One Incident, Two Opinions

What influences the youth is not the incident but how they view and analyze it. It is the way the issues are tackled that influences us- and not the issues themselves.

A perspective

• I have been unsuccessful in my task and have been defeated.

• Whoever faces defeat can never be successful.

Conclusion: I can never be successful in my life.

Other perspective

• I have been unsuccessful in my task and have suffered losses and defeat.

• Success follows every defeat. Defeat is a prelude to success.

Conclusion: I can be successful in my life.

What is common in both views is the realization of defeat. Definitely, a loss has been suffered. However, the subsequent stage, on which the outcome is dependent, is different. In the former case, defeat is taken as permanent, which is against the realities of the world. There is no person in this world that has always been successful. Success and defeat go hand in hand. We must - rather than accepting defeat - act courageously and confront the issues unwaveringly. Defeat does not close the door of success. One can only succeed through courage and decisiveness.

The youth who subscribes to the former view of life, loses courage in no time and becomes disheartened. All this badly affects his manner, ethics, language, etc. However, the youth very well knows that cynicism and pessimism is illogical, irrational and incompatible with the realities of life. Therefore, Islam does not subscribe to such irrational approach.

It has been mentioned that Islam advocates reflection and pondering. The Holy Quran at several places has emphasized (the importance of) reflection and deliberation. The religion of Islam desires that we should base our lives on intellect and reflection rather than sentiments and emotions. This approach will save us from psychological illnesses.

Our youths should avoid viewing unpleasant incidents negatively if they wish to lead a successful life. They should endeavor to find success in setbacks and hope from pessimism and hopelessness.