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MAKING THE RIGHT CHOICE

The chapter Al-Tin (The Fig) of the Qur’an is very short, but it has a great lesson, a universal message for all men and women—an eternal formula for a successful life. The translation of the relevant verses is as follows: We have indeed created man in the best of molds, then We cast him down as the lowest of the low. (95:4-5)

Anyone who goes through these verses will discover great meaning in them. Everyone by nature has a unique personality, but nothing in this world is all good—the human personality has minus points as well as plus points. One who makes the most of his plus points is successful, whereas one who becomes a victim of his minus points is doomed to failure. The plus and minus points can be summed up under the headings of reason and emotion. One who obeys reason achieves success, while one who is led by his emotions is bound to face disaster. The reason, implying unbiased thinking, leads to a realistic approach. It makes you a mature person and guides you to give well-considered responses and to plan all your actions in a rational way. A life that is based on reason is invariably marked by success and salvation.

The emotional approach is only another name for an irrational approach. One who is swayed by his emotions becomes unrealistic in his dealings. His actions are typified by the well-known saying: ‘Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.’ With a single word-change, the formula goes like this: ‘Emotional people rush in where angels fear to tread.’ The emotional approach is not a very simple one and can come at a great cost. Dealing with things emotionally is like mishandling glassware. You can mishandle ironware, but you cannot behave like that with glassware, because it might fall down and be smashed. In any human situation, you have similar to handle matters with great care, otherwise the result will be like the smashing of delicate glassware. If this happens, it will lead to a breakdown in relationships and you cannot afford such a breakdown.

The human personality, a unique combination of mind and body, is a great boon for every man and woman. If you use your personality to the best advantage, you will become a super achiever. But then there is the other possibility, that is, of putting your personality to the wrong use. Misusing your personality is like mishandling glassware. You are doomed to paying a heavy price for doing so. But, if properly used, it will lead to super achievement. Improper use will lead to dismal failure. There are numerous creatures in this world, but out of all of them, man is quite unique in having freedom of choice. Freedom of choice is a valuable asset that elevates man to the highest rank. But freedom of choice is a double-edged sword. It may kill your enemy but at the same time, it can kill you too. So, while one who is extremely cautious can become a universal hero, one who opts for rash, ill-considered courses of action will be reduced to a total zero.

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