Do not teach your nation that it should withdraw from the world- Iqbal
Going through my last year and currently my last semester, I have come to feel a great level of social disassociation around me. Going through university I felt that it would not be forever this would be the case. I thought I would find deep friendships built on common foundation that seeks to understand the world. I thought I would have a chance to build profound relationships with people who would share their perspective of the world between global south and global north. I thought that perhaps I would find people who are burning to share their ideas on how to make our community a better place. These sentiments are part of my contest with the external environment. Overall, it has been an experience of pushing my own limitations or what I understand to be a limitation – where ultimately to be honest there isn’t any. Nonetheless, from time to time pushing yourself forward I have sensed a limitation only because I have not overcome it. In other words, it feels like a limit because I have not found the right strategies to deal with the limit.
One problem that I have faced is social disassociation. I often find myself frustrated that in class no one seems to see what I point out. I often feel people in my class live in another world. My opinion are at the borderline of either being ridiculed or plainly classified as idealistic – whatever that means. I am tired of people seeing the world in a realpolitik lens. The world is more then that – it has always been and will be tomorrow rather about humanity first then power struggles.If I have understood anything as I near my graduation and possibly what my education has not necessarily emphasized but life itself has shown; an outlook on life is all about PERCEPTION, PERCEPTION, and PERCEPTION. You can accept the world to be anything you want it to be – you can be an atheist, agnostic, moderate, religious, or fundamentalist. Its what you see, belief and put your faith in. The other key tenet is logic (reasoning) that in western world stems from Socrates, Plato, Aristotle etc. Its difficult to define logic so I shall avoid that here for now. Nevertheless, from where I stand, I see one dynamic of good life is when there is a perfect balance between logic and belief. I should point out that I see both to be intertwined and lead each other more often then not.
Yet I am evolving to see that belief supersedes logic. Belief can outdo the limits of reasoning. A talentless being can surpass talented being with belief. In this contest, not feeling you are good enough is one symptom we all at sometimes fight with. Social disassociation is also part of this contest. It can often stem from comparison with individuals around you – I reached a peak last semester. Admitting that you feel different from your peers trust me is nothing to flaunt. When I refer to being different about how one sees the world intellectually, academically and personally it has its own set of challenges- this realization is not really unique to me or some exceptional few. I think when we as individual start pushing ourselves, it happens. When we seek our potential, it is the natural recourse. Social disassociation is a stage necessary in seeking our own potential- a process where we become true authentic beings. In short, belief and logic is the fuel that accelerates our passion. Then, social disassociation is a natural phase of our passion. I have come to accept this. This is my justification.
But I tell myself and I remind you that social disassociation is only part of this journey where the real turning point is when we engage with the world. As muslims, citizens, and considering my obligation to humanity the real destination for me is engaging with the world. I tell myself I must make effort to connect with the people around me. I must give a chance to myself to understand the real stories of real people. For me this has been, my professors, my classmates, friends, and the random conversation I have outside class. The conversation I have had on train, library, mall, and cafeteria I hope to extend within my community here in Greater Toronto Area at first. The conversation is about, who we are, why we are the way we are, where we are going tomorrow and what we find found most exciting about today and tomorrow. Its a simple notion I know. But honestly the longer I have felt socially disassociated the stronger I feel that ultimately engagement is and shall be the hallmark of my passion.
I ask you to step forward and strike a conversation. A great conversation could be the beginning to a connection to the world that you may have not imagined at first. And snap out of it – this is by no means suppose to be romantic. See the world as your social lab that you must participate in to fulfill your potential. I know, I know embodying this attitude is much easy to talk about then actually implement. It sounds too beautiful and rainbow sunshine like. But honestly do you have a better alternative?
But if you are also going through a phase of social disassociation, like I have then embrace this as part of something bigger and better. The point is to understand this as part of the process toward an authentic self that is assigned by your passion.