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Archive for February, 2010

The Rat Race

Assalaamu alaykum everyone,

It’s been a long time! As my murrabi reminded me, “What happened to your blogging?! Is the river frozen during the winter?” Lol, so that was the kick I needed to revisit something which is actually really important to me- writing.

I was reading Relationships 101 by John C. Maxwell. It is a quick read, and like many self-help style books, relevant when it comes to everything except implementation. I mentioned this to my husband the other day, noting that the information is true and valuable, but in the end, it all depends on whether we implement into our daily lives. Then he responds in his pithy style, “Wouldn’t that be the same with the Qur’an?” Touche.

We can only implement however when we have hope. Hope for a better future, for a better character, for success. This was one of the major themes of the Relationships book. The best thing you can give anyone is your belief in them to succeed. Maxwell then gave an example of two rats. Scientists dropped a rat into a jar of water that had been placed in total darkness, and they timed how long the animal would continue swimming before it gave up and allowed itself to drown. They found that the rat lasted little more than three minutes. Then they dropped another rat into the same kind of jar but instead of placing it in total darkness, they allowed a ray of light to shine into it. Under those circumstances, the rat kept swimming for thirty-six hours! Because that rat had a ray of light, he had hope. So, it’s not just enough that we have hope, but that we can visualize our future success- whether it be in our studies, in our marriages, or whereever.

The experiment may seem cruel, but it is a microscopic view of our own lives. We all know that our fate is death- everyone has an even playing field when it comes to that. And yet, the value of each life is different. Some may have drowned long before their actual death- losing any motivation to meet their fullest potential. Others, never stop trying. They are the “36-hour Rat.” Resilience and Hope.

When we feel like we are about to drown, how can we give that last burst of energy? I think that’s where we need faith. If we never lose faith in Allah’s promise of ease after hardship, that may just be the ray of light that we are all looking for.

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