By: Amira Nabiha Binti Jamalludin

Time has passed for quarter an hour yet the lecturer still not appeared in front of the door. The lecture hall, which is designated sophistically symbolizing the classy prestige of a higher institution of medical school, appears to be noisy with the voices of students chatting and minding their own businesses.

The cracking sound of the door being opened by the technician makes the students turned their heads, even if they are in a deep conversation. There comes the lecturer for today’s Psychiatry subject. Looking tough and having a nice, warming face with rosy cheeks and half-bald head makes he looks like a warm daddy welcoming his children back from school. All the students seem to straighten their backs and be prepared for the lesson. Some of them are arranging their notes and some of them are taking off the pens’ caps in case to jot something down.

“Take 10 seconds to gather as much as good intention. And take another 5 seconds to pray for all the Muslims in the world”, he said.

The hall suddenly becomes quiet and even the slightest moving thing can be heard. Then, he continues to talk about the topic for today’s lesson, which is Emotion. This interesting topic seems to catch the eyes of the students despite the common, heavy subjects that are usually being taken by ordinary medical students; this could be considered a rather light subject.

“Have you ever heard the story of an elephant? Or should I tell you about it?” he asked with a clear, husked voice. Then, the story begins.

Once, there was a baby elephant which is being kept in a zoo. The zookeeper tied its leg with a strong, thick rope to make sure that it will not escape. At first, it struggles and tries with all its might to get rid of the sturdy, firm rope. However, after a while of struggling and trying, it seems to fail. The rope as well is too strong in relation to the little strength of the elephant baby. It feels exhausted and stops trying. Then, the zookeeper changes the thick rope to a thin, delicate one to be tied to its leg. Since the elephant baby feeling so tired and weary, it almost give up its narrow hope to escape from the tight knot that surrounding its leg.

Later on, the small baby elephant grows up and becomes bigger, bigger than before. Still, its leg is being tied to the thin rope and it makes no attempt to free itself from the knot. It is all because the baby elephant thinks that the knot is too strong, the same as the first knot made by the strong and thick rope. Surely, its perception is false. The zookeeper said that he knows the elephant is able to free himself from the rope but instead, the elephant thinks the otherwise. In the end, even when the elephant has more than enough capability to escape, it does not. Just because the elephant’s timid, narrow thinking leads to failure.

“It is not the load that breaks you down, it is the way you carry it.”

 

***

Struggles are closely related to us as long as we are human and as long as our hearts are beating. According to the second edition of Oxford Dictionary, struggle is defined as to try very hard to do something especially when it is difficult. One will never escape from struggles and difficulties in his or her life. However, it depends on the way that we foresee them, either we count them as blissful blessings or we consider them as unbearable things that can break us. It all depends on our own personal views and perspectives.

They say seeing is believing. Therefore, if we see them as a key to drive us closer to our targets and goals, then they will be. If we see them as a high wall that can block our way, well it could never be far enough from the way we see it. It goes without saying. Every struggle makes us stronger and every change makes us wiser. “March winds and April showers bring forth May flowers.”

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Let us refresh and rejuvenate our mind, heart and soul to read some motivational phrases from Dr. Muhaya Mohamad, a well-known ophthalmologist in Malaysia with such outstanding achievement. Graduated in Medicine degree from one of the prestigious universities in Malaysia, surely she is one of the shining gems during her student’s life.

One of the lines in her book stated that medical students will encounter such hard times in any medical schools, be it with the hectic-packed day full of classes, difficulty in understanding some heavy subjects and even troubling to cope with the study system once they were being pointed to join the battle in the medical field. Be firm inside out by creating such a positive mindset to overcome every obstacle that can come in the way. Life is a cycle with ups and downs and everybody will have their highs and lows at some points in their lives. At the very least, try to develop any bits of optimism and get rid of any pessimism.

Reminiscing back to the past Islamic history, one of the appealing stories is about the lovely daughter of Rasulullah (PBUH), Fatimah Az-Zahra. One cannot help but shed tears when reading about just how simply this great personality lived. Hers was a life filled with day-to-day hardships in which she ground wheat, kneaded dough and contentedly confronted inadequacies in food and other basic needs, which took a cruel toll on her body. Despite the utter simplicity of her life, she was nonetheless a pillar of support of all those around her.

Not to forget, the inspiring story of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Apple’s company, Steve Jobs. Even though he was the CEO for a big and huge worldwide company, he also seems to have his own life issues. Steve Jobs dropped out of Reed College because he was not interested in the courses he was taking. He also dropped out because the private school he was attending was too expensive, for him to attend the college his parents had to give up everything they had. After dropping out of Reed College, Steve Jobs moved to a Hippie Commune. When Jobs was 30, he was fired from Apple, and set out to build another computer company; this company was called NeXT. Apple then bought Steve’s company on December 20th, 1996 for $429 million and 1.5 million shares of Apple Stock. Steve Jobs not only struggled with school he also had health problems. In 2003 Steve was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer, which was later the cause of his death.

“Through every test, I’ll never get over

My actions and my thoughts kept me awake

The weight of the things that remained unspoken

Built up so much it crushed me everyday”

Perhaps this life is not like the bed of roses, always velvety and soft. Thorns are being hidden everywhere and every single mistake being done in the steps that we are heading, the chances of being pricked is always there.

No matter how hard and dark the situation is, have faith that He will not give you things that you cannot bear. Until He opens the next door, keep praising Him in the hallway.

Struggles, difficulties and problems; fight them, get over them and burn them to the degree that we can only grasp the trapped goodness beyond those that can be seen.

If life deals you lemons, make lemonade out of it. Better to add some sugars in order to make it sweeter and nice to be drink.

What doesn’t kill you make you stronger. Isn’t it?

Mesmerizing and breathtaking

For all things in this temporary world are possessed by the Only King

Trapped in the darkness inside

Whirling like over casted clouds that hide

There are those words but oh — they just settled there not knowing where to go

Deep so deep; as deep as ocean yet not as white as snow

Look strong but actually crying

In the rough journey of searching but with a soul that is dying

“When My servants ask about Me, I am indeed near;

I listen to the prayer of every supplicant when he calls on Me”

There arrives such spectacular solution

Together with gratified feelings and emotions

For those whose hearts are running for You

Supplication and prayers are indeed true

Well, you know how lovely it is — THE SKY

If you know how to love and why

Acknowledge the precise words and dare to dream

So that they can guide us back to Him

“Verily, with every difficulty there is relief.”

Oh such soothing words, for those who believe.

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