Wednesday, August 20, 2008

What Do You Want to Do With Your Life?

I remember when I was a teenager being questioned about what I would like to do with my life. I don't think I was really able, at that time, to grasp the enormity of the meaning of those simple words, 'do with your life'. Never-the-less, questions do cause pause and I did think, even at that time, that what I wanted to do was something that could benefit someone.

I went to private schools which valued and included community service, winterims, (breaks in high school where you spend time in an internship of choice) and making students aware of what potential humanitarian opportunities were available to them. It was always emphasized that these were life-enriching opportunities for the potential volunteer and not burdens or obligations.

At that time I was really interested in joining The Peace Corps alas, being a teenager with the world of college, partying, and fun, stretched out in front of me, I was distracted and did not go. Ah, regret is a very sad thing. I keep preaching that to my children. :) It happens everywhere. It is the circus that distracts us on the way to living a real life, and maybe the sirens that take us away from what is meaningful is not so different in Kuwait as America. Partying, alcohol and such are not as readily available, but I understand that they are a problem here too.
As seductive and all-encompassing as drugs, is giving one's life over to consumerism too. Sadly, it seems that Kuwait is not providing much in the way of diversion and entertainment for its youth besides preparing them for a life of buying and indulging themselves. Forgive my religious tangent as I remember that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, "The mouths of the sons of Adam would never be filled until it was with the dirt of the grave."

But maybe there is something that we could indulge ourselves in that would be more satiating than the latest clothes, store openings, burgers, or cars. Maybe the answer is all around us just waiting to be discovered. After all, I sense that if one waits, in Kuwait, for the powers that be to provide something, one might spend one's entire life in inertia.

Today, worldwide, there are even more opportunities for people to get involved in and do something with their lives that could have a huge impact on the world around them. Like they say, though, often it is best to start with your immediate circle of influence. Eventually that circle will ripple out and touch many. One good turn, you know.

I don't write this to try to preach to others, rather to say that often what I have been guilty of doing in Kuwait is complaining about the lack of this and the presence of that, but these problems could just be opportunities in disguise. How often do you/I walk by a disgustingly dirty street and complain, or lament the quality of life of some poor worker, or feel bad for starving/hurt animals, or worry about the pollution in the sea?

Just perhaps these problems around us could be invitations from God.

And the invitation reads...

"Do something with your life."


teach said...

I remember wanting to do French and Law, but my school principal told me I wouldn't get the grades. I did, but it was too late. I look back now and wonder how different my life might have been: would I be living in Brussels or Strasbourg and practising international law? Too many might have beens.
I love your blog and am adding you to my blog roll!

Carly said...

Hey teach,
I know what you mean. It is amazing the power that teachers, this means us :), have to encourage or discourage. It really gives you pause before giving students feedback, doesn't it?
Ah, but if you had done the law bit, then you would have missed all of this! :)
Thanks for adding me. I love your blog and will add you too!

Intlxpatr said...

The funny thing for me is, I fulfilled my dreams, but never exactly the way I envisioned them. God always had his own ideas about what I was created for, and his will prevailed - thanks be to God. I laugh, though, at his sense of humor, in the way some of the dreams were fulfilled. :-)

Carly said...

Hey intlxpatr,
That is wonderful that you can say that. What an accomplishment, masha'Allah. :)