I write this post at risk of it being misinterpreted and my intentions misunderstood. That is in fact the case for any piece of writing that we share with others, but I’m inclined to state the obvious in this case because of its context. What I am about to write about could be considered a sensitive topic to some but bigger than that, it might lead some people to draw incorrect conclusions about my life.
I am aware, and I do not care. It does not bother me.
Which is the first point I want to write about, actually:
1) What people think.
Everyone will have their thoughts and opinions. Sometimes what they say is in fact useful and/or true, but it can be a challenge hearing these things anyway.
Some people are able to be tactful, constructive, caring and loving in their advice and what they share. Most are not able to achieve all that.
So my conclusion is:
I will listen to what people say objectively then think about it. If it is good, I will adopt it. If it is not, or something I already know, I will keep quiet. It can be difficult and I admit sometimes I talk back, but:
2) Talking less is best
There was a sahabah, or scholar, or man, I cannot recall, who was asked why he had a small stone in his mouth. And he replied how his tongue has caused him so much trouble and that stone in his mouth was to make it hard for him to talk so he’d talk less. Something along those lines.
The more we say, the more we expose ourselves, and although not necessarily bad, I’d rather err on the side of caution. I mean… Why let people know more than they need?
The more we talk the more likely it is we might say something that hurts or damages someone. So the best course of action is, then, to speak only when we have something constructive or good to say, after thinking it through.
At the end of the day it doesn’t really matter if we get to say everything on our mind because:
3) This life is temporary
This is not something everybody believes in, and that’s alright. But based on my faith and my own questioning and thinking, I believe there is an afterlife.
Why? Very briefly, everything in this world exists in something of complementary pairs. There is something to complete or balance every element, from the tiniest in scale to the largest we can barely imagine.
I am firm in the believe, then, that that balance and completeness exists in life, down to the smallest detail of every individual living thing. It doesn’t make sense to me that some people can commit heinous acts, damage so many lives, and then just die or disappear. Babies that are innocent and have done nothing can die, and that’s that. It isn’t fair to me and I ask where the justice is in all that.
As with physics, we can infer the existence of something through looking at the big picture and filling in the gaps. Even in physics we accept the existence of some things even without cold hard evidence; because that’s just how it is, I guess. We can’t see and touch everything but we can understand what should exist.
And so since I believe this world is temporary, everything is put in perspective for me. Lots of things don’t matter now when they used to mean so much, like expensive supplements, collecting things, the list goes on.
I’m not left without feeling, and some things I still like, for example one day owning an Iron Man suit, bodybuilding, computer games and books, amongst others. I like them but don’t need them. Take em away and I’ll be sad for a bit, but then I think I’ll move right on. We don’t really need much because:
4) We are physically alone in this world
It sounds sad, but it isn’t, I just need to explain it.
We are surrounded by people, and many of them care for us, but just like us they are imperfect. Trusting people fully and giving our entire heart and soul to them is therefore a recipe for disaster because a great majority of people will disappoint us, fail, and do things we don’t expect of them.
Even the people we think we really trust, will sometimes drop us in a heartbeat for something that gets them excited. There will be times when you’ll be somewhere in the background and they’ll go ahead and make decisions and plans without even thinking of you, when you’re supposedly a big part of their lives. Some sensitive people might not do that to others, because it’s probably in their nature to always put others first, but I guess many, if not most of us, end up hurting people that way too. It might just be a human thing.
So instead of thinking of our relationships as one line, I choose to think of us as parallel lines.
Parallel lines: they never meet, but they move side by side, in the same direction.
These people, however close they are to us, are like that. They travel with us, can encourage us, but ultimately it is up to us to move forward. These people might go before us, change paths, but we must continue. And like I said, we are PHYSICALLY alone in this world…
5) But spiritually loved and guided
Again, I am Muslim, and what I believe is grounded in my faith. Take what you may, and you are free to disagree.
I believe that in this world we are linked by a common love for and from God. That two complete strangers who both love God, can meet and get along famously like they’ve known each other for years.
Deeper than that, we are connected to God and His Beloved, loved even more than we love ourselves. That at any point in time if every single soul on this earth dislikes us and is against us, but we have not caused them harm, difficulty or problems, then surely God and His Messenger love us. The Messenger, Prophet Muhammad, is quoted to have worried for, spoken of and missed us, his followers who believe in him and the message he spread, even without having met nor lived in his time, peace be upon him.
And God Almighty, in His infinite Grace and Mercy, continually provides for us, and so much, despite our heedlessness, ingratitude and the many sins we commit. The doors of forgiveness are always open and we just gotta ask.
All this would probably not make any sense to those of you who might not share my faith and/or beliefs, but that is normal and expected. I just read this morning that people believe for cognitive or emotional reasons, and to change their beliefs we must address them on the level that their belief started.
And since that is far over and beyond the scope of this short piece, I won’t go into it. And sure, it might sound ridiculous to some people, but that’s just how the world is, eh.
I’ve gone on long enough. This life is simple, and I hope it’s excellent for you.