July 7, 2010

Paper Flowers

Posted in Social Commentary at 11:20 pm by faith786

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum,

Warning: long.

Well, for those of you who missed the memo, last weekend was ISNA.

It was strange going after three years, but it was great until I ran into a bunch of highschool/friends I knew from childhood after a couple of years.

They seemed to be kind of absorbed in all the stuff they did such as research, jobs, grades on MCATs, PCATs, or other random important tests. I mean, seeing someone after three years, is that the first thing that comes to your mind?

So they asked me what I have been up to in the past year and I kind of scratched my head. Seeing as they seemed to have changed, I stopped to think for a second–well, I have been working on reading and learning more things–specifically chemistry and Islamic philosophy, creating a better ibadaat plan during the school year, and well, working at (sunday) school and more importantly, working on being a better person. (As cheesy as that sounds)

They asked if I thought about my specific career interests and I said that is still up in the air. They asked me if I had a job–no. They asked if I did any research the past year–no. So I kind of felt like an idiot but there was something that worried me: these were people who I graduated with or knew as a child.

We had better hopes and goals with our lives. We wanted to take on the world–challenge everything, help be part of a change for the better, do something to help the world and ourselves. And now, well, they seemed to have a change in their perspectives with the world. Change is expected, but I was slightly disheartened.

They looked at me and commented how I used to be among the top in my high school class and now I am a “behind” in school, I have no “real” career in mind, and I haven’t done anything “meaningful” in the past year. That might be true, but then that made think of something else: they also have a change in principles. Three years ago, they would never have been that cold to me.

So point of long post:

After such a relatively short period of time (1-3 years) many people have changed their outlook on life and I don’t know if that is necessarily a good thing.

Maybe I am a bit of an idealist–I want to see something better for the world. I want to learn what my skills and talents are and refine them to help make the world a better place. I want to live a righteous life and grow to become a beautiful person. I also hope that whatever I do, whatever helps everyone and myself, helps us all get closer to God and makes God happy. I want many good things, but it seemed very childish to my old friends. They told me to get out of my fairytale land of paper flowers.

And perhaps I should be a little realistic but then again, would I want to live a life and say my greatest accomplishments was getting an A on a gen chem test or volunteering at a library with a grumpy librarian when I could have been outside on my bike?

So I don’t know what would be considered the best outlook on life (other than living a life with moral integrity for the sake of God) but I do think it is very dangerous to think it is all about your career. I also think it is dangerous to be certain that we know what is best for ourselves.

So if there was any point in reading this, I would hope it would be to step back and look at what you think is important in life. What do you value as accomplishments? What do you see as important goals in a person’s life? What is the importance of principles in your life (if they mean anything at all)?

I don’t have the answers, but I certainly hope to challenge your mind if it is in a ‘fairytale land of paper flowers’.

 —(Sarah, Mally and Spiderman are more than welcome to help me with my ibadaat plans this coming Ramadan and school year!)


1 Comment »

  1. GeniusAccordingToMyChemProf said,

    That definitely challenged my mind – thank you for that.

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