Credit to kakak for this gift, love it so much! (in commemoration of my SPM's result)
Half Full or Half Empty
The Story of Fred and Mabel
I was doing my usual reading from the internet when I came across this funny joke among my e-mails. It was a very good one, which I feel I need to share with you...
Fred and Mable were both patients in a mental hospital. One day as they both walked beside the swimming pool, Mabel jumped into the deep end and sank to the bottom. Without a thought for his own safety, Fred jumped in after her, brought her to the surface, hauled her out, and saved her.
The next day happened to be Fred's annual review. He was brought before the hospital board, where the director told him, "Fred, I have some good news and some bad news: the good news is that, in light of your heroic act yesterday, we consider you sane, and you can be released from this home back into society. The bad news is, I'm afraid, that Mabel, the patient you saved, shortly afterwards hung herself in the bathroom with the belt from her bathrobe. I'm sorry, but she's dead."
"She didn't hung herself," Fred replied, "I put her there to dry."
Like it? It's a great joke, isn't it? It tickled my funny bone like nobody's business when I first read it. I was thoroughly amused by it. The joke here is very clear, but, as I giggled longer, I found myself thinking of poor Mabel-and then my second thought came - the profound message underlying this joke..
What did this funny story tell me? I found a few things about life here,but, for now, I will focus on just one point that is critical for me to look at in my own life. And that point would be perspectives.
Yes, life is always about perspectives. In the joke, Fred think that he is really doing Mabel a favor. In his own weird world, Mabel is seen as a person who is soaking wet, much like a towel, thus prompting him to "dry" her off. After all, she was wet! So, yes, he means well. We see this as extremely un accaptable, but not Fred.
How did Fred see this world? How did he interpret Mabel's situation? His brain had somehow connected all wet things to two things - towel and drier. And, so, he acted . Of course, Fred's example here is one extreme case, but let's face it. Differences in perspective happens to us almost every day.
If I say that the rain is troublesome, another person will say that rain invites serenity. If I disagree with violence, someone outh there will have a very good reason for why violence is justified. Ice cream is fattening? Nope, it gives instant energy. Chemotherapy is bad? Well, it gives cancer patients a chance in life. Football is a silly game with twenty-two men chasing a ball? No, it provides millions of jobs to people worldwide. See? it is all about perspectives. You know, wther the glass is half full or half empty kind of thing. Or, in other words, there are always two sides to a coin.
One of my professors taught me a very good lesson in class one day. She said that. whenever asked a question, an educated person would always answer, "It all depends." After that, she said that we should argue our way out or, better still, try to understand both perspectives and have a good en dto the discussion before coming to a conclusion. More often than not,we would, by the end of the discussion, appreciate why the other party had taken a certain position. She blew my mind that day!
I often asked myself whether having differences in opinion is a bad thing. Well, if we look at the instability in this world, we can always conclude that,yes,having differences in opinion is a bed thing. Just look around us. From the highest level between government, to societies, and even within our small family units,war,disagreement, confrontation, and hostility are everywhere.
If that is so, then are we all supposed to have the same thoughts, views and outlook on life? What are the benefits of having differences in viewpoint,anyway, if the only thing we get is negativity, and more negativity? Wouldn't this world be a better place to live in if all of us were the same - having the same thoughts, the same ideas, and the same opinions?
The answer to my question was settled in this verse, where Allah says what can be translated as:
O you men! surely We have created you of a male and a female, and made you tribes and families that you may know each other; surely the most honorable of you with Allah is the one among you most careful (of his duty); surely Allah is Knowing, Aware. (Al-Hujurat 49:13)
Astaghfirullah. I got it. This verse says it all. We ARE supposed to be different. We are made that way so that we can always learnabout one another. This is so true,right? Imagine..if everyone in this world loved reading science fiction, then no one would be reading this book of mine. Or, if everyone loved the color pink, the whole world would look like Barbie-land. Imagine the headache cause by all different shades of pink!
And guess the title of the movie starring Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith! Yeah, you got it, right? Men in Pink!
Ok, jokes aside, what is happening to us now? Why aren't we learning from one another? Why are we there fights all over the world?
This is because we fail to take heed of His reminder:
O you who believe! obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority from among you; then if you quarrel about anything, refer it to Allah and the Messenger, if you believe in Allah and the last day; this is better and very good in the end.(An-Nisaa' 4:59)
Also, Allah says if we do not know, ask..
so ask the followers of the Reminder if you do not know (An-Nahl 16:43)
Yes,first Allah has asked us to refer back to His Book and His Messenger if and when we differ. And,second, He asked us to ask if we do not know,right?
By asking we are doing ourselves a favor. We are getting clarification on something that we don't understand. More often than not, we misinterpret things about other people. Things people say to us. Things they write to us. Their body language may be misinterpreted. And their troublesome facial expressions? We think they are meant fo us.
It has happened to me several times,actually. I misunderstood some words my friend told me via online messenger and was hurt by them. Alhamdulillah, luckily just minute later, we clarified the matter, because I asked for clarification. And, actually the message was not meant to be read the way I had punctuated it. In fact, it meant just opposite. How wrong was I that day!
Let me leave you with a story of how perspectives can ruin our lives if we let them.
An English professor wrote the words:
"Woman without her man is nothing" on the blackboard and directed the student tu punctuated it very correctly.
The men wrote: "Woman, without her man, is nothing."
The women wrote: "Woman! Without her, man is nothing."
With that, I rest my cace..
p/s: Mabruk kepada shbt2 uia, kita dah mendapat natijah sem 1. Usaha yang terbaik untuk sem 2! Kembali ke gagang~