“Whoever among you wakes up in the morning and is safe in his home. In good health and has enough provisions for the day, it is as if he has all the good things of this world”
#1 First of all I am grateful to you Naimah for giving me this challenge, it really gave me an opportunity to reflect deeply on the many things that I should be grateful for, every day. In a way I am going to miss this daily obligation/commitment. It has also help me to understand the power of one consistently performing Salat; we need powerfully good habits that repeatedly remind us to glorify God, and show our appreciation for all that He has given to us. And so from now on I am adopting the habit of reflect each morning on the many things for which I should be grateful. And I am grateful that you and other former students have: “flip the script on me”; and now all of you have fulfilled the dream, and primary objective of the teacher; to switch places with the student.
#2 I am grateful for being a lifelong learner and seeker of knowledge. I feel that when you reach the end of learning; then you have in essence come to the end of life. I can divide the world into those who have stopped learning; and those who never stop learning. The latter are the group of people who I most admire and want to be like in this world. A committed life learner requires a type of humility that says: There are (a lot of) ‘‘somethings’’ out there that I don’t know; and there are ‘’somethings’’ about the things that I think I know, that I don’t know. You must also be open to learning from someone who may not have the same or similar examples of a “formal” education or training. In every human interaction there is a lesson to be learned; the true learners fear is that she will miss it; and in fact will agonize over the encounter until the lesson is revealed. The “teacher” may not fill our concept of positive or pleasant; however the lesson is still important. You also learn as much from what people don’t do, or don’t say, as when they do, and what they do say. Finally, I always seek out people who are excellent at whatever job they perform; watching a master of any effort or task is a priceless lesson.
#3 I am grateful each day for hope. Now this is not a fantasy or a rootless wish. This is a hope based on the hope of others in history, and on your own individual story. It causes you to understand that you are not alone, but rather you represent a long line of others who passed on their works and hopes to you. I wake up optimistic, with the idea, that this is the day that evil, oppression and wrongdoing will surrender. It is like every day is the first day of the battle; a battle I am wining, if I just don’t get tired. No matter how disappointing or dismal things may get, I believe that truth, justice and love will outlast all that is inflicting pain and suffering on the world. I understand this is a bold claim because those who suffer the most in this world have the least amount of money, communication capabilities and access to political power. And so this is not a rational hope based on the logic of this world; if I were a betting person (which I am not); I would probably see my not winning as a good bet, if we look at the present conditions and our access to tools, supplies and resources ; this hope would seem impossible. But the impossible will be made possible; and those who have chosen an unprincipled peace and power over justice, will eventually find that they have made a bad deal. And I am grateful to have a daily spirit of resilience and resistance, which is fueled by this great sense of hope.