I’m staring at a box of Ferrero Rocher I bought for a friend and I’m thinking: ’’I have the definition of yumminess in front of me, yet I don’t feel any desire to put it in my mouth.’’ I know why I don’t feel like eating it: I’m tired of Ferrero Rocher. Who thought that would ever happen? A while ago my sister was gifted a huge Ferrero Rocher tree. We (read: I) had been eating from the Ferrero tree for weeks. At first it was great, but after a while it wasn’t special anymore. By the time the tree was almost bare I didn’t even feel like finishing it. Something once so wonderful became ‘’just chocolate’’ to me. It’s still delicious, but the whole magical feel was gone and now, months later, I’m still thinking ‘’nah’’. I realized we stop valuing things once they become normal to us, and that got me thinking…
To know something is special, we have to see that it’s special. When we get used to things, we stop seeing how special they are. They say you don’t know what you have until it’s gone – and that’s true. We are used to being healthy, having a family, sleeping in a bed, communicating with the world on the World Wide Web and seeing the sun rise and set. It’s all so normal to us that we don’t truly value the amazing things in our lives. It isn’t until one gets sick that we value health or until hunger strikes that we value food. We need a good slap in the face before we will appreciate anything, because we’re kind of blind. And stupid.
So imagine there were only good things in the world… would we ever see that good? Would we feel anything at all if all we feel is normal? Is feeling nothing really better than feeling everything? Is feeling dead better than feeling alive? And if we don’t ever feel small and imperfect, would we ever ask questions? And if we don’t know the value of anything, would the meaning of anything have value? So what’s the point of a life without hardship?
We need hardship because without any bad, we wouldn’t know good exists. If everything were perfect we wouldn’t ask any questions. We wouldn’t feel small. We wouldn’t feel a need to think about existence. We wouldn’t see the signs of God. We wouldn’t value anything and we wouldn’t seek answers and guidance. Only by knowing bad, good will have value to us and that way we will be inspired to seek God and the path of Islam. Hardship is a powerful reminder to be humble and to surrender to God for support. Quite often it is also a way to make us more successful, because it is in the journey that we find strength. Or it can be a way to protect us from something worse. In the end our vision on things is restricted, so what seems bad may have an unexposed side. Nothing is entirely bad and I am sure there is more wisdom behind the existence of calamities. This is just my limited take on it.
This is of course an Islam oriented answer. I know there is no answer to someone who doesn’t believe in a divine force, simply because any reason would imply there is ‘’something’’. There is no point in seeking answers if you believe there is nothing more to this world. This is where the one stops thinking and the other starts thinking, and we’re free to make that choice.