Food for thought!
Posted by Haris Gulzar on March 11, 2009
A few days back, I was sitting with a friend discussing life, how it treats us, how we should treat life, how our different decisions have an impact on our lives etc, when suddenly that friend of mine asked a few questions from me. These questions, I think, really need some thinking, although they seem to be very simple.
Are relations important? Is it important to express their importance?
They definitely are, but the question really is, how often do we think that they’re important? How often do we think what our life would have been if we weren’t blessed with relations? How often do we think about giving importance to our relations, respecting them, caring for them? How often do we express that we care, that we love, that we respect? Is expressing our feelings about relations even important? How important is it to give respect to our teachers who really deserve respect? How important is it to admit the roles they have played in building our lives and careers? How important is it to tell our friends how our lives would have been if we didn’t have their company? How important is it to sit with your parents and to massage their feet? How important is it to tell them how badly you miss them if you’re away? How important is it to come home early from office one day and take your spouse out for dinner? How important is it to sit with your children and help them do their homework, and take them to the zoo or children’s park, telling them that you care?
Is loneliness important? Why or why not?
That friend of mine asked me this question in Urdu, and the word he used for loneliness was “tanhayi”. I’m not sure if loneliness correctly expresses the meaning that the word “tanhayi” does, but anyways, you get the point. So, how important is loneliness for a person, if it is important at all?
In our “busy” lives, we don’t get much time to ponder over things we should have done instead of the things we did. We don’t get time to recall our actions that might have hurt someone, time to think about what is missing from our lives, time to think if our lives are really “busy”? Loneliness gives us the opportunity to spend some time with ourselves, and that’s probably the only time we can be ourselves. I would rather say, the only thing missing from our lives is loneliness, and probably the only way to appreciate the importance of loneliness is to have some time alone. As some poet said:
I want to know if you can be alone
and if you truly like the company you keep
in the empty moments (complete poem here)
What is ego?
This is probably the most difficult questions amongst those mentioned here. We all know what ego is, but yet it is very difficult for us to define what exactly it means. Is it only a feeling? Is it a feature one can have? Is it something one can possess? Is it good or bad? Where does ego come from? Do we inherit it, or do we build it in ourselves on our own? Ego can have very different meanings for each one of us. Some of us rank ego as the most important thing (if it really is some THING) in their lives, some of us even go to the extent of breaking relations (and hence not realizing the importance of relations) just because of their ego. The question “What is EGO?” is probably the only question that requires lots of thinking.
What is the purpose of life? When can one consider his life as complete?
These are too abstract questions aren’t they? We probably have the answers to these questions but don’t know how to put the answer in words. Well, being a Muslim, the first answer to this question that comes in my mind is, the purpose of life is to worship Allah. But is that it? I mean don’t I have any other obligations? Am I not liable for many other things, such as trying my best to find the means to feed my family and provide them with a good living? Again, being a Muslim I have a strong believe that Allah SWT is the one who has the power to give me a good living, and I cannot do it on my own, but will I get everything without even striving for it? Does worshipping Allah mean to cut from everyone? I guess not. This life demands more from us. But what is it that life demands? Does it really demand something extra? I’m not sure really. Following is a quotation that I think I read somewhere, or probably heard someone say:
The purpose of life can be defined by the following
1) Your creator should be happy from you
2) Your parents, relatives, friends, acquaintances, in short, your social circle should be happy from you
3) You should be happy from yourself
Is logical reasoning always applicable?
As I see the question, it asks if what our mind says is always what we do or what we should do. No, certainly not. There are times when our heart supersedes the logical reasoning. We want things to work the way we want, not because of a certain reason, but just because we want them to work that way. In fact, would life be interesting at all if everything worked on logical reasoning?
There were a couple of more questions that I was asked, but I can’t exactly recall them. These were probably simple questions, but for me, they were food for thought. For me, these simple questions gave rise to a lot of more questions like, when is our heart not in synchronization with our mind, what are those situations that can force us to change the priorities of our relations over ourselves, how important is each relation to us. These questions probably ask for some time with one’s self, some time alone…