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Fatima is Fatima

by : Dr. Ali Shari'ati

Back You are here: Home Books Family Youth and the Future

Youth and the Future - Signs on the Way

Article Index

In order to remove the blocks and obstacles on your future:

1- Break the condition of fear and doubt in you, because most of the anxieties are illusions, and most of the doubts and wavering are not based on a firm foundation, "If you decide to do something, then, do it, because too much fear is greater than that which you are fearing". Anxiety - many a time - is like the moss and algae that grow on trees and hinders their growth. Experience has proved that fear and abstention prevents man from inventing important things. And, likewise, bravery and determination helps in creating great projects and development that cannot be achieved if not because of the bravery of those people and convincing the mind that it should be patient in order to see a positive outcome.

A psychologist said: "Man's will can never achieve perfection unless it becomes morally wise and turns toward good". Thus, will - in all human beings - works as a moving power in a motorcar, if it is a good will, it will take its possessor to a great and high perfection, which a person with a weak and unstable will can never reach.

2- Hope is a torch you hold in order to reach a final destination. A future path may be full of darkness, thus, it is necessary to light it with a shining light…this light of hope that makes our young generation and our surroundings shine. However, we don't need an outside or foreign lamp in such a great and honorable stage. Rather, to an internal light, which lit our way in order to achieve our goal. This is the light of faith and beliefs, which spread the light of hope from its lamp. It is said in one of the proverbs, "In the kingdom of hope, misery doesn't have a place."

3- Youths create their own future. Always remember this, it is in this stage of our life that we can make nice decisions for achieving our ambitions, no matter what difficulties are there. We are in a stage of affirming our being, and in the path of achieving it we must do all that we can in order to achieve our goal and wide ambitions. We should keep it in mind, though, that zeal is not everything, because when you want to reach a particular place, you need the means of transportation suitable for the journey and provisions that will help you reach your destination.

Reaching your future is more closer to this example, if your zeal is as the intention or the fuels which move will, then, it is the will that can light and help you in getting the means of achieving your goal, which will ease your way, however much difficulty there is in it. It is said, "A good will makes two feet as two wings". There is no will that deserves such description than your will, oh you young man or you young girl who are looking forward to a bright future.

4- Look for someone who will help you in building your future and reaching it, and whatever our will is strong and our hope is sold and our confidence in ourselves is high, nevertheless, we should not prevent ourselves from benefiting from the experiences of others, their advices and guidance. It is reported in one Prophetic narration, "Whoever seeks peoples' advice is as if he shares them in their mind". Therefore, we must look for a sincere counselor who will add confidence to our confidence and hope to our hope and caution to the danger that we may forget and a sound instruction on how to walk toward the right path that can shorten our way to the future.

No doubt, those who enter a forest before us, and know what is in it from trees, paths and animals, can guide us to its map and safe ways, which can give us the opportunity to escape from danger and difficulties.

5- Do not be in haste to reach your destination, because each way has its own distance, and each food has its own period of cooking on the fire; if we add more fire it will burn and if less it delays the cooking. Therefore, "The best issues are the middle ones." For us to reach our destination safely, we must move slowly with caution because "there is safety in moving slowly with caution and there is regret in haste". And it is said, "mistakes increase with haste."

The most important thing is to continue our journey toward the point we choose as a goal and we must not give away or turn round; the outcome will be on our side, God willing. For instance, when you pluck fruits before they are ripe, can you eat them? The case is the same thing with the fruits of the future; you are in need of hard work and determination and a particular duration of time before it is ripe and suitable for eating.

6- Sometimes, we will not be able to get what we want, nor we get our dreams but for only a small portion of them. The gap of hopes and loss is great, but - in all conditions- we must not lose confidence in Allah and in ourselves. We must take a lesson from Prophet Jacob (Ya'akub) (a.s), upon all the signs that became clear to him that his two sons Joseph (Yusuf) (a.s) and Benjamin (Binyamin) would not come back, but he addressed his other sons, saying:

"O my sons! Go and inquire about Joseph and his Brother, and despair not God's mercy; verily no one despairs nor of God's mercy but the disbelieving people." Holy Qur'an (12: 87)

The light around him is off, but the hope inside him is not. It is said, "despair is the suicide of the heart". If the heart is killed with the dagger of despair and hopelessness, the body would fall and the will would be affected with a total paralysis. We should also take a lesson from Prophet Yunus (a.s). He was swallowed by a whale, and lived in a total darkness that affected his sight and was facing death, but with all these, he didn't give up hope that he would escape.

"And (remember) Jonah (Zannun i.e., Yunus) when left he in anger, and imagined he that never would We straiten him; then he cried out from the darkness: 'There is no god but You (O my Lord!), Glory be to You, verily I was of the unjust ones!' "Then responded We unto him and delivered him from the grief, thus do We deliver the believers." Holy Qur'an (21: 87-88)

Failure, mistake and the feeling of despair and hopelessness in reaching a particular goal is a natural phenomenon. Most of the famous and big men in history had faced such conditions. Their life was not always connected to success, but they knew how to utilize their failure and change it - with determination- into a tool that could help them in achieving success in the future. It is said, "Greatness is not in falling down, rather greatness is being able to stand up again after falling down". Also, a proverb says, "Don't suffice with knowing how to ride a horse, rather you ought to know (what to do) when you fall off it."

Always remember, that failure once or twice or even more than that doesn't mean intellectual failure. Keep in mind that if you are not successful in this stage, maybe you will be in the following. Try to find out where the mistake is and correct it, even if you don't succeed, at least you have known something.

In all circumstances, come to terms with yourself on how to endure failure so as it not becoming a disaster to you.

A poet, in this regard, says: "Man should strive according to his ability, but it is not for him to become successful."

No doubt determination - in this situation - is a beneficial treatment, for instance, say: "I will start from the beginning", and know that time heals all wounds, and falling down is admissible, but standing up is necessary. 7- We should agree with our mistakes and shortcomings. These paths are very important in moving toward the future, because "we cannot move over the planet if there are pebbles in our shoes".

It is a mistake to hold others responsible for our failure and forget ourselves. Some youths are fond of holding their parents responsible for their failure without looking at their responsibility and role in this failure, whose cause may not be necessarily what he is thinking. Maybe there are some reasons behind the failure, which may continue to be present till the end of life.

Let us stand in front of the mirror of ourselves, and with all bravery say: Here we made a mistake, we are not suppose to do this here, this is bad, this is our point of weakness, this is a mistake we must correct it, this is weakness that is not suppose to be with us…and so on. In this way, we prepare our self and give it the possibility of passing difficulties, be triumph in hard times and clinch the cup of future success.

8- We must not be thinking of big plans that are above our capability. It is said, "The greatest obstacle in reaching success is our waiting for big success and happiness", and there is no such success in life. There is no harm in making ambition, but it is not necessary to draw a plan that is above our capacity, "May Allah have mercy on a person who understands the value of his self". We must remember while we are achieving a small success here and a bigger one there, because a "small item brings about a bigger list."

9- Prepare for hard work lest you spend your time and effort lavishly in different endeavors…give all your concern and interest in the work you like in order to be able to succeed, but giving concern to different work spoils or decreases the chances of invention. The more you give all your concern to a particular work, the more you will have success in it. It is said, "If you want to get water dig a well in one place."

Do not forget - the young boy that you are or the young girl - we are in a world of specialty and knowledge and there is no limit or end to it. Always be in complete preparedness to give a great and better service and inventions. But the range of your ambition must be in range of your ability…gaze from a far, cut your circle round by round. You can never achieve this except by giving all your time, thinking at the time and your total love to the work you are doing.

10- Maybe a young girl in our Muslim countries is facing an unfortunate situation and views that a woman cannot do anything or she fails in doing certain works and endeavors. This view may cause backwardness in the determination in a young girl who is looking forward to a better future. But this social problem must not deprive you from understanding that you (as a woman) are a possessor of a sound mind and intellect, better than some men, as well as will and determination. It is said that Bilqis (as a woman) was the best Qur'anic example for management and planning.

Choose your own way with caution; continue your own way to achieve your goal. Many great women in history have faced rejection, distress, humiliation and disgrace, but they - without any distinction - knew that a great goal and ambition needs physical sacrifice, thus, they achieved many things that many men were not able to achieve.

Move forward towards the path of your future…be cautious and do not stop much on the blocks that are in your way, this may waste your time. Give others a chance to give you their own advice and views.

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds.