Tuesday, March 16, 2010

a message to Noor Il Fehm

This is note that was writen by a dear sister of mine, who is masha ALLAH a talented writer and thinker, may ALLAH bless her!
I posted it here to remind my self and to others on her experience and her thought provoking points, and nsha ALLAH i will post my reply to it soon insha ALLAH.

(hope you will like it, plz share your comments)

Posted in Mind, Note Requests at 3:53 pm by AH

This note is dedicated to Noor Il Fehm

Noor Il Fehm is the nickname of one of my university friends. Whenever I think of this girl, I think of a girl who used to “pass by my life” at just the right moments. In the TV room when I was saturated with what I was studying, in the corridor when I needed help, and in her room when I needed human company. She was my neighbour, and I’ve always been grateful for this neighbour, because we used to share deep intellectual, social, religious conversations, and the best part of our relationship is how different our majors were. She was in SA&D and I was in CEN. Despite that, we never ran out of things to talk about.

After graduation Noor Il Fehm went to teach children in school, simply because she didn’t believe in using her degree for commercialization purposes, like advertising and running Marketing campaigns, considering how unclean this industry has become nowadays. And since she was a design student, she thought that maybe her role in society was to be a different role model, and teach children creativity from a young age. Yet at some time she began to get frustrated because the children shocked her, and you could read all about it in her blog.

And what’s funny is that I’ve gone through a similar experience before. Once upon a time, I found myself a bunch of female victims to teach Mathematics in a High School in Kenya just because I had nothing better to do with my life = I was on vacation. The experience was not so bad as I felt like I learnt more from the girls than I taught them. And if someone had asked me just before graduation what I wanted to do, I would have settled for that….

But then again, that was the AUS stress talking.

However, now, 1.5 years post graduation my point of view rotated 180 degrees, and my message to Noor Il Fehm is as follows:

Our problem is that we meld into society too soon, and we get into that heated mood of “wanting to make a difference in the world,” and “wanting to go out to the real world and change it”. However, what we really need is time to change ourselves, develop ourselves and grow ourselves. What we really need is to shift our focus inward instead of outward. Instead of criticizing society and the apparent moral corruption taking place, the question is, “What are we doing with our lives? What is our next goal? Not our next “social” goal, but our next “personal” goal? How are we growing? How are we developing? How are we challenging ourselves?”

We need to set the standard bar higher for ourselves. We need to force ourselves out of the comfort zone, define our next challenge, raise our standards higher. Otherwise we won’t be satisfied, and we’ll always feel like we didn’t give things our all, like we wasted our efforts, simply because we didn’t concentrate, simply because we didn’t define our next goal. And this dissatisfaction will lead to frustration, simply because it’s like we aimed too low, and by aiming too low, we’d naturally settle too low. There’s a saying by Clement Stone that says, “Aim for the moon. If you miss, you may hit a star.”

And that might explain your current frustration, Noor il Fehm. You settled too low. You went back to society too soon. You need some incubation period – a time out – to grow yourself, to gain more knowledge in your field, and return to society in a different form, not as a teacher, but something better.

And the more knowledge you gain, whether in religion, or in your field, the more you’ll realize how little you know. Because no matter how much you’ve achieved, the real great minds always strive for more. They don’t waste their time patting themselves on the back for what they’ve learned, for what they’ve achieved, but keep the process going and going and going like the bunnies that run on Duracell’s batteries.

Because at this stage, you think that the best way to change those girls was by gaining authority and enforce discipline, but a better way to change people is to inspire them through the story of your life.

Remember this quote for Imam Ahmad;

قيل للإمام أحمد: متى الراحة؟

قال: مع أول قدم في الجنة

Or the Arabic poem for Al Mutanaby:

على قدر أهل العزم تأتي العزائم ... و تأتي على قدر الكرام المكارم
و تعظم في عين الصغير صغارها ... و تصغر في عين العظيم العظائم

(the link to her blog)

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