A battle with Pride

May 21, 2011

Self-Empowerment


I had a suspicion and this time my entrance into my local mosque would be different I felt something in me something that made me feel a little special. I was 17 at the time and we had our weekly youth gathering this was meant to be a time to meet up with others from the mosque and socialise amongst one another.

A new website had been built which was the hot topic amongst the guys but only now had they known who made it which perhaps explains the buzzing feeling I had as I walked into the mosque. The guys generally gave positive feedback and offered much advice on improving the website there really was a lot of enthusiasm for the site.

What I felt that day is something that  I feel can either make or break an individual  for in a sense what I had felt was ‘pride’, pride that I had accomplished something which as a result had given me my 15 minutes of fame. This is not to say that the work  I had done was for fame but rather when your work is appreciated by others this feeling automatically sinks in.

the sense of caution

As I continued working on this website and developing it further it grew and generated a wider fan base,  from a couple of boys to thousands of hits world-wide making the website the talking point of the community. I knew that this meant my name would become one that is known amongst the community and associated with the site.  That feeling also grew and now each community event I would attend I somehow saw myself or felt a sense of responsibility. The website had a religious element to it and as founder it was expected of me to follow a certain trait, not to be seen as “nonreligious” for this was the unwritten law. Many times I would over hear people discussing the website or a topical issue from the site and I kept telling myself not to be big headed and try to be down to earth ‘dont let the pride control you’, my subconscious told me.

As i developed as a person i found myself more heavily involved with the community i enjoyed being active and using initiative to come up with new ideas and one big unexplored wave was ‘the media’. My father had run a successful political magazine of which I remember its HQ being in my bedroom where it would be stacked with paper and my father typing away on the macintosh computer. Video media was big so i set out in creating a series of short videos that would explore areas of topical interest which young people would find interesting to watch. YouTube had only just captured the worlds eye and a mixture of presentations at community events ensured that my name was yet again floating amongst the community. In 2009  I volunteered myself to host a number of shows for a brand new Islamic tv station on sky, something that i felt was not a part of my skill set and did not feel was any good at doing. However through the willingness of wanting to put myself in areas of discomfort I went ahead and hosted the shows.

That common theme from walking into the mosque at 17 and now still exists, is pride something that should be given much attention ? surely its a part and parcel of achieving something you feel merits it.  It’s not so much the issue of pride that troubles me here but rather the manner within which one manages this element. Very simply too much pride leads to arrogance which leads to dissociation which then leads to elevation and ultimately leads to your inner self telling you that you are better than everyone.

I struggle and try to remind myself that anything I do will never be enough and one should always be in a state of improvement from their defects. I now understand that pride will always be there and that it is a case of understanding the barriers and limits of ‘pride’s scope, ensuring that pride is not used as the ammunition to hurt others. I will end with a infamous saying from Imam Ali (As) which upon pondering can do us wonders.

“Oh man, you come from a drop of semen and you leave as a piece of dust. You don’t know when you came and you don’t know when you’re leaving. Yet you go around thinking you know everything.”

Imam Ali (as)

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About mohamedridha

Network Systems Engineer with focus on Wireless LAN Infrastructure and Security. Interests in Middle East

View all posts by mohamedridha

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