If there was one thing I learned from Nicki Campbell’s management lectures last semester it’s this; you don’t necessarily have to like whom you trust. Liking them helps, but it’s not a requirement for trust. This was a powerful message that really taught me a lesson in life.
She had many such inspiring lessons. Her messages were penetrating and deep, yet subtle at the same time. Deep enough that the impact it made on my life went unnoticed, and the classroom full of people around me were oblivious to that part of my life.
Sometimes people come into your life and you know right away that they were meant to be there, to serve some sort of purpose; to teach a lesson, or to help you figure out who you are or who you want to become. You never know who these people may be. A housemate, a friend, a neighbour, a lecturer, a child, a teacher or even a complete stranger, but the second you meet them, you know at that very moment that they will affect your life in some profound way.
Sometimes things happen to you at the time that may seem horrible, painful and unfair at first, but in reflection, you find that without overcoming those obstacles you would not have realized your strength, potential, will power or heart.
Nothing happens by chance or means of luck. Allah has ordained everything for us. He has laid out every day of our lives before a single day had passed. Illness, injury, love, lost moments of true greatness and sheer stupidity all occur to test the limits of our souls. They train us to be patient, and teach us to be grateful.
Without these small tests, life would be like a smoothly paved, flat road to nowhere. Safe and comfortable but dull and utterly pointless. You might have reached where you wanted to go, but would have learned nothing on reaching there. There would be a destination, but no real journey, no adventure.
As the author John Amatt puts it, “Adventure isn’t hanging on a rope off the side of a mountain. Adventure is an attitude which we must apply to every part of our lives. Facing new challenges, seizing new opportunities, testing our resources against the unknown and unpredictable and in the process discovering our own unique potential.”
People whom we meet and who affect our lives, and the successes and downfalls we experience, help to create who we are and who we become. These experiences are our daily adventures. The bad experiences are the most valuable because it is often from them that we learn the most. They are probably the most poignant and important ones.
Hurt, betrayal, loss, sadness, and failure; these are the great builders of character. Only those who have hurt and lost or have been sad and disappointed know how to truly comfort and forgive another in the same circumstances. If someone hurts you, betrays you or breaks your heart, forgive them because they have helped you learn about trust and the importance of being cautious to whom you open your heart to.
If someone loves you, love them back unconditionally, not only because they love you, but because they are teaching you to love, and open your heart and eyes to the little things. Most importantly, if you love someone tell them, for you never know what tomorrow may have in store.
Similarly, the English poet John Keats says that failure is in a sense, the highway to success. In as much as every discovery of what is false, leads us to seek earnestly after what is true, and every fresh experience points out some form of error, which we shall afterward carefully avoid.
You then can’t help but realise, that there aren’t any real failures in life, only experiences. So be movers of society and challenge the status quo. Believe in yourself, for if you don’t believe in yourself, you will never be able to achieve your dreams. And learn a lesson in life each day you live.
Our days in Palmy are numbered. And so is our time left on Earth. Make every day count. Appreciate every moment and take from it, everything that you possibly can, for you may never be able to experience it again. You may not have the chance to share, talk, listen, dream, and love, teach, or enjoy this moment again.
It is amazing to witness Allah’s grand plan. When we actually get to take a step back and see the big picture, we cannot help but smile. And to secretly know that nothing happened by chance, and every part of our lives has a reason and a purpose, makes me wonder; how can this not increase us in gratitude?
How beautifully intricate Allah’s writing and pre-decree. Thanks Nicki, that was probably one of the best semesters I had. As the famous hadith states, “The pen has been lifted and the ink has dried.”