“The Call of 2024” – By Aadil Farook
“The Call of 2024” – By Aadil Farook – Winner/Nominee of 3 International Awards (US & UK)
As we embrace 2024, we welcome the opportunities the world has to offer in all dimensions of life – As a believer, as a human, as a professional, as a family member, as a friend, as a spouse, as a citizen, as a seeker of truth. Let us unveil each aspect one by one.
As a believer, we should remember the saying of Rumi, “Yesterday, I was clever; so, I wanted to change the world. Today, I am wise; so, I am changing myself”. An obsession with what is happening in the world and how to fix it robs a believer of the immense wealth of spirituality within oneself. You cannot change people, but you can undoubtedly transform yourself. So, focus on your personal spiritual growth more than the ills in society. Let God be the judge of what others do.
As a human, never underestimate the power of love. Love is not merely an occurrence in movies, songs, and poetry. People who truly practice it experience that enemies can turn into friends if given the correct dose of love. This love transcends affiliations to religions, sects, political parties, schools of thought, countries, languages, and races. If someone is about to drown, your priority should be to save him rather than inquire about his identity. At a higher level of consciousness, man sees a glimpse of the divine in every creation of God. However, there are limitations to love as well. I advocate no soft corner for Zionists who create havoc in the world. They deserve punishment uncompromisingly.
As professionals, remember that money is a by-product of hard work, not the sole purpose. When we continue to polish our skills and excel in our professions, we do justice to the salary received at the end of the month. Fortunately, we have a chance to serve a specific sector in one walk of life. Why not serve it to the best of our capability and with the right intention? The multiplied profits as an employer when you elevate your products and services or the promotion as an employee when you perform well are inevitable outcomes. However, the goal should be facilitating people and improving the quality of their experiences.
As a family member, we are surrounded by those who have done us great favors early in our lives. When they get old, consider every day a chance to pay back. Paying back doesn’t necessarily mean a monetary effort. Winning their hearts by serving them with compassion and respect can make a more significant difference than a transaction. A smile, a warm embrace, and a nice gesture don’t cost anything. Yet, these are signals to your loved ones that they matter to you despite your busy schedule.
Different friends resemble the different colors of the rainbow that beautifies your life. Let them stick to their shades. Your responsibility is not to preach to or convince them with your point of view. Your task is to listen to them, understand them much deeper, and assist them with the best advice during their struggles while acknowledging that you are not in their shoes and thus can’t pass any judgments about their morality and ethics. Sometimes, a friend wants to be adequately heard rather than judged. Give them the benefit of the doubt when they narrate their stories. On other days, having a good time together is more beneficial than any hard talk.
As a spouse, recall the words of Friedrich Nietzsche, “It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.” This element of friendship must constantly be nourished to keep the relationship alive. Whether an introvert or extrovert, if you don’t communicate well with your partner, unexpressed affection will be perceived as a lack of affection. It would be best to continue acting as the giver without calculating how much you have received in return. If your spouse acknowledges your generosity, it’s a great feeling. However, if they don’t appreciate it, your reward is with the Almighty, who values every single iota of virtue. There will be no regrets on the Day of Judgment.
Life is not a mathematical equation. The plurality of factors in our existence goes way beyond the rules of cause and effect. Avoid applying strictly scientific formulas to an organism as complex as a human society. As a citizen, your task is not to show people how pathetic things are. By doing so, you can only become a great critic. The most prominent revolutionaries in history were not mere critics. It would help if you aimed to raise the morale and confidence of people by telling them how they can certainly do much better than they are currently doing. Constructive feedback rather than ruthless critique gives birth to a cycle of positivity that spreads in the masses quicker than you expect. It is not idealism at all. It yields more fruitful results.
As a seeker of truth, never stop or get stuck to your current understanding of life. Keep seeking, learning, exploring, discovering, questioning, challenging, revisiting, and updating your perspectives. You should possess the wonder of a child and continue walking on new tracks on the path you have chosen, or God has chosen for you. Here, a mentor, guide, teacher, or master can teach you a precious lesson in a single meeting that you cannot understand with a vast library of books in many years of reading. The idea is not to discourage you from reading but to understand the limitations of self-learning. Reading books is a fantastic endeavor if you have a mentor to filter that information to comprehend reality much better.
If you have been granted the gift of genius, don’t ever consider that you don’t need any guidance. On the contrary, you need a living guru even more to keep your ego in check while pursuing knowledge. Don’t start challenging those bestowed with divine secrets because they attained far higher levels of spirituality. Intellect doesn’t require any age, but wisdom does come with age.
If you think that among 8 billion people on the planet, there is no one more enlightened than you, then you are indeed a novice. There is a reservoir of knowledge and a vista of understanding that can only unfold if you swallow your pride and acknowledge that there are people, of the past and present, who know more than you. The key to unlocking the hidden treasures of knowledge is humility. The path toward enlightenment requires unlearning before learning. This unlearning is not possible without inner purification.
Lastly, remember our brothers and sisters of Palestine in your silent prayers. Their faith has been tested infinitely. May God either remove their burden or give them the strength to endure it.
Stay connected and stay blessed always!