Tuesday, April 13, 2010

DAWN.COM | The Review | Heart-to-heart: An open letter to my son


By Yasmin Elahi
Sunday, 11 Apr, 2010

My dearest son,

I am sure you will be surprised on receiving this letter from me, as we live under the same roof, talk everyday and everything that I am writing could have been said directly to you. But my dearest, I want you to know that often we talk without being able to truly communicate! There are so many things that I would like to tell you, discuss with you, advice you on but somehow whenever I try, the words simply don’t come out as strong as my feelings. So, I thought about writing to you.

You look very depressed these days, and I can sense frustration in your behaviour. You are no more my sweet tempered boy who was always bubbling with life, but tend to be irritable and get angry at the slightest pretext. Please read this letter carefully, and that too many times, and let my advice sink in. I know your dreams have not been realised, your expectations of what your life will be after you finish your education, have not been fulfilled. But I want to ask you, will anger and depression help you in any way? You know very well that life has never been smooth sailing for me, but I never gave in to self pity or frustration. Instead I tried to handle my problems turn by turn and I am fairly content with the results.

The problem with your generation is that you do not have patience. You want to step on the first rung of the ladder to success and want your second step to be on the top! I say “give life your best efforts and be content with what life gives you in return”. You may not reach your goal, but you should have the satisfaction that you tried your best. Remember that life is not a trade… a business in which success means more output than input! What appears to be a loss in a trade can prove to be a gain in life. If you keep your attitude positive, experiences will end up giving you wisdom and failures a new resolution to try again, work harder and never to give up!

As you may have heard umpteen times, an optimist sees a glass of water half full, while a pessimist calls it half empty! The amount of water is the same; it is the difference of attitude that matters. You want to give up although you have just stepped onto the road of life. I don’t want to shelter you any more; rather I would like you to experience life as it comes your way. I know that you will face both success and failures but I want each experience, good or bad, to make you stronger! So please be positive, keep on with your efforts and with the help of Allah you will be amazed by the results, for things will surely change for the better.

I want you to behave like an educated person, not merely one who has degrees and has gone through college and university, but a person who dares to dream, has the ability to think and accept the challenges of life without a blink of the eye. Though striving for a decent living is part of a healthy life, don’t make it the sole reason of your qualifications. The least we can do to justify our education is to strive to change (for the better) the things around us. Sometimes small changes are not even noticed by us; but believe me, these small changes can bring about revolutionary changes. Invisible drops of water make up clouds, but when these clouds burst into rain, every single drop counts.

I do not want you be to be a part of the crowd; people who complain, criticise and grumble at life’s problems and conveniently place the responsibility of their woes on someone else’s shoulders. I want you to be among the few who have the vision and the desire to change things for the better, are ready to take responsibility; people who face life’s adversities bravely, accept its challenges and work hard to reach their goals.

Success may be evading you at the moment but do not lose hope. Because without hope there is no yearning, no desire for a better tomorrow! Without hope life comes to a standstill! So, snap out of your depression and keep on moving ahead with your head held high. And remember, I am always here for you. Love you my son,

Forever yours,
Ammi


Source: DAWN.COM | The Review | Heart-to-heart: An open letter to my son

9 comments:

MAK said...

Thats a nice article for all young ppl out there.

we should realy pay some attention to it.

M. Shuaib Khan said...

Another one of those elderly lectures. Sometimes I think if our elders have earned the right to give such advices to us.

I am more inclined towards the stance that my generation has to work double, our part, and our elders' part too to clear the mess they have left for us in this country.

Ahmar said...

That is a nice article, reflecting quite alot of positivity...Its good for serving as a reminder in times when we really need to relax and think about where we are heading and/or how we have spent our past...

Ahmar said...

@Shuaib: and our elders' part too to clear the mess they have left for us in this country.
:D...don't worry, it won't be long before we are old and our young ones say the same to us :P....

Uni said...

@MAK
Very true.

@M. Shuaib Khan
:).. You might think this now, but the fact is that there is a world of a difference between the youth's perceptions, and the parent generations'... they're more confused than us, since they're behind technology of today (general trend), and the other thing : that their kids don't behave towards them what they expected, or how they behaved towards their own parents.. :P

So kher, this zamana change isn't easy on anybody.. and this was just the parent's side of the story.

@Ahmar
Yeah this mum is so cool :D... saying all these things in such a nice manner. I mean, lessons are best learned when said non-harshly.

Thanks all for dropping by.

Yasmin Elahi said...

It was a pleasant surprise to see my article/ letter posted on this blog site.. thanks a lot and I hope it would be a guidance for the young generation. I have no two opinions that I and my peers have created a mess in our Homeland and made your task more daunting! I can only pray and hope you will not repeat those mistakes!

Uni said...

@Yasmin Elahi
It's a pleasant surprise you dropped by my blog and saw this letter written by you and posted by me in 2010! :)

I read it again, and 4 years on, I feel even more strongly the things you wrote about. Especially this one here:

I do not want you be to be a part of the crowd; people who complain, criticise and grumble at life’s problems and conveniently place the responsibility of their woes on someone else’s shoulders. I want you to be among the few who have the vision and the desire to change things for the better, are ready to take responsibility; people who face life’s adversities bravely, accept its challenges and work hard to reach their goals.

This piece of advice is crucial when we look at the world around us, and see the general state of Muslims all around us. Our religion and identity is constantly on the defensive in today's world. Our socio economic structure seems to be collapsing. And we need to look very deeply inside our own selves, to figure out what the problem is, and where the solution lies.

And herein lies my one "shikwa" (complaint) with the elders of my generation. The shikwa is, that they generally never directed their kids' attention to this very issue - the Muslim world and its poor state of affairs in the whole world. The reasons and the solutions. After all, we (as Muslims) were never like this. We were the ones to whom the world came running to in order to learn the sciences and philosophies. What happened, and why? And how to correct that...

These questions were never addressed. Hence, our generation grew up increasingly frustrated about our political/social/economic standing, increasingly emotional about our spiritual duties (v.small matters like how many units to pray in taraweeh!), increasingly in awe of western philosophies/societies.... and never able to understand that we could gain the very prestige that we utterly lost by blindly mimicking the West and forgetting our identity!

I wish the older generation had realized this, and passed it down to us...

Anyway, enough ranting. :) Thanks for dropping by!

Yasmin Elahi said...

Just dropped in by chance and read your reply although I had forgot about my comment! Yes, you are 100% correct when you point out where my generation has gone wrong! We failed to instill in you the positive aspects of Islam. We wasted our time trying to solve non-issues while the problems facing the Muslim world kept blowing out of proportion. Quest for worldly gains and luxuries have lead us far away from the true teachings of our religion. Maybe this is the root cause of the frustration of the young generation.We have failed YOU, but I still have faith that you will not fail US! Best prayers for the future of the Muslim world!

Uni said...

Thank you for your comment :). It was again a pleasant surprise to re-read this great piece of writing.

Hope we live up to your expectations!