I have learned silence from the talkative, tolerance from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet, strange, I am ungrateful to those teachers." Khalil Gibran
In life, we are bound to come across many different types of people. Each person we meet, whether we know it or not, leaves an imprint on us. We are all teachers in our own way. Surely we would not want to be among the teachers whom people are ungrateful for. I.e. An example of what not to be. What worries me about our society today, is the fact that our respect for each other has dwindled. We often undermine the importance of a mere greeting. "When two Muslims meet (give salaam), and shake hands, they are forgiven their sins before they part (with each other)." (Abu Dawud) Ultimately, all that we really seek, is acceptance from one another. Yet, more often than not, in our quest for countenance, we are met with judgement and standoffish airs. We are all guilty of having felt superior or even inferior to another person at some point in our lives. This is probably due to our obscured perception of what is admirable and what is not. The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said:"You are not better than people unless you excel them in piety "That pretty much sums up what I have been trying to say. Piety being the key word. Modesty is a sign of faith and good character. I do not see the words 'status' 'money' or 'beauty' included there. Hence, those factors should not determine how you portray yourself to the world.
Be the best you can possibly be. And most importantly, be kind. Everyone you meet is surviving the past. May Allah grant us all understanding. Ameen.
Written by : Farah Ayob
*This article was first published in the Wits MSA newsletter , 14 March 2011