes my prayers would be answered. I now know that individuals cannot remain dependent on others to institute change, but they must work for it themselves.


January 6th, 2011

Dear Diary,

I tried. I’m sorry, but I couldn’t do it. I tried to be independent, to be brave. These last few torture-filled months have really taught me that this will go on endlessly, day after day, year after year. It seems so futile to even try to stop them. It is clear to me now, that this world is too full of darkness for any space to be given to light. Today I was only reading, but they came to me like bees would to pollinate a flower. They came and took everything from me, but that isn’t even worst of all. What hurts most is that I still can’t understand why they do it. I haven’t ever done anything to them. But it happens. It happened every day last year. I got sick and tired of it but there was nothing I could do. Telling anyone was never an option. No one ever listens. Last year was painful enough. I refuse to let this go on. They hate me without reason? I’ll hate them. They hurt me without reason? I’ll hurt them. I don’t care anymore. They clearly want a fight. Well it’s about time I give them one. One they won’t be able to forget. I never wanted to do this, but it seems to be the only option left. And just like them, I will not show mercy. They can kick me down, and I may be in pain, but from now on, I refuse to stay down. Not until I figure out exactly what I did to make them so angry. Angry enough to hate me. To want me gone. Playing the pacifist didn’t work, it’s time to play the warmonger. I’m sorry, I didn’t want it to come to this. But I absolutely cannot reside within this world which I see as a hell. I know now, that the only way to win a war against a country with massive weaponry is with more weapons.


May 15th, 2011

Dear Diary,

Before I say anything, I have to apologize to you for my previous behavior, I was very angry. Things have gotten a lot better since we last conversed. They haven’t bothered me much as of late, probably because the last time they tried to, it ended up in a fight, with everyone having an injury one way or another. I was lucky, my injury was only on my knee, so I could hide it easily. We almost got suspended, if the principal was able to find more evidence of the fight we would have been. The thing is, I don’t quite understand what happened after that. Why they stopped. They can’t be scared of me right? There’s like 20 of them, and one of me. So I’ll ask you; why do you think they’ve stopped? Do you think it’s because I held my own that one time? Or maybe, just maybe, I got a little respect in their eyes. Maybe because I tried to “face my fear” and  “be a man” I was finally given credit. Or maybe my prayers have finally been answered. Whatever it was, I am thankful. Thankful for all my family and friends, regardless of how much suffering they have caused me. Thankful to you, for always allowing me to express myself openly. Thankful to the world, for the life I have and live. I am thankful because, I now know, that with the consequences of one’s actions come the enlightenment of not only themselves, but also others.

Image result for Actions affect others pictures

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

2 thoughts on “The Wonders Of A Diary

  1. Dear Muhammad,
    This was a very interesting form to respond to the prompt and I have to say that I immensely liked it. I am terribly sorry that you had to face these certain obstacles in your life, but in my eyes, you became stronger because of it.

    I loved reading these three subsequent entries because the reader can clearly see the evolution of the individual ( you ), as they attempted to reconcile with the struggles of being from a certain religion. And the personal touch that you had added created a connection between the writer and the audience. The analogies that you have used: “came to me like bees would to pollinate a flower” really emphasized the emotions that you have felt during those arduous times. But I really want to bring into focus, the strong language that you have used to invoke strong emotions within the reader. You have clear understanding and skill with using diction and style and I cannot wait to see you grow more!

    Rooms for growth: Make sure to watch your formatting. I found that there were times that I had lost myself within the words. Fix it now, so that it won’t prove to be an issue in later times. As well as, there are some silly little GUMPs mistakes that you are making ( watch the grammar  ), but it can be easily fixed. I suggest that you read your writing aloud, so that you can clearly hear any mistakes that you will make. And lastly, just inquiring about the dates on the diary entries, were they supposed to be out of order?

    This was a fantastic piece and I am so proud that you opened up and told everyone about your experiences. I hope that you will grow to be a great writer ( something that I have no doubt that you will attain ) and remember to keep on reading and writing!

    With much love,
    Bryna Anne.

  2. Dear Bryna,

    Thank you for your comment! I really appreciate it! Indeed, this piece is something which really had me thinking about human life in general. Like I expressed in my response, I find most pain in confusion. I’m glad you liked it. And thank you also for the areas of growth you provided me with, I will definitely heed your warnings and fix it now, before it becomes much of a problem. And as to answer your question about the order of the diary entries, I just realized I made a mistake with the years. I forgot that the next year is actually supposed to be 2012…typical Muhammad mistake. Thank you for pointing that out. Thanks once again for reading my blog and leaving a comment! It really helps out!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *