I’m writing this on the plane back from Istanbul to Bahrain. I’ve got an excruciating ear infection of sorts that’s driving me absolutely mad, ebbing between being slightly annoying and utterly unbearable.
Thinking about how we set priorities, I can’t help but reflect on how life is so self-centered, and how the needs of a person shift so suddenly from long to short-term thinking in the wake of an existential (or near existential) risk to their life.
We spend alot of our time planning for months and years in advance, and yet often forget how vulnerable we are. At any moment, we could be hit with a disease or some sort of accident that immediately takes precedence over any sort of long terms plans you had. It’s also often in exactly these circumstances that we realize how little we actually control of this life.
Whether that’s a car accident or something as common as a headache – we immediately switch from the long-term planning state to the short-term survival state. Once we reach the realization that we have very little real control over the situation we are in, people often turn to God for help.
This is aptly described in the Quran, in a series of very powerful and eye-opening verses, should we choose to heed them:
- Delayed gratification (self-control)
- No what-ifs; give it your best, and leave the rest to God
- Showing gratitude (feeling appreciative, and lucky – for the little things that we take for granted .. things like being able to breathe, walk, run and otherwise function)