Sunday, 28 January 2018

Mendelian not-so-random-ization


At some point this week, I was reminded of those gold stars our teachers would make us earn in our formative years. The first five years of my life at school centered around those tiny shimmering decals and nothing mattered more than seeing them stuck next to my name in the class register. 

It's amazing as much as it is utterly absurd just how much value we put on those little stickers. Everyone competed for one in the classroom - because getting one meant that you not only achieved something, but that whatever you had contributed to the world was also valuable and you were worthy. 

I ended up hating those gold stars; only because I rarely ever got one and hated feeling like I wasn't living up to my non-existent potential. And even when I did get one, I still felt like I wasn't good enough, because someone else always had two or three more than I did. Eventually, I gave up trying to get any, and decided that I didn't even want one. Somewhere, somehow, acting as a catalyst during those formative years, my brain decided that it neither desired nor required whatever everyone else was chasing or what they had acquired.

And I've been swimming against the current ever since. 

Sometimes though, I can't help feeling that things don't change and we're all still chasing those gold stars... seeking that validation, that approval... trying to obtain that sense of worth, a feeling of accomplishment... trying to prove to the world that we are indeed good enough and that we deserve to be here. We want what we can't get, and when we get it, we want more. 

12 comments:

  1. It's a natural human need to want validation and recognition. Even wanting to be different - not like the others (which is also my tendency) - I think at some level we want to be recognised as being 'the other'.

    The only 'cure' for that...or rather, means of decreasing that desire, is, I think, strong spirituality. A connection to the Almighty whereby He is all that matters to you. Not that you disregard and disrespect the world...but rather, that your focus becomes pleasing the Creator, and not the Creation.

    Even in that, though, comes recognition many times...so it's a tricky thing. But that's why it's important to keep making dua for sincerity and a clean heart. In the end (the VERY end, I mean), that clean heart - and our deeds - are all that matter.

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    1. I hear you @dreamlife - but 4 years in the desert has taught me something about intangibility. Some things are good in theory. Rather, I've found that any kind of validation speaks of a void somewhere in ones life. And I truely believe that this void can only be filled, and a sense of purpose can only be achieved in service to others. The very core and nature of Islam is embedded in serving the community. This servitude brings everything else we desire - humility, companionship, a sense of belonging, a camaraderie and... validation. But it's not a validation that is empty or hollow or without meaning. It is a form of worship in itself. Helping those in need is the one thing we all need to do to maintain, and is the one thing that is greatly lacking in modern day society. Everything else is just rituals - and while rituals are important too - I feel like the world has forgotten the true essence of what Islam is about.

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  2. People learnt gold stars? Huh... I wondered what they were!

    Azra, you are under no obligation to make sense to anyone else or prove worthiness. I can tell you right here and now as oracle of the world, that you are more than worthy. End. Let me give you some vaildation- it comes free, from the heart and I want you to write it down : You are beautiful inside and out, funny, smart, empathetic and generous. The only people who wouldnt want to be like you are those too afraid to shine. No joke.

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    1. @Jules - I hope your cake was delicious. And thank you for your kind words. My post was inspired by observing the world through Instagram :)

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    2. You are beautiful inside and out, funny, smart, empathetic and generous. The only people who wouldnt want to be like you are those too afraid to shine.

      What Jules said.

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  3. *earnt not learnt. My spellchecker does not comprehend old English and saw fir to change my word and ruin my response. I hate it. Passionately. Now I'm going to have to go and eat some cake.

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  4. SERIOUSLY? I'm sorry... FIT

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  5. What the oracle said. Nothing to add there, except... that you have made my life more interesting and fun. There. I said it. Now give me a frigging star.

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    1. @Blue - A star? Here, have three ***

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    2. Thank you. Now give me a frigging Bora chocolate bar. :D

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  6. Approval and acceptance in some form or fashion, right? What's funny is I used to give those stars out at my old job to people who got me things on time. It works as an adult too

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