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Month: December 2009

It’s Scary, Don’t Live in It

It’s Scary, Don’t Live in It

Unclear subject? It’s really scary. If you actually got caught by it, you will be suffering for the rest of your life. What am I talking about? I am talking about the four words: “it is too late”.

I don’t mean here a project, an assignment, an exam, or a job task. No, I am talking here about your life moments. The reason I wrote this post is because of what I witnessed this past semester of my study. The semester was super crazy, continuous work, too much pressure, and many lost important moments.
At the end of it, I looked back, read few stories, heard some talks, and realized a very scary conclusion. We are losing our lives. Aren’t we just caring about our work more than anything else? Aren’t we losing so many precious moments because we MUST finish our tasks? Many of us, if not all, got attached too much to our work that we pay much much less attention to other important things.

I don’t want to sound ridicules, but think about the age of the people around you. Humans get old. Think of the people that matter to you. Are you giving them what they deserve? Are you actually giving them anything? Are you putting your work as your highest priority? Think about the following scenario and it really happens. You go to work daily. There’s a very important person to you and let’s call him/her X. This X tries his/her best to spend most of the time with you and you always turn them down because of your “work”. Days go by and sadly this X dies. This is the scariest moment when you say “it’s too late”. It’s too late to have a dinner with him/her because they are not here. It’s too late to bring them a gift, because they just left. Congratulations winner, you lost your beloved ones, and you kept your job. Is that how you wanted your life to be? Is that the feeling you want to live in for the rest of your life?

I am sorry if the example is too harsh, but it’s real. Consider your mother, father, brothers, sisters, wife, husband and all other important people around you. Don’t let your working life imprison you inside a big cage of regret. Make a balance, don’t ignore your work, and in the same time don’t ignore your special ones. Moreover, don’t ignore yourself. You too need some time to relax and enjoy. Work never ends, but people age and leave. I hope no one will repeat “it’s too late” for the rest of his/her life. Let’s all start NOW balancing our lives.


Mustafa

You are Special, Yes Everyone Is

You are Special, Yes Everyone Is

How many times did you ask yourself “Who am I?”, “What makes me different than all these people around me?”, “Am I of any significance in this world?”..?

It’s absolutely normal to think of these questions. The only thing that matters is how you answered them. If your answers are “nobody, nothing, no”, then sorry to tell you that you are WRONG.

No matter how “normal” and “like-others” you think you are, that’s not true. Every single one of us has his/her own special characteristics and aspects. We can’t just think that we (or some of us) are copies of each other. All of us should look deep down inside our minds and hearts to see this little thing that makes us special. There are infinitely many options and points. As a simple exercise, think of the people around you and try to find a special thing about each one of them. It might not be easy at first, but try to remember moments and memories to see through. The only case where the above answers become true is when you ignore your special point or don’t know it.

You could be special in two ways. You could be special by having something others don’t have. Many examples could be drawn out of this. Some people are great in sports, some people learn very fast, others could cook very well because they have the taste, and some others could have a special talent with numbers and math. Talents are countless, you just need to discover what you are good at and hold on to it. The second way of being special is how important you are to the surrounding people. Unfortunately some people don’t have any family or friends, and they are few. For the rest, they have parents, siblings, sons, daughters, relatives, and friends that care about us and we mean the world to. Think of how many people would get sad when something bad happens to you and then you will understand how special you are. Look into your mother’s eyes when you leave the house for a long time and you can tell how special you are. Check your phone after having a small accident, and see how many people held their breath to know you are alright. We all go through times when we think we are no one, but when these times come, look up, find the smallest spark in your heart, think about the ones who love you, and get back to life with a smile.

You, I, He, and She, we are all special in one way or another. We are special by a talent God blessed us with, and we are special to many others. Please go and count how many people you mean everything to. I am sure you will find a lot.

Mustafa

Eid, a Flavor of the Past

Eid, a Flavor of the Past

“Mustafa, go look who’s ringing the bell, tell them to get inside and I will be right there”. A sentence dad used to repeat tens of times during the days of Eid.

Eid is the official holiday or special day for Muslims. We have two Eids; one after Ramadan, and one during Hajj. If you would like to read more about them check: Eid Al Fitr, Eid Al Adha

But anyway, my post is not about what Eid is. It is about what we used to do and what we do today, the different lifestyles and traditions, and how life manipulated our interaction and relations.

Not very far from now, the impact of Eid was much greater than it is these days. It meant a great time with great fun for all family members. Houses get prepared for continuous visits from wide range of guests, sweets and candies are bought in scary quantities, kids set up their wallets for the “no-effort” cash, and new clothes are a must. Having said that, you can now imagine how crazy the shopping was as people go everywhere to buy everything. When the Eid day comes, an amazing indescribable atmosphere starts. At a very early time of the morning, almost the entire city goes to pray what’s called “Eid Prayer” with everyone having their new clothes and dresses. After the prayer is done, people start shaking hands, hugging, kissing, and talking. It’s so peaceful and friendly that random people will come to you, shake your hand, and say “Happy Eid”. Families divide their Eid’s time differently. For example, in my family we used to make the first day for visiting relatives, second day for hosting friends, and third day for going out in general. As a kid, I always found the first two days boring hehe, because I didn’t like to sit and get asked the same questions over and over again. Things like “oh Mustafa, you got bigger” (Am I not supposed to?), “Mustafa, you look like a groom when is your wedding?” (yeah a wedding for a 12 years old boy, great), “You look taller and stronger, but you can never beat me” (sigh, sure thing uncle) were embarrassing and funny. Yes those moments were somehow boring yet they made you feel loved and appreciated. They let you know how much others care about you (not mentioning the cash I make from these visit and the candies I eat). The third day was my long awaited favorite day. We would go to a theme park and I would go crazy with the different rides and games (I still love theme parks). So basically during the old days of Eid, three amazing values are preserved and practiced; Family reunion (on the big scale), strengthening friendships, and making the kids happy. All that was under the big umbrella of having the whole society celebrating at the same time.

On the other hand (and I won’t talk about it much), Eid these days almost lost its flavor. Of course there are still many families and friends holding on to the old habits of Eid, but in most cases these habits are lost. Sadly, Eid nowadays is just another free time that you can use to sleep, do more work, or say “happy Eid” by phone to the family. Our interaction is getting so small that we think it’s enough to just send an email to each other. Lately, it’s getting even smaller that we only write “Happy Eid” as our facebook status. Neighbors don’t visit each other, relatives don’t bother about traveling to see their families, and kids are not as happy as before.

Life has gotten us very busy and distracted that we don’t feel the beauty of Eid anymore. Hopefully, one day, we will learn to get ourselves out of the crazy time to a more relaxed enjoyable time. Happy Eid everyone, and sorry it IS late.

Mustafa