I have two daughters, 9 and 6. It is amazing how fast time has passed since I held them in my arms. They have made my days worthwhile, and my struggles fruitful. In the blink of an eye, they will be off to University and I will not have told them everything I want to. I am still learning with them, life’s lessons and experiencing life’s joys. But I came across Maya Angelou’s letter…
You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them. Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud. Do not complain. Make every effort to change things you do not like. If you cannot make a change, change the way you have been thinking. You might find a new solution.Never whine. Whining lets a brute know that a victim is in the neighborhood. Be certain that you do not die without having done something wonderful for humanity.
I build on that, I want my daughters to know:
1. I have made many mistakes in my life, I will probably make many more. Always accept you erred and learn from that experience.
2. Never blame someone else for your shortcomings. That is cowardly, accept responsibility and make sure you do not do it again.
3. Be happy, be content, do not whine or complain. But do cry, it releases the pressure.
4. Find good friends and treat them well.
5. Being a Muslim (or spiritual) is not easy, but a life long struggle. But it is worthwhile, make that journey.
6. Help others with no expectation of a reward. Go out of your way, you might need someone to help you one day too.
This list will definitely get edited, but for now I pray that you are strong and healthy. You find a companion in life who holds you dear but is not afraid to contradict you. I pray you feel others’ pain to do something about it, and not look the other way. Above all I pray you realize how fortunate you are to have the opportunities you have had.
I would like to end with a Yeats poem, that I love…meant different things at different stages in my life…
So my daughters, tread softly, you tread on my dreams….