Madame Blossom's Book of Poems

Friday, December 24, 2010

Luqman's advice to his son

"O my son! Join not in worship, (others) with Allah: for false worship is indeed the highest wrongdoing"

"O my son! If there be but the weight of a mustard seed and it were hidden in a rock or anywhere in the heavens or earth, Allah will bring it forth: for Allah understands the finest mysteries, and is well-acquainted with them.

"O my son! Establish regular prayer, enjoin what is just, and forbid what is wrong : and bear with patient constancy whatever betide thee; for this is firmness (of purpose) in the conduct of affairs. And swell not thy cheek (for pride) at men, nor walk in insolence through the earth; for Allah loveth not any arrogant boaster. And be moderate in thy pace and lower thy voice; for the harshest of sounds without doubt is the braying of the ass."

Al Quran, Luqman 31:13, 16-19.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Composed Upon Westminster Bridge

Earth has not anything to show more fair:
Dull would be he of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty:
This city now doth, like a garment, wear
The beauty of the morning; silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky;
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
Never did the sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendour, valley, rock, or hill;
Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!
The river glideth at his own sweet will:
Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;
And all that mighty heart is lying still!

William Wordsworth "Composed Upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802"

Thursday, December 02, 2010

morning coffee for the mind

I stood there deep in thought, as the others sang the company song during morning assembly. Morning assembly is normal in Japanese companies. The song speaks of how we can all be a 'glorious symphony'. I thought about what that means. Why do we have to sing this? Do these people really feel so? Will they start their day with this drive to be a 'glorious symphony' in this giant company?

After the song ended, a colleague has to read the company creed and principles, which speaks of, I have to admire and agree, contribution to society, honesty, humility, gratitude, etc. I wonder how much of this is truly in their heart, as they go about their daily duties. Is it something that can be planted into a person by saying it and being reminded of it, once a week? Or even if it's said daily. How do these things come into existence in our selves?

And then, another colleague was presenting about Quality Assurance. Oh God, maybe I'm just a hyper thinker.. but anyway.. I'm thinking now.. if the company is not this big in the first place.. it would be easier to drive through all these ideas, these qualities and goals to all involved in the company. Because I strongly believe that only a good strong leader, with these qualities themselves, can motivate all under them, to have the have the same qualities - follow by example. The leader plays a very important role - these songs and creeds, posters and presentations will not do much. The founder may have, and I honestly think he really did, have these strong believe in these creeds and principles he introduced, and I believe he managed to drive that ideas into the people he hired before, when the company was still manageable by one true leader. But sadly, as a company grows, that will inevitably become not very effective - because it is impossible to ensure that every leader, has that same drive and qualities.. and so in the end, it becomes an old poem, admired.

Then... I thought about my life, our lives. The reality, how our actions and decisions impact other people. Oh no, I don't like to say 'reality' cause what we see here and now, about our life on earth is our perceived reality. God is The Reality - and there is a veil between us and that Reality.. and we're going through our everyday routines, imagining how important and cool they are to our lives.. like buying a cup of overcharged coffee at Starbucks ("I MUST get starbucks coffee to start the day!") - we're missing the whole point.

I guess it is inevitable sometimes that we talk about mundane stuff - and always struggling to put that into perspective against our real purpose and aim in life. But we just have to keep struggling, lest we get carried away in the rapid river of worthless worldly life and ideas.

Ya Allah, it's difficult - but I truly want my final aim, to be lillah. Everything I do, every hard decision I make, lillah.. it's finally about where I want to be in the Hereafter. So, help me make the right choices, give me strength to go through them. Ameen.