June 1, 2017

As I walked down the street, I reminisced about the beautiful memories I’ve made with my friends, and how important it is to cherish friendships. Walking past a bookstore, I saw a set of exquisite pens in the display. “This is just the thing I’ve been looking for”, I thought to myself and walked into the shop. I asked the salesman to gift wrap two of the finest pens in the best wrapping paper available.

That evening when I met with my friends, I presented them with the gifts and was filled with gratitude seeing them unwrap the presents with such joy. These two friends of mine were the most creative and talented people I had ever known.

A few years later a postman came to my door with a parcel. I carefully unwrapped it. It was a book. To my surprise the author was my friend. I opened the cover and there was an inscription inside:

If it weren’t for your present I would have never realized my dreams! THANK YOU!

Tears of joy rolled down my cheeks. I could not imagine what I had just received.

Later that week I went to meet my other friend. “Hey, did you receive a copy of his book?” I asked. “Yeah I did, isn’t it unbelievable?” He replied. And then I asked him a question that caught him off guard. “So do you still have that pen I gave you?” I asked. “Ah, umm, yeah I use it all the time, to write my grocery lists and even my checks.” he opened a drawer and started to rummage for something. Out came the pen, scratched and hardly recognizable. “See here it is!” I quickly changed the subject to avoid any further embarrassment. “So how are the kids doing at school?” I asked.

This is an example of how different people do things differently with the gifts they are given. There is one such gift we all are given. The question is, are we writing a best-seller with it or just our grocery lists?

Life! The greatest gift we’ve been bestowed with. Yet we think so little of it. Why? Aren’t we taught, from day one at school, about great people like Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, and other such revolutionaries? What happens after we are taught about such people? We are also led to do things much differently than they did. Why? Can we not be as great as them? Have we not been gifted with the same bodies and organs as they were?

In my opinion, to think you are anything less than great is nearly blasphemous. Do you think that Allah created you flawed, less capable than others? He is the Most Just! If He gave someone one quality, He gave you an equally important quality that the other does not have. The balance is so perfect that without it the world would be in disorder, which it is starting to become because we are not doing what we are meant to do. So no, you are not less than any great person that has walked this earth (there are a few exceptions but apart from them every other great human being).

There are problems in our systems, however, I do not want to start a blame game here or point fingers. There is only one direction the finger should point, and that is towards yourself. Lazy, scared, to comfortable in our comfort-zones, and the list goes on of the endless reasons why we are holding ourselves back from greatness.

Go and open some history books, biographies of some of the greatest people who have ever lived, or watch a documentary. There will be several things common in all of them. Lets start with curiosity. They never let anyone, or any system kill their curiosity. They battled to keep it alive, so that they could come up with solutions to the most important questions about our universe. It was curiosity that led them to understand their passion and potential and in turn live a life of purpose and peace.

Another common thing among the great people was nonconformity. They questioned the stagnant ideologies and systems in which they grew up, realized the flaws, and made an effort to bring a change. But the change didn’t come overnight and for some, the change didn’t even come during their lifetime, however, we can not forget to credit them for being the epicenters of change.

The most important thing among great people, and this is one thing where people want to stop listening because it bothers them, is the sacrifices they made in order to achieve that greatness. But let me remind you, their intentions were never to become famous, their intentions were pure and that is why they were able to achieve their goals. They were as human as you and I. They made mistakes, they got hurt, they fell ill, but they never gave up. They had hard miserable lives, most of them, but today we remember them only for their achievements, which is maybe the problem. We have literally made them gods, and because of that we think it’s impossible to be like them.

Is life really only about making money, buying cars, and investing in businesses for a safe future? Really? Just the thought of such a life makes me nauseous. Is that really how we are going to make use of this wonderful gift? Use it to write our grocery lists and checks? How embarrassing it will be to face He who gave us this gift! I don’t think we can even imagine how it will feel. But you and I both know, it will be horrible.

So it’s a humble request to anyone who comes across this post, stop and reflect upon the perfection of His creation, that is, us. Reflect upon the endless blessing we have been bestowed with, so that we can realize that what He made is perfect and deserves nothing less than being GREAT!


P.S. The dictionary meaning of Great:

of ability, quality, or eminence considerably above the normal or average


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