So I’m 20. Hmmm. It seems as if each year, birthdays become less and less important. But having lived for 20 years now, I want to share some thoughts with everyone.
I have noticed an increased maturity about myself over the last year. It may not be noticeably obvious, but mentally and spiritually I have definitely changed. It’s actually quite weird writing this because I keep using the personal pronoun ‘I’ – a despised term in my vocabulary. I don’t know if I will come across slightly psychotic saying this, but I really don’t like using the terms ‘I’ or ‘me’ – it makes me feel a little egotistical. Recently, I have been becoming more and more selfless. I don’t see myself as anyone important in the grand scheme of things. I’m just another one of God’s small creations in this universe. You and I are merely parts of this creation. Nothing more, nothing less.
I didn’t do anything for my birthday – not necessarily because I couldn’t – but because I didn’t want anything. If I was to get a birthday present, I would have liked to have something like ‘world peace’ or ‘an end to poverty’ you know, something along those lines. Alas, I don’t expect any of those any time soon.
But anyway back to my life. When I was seven, I told my mum I wanted to be a journalist. She was shocked and she replied: “Where did you learn that word from.” I replied: “The journalist that speaks to me in my head told me.” She must have either thought ‘damn it, I have given birth to a deluded child’ or ‘aww he has an imaginary friend.’ Neither really answered her question of where I heard the word ‘journalist’ at such a young age, though. Perhaps I am still deluded…
Anyway enough cynicism. One thing I have learnt in life is that to get what you want, not only do you have to believe you can get it, but you have to work for it. Scientists have long known about the great wonders that can occur from ‘thinking positively’. People can cure themselves from ‘incurable diseases.’
The subconscious is undoubtedly something incredible. So too is the human soul.
I often feel a sense of disquiet – discord even, between my mind/body and my soul. A debate often sparks between the two. The soul, which predates the human body, knows the secrets of the universe and yearns to return to return to its Lord. Mine certainly does. I sometimes feel estranged in this world, feeling a sense of unease about my very existence. ‘Is this my real home’? – I often ponder.
My attitude towards religion has also changed. Mostly because of listening to intellectuals and academics and reading their works. I started reading properly about one and a half years ago – before that I thought reading to be something mundane and tedious. How wrong I was. Reading can have the most profound change on an individual. It can literally liberate the mind and get one to think in profound ways.
So back to religion. I had a very simplistic and regressive perception of Islam. I thought it to be something very literal, and not open to interpretation. How wrong I was again. At the heart of the deeply intellectual and nuanced faith of Islam is a plethora of possible understandings. God knows who is right. And God alone knows our intentions. And it is our intentions that, ultimately, we will be judged. It doesn’t matter what you believe or don’t believe -nobody knows what is in the the heart, what somebody has been conditioned to think, and why a human being acts in the way that they act. Nobody human being has the right to judge.
Many people can’t fathom why some live lives of luxury whilst other live in abject poverty. One woman died last year from drinking too much water in a water drinking competition. At the same time, those in Somalia, as we speak, are dying because they have no water. What sort of world is this? A world without a God? It sounds possible. But once we understand our purpose: to know our Lord, to be vicegerents of this world (helping one another) and to do as much good as possible, everything starts to make more sense.
Life is just a short soujourn. It’s transient and ephemeral. We will all soon be gone and be replaced. So this is why we shouldn’t take anything for granted. Especially your health, money but most importantly, your time.
I await the next 20 years of my life.
*By the way I wrote this in under ten minutes, sorry for any mistakes, grammatical or otherwise.*