By: Noor Hashmi and Noor Shahin, Contributing Writers
Ever wonder about the culmination of forces and events that had to have taken place to put you here in this moment reading this paper? It’s extraordinary when you think about it. Maybe something as little as the flap of a butterfly’s wings years before your birth led to your existence! It’s exceptionally humbling to think about the circumstances that led to your life.
Now, what do we do with that chance at life? Currently, as Highlanders, we live to be educated to ensure a better future for ourselves, and hopefully for others. We either reside on campus or commute here day after day for class. Other than that, we may either participate in sports, or clubs, or numerous other extracurricular activities. Why do we do all this? Satisfaction. Education and a good background will lead to a job that will lead to money, which will lead to the ability to support a family; the ultimate goal is happiness.
The thing is, when some people reach their goals, they still aren’t satisfied. On Facebook or Instagram they may have pictures of themselves “having the time of their lives,” but they are actually trying to have the time of their lives. Unfortunately, people are led to believe that owning certain things and performing certain actions will lead to satisfaction. The more you have, the more you do, the better your life is! You don’t even think about how lucky you are to be able to read, yet you feel that if you don’t have the latest phone with a slightly bigger screen and camera you’ll die.
Being grateful is part of most religions and ways of life. For example, in the Holy Quran, Allah advocates, “So remember Me; I will remember you. And be grateful to Me and do not deny Me” [Chapter 2: Verse 152]. An explanation of this verse is: be grateful to your Lord and He will not forget you, meaning He will help you in whatever you are doing and provide you with more in that which you were grateful. Being thankful is so much more than just saying “Thank you God for my eyes that I can see with.” Although that is the first step in being grateful, there is an entire aspect of understanding just how lucky you are to be able to see, breathe, and live regular lives.
Once you start being grateful for something such as your legs or feet, for example, you will be able to appreciate even the smallest things in life, such as walking and standing. There are people who have lost the capacity to do even that, due to old age or paralysis. Some people say they hate school and doing work (I know I do), but we should remind ourselves that many people do not have the opportunity to pay for just a single college class.
In order to counteract the effects of depression and anxiety, one must be thankful for the blessings that one has. In order to do this, I propose that we adhere to some advice, a tidbit that could make the world a better place. The advice is simple: before going to bed conjure up five things that you are grateful for, whether it is as vital as your health or as trivial as having a bed to sleep in. Remarkably, through the daily remembrance of things in life, a neural connection is created in your mind that leads to positivity.
Suddenly you will begin to recognize the positive things around you. You will be able to see the good in others and the good in yourself. The path to success and happiness begins with the reminiscence of the blessings we have. Even when something may seem awful in your life, such as a flat tire, think of it as a blessing that it was not worse and your whole car was not totaled. Please try to appreciate the things and people that should be appreciated. With your small effort, you can make not only another person’s day, but also your own day.