|Photo by Andalib|
After about 4 years of being in University of Toronto Mississauga, Canada, I have completed my degree in Biology and Psychology. I am currently waiting for my convocation in mid-November of this year. Seeing that I am graduating soon, many of my peers have raised the question: what’s next?
The usual trajectory after graduating from a university is to either work or pursue a higher degree (Masters or PhD). I have no problem with either of them, but I do have a problem with doing things just because that is the way things are or because that is what other people are doing.
I want to have more control over my life and not let other people decide my life for me. After all, it is my life. I will be held responsible and accountable for it in front of Allah. Not that I am saying that I do not need anyone’s help. I do. What I am saying is that I do not want to do things without due diligence.
Take a break
I want to take some time off. I have been in the system, going with the flow, for about 16 years now and out of those years, little were spent contemplating and reflecting on what I was doing and what I truly and honestly want to make of my life.
Taking some time off would be a good way to stop the flow and think. Just think. We sometimes move way too fast and too haphazardly that we do not even think about our actions. In effect, we find no meaning in what we do.
Everything seems so mechanical and lifeless. I do not want that. I want to break that pattern.
Generate a steady income
Taking some time off does not mean that I am sitting on a couch all day doing nothing, while relying on my parents to take care of me. That is so 7 years ago. I should be way pass that point about now.
Though I am not looking for a long term commitment to work (at least I plan not to), I should find a way to live on my own. I think the best way for me to honour my parents is to show them that they have taught me well enough for me to live independently.
Many students graduated but then they returned to their nests (i.e. their parents’ house) and live under their parents’ wings. I do not want to be that way. God, I hope not.
Look at what I can offer
Money is important; no doubt about that. But it is not as important as giving back to the community that I grew up in. Between more money but less contribution, and less money but more contribution, I want to say that I will choose the latter option. In my heart, that is what I want to do.
However, I cannot give back what I do not have. So I have to do some soul-searching to see what I do have so that I may offer it to the people.
Look at what the community needs
This goes hand in hand with the previous point. I do not want to offer something that the community does not need. There is no point in doing that. I believe that between what I can offer and what the community needs, there is an intersection (or more than one).
I need to find that intersection.
At the intersection, I will find my place in the world. I will find the best place to serve the people and consequently, the best place to serve Allah. The best among the people is the one most beneficial to the people. I want to be that person.
Overall, my goal is to find a way (or ways) to best serve the community.
If by working behind a desk is the best way to achieve that goal, then that is what I will do. If by getting a Masters degree and/or a PhD is the best way to achieve that goal, then that is what I will do. If by doing something else is the best way to achieve that goal, then that is what I will do.
Point being, I want my life to have meaning and value so that I may spend it buying my ticket to Jannah. The way I see it, there is no better way to perform that transaction than through serving the people.
May Allah accept. Ameen.