My pictures don’t get enough likes on Instagram. I have less than a thousand friends on Facebook. I just have 300 followers on Snapchat. I’m fatter. I’m poorer, and the list goes on and on.
In this day and age of super-advanced technology, speedy communication and virtual identities, we find hundereds of reasons to be sad. These reasons, at some point of time, just become excuses for us, leading us into depression, mood swings, inferiority complexion, negative self image and various other self-destructive states of minds.
The NIMH estimates that in the United States, 16 million adults had at least one major depressive episode in 2012. 350 million-that’s the total number of people worldwide who suffer from depression, due to any reason.
Why is our youth trapped in these virtual snares of the world? What is wrong with the current generation that it lets such superficial numbers and meaningless statistics effect its state of mind? To find out the answer, I tried to think back, to look for any such experiences of my own and I was surprised I seemed to remember a few instances when a quote I wrote or a status I posted didn’t get as many compliments as I had expected. So that is what’s wrong. We expect appreciation from the wrong(fake) sources, and when we don’t get it, we are disappointed. So does it happen to everyone? Maybe. Maybe not.
But we need to try to understand, that we’re not here for this. We are not sent to this world, labelled as “the most perfect of creations” to get trapped into superficiality and temporariness created by pixels. We have to realise that our existence has a higher purpose. We have to find it, think about it and then live up to it.
Around nine times in the Quran has Allah used the words “wa la tahzan” i.e “and don’t be sad” in different contexts and for diverse situations. So if the Quran was revealed for the entire humanity, what lesson do we need to learn from these beautiful words?
The prophets had to suffer from rejection, ridicule, being thrown out of cities, loss of sons, and they were advised to be patient when just a handful of people accepted their call after centuries of trying and inviting them to right path. If Allah SWT says “ Don’t be sad” to such situations, what are ours when compared?
Now for those who say that no pain is small. Of course its okay to grieve for those whom you’ve loved and lost. Its alright to be disappointed at yourself sometimes, if it leads you to putting efforts into improving yourself. Its even recommended to fear Allah and shed tears when you are alone and ask for forgiveness. But a state of utter despair, which affects your mental health is truly not beneficial to you, neither in this world nor in the hereafter. We all break at some point in our lives, but only some of us have the ability to heal again. Why is it so? When your Creator, the most magnificent, most understanding, is telling you not to be sad and not to lose hope, what else do you need?
And once you figure out the ulterior motive of your life, you plan out how you’re going to at least try to fulfill it, you reconnect with your Lord, you read and you study to get to know His ‘chosen way’ of Life better, you’ll discover that these worldly and unreal things don’t matter at all. You’ll realise they are just hallucinatory delights of this ephemeral world, a downward spiral towards nothing good or productive. You’ll realise that no matter how much ever you think you are less-less smarter, less prettier, less intelligent, less popular-you are enough for your Lord because He has called you perfect. Ashraf- the pinnacle of all creation. It doesn’t matter if this world’s temporary inhabitants love you and appreciate you or not, you’ll be satisfied in making your Lord love you, accept you and in working towards learning to love Him.
And if you still have doubts about the fragility and insignificance of these things, just take a look at those who DO have all that. There are unlimited examples of people who have it all-looks, fans, followers, money, luxury, fame and beauty. But are they happy? Are they mentally at peace? Ask yourself why they’re all getting arrested time and again, why they need mental rehabilitation & psychiatrists to function normally? Why they all have at some point suffered from depression, anorexia or anxiety?Is everybody out there happy and satisfied? Someone or the other has problems, but we need to thank Allah for whatever we have. That is a way of moving towards him. Instead of making rants on not having this and that, we need to constantly invoke Him for giving us what is the best to us. What is the best to you by your understanding, may not be actually ‘real best’ to you by His wisdom. Put all trust in Him because He is the all-knowing and the best planner.
So, my fellow young ones, wake up. Open your eyes, rub them-hard, if you have to; and stop running behind headless, petty things. Do your thing, work for good and if nobody in this world appreciates it, rest assured of the reward from your Lord.