by Zeeshawn M. Chughtai
After I turned 30, it put into perspective many things. Mentally, it got to me. But at some point, I stopped caring about how others would start to view me. Rather, I started to appreciate how I viewed myself. There’s ups and downs, ebbs and flows with awareness of God and consciousness of priorities in life. But I’ll tell you, the one thing that has trumped everything is being grateful. Despite the challenges and the difficulties, I’m grateful to God that I’m able to do what I do and be the kind of person that I am without even thinking. You see, habits serve as a benefit to you if they lead you to do good things without thinking of them.
Few are able to offer you answers to the questions you may have, but by immersing yourself in your life, diving deep into your passions, bettering yourself without being perfect, the answers will come sooner than you think. The path is already in front of you. It’s been paved down by people in your own history and tradition, people that have dived deep into uncertainty to find the realities in life. They are a people of courage.
Maya Angelou once said, “The virtue to all principles is courage.” Without courage, you cannot embody any other principle. You cannot be kind if you’re not courageous. You cannot be honest if you’re not courageous. You cannot be hopeful if you’re not courageous. You have to be brave. I’ve learned that in action, not just in theory. You have to be brave. Without bravery, without finding that deepness within you, things are going to be harder. Without bravery, you’ll live in regret and that’s a pain that stings worse than rejection. So whatever opportunities that are in front of you, however limited they may be, take them. See where they take you. God-willing, it’ll get you closer to where you deserve to be.
My hope is that in my pursuit of medicine and doing what I do outside of it I can instill within people a degree of curiosity of themselves. As human beings, I know we are limited. But we cannot limit the learning of ourselves. We must explore the potential that’s within us to really appreciate what God has truly given us. He has given us the means to pursue the unseeable, to make our dreams a reality by giving us this existence we call life. I genuinely believe that. We cannot be a people of cynicism, a people of negative thinking because of past experiences. We must be a people of hope. That’s what the Prophet ﷺ envisioned me to be.
I know I get carried away in talking about deep matters, but when you’re so used to diving in deep waters, it’s harder to be shallow. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t appreciate the shoreline. Every wave clears what was there before. Every wave brings a new beginning.
Be grateful. Show courage. Dive deep. Seek the shoreline.