Every now or then, there comes a story that restores our faith in humanity.
This is one such story from California, America, that runs counter to the increasing media coverage that portrays USA as a country where Muslims and their religious liberties are viewed with a suspecting eye.
Bryan Conn, an entrepreneur, scientist, and practicing Muslim among many other things, recently shared a tale that went viral over social media.
Respect for Religious Liberties
Mr. Conn works as an Application Scientist at Molecular Devices, a company he joined one month ago in Sunnyvale California.
In his first day there, he spoke to his boss and an HR person how he would be needing a few minutes every day in offering his prayers in the afternoon.
I mentioned to my boss and a HR staffer that, as a Muslim, I would just need to duck away for a few minutes, a couple times a day, to do the afternoon prayers. I told them I could do my prayer in any out of the way place, and they were very nice and said it would be fine.
His request was accepted and he was offered a dark and empty room with adorned with tiles. The place was near to his desk and Ryan recalled that it was more than sufficient for him to offer his prayers in peace, out of the sight of his fellow co-workers as well.
The humble arrangements were all that Mr. Conn wanted. And for a few days he offered his prayers and got free and went back to work with minimal fuss.
And Then it Happened
America can be a really strange place. One day they are electing an avowed racist as their new President and the other day they smash that stereotype with gusto, indicating that not all is lost in Trump’s America.
Mr. Conn, after a few days of offering prayers in a sparse yet adequate prayer space, was greeted by a surprise in that ‘dark and empty room.’
The room was adorned with all sorts of amenities and utilities by co-workers who realized that a member of their team deserved better. They provided a lamp, carpet, bench, even a sign at the door.
The Quiet Room is Born
It seemed like Mr. Conn’s request became a powerful idea in itself. Employees at Molecular Devices turned what was a bland old praying place into a fully featured ‘Quiet Room.’
The Quiet Room became the safe place that employees could escape into if they wished to pray, meditate, and take a mental break. This was the pluralism that America needed more of, that people like Ryan Conn and his fellow workers needed now more than ever.
As for Ryan Conn, he was so touched by the warm gesture of his co-workers that he didn’t want their efforts to be in vain.
He celebrated their efforts in a Facebook post, which went viral and has nearly 5000 shares as of now: