Thursday, 23 April 2009

Doing Away With Negativity

I had been thinking about this topic a few nights back and I came across this wonderful article on positivity.
I especially enjoyed reading the following:

"As believers, we are guaranteed victory no matter what our condition is, and that’s what makes us special. If we become ill, our sins fall away from us like leaves fall from a tree. If our child dies, he or she will wait for us in the Hereafter and intercede for us until we enter paradise. If we fight in a war, we will either win, or die as martyrs, which is a greater victory in itself.

So the question begs to be asked, why then are Muslims so pessimistic?"
Unfortunately, we can't change what we don't realize. Which is how lucky we are and how blessed we are in our life inspite of all the difficulties and crisis we face. As wise people say, whenever something bad happens, always look to the people who are in a worst situation than yourself. This is so we realize how lucky we are and so that we may be grateful to Allah (swt).

If you are among those who feel down after hearing criticism, try to not concentrate on the negative aspects in your lives and temporarily distance yourself from those who you find trying to pull you down with criticism, either on purpose or unintentionally. Although, generally criticism can be healthy because we may be unaware of what mistakes we might be making, but sometimes being criticized constantly can make us feel frustrated and have a negative impact instead of what was intended. In such cases, try to not concentrate on the negative but positive aspects of the situation and deal with the aspects that need improvement when you feel you are in a more positive frame of mind.

Remember that Allah (swt) does not burden His servants with more than what he/she can bear and He promises that with every hardship there will be ease. So, even though we may feel stressed about something today, tomorrow may bring better news. Finally practice patience during hardship, as recommended by the following hadith:

"The Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) said: 'A believer, in all his affairs, is envied whether in times of adversity or in luxury, and this is a special feature for believers only. Whenever a believer wallows in luxury, he thanks Allah, and whenever he faces hardship, he commits himself to patience. In all cases, it is good for him.' (Reported by Muslim)"

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Trip Down Memory Lane

I accidentally came across a blog about a girl's experience of growing up in the 80s and 90s and I found it really amazing that I shared so many things in common with her. It brought back many memories for me. From nursery rhymes to story books to things I saw on TV, even games I had played in school. Hence, I've decided to dedicate this blog post to the cool memories I have from the 90s. :D

One of my favourite books during school years was Enid Blyton's story books. I was extremely fond of them and would borrow them often from our school library. During the later yrs I started to enjoy Archies comics of which I've collected some 300 - 600 books. :P Now I have no time to read them but I just love having them none the less.

During those years, friends also introduced me to English pop music. I recollect a friend (also my class partner) singing Spice girls' debut single which I proceeded to sing the next day - a completely messed up version I might add. It went something along the lines of:
" If you wanna be my friend, you gotta get with my friends,
you gotta follow fashion coz fashion is the thiiiiingg!"
Or some bizarre thing like that. It was only when my friend started to laugh at me that I realized those were not the lyrics. :P

I used to keep a scrap book of news paper clipping, articles, pictures, whatever that I had an interest in. I still have it. Brings back tons of great memories. :D Apart from that, I found several rough notebooks in which I would do my homework in (those days we actually wrote in books and papers rather than word documents) and occasionally about random convos I had with friends in class, poetry I wrote (which is too embarassing to blog about) and even bizarre dreams that I still have to this day. I'm seriously considering making a whole blog of the dreams I have. But since some dreams should not be shared, I might just make a note of it "old style" in some notebook. Infact, that reminds me that I actually DID have a diary in which I wrote nearly every day of the dream I had! I gotta try searching for that diary!

Me and my friends were pretty innocent in school (which is, unfortunately, not something that can be said about kids today) and were generally educated/made fun of by the smart alec girls in my class. But they were not too mean about it which was cool. I still remember a girl who tore up her chem test paper after seeing her score only ending up sticking it back with cellotape when asked by the teacher to bring her paper. LOL. I was just sitting behind her watching and laughing away as I saw her mood change from irritation to panic. The teacher obviously got mad when she finally saw the paper only to yell and ask her to get her paper signed by her dad (which in those days was a HUGE deal). lol.

Talking about huge deals, I think my school had pretty decent students but our punishments generally involved being thrown out of class (but we couldn't just leave the school premises so we either had to stand/kneel outside class or stand in the supervisor's office), made to stand in a corner facing the wall, simply standing during the entire class in our place (for which we generally sat down whenever the teacher wasn't looking), standing over the chair (which makes me laugh now) or teachers writing to our parents in our school "diaries" and getting a signature from our rents. The latter one was mostly in 9th grade upwards. Although some teachers were disgustingly shameful in their attitude towards the students and generally participated in insulting us or belittling us (which there is really no excuse for) and occasionally physically causing us pain (which should have been reported unfortunately) which made me hate most of my teachers in school. Dumbest thing was we would pretty much get into trouble for anything and everything. If you were late - they'd write a note in our diaries, if we wore the wrong uniform - got a note, forgot to cut our nails - note, hair too long!!! - warning, wrong colour shirt (it had to be a particular shade of blue *rolls eyes*) - warning, short socks - warning. It seems a lot like military now. I think it could be a reason why most students in my college turned into total freaks because they went from extreme rules to no rules whatsoever. No one cared if you came or didn't come, wrote notes or not, attended lectures or didnt. Only thing was if you didnt have enough attendance you couldn't sit for the exams which was probably an excellent rule but even that people considered horrible. lol. Bunking was extremely common. I was so innocent, I didn't even know what the term "bunking" meant. In case you are in the same boat, it means skipping classes. When my friend first suggested it, my reaction was of horror and that we could get in trouble. We did end up bunking but we never got into trouble. Ever. :D Well, maybe once when we bunked a clinical dentistry posting but we managed to talk our way out of trouble. Coz the entire group had bunked. :P My mum generally knew if I bunked so no worries. :P

After mentioning so many horrible things about school that I feel I should make up by saying something nice as well. Our school took us on trips during book fairs during which I generally bought more archies comics. We used to have fun running through the various aisles of books and checking them out, especially joke books. Our school also took us on picnics when the weather was nice which was awesome. We still had to wear our school uniforms though. :P Apart from that we went to science museums and animal farms which I think I enjoyed a lot more than many of my classmates. :P I also had really funny classmates who were total entertainment to watch. I hope they don't get offended when they realize who's writing this. I actually mean it in a very good way. With so many rules, you need to have a bit of fun & blow some steam sometimes. I also enjoyed PE classes mostly unless it was a particular teacher who mostly wanted us to run round the courts. :S She must have had a miserable life considering how miserable she turned PE class into. Apart from that, horror stories about the school being haunted was extremely popular and I generally made up stories and we used to try investigate various "abandoned" areas of school. It was funny watching some of the other girls get scared with made up stories like "dead man in the sewage" or haunted toilets. I still reminisce and laugh about it with my friends sometimes. :P

Thursday, 2 April 2009

This made me smile - part 2

I had kept some bread and seeds out for the birds to eat and I usually get mynas, sparrows and a kind of pigeon who come to eat. It just happened that I put out some food one day and it started raining heavily so I peep out to see if the food is getting drenched, only to see a tiny sparrow come flying in the rain to eat the food, see me and take a u-turn in the rain and fly back. *wub* I was like awww! Poor little thing. :P