I was invited to have a session with a group of youth recently, and it revolved around resilience (my fav topic of the moment), pain, optimism and challenging status quo.
When asked if there’s anything I truly wanted the youth to think about, I’d shared these three points, all of which I constantly share with my kids in school as well. I’ll share it here so that more people can benefit, inshaAllah:
1. Whatever we have – our privilege, ambitions, life experiences & blessings – is our responsibility. It is an amanah*, and excellence is an obligation, not a choice, for the Muslim. It is a duty to use what we have mindfully and purposefully to serve – serve Him, serve ourselves, and serve others. We can easily be in the shoes of someone who want to go to school but can’t – so be grateful and do our best.
2. We do the best we can, be it in school, in life or at work, not for the grades or the recognition or to get what we think is best for us, but to open as many doors as possible. When we do well, we’ll have more choices and get to exercise ownership and choice, instead of getting thrown into things we may not necessarily like.
3. Make friends with people different from us. We so often like to remain insular and keep to the people who look, sound and think like us. It’s easy to stay within an echo chamber and get our thoughts and perspectives validated. The challenge and growth lies in stepping out and getting to know people who hold different life values, beliefs and lifestyles. To learn to be open to differences, to healthy debate and critical thinking, and to agree to disagree. It is only when we communicate & love people different from us that we learn to value our own complex identities and to embrace diversity.
There’s so much to learn from each other, and I truly am humbled to have been asked to share. Always love speaking alongside Shafiee & Ust Zahid , for the fact that I get to sit close to them and absorb as much gems that these two share abundantly. ❤️
Thank you Muslim Youth Forum SG for inviting me! Sharing life lessons with youth is always an opportunity I cannot say no to. ❤️
*(moral responsibility of fulfilling one’s obligations due to Allah)