In our day and age, it has become difficult to reflect without disruption. We stay forever dazzled with the reds on our facebooks, the greens on our checkbooks, the blues on our iphones, the yellows on our flintstones. We live in a monotony of cacophony, where constantly our phones ring, our sets sing, our bells ding, our clocks ting, our chats ping, our friends cling. Never once are we left alone. Never once can we hold our own.
Solitude has become so hard to come by, to the point where we are now embracing a sedentary lifestyle of little thought. We loudly clamor for multiple-choice tests in lieu of essays requiring critical analysis. We eagerly invite entertainers and reporters to supply the focal points of our daily discussions. We willingly wear shackles of headphones to cover our ears, dilute our minds, and entwine our necks. We hungrily eye the glass screen’s definition of beauty and then make that the standard for our own bodies. We happily strut around as corporate billboards branded from head to toe. After all, we have to ‘just do it,’ since we were told to.
Thoughtless living dictated by unsavory forces has been in place since time immemorial. From the gladiator matches in ancient coliseums to the football matches in modern stadiums, these crowd-rousing spectacles have constantly occupied the worker from thinking on his only days off. From music, to lewdness, to beer and wine, these have all deadened the hearts and senses for centuries. What has really changed from the past, however, is the unprecedented level of penetration of these distractions into our lives.
Whereas before these contrivances of disruption were mainly geared towards the working class, we now see that everybody is absorbed in their own petty share of pretty toys and gadgets, from the children on their televisions, to the teenagers on their phones, to the adults on their laptops, and even to the elderly on their tablets. Instead of fulfilling its role of making our lives more efficient, these devised devices have only made us more distracted than ever. We now find ourselves constantly switching between the essential and non-essential – all under the guise of multitasking of course – as we keep multiple tabs of social media, news feeds, videos, and chat windows open whilst we write our reports and presentations. Our quantity of work increases with these devices, granted, but it comes at the expense of quality since we have let our minds become invariably distracted in the midst of much flitting about.
It is indeed a dreary reality that we find ourselves in, but not one without hope.
All we have to do is dare to reflect.
When we dare to break through the confines of distraction and begin to tread upon the mountain path of reflection, a whole new world filled with personal insights and realizations will gradually reveal itself to us. We will quickly realize how much of our lives we wasted in aimless wandering. We will see our past mistakes and then receive the opportunity to rectify them or resolve to never make them again. We will be able to look within ourselves and crush our deepest fears and remember our most beautiful years. We will gain a newfound sense of appreciation of each and everyone around us. We will understand that everything in this world has a purpose and contains something we can learn from. We will be given the opportunity to increase in our gratitude for the blessings and bounties bestowed upon us by Allah.
All of these benefits will not easily come, though; the arduous path of reflection will require much sacrifice and determination on our part. It will need us to purge all worldly distractions from our hearts and firmly clasp them in our fists. It will necessitate that we become less impulsive, that we choose to think before we act. It will impel us to find and cherish times of personal solitude instead of constantly craving commendation and clamorous company. It will entail us to leave our groupthink of endless liking and sharing and to instead think and speak of our own accord. It will force us to steer away from mundane matters and to rather engage in meaningful and intellectual discourse. It will require us to regularly reflect on our mission in life and on the bigger picture, instead of remaining inundated with life’s distractions.
In our day and age, it’s true that it has become much more difficult to reflect without disruption. However, it makes it just that much more worthwhile.
Thus marks our 100th article. Thank you for daring to reflect and muse with us all this way.
Last modified: May. 28, 2017
About the Author: Arif Kabir
Arif Kabir is currently serving as the Director of MYM. He loves spending time with his family, reading literature, learning martial arts, and finding meaningful ways to benefit the Ummah. He works as an IT Consultant, holds a B.S. in Operations Management & Information Systems, and has completed his memorization of the Qur’an alhamdulillah. He writes for MYM to contribute to the growing collections of Islamic English literature and to inspire fellow Muslim youth.