Way too often, we are pestered by the worry of our lives not having any impact, of just living average lives before passing. We are riddled day in day out with the worry of being irrelevant.
Despite being in the midst of all the chaos, something about this virus allowed a reflection point – but before we delve into it, let us get some facts together:
1) The government has stressed that we follow guidelines and protocols and that these measures are being put to protect us. They have stressed how important this is and how one person not abiding by the guidance could cause a disaster to occur – this one person will pass it to a few people who will each pass it to a few people and so on. A ripple affect that we have seen can easily cross borders and continents.
2) The effect of a person can often not be traced down exactly i.e. its difficult to know who is exactly infecting who, and follow it along– this is because the virus cannot be seen by the naked eye. We cannot see it when it passes from person to person; but what we can see is the result (people getting very ill, and some passing away).
3) It can happen that the people who are affected most are not in the immediate circle of the ‘infector’; it can be further down the ripple effect, and often the most affected are people that are weaker. You, had you taken an irresponsible or selfish decision, may be the cause of someone (or multiple people) dying – someone that you may not know. Most shocking of all is, you may never find out that you were the cause. That your small decision cost someone majorly.
In light of these facts that have become apparent to us, and in the midst of having all of a sudden, too much thinking time, one can reflect on these points on a deeper level.
Too often, we deem our little interactions with people as minor, not life-changing or having any type of impact, but what this virus has shown us is that EVERY INTERACTION HAS MAJOR CONSEQUENCES – whether positive or negative. Be it a friendly exchange (contact to be avoided at current times) or a nasty one. Be it a word you said in anger or a compliment you paid someone; a look of contempt or a meal you gave away – every action, every word, every decision affects a bunch of people directly. You change their mindset – temporarily (with which and in which time they can have multiple interactions) or permanently, their mood, their outlook, their biases and so on. They then go on to interact with lots of other people with that refined mindset/outlook/mood/bias who then affect others based off of that interaction and so on. The effect can snowball massively.
Sometimes the effect may not be seen directly; it may have more of an impact on those further down the line. This change could be international, intercontinental; it could be a factor in causing a global movement. You caused a global-wide ripple.
Having this in mind, I advise myself and you all to focus on these interactions. Do not belittle any word you say or any action that you do; each one could have a massive effect. Know that living a life that makes a difference can sometimes be something unseen to the majority of us. Allah sees your ripples, so make them of benefit.
Aseel Khattab | MAB Youth
Muslim Association of Britain
22nd March 2020
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