I’ll be 26 this year and if I follow my plans I set out three years ago, I’ll be getting married in the next two years. However, as we know, we can plan all we want but things often don’t go our way. I don’t really think I’ll be getting married in two years but I still plan to have kids in the future. When I do, I’d want to teach them about life and loss, about winning and losing but most importantly, I’d teach them about living. I have learnt a lot from my parents and their parents and I hope when the time comes, I too can share these seven lessons I learnt with my children.
The number one thing anyone can have in himself is compassion. Compassion teaches you to stay humble and also to be thankful of what you have. It pushes you to strive harder to help people around you in whatever ways you think you can. Having compassion means having the strength from within to aid people in dire needs. It makes you soft and strong at the same time.
In the dictionary, compassion means to have “sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others”. In short, I’d tell you to put yourself in other people’s shoes and imagine their feeling. Compassion also means to be tolerant of others. Living in Singapore, tolerance is a virtue. It makes you closer to your neighbours and makes life much more easier. Having compassion also suspends any judgments you have of anyone and favours equality more than anything else.
“To err is human, to forgive is divine.” Everyone makes mistakes and you yourself are not excused from it. My mother taught me that forgiveness is better than punishment and that once you forgive someone you will feel liberated. Liberated in a way that you feel something is taken off your chest and that the weight of the world is not on your shoulders.
You will feel a sense of freedom and that there’s nothing to hold you back. You will find that forgiving people gives you peace and serenity and that the world is kinder. To forgive someone also means that you are allowing the person to move forward, learn from his mistakes and make changes to his life. It also takes a strong person to forgive his peers and when you forgive someone, you’ll learn that it strengthens your body, mind and soul to be someone better for the future.
Work while you’re young and still able bodied because that’s when you are at your peak. The older generations used to have one look at people’s hands and they knew if you’re a hard worker. However with technology advancements, lesser people have coarse hands to prove their work. Now, one of the ways to show that you’re a hard worker is to make your name known. Go out work and make sure that people know your name for the right things. Work hard so that in time to come when you get old, you become indispensable. Work hard so that you don’t need to work for people anymore and instead people work for you. Lastly work hard so that in the future when you’re old and wrinkly and your legs don’t work anymore, you’ll have an easier life with the people you love.
As the popular saying goes, “love makes the world go round” and I agree with it. Without love, little things in this world make sense. Titanic would be a boring documentary, there’s no The Notebook or romance movies. People will live in hatred instead. Love your neighbours because it makes living more tolerable in this country. Love your friends because they are the second family that you need. Love your family because blood is thicker than water and they are the ones that have been and will be with you forever. Love God because without Him, we don’t exist. Without love, compassion means nothing and work feels like a burden. Love the environment because it gives you a place to live and breathe. So love, and hope that good things will come your way.
Praying is one of the pillars in my life. As a Muslim, I believe that there is one true God and that He is the creator of this world and the next. I believe that without Him, I am nothing. I also believe that whatever my plans are over the next few years, if its not fated to be fulfilled it is because He has something better in store for me. He has been the one to see me fall and rise. He has brought me this far and that I will go further, God Willing. He has been there for my parents and their parents and their grandparents and I believe that with his guidance, you will be the best that you can be. I pray to him five days a week and during that time I always ask the best for the best. I pray in good times and bad times and in each of the times he has taught me something new. If I go too high he’ll be the one to bring me down and at my lowest he’s the one to pull me out. He’s not there physically but always remember that he has your back and is always watching your every step.
In order to do everything in this list you have to believe in yourself. You have to believe that you can do everything that you set out to achieve. You can believe that you can do this or not do that. You have to believe in yourself that you are capable to do better not only for yourself but also for the community around you. You also have to believe that success is built not only by yourself but it is a collective effort by your parents, by god’s will and the people around you. You need to believe that even in your brightest days and the blackest night you are able to achieve your goals even if they take more time than you expect. After all that, you have to eventually believe that failure is a step to success and that nothing comes easy. You fall down eight times, you get up nine.
Lastly, you have to live your life as if it were your last day. Put down your phones when you are around people. Look up and interact. Get off the couch, go out and learn something new everyday or hone your skills. Log off social media and use it sparingly because it is not your entire life. There are a lot more to learn in real life as compared to Google. Gain experiences so that you can share them with people around you, which hopefully motivates them to strive the same. Find peers who share the same goals so that you can motivate each other to live a full life. “Life is not about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself” – George Bernard Shaw.
These seven lessons are guides for my children to live a better life but also remember that success is not guaranteed in life. You may fail a thousand times before you get a single success but don’t give up, as achievements don’t come easy.