A dream I had inspired this wisdom for the Ages
The inspiration for this post was literally a dream I had a few nights ago. In the dream I was yearning to share some wisdom with young ones, about my own kids’ age. They were not particularly willing to listen to what I had to say, though.
It was a weird and frustrating dream as dreams usually tend to be but when I woke up I could remember everything I had wanted to say to them. As reluctant as they were to receive my message I believe it was- it is – worth hearing.
Certain aspects of wisdom, if not all wisdom, is timeless. Like ‘what you sow is what you reap’. Or the golden advice: ‘love for your brother what you would love for yourself’ which is prevalent across all faiths.
There is certain wisdom that remains true for everyone at everytime no matter your age- whether we are baby boomers, generation X (like myself ) or millenials.
Whether we are male or female, whatever our faith, whatever our current situation, whatever our station in life this advice I gave to my reluctant audience still applies:
Put God first. Always. Without exception.
Come what may, He has to be Number One. He is the One you need to turn to, ask help from, He is the One whose approval you need to seek. Trends will come and go, people will move in and out of your life, your fortunes will change but Allah in your life and your faith in Him is the one thing that will anchor you in times of turmoil. His Mercy will see you through loss and joy and despair. So seek Him in every decision and see your life transform. Some might ‘accuse’ you of being too holy or too old fashioned or too backward. Let them. With God on your side you need no one else.
Honour your parents.
Show them love, respect, patience and gratitude. Do not just make a point to spend time with them out of duty- spend time with them and actually enjoy it.
It is only when you become a parent yourself that you will understand what I mean. If you are complaining about your parents that they don’t get you, don’t understand you, are distant (all very worrying concerns) still say a prayer for them. If you can’t find it in your heart to do so then ask an orphan- or someone who has recently lost a parent- for his opinion on the matter.
I promise you your mind will change.
If you grew up not knowing your parents then love, honour, respect and be humble to those who took their place.
I get it that some parents have been monsters to their children (which is a story for another day) but trust me just raise your hands in prayer and release them in your heart.
Hang on to your outrage: Please hang on to your outrage.
When you see an atrocity being committed or even something less abhorrent but wrong nevertheless do something say something.
Do something say something but don’t look the other way or walk away. Even if the person is a stranger to you do not lose your sense of justice and empathy.
Do you see kids playing and then suddenly the bigger kids turn on the smaller one or the quieter one- stop and break up the fight.
We are always saying how the world is different from the ones our parents grew up in, well, that’s because they didn’t hesitate to right wrongs.
In today’s world we think nothing of slowly turning around and walking away when something is happening- no one wants to get involved, no one wants to speak up- it’s too messy and time consuming.
” To ignore evil is to become accomplice to it.” ~ Martin Luther King.
“Whoever among you sees evil, let him change it with his hand. If he is unable to do so, then with his tongue. If he is unable to do so, then with his heart, and that is the weakest level of faith.”
~Prophet Muhammad May Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him
No one stops to smell the roses- or the qahwa anymore. Everyone is so uber busy or taking themselves too seriously. Find and make the time to have fun, breathing and laughing time in the outdoors. Play with your kids, your friends, plan fun things! Whatever but just don’t be an old soul- decrepit, too tired and moody. Do not lose your youthfulness no matter how old you are. You are as old as you believe you are.
Do not despair
No matter how hard the going gets do not lose faith or hope. Without hope, without faith we are unlit candles: there is nothing we can give or contribute to ourselves or others.
Remember point one above? Good. The Almighty does not fail to deliver.
You know who you are. If you don’t know then make it a priority to find out your core values and identify your boundaries. Know what your purpose is. From there shine a floodlight and blast ahead with bullheaded focus. Staying focused grounds you, provides a buffer against fleeting worthless trends and builds self discipline.
Keep the promises you make to yourself.
You are not any less deserving of keeping your word to yourself. After all, you don’t think twice (I hope!) of keeping the promises you made to others, do you?
You are worthy of treating yourself to the same respect that you afford to others.
So it was quite a dream was it not, huh? As far as dreams go this one was an epiphany.
I hope you had one too as you read through this post.
To all my readers sitting their final exams: may Allah’s tawfeeq help you through to success. Ameen.
Stay blessed this wonderful Friday.